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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The August 2012 entrée: Shawn Farquhar » » Some questions to a FISM judge » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

OZ_Muenster
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Shawn,
thanks for being here in the Café. I have some questions about the FISM standings:

1) Yann Frish won the 1'st price in "parlour". He's sitting at his table, says no word and does magic with little items. Isn't that close up or micromagic?
2) Andost won the 1'st price in micromagic and ...uhm... did some sleight of hand with cards?!? The wrong category also imho.
3) Since decades no 1'st price for mental magic. The presentation of the 2'nd price, Christoph Kuch, was unique with a nice plot, good tricks and the magician is a likeable guy. What does the jury want to see to give a 1'st price in this category?
4) Marco Karvo does magic with birds. What was new, unique or special on his act to give him the 1'st price in general magic? Of course he can show his performance in every vaudeville around the world but I don't understand that an act out of the last century get a 1'st price in a category with so many great (better) magicians.

I would be pleased to get a reaction.
Greetings
Shawn Farquhar
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OZ_Muenster,

Great questions. I am going to assume you were not at FISM 2012.

For clarification and to make my answer totally understandable you must know the rules of FISM. http://fism.org/web/championship-contests/contest-rules/
First and foremost the acts select their categories.
Second and most important, the judges can move an act from one category to another, ONLY if it benefits the act in question.
So, now to answer questions one and two:
You missed the mentioning Jan Logemann. I personally think all three winner were in the wrong categories.
Yann should have been Mirco, Andost in Cards and Jan in Parlour.
Each however were the highest scores in their respective categories and moving them to a different category would NOT have benefited the act in question.
Therefore under the rules of FISM they could not be switched.

As to the other questions, I cannot speak with any authority, as I was not on the judging panel for the Stage competition.
I can tell you my personal views though.
For the past three FISM I have seen some amazing Mentalist. One duo in particular did and amazing act that to this very day makes me smile.
Robert & Emiel of the Netherlands competed in 2006 and 2009 and have won a 3rd and 2nd prize.
I have no idea what an act will have to do to impress the panel to score higher.

Marko Karvo is a whole different discussion and the reason I suspect you did not attend FISM 2012.
You asked "what's new"? When did competing at FISM have to entail something "new"?
Marko Karvo was brilliant and the crowd in attendance leapt to their feet several times in thunderous applause!
I welcome the return of the slow moving bird act as opposed the options being presented these days.
By the reactions I witnessed at FISM I am not alone in this opinion of an act from the "last century" ... you do know century is a hundred years, right? lol
Yes his style is a from a decade or two ago, but it was flawless, amazing, magical and apparently scored the most points in the judges opinion.

In closing, I think that unless a person is actually at a competition it will be very difficult to understand the contest results.
Watching the act on YouTube is not the same.
The results are based on the act on that given day against the given field of competitors.

Hope that makes sense and thanks for a great question.

-shawn
korttihai_82
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As a fellow finn I would also defend Karvos act in a sense that the very same act has won silver wand from Monte Carlo invitational competition in the mid 90´s and was good enough to run in Lido de Paris (one of the most prestige varietee shows in the world) for over 5 years and has been working all over the varietees of europe since the early 90´s. Its not act for magicians. It is act for real world, real lay audiences...

Yes, it is a bird act. Very classical one as mentioned. Someone in Genii forum even wrote that it is closest thing to Channing Pollocks act currently in the world. Now check out the fism judging rules.

Technical Skill/Handling.
Showmanship/Presentation
Entertainment value
Artistic Impression/Routining
Originality
Magic Atmosphere

If you have ever seen the act live you know that only place it can really get some lower marks in judging is originality. And the last 2 minutes of the act even cover that one up. Those rules are there for a reason. It is not only matter of tastes but also judging the competition by its rules.

Even because of being from finland my opinion may be biased but this was a great example of FISM finally going into right direction. Act that is developed and appreciated in real world won INSTEAD of act full of magicians magic. FISM allready has history of some world class acts that didn't end up winning when the future showed that they definately should have(Mullica, Wonder, Knight to mention a few).

J-M
OZ_Muenster
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Thanks to Shawn and korttihai for your replies.

@ Shawn. Nice you agree with me the winners were in the wrong category. I know competitions a magician get disqualified for being obviously in the wrong category. Not at FISM?

Now some answers for clarity. Yes, I was at the FISM. I saw some bad performances with birds. Even Greg Frewins act was awful. Btw, did one dove died during his act? Of course the crowd leaped to their feet several times in thunderous applause. He was the onliest bird magician who didn't nearly kill his birds during performance. Maybe it's the cultural difference between you and me. I already have the opinion that it must be forbidden for North American and Asians to do any bird acts. Once one said: I don't want to see any bird act until the bird says it wants to perform.

Karvo's act looked well and the birds were well trained. Like you said; his style was from 2 decades ago. That was the last century! In my opinion it's a wrong signal to give the 1'st prize to a classic bird magician. He is nothing without his birds.

Cheers,
Rainer
Shawn Farquhar
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Rainer,

I did agree that I felt the contestants could have been in different categories than they selected, but that didn't imply that they weren't fine being in the ones they did select.
It was my personal opinion that they would represent the other title just as well if not better.
I think the most important thing to remember is that they are all exceptional champions who will represent us well for the next three years as our FISM champions.

I am surprised to read that you attended FISM. You had to be in the theatre when Marko Karvo performed and there was no doubt he was sensational.

By reading the rest of your post it appears you are against the use of birds in the performance of magic.
It's fine to have a position such as this if based on fact and not just a bias.
If an act treats an animal inhumanely they deserve to be chastised.
Yes I believe it is a cultural difference between us. I have noted that there are several countries that as a whole are against the use of birds and I have actually witnessed respected magicians from said countries booing acts at FISM when they produce a bird. First, booing is such a childish expression and secondly it should never happen at FISM where we go to support and celebrate our mutual love of magic. Even when the ghastly act of the person in drag in the fat suit striped to reveal their hairy genitalia at FISM 2012, the thought of booing never entered my mind. What an abomination that was and then Greg Frewin had to follow that...

In regards to Greg Frewin's appearance at FISM. He was given birds by the producers of the congress. They were not his own as he did not want to subject his birds to the long flights and the quarantine that would have been necessary. He was assured they would be good birds, they lied. I will assume you have seen his acts in the past and know he needs well trained birds... which was not the case that night. No birds were harmed during the performance, of that I am certain. He even stopped at one point in the act to retrieve a bird near the back curtain to make certain it would not be harmed. The show he was on was one of the worst events I have had to endure as there were only three acts that deserved to be on that stage. Greg's presentations of Origami with the broken mirror and his Shrouded Transition were wonderful. I have nothing but respect and admiration for him as an artist and friend.

As for your rule that North American and Asian's should be forbidden from presenting acts with birds, really? You would have denied the world the opportunity to experience the magic of Channing Pollock, Shimada, James Ceilen, James Dimmare, Jason Byrne, Joseph Gabriel, Amos Levkovitch and Johnny Thompson ... what an odd thing to say. I can think of so many more magicians who have shared the stage with birds ... me included. I treated my doves like they were family and even risked my life to save them from a burning building.

Finally Karvo's is the right signal to give the next generation of magicians. Perform excellent magic, executed perfectly and always remember we present to entertain lay audiences, not other magicians. I was thrilled to be in the audience to witness both performances by Marko Karvo and would pay the entire FISM fee to see him again.

I guess we will have to put this down to "cultural differences". We can't all agree on everything ...

-shawn


"If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity." -John F. Kennedy


...
OZ_Muenster
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@Shawn, thanks for your quick reply. I appreciate that very much. I guess you are right when saying I'm biased concerning bird acts. We have to agree we disagree on that point Smile . Anyway, thanks for your honest answers.

p.s.: When some were booing they were booing to Mr. Lever cause some acts were not worth being shown at a FISM.

Cheers'
Rainer
Shawn Farquhar
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Rainer,

I'm usually very slow to reply to posts on the Café, but this weeks an exception. I think I may have made well over 100 posts this week!

With regards to the booing, I don't think the acts, if asked, would feel the audience were booing Mr Lever. If they wanted to boo him personally it certainly didn't happen when he took to the stage to present the awards or make his address. It only happened when other performers were on stage. Many of those acts had no right to be on the stage, but none deserved to be booed by their peers.

** Did anyone else notice I missed Lance Burton in my list? Not intentional, he's another of my heroes ...

-shawn
OZ_Muenster
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Quote:
Shawn Farquhar wrote:
With regards to the booing, I don't think the acts, if asked, would feel the audience were booing Mr Lever.

That's can be true. But then, a Martyn James e.g., has to ask himself why he accepts an offer to perform on a WORLD CONGRESS and show for 2500 magicians the increasing bottles.
Shawn Farquhar
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Rainer,

That's an excellent question. Why did many of the acts, not really FISM standard accept the gig?

The answer may lay in the fact that many of those same acts had never attended a FISM before and did not know the level of performance.
Perhaps the fault in the level of the talent does not lay solely with the acts.
They accepted gigs offered to them, because that's what professionals do ...
The majority of the blame should lay squarely on the shoulders of those that selected the talent.
Interestingly enough it is hard to determine just who did all the hiring ...

Regardless I feel there is absolutely no reason a magician should ever boo another magician.
Walk out, close your eyes, compose a text or have a conversation with another, but booing is childish and should never be tolerated at FISM.

-shawn

"There are a lot of things I learned from animals. One was that they couldn't hiss or boo me." - James Dean
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