Food for Thought

I caught this and it got me thinking …

“Magic has lost all its magic. These days, it feels more like a sleekly packaged act of illusion engineering. The eye-popping, jaw-dropping, awe-inducing wonderment that used to accompany the abracadabra has mysteriously vanished into thin air. All one gets to hear now is the incredulous catcalls of killjoys screaming: “Haven’t we seen this on YouTube before?” Things were much better in the pre-internet era. The worldwide brotherhood of magicians went to great lengths to create an aura of mystique around their tricks. No one ever wrote ‘sleight-of-hand’ manuals or shot ‘Magic for Beginners’ videos explaining the elaborate deceptions. Part of the charm flowed from the larger-than-life persona projected in the public eye.”

source : IBNlive

Surely such comments should cause all magicians to stop and reflect.

What value do we give our art?

How do we recapture the magic and present the mystique ?

How do we encourage our audiences to value our work if we see  no value in it.

 

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A Master At Work

Having been lucky enough to see this guy live twice; attend his workshops and watch his videos I conclude that he is amongst the most interesting and technically skillful card magicians of our age…..


I guess this will now set me thinking – who are the 10 Ten Card-Magicians of all time?

Your responses welcomed ….

Alan

Appropriate Humility

Everyone would agree that over the last few months Dynamo has had some great ‘water cooler’ moments – those moments when people gather around the water cooler or coffee pot and talk animatedly about last nights TV.

Dynamo represents what can be called the ‘new generation’ of guerilla magicians who ‘strike’ with force, passion and energy and ‘kill’ their audiences with their magical skills and powerful illusions.

Of course, magic for me is not about ‘killing’ or ‘knocking out’ my audiences but I know that this approach is part of the ‘new wave’ of magical performers.

So what about humility..

Well in Dynamo’s own words…

“I want to be as famous as Paul Daniels.”

This is surely a recognition of the high regard and esteem most magicians have for this British icon and, despite an impressive TV series and more than one or two ‘water cooler moments’, Dynamo’s own realization that he still has a way to go.

Source Article: The Sun 

Top hat as an icon for magic
Image via Wikipedia
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“Burt Wonderstone”

A new film about magic and magicians is currently being filmed and is on location in Las Vegas. Wonderstone, scheduled for release in 2013 stars Steve Carroll (from the US version of The Office) and Jim Carrey.

The plot seems to be a simple one. After the loss of his longtime stage partner, a famous but jaded Vegas magician fights for relevance when a new, “hip” street magician appears on the scene.

Reports from the set comment on Steve Carrol’s, who plays Wonderstone, focus noting that he stays ‘in character’ whilst on the set… ‘he is arrogant and self-centred’ … I am assuming that’s Wonderstone and not Carroll.

The pictures of Carroll as Wonderstone show him as velvet-jacketed and 80’s mullet haired – very reminiscent of Siegfried and Roy whose style and flamboyance was their own.

Jim Carrey plays the new ‘hip’ magician in town. I can only assume that we’re going to be in for more of the comedians rubber-face antics.

I’m particularly looking forward to see Steve Buscemi who is playing a character called Anton Lovecraft.

Olivia Wilde plays the female lead, so one can imagine some kind of ‘love triangle’  featuring in the story.

I believe this is the first feature film for director, Don Scardino. He has worked on the TV series Law and Order, The West Wing, 30 Rock – to name a few.

The screenplay comes from John Francis Daley and Jonathan M Goldstein. whose credits include “Bones” and “My Dad Says” so a sharp, witty script seems to be on the cards.

Alan

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The Magicians – Saturday Night Magic

It was with mixed feelings I tuned into the new Saturday night magic show – not because of my dislike of the performers, heck no, but because of my previously stated ‘uncertainty’ of the format…. and ‘NOW’ it’s LIVE ! (ummm)

Barry & Stuart and Pete Firman were very familiar to me and I love these guys for their quirky sense of humour. Never had the pleasure of meeting Pete, but I was lucky enough to spend a couple of evenings with Barry and Stuart with Jeff McBride, Eugene Burger and Kenny Roberts in Cornwall (it was during the last McBride Masterclass sessions in Cornwall).

Latimar was new to me. Not as a name, but in terms of seeing a performance…. liked his style.

In all I enjoyed the magic, although for some reason the pace of the show as a whole seemed rather tedious (maybe that’s more of a reflection of my tiredness than the production itself) but I will reserve judgement on that until I’ve seen the next show….

For me the issue remains as to the reason for the format…

The ‘Celebrity’ get me stuck-into-this or out-of-that in a house-forest-jungle-lake-outback-wilderness doing magic ‘tricks‘ format is actually boring.

The Magicians are more than capable of presenting top quality entertainment without the ‘celebrity’ additions or ‘audience votes’….

The constant reference to ‘TRICK’ also annoyed me…

Barry & Stuart, Pete Firman I know to be witty, clever, ‘viewer worthy’ performers and Latimer strikes me as being equally capable of carrying a show without the intrusion of a celebrity ‘I loved magic when I was kid and always wanted t…..’  Soap, Strictly or Outnumbered ‘stars’.

We ask why variety is dead?

It isn’t dead it’s just morphed into audience participation shows where ‘phone in votes and the supporting compere induced drama (and in second place we haveeeeeeeeee – followed by interminable pauses which rather than add tension become laughable) are de rigueur.

Hey Ho…

To  the Magicians – keep on doing your stuff and amazing folks

To the Show Producers – lets see some creativity!

Alan

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Video Testimonials

Hi folks…

Just received a couple of video testimonials.

Like many performers I try to get feedback from those who come to my shows and like many professionals have  a folder full of ‘nice words’…. it’s kinda like my ego-book and let’s be honest here ALL performers have an ego they like to massage every now and then.

But I’m really recognizing the value of inviting folks to put those comments onto video. I mean so many of the folk who are coming to see your shows are really internet savvy.

So my promotional mission is to try to use the camera on my iphone more so that the next time someone tells me about my show I can say – hang-on – talk to the ‘phone….

Well what’s wrong with a little ego massage ?

 

 

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Alan Jones Magic 2012

If you are regular visitors to this blog you will no doubt have noticed the new 2012 look!

As part of the New Year clear out I  have unsubscribed the 3000 + inactive users on this blog.

So If I deleted you in error I apologise..

But do not despair you will notice that there is a NEW SUBSCRIPTION box on the right side of this BLOG which will subscribe you to my new Magic and Mentalism Newsletter.

I intend to publish this once a month and it will have content which has not been posted on this blog. Aimed at magicians (professional, amateur and hobbyist) it will contain reviews, thoughts and comment which I hope will be of interest.

The January Newsletter as a comment or two about show BUSINESS, the new IMS DVD series, Magic 4 Learning and Paul Silk (aka Mr Tickles a local children’s entertainer)

 

2012 – HAPPY NEW YEAR

Greetings folks…

HAPPY NEW YEAR

I haven’t been able to update this site for sometime … work commitments and the new shows I’ve been putting together seemed to take so much of my time.

The new Seance Show worked well and I am now working on bookings for the new season.

As is usual at this time of year I think we’re all engaged in reflecting on the year that has passed and the just what the New Year will bring.

May I wish you all a MAGICAL NEW YEAR and the hope that 2012 will bring you all that you deserve and all that you hope for.

 

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