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Mike Powers

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My son is a fan of Joe Rogan and sent me this link. Looks interesting:



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RayJ

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Thanks Mike!  I watched the first three minutes and I'm hooked.  I'll watch the rest over the next couple of days.  I will be honest and say I haven't always been a fan of DB, but recently I have begun to notice some changes in him (or maybe I'm changing?) that have caused me to want to hear what he has to say.
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Mike Powers

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Blaine is really likable on this interview. Lots of cool stories. I'm only 30 minutes in right now.

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Gareth

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I started watching this tonight too. Fabulous.

I assume the guy he mentions around 19 minutes (after the Mullica bit) is Kalush right?
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RayJ

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth
I started watching this tonight too. Fabulous.

I assume the guy he mentions around 19 minutes (after the Mullica bit) is Kalush right?


That's who I think he means.  I actually was blessed with a Kalush performance.  He was in town visiting John Mendoza and I was introduced to him.  He showed me some work on the classic pass which was very enlightening.  He also did a full-deck Oil & Water routine which was incredible.  I knew what he was doing, but trust me when I say knowing and being able to accomplish it are two different things.  All I'll say is Svengali with no gimmicks.  

Anyway, he is a real asset to the magic community whether anyone ever sees him or not!
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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #7 
Looking forward to listening, Mr. Blaine is always an inspiration, like his style and it also intrigues me that many magicians dislike him, that really makes chuckle 😁
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Mike Powers

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Reply with quote  #8 
RayJ - I have seen the Kalush Oil & Water and his classic pass too. Incredible for sure.

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RayJ

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Powers
RayJ - I have seen the Kalush Oil & Water and his classic pass too. Incredible for sure.

M


It really made me smile.   
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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #10 
David Blaine offered some amazing thoughts within this interview, many thanks for sharing this here with us Mike.
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Gareth

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Reply with quote  #11 
The point Joe makes at 22:50 and talks about for a minute is really interesting.

Here's a guy who earlier in the interview admits to knowing nothing of card handling and card tricks but he can tell by watching David handle cards that David is an expert. It's a really interesting admission and observation.

We magicians discuss amongst ourselves, naturalness and the importance of a certain way of handling cards because it is less likely to raise suspicion in the minds of the spectator. 

Here we must accept that at least up to a point, that, fluidity and classic technique of handling is going to be noticed by some spectators and that it will raise alert bells in some. Especially perhaps those, like Joe that have some expertise in 'expertise'.

Somewhere else in the interview David makes the admission that there are card guys in who's presence he wouldn't even take out a pack of cards for fear of being embarrassed.

I'm not quite sure where I'm going with this post but perhaps there are scenarios where smooth handling is optimal and others where Lennart green type handling is optimal.

Or does it go deeper than that. Should our handling be designed and constructed as a process to eliminate any consideration of our hands and fingers.

In The Paradigm Shift Vol 1 Michael Close discusses this in the context of the 2 systems of conscious thinking in the human brain as outlined in Daniel Kahnemann's book 'Thinking Fast and Slow'

System 2 is activated when an event is detected that violates the model of the world that System 1
maintains.” The answer is to follow the advice and example of Dai Vernon, Charlie
Miller, Harry Riser, Johnny Thompson, Ascanio, John Carney, and others: the
way we handle our props must appear natural. If the way we hold or shuffle a
deck a cards, or the way we place an object from one hand to the other appears
convoluted, furtive, or just plain odd, it may trigger a call to the spectator’s System
2. However, if we are open, loose, and casual in our handling of objects, our
actions – even though they may be actions the spectator has never seen before –
will not raise suspicion. Obviously, none of what I’ve just written is new; this is a
familiar lesson from master magicians."
pg 16 The Paradigm Shift ebook Close, M. available from 
https://www.michaelclose.com/collections/ebooks-1/products/the-paradigm-shift-ebook-two-volume-set


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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #12 
Garett, great observation. To me it boils down to intent, or whatever it is you want to convey to the audience. Some magicians WANT their audiences to know they possess super-human skills. They want there to be no doubt as to how something happened. It happened because they made it happen. They flaunt their skill.

Others will display a refined style, but not incongruent with most card table procedure. Their handling is neat, economical yet a mastery of the cards is evident. They may mix a fancy cut or shuffle into their act, but rarely and usually for a logical reason. Used sparingly it impresses without shattering the illusion of normalcy.

Then there's the style where it looks like you might have two left thumbs. Simon Lovell was good at playing this role. He was capable of knuckle-busting sleights, but in many situations made it appear the cards had a mind of their own. He would shuffle sloppily, dropping a card or two, maybe even accidentally reversing some. I saw him perform live and he dropped a card when shuffling and it fell to the floor. Bugged the heck out of me. It was like a magnet, drawing my attention. He ignored it. His attitude seemed to be, who cares, I can show you this with 51 cards just as well. I began to wonder if he ever had a full deck.

No matter which style one chooses it should be something they remain faithful to. Something they use to advantage and use to enhance their magic. If we are, indeed actors, then we probably should remain in character for the best effect.
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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #13 
David Blaine also referenced 'Magic & Showmanship' by Henning Nelms... a wonderful old book on the theory of magic and extremely affordable too.  Juan Tamariz, Roberto Giobbi, Darwin Ortiz, Tommy Wonder and many others have mentioned the importance of studying this book - such a great resource on so many aspects of magic...  David Blaine has so much of value to share during this intereview - and as Gareth mentioned, Joe Rogan also brings up some great thoughts in his responses toward seeing the magic and speaking with DB.

What you do is your choice, but more often than not you will find your magic is more natural if you allow your own personality to shine.
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Mike Powers

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Many good points Gareth. I do have to wonder, though, whether Joe R deduced from watching that David was an expert. Or simply "knew" that he must be since he's famous and has had a number of TV specials. 

I think I mentioned on TMF in some long buried post that I got to see Darwin Ortiz perform for a lay audience at St. Mary's College in South Bend. He had brought someone with him that introduced him. The build up was incredible. The intro person went through Darwin's credentials talking about TV experiences, performances for presidents, books, FBI consults etc. When Darwin walked on, everyone already knew that he was a world famous expert. He could have done all self working tricks but the audience would have assumed that incredible skill was involved. 

Magic is unique among the performing arts in that the skill needed to perform many of the things we do is totally hidden. Whereas when we watch Carlos or Eric play guitar we can see the skill. When we watch a dancer, the skill is apparent. Same with jugglers, mimes and other performing artists. It's difficult to fake skill in these areas. Skill shows in Cardistry, but Cardistry isn't magic. It's juggling. The skill is apparent. Certainly skill shows in many magical endeavors. But much of the time, it must be hidden for magic to happen.

M
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #15 
[QUOTE=Mike Powers]Many good points Gareth. I do have to wonder, though, whether Joe R deduced from watching that David was an expert. Or simply "knew" that he must be since he's famous and has had a number of TV specials. 

I think I mentioned on TMF in some long buried post that I got to see Darwin Ortiz perform for a lay audience at St. Mary's College in South Bend. He had brought someone with him that introduced him. The build up was incredible. The intro person went through Darwin's credentials talking about TV experiences, performances for presidents, books, FBI consults etc. When Darwin walked on, everyone already knew that he was a world famous expert. He could have done all self working tricks but the audience would have assumed that incredible skill was involved. 

Magic is unique among the performing arts in that the skill needed to perform many of the things we do is totally hidden. Whereas when we watch Carlos or Eric play guitar we can see the skill. When we watch a dancer, the skill is apparent. Same with jugglers, mimes and other performing artists. It's difficult to fake skill in these areas. Skill shows in Cardistry, but Cardistry isn't magic. It's juggling. The skill is apparent. Certainly skill shows in many magical endeavors. But much of the time, it must be hidden for magic to happen.

M[/QUOTE

Erdnase even speaks of the frustration gamblers must feel, having to hide their skills...

Display of Ability

EXCESSIVE vanity proves the undoing of many experts. The temptation to show off is great. He has become a past master in his profession. He can laugh at luck and defy the law of chance. His fortune is literally at his finger ends, yet he must never admit his skill or grow chesty over his ability. It requires the philosophy of the stoic to possess any great superiority and refrain from boasting to friend or foe. He must be content to rank with the common herd. In short, the professional player must never slop over. One single display of dexterity and his usefulness is past in that particular company, and the reputation is liable to precede him in many another.


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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #16 
One thing I'd like to talk about is the bit where David has Rogan push a needle through his bicep.  The way in which Blaine approached the whole thing was masterful.  Does anyone here believe that when the needle was inserted the first time Rogan really hit a nerve?  I'm no doctor but I know enough about human anatomy to know that had that needle struck a nerve, they'd have been scraping DB off of the ceiling.  So I don't think that at all.  I think that was a ploy and it was very effective in dramatizing the whole ordeal.  Had the needle gone through the first time, no issue, the impact would have been lessened.  So that, to me is DB's genius, and it elevated the stunt to another level.
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Hendu71

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Reply with quote  #17 
I don't know if it hit a nerve, but I do think something happened.  He's done it without dramatic effect before.

Anyways, I liked the interview.  I've always thought he was a wierdo.  I still think he's a wierdo, but a signicantly more likeable wierdo than I did before.
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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hendu71
I don't know if it hit a nerve, but I do think something happened.  He's done it without dramatic effect before.

Anyways, I liked the interview.  I've always thought he was a wierdo.  I still think he's a wierdo, but a signicantly more likeable wierdo than I did before.


I've only seen him do it the one time.  Whatever happened, he covered it well.  I stand by what I said that if it went through with no muss, no fuss it would have been much weaker.
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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #19 
DB is a showman, and he certainly knows how to extract the most from any performance!
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GregB

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Reply with quote  #20 
I really enjoyed watching this interview, full of fun stories! And it was so much fun getting to watch David talk about the things he is passionate about
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MagicPeaceLove

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Reply with quote  #21 
I noticed a few things:

1. Blaine is noticeably more relaxed and "real" than in his previous incarnations. He's no longer playing the "mysterious stranger" role and he's more grounded and normal, though still a man who does abnormal and amazing things. I'm sure having a daughter (and being 47) is having an effect. But he's very straightforward about what he's doing and why it interests him. (For that reason, I thought his claim about the icepick hitting a nerve was probably real. It's not like you can just shove an icepick through anywhere.)

2. Blaine remains an extraordinary human being. He's not lying when he says that other performers made whole careers our of just one of his amazing feats. Hadji Ali spent his life doing the "drink water & kerosene then regurgitate it" act. Others become featured regurgitators of frogs or goldfish. Not a lot of magicians decide to just add that to their acts. I can't think of another famous and successful magician or performer of any kind who would add sword swallowing, shoving an icepick through their hand or arm, regurgitating all that stuff, and regularly holding their breath on stage for 10 or so minutes, to their existing repertoires. Let alone risking their lives for a beautiful floating performance like Ascension.

3. Rogan doesn't know anything about magic, except that it's obvious to him that Blaine (like every other decent card worker) knows his way around a deck of cards. In a later episode, comedian Whitney Cummings literally asserts that some magicians get surgical flaps in their hands so they can conceal coins and other small objects (she 100% believes this is true), and Rogan offers no pushback at all. 
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