(RON MACMILLAN) 89 CLERKENWELL ROAD, HOLBORN LONDON E.C.1.
Taskspelaren. Efter P. Maasanis milning.
From The Bob Read Collection. Number five in a series of six
Dateline Scotland. For those of you who may not know it I am a Scotsman. This means that from time to time I return to the scene of the crime and that is what I am doing at this very moment. I decided not to accept any work over the Christmas and New Year period and visit my little hideaway north of the border.
This means of course that I haven't seen any magic for the last ten days or so. Not that there isn't any magic going on up here it's just that I tend to avoid it when I am having a holiday. Now, when I have a holiday I tend to watch TV a lot, which means I can catch whatever magic there is on the gogglebox over the festive season.
I've been thinking about magic on television and I have come to the conclusion that magicians watch it for four reasons.
1. To be entertained.
2. To look for new material for their act.
3. To be aware of which effects NOT to do in their acts, at least for the next few weeks.
4. Those who, performing magic for a living like to keep their eye on the box in case one of their pet effects or routines are performed.
The first category we can ignore. The second I just don't understand, although
I remember Goodliffe quoting a concert secretary who, when discussing a magician said 'He is very good. He does all the latest tricks you see on TV.' The third lot are the intelligent ones trying to keep ahead of the game. The last category, in which I include myself, are those who rarely or never appear on TV. They can spend a long time developing an effect for their act, until they have what they consider a good solid four or five minutes which is their own. The effect may be old, or standard but they have added something of themselves to it, and suddenly overnight someone does it on a late TV show and if it is a particularly strong effect, its always goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.Especially if it has a strong comedy or surprise element.
I never used to worry about what David Nixon did on TV because technically David was not all that strong. As a live performer doing his regular stand up act I thought he was one of the greatest, but when finding new material for a weekly TV series he was limited in what he could do.
Today, David has a successor, namely Paul Daniels. Now here is a . force to be reckoned with. He has technical ability, knowledge, style, and he is also very funny. To the public he is a 'name' . He is capable of doing anything. Siegfried and Roy are doing things which are outside the scope of most working pros, but because of his performing ability, Paul can do anything he wants to.
Is there a point to all this? Yes there is. It's something I have said before and I'll say it again. Do your own thing. Find your own effects. Develope your own routines. Maybe, just maybe, Paul Daniels will force us into devising our own original routines, effects or presentations. I hope so. He has got me thinking. He's so good he scares me.
Goodbye, Patrick Page
A NEW ONE FROM JOHN MENDOZA and BOB BROWN
IMPORTED BY YOUGUESS WHO?
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