Should magic be convincing, should Dan Sperry be a Magic failure? Yes...
Here is why: What drives a magician to be on TV? What drives a magician to be in a Talent Show that is on TV? Need for admiration? Maybe! The challenge? Possibly! Hope for more bookings! Yes! A sound argument to ask for a much higher fee? Hell yeah!
Are there other reasons? I cannot think of any. Please enlighten me! Why did Dan Sperry take part in "America's got Talent"?
To get famous of course... But why in the world is he going through such a system? TV is a bitch we all know it. We all know that the show is fake. That the possible winners are planned ahead, that the audience gives standing ovations if a big sign tells them to do it. It was planned that Sperry would fail. He had no chance. But he decided to go through the system anyway. And that is "fail"!
Hardly any magic withstands the scrutiny of a camera. Unless it is specifically designed to be performed on TV. That dental floss thing was good. Certainly no talent was involved in that routine, but it plays well and was a good choice. That arm cutter thing... well it was not a good choice.
Yes, the arm looked fake. There should have been a lot of blood to cover it. And yes, Justin from iTricks is right. I don't know what went on behind the curtains of the show. Maybe he was not allowed to use blood. Maybe technical difficulties made it impossible to do that. But whatever the reason was. The lack of blood, made the trick weak. Too weak to cause a reaction.
Piers Morgan correctly stated that magic should be convincing. If it would be about imagining and letting go it would be a play of Peter Pan. If you cut out part of an arm, it better looks like you cut out part of an arm. And not like a "fake rubber thingy."
About character: What the hell is Dan Sperry trying to be? An emo, A clown, a goth? Or maybe something unique? Whatever may be the truth, he failed to get the point across.
Granted, the time he has on TV is really, really little. But others manage to do it. Maybe because the characters they try to show are less complex and much easier to grasp.
And this is perhaps how Dan Sperry fails the most, the lack of a clear character, paired with his shallow personality, that doesn't go beyond "Hi, I'm Dan."
Am I unfair towards Dan Sperry... Well yeah... That's the point. That is my character. I am the asshole. Easy to grasp, isn't it? This is rushed, and I am drunk, maybe I should have waited with this until tomorrow.