White Magic: My Review

Jun 13, 2013
21
0
Hey guys, I just wanted to take a minute and write a review about Dan White's show, White Magic, that premiered a couple hours ago on The Travel Channel. Before I start, I encourage the reader to read the whole review. I want to first start off and congratulate Dan on his success and wish him all the best luck in the future.

Let me get it right out in the open and first say, I didn't like it one bit. I didn't even want to stick around for the second episode, I turned the channel immediately after the first one ended. I assume the second would be the same, and whether it was, or wasn't, the first one left a bad taste in my mouth. Why didn't I like it? Because it seems to be a popular trend now a days, performing magic on TV, that is only good for TV! A good hand full of the tricks he did, simply can not be performed on the spot in real life situations. And how do I know this? Because I'm a bloody magician too! Let me break down the tricks I remember.

The first thing he did was an effect that combined French Kiss by Wayne Houchin and Pure Smoke. Very cool and practical, I though the rest of the show would be like that, but it wasn't at all.

The next one was a borrowed ring linking onto a wine glass. Seems pretty legit, although he asked a bunch of ladies to hold out their hands to borrow the ring, but he ends up taking the guys ring who was sitting all the way to the right him! Seemed a bit odd.

The next one he asked a lady to walk into a store and buy post cards. He handed 4 or 5 of them out to the group of family he was performing for. They all thought of a person in their head, and named them out loud one at a time. When they turned over the post card, it had the name they were thinking of written on it. Their is no way shape or form he could do this on the spot in a real life situation, so why bother only doing it on TV? This is when I started disliking the show.

Next he did something where a signed card vanished in the spectators hand, well, it changed into another card. The card in their hand was a blank card that said "look up". They do and then see their signed card stuck to a Hollywood Blvd. sign. Again it can't be done without somebody in on it, thus making it extremely difficult to do it in a real life situations. Again, why bother doing something like that if you can only do it on TV? It's a bunch of crap. It would only be practical if you palm the card into your pocket, but then it wouldn't be that good.

He then did a magical appearance of his whole body. Super staged! I know there is no CGI like he said, I understand, but you can't appear like that in my living room so why bother putting it on TV? Waste of time.

The next one I recall is where he "gets a random stranger in a book store which conveniently was empty " to think of any book in the store. Before he asked her to do that he handed her an envelope. Long story short, hes doing "muscle reading" and comes to a blurred out Harry Potter book which was awkwardly placed on an end display and was the only Harry Potter copy on that display. She then thinks of a page number after confirming it was that book and flips to the page. The page was torn and the matching piece was in the envelope. Bull crap, again no way in the world can that be practical. Another stupid TV trick. If I met Dan in a book store I guarantee it will not play out like that. I believe in the muscle reading, but this was so staged!

Finally he drove around Hollywood with newspaper covering the windows. Another piece of crap. The two people in the car with him were supposedly random people that were taking a tour around town? Bull crap, If that was me and I didn't know Dan, no way would I drive with him blind and do it so calmly like they acted. I'm pretty sure the car was in place the whole time with sound effects with camera cuts to a different car with newspaper, but one that you can see through. Again stupid, stupid, stupid.

Final thoughts. I really thought this would be different, but it was like all the rest. Some of this may be good for stage magic, but save it for the bloody stage! Don't pretend to be able to do it anytime, anywhere, and not be able to. Almost all of it can not be performed with out super set up and special situations. I love Dan and if I knew him personally would love to be his friend. But good Lord can somebody please do what Blaine did in Street Magic (minus the levitation) and do real practical magic with real people. Please, otherwise, its not worth my time. Thanks for reading.
 

Jay Adra

Elite Member
Jul 11, 2011
332
3
Australia
www.jayadra.com
I think regardless of the medium through which it is presented, as long as the end result is achieved (awe, wonder, amazement etc), anything goes for magic. Elaborate setups, camera tricks, editing; I think it's all valid as long as the end effect is achieved.

Obviously it's a lot harder to achieve that wonder from your audience as the TV medium is usually suspected of these methods, but as long as you can convince them otherwise, you're presenting magic, entertaining and amazing your audience and you've helped make the world a better place.

I personally prefer magic live (as most, if not all, people do), but having it presented in such a large medium allows it be accessible to so many more people than it otherwise could be. Because of such a knowledgeable and skeptical audience, it isn't easy to present magic on TV, so I think magician's should do whatever they can to create the magic; why would we be upset with someone for this?

The end goal is wonder; reach it by following any path that leads there.
 
Jun 13, 2013
21
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Thanks, I understand your view point but I was very disappointed in the show. If they asked me to do a show for TV, I would make sure every trick I do, I could do in real life on the spot. Because I know if somebody sees me on the street, there going to want to see it! I would then have to say, oh let me show you something better (which I don't like saying because obviously I'm ignoring their questions) or I would have to say I could only do it on TV.

What I don't get is we as magicians, have access to so many ground breaking, amazing magic tricks that we can do anytime anywhere. Why not use it? Its crazy to me these magician choice to go outside of what can really be done. Unless its on stage or changes the special to White TV magic.
 
... Next he did something where a signed card vanished in the spectators hand, well, it changed into another card. The card in their hand was a blank card that said "look up". They do and then see their signed card stuck to a Hollywood Blvd. sign. Again it can't be done without somebody in on it, thus making it extremely difficult to do it in a real life situations. Again, why bother doing something like that if you can only do it on TV? It's a bunch of crap. It would only be practical if you palm the card into your pocket, but then it wouldn't be that good.
I can think of a couple of ways to do this ...
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,750
2,859
Thanks, I understand your view point but I was very disappointed in the show. If they asked me to do a show for TV, I would make sure every trick I do, I could do in real life on the spot. Because I know if somebody sees me on the street, there going to want to see it! I would then have to say, oh let me show you something better (which I don't like saying because obviously I'm ignoring their questions) or I would have to say I could only do it on TV.

What I don't get is we as magicians, have access to so many ground breaking, amazing magic tricks that we can do anytime anywhere. Why not use it? Its crazy to me these magician choice to go outside of what can really be done. Unless its on stage or changes the special to White TV magic.

Making sure you can do every trick in your repertoire at any moment is really limiting. There's some amazing things you'll only be able to do in certain circumstances. And that's fine. Use that to your advantage.

I honestly think you're being held back by your inability to gracefully control an audience. By limiting yourself to such a small section of magic just because you're worried a stranger might demand you perform that specific trick right then is basically being an automaton. They put in their coin and you do the trick they select. Where's the mystery in that? It's as easy as, "You've already seen that. Here, watch this."
 
Apr 6, 2011
540
6
Lansing, MI
I have not seen the special, so I don't know how on or off this review is. But simply on the subject being discussed here, there is a line. A line between what can be achieved if you get a little lucky (multiple outs style), and having BLATANT set ups. Which is what it sounds like was taking place here. There is nothing remotely magical or wonderful or awe inspiring about the fact that a guy can pay actors to look amazed, or has some camera editing skills.

If I we're to share my full opinion on this it would be an essay style rant, which I am (uncharacteristically) not in the mood for right now. So I'll just say this: I am seriously disappointed to be hearing that Dan White did this. In my mind, this type of crap hurts magic FAR more than any youtube exposure or kid going around who doesn't know what they are doing. If magic is an art form, then this is the equivalent of creating some insanely cool geometric piece of art through software, printing it out, and then running around claiming you've been painting this yourself for the last five years.
 
I have not seen the special, so I don't know how on or off this review is. But simply on the subject being discussed here, there is a line. A line between what can be achieved if you get a little lucky (multiple outs style), and having BLATANT set ups. Which is what it sounds like was taking place here. There is nothing remotely magical or wonderful or awe inspiring about the fact that a guy can pay actors to look amazed, or has some camera editing skills.

If I we're to share my full opinion on this it would be an essay style rant, which I am (uncharacteristically) not in the mood for right now. So I'll just say this: I am seriously disappointed to be hearing that Dan White did this. In my mind, this type of crap hurts magic FAR more than any youtube exposure or kid going around who doesn't know what they are doing. If magic is an art form, then this is the equivalent of creating some insanely cool geometric piece of art through software, printing it out, and then running around claiming you've been painting this yourself for the last five years.
I think you should watch the show for yourself. Scott O.'s assessment isn't entirely accurate. I would guess that Scott O. has limited knowledge of magic. Sorry if I'm wrong, but a lot of what I saw were tricks that have been around for awhile and can be performed without TV magic.
 
Apr 6, 2011
540
6
Lansing, MI
Hmm. I hope so, it was the postcard one that got me all fired up because that just sounded blatant. I will have to watch it for myself, and Dan I do apologize for judging you off of only a review. That is not fair and not my usual style.
 
Hmm. I hope so, it was the postcard one that got me all fired up because that just sounded blatant. I will have to watch it for myself, and Dan I do apologize for judging you off of only a review. That is not fair and not my usual style.
The postcard trick seemed legitimate to me except I think there was some information gathering while the cameras weren't rolling. I can think of a way to pull it off with a little sleight of hand and a little bit of double speak.
 
Jun 13, 2013
21
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Make no mistake about it. I'm not condemning him. I've been in magic for over 10 years and I only joined these forums recently to enter one of the Saturday night contest. Some, if not the bulk of the things he did and I described aren't practical! The first two I mentioned are fine. But the post card thing, give me a break. Finding the book in the store like he did, bunch of crap. Appearing out of nowhere, stage magic only. Having a signed selected card magically appear on a Hollywood Blvd. sign, 13 feet in the air, come on, its not practical. One of my favorite tricks is Trace Unseen on HTDSM, I can make a card appear anywhere I want, but its not signed and theirs no stooge. Jay Sankey among other magicians I'm sure have ways to get the spectator to sign the same card twice, so you'll have two dupes with their name on it. But I don't think he did that and to make it appear where you need a ladder and stop traffic is pretty dumb.

I'm sure all the stuff he did can be done on more practical terms, but if you haven't seen the special yet, go see it and you'll see what I'm talking about. A bunch of phony stuff especially the car thing. One last thing for now, I understand every trick you do, can't be done anytime anywhere (maybe you don't have the gimmick or a gaff). I have some stuff like that, but at least I can do it in practical situations and when I have the gimmick on me. Not only once every TV special.
 
Aug 30, 2012
232
1
All I have to say is that he is the one with all the years of experience and skill. I don't have the years of consulting and performance he does but I can see how most of this could be done practically, and without extreme effort. but regardless he has the special we don't Congrats Dan!! It was awesome
 
Apr 6, 2011
540
6
Lansing, MI
All I have to say is that he is the one with all the years of experience and skill. I don't have the years of consulting and performance he does but I can see how most of this could be done practically, and without extreme effort. but regardless he has the special we don't Congrats Dan!! It was awesome

I'd recommend against that train of thought. You should question everything, and form your own opinions. It is because people just assume that those with more experience must be better that so many poor ideas get passed along for such a long time. No matter how much experience someone has, they are still human, and open to all of the many faults that we all possess.
 
Make no mistake about it. I'm not condemning him. I've been in magic for over 10 years and I only joined these forums recently to enter one of the Saturday night contest. Some, if not the bulk of the things he did and I described aren't practical! The first two I mentioned are fine. But the post card thing, give me a break. Finding the book in the store like he did, bunch of crap. Appearing out of nowhere, stage magic only. Having a signed selected card magically appear on a Hollywood Blvd. sign, 13 feet in the air, come on, its not practical. One of my favorite tricks is Trace Unseen on HTDSM, I can make a card appear anywhere I want, but its not signed and theirs no stooge. Jay Sankey among other magicians I'm sure have ways to get the spectator to sign the same card twice, so you'll have two dupes with their name on it. But I don't think he did that and to make it appear where you need a ladder and stop traffic is pretty dumb.

I'm sure all the stuff he did can be done on more practical terms, but if you haven't seen the special yet, go see it and you'll see what I'm talking about. A bunch of phony stuff especially the car thing. One last thing for now, I understand every trick you do, can't be done anytime anywhere (maybe you don't have the gimmick or a gaff). I have some stuff like that, but at least I can do it in practical situations and when I have the gimmick on me. Not only once every TV special.
I could do the card on Hollywood Blvd. sign trick with no stooges and no dupes. The full body appearance trick wasn't presented as a "street magic" trick. It was only him and an assistant.
 
Jun 13, 2013
21
0
Very familiar, but I can't recall any trick I do right now that relies on multiple outs. Also I try to avoid tricks like that because the outs are usually crap compared to if you hit it the first time!
 
Aug 30, 2012
232
1
Oh believe me I understand how human we all are and that we have faults but that doesn't mean I don't question it. I just don't see the point in slamming him for being unable to on command perform some of those tricks. even if he had a stooge involved does it really matter if the people are entertained? hell reality tv is as fake as it gets and people obsess over it. I'm not saying that just because he has more experience than me that he is right i'm just saying I have no right to criticize him when I have not been in his shoes
 
Jun 13, 2013
21
0
Well, meet me somewhere and show me, I'm curious. There is no way that's a practical trick that can be done on the spot. The body appearance, can't be done in my living room. Only in that little street corner or wherever he was. And yeah it was just him and one guy he worked with, not to mention once you saw his full body they immediately cut the camera to a different angel. To me that was pointless. Also I love magic and people and I'm not arguing, I'm simply debating.
 
Jun 13, 2013
21
0
Also, this creates a whole new type of magic, TV Magic. Its not the magic we all currently do. Its a whole different type of magic. It ruins the art. Give somebody like Gregory Wilson a TV show and I guarantee he'll rock everybody's socks off and get the greatest reactions ever. He'll do only practical tricks that he pulls from his pockets.
 
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