Monday, August 10, 2009

WMF Val Valentino



Val Valentino, aka the Masked Magician, aka Leonard Monatono. For those who have not had the pleasure of bumping into this character here is a brief summery: Val is a half decent stage performer in Las Vegas. Fox wanted a magician who would reveal secrets on TV. After a bit of back an forth Val Valentino agrees to reveal old illusions. Fox basically forced him, with money. He puts on a mask, et voilà the Masked Magicians is born.

At the end of four of those TV specials he reveals is identity and claims the following:



"It is time to change, the audience wants something new. Magicians need to think, not rely on illusions that other magicians have created many years ago?"

Really? I think one of the strengths of the cups and balls is the fact that pretty generic objects are used. Just cups and balls. Well unless the Masked Magician is referring to stage illusions, which have changed over time. And I am not just talking about a new coat of color. OK, I agree that the Zig Zag Illusion is a bit over done. But is that the fault of the illusion, the fault of the secret? No it is the fault of many many lazy magicians who are unable create something themselves. Just like Val Valentino. So he is what we in the business call a hypocrite, making him a long overdue Weekly Magic Failure.

And part of a magic trick is the secret. So a "secret" should have an important role. Yet the "secret" is treated with disrespect and all for money.

Is he a good performer? Well... good question... here you see him failing a self working card trick.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

That last video was a good example of someone on autopilot and not paying attention to what the spectator was doing. Also he gave her bad instructions. A failure indeed!

awhan said...

for some time now i have pondered this myself and have concluded that magicians need to invent new presentations and methods NOT for the lay audience but for themselves.
there are so many methods of controlling a card but we see new approaches everyday. the audience can not differentiate between these different methods. to him/her all that matters is that the selected card is lost.
many professionals have been performing the same routine for over a decade now. none of their audiences are bored but we magicians get bored as we see it again and again. so we hanker for novelty and variety. more over its the amateur and semi professionals who want the change and new stuff. the clever professional knows that a half decent cups and balls will still steal the show any day.

Daniel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daniel said...

The proffesional's cups and balls IS decent and that's why he does it.

Qomador said...

i think he is an excellent performer

Denny said...

I Think this idiot will go down in magic history as the most disrespectful moron to ever atempt a magic trick. ( Second only to pen and teller). Keeping magic seecrets is more than just a matter of honor, there are professional magicians out there who have invested a ton of time and money puting an act together based on secrets theese morons give away. Secrets that feed their families. Being the low life sort that they are, and revealing secrets is what they have to do to get attention, because they are lousey magicians. Think about it. What was Valentino or pen and teller doing the first time you ever saw them ? That's right, they were revealing a secret. Never heard of them before that did you ? Me neither. What total assholes. I can't believe they are still alive.

David Guido said...

Para mi gusto de ver las cosas Val Valentino es el mejor mago del mundo me gusta mucho su estilo de ser y de enfocar las cosas, ademas les quita el ego que tienen los otros ilucionistas que se creen DIOS tipo criss Angel, sigue adelante Valenttino, se ve que eres bien carismatico.

shades said...

Don't really blame him all that much as he probably needed the money...

However, the most annoying part of this, is not necessarily about knowing how the trick works, it will be the annoying audience members that will sit there like a bunch of know-it-alls, and say: "Oh yeah, I know how this works.. blah blah blah..." when they lack any of the creativity required to engineer an illusion.

No problem with old, simple tricks being revealed, it will require newer ones to be developed, and will encourage new magicians to take it up.

A lot of the TV magicians are relying on total deception anyway, with fellow actors/participants complicit in the deception, and this is not obvious, you're just taking their word for it that what they're telling you is true...

We all want to believe in magic after all don't we? :)

silverdun said...

Val is brilliant, I love his show. I totally agree, knowing how it works doesn't ruin the trick at all, it's all in the presentation. I had no interest in magic shows (thought they were old rubbish) until I saw his tricks revealed show. Now I love them, it's so clever! Now I visit as many shows as I can, although there's not that many about unfortunately. I think he was very brave to do the show and even braver to reveal himself. Don't know many like him, he's awesome! :) I think all these sour grapes comments are more to do with the fact that they are annoyed he's getting so much attention and is such a good showy showman. Try to put more effort into your own shows and see how far you can go too instead of moaning about others making more money than you :)

Rosamojar said...

For those who do not know, and I am from europe, Val Valentino is one of the greatest magicians, well recognized as such and well known around the world. I am more interested in magic since I saw him as the masked guy. He is right in his appreciations about the fact that magic is in the performer. I feel more interested in magic tricks now. Every magician can get the same magical effect BUT each magician uses very different methods to obtain similar results. As human beings ALL magicians make mistakes when performing, so we should not think that one small mistake is not possible. Valentino is a truly wonderful magician who has invented new different methods to achieve results. What he revealed were the "worn out" easy tricks that has left perplex to audiences. Good magicians do support him. Bad magicians do not.

Roland said...

So you're saying that Val Valentino developed new material? Name one! Go ahead... name just one!

raviyaa said...

well said.

ddd said...

just dishonest crappy person

Daniel Kostrzynski said...

If this guy was a legitimately talented magician, he would be famous for something other than revealing tricks. You don't see people like David Blaine giving all their secrets away.

The people who liked his show are the sort of people who get a thrill from feeling intellectually superior (i.e. figuring out how a magic trick is done) but lack the capacity to actually BE intellectually superior.

I guarantee you the fans of this show who are now "magic fans" are only more interested because they can now brag to their friends about how they know how to pull off all the tricks.