Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Reader Mail.

Reader mail: Motta and Chance plus others.

It’s that time again folks.  Reader mail round up.
First, a letter from Bob Chance fro Motta and Chance Rock The House, the magic show I tore into a few posts ago.

“A bit harsh, but ever magician had to start somewhere, so as bad as you may have thought it was it was a learning experience. Not being able to perform ever...wow...that's just not cool.As a magic enthusiast maybe u should try with constructive points rather than bashing points its a brotherhood of magic right!? But with everything there will always be people to bash out or lash out... could it be better of course. But u picked out 2 tricks that and 1 that didn't go well... I am disappointed and hope that the person who wrote that review invites me out to their show to for me to be a critic...it'll probably never happen but I'll keep hoping. Thanks for coming out and and I hope the $20 door didn't hurt your wallet too much. But we will keep coming out and it will only get better. Thanks for the feedback and please let me know when you perform so that I can watch you too! All the best...CHANCE of Motta & Chance Magic.”

Gord Replies:  Yes, you are right, every magician has to start somewhere, but your show was not a “start,” it was a public show, heavily advertised, with a couple of hundred people in a theater all of whom paid real money.
The fact is your show was un-scripted, under rehearsed, far too long and at one point insulting to a volunteer.  (Yeah, that bit with a plunger on the head, real mature.  Notice how few people wanted to volunteer after you did that bit?  I did.  Two.)
By the way, my view is not a rare one.  Someone you know, probably quite well, reviewed the show to me a few days later with the quote “Well, I’ve seen worse.”
As for being a magic enthusiast, therefore I should support your show.  Just because I am also a magician does not mean I have to support BAD magic.  That’s kinda like asking a priest to support Jim James because, hey, they are both men of God.  (Look it up.)
As for my show, I will make sure to send you a pair of tickets and you can feel free to enjoy or not enjoy it.  In fact, I’ll even let you post your review of my show on MY blog, that is how sure of it I am.
Why am I sure it will be good?  Well, I started researching and scripting it last June.  I rehearse it every day. (And yes, I have a full time job.  Do you know how hard it is to rehearse when you’ve been up since five in the morning?)  I have a friend helping with the scripting, I have a director. (That cost me nothing, sometimes all you have to do is ask.)
When my show, (Titled Magic With the Sleight-est Hint of Cheese, by the way.  Just so you’ll know it when you see the poster.) goes up, it may be bad, but at least It’ll be rehearsed, scripted, directed etc.  At least I would have tried to make it better then the rest.  At least I can say, proudly, that I worked my ass off for this bad show.
But it won’t be bad.  I wouldn’t dare put a bad show on.  I wouldn’t insult the long and illustrious history of magic like that.
Here ends the lesson.

Next, someone replies to my post where I reviewed three shows.  Kreskin, Copperfield and Friday Night Magic.

Anonymous said:
“Who the hell are you to comment on shows? You are just some lowly nobody who has nothing going for himself, a crappy magician that will never amount to anything but and internet junkie....”

Hmmmm, I wonder who this could be?  Mark or Paul, Mark or Paul?  I’m going for Paul here since Mark isn’t afraid to put his name to his insults.
You want to know who the hell I am?  I am a magician, but above that I am a fan.  And as a fan I demand a certain amount of professionalism when I see a public show.   I expect to see well rehearsed, scripted material.  I do not expect to see people “winging” it.  “Winging” it is unprofessional and insulting to the audience.  PERIOD!!!!!
We deserve better.
I, by the way, am also a human being that lives in a democracy, and that gives me the right to air my views on ANYTHING, much like it gave you the right to post your reply.  Don’t like it, go to Cuba and see what a free idea gets you.
As for being a nobody.  Yeah, I’ll give you that.  My name is nothing in the world of entertainment, and I don’t care.  At least this nobody cares about the art of Magic.  At least this nobody knows well enough to say “no” when not prepared.  At least this nobody can hold his head high and say with confidence “I give a damn!”
BTW: Next time have the balls to sign your name.

Again, someone without the balls to put his name to his reply said:
“Who are you to be able to have the audacity to even try to critic Copperfields show....you are pathetic.”

Wow, I didn’t think my Copperfield review was that bad.  Well, my coward, I state again that I am a fan, and in this case I was a fan that invested quite a bit of money into this show, and those little bills with the Queen’s picture on them allow me the right to say if I was dis-satisfied with Copperfield’s performance, much like I have a right to complain about a meal at a restaurant that I have to pay for.
But hey, I guess were not allowed to have opinions, are we.  I guess we are supposed to blindly applaud disappointing and just plain bad performances and let those crappy magicians believe that they are good because we live in a time where hurting others feelings is bad.
Sure, I could look at you, whoever you are anonymous coward, and say “Yes, your performance was good,” when it sucked, but for what end?  So that you can stay bad?  So you never grow?  So that you live your life in a delusional state that you are good?  Is that what you want?  To be bad and stay bad?
I won’t do that.  There is a long and wonderful history associated to the Art of Magic and I am not going to sully it by pretending bad is good.  I am not going to rape magic by allowing crap to go unnoticed.
At least I care, which is more than I can say for you.
Oh yeah, just so you know I have received my fair share of bad reviews over time, and yes I get pissed, but I listen and take notes and try to better myself.  Don’t believe me, ask my friends.  (Yes, I have friends.)  Being that they are all artistic types (Actors, writers, directors etc.) they are never afraid to tell the truth and you can be damn sure after so long of this I can take it.

But hey, you can’t say I don’t put my money where my mouth is.  Much like I did for Mr. Motta above, (Notice he had the balls to post his name, you coward) if you post you real name I will make sure you get a pair of tickets to my upcoming show and will allow you to post a review right here, on my blog, unedited.  (Hell, I won’t even check for spelling and grammar.)  THAT is how sure I am about my show.  THAT is how sure I am that I am doing the right thing.
It’s up to you, anonymous stranger.  A public airing of your name for a chance to put me in my place.  What do you say?

Oh yeah, this is the last free pair I will give away, just in case you think all you have to do is bad mouth me to get free tickets.

Next Post:  I’m sure I’ll get some more reader mail, but I’ll try to think up something else to write about.  (Us uncreative nobody’s have trouble with original thoughts, don’t you know.)

4 Comments:

Blogger The Magic Utopian said...

Good blog. Feedback and criticism are essential to good conjuring.

1:28 PM  
Blogger Billp said...

I don't understand the "who do you think they are?" attitude towards criticism. ANYBODY can criticize ANYTHING, ANYTIME they want.

Sound odd? Too sweeping? Too general a statement?

Look, open criticism - founded or unfounded, informed or uninformed, constructive or destructive - is exactly the kind of dicourse that generates progress. Sure, someone could say "that was good, but try to keep your arm looser during the pass, it looks like you're hiding something" and you could take that as point to learn from. But the same guy could watch the same show and say "dude, you couldn't palm a card with Meadowlark Lemon's hands" and you could learn from that, too.

So lemme say this:

Chance, learn from Gord. Agree with him, disagree with him, whatever, but take this away from what he has said; a paying member of your audience was so disatisfied with your show, they felt kind of cheated. This is more than someone just not liking it, it's a real problem. Does that mean you have to change it? Try and improve it? Scrap the whole thing and take up knitting? No. But it is true, and is something every performer should be aware of when it occurs. It means what you should do is reevaluate what you're doing, and decide if anything needs to be done.

I've been on the bad end of more than one review in my time, and I've never felt the need to write an angry letter to the editor, or post a rebuttle on a website. Attacking the reviewer will never make them change their opinion, and will only make it that much less likely that they approach your next show with an open mind.

Develope a thicker skin, decide in your own head if you did anything wrong, and move forward.

And just to show that I'm not just on Gord's side... It's Jim Jones, dimwit.

7:24 PM  
Anonymous Bobby Motta said...

Hi Gord,
I am not sure if this will be seen as it has been a while. To clean the record, this is my first post, Ray was the one who originally replied before I had even seen your blog. First off, I apologize if I offended you or any individual at the show, it was not my intension. After reviewing the footage on video, I have to admit that I cringed a little myself. However, it was not my first show with Ray, it was the 2nd. Let's just put it this way, you're lucky you didn't see the first show. It was bad. The only thing we were guilty of is lack of experience. Believe it or not we did spend a lot of time rehearsing, but not the right way and with little knowledge of stage work. I also believe that as it may seem easier to work with a partner, it is not. It is probably more difficult. I have since been solo and have been working on my show on a daily basis. I hope that I can persuade you to coming to my next show with the hopes that will you will be happy. With that said, after reading your comment I had to do a little research on you. A couple of very reputable names in the business, one of which knows you very well, made a remark regarding why you do this kind of thing and also tried to help me understand why you wouldn't come to us to extend your thoughts and advice from a professional stand point. It is obvious you have a history in this craft and a much better understanding of the do's and don’ts, but your acquaintance, a man to which I admire a great deal made it very clear to me. Although it was a direct blow at your character, I still defended your post. If this was anything other than this unique and beautiful craft, this probably would not apply, but since it is I have to say that it is unfortunate that you didn't see our inexperience and felt a little sorry for our mistakes. It would have been a kind gesture to extended your views directly to us without having to post such an angry blog. It really is unfortunate since we fall under the same umbrella with such a tight circle, that there has to be so many bitter people in it. I hope you don't take offense to this and all the best in your show.
Yours Truly
Bobby Motta

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

billp get motta's dik outta ur mouth and stop thinking you're god. You should see Roberto Ibale the gayboy of magic perform, he's pathetic just like you.

3:33 AM  

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