It's Our Fault Criss Angel Is Famous

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by b_08, Jun 8, 2010.

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  1. #1 b_08, Jun 8, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 8, 2010
    Relax...this isn't another Criss Angel debate. I promise.

    But I would like to pose a serious question: Why do so few magicians positively make it to the mainstream consciousness?

    If you look at any genera of entertainment, be it music, sports, or movies, there are always "new blood" that takes over for the old without much time lapse.

    In the NBA, while arguably no one has been able to replace Michael Jordan, there are plenty of talented and entertaining athletes making a run at his legacy. In music, there is always new, fresh blood. In movies there are always new upcoming male and female stars; while not everyone lasts, there is always a handful from each generation that legitimately makes a lasting career.

    Why isn't it the same for the magic industry? Name one person today that is even close to the same success in both quality and pop culture as David Copperfield? Before him, Houdini would be the only person that everyone still recognizes today. That is a very long drought. (No disrespect to famous but lesser known stars such as Lance Burton, Penn and Teller, etc)

    I'm sure this isn't a popular opinion, but during "Close Up Magic Week" in the David Letterman show, I didn't feel that the magicians that performed represented us in a way that would leave a long lasting, jaw dropping impression on the audience. They're all good magicians, but for me, it felt on the same par as the zoo keepers that bring out certain animals commonly found during nightly talk shows. It didn't carry the same respect and "coolness" that a musician or movie star carries when they show up.

    I love the art of magic and it is heart breaking to me that for a profession as old as ours, we are still kept as a side show. A big part of why Criss Angel is so famous, is that he has no other competition today. That's our fault.

    I don't claim to know the answer, other than that most people that get into magic are socially awkward and don't know how to relate to people without their tricks. I can see that changing, but it's not changing fast enough. However, I know that can't be the only answer.

    I think that's why when I see so many magicians knock those who have "made it" and just start spitting hate, it makes zero sense to me. We should all be supporting and learning from the VERY FEW who actually make it into the social consciousness rather than tear them down. We all have forgotten how David Copperfield was slammed when he was up and coming because he was accused of being "all flash and no substance". It's the same sick cycle.

    So ask yourself.....for all the great magicians that have come and gone....why only so, so few have actually found a place in the minds and hearts of the group that we supposedly catering to; the general public?

    And more importantly.....what do the select few that have made it have in common, despite their different technical abilities?
  2. Magic has usually followed a two pattern every 10 years or so. in the 80's it was Burton and Copperfield, in the 00's it was Angel and Blaine. So if history is to repeat itself, we're due to have a rise of two new faces to take the magic industry by storm. Had I my guess I'd say the internet will play a large role in the discovery or promotion of the next generation of famous magicians.

    I will argue your point of P&T, or Burton being "lesser" stars. I think lesser is a misnomer.

    As to what they each have in common despite their technical chops? They have a powerful marketing team, creative team, and publishing team working behind them to insure they remain larger than life. They are also expert showmen in their own regards.

    Criss has plenty of competition actually. His star can only burn for so long.
  3. derren brown is actually much better than criss angel.
  4. That is going to remain pure speculative opinion unless you can back it up with some solid points and contrasts between the two.

    Also, I'm not quite sure such a simplistic reply as X magician is better than Criss Angel, with out any other expanding points or train of thought really counts towards the original posters train of thought, or for that matter even really bares any significance to the existing thread overall.

    Would you be so kind as to please expand on your thoughts with regards to Mr. Brown?
  5. derren doesnt use camera tricks or stooges,moreover has a down to earth persona
  6. Okay good... Now we're getting somewhere. Now can I implore you to take this idea you've begun to develop and further apply it to the OP's statements to make it somehow relevant to the conversation at hand?

    It's an interesting point, but can you tie it in better?
  7. i dont even know what the word implore means.all i have to say is that criss angel is just hyped...
  8. I agree with achuthan. It's as though Criss Angel tries to make us believe that he is some sort of God-like figure. That is his persona but it's just not believable. Derren Brown, however, comes across as very human and gives some explanation for how he does it (even if he is lying...)
  9. Jebus, let's not go there again.
    Yes, there may be some crazy Angelhype, and he uses whatever means to make it look magical, but still, he makes more money than you doing magic, and he's probably the best known magician around nowadays.
    He's definately done something right.

    Using stooges isn't new - only the camera is.

    a little back on topic, I think the new "famous magicians" will be Mismag or some other youtube-guy like that.
  10. I'm pretty tired of all of these Criss Angel topics. They're all just repeating the same thing over and over again. We get it. Some people respect him and some don't. Personally, I used to like him until his show got a bit ridiculous for me and I got more into performing for myself. I don't quite respect him as much anymore.

    Personally I believe Derren Brown deserves all of his popularity. He's just an absolute genius and seems very down to earth. His method for beating multiple chess masters at once was amazing.

    That's just my opinion though.
  11. #11 JetEyeNight, Jun 8, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 8, 2010
    I'm pretty sure I've never torn down Blaine or Copperfield. I'm happy to learn from these individuals. I sat front row and center at a Copperfield performance a few years back in Minneapolis. It was amazing.

    In regards to why there weren't different magicians... David Letterman is known to be a heckler. Would you risk your reputation?
  12. I couldn't agree more with you on this one !
  13. my opinion is based on watching ALL the youtube videos of derren.The system and the heist are my favourite.Whats your opinion on them?
  14. Personally I loved Evening of Wonders, and when it is released on TV (in the next 6 months, I would guess) you will LOVE the ending to ENIGMA. I also really like a lot fo the stuff in the mind control and trick of the mind series'
  15. how did we get from the original topic thats actually worth thinking to "brown is better than criss. which of his shows do you like more?" Honestly man... get back on topic.
    I think the reason those magicians were able to "succeed" in the laymen world is like any other industry. They were lucky enough to have good connections and happened to cross the right people who gave them a chance to succeed. Of course style and originality plays a big part but I could be the most original most skilled magician in Cuba performing at small bars and never be as big as Angel. As far as I know, which aint much, most of the magicians "take off" when they are shown in media, not youtube, but actual TV. Yes they may have their own stage shows and what not but once they hit the screens of home viewers, the amount of people who know their name tips. I think thats what happened to Cyril as well as Lu Chen. Not much asian magicians are big, but those two were able to get out there. They got on TV, which led to the internet, and so on. No one at home really cares about home videos. Only when they are shown a professionally made video with all the subtitles, flashy names, backdrops, commercials, and so on, do they start to think "hey. thats one amazing guy". Of course, along with television appearances are usually the whole marketing team, make up team, advertisements, effects, producers, etc. Then comes the news interviews, show cameos, on street recognition, and so on.
    Connections in my opinion, is what its all about. Get your name out there within the minds of the biggest/ most names possible and off you go. Perhaps perform at a celebrity party or award ceremony, "accidentally" get filmed by the camera/ video crew, a bit of self advertising here and there, and that might just do it. Perhaps you can befriend some newscasters and something may come out of that. Perhaps inherit a load of money and buy some TV time during the super bowl. Perhaps perform a "death defying" feat in the middle of the streets.

    But what would I know. I'm 17,
  16. good try B_08 (Bob) i could tell you didnt want this to be an angel thread. i apologize for my peers.


    Angel (despite his methods) has made it into the public eye. everybody nowadays knows criss angel (for the most part) most people know David Blaine. but i dont know about the rest of the high school kids here. but i most oftenly get compared to Criss.

    that tells me that angel is more known that Blaine. and most of us respect Blaine more. myself included. so what does that tell us? it tells me that Angel appeals more the the audience despite his shady methods.

    so the question of the OP was why? he wants us to discuss what makes Angel, so Popular in the public eye.

    what has he done to get there? how can we mimic his actions to get where he is? why can so few magicians get into the mainstream media of network television like angel? is there something were missing that angel and blaine wont tell us?

    how bout we get away from comparing angel to brown and blaine and start discussing Bob's very good topic.
  17. yes, back on topic. it all depends on the point of view. a layperson watching criss angel will be amazed much more than an experienced magician watching criss angel. the reason angel is so successful is that he is not trying to impress only magicians (who know what a camera trick is), but rather is trying to impress the general public. angel's effects are simple to understand and are very visual. a long effect using only cards may be impressive, but the larger effects are the ones that catch more eyes. as magicians, many of us become disappointed when we see angel get great reviews and reactions from using camera tricks. many of us try desperately hard to master difficult sleight of hand, a control for example, but the spectator really won't know the difference between one control and the next. so, by performing something visually stunning like angel does often, he makes the spectator notice that he is different from the rest. I myself am a fan of mindfreak, and, though i know much of the effects rely on camera tricks, i enjoy watching the cleverness of the effects.
  18. I think that Angel and Blaine both show the audience what they want to see. In this age of movies packed with high budget special effects, we watch people doing all sorts of impossible things and wishing we could do that. So when somebody sees Criss levitate from building to building, or David freeze himself in a block of ice, they can convince themselves it's real, because they want it to be. Copperfield also; who wouldn't disappear and reappear in Hawaii in an instant if they could. Now if I was watching somebody in person, I would much rather see a performer like Derren Brown, because Derren makes you work for the effects, and makes you think about it, which subsequently leaves you with a much more emotional and powerful experience. But when people switch on the tv sets, they don't want to think, they want to mindlessly watch something that they can imagine doing themselves.
  19. Daniel Garcia talked about something very similar to this once. And he explained the answer, more or less.

    The reason is because there is nothing new for a magician to do( that we know of)

    Example: You go up to a company and they ask, "What can you do?" You tell them, "I perform close up magic on the streets." They say, "Oh well, we've got David Blaine to do that"

    You go to another company, they ask, "What can you do?" You say, "I perform close up street magic BUT I ALSO perform BIG stage illusions on the street!" They say, "Oh well we got Criss Angel to do that."

    So the question is, what else can we do if we got people that are already got everything covered.
  20. Thank you to the guys who understood where I was getting at. more "XX magician is better than YY magician" posts, no positives come from that.

    A few guys brought up some great questions and I would like to see some intelligent dialogue come from that.

    The popular, sweep it under the rug answer is: "they have a good marketing team". Of course they do, but my question is: WHY were specific people chosen to have the marketing team behind them?

    Copperfield, Blaine, and Angel all started out very poor. Probably more poor than most of us on this board. So it isn't as if they poured their own money into their career like a politician would on a campaign.

    Why did corporate America look at certain individuals and say, "They've got something there?"
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