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On 2004-04-01 23:16, MisterE21 wrote:
Ken, I don't know if you'll get a chance to respond to this or not, but I am curious...

Why were some performers named during a critique of their routine and others not? Just curious. Smile


Basically, two reasons. First, I wanted mostly to use routines that were widely available on video, or even better, viewable on the 'Net. Second, I made it a point to stick to those few routines I watched during the time I was actively writing the book -- I didn't want to "cherry pick" only those that could easily demonstrate the points I was making. Instead, I set myself the challenge of taking almost ANY routine and analyzing it carefully to see how it might be made better. And judging from the responses I have received, it seems to have been a useful tactic for my readers.

Anyone can critique a weak, magic club performance. But one of the main points of the book is that any performer, at any level, can make his routines more powerful, more entertaining, and that's why I choose to, now and then in the book, examine performances of well-known names in our field

As for any lectures, that's still well into the future -- but thanks for asking!

Ken Weber
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I don't think Mr. Weber will mind if I post an abbreviated Table of Contents here:

Chapter 1: The Search for Entertainment

Chapter 2: The Hierarchy of Mystery Entertainment

Chapter 3: Reactions

Chapter 4: The Six Pillars of Entertainment Success

Chapter 5: Scripting and Rehearsing

Chapter 6: Choosing Material and Developing the Act

Chapter 7: Your Appearance

Chapter 8: Your Voice

Chapter 9: Language Skills

Chapter 10: How to Be Funny!

Chapter 11: Sound and Lighting

Chapter 12: Sound

Chapter 13: Lighting

Chapter 14: Before the Show

Chapter 15: Close-Up Magic

Chapter 16: Mentalism

Chapter 17: Dealing with Spectators

Chapter 18: During the Show

Chapter 19: Closing the Show

Chapter 20: After the Show

Chapter 21: And, in the End . . .

I found the book to be a good read, with strong informed opinions, invaluable practical, up-to-date information for anybody who performs for a public audience. Whereas books such as Absolute Magic and

Strong Magic concentrates more on the art of performance, Maximum Entertainment talks more about the craft of performance. I found it very worthwhile and got several ideas that I will use next time I perform.

Jack Shalom
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I bought this book because of a lot of hype I heard. NEVER buy into hype. I need to learn that lesson.

Why? Because this book will make you review yourself and you might see that you are not the great magician you thought you were! I seriously enjoyed this book! I give it the highest rating up there with the classic books on magic. It was well written and you can't put it down! I will read it again and again and so should you.

10/10 and few things get that from me.
ask harry why he dont want people to know he makes $200 a month for all these ads! thats like $4000 a month! oh but SHHH! harry isnt a real person!
Scott O.
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A BIG ditto for me. I ordered this book back in February, and couldn't wait for it to be delivered. I was not disappointed. Mr. Webber delivers on his promises -- no tricks, but plenty of 'secrets' to boost your performance caliber.

My advise, buy this book.

Scott Smile.
Do not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest, if you do not give up. Galatians 6:9
Big Daddy Cool
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I wholeheartedly endorse this book! I read it cover to cover in about 8 hours. I hardly ever even finish a book that I start, but I was so consumed by the material that I couldn't put it down.
Ken Weber put into print all of the beliefs and theories that I have subscribed to and aspired to throughout my career. It was almost as though I was reading my own thoughts. What a wonderful experience!
One of the most profound thoughts that really made me re-evaluate some of my performance material was the "Superman Principle". Geez, what an eye-opening concept!
Ken, you have gone straight to the top of my "to someday have lunch with" list. You swing hard, hip cat!
We'll catch ya on the Back of the Cereal Box!
John Pyka
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Has anyone any idea who might stock this book in the UK?
All your comments, and Ken's replies are great, and I can't wait to get reading.

Rob Slater
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I think Alakazam stocks it, but I ordered my copy from Magic Pro Shop in the USA.

"There's a difference between not knowing how something is done and knowing it can't be done!" - Simon Aronson
doug brewer
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Maybe we should buy it direct from Ken - Ken, could you give us a place to send a check and the amount?

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Thanks for the info, but I just could not wait, so I have ordered it from in the US.
Can't wait for it to arrive!


Just to let you know that it arrived this morning, and it is just as good as everyone said.
Thanks everybody

Michael Peterson
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I can 't say anything but to get this book now!
I'm about half way through for the third time & I have gained some fantastic insight into improving myself as a performer. Based on the book, I have restructured several effects so far that I have been doing forever.

It's absolutely amazing, the routines I have revamped are good solid effects to begin with, but now their impact has been increased a hundred times by cutting out the unnecessary parts & simplifying the presentation. I have shown the reworked effects to my fiancee & she was absolutely blown away.

one in particular was a prediction effect that I always do (that she has seen a million times). I did it for her last night with the new presentation & she just sat & stared at the prediction saying that that the only way I could have done it was if it was for real.

Get this book now if you don't already have it!

Gerry Hennessey
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An excellent book. Should be mandatory reading for anyone wishing to perform in public.

"Every discipline effects every other discipline. You can't straighten out the corporation if your closet is a mess" Jim Rohn
Nathan Alexander
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You know, I'm just about to go through this as well, and this time actually start to seriously implement the ideas.

It IS a must read.

However, I'll be going through in tandem with another book that I found in the bookstore the other day that looks very good. It's called "The Elements of Persuasion: Use Storytelling to Pitch Better, Sell Faster & Win More Business".

It's about telling stories and lines up very nicely with Ken's book. Maybe I'll do a review next week or so. But at least check it out.

Ken Weber's book cannot be praised too highly.
Doug Peters
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Here's another thread for those still on the fence about this one:
"if you have any answers, it's time to ask harder questions!"
Steve Hook
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On 2007-09-27 11:43, Nathan Alexander wrote:

Ken Weber's book cannot be praised too highly.

Nathan, I agree 100%

This is one of the best books on performing that I've read (and I've read most of the genre over the last twenty-five years.)

This book can't help but make the serious performer seriously better.

Like Bonnie Raitt said, "I miss Little Feat more than I miss being 8 years old." Thanks for the concerts + recordings, Lowell, Richie, and Paul!
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On 2004-02-19 06:55, Decker wrote:

It seems to me something like this can only be proven after testing. I don't know how many times I've read something that is the most beautiful idea and SEEMS at the reading like it is totally thought out, etc., when in practice it does not work as written.

Well, the dust has now well and truly settled since Maximum Entertainment was released and Decker posted the above thoughts. While I agree with Decker entirely, when he points out that we are often far too quick to judge works of merit, I believe that Maximum Entertainment has well and truly lived up to its name and the praise it received upon original release. I have read and reread this book many times, gleaning new ideas each and every time. More importantly, Weber's writing never fails to make me think about my own performances, mindset and magical beliefs. I believe I am a better practitioner of the art (others may disagree!) as a result of reading and acting upon this wonderful book.

To echo the thoughts of many others back when Max. Entertainment was released, this is, more than ever, a MUST HAVE BOOK!

Do others still feel this way? (I'd be amazed if they didn't - but I'm always willing to listen.)
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Profile of scottsheltonmagic
One of my favorite take-aways from Ken's book was the importance of "raising your level" in magic. It doesn't matter which stage you're in in your magic career, this book contains practical advice for improvement. Highly recommended.
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