Magician rivalries: Why does it happen?


fileunderFound in The Prestige (2006)
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Why does it always seem like there can only be 2 rival magicians? I just saw The Prestige last night and it centers around 2 rival magicians. Even the film itself is pitted against The Illusionist, also a magician-centered movie. And now we have CrissAngel and David Blaine, are they rival magicians?

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I saw an episode of MindFreak where CrissAngel was doing an underwater escape trick in NYC when Blaine came by to "show his support". This was very similar to Blaine's very similar to the David Blaine live-in-water-for-a-week/hold-your-breath-for-world-record trick he did in NYC. CrissAngel said that appreciated the gesture, but I think Blaine was pissed. I think that Blaine feels he's legitimate and than Angel is stealing his thunder. I tend to believe him.

I think the Blaine/CrissAngel thing is very similar to the rivalry from the Prestige. Society can only take so much magic, therefore there is a constant battle to be the "one magician".

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As described in the Prestige, "Every great magic trick consists of three acts. The first act is called 'The Pledge'; The magician shows you something ordinary, but of course... it probably isn't. The second act is called 'The Turn'; The magician makes his ordinary some thing do something extraordinary. Now if you're looking for the secret... you won't find it, that's why there's a third act called, 'The Prestige'; this is the part with the twists and turns, where lives hang in the balance, and you see something shocking you've never seen before."   Each magician works from this basic system.

I think Magician rivalries are intrinsic to their profession for a few reasons:

1) They compete for the same audience and revenue (i.e their livelihood)

2) They are performers and love the applause...when someone is getting the applause they think they should be getting, there is envy and jealousy.

3) Magicians/Illusionists all pull from the same bag'o'tricks....they add their own spin on the trick, but essentially the priciples are the same.  So the only variation is the showmanship and presentation of each magician. 

4) If a new trick is invented by one magician, the others will want to figure it out...who better to figure out a magic trick than another magician.  There is value on a new trick, so when someone figures out how you do your new invention, the value diminishes.  This is a primary cause of Magician Rivalry--stealing each others material and adding their own spin to claim it as their own.

This post was edited by dakalvia on 3/23/2007 11:58 AM
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David Copperfield is the only magician for me.

And it's obvious why there's always rivaling magicians. They're actually Sith and there can only be 2, and the apprentice is always trying to kill and replace the master.


Ok, that wasn't not too nerdy rigtht? I mean EVERYBODY has seen Star Wars!

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As I kid, I loved the David Copperfield TV specials.....the guy made the statue of liberty disappear!!!  I think he was the king of camera trickery and/or GIANT mirors.

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I just saw a David Copperfield show on Wedensday. He was funny and had some pretty cool tricks, though there was nothing that spectacular. It was kinda like he didn't want to be performing in such a small town. He was cool though. I would love to see one of his shows in a really big city.
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That's hilarious, silence. Talk about a coincidence. I saw Copperfield when I was young.
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Check it out, I got a picture with the MAN.  David Blaine.  This was taken January 12, 2006 at the Mexico airport on the way home to Toronto.  I took 4 pictures of him as he was walking towards me and ALL pictures turned out blurry... I have never had a blurry picture from this Canon SD300.  He took the camera from me and snapped this picture of us.  If you look closely you can see his eyes are a little googly and crazy!!  Needless to say he was on his Blackberry when I spotted him!
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Hilarious! Just goes to prove that Blaine does real magic. He can even make your camera blurry.

He must be seriously annoyed by Criss Angel. I watched an episode of Mindfreak last night. Every trick can be figured out easily. On top of tricks, Blaine lives in a water sphere for 7 days and then goes for a world record for holding his breath. I think he made it to like 8 mins. There was also the Blaine stunt where he stood atop a tall pole for days and then jumped off. You can't fake that.

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I saw Criss Angel on an episode of CSI....he was playing a magician who killed his assistant.

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