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  1. #1
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    Being like Criss Angel

    I've been doing magic for about 4 years now and something has been holding me back. Before I even knew about Criss Angel I performed with a very bizarre style very close to his with the heavy breathing and shaky hands, the whole deal. When Criss Angel got big I realized he was being just like me so I felt like I was copying him and started to find a "new personality" if you will. Other magicians had begun to tell me "You're acting like Criss Angel" but that was really who I was. Anyway I recently watched Jay Sankey's Create Your Own Magic DVD (which I highly recommend) and it taught me that just because a trick or presentation isn't new, or even exactly the same as somebody else's, if it's yours, it's yours. It means sure, I might be acting like Criss Angel, but if that genuinely IS who I am than that's all that matters. There's rarely a time when something "new" is actually created, 98% is usually just a version of something else. So as weird as this sounds, now that I've gone BACK to MY personality (which happens to be close to Criss's) people have responded much better. New is nothing, it's whether it's YOURS.

  2. #2
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    I'm sure when people see that I have posted they will roll their eyes (it's something I talk about a lot), but I think being yourself is one of the most important parts of performing. Even if you are acting like someone else you know of, if it's how you truly feel comfortable doing it, then by all means, continue to do so.

    Acting is an entire different subject. Some magicians like to plan every last word and perform as a character, and thats absolutely fine. It's when a person tries to take on another personality and make it seem realistic that there is the potential for trouble.

  3. #3
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    You are who you are and thats all that you are.

    So what if people say you act like Criss Angel...you aren't Criss Angel and that's all there is to it. Every magician has their own style. No two of us do anything the same as the other. There's always that element of a different person involved.

    Don't let people tell you who you are.

    Oh and I'm not so sure that pre-planning your entire act before hand is a great idea. I mean, if you'd like to be non-interactive it is but why would you want to be that? (unless you do).

    If you don't have a flexible routine you aren't going to be very entertaining at all. People will feel like you're doing the magic for yourself because you have to, not because you want to.

    Just my dollar-fifty on the matter.

    -Bill
    "Ladies and gentlemen, here's some advice, pull down your pants and slide on the ice."

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sands View Post
    I've been doing magic for about 4 years now and something has been holding me back. Before I even knew about Criss Angel I performed with a very bizarre style very close to his with the heavy breathing and shaky hands, the whole deal. When Criss Angel got big I realized he was being just like me so I felt like I was copying him and started to find a "new personality" if you will. Other magicians had begun to tell me "You're acting like Criss Angel" but that was really who I was. Anyway I recently watched Jay Sankey's Create Your Own Magic DVD (which I highly recommend) and it taught me that just because a trick or presentation isn't new, or even exactly the same as somebody else's, if it's yours, it's yours. It means sure, I might be acting like Criss Angel, but if that genuinely IS who I am than that's all that matters. There's rarely a time when something "new" is actually created, 98% is usually just a version of something else. So as weird as this sounds, now that I've gone BACK to MY personality (which happens to be close to Criss's) people have responded much better. New is nothing, it's whether it's YOURS.
    So basically what you're saying is it's okay to use your own style when performing. I agree.

  5. #5
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    Performing for magicians is much different than performing for laypeople. They will see you as either unoriginal, or amazingly original. To an audience, only if you dress, talk, walk, act and perform exactly like Blaine or Angel, will someone say something.

    Am I saying be unoriginal and copy? No. However, it may seem you are just emulating.

    An example of this in another context is something like the Impressionists, or even as far back as Italian renaissance painting in Art. At first glance, the styles and content sometimes overlapped, but the finer points truely defined the artist. With the Italian Renaissance specifically, Cimabue and Giotto. Cimabue was the teacher of Giotto, and as such, Giotto's art practices highly emulated Cimabue's, and visually, to the untrained eye, looked similar to the point of mistaking them as being done by the same artist. Understanding the different contexts, Giotto's advancement/refinement of Cimabue's techniques and concepts meant that the layperson would look upon it and see it as the artist progressing, while to the trained eye, they were wholly different.

    By this, what I'm saying is, like Sands; don't worry about being original in every aspect. Don't go stealing lines, or total acts verbatim, but merely use previous GOOD examples as starting points and as points of reference in constructing, rewording, and redoing magic which will in the end, by affiliating it with your own mind and way of being rather than some farcical idea of who you "should" be, be worthwhile.

    No one expects Shakespeare on the first go. Trial and error, learn from your mistakes, and constantly study the different manners, and test them to achieve maximum results on the untrained audiences; not those who will criticise you for not adhering perfectly to each rule set out. Darwin Ortiz has an immensely huge portion of very logical, justified and proper notions set out in Strong Magic, Designing Miracles etc. but it doesn't mean that you have to adhere to each and every single one exactly as it's set out.

    Nothing ever changed or got better without people taking that extra step, and trying something on nothing more than a gut feeling. But usually that gut feeling coincided with who that person was, and why they were, who they were.

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  6. #6
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    Uh - What Eddie said.
    Seriously, I couldn't put it any better.

    Be YOU. Even if that is similar to someone else. Anything else is faking and specs can spot a fake.

    When I was coming up, everyone wore big white flow-ey shirts with a fan on them and music by Genesis or Peter Gabriel. Copper Clones we called them.
    BUT
    Guys that still had a showy persona, but brought something original were accepted not only by the lay public, but by magicians as well..Burton for example.
    He was totally different than Copperfield, but could, by some, be compared in style.
    I didn't agree, but I heard it.

    Same goes now.
    If YOU is YOU.... go with YOU.

    It's the performers I see trying to emulate someone that crosses my eyes and makes me feel ill.
    You can always spot someone being, AND being true to, themselves.

    And keep in mind, and you'll hear this a lot, MOST people have never seen a magician in person.
    If they are inclined to like magic, they will like you - IF you're not fake (and you know your stuff, performance-wise).

    Good luck,

    Dave
    MS and FB: ConfrontTheImpossible

    "Master before moving on"

  7. #7
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    I forgot to mention earlier that comparing you to another magician and putting you down like that is a real shame on those other magician's parts. It's amazing that some people just can't show fellowship and professionalism in this art that we all practice. I really hope they weren't very good magicians because they are going no where in magic with that kind of attitude.

    -Bill
    "Ladies and gentlemen, here's some advice, pull down your pants and slide on the ice."

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MistroMagic View Post
    It's amazing that some people just can't show fellowship and professionalism in this art that we all practice. I really hope they weren't very good magicians because they are going no where in magic with that kind of attitude.

    -Bill
    It's hard because the art we practice generally doesn't involve other people knowing the secrets. Even harder is understanding that fact. I want to tell everyone how to do my tricks but I don't. And I must be good spirited because hoping they aren't good magicians is what you call your neighbor when his dog gets in your yard.

  9. #9
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    Copper Clones...interesting...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas17 View Post
    Copper Clones...interesting...
    Is that a reference to David Copperfield? Or just a reference to Interesting.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sands View Post
    I've been doing magic for about 4 years now and something has been holding me back. Before I even knew about Criss Angel I performed with a very bizarre style very close to his with the heavy breathing and shaky hands, the whole deal. When Criss Angel got big I realized he was being just like me so I felt like I was copying him and started to find a "new personality" if you will. Other magicians had begun to tell me "You're acting like Criss Angel" but that was really who I was. Anyway I recently watched Jay Sankey's Create Your Own Magic DVD (which I highly recommend) and it taught me that just because a trick or presentation isn't new, or even exactly the same as somebody else's, if it's yours, it's yours. It means sure, I might be acting like Criss Angel, but if that genuinely IS who I am than that's all that matters. There's rarely a time when something "new" is actually created, 98% is usually just a version of something else. So as weird as this sounds, now that I've gone BACK to MY personality (which happens to be close to Criss's) people have responded much better. New is nothing, it's whether it's YOURS.
    That was deep man. It brought a tear to my eye. Good luck with everything.

    Peace out,
    TWB
    Magician, Comic, and All Around Entertainer
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  12. #12
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    Definitely be yourself! So many times when learning from a video I think to my self, that's not the way I would do or say it. Is that arrogance? I don't think so. It just making the performance of an illusion 'my own'. Which also makes it easier to perform it. Keep in mind this just applies to the patter and presentation, not to the actual mechanics, that make sense?

    Copper clones... interesting.. That mean if we use the same music then that would be considered 'Copper Tones'?
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  13. #13
    desmit6's Avatar :: Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by The*Archivist View Post
    if we use the same music then that would be considered 'Copper Tones'?
    Hahaha - yes!
    For sure.
    I don't know how many of you remember the days when darn near every local guy and wannabe would use Genesis and Peter Gabriel in their shows.... those were two that DC used a lot in his late 80's early 90's TV specials.

    It was quite funny.... and sad at the same time.

    Dave
    MS and FB: ConfrontTheImpossible

    "Master before moving on"

  14. #14
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    Im like David Copperfield/Amazing Jonathon!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bender View Post
    Im like David Copperfield/Amazing Jonathon!
    Good luck with that gig. ;]

    I'm a lot like that Sean guy. He's swank sauce.

    || sean ||
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