Right off the hop I want to say yes, I perform magic...more as a hobby. No, I do NOT know the secret behind every trick as so many claim in other forums, which is why I'm trying this one out. I do know a great deal about magic and it's history. I'm always the guy my friends call when they're watching Criss Angel and want to know how something was done. Actually, I study magic far more than I perform it based on an interest developed early in life. I love finding the old magic books in libraries...I mean the REAL old ones. They give us the foundation of what we see today. I recall a book I still have that was entirely about Houdini and was printed in the early portion of the 20th century. There was a particular effect that was being explained, but it was so complicated I needed to read & re-read a paragraph at a time until I could wrap my brain around it. I wasn't frustrated; I reveled in it!
Anyway, I guess you can call that my brief introduction to all of you and take this opportunity to say hello. Now, down to business.
The last 5 or 6 years has been like a boost for the magic world. Thanks to network television, we met David Blaine and a few years later, Criss Angel.
Both talented magicians/illusionists. "Street Magic" was now the new thing. I recall recording Blaine's shows and going through them frame by frame to figure certain tricks out. I loved his style and the fact that his style was so far removed from the glam & glitter of Vegas showmen. He was just another guy on the street. Now, Angel on the other hand I took an instant dislike for. But I always give credit where credit is due. He was ALMOST the entire package. He's got a great look, sort of rock starish with all his bling and fancy cars. However, a poor actor. We know that presentation is vital in any magic performance no matter how big or small. He comes off as being contrived. It's like he's trying too hard to play the part or to go along with his banter. Although his choice of effects has earned him an enormous audience, they, for the most part, are magic shop standards. Some as old as the hills. I hate using the word "fake" when discussing magic, but I'm sorry to say that "fake" is the lasting impression Criss has left on me. It is SO disappointing to know that he relies heavily on digital editing and camera trickery to pull off what would otherwise be a great stunt. If this is news to you, you're not alone. But if you want to really know what I'm talking about...try this. You'll need a video camera, 1 assistant (I'll explain why) and something small enough to fit in your hand that is highly visible such as a bright red ball. Have your friend begin video taping you with your hand held out and the red ball on your open palm. Have your friend record about 10 seconds of this then have him pause the camera in record mode. REMAIN PERFECTLY STILL....DO NOT MOVE. With the camera in pause mode, your friend can now come out from behind the camera and carefully remove the ball from your hand. Then have him get behind the camera and resume recording. When you play it back it will look as if the ball simply disappears from your hand. Simple huh? This is an overly simplistic example of video trickery, but really not too far of a stretch from what Criss implements. Fortunately I come from a background in broadcasting and am familiar with the technical end of things.
What I've found at other forums is the allegation that there is legitimate heat between Blaine & Angel. I have yet to see, hear or read of this being true. My guess is that it's nothing more than the David Blaine camp versus the Criss Angel camp posting total crap for nothing more than the piss off factor. Anyone else know anything about this?