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 Post subject: Street Magic Myth
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 1:53 am 
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I found this article...and it's so "dead-on"...I figured I'd share it.

http://antinomymagic.com/honestliar_print.htm

Reflect on this and enjoy :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:55 am 
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Still a very good article.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:59 am 
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Great Article - I think it deserves to be a "Sticky" in the Street Magic Forum.

There is lots to learn from this article.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:47 pm 
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Antinomy is a great magazine for card workers. Highly recommended.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:11 pm 
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born to perform.

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exodus wrote:
Antinomy is a great magazine for card workers. Highly recommended.


what is it about?


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 Post subject: Street Magic is Close Up magic
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 1:54 pm 
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I always thought of Street Magic as being any type of Close Up magic. In my mind Street Magic and stuff that magicians do in Resturants and at parties or with friends is all about the same. Sort of an informal type of close up thing as opposed to Stage Magic. So, in my mind, there's really only two types of magic, close up and stage. That's my opinion for what it's worth.

Don


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 Post subject: Re: Street Magic is Close Up magic
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:01 pm 
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ditjen wrote:
I always thought of Street Magic as being any type of Close Up magic. In my mind Street Magic and stuff that magicians do in Resturants and at parties or with friends is all about the same. Sort of an informal type of close up thing as opposed to Stage Magic. So, in my mind, there's really only two types of magic, close up and stage. That's my opinion for what it's worth.

Don

Well, Don, you're WRONG. Street magic is not the same as Blaine and Angel do. We don't walk around with camera crews and a bunch of actors pretending to be an audience. We are buskers. We draw a crowd, work them until we get a bigger crowd. We perform 3 or 4 effects in a very entertaining way. then we pass the hat.

We cannot "do some tricks" like the kiddies do. we have to entertain, make people laugh and enjoy the show because if we don't, we don't eat. It's certainly not close up and definatly not stage magic, it is its own type of magic that takes a unique type of individual to be successful at. And yes, I thank my god for allowing me to be a busker.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:07 pm 
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Street magic is a far cry from closeup, especially if you define street magic as busking. The size of your show, and the effects you perform changes from moment to moment, going from closeup for one or two people designed to be seen from a moderate distance with the intention of building your crowd. It then builds from there into something like parlor magic where you perform for moderate groups, always looking to build the crowd and promising the "Big Finale" if they stick around. If done right, you're now into a full size show and your effects have to play equally big.

No, you don't need "stage show" big box stuff, but at this point you have put away your cards and coins and are playing to a much bigger audience and they need to see what you're doing even from the back row.

Even "Blaining" style which according to this essay, only exists on television and in the minds of buyers of products that promise you the world with repackaged effects, has to be able to grow away from the one on one into group effects if you wish to survive on the streets.


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 Post subject: This debate
PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:23 am 
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is getting so tired.

This essay was nonsensical at best. Aside from being poorly written, what's with all the hatred of Brad Christian? His sleight of hand is clearly better than that of an amateur hobbyist and he can obviously perform a pass without the audience noticing -- claiming otherwise makes the writer look like he has an axe to grind more than a point to make.

And as far as the "what is street magic debate," why do we waste our time with it. Can't we just be happy to say there are multiple sub-categories under the "street magic" category?

In the end, as far as pop culture is concerned, street magic is what Blaine and Angel do. The only ones who know street magic's "true meaning' are magicians. And even that's foggy.

Why one branch of street magician has to continually accuse the other branch that one is better is beyond me.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 9:07 pm 
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While I agree with many of the observations of this article I would also agree with what seems to be the consensus of this forum. He does seem to have an axe to grind.

He has two critisisms I would like to address specifically. The first is magic sold as "stunts." Specifically he highlights the difference between the cigarette through quarter versus "Puncture." He claimes the cigarette through quarter can be a full routine while puncture is a stunt. I feel that a trick is only a stunt if it is used as such. It is what you make of the effect. I own both of these effects and actually prefer Puncture. For one puncture is the perfect effect to bridge the gap between coin magic and Pen through dollar effects. Secondly you can give away the punctured coin at the end of "Puncture." You do indeed borrow a coin for both tricks but when you give the coin back the coin that has been magically healed(cigarette through coin) is just a coin but the punctured coin (Puncture) is a souvenir. One will get spent and the other will likely be shown off as in, "Dude! you got to check out that magician down the street. Look what he did to my quarter!"

His second critisism I'd like to address is the "Black Cards." He claims the point of card magic is to do something magical with an ordinary object and the black cards make people suspicious. I would partially agree with this but point out that the value of uniquely colored cards is in XCM. While magic is the foundation of XCM its greatest value is in the visual style. It's like a dance. To follow that example further imagine a Ballroom Dancing competition. One dancer flawlessly executes his moves wearing a track suit. The next wears and elegantly designed dress or tuxedo. Who do you think the judges will remember more?

Magic is evolving and I think that's a good thing. When I was a kid (20 years ago) magicians were still wearing tuxedos and three piece suits. Even back then it was a bit over dressed for the audience. It didn't take a real genious to surmise this attire had as much to do with hiding gimmicks as anything else. Many of the new gimicks labeled as "street magic" have allowed magicians to perform in jeans and a t-shirt. Being able to perform in "Street clothes" already builds misdirection into your performance before the first coin is vanished, the first card is selected, or the first word is spoken. So perhaps the best definition of street magic is anything you can perform in street clothes. If you want to define it as such I'd say it's a positive evolution of the art.


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 Post subject: Re: Street Magic Myth
PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:33 am 
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his beginning premise is false and therefore the rest of the article is bull. He starts out saying
Quote:
By my reckoning, there are approximately five men of whom I am aware who currently make much or all of their livings doing street magic. These are... David Blaine, Derren Brown, Cyril Takayama, Criss Angel, and Marco Tempest.

Well now there is Gazzo, Kozmo, Bobby Maverick, Myself, Rotten, and several others that make their FULL TIME LIVING by street magic. We don't walk around with camera crews and actors playing the role of audience, we really perform for REAL PEOPLE.


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 Post subject: Re: Street Magic Myth
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:32 pm 
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Paddy,
Within the context of the article, he only names David Blaine, Derren Brown, Cyril Takayama, Criss Angel, and Marco Tempest as the new breed of "street magicians" generating their income from their craft. He specifically names Jeff Sheridan Chris Capehart, Jim Cellini, and Gazzo and distinguishes street magic of the Blaine/Brown style from busking practiced by all those that you've listed. What's unfortunate, is that busking is no longer considered street magic by pop culture. If you were to ask an everyday, non-initiated person to define street magic, they'd give you a dissertation about the magic of Blaine and Criss Angel. I disagree with the article that this is a new phenomenon. Televising such performances is new. However, performers like Whit Haydn and Fielding West used to perform a similar style back in the 70's without the busker style passing the hat.

I disagree that such quick effects, or stunts as Jamy Ian Swiss puts it, are bad for magic. He quotes Eugene Berger as saying, "A stunt doesn’t point beyond itself." I don't agree that it has to. I don't subscribe to the idea that in order for it to be considered "magic" there needs to be a mystical presentation giving the viewer a sense of other-wordly power. I drastically prefer the Penn and Teller approach, which is "I'm exactly the same as you, but here's a cool thing that I learned to do." In my opinion, it takes away the divisive sting of fooling an audience that, if not carefully/masterfully managed, can separate the performer from his/her audience. Done properly, fun, entertaining tricks can still give the spectator that "moment of pure astonishment" as Paul Harris puts it, while not dividing the performer from the audience.


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 Post subject: Re: Street Magic Myth
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:00 am 
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Cardshark, there is only one point of disagreement about what you wrote. You have the facts wrong.
You wrote "However, performers like Whit Haydn and Fielding West used to perform a similar style back in the 70's without the busker style passing the hat." I don't know about Fielding West but I do know about "Pops" because he told me. Even when he was in the Seminary he did magic and when not doing parties he set up and ran a trickle show. i.e. he always had a tip bucket out so people could drop the bills.


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 Post subject: Re: Street Magic Myth
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:48 am 
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I remember seeing a lecture where he talked about roaming the streets and parks, going into bars, sitting with complete strangers and performing magic for small groups a la Blaine, working for tips. I'm sure you're correct in that he also worked as a busker in the Cellini, Peter Lansing style. However, at one point in his career, he used a mentalism theme to his strolling "street magic" as Uri Geller was at the height of his popularity. He would approach people in public venues and perform 8-card brainwave, a prediction effect where he would stooge one of the volunteers on the spot, and a few other mentalism effects then ask for a couple bucks. In my opinion, the only differences between what he was doing and the new breed of "street magicians" that Swiss mentioned are the video camera and the fact that Haydn took the time to create a routine.

On a side note...please don't tell Whit that I compared what he was doing to David Blaine and Criss Angel.


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 Post subject: Re: Street Magic Myth
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:32 pm 
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No I would never let him know that. here is what I was talking about off his site
NEW - Whit Haydn's Street Magic
Nuts tried to copy the book cover but not working
Street Magic is a thirty-six page book of fascinating accounts of Whit Haydn's street-performing career in the 1960's and 70's. Including stories from the streets of New York, Washington, DC, London, and Paris, Whit explains how his philosophy of magic changed through his experiences. He gives the first in-depth description of the history and psychology of his routine The Impromptu Card Routine/A Routine for the Blind, and includes the ESP Survey, a routine for working the streets when it is too cold to perform or the police won't let you draw a crowd. He discusses the various methods for developing confidence, calling and holding a crowd, and enlarging the take. He discusses what can be learned from working the streets that can be applied to all magic venues. This booklet is a re-working and enlargement of the previously published notes from an August 1997 lecture at the Magic Castle.
Price edited off


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