The Magic Cafť
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index Ľ Ľ Food for thought Ľ Ľ Too old to perform? (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page [Previous]  1~2
Vick
View Profile
Inner circle
It's taken me 10+ years to make
1120 Posts

Profile of Vick
From personal experience experience I'd say age might not have that much to do with it

Case in point - I live about 20 minutes away from Denny & Lee's Magic Studio in Maryland. Had the good fortune to be in there on a Thursday morning recently. A very talented performer (and all around good guy) I've met by the name of Joe came in said hello and invited me to come next door. A few other gentlemen came through the shop while I was there, all very nice and introduced themselves.

I went next door and there were about 10 gentleman performing for each other, one at a time. I'm 42 and was the youngest there by a few years (venture most were over standard retirement age). These guys were great, very talented, they pick each other apart (in a very fun way) and have a great time.

Sitting in with them was an honor for me
Unique, Thought Provoking & Amazing Magical Entertainment Experiences
Illusions By Vick
Blog of a real world working magician
Magic would be great, if not for magicians
Moonlit Knight
View Profile
Regular user
U.S.
113 Posts

Profile of Moonlit Knight
Phonic69 (Saxon) - Iíve been thinking about your topic again and after reading the posts, I have come up with a few ideas as to handling the possibility of letting someone know that their ability is not up to a standard that is worthy of public display. Please note - I post the following, not as an attack but as something that may be considered by all who wish to assist others in performance betterment. We must be honest with ourselves as to what the real reason is for improvement to be suggested in the first place.

There are several reasons to find a person unacceptable - whether itís their attitude, style, manner, mannerisms, appearance, age, etc.. Biases towards a person for these reasons may get in the way of viewing their skills objectively. It must also be remembered that all performers have or should have a certain persona. That style may not fit into your idea of what's acceptable but may be something that works perfectly well for them, even if you may not understand it. So, is it one of these things that's actually getting to you or is it the performance itself?

If you discover that it is the performance, then what is it about the performance that doesn't agree with you? Is it that the magic isn't magical, whether itís poorly done or simply the wrong methods of accomplishing the material used? Is it the feelings of the audience and their reaction (i.e. applauding, laughing or acting surprised simply out of sympathy) ? Or, is it that you feel your performance is being or would be hurt in some way by others people watching that person perform?

Granted - it could be a combination of things at play here, but if you were to look at this issue and be completely honest with yourself, what is the true reason? Note: Iím not asking anyone to respond to this via a post but present it as a point of private contemplation.

Now, letís say, for example, that you come to the conclusion that your performance is being hurt in some way by people watching the other performer. Well, if that is the case, get over it. Understand that not everyone who sees you perform will see the other performer.

But, if you come to the conclusion that the magic isn't magical or itís the audienceís forced reaction - then, if you can, sit down with the performer, talk to him / her, get his / her thoughts about magic and how he / she wants to impact their audience. Find out what feelings he / she wants them to come away with, what he / she wants the audience to remember and how he /she believes he / she is accomplishing his / her goal. If you happen to be in an audience of an entertainer that does not know you personally, you haven't met previously or he / she has not seen you perform, then chances are poor that that performer will listen to what you have to say - except, possibly, for an exchange of pleasantries. In fact, the performer may even get a negative impression of your conversation and assistance. Being more than a passing acquaintance may be needed, if you are not well-known.

If you do get a chance to discuss the above with the performer in question, then the following answers may be received (Iíll go through a couple possible responses and how they might be handled):

1. The performer may not know - if this is the case, then put forth your thoughts as to what you seek in magical entertainment. Then see if he / she agrees or can add any comments, therefore, you may be able to better yourself as well.

2. The performer may be firm about what he / she wishes to accomplish and what affect of what he / she does should have upon the audience. If this is the case and you discover that their wishes are not manifesting themselves, then simply explain that you fear that he / she may not be getting the desired reaction and if he / she would like, you could assist him /her in bettering his / her response. If he / she rejects, then leave the performer with a video of his / her performance (if you have one) to view at his / her leisure. If not, offer to tape one of his / her performances. If he / she rejects, then donĎt push it, just tell the performer if he / she changes his / her mind, he / she can contact you.

Now, the responses received may be different then the brief outlines I have presented, so you will have to adjust. You must be objective in your approach, deciding what's best for his / her well-being in the performance and what works for the audience they want to reach. Also, donít be so caught up in his / her stuff that you offer nothing of your own for critique. This exchange of ideas may be the biggest and best help you could ever get.

Yes, some people can lose their faculties when they get older, therefore making a performance more difficult. Iím not denying that fact but I will not say that everyone ages in the same way.

I doubt many of us here would seriously recommend that you encourage an elderly individual to simply stop performing because of their age and inability to perform as they might once have or because they may use dated material - but, I could be wrong.

Just some food for thought.
"Join the dance... Follow on! With a twist of the world we go."
- Genesis "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight"
vinsmagic
View Profile
Eternal Order
sleeping with the fishes...
10764 Posts

Profile of vinsmagic
Phonic 69 one day you will be in your seventies if you are lucky enough.
At least he is performong and not wasting away in some retirement home.
This old gent loves his art and is living the moment
So please do not try and take this away from him
vinny 65 years old (young)
Come check out my magic.

http://www.vinnymarini.com
phonic69
View Profile
Special user
560 Posts

Profile of phonic69
It's never to late to learn, adapt and alter your act to make it more suitable and 'magical'. I want to help him make his act better, not take magic away from him.

Moonlit Knight, thank you for a substantial and significant post. My worries about his act are that his material no longer suits him now that he in his 70's (he still attempts complex manipulation that he managed with ease in the past but that now look bad).

Should our acts adapt with age?

Saxon
Peter Marucci
View Profile
Inner circle
5389 Posts

Profile of Peter Marucci
Phonic69,
You say this performer was at a "magic dinner".
I'm going to assume that this was a magic club.
In that case, I have to agree wholeheartedly with Vinny, that the man is doing his best for a group of like-minded individuals, so don't take that away from him.
It would be different if he were performing for a lay audience.
The whole point of magic clubs should be that they are places to be bad in front of people who are forgiving; then, when you get to be good, you can perform for lay audiences.
Conversely, when you eventually lack the ability to entertain lay audiences, you can still perform for magic groups because they understand (or they should!)
cheers,
Peter Marucci (same age as Vinny)
phonic69
View Profile
Special user
560 Posts

Profile of phonic69
It's true that, to a magic audience, his exposure doesn't really matter, but it scares me that he also performs for lay audiences as well.

Saxon
Moonlit Knight
View Profile
Regular user
U.S.
113 Posts

Profile of Moonlit Knight
Phonic69 wrote "Should our acts adapt with age?"

Well, itís my belief that a performer should change and evolve their performance, when appropriate. This change should not be predicated upon age alone, but upon the performers ability. For example - if a young performer suffered some sort of accident or illness in which the ability to perform was limited (if even for a short time) then, I believe, the performance should be modified to reflect the personal impediment or condition, without drawing undue attention to it or assisting the audience in losing the magic. An older person may find it advantageous to do the same, if their ageing is found to be limiting their abilities. But, it must be remembered that this decision depends upon the person's willingness to change and not our desire for them to do so.
"Join the dance... Follow on! With a twist of the world we go."
- Genesis "Dancing With The Moonlit Knight"
Reis O'Brien
View Profile
Inner circle
Seattle, WA
2467 Posts

Profile of Reis O'Brien
Phonic69, why do you suddenly think it's up to you to stop this old feller from performing? Who gave you that authority? Why is it even your business?

So the old geezer doesn't have the chops he once had. I imagine that he's still doing the best he can with what he has to work with and the audience probably perceives that. He may only be getting polite applause, but to him, it is applause just the same. And frankly, some of the specs may find it quaint seeing an old guy still giving it a go.

Let him do his thing. It's not up to you.
Homo vult decipi; decipiatur

http://www.myspace.com/liar_4_hire
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27136 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
Come to think about it...

One could as well post complaining that the young, uneducated, juvenile and outright immature magicians are giving magic a bad name too.

The argument goes both ways.

A bad argument IMHO. There are incompetent folks of all ages. The market makes a great manager of objective criteria.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
vincentmusician
View Profile
New user
Toronto
92 Posts

Profile of vincentmusician
One thing I have found is that when you perform Professionally for kids or adults, you will get an honest reaction. An audience is the best way to tell you if you are good or not. Older kids and adults have no reason to tell you that you are good if you are not. I learn a great deal from my audiences.
tommy
View Profile
Eternal Order
Devilís Island
16230 Posts

Profile of tommy
You cannot teach an old dog new tricks as they say but they also say it is never too late to learn.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Dannydoyle
View Profile
Eternal Order
20552 Posts

Profile of Dannydoyle
Quote:
On Jun 19, 2004, Mike Walton wrote:
We don't have to do anything with or for anyone who doesn't want help or advice. IMHO, I think those who write that it's our duty to change the way some magicians do magic, young or old, should go work on their own magic as others with more skill and performance experience may be targeting them.

If someone stinks, then my guess is no one is booking him or her anyway so the exposure is minimal.

The best way to improve magic as an industry and art is to improve your own act so you will astound audiences in a more emotional and stronger manner. Make your own magic better.

Wow an ancient thread brought back to life.

This above is of course the perfect answer. But I would like to add something.

Why are we restricting this to the old generation exactly? I mean I have seen FAR more magicians who fall into the dated lines and old trick category who are YOUNG with no excuse! I personally don't think it has a single thing to do with the age of the performer. He has probably been doing this same brand of horrible magic for 40 years.

Also it might help you to understand if you just Google the "Dunning Kruger Effect". (NO it is NOT a magic trick, just Google it.) You will then find out why it is pointless to attempt to help. I suggest buying a donkey and finding a windmill.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
tommy
View Profile
Eternal Order
Devilís Island
16230 Posts

Profile of tommy
"Magic is a universal art form. Although it may reflect specific features of nationality, ethnicity, or religion, it thrives without regard to them, and it has developed independently in various cultures. It has survived hundreds of years of exposure and trivialization. No matter how often and how egregiously its secrets are revealed, the passage of years, a change of context, and the power of a splendid performer can rekindle an old principle to create a performance miracle."

ó Ricky Jay

https://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters......ng/3658/


Ricky Jays' entry is Brittanica is a good read - mind you, everything the old man said and did I thought was great.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
longhaired1
View Profile
Veteran user
Salida
314 Posts

Profile of longhaired1
I'm 58 now. Seven years ago I directed and performed in a circus show with a magic theme. We had an opening illusion that I needed to be tucked into. Our local theatre has no act curtain so we set up a temporary cover so I could get loaded into the illusion. A few minutes hiding under the hot lights and all seemed fine. The founder of the circus went on stage and did about five minutes of thanking the various supporters and announcements. Okay so far, but starting to really sweat. Then she introduces the board president of the theatre. She does a few minutes of announcements, after which she brings up the president of the local arts council who proceeds to talk about all the upcoming events.

I'm not sure how long I was curled up in that box panting like a dog who was locked in the car on a summer day, but hallucinations were eminent by the time we finally launched. I had a quick pow-wow with all involved parties before the next show and we adjusted the game plan, or more accurately created a game plan. When I was sweating in the box I was quietly muttering words that would get me banned from this forum.

I'm developing a new illusion for a show that I am producing and this illusion will be geriatrically modified for my lack of flexibility and heat tolerance.

Not too old to perform but way to old to go through that again.
tommy
View Profile
Eternal Order
Devilís Island
16230 Posts

Profile of tommy
I read this book recently: https://www.abebooks.co.uk/book-search/t......-towsen/

It goes into some of the clowns' illusions in the circus and it says that some of the clowns were ex acrobats, etcetera. It is a good book on the history of it.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
The Magic Cafe Forum Index Ľ Ľ Food for thought Ľ Ľ Too old to perform? (3 Likes)
 Go to page [Previous]  1~2
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.2 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL