Monday, October 18, 2010

Too Darn Serious

Awards are taken too darn seriously all the time. Don't forget, an award is nothing but a made up title attempting to compare certain work.

Every single award that is in existence was made up at one point in time. Even the precious title "world champion" that some hold up oh so dearly is made up. Just like the Merlin.

Some awards tell you about actual work, as they are given out solely based on effort. This is not the case in magic. You may argue about this, but no award in magic is actually worth anything as it is handed out from magician to magician. Michael Grasso's participation on AGT is actually much more valuable in terms of telling us about actual effort than any FISM-prize.

Simply because the aim of magic is not to have the best double lift, but to be liked by the audience doing magic. Naturally any award in magic should be handed out by a lay audience.

Knowing that makes it a lot easier to see past any award claim by any magician and see the real truth. And that is also why Shawn Farquhar is a good magician, but not a world champion.

But that being said there is also the other side of the coin. Awards are given because the people giving out the award respect the magician getting the award. And that is not true if the person getting the award is also the one who made it up.

And that only happens, because we take ourselves and each other too fucking serious. Lighten up. Don't take any award seriously. Not even the Weekly Magic Failure. Some are just way too pissed about it. Like Malik Haddadidududa who actually claimed in an email that my little post harmed his business side of things. I told him that his videos do a far better job than I do, but this is just a case of someone taking my little made up award and actually assuming it has any validity.

My grandma gave me a great advise many years ago. "Before taking any advise, check from whom the advise comes from." The same is true for critic and awards.


Magic Unlimited said...

I understand the argument that "Awards are awards are awards" and that they are really only meaningful to the winner. However those who compare the Merlin to the FISM are, I believe, missing the point.

FISM is a competition where people perform the best routine they can, are judged on a certain criteria by their peers, and the winner is the one deemed best on the day (providing he or she has achieved the minimum score for a certain prize).

The Merlins are awards where you approach Tony Hassini and ask him for one. Then you pay his expenses and he gives it to you.

In one, you receive the title 'Best Close Up Magician' because, out of all the close up magicians who competed, you were the best.

In the other, you receive the title 'Best Close Up Magician' because you ask for it.

Some may suggest "all awards are fake" but, in the comparison between these two magic awards that both offer the same titles, one can actually be earned, while the other is merely bought.

One is fake, the other is real. (Well, as real as you can get for a magic award).

I think the other things that qualifies an award are the organisation awarding it and the past recipients of it.

FISM has a long history, is respected within the industry, and the majority of the winners have become big names in our small community.

Look, on the other hand, at Criss Angel's recent 'Magician of the Century' award. Presented by 'The Academy of Magic... Greece. A small club who have never presented such an award before.

It's a nice gesture, and Criss has certainly converted the "title" into massive promotion, but surely even he would value his 'Magician of the Year' from The Academy of Magical Arts (Magic Castle) more than his "Century" award, or even his half a dozen Merlins.

To be honored by one guy, or a small group of guys is one thing, but to be honoured by a major organisation in your business and have your name placed among other "greats" is a very different thing. Maybe not for promotional purposes, but it definitely engenders a greater feeling of respect.

Anonymous said...

The biggest threat to credibility in any award is politics. To put things in perspective lets take The Oscars. Citizen Kane lost the best picture oscar to "How Green was my Valley" primarily because William Randolf Hearst ran a smear campaign depicting Orson Welles as anti-hollywood. Other insults include Goodfellas losing to Dances with Wolves in directing and picture. "Best" is a relative term. All awards have their share of BS. Some just have more than others.

Gary Magic said...

Awards no matter how you get them do bring in work for the professional. Admittedly some aren't worth the paper they're written on in the magic world, but to a layperson the BS works!
I've won quite a few competitions, most were judged by other magicians, while a few were judged by laypeople, to a potential booker though they like the fact that they've booking an "Award Winning Magician" lol. Yes it's all utter bollocks but it does help to secure the bookings!!!

Gary Jones 'Award Winning Magician' lol!

Magic Unlimited said...

Is it all "utter bollocks" or are there some awards you, Gary Magic, would actually be proud to win?