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 Post subject: Born to Perform DVD won't end the world - here's why
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 1:35 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 10 Jun 2006
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Location: Arlington, TX
Everyone gives Born to Perform such a hard time, yet I like the video. Many people suggest Card College as an alternative, which is an excellent series however here's how the average new magic user will behave:

Watch the DVD, notice the DL being the main component in all the tricks. Browse to DL section, learn it. Practice for a few hours, get bored, show the tricks to their friends.

Realistically, 50% of the people who watch Born to Perform will never watch another magic video and simply lose interest. In fact lots of magic hobbyists simply dislike cards. They take forever to get sleights down, learning curve especially for the more advanced material is steep, and most kids have better activities than sitting at home working with cards. And in the real world, kids who sit and diddle with cards as a hobby are outside of the mainstream.

One of the big sticking points is how The Classic Pass is taught. If you do Oz's method, your pass will suck, and you'll have to completely relearn it from scratch. But I contend that nobody, and I mean nobody will watch The Classic Pass on this video and run to their rooms and practice the poorly taught version for 5 years without seeing more advanced material, or ending up buying a better taught version. If you're a new kid who's obtained a gleaning interest in "magic" from watching Blaine perform, pickup Born to Perform, your main goal is to do the four tricks taught on the DVD, zero of which require The Classic Pass. So why learn it?

You'll logically see the tricks require a DL, which is taught pretty well in my opinion. And proceed to practice that, get fairly skilled and try these out for your school friends. Next step is to get bored, and move onto better hobbies or join the Penguin board (or some other board), or find some magic friends and ask where you can find more tricks, and learn more about cards.

Their response? CARD COLLEGE!

Learning any skill requires practice, time and patience. The guy who taught me to ride a motorcycle stunk at it. He disobeyed almost every traffic law imaginable, never signaled, cut people off, took unnecessary risks and was a general nuisance to traffic. Having a brain, I modified his technique to be better, ended up enrolling in a formal class to get my license and can safely ride now. Did learning from him ruin my technique, or make me have to relearn habits? No, because I NEVER GOT THAT FAR before re-evaluating his behavior. Had I found a mysterious, lonely street and proceed to practice riding just like him for 4 years ... yes I'd need to re-learn a lot. But I'm no robot, I in fact used my brain to apply my own style and pizazz to the art of riding.

And so will any new magician learning The Classic Pass from Born to Perform.

So why should you purchase BTP?

First off, and quite easily the main reason to purchase this DVD is it's fun to watch. Oz has a vibe going with his audience, having fun, entertaining them, getting great reactions. The performances make you want to rush out into the street and do these effects yourself. The re-watch ability of BTP is amazing.

Second, the lighting and camera work are pretty good. Explanations are (for the most part) clear and concise, and to break up the teaching and make it more interesting, flashbacks to the street performances are inserted. "Ah! This is where the card goes to mouth, now I remember!".

Third, the tricks are old impromptu classics that rarely fail to impress and obviously get good reactions from his street performances. If you have a deck of cards in your back pocket, or run upon some people polishing up their poker game, you have four solid routines to draw upon. Which is very good for a complete beginner.

Fourth, the audience is cute. Mmmkay?

Add in the fact that it's geared toward a more younger, A.D.D. crowd and you have yourself a well spent $30. Which you could earn by mowing your neighbor's lawn.

In conclusion, nobody will ruin their card magic by purchasing this DVD. In fact they'll probably move onto another hobby and never even practice The Classic Pass or anything else for that matter. Those who find Card Magic appealing, and it draws upon their inner core, calling them like destiny in the wings - will come back to get more. And as they get more, they'll end up with Card College from your recommendations.

So relax, let the new people enjoy Born to Perform. It's a well produced DVD, capable of tickling the magic interests of teenage guys from around the world.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 1:44 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 06 Jul 2006
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Location: In a galaxy somewhere in the vicinity of Betelguese 5
Thanks, fist, for a great review. I agree that Oz's pass method was a bit lacking. He also points out that he would direct you to other resources, but doesn't.

I reccomend this video to my students that are just starting out magic, as I really feel that it contains good material. It is also a great tool to determine if they have the chops to continue on.

If you are already a worker, and have been doing card effects for a while, this video is pretty much a review of what you should already know how to do.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 2:22 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 01 May 2005
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Location: President of the Sluggo for U.S. President Committee
Great essay, I couldn't agree more. :wink:

Another thing I'd like to add:

The routines are awesome. They're easy to do, which is fine, and get great reactions. When someone says, "Do a trick!" what do I do? I do Ultimate Transpo. It's a real reputation maker. Oz's Ambitious Card isn't too great, but good for a beginner. And Two Card Monte + Biddle Trick = Ownage. I did the Biddle Trick on someone once, and he sat down for two hours trying to figure it out. It blew him away. Yes, the routines are simple. But to quote Brad Christian, "Simple... (shocked expression on face) ...hits HARD!" Here's another quote from Melbourne Christopher's The Magic Book: "The simplest tricks are often the most mystifying." Akirafist, great essay. I completely agree. :wink:

-PJHMarine 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 10:48 pm 
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born to perform.

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Location: President of the davidcon fan club. (Always welcoming new members)
Very nice! I agree with you also. Too many people reccomend Card College.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 10:58 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 29 Jun 2006
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Vgood review. Since I learned most of my basic stuff from books, I have been reticent to go out and go nuts with the vids. Then a friend of mine gave me some of the Ackerman volumes. I found that my ability level certainly went up, so I may be rethinking the whole DVD craze. Don't think I'll be getting BTP however.


Sean


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 11:03 pm 
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born to perform.

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Location: Arlington, TX
sean_mh: You'd like Party Animal. I gathered 9 solid routines off that DVD set.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 11:16 pm 
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born to perform.

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Cool. I think my local shop has this also. There goes my birthday money.

[EDIT] No they don't. LOL Looks like time to place an order.


Sean


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 2:00 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 19 May 2006
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Location: San Diego
this was my first magic dvd and ive moved on in magic becasue of this

i wanted to learn more and more

i found this dvd really helpful and is a great introduction into card magic and for those who want more can obviously choose to buy morecard magic material


i like this dvd though, even though i never even tried the classic pass off of this dvd


GREAT REVIEW THOUGH


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:43 pm 
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Penguin

Joined: 24 Dec 2007
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Location: In front of my comp.
This was the first DVD I got and use almost everything in it. I did the biddle trick on my cousin and for 2 months he's been coming up with these absurd explanations as to how i did it. He says now that I had a duplicate of the card he chose and it was already in the deck. Then when it was in the “5 card pile” I snuck it into my pocket. Probably the most normal thing he thought of. Anyways he'll never know. :twisted:
I like this DVD. Oz teaches everything well except the pass which could have been a lot better.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:00 am 
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born to perform.

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i agree with you. One of my classic "arsenal" tricks is the biddle. I learned it from where, but BTP. I'll admit, it's not all around the absolute BEST dvd, but it was one of my first after rrtcm. OFten times, i find myself performing almost every trick on the dvd. Actually, I did it just last week--every single trick.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 11:22 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 05 Jan 2007
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Location: Visit my blog at magic-yeti.blogspot.com
This was my first DVD as well. Now I have 22 other DVDs and this is the one I recommend to people who ask me how to learn card magic.

My pet peeve is people who knock BTP and every other DVD out there as less effective that RRTCM. I just think that is patently absurd. I think it is a perpetuated myth that RRTCM is the best method for learning card magic or that books are superior for learning any other magic for that matter.

There is nothing wrong with RR, it's a great deal and chock full of great stuff. However, I don't get how digesting a bunch of written steps, no matter how well written, is a better substitute than a competent magician showing you in in real time, in slow time, from various angles, timed with real patter, and real audiences with real reactions.

I have several DVDs where the magician says "I can't really explain this...just watch" Now why do they say this? Because all the little things going on during difficult moves and sequences are not linear. They happen in concert, dozens of muscles working to accomplish something so precise it can't be written or even spoken effectively. Writing is linear, reading is linear. Try reading 4 sentences at once.

Yet the brain can comprehend a video of a magician and take in the many dimensions at once such as the angle of the arm, the position of the body, the positions of the fingers, the position of the deck in the hand, the patter, the movement of the magicians head and eyes, the timing each movement - taking in all sorts of small details at once.

Do people really prefer "hold the second phlange of the ring finger firmly against the edge of the upper packet in the left hand while pressing inward with the first phlange of the first finger of the right hand against the back edge of the lower packet..."?

Yikes, I hope not!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 4:49 am 
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born to perform.

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Accompanied with a good diagram and written in a slightly more engaging style, yes.

Quote:
Yet the brain can comprehend a video of a magician and take in the many dimensions at once such as the angle of the arm, the position of the body, the positions of the fingers, the position of the deck in the hand, the patter, the movement of the magicians head and eyes, the timing each movement - taking in all sorts of small details at once.

However, the small details you take in are the ones that YOU perceive as important. As such, you could easily miss the importance of the angle of arm and movement of head. If it's important in a book, they make sure to draw your attention to it. In a video format, they show you everything, important or not.

Often the reason they "can't really explain it" on a DVD is that they have not spent enough time thinking about it and preparing for production. Holding the information imparted by four sentences is simple - re-read them. It's a lot easier to go back and re-read sentences until you feel you have fully taken them in than it is to continually rewind and pause a video.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:38 am 
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born to perform.

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Manic_B wrote:
Accompanied with a good diagram and written in a slightly more engaging style, yes.

However, the small details you take in are the ones that YOU perceive as important. As such, you could easily miss the importance of the angle of arm and movement of head. If it's important in a book, they make sure to draw your attention to it. In a video format, they show you everything, important or not.

Often the reason they "can't really explain it" on a DVD is that they have not spent enough time thinking about it and preparing for production. Holding the information imparted by four sentences is simple - re-read them. It's a lot easier to go back and re-read sentences until you feel you have fully taken them in than it is to continually rewind and pause a video.


But you're assuming the authoring of the video is not well thought out and the authoring of the book is well thought out. There is no reason that the information being spoken in a video can't be as good or better than the written word. In fact it is better because the words are directly tied to visual actions in real time (versus "see diagram 2").

Take any Oz, Noblezada or Greg Wilson DVD and you'll find an incredible attention to detail. I have a DVD of Tommy Wonder explaining his ACR and he spends several minutes explaining the psychology of every phrase with incredible detail in each small move.

I still can't find it hard to believe that the average student would like a "good diagram" over a video of the same thing. A well produced video is like getting "good diagrams" at over 20 diagrams per second.

You can also practice as you watch the video, that is MUCH harder than with a book - especially when most of the magic books are hard to keep open.

As to rewinding, I think most people have DVDs so I don't think that is an issue.

Certainly if you like books better than DVDs, I say go for it. However, the part that bothers me is when a beginner is asking for help and you get a lot of experienced magicians telling them that books are the only real way to learn magic with religous zealotry. That's intellectually dishonest in my opinion.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:01 am 
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born to perform.

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Heh. Don't get too carried away. I do think DVDs have a lot going for them, and some have been produced very thoughtfully. Max Maven's "Nothing" for example uses the medium very cleverly. Certainly they have the potential to be as good or greater than the best of books. However, the reason I have compared a well-thought-out-book with a poorly-prepared DVD is that I believe the magic DVD market is dominated by rushed products of poor quality, much more so than the magic books market.

I am comparing actual DVDs with actual books, and I believe that really it comes down to the teaching quality, in either case. Neither format is intrinsically superior, but in practice DVDs do not sufficiently address their weaknesses.

I quite agree about books not staying open. Great nuisance.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 4:38 pm 
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born to perform.

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Great discussion! :D

I agree that there seems to be a lot of crap for sale. Luckily I've only purchased one semi-crappy magic DVD and that was an impulse buy at a lecture.

I just think a lot of beginners are getting a lot of one-sided advice from magicians who hold onto old biases. And then those new magicians parrot the same old advice. They love RRTCM because it's what they learned from. Great for them. But today, there are other ways to learn and build confidence than from a stack of books.

Jeff McBride has a DVD called Manipulation Without Tears. His theory in that DVD is that by providing some easy manipulation routines, he will ease the beginner into card manipulation without overwelming them with knuckle busting moves. This in turn builds confidence and the beginner will be inspired to jump into meatier material.

BTP is exactly the same - provide the core sleights and some killer routines as a place to start. I think that was Akirafist's theme to his original essay - BTP is a good introduction for most people and then they move on to the meatier material if their interest is still there.


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