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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » A tangled web we weave... » » Magic Bistro (17 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Gerry Walkowski
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Inner circle
1434 Posts

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Did this close?

Gerry
Matthew W
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New York
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Yep. I tried going yesterday and it was gone. Sad, there was good information.
-Matt
MickNZ
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Auckland, New Zealand
579 Posts

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James shut down the board about a month ago unfortunately. I think part of the reason was that more people didn't get actively involved.
Mindpro
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Eternal Order
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From what I heard and saw first hand it was the same old group of a handful of guys ruing the roost, most of which left or were banned from here so there was a lot of bashing this place, until they decided to campaign to be let back on here.

It's a shame as James seems quite credible yet that was not the reputation the Bistro had. Most of the guys I would have been interested in were either banned from there or left long ago.
Al Angello
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Collegeville, Pa. USA
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James does over 300 shows a year, he has written at least one book in the past two years that I know of. His marketing course requires him to be in daily contact with his students, and coupled with a young growing family I don't know how the magic Bistro lasted as long as it did.

Unlike other magic forums the magic Bistro only appealed to full time professionals which is probably why it never really took off.

The real problem with the magic bistro was that there was far too much political conversation and not enough magical conversation which became quite boring.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
charliecheckers
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I just tried to go on to the Bistro as well. I guess it has been longer than I guessed since I was last there. I really liked the pod casts offered there. The site design left a lot to be desired though and the topics were the same as here with fewer, but the same contributors except as noted in the posts above. I will miss the times I wandered over to the Bistro for an occasional glance though.
Mindpro
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I had several members try to get me to join there, so I checked it out for over a month with these guys and I will say I didn't at all care for it. It seemed to be VERY kids entertainer-based, the same handful of guys almost dictating the entire place, and extreme bullying by the same two or three self-appointed experts. Even James seemed very put off by it from my perspectives. I actually felt for him as it seemed apparent that it was falling short of his hopes and expectations. Very confrontational if you didn't agree with those being the most vocal, all of which were either banned from here (Cafe) or "choose to leave" (depending who's story you accept).

Very little entertainment was actually discussed and even less (rarely if any) business of entertaining. James would try to start what seemed to be a good or serious topic and in a few short posts it got sucked into these same guys control.

Those that did participate seemed to be seeking praise and stroking for no apparrent reason other than being loud.

Like Al mentioned about James marketing and performing level, marketing was rarely discussed other than very basic kids performing levels. It really wasn't inviting to regional or national professionals just local kids performers.

This combined with all the Café-bashing and specific members-bashing made it not a place where anyone I knew there felt accepted or truly invited to participate. Anything other than kids magic such as mentalism, entertainment business, hypnosis, was rarely ever discussed and I must say some of the worst insight and advice offered on any forum I'd ever seen. The nuts seemed to be running the asylum. I truly felt sorry for James.

Al's quote: "the magic Bistro only appealed to full time professionals which is probably why it never really took off" I never saw the professionals you referred to or at least any professionals other than the same handful of kids performers.

While I respect Al and typically enjoy his insights (and applaud James efforts) I strongly disagree with him on this one.
Ken Northridge
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Atlantic City, NJ
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James made a post venting his frustration with the lack of participation and announced The Bistro would be closing in a week, and possibly reopening after the summer. I don’t know what was said but it didn’t last the week he said it would. So, there is still the possibility he will try it again this fall.

James really tried to make it work. It seemed to me he read every post and commented whenever possible. I thought it was a nice alternative to the Café and especially enjoyed the respectful discussions on the politics and religion room. I know that’s not for everyone but I found it interesting how these subjects coincided with magic. For example, I feel that being conservative minded is an advantage for the professional entertainer/business owner. Now, many of you would probably jump all over that statement. But that was the fun of it, and like I said, for the most part it was respectful.

As far as the bad advice that Mindpro mentioned, there’s plenty of that here too. Perhaps the only difference is The Bistro doesn’t have Mindpro and Danny Doyle to straighten everyone out! Seriously, that’s one of the main reasons I participate in these forums. When I see someone give bad advice or a narrow minded opinion, I feel the need to straighten them out, or at least balance the discussion with a different point of view.

Anyway, I gained a ton of respect for James and found him to be a hard worker and very smart. If he doesn’t reopen the Bistro, I hope he will at least post here from time to time.
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
www.KenNorthridge.com
Al Angello
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Collegeville, Pa. USA
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Mindpro has a point. To some the bickering stood out, to Ken and I we learned a lot there. Lets face it there are nut jobs everywhere. Yes there was no Danny Doyle, or Mindpro there, but the Mark Lewis haters came out of the wood work just to have their chance to insult him.

Mindpro
Before I joined the Bistro I was very bad at marketing. The marketing tips, PM advise, and incentive from others I picked up at the Bistro has literally changed the way I do business. It was not just James, but a combination of all the other working pro's there, who convinced me that marketing would be the key to my success.

The magic bistro was a lot of fun, but the political, and religious conversation there was a big turn off for me. I'm not the kind of guy to back down from a fight, and the bistro had a lot of guys who knew how to make me and Mark Lewis very angry.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Mindpro
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Hey Al I'm glad you took a lot of marketing wisdom from the Bistro, unfortunately PM advice doesn't help anyone or the forum, other than the person receiving the PM. I couldn't agree more about the religious and political turnoffs. After my first visit I was extremely put off my this, and by some of these names you mention. I was done with it. But as I said a few guys asked me to give it a bit longer of a chance believing I could add something to the forum, but after a month of popping in and out with a couple of these guys, I didn't think it was very professional, but more like a magic club.

I just never saw much business being properly discussed there. Also I didn't see much being shared. It seemed to usually go like this: someone (or James) would post a genuine question or good prospective topic. Then literally within a few posts, one of the "vocal experts" would squash it, slam it or make the person asking it being inferior or like a fool. Then others would join him on the slamming. Some would stand up to the person, only for the entire thread to be highjacked into the person becoming louder and perhaps trying to justify their skewed perceptions, other times it would never return to the topic. This happened over and over again.

The police magician used it more as a blog about himself rather than ever seeming to contribute to the progression of the thread. He seemed like a nice guy, but along with others did not seem in the best interest of progress, participation by others and sharing, or a level of professional operation.

The whole Mark Lewis thing, it speaks for itself. It follows him wherever he goes, and while I'm sure he's a nice guy, simply put it is off-putting to many, I'd even say most. And heaven forbid if you get on his target list. They'd surely never return. James had to be aware of this and I'm sure didn't expect to have to be forced to mediate or get involved in the middle of it.

I know many that joined believing there would be a great deal of business and marketing from professionals perspectives given James' business and marketing experience and level. I just never saw it, but am glad it helped you Al, that is great and made it all worth all the bs for you I'm sure.

It's hard to express this without it seeming like it's pointed towards James, it's not. I have the greatest respect for him from what I know and have heard about him. He seems quite open minded about sharing his knowledge while also being opening minded to learning himself.

But it also made me realize that although many there constantly based the Café, The Magic Café has set the bar or the standard for forums in this industry. It may not be perfect, but none will ever be. The Bistro's proceeding and gauage of interest, success and participation, like other forums that have come and gone, have had to follow in the shadow of the Magic Café and the bar that it's set.

I also know there was a thread there about me, which was shared with me and it was filled with so much incorrect information, assumptions, unwarranted slamming and info offered as factual that were form people yapping about something or someone they obviously knew nothing about. It was quite hysterical. My point to it is it allowed me to see who and how much was dealing in reality or uninformed, uneducated opinions from those not in the know and if it happened in that thread I can only image about others.

My advice is for James to regroup, remember where he is operating now (so much seemed very foreign-based while putting down the U.S. and it's performers and type of preferences and markets, yet two of the three doing this are now trying to make a living here in the states. That was EXTREMELY off-putting. Also I also believe forums should have separate areas for amateurs, beginners & semi-pros, and then one for actual working professionals. Anytime you let all the animals run free in the same pen is going to be harder to control and get out of hand. Just a few more thoughts.
Al Angello
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Collegeville, Pa. USA
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WHOOPS
I think we both posted at the same time.

Two perfect examples of the kind of friends I made at the Bistro are right here on this page.

My good friend Mick from New Zealand who helped me a lot with my performing technique by watching my video's, and sending me email advise.

I attended a Ken Northridge show he bought me lunch and helped me a lot with my post card mailings.

I also hooked up with Ken Scott on a couple of his local shows and dinner. Ken gave me valuable BOR advise, and more post card mailing advise.

I spent a wacky afternoon with The Great Zucchini watching him make a room full of 4 year olds march around like little soldiers.

These were experiences that I experienced at the magic Bistro, and I have not even touched the PM's, phone calls and email messages I received from James Munton, Jolly Roger, and Mark Lewis.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
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We also disagree on facebook. I'm glad we can get together here and share our experiences.

BTW Mindpro
I'm working on a facebook bomb shell booking story.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Mindpro
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Cool Al, can't wait to hear about it. I'm sure you probably took much more form the Bistro since you are a kid and family performer which is what much of the content was about, so that makes sense.
PaulPacific
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Yes, I used my toes to type all of my
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I enjoyed the interviews. It's a shame they are gone.

As for the rest of the Bistro, I did enjoy my first year there and put my heart and sole(!) into my posts. I fell out with Munton and wasn't on at all during the last year or so.
Blessings on thee, little man,
barefoot boy with cheeks of tan...
Outward sunshine; inward joy,
Blessings on thee, barefoot boy! :-D
Dynamike
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FullTimer
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I was invited to join by Jolly Roger. At first it was fun. But when James did not stop the few members from bullying me I quit posting there. Al is a witness to it.
MickNZ
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Auckland, New Zealand
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I wasn't into the political or religious discussion on there personally, so I simply didn't read it. Never quite understood why people said they had a problem with those sort of discussions yet still kept reading it every single day Smile
Al Angello
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Collegeville, Pa. USA
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Mike is right there were a few loud mouth red necks there who enjoyed saying impolite things.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Jolly Roger
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V.I.P.
Sedona, Arizona
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Profile of Jolly Roger
Quote:
On 2013-08-20 21:47, MickNZ wrote:
I wasn't into the political or religious discussion on there personally, so I simply didn't read it. Never quite understood why people said they had a problem with those sort of discussions yet still kept reading it every single day Smile


So true Mick!!! As you all know, I loved those topics and the way they often intertwined with magic. I never understood why people complained about them when all they had to do was ignore those areas of the forum. I miss the Bistro...........but life moves on! JR
jamiedoyle
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Lafayette, IN
614 Posts

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I miss the Bistro
I'm not going out on a limb when I state that there were many areas of the Bistro that had great advice and many of us sharing routines, ideas, tips, gags, bits of business and such. I do hope it returns.
Jamie Doyle

jamiedoyle.com
Dynamike
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FullTimer
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Quote:
I never understood why people complained about them when all they had to do was ignore those areas of the forum.

But Starpower and Paddy used to follow my post everywhere on the forum for harassment. That is why I ignored it totally.
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