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THE MYSTERY BOX

Presented by J.J. Abrams, Bad Robot, 826 National, and theory11. What's inside the box?More Details

Strong as an oak You are now viewing the Strong as an oak thread.
  1. #81 April 4th, 2013

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinnie C. View Post
    An art, field or subject that ceases to evolve, change and adapt. Once creation and continuation of it stops, it will stagnate and eventually decline. This "creation" and "continuation" manifests as progressive evolution in how individuals engage with the field and how their actions within it are conducted.

    If we keep it "same ol' same ol'", we'll have this phenomenon start to pop up, as we already have seen.
    I can certainly agree that the rapid expansion has slowed down significantly from a decade ago but that's inevitable with anything. I can't see "creation and continuation" of the art stopping. It will inevitably stop for some but as a whole, I'll have to disagree. The very nature of it's existence is due to constant evolution, progression, expansion, etc. which it's currently doing. Always growing to some degree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinnie C. View Post
    The online scene is absolutely an indication of the health of this field - as those not actively participating online are either no longer engaged in the field or begin to drop off in due time. I only say this based on experience of speaking with a lot of "old school" people since I've come back, and researching where people who were active even 1 or 2 years ago are now.

    About growth, however, I'd have to disagree there. Are you saying that the manipulation scene is bigger, more active, and more productive now than it was when Decknique, Handlordz, Dan and Dave and United Cardists were all active?
    It's certainly more disjointed. We've always had ups and downs in terms of activity. A lot more people certainly are doing cardistry now than back in those days. Sure, they don't all upload them to decknique. It's all on youtube and various other sources which cumulatively form the larger sum than that of the past. The proof is in the tons of videos that get submitted, it's certainly the reason this thread got my attention. Apparently there is an overwhelming amount of mediocre videos.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinnie C. View Post
    I don't think that any art can hit a point where it has grown "as much as it needs to". What if Fine Artists decided that the current methods of painting were enough? What if they thought that 300 years ago? We wouldn't have advanced to our current level. The inherently beautiful quality of any artistic pursuit is that it is evolving, advancing, living and breathing on a continuous basis. That's what makes it creative - people creating it, adding to it, changing it.
    Sure it can in the right context. Perhaps I wasn't as clear as I should have been. I meant it's easy to point fingers and say "I keep seeing the same old stuff, the art needs to evolve". However, in order to take that next step "forward", it boils down to personal goals to go out and apply the art. The reason I'm hesitant to say "moving forward" is that moving the art forward is considered a mutual progression. If you were to put on a show tomorrow for several thousand people for the next 20 years, you still wouldn't have moved the art "forward". You'd certainly help it expand and get more people excited about it. However, in order for the art to progress as a whole, the majority of cardists would have to get to your level (or at least attempt it) which is a pretty big commitment. A shift in that direction if you will. Henceforth, what I'm saying is the tools are ultimately there, it's up to us to figure out how to apply and use them at this point. I never stated nor implied "it's good enough now guys, let's stop progression now and forever, let's keep it same ol' same ol''. I did say "for all intensive purposes" it's evolved as far as it needs to get to that next step - whatever that may mean for you personally. Definitely comes down to what you think the next step might be. Perhaps that's where we disagree and that's a good thing, going in opposite directions can only lead to expansion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinnie C. View Post
    Of course it's personal - but that doesn't change the fact that more people holding themselves to that standard would improve the art as a whole. It'd make the videos quite a bit more interesting to watch.

    Also bear in mind that this is a gradient thing - it's not "either this video looks like a $100 million production, or it looks like my uncle filmed it with a cucumber". There are plenty of ways to make large and small improvements to the way you (the general "you") present your art and the media that you produce. Any improvement is always awesome, it doesn't have to be massive.
    I'd love to see more people hold themselves to higher standards, in cardistry and life in general. However, current standards or lack thereof do not indicate stagnation or lack of progression. More people making pretty videos that look high budget is not my definition of moving the art forward. Why? Because our presentation abilities through the medium of cinematography and video production has nothing to do with the art of manipulating cards, nor it's progression or evolution. Unless you want to be the Marco Tempest of cardistry and base your show around that - for which I have never seen any attempts at. Improvements to our personal productions are certainly welcome and encouraged though.


    Quote Originally Posted by Vinnie C. View Post
    I discussed this above, but I want to mention again that I feel it is very limiting to think that the art, in its current state, is as good as it's going to get, as "moved forward" as it needs to be, etc. There is so much more that can be done with it.
    Correct. So much more that can be done. Up to cardists with those goals to apply themselves and the art. Never stated nor implied "let's stop progression here guys". Addresed above.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinnie C. View Post
    Granting that juggling is inherently less variable (in the number of unique individual motions possible) than card handling, it is also something that the average layperson is used to and can understand - and thus can enjoy it all the more. Card manipulation has not reached that point. But, with the ideas we've been discussing in this thread, it could.
    Give it more credit. Skill based crafts are enjoyable and understood because they are all easily relatable. You don't need to watch a breakdancer present himself with some emotional story, you've already tried dancing and miserably failed. It's the same with a gymnast. It's the same with a cardist. Everyone has a deck of cards at home. Everyone has seen a bridge shuffle and has tried to build a house of cards and failed. It's precisely why cardistry has that strength in being able to be appreciated for face value without the need of any "emotional" presentations or patters. Magic cannot at a fundamental level. No one can relate to a magician without a story. Magic is inherently perfect, and no one is perfect. Hence why magicians need to create stories and characters with flaws, so they can be relatable and likeable. That's why magicians have been and forever will be telling me that I need a story and some character development. Don't think like a magician. You're not trying to be one.

    Certainly good to draw inspirations from magic, but it's not the only route to "progression". Yes, don't stop there.

    // andrei jikh
    vp of production / theory11
  2. #82 April 4th, 2013

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinnie C. View Post
    Granting that juggling is inherently less variable (in the number of unique individual motions possible) than card handling,
    Wow, way to discount an entire artform. Even if you were to consider both Card handling and juggling in terms of possible individual motions, they are both infinite.

  3. #83 April 4th, 2013

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrei View Post
    Give it more credit. Skill based crafts are enjoyable and understood because they are all easily relatable. You don't need to watch a breakdancer present himself with some emotional story, you've already tried dancing and miserably failed. It's the same with a gymnast. It's the same with a cardist. Everyone has a deck of cards at home. Everyone has seen a bridge shuffle and has tried to build a house of cards and failed. It's precisely why cardistry has that strength in being able to be appreciated for face value without the need of any "emotional" presentations or patters. Magic cannot at a fundamental level. No one can relate to a magician without a story. Magic is inherently perfect, and no one is perfect. Hence why magicians need to create stories and characters with flaws, so they can be relatable and likeable. That's why magicians have been and forever will be telling me that I need a story and some character development. Don't think like a magician. You're not trying to be one.
    I'm going to disagree with the beginning of this post to a degree. Here's the thing, more or less everyone has tried to dance, yes, but that doesn't relate the amount of skill involved. All we know is, "That's better than I can do, he's really good." But then we don't really understand how good and how skilled unless we ourselves are also dancers. Only the basic concept is understandable by anyone who hasn't studied the subject themselves. And this is true, I believe, of any art form. You have to understand the difference between things before you can really appreciate them when it comes to a skill based presentation. A dancer may understand how hard an allusion is, but a layperson probably doesn't because the dancer makes it look easy. Then, all the untrained eye sees is one skill after another with little to no way to really discern between them. Then, like in magic, if you give too many climax points too closely, the mind just basically shuts down.

    The human mind quickly adapts to new stimulation like this. Meaning if there isn't some form of distinction to show that it isn't the same thing that we just saw, we quickly stop caring. That's why every single juggler hears the same phrases like, "Can you juggle 4 balls?" followed by "can you do 5?!" Etc. "Can you do it bigger?" basically. Same thing with gymnasts, dancers, martial artists, etc.

    So there may be a connection, but that connection is lost pretty quickly if there isn't something else the audience can relate to. Unless they are knowledgeable about your particular brand of manipulation, they will not be able to relate to that, so you need something else to hook them.

    I think there needs to be an emotional or intellectual hook of some sort for any audience who is not educated in the style to be able to really relate. A pure display of skill gets boring fast because it's meaningless.

    Quote Originally Posted by WyattSB View Post
    Wow, way to discount an entire artform. Even if you were to consider both Card handling and juggling in terms of possible individual motions, they are both infinite.
    I definitely disagree with this. Take club juggling, for instance. You can't bend them, so you are limited. Therefore, not infinite. Every prop introduces its own limitations, it's up to the artist to explore those limits and push them.

    -Christopher
  4. #84 April 4th, 2013

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristopherT View Post
    I'm going to disagree with the beginning of this post to a degree. Here's the thing, more or less everyone has tried to dance, yes, but that doesn't relate the amount of skill involved. All we know is, "That's better than I can do, he's really good." But then we don't really understand how good and how skilled unless we ourselves are also dancers. Only the basic concept is understandable by anyone who hasn't studied the subject themselves. And this is true, I believe, of any art form. You have to understand the difference between things before you can really appreciate them when it comes to a skill based presentation. A dancer may understand how hard an allusion is, but a layperson probably doesn't because the dancer makes it look easy. Then, all the untrained eye sees is one skill after another with little to no way to really discern between them. Then, like in magic, if you give too many climax points too closely, the mind just basically shuts down.

    The human mind quickly adapts to new stimulation like this. Meaning if there isn't some form of distinction to show that it isn't the same thing that we just saw, we quickly stop caring. That's why every single juggler hears the same phrases like, "Can you juggle 4 balls?" followed by "can you do 5?!" Etc. "Can you do it bigger?" basically. Same thing with gymnasts, dancers, martial artists, etc.

    So there may be a connection, but that connection is lost pretty quickly if there isn't something else the audience can relate to. Unless they are knowledgeable about your particular brand of manipulation, they will not be able to relate to that, so you need something else to hook them.

    I think there needs to be an emotional or intellectual hook of some sort for any audience who is not educated in the style to be able to really relate. A pure display of skill gets boring fast because it's meaningless.
    Absolutely relates to the amount of skill. Trying and failing makes us be able to relate to someone who can do something that we failed at - even if they make it look easy. Sure, some techniques look easy but are very difficult and vice versa but it's up to the performer to make those distinctions via audience participation or presentation. I'm not saying stop there. Either way, it's still enjoyable. Haven't you ever performed for someone and had them say, "Wow, he makes it look so easy, I can't even shuffle"? It's fairly common. Even if you're doing something that doesn't remotely resemble a shuffle.

    No one is limiting you to doing 5 minutes of sybils. I've seen a juggler destroy a show for 20 straight minutes - comedy, costume, choreography at their finest. He didn't limit himself to just throwing round objects into the air. Similarly to how a singer wouldn't sing 1 song for an hour. Nor a gymnast do backflips, etc. Again, up to you to incorporate other forms of entertainment to make your show interesting if you plan on doing something longer than 10 minutes (which I don't, I focus on smaller sets). Audience participation, comedy, pyro, you name it. This can apply to anything. Juggling included. Limited motions or not. Doesn't matter.

    I know absolutely nothing about singing but I don't have to in order to appreciate the beauty of it. No one needs to know how difficult your card spring is in order to appreciate it's beauty. Again, skill based crafts inherently share this trait. I know because I've seen thousands of shows in my lifetime. Literally. Traveled the world with my parents and seen them perform with nearly every act in existence for over a decade. The audience doesn't need to be "educated" nor be told a story in order to see and feel "magic" in the non magical. It's an observation based on experience, not my opinion or hypothesis.

    // andrei jikh
    vp of production / theory11
  5. #85 April 4th, 2013
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    All said, we've each made our case and had it out. I don't feel the need to respond to the majority of your post, as it would just end up with you and I repeating ourselves. However, I wanted to respond to the last paragraph or so. I've broken it down below:

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrei View Post
    Give it more credit. Skill based crafts are enjoyable and understood because they are all easily relatable.
    That depends on the craft. Not all are the same, not all are as enjoyable or relatable as all others.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrei View Post
    You don't need to watch a breakdancer present himself with some emotional story, you've already tried dancing and miserably failed.
    Because a breakdancer doesn't need that to be entertaining. We watch them just to see some slick moves. And it's a demonstration of very in-you-face and direct talent. It's big, showy. Card handling is inherently more subtle and nuanced.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrei View Post
    Everyone has a deck of cards at home. Everyone has seen a bridge shuffle and has tried to build a house of cards and failed. It's precisely why cardistry has that strength in being able to be appreciated for face value without the need of any "emotional" presentations or patters.
    There's a big gap between owning a deck of cards and being able to tell the difference between the myriad fans, cuts, spreads and other moves typically performed by manipulators.

    My viewpoint is only the way it is as borne from experience. I've performed at the Magic Castle, at parties, for groups large and small. I've done both magic and manipulation, and one thing I've noticed from these experiences is people have a much harder time appreciating pure-manipulation acts. They have a very hard time telling the difference between the moves, and since the whole of the "entertainment" is just you having dexterous fingers, it's a lot tougher for them to get behind it.

    So, how do we fix that? How do we beef up a performance so laypeople can enjoy it on the same level as any other performance art? That's what we've been discussing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrei View Post
    No one can relate to a magician without a story. Magic is inherently perfect, and no one is perfect. Hence why magicians need to create stories and characters with flaws, so they can be relatable and likeable. That's why magicians have been and forever will be telling me that I need a story and some character development.
    Some of the best magical performances were carried out with absolutely no patter, no story, and no talking at all. The performer was clever enough to come up with something engaging enough that it was perfectly entertaining on the merits of the magic alone.

    This is actually relatively common in the magical arts. Silent and story-less performances are frequent - relying on the mystifying and surprising qualities of the magic to entertain. This is much easier for magicians than manipulators, because for magicians it is the magic that is the entertaining quality. It's the fact of the unknown. The mysterious.

    Not for us. With manipulators, everything is out in the open, everything is known. We can't entertain based on the mysterious or unknown (at least not nearly as easily), thus we must get creative.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrei View Post
    Don't think like a magician. You're not trying to be one.
    Plot, music and other entertainment devices are not exclusive to magic. We're not thinking like magicians. We're thinking like entertainers.

    This goes for magicians, too! If they're "thinking like magicians", they're doing it wrong. You should be thinking like a performer, an entertainer, and thus the first and last thing that should matter to you is "how can I make this as thoroughly entertaining as possible?"

    Quote Originally Posted by WyattSB View Post
    Wow, way to discount an entire artform. Even if you were to consider both Card handling and juggling in terms of possible individual motions, they are both infinite.
    Not true for either one - the motions for both are technically finite, even if extremely large in number. However, on a purely technical level, card handling is inherently more variable than juggling. It's just math. There are 52 cards. Unless you're juggling 52 pins or balls at the same time, you're going to be able to do fewer motions. And, even if you had 52 of them, you would still be forced to do fewer motions overall because of their size.

    Don't get me wrong - I love juggling; I'm not discounting anything. I'm just stating the math of it, and how it isn't altogether applicable as an analogue.

    Best,
    Vince

    Actor, Business Owner and 9+ year Authority on Card Handling, Manipulation & Flourishing
  6. #86 April 4th, 2013

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrei View Post
    Absolutely relates to the amount of skill. Trying and failing makes us be able to relate to someone who can do something that we failed at - even if they make it look easy. ... The audience doesn't need to be "educated" nor be told a story in order to see and feel "magic" in the non magical. It's an observation based on experience, not my opinion or hypothesis.
    With all due respect, you're not understanding me I think.

    You say we're not limited to 5 minutes of sybils. Of course not. But the point I'm trying to make is that I couldn't tell you what a sybil is, and therefore by definition, I can't tell you what ISN'T a sybil. To someone who is as uneducated as I am, most flourishes look the same. So, you may not be doing 5 minutes of sybils, but you might as well be because I can't tell the difference anyway. Therefore, something like flourishing is inherently esoteric, because without some education on what is going on, it's incredibly repetitive if it's a purely skill based display. However, if you add in an emotional hook, it suddenly doesn't matter if I don't understand what's going on because I can enjoy the story or whatever which is enhanced by the flourishing.

    The same thing happens with most manipulation acts I've seen, and I've seen a lot of them as well. There's not such a difference between a Mill's Mess, a Rubenstein's Revenge or perfect Columns pattern, unless you know about juggling. Also, a Mill's Mess with 5 balls looks little different to a Mill's Mess with 3 balls, so the uneducated spectator just gets a sense of, "That one is more difficult than the other." There's no real understanding of the difference of difficulty.

    Watching someone juggle for 5 minutes with no theatrical element put into it is boring. It doesn't matter if they start with one ball and keep adding in more until they're doing 7 ball cascades effortlessly, because it's just juggling at that point. You've already had 4 minutes to grow accustomed to it and to be able to predict that the juggler will, in fact, succeed in adding another ball to the mix. It's impressive, but it gets old fast. You have to be someone that really likes juggling to watch that. I can't.

    Singing is its own case, really. Sort of like painting. You can look at a painting and enjoy it without understanding the technique, because there is more to it than the technique. The visual or auditory pleasure derived doesn't even rely on the skill of the performer/artist, as the lyrics can be meaningful as well or the picture can just look cool. They don't really fall into the same categories.

    -Christopher
  7. #87 April 4th, 2013

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinnie C. View Post


    That depends on the craft. Not all are the same, not all are as enjoyable or relatable as all others.



    Because a breakdancer doesn't need that to be entertaining. We watch them just to see some slick moves. And it's a demonstration of very in-you-face and direct talent. It's big, showy. Card handling is inherently more subtle and nuanced.
    That's where we disagree. Lay people watch cardistry for the exact same reasons. To see some slick moves. Definitely in your face type stuff. Sure, doing smaller moves that all look the same gets repetitive, all comes down to style.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinnie C. View Post
    There's a big gap between owning a deck of cards and being able to tell the difference between the myriad fans, cuts, spreads and other moves typically performed by manipulators.

    My viewpoint is only the way it is as borne from experience. I've performed at the Magic Castle, at parties, for groups large and small. I've done both magic and manipulation, and one thing I've noticed from these experiences is people have a much harder time appreciating pure-manipulation acts.
    Of course there is a gap. There's an even larger gap between trying a backflip and seeing flare work on a pommel horse. Still enjoyable despite the "disconnect". That's not the point. The point is that skill based crafts are inherently enjoyable to watch. That's the point, to appreciate their beauty in motion. No connection/education necessary.

    I've performed cardistry on stage for an entire year in the middle of Amazing Jonathan's show (incorporating comedy) and have done performances for Cirque Du Soleil in a theater of 1200. We're talking about Vegas crowds that didn't come to see magic, and they loved it every night. Could I have done a thousand times better? Undeniably. In every aspect. Some nights I was terrible and failed miserably. Point being, lack of story is not an indicator of an inferior / underdeveloped act that cannot be appreciated due to "disconnect".

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinnie C. View Post
    Some of the best magical performances were carried out with absolutely no patter, no story, and no talking at all. The performer was clever enough to come up with something engaging enough that it was perfectly entertaining on the merits of the magic alone.

    This is actually relatively common in the magical arts. Silent and story-less performances are frequent - relying on the mystifying and surprising qualities of the magic to entertain. This is much easier for magicians than manipulators, because for magicians it is the magic that is the entertaining quality. It's the fact of the unknown. The mysterious.

    Not for us. With manipulators, everything is out in the open, everything is known. We can't entertain based on the mysterious or unknown (at least not nearly as easily), thus we must get creative.
    I have no doubt about it! Card manipulation is one that definitely comes to mind (card productions, vanishes, etc.) and it's awesome. Requires no talking, story, or patter. Doesn't that kind of strengthen what I've been trying to say? It doesn't need to have mystery on it's side to be appreciated, it's mystery has nothing to do with it's beauty. I think I speak for most people that after watching 5 minutes of these kinds of acts, the audience knows it's some clever manipulation but it doesn't matter at that point. Fooled or not, it undeniably looks beautiful. That's exactly what I mean by magician's way of thinking. You're using magic as a benchmark for judging why "card handling" works well. All I'm saying, is it's okay to let a skill be appreciated as a skill. It's not inferior to those alternatives because it's not "mysterious". You don't have to try to fit a square peg in a round hole. The only similarity between a cardist and magician, is the tool. Perhaps we've had vastly different experiences with our styles and performances.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinnie C. View Post
    Plot, music and other entertainment devices are not exclusive to magic. We're not thinking like magicians. We're thinking like entertainers.

    This goes for magicians, too! If they're "thinking like magicians", they're doing it wrong. You should be thinking like a performer, an entertainer, and thus the first and last thing that should matter to you is "how can I make this as thoroughly entertaining as possible?"
    Agreed with that. I believe I've said those elements are not exclusive. However, due to cardistry's deep roots in magic, I feel everyone thinks the only direction to go with cardistry is story, patter, and character and all else is "missing the point". That's a very cliché approach. It's certainly one of many possible directions but I don't believe I stated that it couldn't or shouldn't be pursued. I did however say that it's possible to put on a great show as the skill being the center point of beauty/entertainment and proceeded to give observations I've made over the course of my entire life of seeing shows.

    // andrei jikh
    vp of production / theory11
  8. #88 April 4th, 2013

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristopherT View Post
    With all due respect, you're not understanding me I think.

    You say we're not limited to 5 minutes of sybils. Of course not. But the point I'm trying to make is that I couldn't tell you what a sybil is, and therefore by definition, I can't tell you what ISN'T a sybil. To someone who is as uneducated as I am, most flourishes look the same. So, you may not be doing 5 minutes of sybils, but you might as well be because I can't tell the difference anyway. Therefore, something like flourishing is inherently esoteric, because without some education on what is going on, it's incredibly repetitive if it's a purely skill based display. However, if you add in an emotional hook, it suddenly doesn't matter if I don't understand what's going on because I can enjoy the story or whatever which is enhanced by the flourishing.
    In that case you haven't seen good cardistry. Or at least "somewhat all encompassing". It certainly does not look all the same. Again, all subjective. No one is asking that you know the difference between a sybil 720 and a half pipe 360 twist from the bird of baba ganoush. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the eye candy. You personally may need a story to enjoy the big picture, however some can and will enjoy the beauty and dedication involved regardless. I've experienced both. Although again, my critiques have mainly come from magicians who strongly believe I need some patter. Well... some color changes too. Oh heck, why not a card trick. In all seriousness - just the first three...

    I remember showing "Howard Smith" (a friend of ours who did steadicam work for the Matrix and Harry Potter films) some cardistry. Showed him some great magic too (I love doing magic just for fun), great reaction. He later asks, "Can you show my friend some stuff?". So I proceed to do DM's Angle Zero (powerful trick) and he responds, "No no, not the magic #(*$, just the pretty manipulation stuff". The point I'm trying to make is, it's all subjective. In Howard's case (who's a very blunt guy from the UK), he enjoyed cardistry a lot more. Perhaps because he is an engineer who invents his own rigs and appreciates calculated displays, precision work and discipline. Perhaps it's because my magic sucked. I know I'm not the greatest, but I think it was a performance far from horrible ha.

    // andrei jikh
    vp of production / theory11
  9. #89 April 4th, 2013
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    Again, I won't reply to the points that will get repetitive, just the ones I think we can continue to get some mileage out of for the sake of the conversation. As below:

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrei View Post
    I've performed cardistry on stage for an entire year in the middle of Amazing Jonathan's show (incorporating comedy) and have done performances for Cirque Du Soleil in a theater of 1200. We're talking about Vegas crowds that didn't come to see magic, and they loved it every night.
    You just described two acts that were not pure-manipulation. People came to see Amazing Jonathan - a comedian and magician - to see a magic and comedy show. You were a segment within that, but you were not the entire show (you also stated that you included comedy).

    Cirque Du Soleil is an acrobatic and (very high-end) circus act. Again, you're not the center of attention, you flavor a larger performance that is not pure-manipulation.

    I mean no disrespect to your performances, I'm sure they were great, I'm just saying that you're kind of strengthening my point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrei View Post
    Doesn't that kind of strengthen what I've been trying to say? It doesn't need to have mystery on it's side to be appreciated, it's mystery has nothing to do with it's beauty.
    No one is talking about "mystery" as an essential component. I'm talking about entertainment, whatever that takes or involves for an individual performance. I don't care about mystery.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrei View Post
    You're using magic as a benchmark for judging why "card handling" works well. All I'm saying, is it's okay to let a skill be appreciated as a skill. It's not inferior to those alternatives because it's not "mysterious".
    Again, I'm not comparing manipulation to magic. I have no problem with letting a skill be appreciated as such, but my sole and only focus is on delivering exactly what spectators want. From my experience, questions and research, they don't just want some Joe Schmoe standing on a platform fiddling with cards. They want a production. They want a show.


    All in all, we have our agreements and our disagreements. We've made our points, and everything else is going to end up being a lot of repeating and going about in circles, ha.

    Best,
    Vince

    Actor, Business Owner and 9+ year Authority on Card Handling, Manipulation & Flourishing
  10. #90 April 4th, 2013

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinnie C. View Post
    Again, I won't reply to the points that will get repetitive, just the ones I think we can continue to get some mileage out of for the sake of the conversation. As below:



    You just described two acts that were not pure-manipulation. People came to see Amazing Jonathan - a comedian and magician - to see a magic and comedy show. You were a segment within that, but you were not the entire show (you also stated that you included comedy).

    Cirque Du Soleil is an acrobatic and (very high-end) circus act. Again, you're not the center of attention, you flavor a larger performance that is not pure-manipulation.

    I mean no disrespect to your performances, I'm sure they were great, I'm just saying that you're kind of strengthening my point.
    Correct. I wasn't discussing from a perspective of building an entire show. That's a whole different discussion in and of itself. To quickly address that though, it's certainly possible to create a show based entirely around it with skill as the main center point. Granted, you need to add various elements of show biz to make it work, something I've said from the start. However, again - doesn't need a coherent story / patter. Does it help? Sure! Didn't say it wouldn't.

    Watch some cirque shows and you'll know what I mean - especially the earlier ones. There are almost no grand stories, and if there ever are, they're so disjointed and convoluted, it makes no sense and most people fail to realize there ever was one. Still, it's eye candy and feels magical because the skill and dedication is unbelievable. It's 90% acrobatics. In this case, it would be the same as saying, "Guys, you really think you can put on a show doing just tricks with your bodies for an hour? Come on, that's a very archaic approach, you need a story and patter to evolve." That would be simply untrue, as in this case. Sure, it has live singing, lights, costumes, etc. Those are "flourishes" if you will, enhancing the show. Hence, borrowed elements and I'm all for that. Much like the cardistry act with AJ using comedy - a borrowed element. For that moment, it was it's own small show that entertained. Definitely possible to take that 100 steps further. It's just not my goal, I'm not the guy who can entertain a crowd without the cards. Solo entertainers can entertain on many levels of show biz. That takes a lifelong commitment to get to that level. I'm just not one of them, wasn't my goal. I never needed a story. Rather, I approached entertainment purely based out of the beauty of motion, dedication and skill - as I believe those are my better strengths. I believe I've exercised them to a reasonably good degree and will continue pushing on that front. If you're that entertainer, that's awesome, and I certainly commend you for your success. Apparently you know show biz very well and what good objective entertainment is so I'm very excited to see your show. However, going back full circle to what I said from the start. Prior to criticizing, debating and "giving advice" (as this overall thread's discussion), it's important to understand the author/performer's intentions and goals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinnie C. View Post
    Again, I'm not comparing manipulation to magic. I have no problem with letting a skill be appreciated as such, but my sole and only focus is on delivering exactly what spectators want. From my experience, questions and research, they don't just want some Joe Schmoe standing on a platform fiddling with cards. They want a production. They want a show.
    Perhaps that's where our experiences differ. However, that's kind of a gross oversimplification of what I've been trying to say. I don't believe I implied or insisted that people should be "standing on a platform fiddling with cards". As I've said, borrow those elements from show biz, many ways of structuring it. Applies to both a big production show (as with Cirque), and a smaller act within a larger context (as in my case with AJ and Cirque).

    All I've said is that the art has grown enough for "all intensive purposes" in order to expand and take that next personal step forward. None of my points are very subjective, just an observation that cardistry as a skill, does not need a story to be appreciated on a small or grand scale if done right. I've provided specific examples of this observation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinnie C. View Post
    ...but my sole and only focus is on delivering exactly what spectators want. From my experience, questions and research, they don't just want some Joe Schmoe standing on a platform fiddling with cards. They want a production. They want a show.
    Is a pretty subjective thing to say as experiences vary from person to person, town to town and culture to culture. I can't really discuss further since you seem to be convinced what people want and what works best for them is entertainment with a story, so I wish you the best of luck!

    // andrei jikh
    vp of production / theory11

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