Anna D. Is underrated and deserves to be an AGT finalist

010rusty

Elite Member
Nov 12, 2016
1,276
1,730
LA (Lower Alabama)
Oh boy is this gonna be a big one.
(Forgive me for the insane amount of typos in this one.)

So if you aren’t familiar Anna Deguzman is a finalist on AGT. This has once again launched the big claim “Anna is only famous because she is a she”

This is a claim I do not agree with. That’s why I’ve gathered us all here.



I truly do believe Anna is a great magician, and a fantastic entertainer capable of winning AGT.



(Before we begin I do have to acknowledge my bias because if I don’t someone will. Yes, for years I have complained for years that magic is a sexist field. I have complained for years that woman magicians are rare and those that do exist face mistreatment. I will not get into that too deep here. I do still stand by this, and I do hope Anna Winning AGT would increase woman and girl magicians. )

With all that…

Let’s begin

Most people who claim this typically use a bad performance and then say something along the lines of “if she was a guy she’s never get gigs”

Now, this straw man tattic is common in all art and even politics. If you recognize this as what it is you should be able to accept it as the stupid thing it is. No one is as stupid as their dumbest thought and no performer is as bad as their worst performance. I remember when people would try to claim David Blaine’s career was over after the water stunt disaster. Spoiler if your not caught up but it worked out fine for him.



So I do believe most people who believe “she’s is only famous because girl” have seen 1 of the before stated cherry picked performances and assumed it to be true based on only that.



But since my main thesis statement is about AGT let’s look at that starting with audition






Let’s be real. Fantastic Audition.

I truly do believe she made the presentation her own. It had her personality built into it perfectly. She was really able to shine through who she is. Of course being on television you magic HAS TO BE VISUAL to really succeed on AGT. She does this greatly and nicely.





Most problems people seem to have with this performance is not problems with her but instead are problems with AGT. (Which is fair, you don’t have to like upbringing stories, non sensational finales so that way you don’t waste your best tricks in round 1, or hitting on the judges, but just watch most AGT performance like Matt Franco and you will see these elements as well)



And yes… the typical “trick is too simple” or “amateur tricks!” Complaint is being yelled to the heavens

This is a line said by mostly magicians starting out. Who seem to not yet grasp THE PRESENTATION out weighs the trick 100 times out of 100. when you have a charming person who gets the judges and crowd approval then it is a good performance to them. This argument was all over David Blaine during his first Magic special where people would say “he does the most basic tricks! He’s not special” or when Matt Franco won season 9 of AGT and became the first magician to win, and his comment section was BOMBARED with “such a basic cup and ball routine!” And etc. I could go on with piff the magic dragon and others but you get the point. Sorry bout the rant but that’s one of my biggest pet peeve in magic.



And moving onto her next performance

If you have not seen this yet…

Be prepared for some ROUGH SPECTATOR performance





Simon even apologizes. But they had to yell at howie because he got his card wrong. No one would take the card out of her mouth. Sofia didn’t know what a club was. Simon didn’t know what a clover or club was apparently. Just a rough situation for Anna.



So looking at this performance you just gotta give her props for being able to handle such a rough situation. Like for nothing to go right and still have a great crowd reaction is a spectacular feat. To have that much stress and still have her personality shine through is great. I feel that the cake reveal definitely feels within her character and within what AGT wants. As far as multiple selections routines go I thought this one was structured great. Each reveal better than the last with a great kicker ending. It all made sense. Everything connected. An excellent watch



Now I will have to acknowledge the load into the mouth was not up to the standard it should’ve been. It wasn’t terrible but definitely could’ve been better. I will say there is a chance a magic consultant at AGT was like “do a card to mouth” it worked for Shin Lim and she just wasn’t prepared enough. But I do not know that for sure. Because I’m not an AGT magic consultant. But I could be if the right producers sends me a message *wink emoji*


https://instagram.com/alaska_is_a_state?igshid=OGQ5ZDc2ODk2ZA==



In all seriousness I will admit it was far from perfect but still not the worst card to mouth in AGT history that belongs to my favorite AGT contestant Matt Franco who made the wrong card appear in his mouth during his performance.





he would still go on to win to season 9 of AGT and be the first magician to win AGT so it’s definitely not a career ender.



Overall, I’m not saying everyone should accept Anna as the greatest magician ever. However I do think a majority of her criticisms are un fair and she’s far from “a bad magician who is only successful because girl”.
I Highly encourage everyone to watch her performance Monday and consider voting her through Tuesday.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JoshL8 and Patrix

CWhite

Elite Member
Jul 22, 2016
767
962
I don't like her because she exposed magic tricks on her YouTube (ala Justin Flom) to gain views. I'm not talking double lifts or French Drops either.

Aside from that, great post as always dude.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JoshL8

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,877
2,943
You make good points but there is one you are forgetting that's pretty important here - AGT itself. The producers have probably already decided who's winning and it's not a 'deserve' situation at all.

I am not saying this as a conspiracy theory, I know a few people who've been on the show and they've told me about the contract you have to sign to be on it. It's, shall we say, brutal. It's over an inch thick, and includes things such as the producers have the option to use editing to make the show seem however they see fit. Meaning even if a performer does decently, they can edit the audience reactions so it seems like they did poorly. That's why the judges wear the same clothing all the time - it makes the editing easier.

So what you are seeing on the TV is not necessarily what's even happening on the day of the performance(s).

Which ultimately means it doesn't really matter what you see on the show, as there's no way of knowing if that's even what's actually happening.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 010rusty

010rusty

Elite Member
Nov 12, 2016
1,276
1,730
LA (Lower Alabama)
You make good points but there is one you are forgetting that's pretty important here - AGT itself. The producers have probably already decided who's winning and it's not a 'deserve' situation at all.

I am not saying this as a conspiracy theory, I know a few people who've been on the show and they've told me about the contract you have to sign to be on it. It's, shall we say, brutal. It's over an inch thick, and includes things such as the producers have the option to use editing to make the show seem however they see fit. Meaning even if a performer does decently, they can edit the audience reactions so it seems like they did poorly. That's why the judges wear the same clothing all the time - it makes the editing easier.

So what you are seeing on the TV is not necessarily what's even happening on the day of the performance(s).

Which ultimately means it doesn't really matter what you see on the show, as there's no way of knowing if that's even what's actually happening.

Yeah I’ve always recognized this. I saw an interview with Dan Sperry and I’m not sure if he was exaggerating but his story was more or less “everything was fabricated” I’m not gonna get into detail because it’s his story to tell but it opened my eyes. I hinted in this thread about “the consultants” and their influence on routines but I didn’t wanna distract from the main point of the post.
But yeah I recognize the issue with AGT and the fine print (I mean the literal printing at the bottom of the screen during commercials
C02CCA7B-523A-4A0D-A893-0B77E144C74A.jpeg
)
And also hinted at AGT influencing the performance
Most problems people seem to have with this performance is not problems with her but instead are problems with AGT.

Because yeah… they edit and restructure routines.

But once again
Just felt like I was getting away from the main point. That being “Anna is a skilled entertainer”

Now I will admit you are correct that “deserve” wasn’t the right word. I mostly used it to be a parallel to the comment “Anna doesn’t deserve to be a finalist”. I do think in my heart she is good enough to be a finalist, and she is a finalist for that reason.
 

RealityOne

Elite Member
Nov 1, 2009
3,744
4,076
New Jersey
Opens door. Puts down soap box. Stands on box and begins:

So the audition was... mediocre. The instant deck was nice visually, but it was really just a throw-away. Too much going on with the cardistry and the magic wasn't that difficult. The timing on the card to lips was off and the fact that she said the number at the same time tells me something about the method. Also, two much going on. You should be able to describe the plot in one sentence. Not possible here. More isn't necessarily better, especially when the end was really anti-climactic.

The next performant wasn't much better (now, the produce four cards different ways isn't one of my favorite effects to begin with). The cake prediction just tells me what she was doing when they picked their cards. The difficult spectators weren't that difficult and should have been dealt with in the presentation. Where you don't have multiple people seeing the selected card, you have to take steps for the spectator to remember their card (like having them place it face down on the table before putting it into the deck and asking them if they can remember it without looking). Card to mouth is a bad call post-COVID and having a spectator open it up is a really bad call. The card to cake was unimpressive -- the method was obvious.

To have that much stress and still have her personality shine through is great.

I'm sorry, but she comes across as a bit obnoxious and bratty. I'm not a fan of her personality. Also, this is one of the "be yourself" characters that really doesn't work.

As far as multiple selections routines go I thought this one was structured great. Each reveal better than the last with a great kicker ending. It all made sense.

I disagree. Nothing was motivated. It was stuck together with kindergarten paste: "my mom loves you Howie" / the cake says "LOVE" / No it really says 3AQ7 / Look a card in the cake! It has the emotional appeal of a hairless guinea pig. The deck going blank was a nice effect, but why did it go blank? The first two reveals were not that exciting. Again, too much is often actually too much. So my question is what makes the magic happen and why? There is no internal logic (sort of like a superhero who has whatever power they need at the moment). I feel like the only underlying rationale is "because she can." In a word, the performance was "banal."
 

010rusty

Elite Member
Nov 12, 2016
1,276
1,730
LA (Lower Alabama)
Opens door. Puts down soap box. Stands on box and begins:
*cracks fingers* let’s go
The instant deck was nice visually, but it was really just a throw-away. Too much going on with the cardistry and the magic wasn't that difficult.
Now I really wish I had gone into more detail when I said “most criticism people have are inevitable with AGT” if you watch her fool us routine or her BGT routine where she does this routine that effect isn’t there. Because AGT survives off YouTube views. At the moment the YT algorithm LOVES watch time. So many magicians are required to add in these unnecessary visual elements so people will rewind the video and increase their watch time. As well as use the visual tricks and simple flourishes as Reels and TikToks. It’s not really a problem you have with her and doesn’t prove she’s an unskilled magician and only famous because girl. it’s a problem with AGT.
Also, two much going on. You should be able to describe the plot in one sentence. Not possible here. More isn't necessarily better, especially when the end was really anti-climactic.
Yeah the Shin Limification of AGT shows. Lot of tricks at the same time. Works for him and his style but when these producers and consultants make other magicians do it then it can be odd. but once again when she does this routine normally and not for AGT this problem isn’t really present.
now, the produce four cards different ways isn't one of my favorite effects to begin with
we agree
The cake prediction just tells me what she was doing when they picked their cards
…well… yea😂
That’s how it does for force reveals.
The difficult spectators weren't that difficult and should have been dealt with in the presentation
I thought she dealt with them in the presentation but we will get to tgat in a second.
Where you don't have multiple people seeing the selected card, you have to take steps for the spectator to remember their card (like having them place it face down on the table before putting it into the deck and asking them if they can remember it
I genuinely think they were straight up too drunk or something. I mean they have people in their ear to ensure nothing bad happens and they still goofed it up. They’ve done this pick a card tricks a thousand times so memorizing the card being difficult shows they were off their game.
Card to mouth is a bad call post-COVID and having a spectator open it up is a really bad call.
ok, this is a forum thread on its own. Blake Vogt has talked about it. The older generation of magic forbid mouth related Magic. And it has definitely changed post Covid. And I could see where you are coming from IF HEIDI didn’t do mouth related stuff post Covid. I just don’t believe this one instance is where she is grossed out. I straight up believe she was just trynna be funny. and Anna clearly is on a timed schedule and unable to speak so it was just a rough situation imo

I'm sorry, but she comes across as a bit obnoxious and bratty. I'm not a fan of her personality. Also, this is one of the "be yourself" characters that really doesn't work.

Man I’m beating a dead horse. But mocking the judges, being obnoxious, etc. is just the cheat code to AGT. Matt Franco Litterally finished his AGT career by calling them drunks in a cup and ball routine but to each his own. This is just one we won’t agree on and that’s fine.
my mom loves you Howie" / the cake says "LOVE" / No it really says 3AQ7 / Look a card in the cake! It has the emotional appeal of a hairless guinea pig.
FF203AFB-239E-4B21-A113-CA1E1121C511.jpeg

The deck going blank was a nice effect, but why did it go blank?

Because howie said “I don’t wanna pull my card out of anything!”
To which she says “ok that’s fine. now you can’t because your card and all the cards are gone”

Thought it was alright
So my question is what makes the magic happen and why?
I definitely think it’s that new era of “magic just kind of happens around me. I don’t even control it that much”
Which I do have a lot of thoughts on

So I don’t expect everyone to like her. She does have elements to her that are very unique and with that will gain full earned critism. In fact you can easily say she’s Pandering to AGT (I don’t think this) or she’s “performance chameleon” and just shapes to whichever show or venue will have her which has its positives and negatives.

But what I don’t think you can say is “she’s more Than just being a girl.” Which is my main thesis.
 

010rusty

Elite Member
Nov 12, 2016
1,276
1,730
LA (Lower Alabama)
Ok so update. Anna finished SECOND!! So a massive congrats to her and all the future gigs she will receive for this. What a great ride and can’t wait to see where she goes from here!
 

RealityOne

Elite Member
Nov 1, 2009
3,744
4,076
New Jersey
It’s not really a problem you have with her and doesn’t prove she’s an unskilled magician and only famous because girl. it’s a problem with AGT.
when she does this routine normally and not for AGT this problem isn’t really present.
But mocking the judges, being obnoxious, etc. is just the cheat code to AGT.

I think that being true to your style and principles is more important than doing well on AGT... but that is just me.

I mean they have people in their ear to ensure nothing bad happens and they still goofed it up.

I'm sure the forgetting was scripted. Go back to my comments above.
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,877
2,943
I think that being true to your style and principles is more important than doing well on AGT... but that is just me.

All things considered, I personally think that the best way to use an appearance on AGT (for a magician at least) is not to try to win, but to advertise oneself.

Which is to say I agree - stay true to your style so that you can put "As seen on AGT" in your advertising scripting and get some high quality clips to put into a sizzle reel, but don't get locked into their post-show contract.
 

RealityOne

Elite Member
Nov 1, 2009
3,744
4,076
New Jersey
I personally think that the best way to use an appearance on AGT (for a magician at least) is not to try to win, but to advertise oneself.

Agreed. Part of the being true to your style is branding. How you perform is your brand. If your brand looks like every other performer, then there is no reason to hire you - any generic magician would do. If your brand is unique, people will hire you and and pay a premium. Make it memorable.
 
Jul 31, 2023
13
2
Opens door. Puts down soap box. Stands on box and begins:

So the audition was... mediocre. The instant deck was nice visually, but it was really just a throw-away. Too much going on with the cardistry and the magic wasn't that difficult. The timing on the card to lips was off and the fact that she said the number at the same time tells me something about the method. Also, two much going on. You should be able to describe the plot in one sentence. Not possible here. More isn't necessarily better, especially when the end was really anti-climactic.

The next performant wasn't much better (now, the produce four cards different ways isn't one of my favorite effects to begin with). The cake prediction just tells me what she was doing when they picked their cards. The difficult spectators weren't that difficult and should have been dealt with in the presentation. Where you don't have multiple people seeing the selected card, you have to take steps for the spectator to remember their card (like having them place it face down on the table before putting it into the deck and asking them if they can remember it without looking). Card to mouth is a bad call post-COVID and having a spectator open it up is a really bad call. The card to cake was unimpressive -- the method was obvious.



I'm sorry, but she comes across as a bit obnoxious and bratty. I'm not a fan of her personality. Also, this is one of the "be yourself" characters that really doesn't work.



I disagree. Nothing was motivated. It was stuck together with kindergarten paste: "my mom loves you Howie" / the cake says "LOVE" / No it really says 3AQ7 / Look a card in the cake! It has the emotional appeal of a hairless guinea pig. The deck going blank was a nice effect, but why did it go blank? The first two reveals were not that exciting. Again, too much is often actually too much. So my question is what makes the magic happen and why? There is no internal logic (sort of like a superhero who has whatever power they need at the moment). I feel like the only underlying rationale is "because she can." In a word, the performance was "banal."
What spoiled it for me was the, as you stated, bratty and obnoxious presentation. I enjoyed the effects, but she will really have to work on her presentation.
 
Searching...
{[{ searchResultsCount }]} Results