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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Polly wants a cracker... » » Dan Sperry (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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RSD
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Toronto, Ontario
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Hey Dan...I don't know too much about you, but I did see your Dove act here in Toronto and I was impressed! Question for you though...Do you do any other kind of magic professionally of just dove manipulation?
sperris
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Hey RSD,
Thanks man! Yes, I do many shows professionally from close up to stage basically. Kids really dig the character so actually it gets me lots of kid shows, its who I am so it is natural for me. I'm not trying to be like anyone else except myself-just pointing this out because I catch a lot of crap for "trying to be like other people"-and I believe it shows through when I connect to kids especially. The same when I work schools, from elementary to college level. I do other kinds of manipulation too and have several other silent acts. I went to Chavez, half of it was through the mail course and I've also been taught by Dale Salwak personally in California. I felt totally blessed to be working with Murray, he's a great guy and knows his stuff for sure. Oscar and Paul are also a couple of totally awesome guys to see on stage and cause mischief with backstage.

I don't believe in putting together "an act" and trying to make it off of just a one act. Only a few people have done this, but I believe have painted themselves into a corner. I don't work for magicains, OK yeah technically I do the convention runs when they hire me, but they don't pay my bills. I try to emphasise to everyone, young and old, who ask me for advice on their acts I try to tell them to build a show. It doesn't have to be much, even if it is a B-day show, but something that you can work consistantly with to finaiance an "act". I also try to avoid themeing an act like avoiding the black plaigue. For example, remember back in the 90's the kid Ashley Springer? No you say? Ok, remember "the gumball machine kid" who won all the junior magic contests? Ohhhhh...now you remember! I'm not knocking Ashley in any way, but using him as an example. People don't remember your name, they remember your theme and how cute it was or clever it was. Most of the time that only works for magicians anyway and in the real world winning the IBM Gold Medal doesn't mean squat, I'm not really sure it means anything in the magic world anymore either. I work anywhere I can, no show is below me, I don't care who you think you are you are NEVER too good or above doing a kid's show. They are some of the most rewarding experiences I've had in my career. Now obviously some guys just "don't do kid shows", and mostly the guys who say that have their obvious reasons not to. Just my two cents...

I also do consulting for acts and whatnot as well as freelance graphic and web design, it helps to pay the bills when magic gets slow. That's about it for I guess, its all I can think of. Sorry if I offended anyone in my little rant there, just some things I thought needed to be said and I'm not sure where they came from. Feel free to ask if you have anymore questions! Thanks guys!!!

Rawk on,
Dan
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Magic Blinds
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I see a lot of influence from Jason Byrne, Frewin and others in Sperry's act. He has been able to mix the persona of a punk rocker and glam rocker in a tux with tails.

Some of the dove tricks I would label an intresting twist on a dove effect but not original, being that it is basically an appearance of a dove. Colored doves have been used before and the punk rock image too. But I was entertained by the act.

The audience is who loves the show and the bottom line is your never going to please all magicians. You know you are good when magicians start talking **** about you.

Dan keep up the good work.
sperris
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Jason is a friend of mine, although we don't' keep in as close contact as we used to, he did show me a thing or two a long time ago when I first started out. I don't use it anymore, I've never met Frewin though. What I never really liked about their acts, just let me make sure I get this out before I get bashed some more on the Café' here: I am not hacking their acts, I have respect for both of them and am not bashing them- ok anyway the one thing I don't really like about their acts, and this is true with a lot of acts out there, is that a lot of it doesn't flow well. Now I'm not saying mine flows like wine, but so many acts are like here's a toy I just pull out of my box and now its a dove...here's another toy I have for no reason, now watch me turn it into a dove...etc, etc, etc. I don't see any magic outside of what I see when I rarely attend a convention here or there. The fact that I use colored doves I don't believe justifies calling my act a frewin or byrne style act. In all actuality wouldn't it be just as much of a General Grant act then too? I'm not sure who used the punk rock image before, but I'm not so sure I have a punk rock image now. Its just me up there doing a magic show, my intentions were never to be the "punk magician" or anything like that. My real influences in magic were vito lupo and cyril takayama, not really jason or greg or bass or lance. I don't see the influences by greg or jason, so to try to avoid these I'm curious as to what you see that is so similar. If I were to wear a white shirt and use white doves would I be an act influenced by lance? You're very right when you say you're never going to be able to please magicians, 90% of the ones I've met don't know what they're talking about and allow emotions and jealousy and usually some alcohol get in the way of them speaking. So now by what standards does something become original? If producing a dove is unoriginal is producing a dove after Channing did it make Dimmare's act unoriginal? Let's break it down:

-There is only one way to produce a dove from your jacket, by pulling it out.
-There are several ways of pulling the dove out.
-There are only two gimmicks to pulling the doves out. (invisible or holder)
-There is only one end result. (The production of a live dove)

So from what I described above there are techincally NO original dove acts and never have been.

But, if one were to invent a new method of pulling out the dove, a way of hooking up and making a steal that is cleaner, never been done before, etc. Does this now qualify as an original production hence making it an original act?

Now lets go back and look at the Channing/Byrne-Frewin scenario:
Channing Pollock produced white doves from silks and did a nice act. But James Dimmare produces white doves from silks and so does Lance and Joseph and Rick Thomas. They each have their own style, and it is easy to say that each of their styles has been done before but each of these acts have original methods of pulling and producing the same end result: the production of a live dove. Who's act is most original? Just becasue they use silks and candles and canes and other similar items in their acts does that mean that there is not one original element in their acts? Is Byrne's act unoriginal because Frewin uses toy like items to produce doves? Or is Frewin's act unoriginal because Byrne uses toy like items to produce doves? Dove acts are interesting in so many ways because you can't re-invent the wheel. I'm not saying my act is the most original ground breaking thing in the world, but I just like Channing, Frewin, Byrne, Gabriel, etc. have put a lot of time into thinking out and routining my act so that it has some little original thinking in it. It obviously isn't noticed much by magicians, but that's ok. Because I have a dove that changes colors and uses handling based on several dove steals mushed together to create this effect, does that make it an unoriginal production because it uses handling used before for an effect totally different? Or is it because James Celin does a color chanign dove and even though I have personal permission from James to do a color changing dove even though my method and effect is totally different than his, does that make it unoriginal? Or is it just because it uses colored birds and I guess that's just something byrne or frewin would do for no other real reason other than they're colored birds and byrne and frewin use colored birds. So that makes it unoriginal? It seems the rules fluxuate a little bit maybe? I'm not sure. Ask anyone who has ever talked with me about my act, I think they'll all agree when I say that I don't really go for the originality thing, mainly for reasons I described above but also because 95% of the magicians that see original material can't recognise it. I'll research when I think I have an "original" idea to make sure I'm not stepping on any toes, which is something I wish more magicians did, and then I run with it. Its more of an as long as I think its cool that's all I care about sort of attitude rather than man I can't wait to fool the pants and come up with the most original idea I can for these magicians attitude. I duno, its 3:30 am after a long day of driving home from a magic convention so I could just be talking out of my butt right now...
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Nick Wait
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Magic blinds: I fell that what you are saying is not true, I personally feel that Dan is one of the most original acts in recent years. some of his methods are new and original and his performance definately is. The performance is what makes the trick original and unique. Dan has done just that aand for that he has my upmost respect.
Bye
Nick
mysticalmike
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Saratoga Springs, NY
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Well I don;t you and I really haven't seen you either. That doesn't matter to me from what I can see your awsome. I don't compare magicians. All magician have their own things they do. I like what I see from your web site. So keep doing what you are doing man.
Nick Wait
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Oh and well siad Dan.

"-There is only one end result. (The production of a live dove)"

It could be a dead dove. Only joking.
Magic Blinds
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I believe I ended my post with “Dan keep up the good work”. Which is a compliment.

I just find it amusing reading posts and people calling your act the most original. Your act does flow well, it is taught out and entertaining. What people refer to as original I refer to as an interesting twist.

In the magic world Byrne and Frewin are know for colored birds. Just like the Pendragons are known for the metamorphosis, Copperfield for flying, laser etc. Byrne starts his act with a paper yellow bird to yellow dove, you start your act with a yellow boomerang to yellow dove. He uses colored doves, you use colored doves. As much as you hate that, magicians will categorize you, just forget what they think.

Your image is very punk-glam rock from the spikey hair, makeup on the face, clothing, BUT that makes your act youthful, you can market it to a younger crowd, possibly open up for a rock band, etc. The funny thing is I see a punker rocker doing a better dove act than some seasoned professionals.

I really don’t have enough time to write a huge reply to your posts. But you did write a lot about being original, and we are on the same page on originality. I can discuss performing, originality and quote Nelms, Pit, Spina, Brown and others, yet I’ll just say one thing:

The bottom line is we are pulling doves out of our jackets.
Doveman
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WOW!!!! This site is great! LOL....
afoi
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Just curios words to dan. did you really do the mid air balloon to dove in your act?
vey amazing indeed
- a f o i -
Kyle^Ravin
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Good advice...
sperris
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Quote:
On 2008-04-12 02:11, afoi wrote:
Just curios words to dan. did you really do the mid air balloon to dove in your act?
vey amazing indeed


no I don't do the mid air balloon production in my act...i already have one balloon and it will be out of the act by the end of this coming week haha. I'm weeding out any "props" or "toys" that my character would look stupid holding...one of them is hte balloon the other is the art pad. I feel my character has outgrown these items and now would look silly or odd holding them since the rest of the act has gone in a different direction from those kinds of things. Plus I already have a bird in each sleeve along with tons of other junk and probably should not be in there haha. The balloon bit is a great piece and I would put it in the act if I could make it fit and if I didn't have 10 birds hanging off me haha - which is to many in the first place...

...wow just reading this old post almost brought tears to my eyes haha I miss being on that tour, it was one the best experience I've ever had in my career. Murray and Teresa and their dog Cody are the best! What's even more crazy is looking back over three years ago to Michael's post about hanging out after the show and whatnot and his daughter that I met that night and I are practically married haha

just re-reading what I've written before wow sometims I over think things..i think that's the tormented artist in me manifesting itself haha
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