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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » How to be a DC team member (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Jorge Gonzalvo
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Hi everybody:
It´s not a wish, it´s only a question, I mean: sometimes we wonder what are the requirements or conditions to be a member of the team of a great illusionist. I suppose you have to be a well known experienced magician, you have to know a lot of secrets in magic, you have to look fine, you have to keep the secrets all the time, and maybe you have to prove your magical knowledge. But that´s only my opinion. So...is there anything, or any way to get info about that? . I don´t know if this is the right forum (topic) to mention this, so, please let me know if I´m on the right way. Thanks
Darmoe
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Hmmm... there's so much I'd love to explain but can't on a Rated G family forum open to the public...

Working for a mega-star like DC means you will more than likely get paid base scale, work your butt off 60-80+ hours a week, not have a life and have to keep your mouth shut when the "Artist" is going through when of his/her rants... In some instances you might be hired and fired five or six times in a single day by the same ego... I mean, performer.

Your best bet is to get on with a show that is in the growth process vs. trying to get into an established camp. The reasons are simple as well as logical... aside from getting in on the ground floor, you are able to establish a relationship with the star performer BEFORE THE EGO INFLATES. Thus, when they're being a jerk you can get away with clocking them on the fact. Secondly, there's the whole paranoia thing these "stars" go through... they want people they know, who've proven their loyalty, and who can be trusted with secrets (of all kinds) in their inner-circle... because of long term travel, working close together, etc. THIS IS A FAMILY UNIT... think about it!

Outside of these factors having a good look, being "flexible" on certain issues and willing to literally do "anything" to keep the boss happy (take that as you will), and having some exceptional and multiple talent that allows persona and direct advantage to the "star" is about your only other option.

The more "talent" you have (as in various abilities on and off stage)the stronger your advantage towards getting such a position. You also need "references" from the "right" people... people you know you, trust you, and have had a positive experience in working with you.

Hope this helps!
"I firmly believe that of all the Arts and Crafts of Mentalism, there is nothing more satisfying than one who is a first-class Reader. It is the ultimate in Mentalism..." - Tony Corinda * 13 Steps To Mentalism
Chad Sanborn
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Darmoe is right. To be on just about any illusionists crew, means you have to know more than just magic. Using DC as an example, Most of the crew members have degrees in various theatre aspects. From lighting and sound equipment to dancing and choreography. And from what I understand, being a magician can actually be a hindrance when getting hired by other magicians. So I guess the best way to work for an illusionist, is by not being one.
And of course knowing the right people never hurt either.

Chad
LeeAlex2002
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Check out Lance Burton's official site - he has little bits of biography about all the team members that work for him on and off the stage. Most of the back stage crew are in fact as we guessed non-magicians!
Yours Magically,
Lee Alex

http://www.magic2wear.com
Darmoe
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Smile Not being a "magician" is an advantage Smile

Anyone got an answer as to why? Smile

You guys are right and I apologise for not pointing that out earlier... I usually do.

BTW... the answer as to why non-magicians get in easier is very simple... you are less apt to have an alternative motive in being there... less prone to "borrow" technology, designs, etc. You're not looking for "new connections" or tying to hustle the star on giving you a deal on used/broken props, sets, etc.

If a big name pro needs someone that knows magic they know who to call. Too, they have all those letters, videos adn proposals on file from all the wannabe designers, creative minds, and butt kissers they can more readily RIPP OFF (and they do!)simply by patting you on the head, telling you you're great, giving you a pass every couple of years to a show... think about it.

I wont mention names but you'd be surprised who, in the "big leagues" acts this way and who don't.

You'd be surprised as to who the more gracious and sincere personalities are too.

Smile unfortunately, some of the truely greats are gone... we'll miss them deeply! Smile

Don't reality suck?
"I firmly believe that of all the Arts and Crafts of Mentalism, there is nothing more satisfying than one who is a first-class Reader. It is the ultimate in Mentalism..." - Tony Corinda * 13 Steps To Mentalism
Jorge Gonzalvo
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Thanks everybody for your contribution. Your point of view is really certain and it opened for me new views. I suppose that when a big star wants people for the crew, they only have to make a couple of phone calls and that´s all.

We are a group of Spanish magicians guided by Mr. Javier Anton. He won the FISM Grand Prix in 1985 (world championship). We love all kinds of magic, but especially stage magic and Grand Illusons. We love Copperfield (from a magician point of view...). Javier Anton knows DC and I think he exchanged some ideas with him.

Our point of view is that stage magic especially involves all kinds of arts (theatre, music, lights, sound...) and the FISM award winning show of Mr. Anton was a great story about a girl, a cat and a ragged man. We all are focused on competition, but I personally like the idea of being on tour (working hard) with people in magic for my personal and magical growth.

I know well different art situations; I've been on tour like a musician for a long time, and also like a producer, music composer and sound engineer, and I always wonder how I can go on a magic tour as part of the crew.

The magical work in our group is great. Mr . Anton is a great man and a great magician. His ideas are amazing, and a lot of well known magicians think the same thing. Each day we learn a million things in magic, but I think there are other worlds outside, and I would like to know them.

Thanks indeed for your sincere opinions. They are all very interesting and I will consider them like good advice.

Best in magic from Spain
Magique Hands
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Back in 1996, I had the incredible opportunity to help set up Copperfield's show, here in Lincoln. I was working for the Lied Center as a stage assistant, and we had ties to Lincoln's Pershing Auditorium.

In this case... it was 'Who I knew', that helped get me involved in this fantastic experience.

In many respects, I was like a KID IN A CANDY STORE! I was able to help set up Copperfield's Buzz Saw, The Barkley House, his Asrah illusion, his Metamorphosis, and run lighting checks for Floating Rose, as well as numerous other tasks. Strangely, I had to sign a 'Secrecy Agreement', as did the other non-crew assistants.

Two other magicians from Lincoln also got to be on this special crew. An experience I will not soon forget... thanks to those two! It has been rumored, that Copperfield will occassionally, choose people from these 'extra crews' to tour with him.

- - Troy Smile
"If you go around sprinkling Woofle Dust on everything... people will think 'My... What an odd character." www.magicmafia.com
knightmagic98
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Quote:
Strangly, I had to sign a 'Secrecy Agreement', as did the other non-crew assistants.

- - Troy Smile


I was wondering, why do you find this strange? It is STANDARD practice when a traveling illusion show works with people who are not members of their crew. Even the traveling staff of most magicians sign a non-disclosure statement. I find it funny that magicians are usually the ones to complain about this policy. Have you ever broken the agreement you signed? Have you ever discussed any of your duties that day, or any of the secrets you may have acquired? I would certainly hope not.

Also, as an FYI...it is my understanding that Mr. Copperfield no longer hires magicians to travel with his show. In answer to the original post Smile
Magique Hands
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Knightmagic98...

Maybe the word 'strange' was too much of a negative. I toured with magician Luis Villamonte, as his stage director. I didn't sign a secrecy agreement with him. So, when I had to sign one with Copperfield, I thought, "Hey, this is something new."

Also, when setting up illusion shows at the Lied Center, I wasn't used to signing secrecry agreements. So, Copperfield's agreement was just something new to me. As far as you commenting, "I FIND IT FUNNY THAT MAGICIANS ARE USUALLY THE ONES TO COMPLAIN ABOUT THIS POLICY." - - I am not complaining in the least bit! For me, it was an incredible experience... everything about it was 'like a dream come true' so-to-speak.

Knightmagic98... I hope this clears a few things up for you.

Magically,
- - Troy

As far as revealing any of Copperfield's secrets and such... I have not done so. Although I have talked about what it was like to help set up for his show (much like what I wrote about above.)
"If you go around sprinkling Woofle Dust on everything... people will think 'My... What an odd character." www.magicmafia.com
knightmagic98
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Troy,

that does clear things up. I travel with a large illusion show, and we ALWAYS have our help crew sign a non-disclosure....I find it unusual that others would not. I also know that the agreement that they are required to sign instructs them not to discuss ANYTHING related to the show. I feel more magicians should do that, personally.

Thanks again
Chad Sanborn
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Last year, I was in Copperfields -13- illusion. What I did find strange was that none of us were asked to sign an agreement. Instead, DC talked to us personally about exposure. This made the whole experience better. We got the message about not exposing and were made to feel like we were part of some "special group" of people. After all, only 13 of us, out of a city of hundreds of thousands were let into the "inner circle" so to speak. And in the next town 13 more people would experience the same thing. Each town having its own special 'group of 13'. This was a much better approach to secrecy, than any sterilized form could ever produce.

Chad
knightmagic98
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Chad,

I understand that the personal approach is a great way to go. That is why when we have people sign, we give a speech along with it that is coordinated by the magician, who happens to be a very likeable person.
Darmoe
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Secrecy Agreements are of common practice in most major shows and now days, in just about any area of business you might work in. Signing one however, oft times depends on your own reputation and longevity in the biz.

I was working a show in Branson some years ago when the producer approached me during a business meeting pertaining to said "legal ritual", when the star of the show spoke up stating "He probably knows more about this stuff than I do, how dare you insult him that way. I should be signing an agreement with him."

The big thing around such agreements is the psychology they lend e.g. they deliver a "fear factor" that makes us think twice before revealing something or betraying a trust. As a designer/consultant I've found it best to offer a disclosure agreement with 95% of the people I work with... BTW, the bigger the name, the more this little bit of protection seems to be "needed"... not in all cases, but in certain circumstances you might find yourself being taped, your ideas sent shortly after the conversation to said "star's" preferred builder, and thus, your methods, designs, etc. suddenly aren't yours...

I'm not naming names, but this does happen and it's very common amongst those that make the bigger bucks. Too, these are the same people who like to gain so much exclusivity around YOUR TRICK that you can't perform your own material for years, without their permission... e.g. kissing the tush of a celeb and being opened with them, isn't always a good thing.

Just some food for thought for the star struck.
"I firmly believe that of all the Arts and Crafts of Mentalism, there is nothing more satisfying than one who is a first-class Reader. It is the ultimate in Mentalism..." - Tony Corinda * 13 Steps To Mentalism
Jorge Gonzalvo
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Thanks again for your contribution. A good poll has been generated.

I´m very jealous of all that people that have been so lucky sharing a magical night with people like Copperfield. Congratulations!

Jorge
Luke Kerr
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Quote:
On 2002-08-22 08:12, knightmagic98 wrote:

I was wondering, why do you find this strange? It is STANDARD practice when a traveling illusion show works with people who are not members of their crew.

It's the standard in all the business world.
When you get a project as engineer you have to sign a non disclosure act and so if you work as tester for something or if you work behind something in all works..
Darmoe
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On 2002-08-22 16:35, Jorge Gonzalvo wrote:
Thanks again for your contribution. A good poll has been generated.

I´m very jealous of all that people that have been so lucky sharing a magical night with people like Copperfield. Congratulations!

Jorge


Trust me, a night with David isn't all that magical Smile
"I firmly believe that of all the Arts and Crafts of Mentalism, there is nothing more satisfying than one who is a first-class Reader. It is the ultimate in Mentalism..." - Tony Corinda * 13 Steps To Mentalism
Jorge Gonzalvo
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On 2002-08-23 17:05, Darmoe wrote:

Trust me, a night with David isn't all that magical Smile


Why did you say that? Reading your posts, it is like you have passed a bad experience with people like DC.

Can you say anything more about that?
Chad Sanborn
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I have heard several bad stories of DC. I cannot really say if they actually happened as I wasn't their. But Not too far from it.
I can only say in his defence is that none of us knows what its like to live his lifestyle. Or what we would do given his level of popularity.

Chad
Darmoe
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How to word this????

I first met David @ the Castle many years ago through Irene Larsen & Peter Pit. I've had tons of great times with him; seen him at his strongest and weakest. So long as "business" didn't enter the picture, we got along great and had a very peculiar "friendship" I guess you could say... he even teased me all the time we went through the Vegas Museum of certain items that I once sat vigil over, from the Kirkham estate (kindof an inside gest).

On the other hand, I've been there and watched both, at the side of and from a distance, the many people he's taken advantage of over the years (myself included, in the one and only "deal" I ever attempted to make with him.) Seeing such things ruined my "view" of the man, though I still lend him strong support for the good he's done for our trade.

NO ONE regardless the level of fame and repute they achieve, should ever lower themselves by manipulating their celebrity for the sake of taking advantage of others. Whereas business is business, acts of extreme duplicity do not sustain the other, nor belong within the aura of one so highly honored.

Hope that makes sense, I'm trying to be kind and politically correct. Smile
"I firmly believe that of all the Arts and Crafts of Mentalism, there is nothing more satisfying than one who is a first-class Reader. It is the ultimate in Mentalism..." - Tony Corinda * 13 Steps To Mentalism
Jorge Gonzalvo
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Fully agree with you. If things are like you say, I am fully agree with you.

Thanks for your answers.
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