In Regards To Variety

Note: These opinions refer to the much discussed Variety article and review on magic and magicians which was reproduced in the last issue of The Jinx. Vie asked readers for their opinions as to whether such articles are good or bad for magic, and why. The views expressed are not to be taken as necessarily being our own.

Dear Ted: (1) A paper has a right to print anything it feels like. (2) A member of the Society who knowingly and willingly publicly "pans" a fellow member or his act is not worthy of membership in such society. He ji£ a friend, provided he tells the performer and fellow member that, "if you will change so and so, the act will be better" — he is not a friend if he injures his fellow member's chances of further work. (3) Many magicians require the truth being told about them --- even the worst of them do not deserve a blasting criticism in print. (4) No one knows definitely who wrote the review In Variety that caused all the trouble. The Greatest Magician of all said, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone" --- so let's be more kind to our fellow man.

Jul1en J. Proskauer itiHt-iKKKt-.Hi-ii-

Dear Theo: A volume could be written on the review situation in Variety. My how squarely the writer does hit the nail on the headl It is a bitter pill for the amateur and semi-professional to swallow, but good medicine nevertheless. Prom the angle of the showman or person who depends on box office receipts the writer is certainly right. It is true that 99% of us ape the originals and never create anything of our own. There are too many copy cats among us, and the best magicians of to-day are the fellows who live to themselves and are Independent of all magical societies. ^^Jtfallace, The Magician

If I were an agent, or manager of a -theatre, and read any of that critic's articles, I wouldn't hire a magician. If the critic weren't a magician himself his orlticism might be right from his point of view, but being a magician and member of the society, I don't think a criticism from him could be fair to magicians.

Fred Rothenberg

A reviewer is only doing his job properly by calling them as he sees them (assuming the paper allows him to do so), so he should not be blamed for that. Of course, the writer of the March 3rd article didn't have to review the benefit show but, if such performances would generally be a commercial failure, he did a service in pointing this out. Some of the acts will naturally like the criticism but, if It's true, it is to their benefit to eliminate weak spots and get up to date. In the March 24th review, the writer makes amends to some extent by acknowledging at the start that magic is having a revival, particularly in night clubs. This sufficiently dispels the bad impressions which bookers might have picked up by reading the first article. The man certainly knows his magi, and all Jinx readers should thank you for reproducing his "Inside Stuff." Tom Bowyer

The review is only what Is to be expected from an S.A.M. member. Past experience has shown that the society is not sincere in its enforcing of its own expose rules, so how can one expect a member to be loyal to m&gle and magicians.

Tom Worfrhlngton

Variety's critic has the right perspective on magic and magicians. It is too bad that magicians who disagree with him cannot stop dealing seconds long enough to step back a few feet ^uid view the scene as it really appears. Magic is being ruinPage edto-day by performers who have not learned that showmanship is more important than sleight of hand. The way they use their feet while standing before an audience is more important than the way they use their hands. '<!hen a person gives me helpful advice (an efficiency expert would charge plenty for it) I thank him instead of asking the world if it was ethical for him to do so.

Bertram Adams

In my opinion, they were written by one desirous of furthering his own ambitions with no thought for those whom he might injure by his biased and unfounded statements. One may attenrat to justify these acts by using the worn out argument, "It is only his personal opinion", but such a defense is unavailable to one who writes for a ourveyor of news and does not attach his name to the writings. The publisher must of necessity be charged with the contents of these articles and must realize that unfair reviews will not do his circulation any good. The conscience of the author must be bothering him for he knows deep in his heart that his pessimism and general attitude towards magic is unfounded and unfair. And then may I ask "what are his qualifications to judge others ? Who is he to judge?" Jacob L. Stelsel

_ _ ■iKHHiiiii-XHt'M' """""~~"

In 1« Imyh Dvnnlnstt

New York, April 5. Editor, Vaiury:

In the March 24 issue the following statements were printed in a story captioned "Inside Stuff on M&gis," which refers particularly to Joseph Dunninger. I know it is your desire to correct any erroneous statements.

1. "It is reported that he is voluntarily working off his indebtedness to her at present."

2. "He explains to his audiences that he is proud of the fact that he is not associated with any magicians' organizations.

particularly the Society of American Magicians, which he thinks is a rap."

In the flrst place, Mr. Dunninger was not financially interested in the show to which the article' refers and therefore is not in any way indebted to me.

Furthermore, the second statement is absolutely untrue, since during the many years Mr. Dunninger has been under my management he has not appeared in more than half a dozen performances without the personal representation of myself or associates.

Frances Rockefeller King.

0 0

Post a comment