Thursday, April 19, 2012

Winner Kevin James

It is April. In celebration of this blogs three year existence, the whole month will be winner time. Only the coolest and best members of our elite circle of nerds will be featured.

Today: Kevin James

When it comes to having strange imagery being the catalyst for strange magic routines Kevin James is just one of us. But being able to actually implement those brain children into actual working routines is a different beast. And this is where Kevin James shines the most. Over the years Kevin James has contributed to the magic community with a whole bunch of routines. Most notably the Floating Rose and the Bowling Ball trick. But let's talk about Kevin James' magic. It is comedy with a little bit of surreal gross out moments. There are jokes, and no so serious not so deceptive visual gags and of course really cool wtf moments that leave the audience speechless and feeling even somewhat uneasy. Watch his act:

Giving yourself an esophagogastroduodenoscopy to reveal a chosen card is pretty far a away from the traditional ways of doing magic. This is dangerous territory. The chance to alienate a big chunk of the the audience is there if you cannot back it up with a likable persona. But it's either this or the chance of being boring and like all of the others. So I applaud Kevin James for creating and living yet another weird facet of magic.

The only bit of caviar I feel to mention is this: What the hell is his character? Is he a magic doctor, or a magician who pretends to be a doctor. It really doesn't come across. Is there some sort of antagonistic force working or.... I am over thinking this! Am I? Ohhh, look at that... there's a guy with a hole in his body. What was my point again? Oh yeah, Kevin James is a magic winner.


Trickster said...

Am I the only one that thinks some of this stuff is incredibly weak and poorly performed?
The entire things grates on me as it is so laboured and "try hard".
Not to mention the video that is taken from audience position shows how he exposes so much of the bowling ball effect.
From all I have seen over the years, Kevin James has one good chopping in half routine (not the version in this video) and a cool bowling ball production. I really don't see what people rave about.

石榮狼 said...

My very humble opinion: there's nothing such as inherently "weak stuff", only well exploited stuff and poorly exploited stuff.
Some smart thinkers come up with elaborate and exciting presentations that allow them to get a lot out of one simple DL or a rather meh gimmick, while unimaginative virtuosos present routines involving half a dozen different high-level sleights and end up boring the hell out of their audience.
It's really easy for magicians to forget that how ingenious/meritorious the method is is totally irrelevant to how entertaining the trick is, since the audience is unaware of it.
I personally love watching people come up with original uses for worn-out principles or other alleged "weak stuff", thus making it unrecognisable - or at least quite unique to their performance style.
I'd say K. James did just that by smoothly connecting his live-hand-in-box trick with his use of the severed hand gimmick, for instance. The next bit, with the hand-through-body and falling head, was also a good way to get well-known tricks to serve his style and stage persona as some kind of "physician from hell". Boring for most magicians to watch, possibly, but not so for laypeople.
I see where you're coming from though; the performance wasn't always top-notch (to his defence, I think the poor video does it no justice) and he did indeed sound a bit like he was forcing it. Still, I see lots of good ideas here.