Sunday, June 19, 2011

WMF Blake Alexander

I'm going out on a big guess here by claiming the following. Blake Alexander is an uncreative wannabe of a magician. Watch a clip of David Copperfield's version on Martin Lewis' Cardiograph:

And now Blake Alexanders version of the same effect:

In all my years as a magician, I never even though of copying an act that I like. To me that always felt like a concession to my own inability to create unique magic and thereby failing as an artist. Obviously some do not feel that way at all. Blake Alexander doesn't feel that way at all.

And he is not alone. I remember the one time I was at a magic convention. The stage illusion contest featured two such "copy cats".

I know why Blake Alexander did this. Because he sees the act, sees that it gets the reactions he dreams of, and the only way he can even think up creating such reactions himself is to copy the act, joke for joke. This is a failure in the making...

No wait, he is not. He already is a failure.


Anonymous said...

Again there is a bit of a pattern here with older magicians very quick to rip on young and naive magicians. I'd be tempted to give him a bit of leeway whioh to be fair some of the posters on the Cafe do seem to be trying to do.

However part of the leeway in my mind is due to the question "how much harm are they doing?" and my big worry with young Mr Alexander is that he appears to be on the verge of Corporate and TV gigs but is using other peoples material.

I'd be quite happy for youngster to mess up, make mistakes, be big headed and think they know it all in the relatively safe amateur environment. To call yourself a pro however and be copying others is a no no.

One other point, whilst I am quite sure Coppoerfields routine isn't for sale, people like Mr Alexander aren't helped by those who are quite happy to seel a whole routine lock stock and barrel ( stupid jokes and all). It doesn't set a very good precedent.

darkstar said...

Tied sweater 80's "Sup Bro" style.
Shirt unbuttoned 70's style with butterfly collar.
Glamor pose.

Brian said...

Being a fairly new magician, I use a lot of routines as they are taught and demonstrated in dvds and books. I've purchased the rights to use the routine, so I don't see any ethical problems in using them.

I've had some magicians talk negatively about doing this, but I strongly feel this is not a negative thing to do. First, someone with way more magical experience and creativity has come up with this routine and fine tuned it through the years. If I'm new and learning, it's better for me to use that routine and focus on presenting it correctly. I don't have to worry about coming up with new material that may or may not work. I have a routine to study and preform - a good routine. Say for example when I choose a Hobson routine, I know the audience will enjoy it- I just need to remember and present it correctly.

Of course I still mix in my own personality and as I perform more and more, I've personalized my routines more and more. The more I perform, the more I move away from the original presentation.

In contrast to the original post, I'm talking about published routines, not stealing someone's original.