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Jolly Roger
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Quote:
On 2013-08-21 18:28, Dynamike wrote:
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.


I was unaware of that Mike. That was a shame. If you had brought that to mine or James's attention, they would have been reprimanded. Sorry that happened. JR
Mindpro
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Eternal Order
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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


I think it's because it allowed you to better understand these people and who you were dealing with whether you enjoyed it/them or not. You learn quickly who knows what and who's full of bs or themselves. That is also part of the point. For those that did seem to go there regularly to get into the topics of magic of the business side, there was often little or nothing new, the only new posts were the political and religious stuff. So you check it out, get more discouraged and eventually choose not to return.

It was also very odd in many ways. Two of the hottest topics and trends over the last 5 years or so has been in mentalism (so many magician's trying, switching or adding mental magic or mentalism) and marketing (especially with social median, SEO, etc.). I mean these have probably been the hot-topics everywhere else - here as well as on other forums. Yet at the Bistro, little or often nothing. Again I credit this to the fact that the vast majority of those there were kids or family performers on a local level. This might as well just have been a kids magic forum.

I noticed anytime Paul Pacific or others tried to contribute mentalism or business it was easily squashed or unsupported. Some of the advice and perceptions on hypnosis was some of the worst I have ever seen. I went there with the intention of some basic knowledge of James and his business knowledge and marketing programs, so I would have thought it would have been more business and the business of performing oriented. While Al seems to have taken away some of this, I really failed to see it. There were times that weeks or maybe even months went by with no activity in those forums.

Then of course Mark Lewis offering his bizarre insights on almost every topic in every forum as a professor know it all, which was off-putting to the vast majority. Those that know him may take him with a grain of salt but many other don't. He seems to know this and enjoy the game which while entertaining to himself, was not so much to others or to encourage their participation. Hence the same old group of participants.
James Munton
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Hi everyone,

Thanks for the comments about the Bistro.

The site began as an experiment. I wanted to see if it would be possible to have a completely unmoderated forum. My hope was that people would be mature enough to moderate themselves. It would be free of advertising, so we wouldn’t be beholden to anyone. People could talk about anything they wanted. I saw it as a coffee shop or bar, where we could hang out together.

I quickly realized the impossibility of having an unmoderated forum after a number of very nasty fights broke out.

So I banned a couple of people, but I think the damage was done and we didn’t truly ever recover. A lot of people came to the site during that time and were turned off by what they saw. I don’t blame them.

Then there was Mark Lewis. A lot of people dislike Mark. MANY people told me to ban him because of his argumentative style. I could never understand why they couldn’t simply choose to ignore him.

And I did actually ban him for a while. It made no difference to the quantity and quality of posts. If anything they declined.

Many people like Mindpro have complained about the site suggesting that there were not enough threads about the subjects that interested them. I always had the same reply - “so start some!” One guy asked me to start a section on bizarre magic which I did and then he never posted a single thing!

My experience was that the people who complained the most, also contributed the least!

But it is untrue to suggest there wasn’t any good information there. There was a huge amount of good stuff. If people took the time to read some of my discussions with Mark Lewis they would find more real world, in-the-trenches information than most “marketing” courses provide. Whatever you think about Mark Lewis, he is a performer and has made a living doing it for a long time. Which is more than can be said about the average armchair expert who spends more time posting on magic forums than actually performing.

There was one thread in particular shortly before we closed about performing trade shows. There was absolute gold in that thread. And that was just one of many, many topics that gave people the real inside scoop on what it is like to perform magic and get paid.

I am glad Paul mentioned the podcasts. Everyone seemed to enjoy the podcasts, but then never commented on them or asked follow-up questions!

Ultimately what led to the closing of the Bistro was my sad realization that most magicians just aren’t very interesting and have so little to say for themselves. For people who aspire to be entertainers, so very few are actually entertaining.

And my HUGE regret is that the Bistro experiment led to me falling out with a couple of people that I really like. While I made some wonderful new friends, I am so sad about the arguments and misunderstandings that damaged friendships.
Jolly Roger
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Well said James!!! To me, the weakest part of the Bistro was the lack of emoticons!! Smile JR
ClintonMagus
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James,

maybe you could lock and archive the Bistro so it won't be completely lost.
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
Mindpro
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Quote:
On 2013-08-22 14:21, James Munton wrote:

Many people like Mindpro have complained about the site suggesting that there were not enough threads about the subjects that interested them. I always had the same reply - “so start some!” One guy asked me to start a section on bizarre magic which I did and then he never posted a single thing!


So great of James to chime in and offer this insights and what he saw from his unique position. Thanks.

I think the point James made in the quote above can be likened to am empty restaurant. If you show up to a restaurant and do not see any customers in there, it creates a very strange and uninviting environment in which most people will turn and leave. They will not stick around to even try it. No one wants to be where nobody is. The restaurant complains "well if you came in and ate, others would see you and they may come in too." Well that may be right, but it's up to the restaurant to get the people in there to create the desired environment (as well as prevent any customers who detract from this). I think this was the same with the Magic Bistro. No one wants to come in when they don't see anyone of their interest, and usually do not want to start something on their own. They want to join in on what they expect to already be there. Also as in the restaurant analogy, if a place has no one there, most assume it's just not a happening pace or there are problems. Not a place they want to be.

I had thought of starting some stuff there but saw few who I felt would be interested in what I'd be able to add. I also saw a lot of challenging of one another there. Someone would post for example a video, other's would comment on it, then it would quickly turn to "well if you think you could do it better..." or "I don't see you posting a video of yourself doing it any better..."

I guess maybe to me it was a tone and level performers that didn't seem appealing or off-putting. I'm not sure if James from his position would see, feel or experience the same thing.

Many other forums have closed this past year. I for one feel that it's because people are looking for more specialized forums rather than generalized forums. For general forums, you had better have the quality activity in all of the various areas or it will quickly become lobsided or take a favored direction. Like the pools, not everyone wants to hang out in the kiddies pool or family pool. They may prefer their own area of preference or specialty. (...and no don't even go to "then why don't you go start your own forum?")
Al Angello
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IMHO
The biggest problem with the magic Bistro was the right wing wacko's who came with a chip on their shoulder looking for a fight. I am not innocent when it comes to having political opinions, but there were people there who had no interest in magic at all (I will not name names), and were obsessed with hating the black man in the white house.

All you gotta do is read between the lines of Dynamike's posts.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
MJE
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Hey, James.

I was "invited" to join. So, I did. It became obvious after a few days that it was just loonies fighting over religion. Well, that's my take, anyway.

I think it's WONDERFUL that someone, in this case you, started an alternative board. I was, and still will, hope for the best for anyone jumping into the fray.

I wish you well, as I'm sure most here do. Continued success, and all the best in magic.

-MJ
MJE
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>>most magicians just aren’t very interesting and have so little to say for themselves. For people who aspire to be entertainers, so very few are actually entertaining<<

Whoa! I just re-read that. Jeez, I almost NEVER post here, but I just GOTTA jump on this one. Right On! Man, are you ever going to get burned on that comment, but please feel good about telling the truth.

I'm looking forward to meeting you, James. I see that you are in Dallas. I'm new to the area (I'm in McKinney), and I have a feeling that you are going to be a good guy to know here. Once again.....Right On!

-MJ
Jolly Roger
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Quote:
On 2013-08-22 21:52, MJE wrote:
Hey, James.

I was "invited" to join. So, I did. It became obvious after a few days that it was just loonies fighting over religion. Well, that's my take, anyway.



I have to chime in here. Your statement could not be further from the truth. There was no fighting of which I was aware in the "Meaning of Life" section. It was several magicians who were interested in spiritual matters expressing their viewpoints with great intelligence. We had atheists, agnostics, new agers, Christian Fundementalists and others. There was wonderful debate and discussion, and rarely did it get heated. I congratulate James on allowing this on a magic forum. I actually miss that more than anything else, as I agree with James about boring magicians!! JR
Magical Dimensions
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Interesting, I never heard of the 'Magic Bistro until now. Sounds like a place that started with great intentions and was soon invested with ego, know it all brats who don't have any real friends other than those on the computer.

Sounds like a place that I would have liked to sit a spell and talked shop with others of liked mind. But, as in most places now, we find the ever present flow of self proclaimed experts who have never performed a real show, let along know how to block one.

It is a shame, sounds like James had a really great idea with the, 'Magic Bistro'.



Best
Ray
ClintonMagus
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I have a friend who is a track coach who says that to appreciate something, you must have "some skin in the game". We offered an indoor practice facility to high school students in the area. For this, we charged a minimum monthly "membership" fee to offset the cost of equipment, etc. On the other hand, we never refused anyone because of their inability to pay. Surprisingly to me, the only people who complained were those who did not have to pay, and they complained all the time. We finally closed the facility except for private, for-fee coaching sessions.

The same thing seems to happen in nearly every activity, and this is probably what happened here. Not enough people had "skin in the game".
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
Ken Northridge
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Quote:
On 2013-08-22 14:21, James Munton wrote:
Ultimately what led to the closing of the Bistro was my sad realization that most magicians just aren’t very interesting and have so little to say for themselves. For people who aspire to be entertainers, so very few are actually entertaining.


Although I always appreciate your blunt honesty James, I must disagree with this statement. I have always found chatting with entertainers to be very entertaining and funny, and the group of people at the Bistro were exceptionally entertaining. I’m not sure why there was not more participation but I don’t think its because of boring people.

I know it certainly was not because of a lack of effort on your part, James. You had some really good ideas (contests, podcasts, etc.). I can’t imagine how much work the Bistro must be for you, and so I can’t blame you for getting frustrated with it’s seemingly lack of participation and growth. But you can see by the comments on this thread that it meant a lot to some people, including me. Maybe you got burnt out. It is my understanding that Steve Brooks has delegated much of the day to day work to others (a word to the wise).

Finally, I must defend the 'bunch of bad advice’ comments again. I can’t remember anywhere on the Bistro that bad advice was given without out someone correcting it or at least sharing a different opinion. There is a large amount of great advice at the Bistro too if you’re willing to put in the time. In one thread someone asked me for my secret to securing and keeping a good paying restaurant gig for 18 years. I told them, in detail. Also, in my podcast I shared my somewhat unique method for booking school assemblies, something else I have been successful at for over 15 years. And that’s just scratching the surface.

James, Thanks for all of your hard work, and I wish you the best!
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
www.KenNorthridge.com
Al Angello
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Ken
The conversation at the Bistro was all about things that people there did not like, and it was dominated by a few unhappy people. I did make friends with some great performers there, but that was only because I sought them out privately.

In the end I have to agree with James' summation.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
TonyB2009
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I found the Bistro an enjoyable place to visit. The arguments were confined to particular sections, and could be ignored. There were fewer posting than on here, but almost no amateurs and wannabes, whose opinions are not worth bothering with.

Mindpro is right that there were a high proportion of family show performers. That is were most of the work is, and it was great to have a place to congregate with others who were in the same business. We are not all national headliners - some of us come from small markets where a national headliner has to have a day job to survive, whereas the middle-of-the-road, jobbing magician who does family shows makes a good living.

Mark Lewis is not a national headliner, but he has worked every aspect of the business, and if you sift through his posts you do find very good material. I also love his vicious sense of humour.

I am sorry to see the Bistro gone, and thank James for the great work he did for so long.

Also, he is right about most magicians being boring. I have a simple test. If I meet you and talk about magic, we are colleagues at best. If I meet you and talk about everything else, we are friends. So many magicians are only colleagues. Let's face it, if we were naturally entertaining, we would not need the crutch of the tricks.

BRING BACK THE BISTRO.
James Munton
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Thanks Ken and Tony.

To clarify, when I mentioned boring people, I wasn't talking about the regular posters, but rather the hundreds of members that lurked and never contributed anything to the conversations.

I totally agree with Tony. When I get together with magicians who are friends I rarely talk about magic. Some people got frustrated that there was a lot of "non-magic" talk. But for me, that was an important aspect of the Bistro. Unfortunately, you do get some people like Al who are unable to have a civil discussion without getting angry or nasty.
Jolly Roger
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I have always found that talking about magic with magicians is far less interesting than talking about other subjects with magicians. I prefer talking about magic with people who are not magicians, if that makes sense!!! JR
Mindpro
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I don't know, maybe it's just me, but I would think those interested in joining a magic forum do so to talk about magic. But I guess not.

Maybe there's a political and religious forum somewhere where they talk about double lifts, linking rings and doves.
TonyB2009
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Mindpro, I joined the Bistro to talk about family entertainment with those doing family entertainment. My point about not talking to magicians about magic related to face to face conversations. I find magicians a bore in person, if that is all they can talk about. And since many who are drawn to the art are social inadequates with scant people skills, that is indeed all they can talk about.

Which is why many pros avoid magic clubs and conventions. I would rather have my teeth pulled without anesthetic.
Jolly Roger
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The common bond we all have is indeed magic. However, I would far rather talk about subjects out side magic with magicians because of that bond. When I first met the owner of this forum, Steve Brooks, we barely mentioned magic. We talked about ancient Egypt, as we both found we had an interest in that subject. When I first met Chance Wolfe at Magic Live, we had dinner together and chatted for a long time. We talked very little about magic, and Chance told me it was the best conversation he had ever had with a magician at a magic convention!!! JR
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