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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » A tangled web we weave... » » Derek delgaudio in and of itself Is streaming online now (32 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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The Unmasked Magician
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If only I didn't have a wife and a kid I would have MUCH more than
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(grabbing the popcorn)
Please check regularly if you are becoming the type of magician Jerry Seinfeld jokes about. (This applies to mentalists as well.)
Waterloophai
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Quote:
On Feb 8, 2021, Jair wrote:
To me your review of the show, Bernice, conveys a much more cynical view on the world then this show ever could.
Also... to stop going to the theater because you've seen a few bad performances seems absurd to me and maybe shows that your love for the performing arts maybe wasn't that deep to begin with.

I agree 100%
Mark Timon
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If you are a magician and have seen the show, you have now realised how little your bottom dealings and sleighs of hand are of interest to your audiences unless there is a good story behind.
balzar
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Just watched the movie last night. I had wanted to see the show in NYC, but could not afford to go. Like most of the posters here, I think this is a must-see for any magician serious about how a Magic Show can become something else entirely. That said, although it is a master class in how to put story telling ahead of tricks, I had much of the same reaction as Bernice, and the suggestion that her view is cynical gets it exactly backwards.
I got a distinctly Peter Popoff vibe from the final segment of the show. For me, that toolbox is equally troubling in the hands of a mentalist as it is in the hands of fraudster like Popoff. As Bernice observed, just because you can make someone cry by hot-reading them is no reason you should. If there is anything cynical at work here, it is DelGaudio willingness to use chicanery to imply something intensely personal and profound is happening when, in fact, nothing is. When you start doing tricks with someone relationship with dying or dead relatives, you are crossing into John Edwards territory. There is a line there, and although it may not be a bright white line, DelGaudio crossed it.
Manos Kartsakis
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I sincerely don't get some people here commenting that Derek somehow manipulated people's emotions for profit.
Doesn't every single one of the arts including music, poetry, cinema etc. create content whose purpose is to move the person who is experiencing it?
Should those pieces of art that move audiences be offered for free for some reason?
The other thing that should be examined is intention. If you cannot tell the difference between a carefully put together act that pays close attention to every detail and symbolism that exists in its content and a charlatan promising to cure people's cancer, then I feel there is nothing more I can say to you.
Derek's act clearly respects its audience, and although it does pull on some heart strings it does so for a higher purpose and not just for the applause or the cash or the reviews.
The piece with the letter seems to be so elaborate that if the creators just wanted the audience to tear up there sure are much simpler ways to accomplish the same thing than go into all this trouble to create an authentic moment that clearly tries to get a message across to the audience.
Anyway, the purpose of this post is not to convince anyone that they are wrong and that I am right. But maybe it can make some of you look at things more closely or from a different perspective.
sileeni
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The show made me feel like a beginner. Loved it.
disgruntledpuffin
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To be clear, Derek was not doing tricks with dying or dead relatives. The piece sometimes involved family, sometimes friends. They were all alive enough to write a letter. If they didn't disclose terminal illness when writing the letter, and Derek wasn't aware of it then no lines were crossed in my opinion. The fact that the woman in the movie chose to offer that information in a theatre full of people was her choice.
Poof-Daddy
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Quote:
On Feb 13, 2021, Mark Timon wrote:
If you are a magician and have seen the show, you have now realised how little your bottom dealings and sleighs of hand are of interest to your audiences unless there is a good story behind.

If you are using good bottom deals or sleight of hand, your audience shouldn’t realize anything. No story needed.
Cancer Sux - It is time to find a Cure

Don't spend so much time trying not to die that you forget how to live - H's wife to H on CSI Miami (paraphrased).






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Your Thinking Cap
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Quote:
On Feb 14, 2021, Poof-Daddy wrote:
Quote:
On Feb 13, 2021, Mark Timon wrote:
If you are a magician and have seen the show, you have now realised how little your bottom dealings and sleighs of hand are of interest to your audiences unless there is a good story behind.

If you are using good bottom deals or sleight of hand, your audience shouldn’t realize anything. No story needed.


Well said! In the case of the show, however, it's a different situation because it's a gambling demonstration/expose - the whole point is for the audience to see what he's doing and to highlight his (truly incredible) level of technical skill.
Your Thinking Cap
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Quote:
On Feb 13, 2021, balzar wrote:
Just watched the movie last night. I had wanted to see the show in NYC, but could not afford to go. Like most of the posters here, I think this is a must-see for any magician serious about how a Magic Show can become something else entirely. That said, although it is a master class in how to put story telling ahead of tricks, I had much of the same reaction as Bernice, and the suggestion that her view is cynical gets it exactly backwards.
I got a distinctly Peter Popoff vibe from the final segment of the show. For me, that toolbox is equally troubling in the hands of a mentalist as it is in the hands of fraudster like Popoff. As Bernice observed, just because you can make someone cry by hot-reading them is no reason you should. If there is anything cynical at work here, it is DelGaudio willingness to use chicanery to imply something intensely personal and profound is happening when, in fact, nothing is. When you start doing tricks with someone relationship with dying or dead relatives, you are crossing into John Edwards territory. There is a line there, and although it may not be a bright white line, DelGaudio crossed it.


There may be a line, but Derek has not crossed it. The letter effect (my personal favorite moment in the show after having seen it live twice ) DOES NOT have anything to do with dying or dead relatives. If I recall correctly, in the Hulu version the woman's father is dying, however that's completely incidental and specific to that woman's case. Derek was not purposefully seeking out audience members with dying parents. In the show I saw, for example, a man opened a letter from a friend of his he hadn't spoken to in a long time.

As for your comparison to Peter Popoff, I'm not sure how you can draw a comparison between the two other than that they both involve a person speaking in front of crowd (as is literally the case for most performance events???). Using chicanery to imply something intensely personal and profound is happening? Isn't that what any demonstration of magic is? Derek never, EVER claims to be a medium or mindreader or have some God-given powers. It's explicitly clear that everything you're witnessing is part of a magic show and, consequently, executed by "chicanery."

All Derek is doing in the show's final segment is a masterclass of presentation. Functionally, what we're seeing is no different than a card trick; the audience members have picked a card when they walked into the theater, and then Derek reveals them at the end. However, by replacing the playing cards with words of identity, the entire piece instantly becomes more engaging and meaningful. Gone are the trivial choices of "jack of hearts" or "nine of spades," replaced by words like "student" or "filmmaker." Just the very act of choosing a card is a wonderful moment, a show before the show of sorts, let alone when Derek reveals the choices at the end (a truly sublime piece of theater, as I've ever seen).

We can all afford to learn from Derek's show and I suspect any criticism comes from a place of thinly-veiled jealousy stemming from the the criticizer's loathing at the triviality of their own performances.

I'm also confused by people in the thread repeatedly referring to Derek as a mentalist, as that is simply not what he is or about.
Your Thinking Cap
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On Feb 7, 2021, Bernice wrote:
I must be broken.

I found this to be exploitive dirge from yet another mentalist thinking that having the ability to make people cry makes for moving entertainment. All whilst making a fat wedge of cash from it.

I'm going to make a presumptive guess that Derek Delgaudio wasn't the most popular of youths'? Perhaps not as successful with his desired love-interests' as he had hoped? Perchance found a sense of power confounding others with his new mentalist skills?

Just because you can make someone cry by hot-reading them with their personal identifying information they (in good faith) provided you when they purchased a ticket... by contacting their father dying of Parkinson's disease and then finagling him into writing a letter so that you and your investor-backed commercial enterprise can add some real 'emotion' to your show... I don't think that means that you should.

Maybe the dying old man did want to write a meaningful last letter. Maybe he felt like he should. Maybe he was made to feel like he should. Maybe him and everyone involved didn't want to their private emotional lives to be exploited for money. When I buy a theatre ticket, I don't want some entertainer, who has been priming the audience with his nightly sob-story plus crocodile tears, to then onslaught me with my own emotional baggage on a stage for a 'hit'. And then have some loser think of it as transformative.

It was so pretentious. Too melodramatic for such an unconvincing performer. This type of show is why I don't go to the theatre anymore. His poignant looks off-stage. The pregnant pauses. His quivering lip. So... fake. Those same fake tears rolling down his cheek, night-after night. Like I said, I must be broken. What on Earth was David Blaine or any of the other audience members *actually* crying at? His story? The fake emotional briar-patch he dragged them through (for money)? More likely their own emotional baggage rising to the surface whilst enduring this beating.

He even does a card-trick halfway through, attempting the same gravitas as the rest of the drudgery. I wish he had finished me off by braining me with that gold brick.

If savaging an audience with emotional content makes you feel powerful, or good at what you do, why stop at some overly-melodramatic off-stage-assistant-plus-earpiece shenanigans and just set your magic show in a reenactment of a Holocaust concentration camp? Perhaps work in a live feed from a hospital ward?

What's even more depressing than this exploitive creep profiting from his ego-stroking is the wave of other exploitive creeps he has no doubt inspired.

I have seen medium shows less nauseating than this. Now that is saying something.


I don't think you're broken but I do disagree with most everything you said, and, like others before me have said, your view displays far more cynicism than this show could ever venture to do.

While I suppose that a show being able to make someone cry doesn't inherently make a piece worthy, I would argue that a performance of theater that's able to make someone feel *anything* is a testament to how powerful and wonderful the show is. Crying is just one way the audience of In and Of Itself expresses their emotions - you'll also see them laughing, smiling, etc. It wouldn't be the sign of a very good show if they were sitting there emotionless, would it? And as for them being somehow "exploited" into displaying emotions publicly... if you don't want to display emotions publicly, don't go and watch shows. Don't go to a play or musical. God forbid anyone should laugh or cry in a public setting designed for that! Better off, don't leave your house.

Also: Derek is not a mentalist. I'm not sure why you had to conjecture about his personal life and imply that he wasn't popular or successful with love interests. Even if we wasn't, so what? You also repeatedly try to imply that the piece is somehow lesser/has evil motives because audience members have to pay to watch it. Unfortunately, Derek, as I'm sure countless other performers on this forum, live in a world that uses money as a currency in exchange for labor or services provided. Sorry Derek has to eat! Again, don't go to the movies or watch a concert if this bothers you - God forbid the singer profit from their performance!

Regarding the letter effect, Derek isn't hot reading anything and, when you would buy a ticket for the show, you never had to disclose personal information (list relatives, friends) that would allow such an effect to happen. Method aside, it's important to note that Derek was not purposefully contacting sick relatives; the fact that the performance in the film displays such a scenario is totally incidental to that woman's life circumstances and the envelope she chose to open. It could have just as easily been a letter from a friend or former teacher. Also, it's foolish to suggest that Derek somehow "finagled" people into writing the letters. As if he and his team held a gun to a person's head and said, "WRITE THIS LETTER! YOUR DAUGHTER IS GOING TO SEE MY SHOW IN A FEW WEEKS! MY FAT CAT FRIENDS AND I WANNA MAKE PEOPLE CRY FOR A QUICK BUCK!" The letters were doubtlessly provided consensually and in good faith. As Manos said, there are far easier ways to make someone cry than the beautiful, astonishing performance piece Derek demonstrates in the show. Again, if you don't want to cry or laugh or be surprised, don't attend a show. Don't leave your house.

You write your review as if you're a noble crusader defending the audience of the show. But, in the same breath, you refer to someone moved by the letter effect as being a loser. Pick a side.

Derek cries not a single crocodile tear in the show. And even if the tears were not "real" (whatever that means), well... that's acting, which as far as I know, is still legal.

Yes, Derek does a "card trick," if by card trick you mean an incredible demonstration of his technical prowess. And as for wanting to hit yourself with a brick, maybe you should speak to someone about your urge to self-harm.

How you could then go on to compare this show to the Holocaust, a genocide where 6 million Jews were murdered, is beyond me. You want to talk about a line being crossed? Look no further.
MikeLarkin
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Quote:
On Feb 8, 2021, Bob_Hummer wrote:
One thing I liked about the show was that the tricks were done. With no introduction or set-up. That feels more like the magic a "real" magician would do (like you would see in a movie). It meant the tricks had a lovely flow to them. As opposed to most magic tricks where 30% of the trick is often just the magician telling you about what you are about to see.

When you strip all that out - it makes the magic feel much fresher and closer to the "real" thing.

Indeed. And it is actually worse if this is the case, as you know exactly what you are doing. There are some psychics who actually believe the nonsense they spout.
tboehnlein
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I found the show to be highly creative as it should be with the parties involved, however beyond that I agree with Bernice as I also found it to be depressing and luring audience emotions that are far too personal.
GlennLawrence
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Despite being a stone's throw from NYC, I unfortunately never got around to seeing this show live- Shame on me! In any case, I read through this whole thread and finally got to watch it last night. Like many I felt I had never seen anything like it before, and it did make me think. A lot. I was surprised that some of you got a mentalist vibe from this, Derek did not come off that way to me. I don't know what to call this show, certainly more than just a magic show, and it did get me emotionally at some points. But not in a depressing way, more like a "Maybe there's hope for humanity after all" kind of way.

As far as Bernice's comments, maybe she's not familiar with the Robert-Houdin quote about a magician being an actor playing the part of a magician. Are his tears real, or acting? I don't know that it matters. She seems to have a problem with the performer attempting to make the audience feel something. Isn't that what the goal of theater is? I don't entirely disagree with her, and I do get where she's coming from with some of her thoughts about it being overly pretentious, but when she started ranting about the Holocaust and hospital wards she kind of lost me. I hope she's not broken. Maybe she just had a bad day.

So much more to say about this show but I'll just say I'm glad I finally got to see what all the fuss was about, and leave it there.
BAGWIZ
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I watched Derek Delgaudio’s show last night and in my opinion, it was one of the most creative presentations of magic I’ve seen in ages and maybe ever. I read a review that commented on how, at its core, “In and of Itself” is a magic show ... and it’s power lies in the way it leaves audiences wondering if they witnessed a magic show, or? To me that’s pretty incredible, even though I actually didn’t care for the piece with the letter from a spectator’s family member. Even with that caveat, I felt the conceit of the entire show was simply brilliant.
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Good show, a meditation on ego death/no self. Wonder how familiar Derek is with the "Eastern" traditions or secular attempts of teaching no self/ego death which is uh odd since there is nothing to teach lol paradoxical breaking the thinker of thoughts. "Mindfulness" meditation continues to become more popular see more magicians trying to add something about it to their shows Derren Brown as well. Can seem "preachy" to some?
"Your destiny is not Death but the end of "I AM."- Sri Nis Maharaj
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