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Frosty
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Hello Dick! You too have the right to your opinion but that doesn't make it a fact either even after 50 or so years performing! I'm still sticking to what I posted previously! MAGIC ITSELF IS ENTERTAINING TO WATCH IF ITS GOOD ENOUGH AND IT SHOULD BE THE GOAL! As Michael Ammar puts it, IT SHOULD ASTONISH! Yes you can make a living by focusing on entertainment first but so do clowns (no offense to clowns). I think the only difference between a magician ENTERTAINING with silly tricks and bits and clowns is the make up one wears..... Ammar and Copperfield are where they are at because magic is their goal but yes, I do agree with you to some degree. They do plan their performance to be more entertaining but their goal is to ASTONISH! Even in kids show, IMO your performance should look like real magic and not silly tricks....
Frosty
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Looking back at this thread, we are way off from the original topic and maybe should go back to recommending tricks, effects or however you prefer to call it (it really makes no difference as we still understood his question) for a small stage act... Best!
danaruns
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On May 26, 2016, Dick Oslund wrote:
I'm sorry ma'am, Oh! and Frosty, too! But, IMO, from what you describe, you, and others, were fascinated by a DEMONSTRATION, OF SLEIGHT OF HAND SKILLS, NOT A PERFORMANCE OF A TRICK, that produced a MAGICAL EFFECT. You certainly are entitled to your opinion, (here comes the BUT:) but, your enthusiasm doesn't make an opinion, a fact.

I've lectured and performed at the Castle (and, as Jay Marshall usta say, "When I can afford it, I'll work it again!" I KNOW that many of the "attendees" are magic "afficianados", and, many are avid amateurs who appreciate skill, ("but' again:) they couldn't do an "Elmsley" or a "5 coin star) in a hundred attempts! And, a muscle pass! --not in a thousand attempts!!!!!

Professionals call this sort of demonstration: "Masturbating on stage". (...he did not even care about presentation or entertainment [except his own entertainment]

You are apparently quite new (nothing intrinsically wrong about THAT! --"When you're GREEN, you CAN GET RIPE!") I suggest that you scroll up and read my bit about "seeing just the top of it!

ENTHUSIASM is GOOD. --just "peek" under the surface! (There's a lot more than just the 'top of it')


I'm certainly not going to argue with a man who has been doing it for real for 50 years, I'm just going to shut up and learn. And as for Mark Wilson's quote about magic not being inherently entertaining, he has said that to me, too. Still, I stand by my description of Bébel. You should see him if you get a chance. It wasn't just myopic magicians who were floored by him, it was lay audiences, too (or, more accurately, especially). If you get a chance to see him you will be amazed AND entertained.

This discussion kind of begs the question about what it means to be "entertained" or "entertaining." Is Itzhak Perlman entertaining, the way he just hobbles on stage, plops into a chair and plays the violin while staring up at the ceiling? Does he need jokes or props to be entertaining? Is his skill and the beauty he creates with it enough to be called entertaining? or is that just "masturbating on stage?" I'm asking for a friend. Smile
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
davidpaul$
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Bebel has a few videos on youtube. He definately can handle a deck of cards. For me after a few minutes I lost interest, but that's just me.. I like audience involvement, magician in trouble scenarios, the reactions of a spectator when a card changes in their hand or when two signatures merge for their anniversary. Sure magic in and of itself can be entertaing but it means so much more when it means something to the spectator and those involved,
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
Terrible Wizard
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Maybe it's all just a matter of subjective taste.

I often prefer a 'bare' strong magical effect to a weaker effect 'dressed up'. That's more entertaining to me. Some prefer X style of magic, some prefer Y. Some like both. Some think one is more 'artistic' than the other, some don't.

It's not that interaction, comedy, meaning, etc make it better - they just make it more entertaining for some, and less for others.
M. Tesla
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Let's see here...I was going to stay out of any more of this, but I feel more needs to be said...

I started as a kiddie birthday show magician before graduating to school assemblies...then I became a DJ, and switched to stage, stand-up, walk around, bar, restaurant, etc...now, even at close to 70, I'm thinking of putting together a mentalist act, something I should have done, and have wanted to do for several decades. But...

...Do you who don't quite get the entertainment concept..

Do you think laymen come to see us (AND PAY US) to be entertained with magic, or to be "fooled by magic tricks?" We're talking about paying customers, and I've done pretty well with the "paying" part...

Bebel may be the next best thing since sliced bread, but I suspect his excellence in doing card tricks is received better among other magicians, then to paying laymen, who won't have a clue of what's going on if he just sits there doing card tricks...yes, I'd probably be awed and amazed by what he can do, because I realize the skill that it takes, but I can tell you for sure, that it would be a big turnoff for my fiancee, Marie...I haven't performed much since I met her, but I know that finger flicking won't hold her interest...laymen want to be entertained and amused, not "fooled," because if you think just "fooling" them is the answer, all you'll end up doing is setting them up to challenge you...and if they think they're being "fooled" with magic tricks, and no entertainment, believe me, you're just asking to be challenged...

And, one more thing...if you're presenting magic in the form of entertainment, the kids will be entertained...try fooling them and they'll tear you to shreds...stage magic is entertainment, with magic, but believe me when I say they're paying to be entertained...perhaps you're doing stand-up at a mall promotion, a bar opening, a corporate get together, a grocery store opening or promotion, etc., do you stand before the patrons and just do trick after trick with no rhyme or reason? Trust me, it'll be a long time before you're hired for those type of gigs...and, agents won't touch you if you can't entertain...oh, yeah, most of that requires a script if you want to entertain...I have several written, for each type of gig...they're scripted and routined...and before I set up the mentalist act I'll try out (and practice) several effects until I feel I've got a bit of it going well, and then I'll script it, put it together in an act, and donate my time to a few charities to see how well it all plays...besides, the letters of thanks they write you look great in your press book, and the press kit you put together and send to potential clients...you, who want to entertain, do you have a press kit? To those of you wanting to just do magic tricks to fool your audience, well, it's unlikely you'll ever need a press kit...

Hmmm...I should probably write a book for magicians on how to build an act, the necessity of knowing how to be an actor with props, scripting, sound, lighting, blocking (oh yeah, that's an acting thing), etc., sounds like this type of book is sorely needed... Smile

BTW, Ricky Jay is a hell of a finger flicker, but he also knows how to "ENTERTAIN"...do you think people flocked to his Broadway one-man show, to watch card tricks, or to be entertained...I think I know how he'll answer...oh, wait a minute...hasn't he also been in a lot of movies and tv shows? That requires a knowledge of acting too, in addition to his skills as a magician...
While the amount of water has remained static, the amount of Tequila and Triple Sec available for making Margaritas has expanded enormously. So you see, we have made progress after all. ~Anonymous
Dick Oslund
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Well, those two appear to be hobbyist beginners. (IMO, Anyone who would recommend the Losander table to an obvious beginner MUST BE a beginner.)

With time and experience (i.e.: IF they last that long!) they may become a bit wiser.

To them, and, the WIZ, I would simply say: "When you've spent a season on the road, and, come home with your health & sanity 'intact", a full wallet, and, a contract for NEXT SEASON in your pocket, AND, READY TO GO OUT AGAIN NEXT SEASON! I'll pay more attention to what you have to say.

Meanwhile, I'm busy selling books. (I earnestly suggest that you do not order a book! (I don't think that, with your obvious inexperienced attitude, you would understand it.)

P.S.: I don't perform by ANY "dressed up" weak effects. (your words) No one can PERFORM an EFFECT! A performer PRESENTS/PERFORMS a TRICK., If he performs/presents it well, the spectator(s) should experience a magical EFFECT. Depending on the performer's PRESENTATION, the spectator(s) MAY be ENTERTAINED.

"...that's more entertaining to me." (your words) I do not perform a TRICK to entertain MYSELF! I'm performing the TRICK to ENTERTAIN the SPECTATOR(S)!

See my comment (above)about the "magician" who entertains HIMSELF!

I'm rather busy, mentoring a young man who is learning to be a magician, and, enjoying retirement. At 84, I want to enjoy whatever years are left to me, So! Go buy the "latest and greatest",
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Dick Oslund
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Well, those two appear to be hobbyist beginners. (IMO, Anyone who would recommend the Losander table to an obvious beginner MUST BE a beginner.)

With time and experience (i.e.: IF they last that long!) they may become a bit wiser.

To them, and, the WIZ, I would simply say: "When you've spent a season on the road, and, come home with your health & sanity 'intact", a full wallet, and, a contract for NEXT SEASON in your pocket, AND, READY TO GO OUT AGAIN NEXT SEASON! I'll pay more attention to what you have to say.

Meanwhile, I'm busy selling books. (I earnestly suggest that you do not order a book! (I don't think that, with your obvious inexperienced attitude, you would understand it.)

P.S.: I don't perform by ANY "dressed up" weak effects. (your words) No one can PERFORM an EFFECT! A performer PRESENTS/PERFORMS a TRICK., If he performs/presents it well, the spectator(s) should experience a magical EFFECT. Depending on the performer's PRESENTATION, the spectator(s) MAY be ENTERTAINED.

"...that's more entertaining to me." (your words) I do not perform a TRICK to entertain MYSELF! I'm performing the TRICK to ENTERTAIN the SPECTATOR(S)!

See my comment (above)about the "magician" who entertains HIMSELF!

I'm rather busy, mentoring a young man who is learning to be a magician, and, enjoying retirement. At 84, I want to enjoy whatever years are left to me, So! Go buy the "latest and greatest",
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Terrible Wizard
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Why do I need to gain more experience in order in simply say that I prefer a certain style of presentation compared to another, and to recognise that it must therefore be subjective?

I have no desire to argue this self-evident point, though. I'm just surprised at some of the venom in some of these posts here, especially against the poor guy who started the thread. OH well, I guess that's the magic café, lol Smile
M. Tesla
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No venom...just trying to pass on some observations that come from performing (and entertaining Smile) for several decades...
While the amount of water has remained static, the amount of Tequila and Triple Sec available for making Margaritas has expanded enormously. So you see, we have made progress after all. ~Anonymous
danaruns
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Dick,

I'm never going to "spend a season on the road and come home . . . with a contract for next season" in my pocket. Been there, done that in "show business" (as you put it) for many years, before graduating to not having to live in hotels anymore. I do not value being an old "road dog." But yes, you can call me a "hobbyist beginner" magician, I suppose, posting right here in the "New to magic" forum. Go figure! It's surprising and a little humilating to be condescended to as "new" in the "new to magic" forum. If this is not a safe place to be new, where is?

You're right, of course, I don't have to rely on magic to make a living! I perform because I love performing (and ENTERTAINING people). As I said elsewhere here, it's like a drug for me, not a paycheck, and I'm so thankful that I don't have to live on the road. And I'm an excellent performer, much better than I am a magician; and there's a difference. But of course, Sophocles was right that "One must learn by doing the thing; for though you think you know it, you have no certainty, until you try." I've been performing for decades, so I know entertainment. I'm learning the magic end of it by actually doing it.

I hope for the day when my magic is strong enough to amaze and entertain by itself. It's why I used Itzhak Perlman as an example, and why I prefer Perlman to, say, Motley Crue (a glorified garage band that was all about entertaining the masses) no matter how many more albums Motley Crue sold than Perlman. Entertaining isn't always everything. A paycheck isn't always everything. Sometimes art is everything. For the same reason, I also prefer John Steinbeck to James Patterson, George Carlin (whom I knew) to Carrot Top, and Juergen Teller to Patrick Nagel.

But please educate me if you like (rather than condescend), that's why I'm hanging out in "New to magic." I'm a good entertainer, but I am not a good magician, even if the end user (i.e. lay audience) might love it. So no, I'm not there. Oh, I can "keep it simple, make it fun," and I know "it's only a show," but I do LOVE people who are highly skilled, and that is my goal. And frankly, I'm the kind of person who would prefer to impress magicians over lay people, and I'm perfectly okay with the fact that you don't share that. So feel free to look down your nose at me as a . . . what did you call me? Oh yes, merely a "hobbyist beginner" . . . if that's what you prefer. That's certainly easier and more self-reinforcing than being kind and generous.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
Terrible Wizard
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I hope you don't think I meant you MrTessler. Smile
Frosty
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Maybe Terrible Wizard is right! It might just be a matter of preference..
Dick, you can keep your book. I don't want it! By the way you reveal yourself here, its all about look at how Great I Am! A man with 50 years experience should use it to help those seeking it and not use it to feel above all others and step on those he feels are below him! I have done magic shows in schools, church auditoriums, company picnics, B-day party etc.. for the first few years when I started. I still have much to learn but yes I got paid! That was around 20 years ago! I used very basic sleights of hand but most were effects that looked magical with very little skill required.. Was that masturbating? Don't know! But if you want to see some real masturbating let me know! I might teach you a trick or two.. sorry I meant to say effect or two! Heck maybe you can even do me a favor.... Sorry Dick! You should of never brought masturbating to this topic!
Frosty
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Now that time has passed and the smoke has kinda cleared around me, I've been re-reading my previous post and think I went too far.... I want to apologize to you Dick and all others I might of offended! I watched your videos Dick and have to say you sound like a great man and have lots of wisdom to offer.. I'm sure your book is great too with much to learn. I feel insulting each other is not the best way to go! Maybe we can start new and be friends? We all share the same passion and should support each other... I pitch slum magic tricks for a living and have been for around 20 years now. Even after 20 years I still feel like I'm a JCL. I'm pretty sure you understand what that means by reading your signature... It appears you are also with it! Maybe you can share your 50 years of wisdom with us. Have a good one to all!
M. Tesla
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On May 27, 2016, Terrible Wizard wrote:
I hope you don't think I meant you MrTessler. Smile


Nope... Smile
While the amount of water has remained static, the amount of Tequila and Triple Sec available for making Margaritas has expanded enormously. So you see, we have made progress after all. ~Anonymous
Dick Oslund
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On May 27, 2016, Frosty wrote:
Now that time has passed and the smoke has kinda cleared around me, I've been re-reading my previous post and think I went too far.... I want to apologize to you Dick and all others I might of offended! I watched your videos Dick and have to say you sound like a great man and have lots of wisdom to offer.. I'm sure your book is great too with much to learn. I feel insulting each other is not the best way to go! Maybe we can start new and be friends? We all share the same passion and should support each other... I pitch slum magic tricks for a living and have been for around 20 years now. Even after 20 years I still feel like I'm a JCL. I'm pretty sure you understand what that means by reading your signature... It appears you are also with it! Maybe you can share your 50 years of wisdom with us. Have a good one to all!


Thank you "knight of the tripe & keester". (I've pitched sEvengalis "eons" ago, too, back when my friend, "Whizzo" (on WGN=TV's BOZO SHOW) aka Marshall Brodien, was doing a "high pitch" of his TV MAGIC CARDS. (Eddie Fields called them sEvengalis.) Weekends were usually open when on the road with school assemblies. I would find a local county fair, or festival, and buy the privilege. It was better than sitting in the motor home, "reading Billboard" (Billboard was long gone, I should have said "AB".)

UR apology is accepted! --I was a bit sharp, myself, and, I'll apologize, too.

The OP is obviously what we used to call a "bedroom magic dealer" (when there were more "B & M" stores) I "called him out" on that. He did not respond. I have many friends who are amateurs (but, not hobbyists!!!) Heqq, I was an amateur when I was a bit younger than I am now (1938)! I "turned" "part time pro" at 13, when I did my first "real" show at the Jr. Hi school, and, made $26.00 for my little 40 minute show. That was in October, 1945, when a hamburger and a coke was ten cents! After high school, the Navy, college, and a few years as a Scout Executive, I finally "wised up" and started full time. Over the years, the grouch bag finally got full (!!!) and, I retired. I still do a few local dates to keep my hand in.

On a circus (yup, I've done that, too! -- Franzen, Dailey, and Girard -- they're all "gone" now.) you're a FIRST 'O' MAY, the first year, THEN, you're a "JCL"! If you survive THAT, you must have "sawdust in your shoes", and, you're a "trouper". If you've made it for 20 years, you certainly qualify!

When I was a teenager, I worked in several carnie ten in ones, with magic, fire, and filled in with lecturing on the "big snake". Despite what Jay Marshall might have told you, I DID NOT break in as a pickled punk for Lou Dufour! Back in the mid ''80s, I mansged Tim Deremer's APE show for a season. Every time I visit Carson & Barnes, Geary Bird asks me,"When are you coming over here?" I always plead old age, and senile dementia! (THAT "gets me" a lawn chair next to the back door!)

I've never put anything on YOO TOOB! ....Oh! you must have seen the dvd that Norm and I put together, to go with the book! I don't have any professional dvds. (Never needed them, as the assembly bureau managers all knew me.) That dvd is a motley collection of a few assembly programs, "shot" by friends like Duane Laflin, when they were "visiting". We cobbled the dvd together from odd VHS tapes to give those who bought the book, an idea of what a school show is like.

We got off to a rocky start, but, life is too short to make enemies! Let's go down to the grab joint, and have a cup of coffee! (It's always good to have friends when some townie starts a Hey Rube!!!

See ya down the road!

O
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Dick Oslund
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On May 27, 2016, Frosty wrote:
Now that time has passed and the smoke has kinda cleared around me, I've been re-reading my previous post and think I went too far.... I want to apologize to you Dick and all others I might of offended! I watched your videos Dick and have to say you sound like a great man and have lots of wisdom to offer.. I'm sure your book is great too with much to learn. I feel insulting each other is not the best way to go! Maybe we can start new and be friends? We all share the same passion and should support each other... I pitch slum magic tricks for a living and have been for around 20 years now. Even after 20 years I still feel like I'm a JCL. I'm pretty sure you understand what that means by reading your signature... It appears you are also with it! Maybe you can share your 50 years of wisdom with us. Have a good one to all!


@#$% !!! Hey, I wrote a long reply to your very kind note, and, then (I'm definitely not a computer maven!) I hit the wrong key, add it all went wherever your lap goes when you stand up! I will try to return ASAP, and, we'll cut up a few jackpots.

After 20 years, you "aint no JCL"!
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Race Blakhart
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Just want to make one thing clear.(Though it's obvious to most of us.)

There is a huge difference between spitting "venom", and being passionate about your art. Anyone who knows anything about Dick Oslund knows that he's a kind hearted man who bends over backwards to help, tutor, and mentor people who show that they deserve his time. Just the fact that he spends a huge chunk of his time here, sharing information with us, when he could be off doing anything he wants with his golden years speaks volumes. It's quite obvious he loves sharing the important information with those of us who show we are passionate and want to learn.

If you can't handle a little pep from a man in his 80's, who gives out road tested, solid gold advice, then you simply don't deserve the advice.

A Lot of people would pay good money for the wisdom we have access too here on the Café. I think it's due time we realize that, and open our ears before our mouths.

This is not directed at anyone specifically. But it's a fact.
Dick Oslund
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Thank you Race, for your very kind words.

I packed the mental stuff, but, did not get to the "Pony Express" office before they closed, Saturday. I'll hitch up the team and do it Tuesday, for sure. The swami gimmicks will need a separate package.
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Frosty
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Hello Dick, Glad to hear you have pitched slum too... You shure have plenty of sawdust in your shoes! I have never worked sideshows, circuses etc... I'm just a pitchman on the midway! You can read more about me and see a few pics here: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......forum=42 Glad you accepted my apology! Yes the YouTube videos I saw were from your book. I have to say you are a true Road Warrior, Magician and Showmen! I think coffee at the grabjoint sounds great! I usually pay for privilege next to one as long a as its not a donniker spot! there's always plenty of marks passing by there to bally a tip! have a good one!
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