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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Helping hands » » How do magicians upset assistants the most? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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For over forty years I have been the magician. Five years ago I married Lucy who has her own stage magic show. So I have also served as her assistant. We both do stage and animal magic and have to trade roles from time to time.

After all this time, perhaps it's time to see the forest instead of only a few trees.

What are the things that the magician does to set the assistants off the most? What would be your solution?

Bob
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tabman
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For a while I worked onstage with Paul Kozak doing comedy club work. Part of my gig (I wore a monk's outfit and played Mr. Crabb retired magician) was to pre-qualify candidates for Kozak's Second Sight routine. I won't go into details here but eventually he (through me) settled on a beautiful young lady and he sought to reveal the first time she, well er um, lets say, was kissed by a man.

One night I decided to pull one on Kozak (he was wearing a blindfold and could not see) and directed him to choose a woman who by all outward signs was much more interested in women and not men. The audience was in on it but not Kozak. It was pretty funny that night as you might imagine as Koz was questioning her.

For those who don't know, Kozak is a great friend and superior magician and I'm proud to have worked with him. I'm sure he wouldn't mind me sharing the full story with you next time I see you in person but that's the gist of it!!

-=tabman
...Your professional woodworking and "tender" loving care in the products you make, make the wait worthwhile. Thanks for all you do...

http://Sefalaljia.com
Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
19893 Posts

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Tabby,

I've got to hear that one!

This sounds like the fun had with Johnny Thompson one show when he watch a cast of magicians in the wings playing with the bowling ball he uses in the ending of his act. And it was the end of his act.

I had a young lady enjoy my distress on stage once when she "arranged" for me to not have the real egg I needed during the set. (Note the judicious use of the word "once". I think she spent the rest of the summer as a waitress.)

I will have to say JT is a trouper!

Bob
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kat_kelly_007
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I think the worst thing is being called a boxjumper.. I was an assistant for a year, and that was the one thing that really ticked me off. We got that straightened out pretty darn fast though!
Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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Quote:
On 2005-04-30 04:33, kat_kelly_007 wrote:
I think the worst thing is being called a boxjumper.. I was an assistant for a year, and that was the one thing that really ticked me off. We got that straightened out pretty darn fast though!


Kat,

I'm sure that does bother some cast members. It is really not a put-down. But I can see how you may not like the title.

If it will help your feelings, I am also a boxjumper at times. A good side of this title is that it shows that you actually can fit into the box. I'm sure there are plenty of people out there that cannot do it.

Actually we are speaking of stage illusionists. To me that is an entertainer that has made it to theater level productions. Most professional magicians never get there!

Don't let the title keep you from your goals. Remember that the most responsible and courageous person in the rodeo arena is called "the clown".

Don't forget that the most important people at the show are on the other side of the lights.

Take care.

Bob
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Father Photius
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Well calling my assistants in the past box jumpers didn't bother them, but things like not telling them my appreciation, not acting like the audience should give her equal credit during taking a bow, being late with a pay check, not listening to her when she is trying to tell me some problem she is experiencing in an effect, or how she thinks it might play better, etc. Those hacked them off. What we generally fought about most. Also not giving them adaquate dressing area or time. When we traveled on the road, we often found sleep a premium, and we tended to schedule shows in a manner that we could get in, I could get a few hours sleep then get up and run off and get to set up and do a show. I kept forgetting the ladies to continue to look nice needed a bit more time, and the only way they were getting it was to cut into their sleeping time. I learned to re-arrange the schedule to allow them sleeping time and preparation time.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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I'm truly surprised that we haven't had more complaints about the lack of beauty sleep and make-ready time.

I do know that the question that turns a magic assistant into an ax murderer is "Didn't you bring...?" (Of course that is after we ranted for thirty minutes before coming to the show about all the stuff unnecessary to be brought to the show.) After that, do not do a blindfold act!

Tabman, I still want to hear about Kozak and his well-choosen volunteer.


Bob
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afun14u
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Bob,

As I understand your question ... wouldn't one way be "NOT to pay her or him"? I can't really complain about my lead assistant she is well not only my assistant she is my partner on stage and in life. She is beautiful, witty, and VERY professional when it comes to performing. Ok, you got me she is my wife but hey she is her own illusionist too. God was really looking down on me that day.

Robert Jones
Empowering Kingdom Growth through Evangelistic Entertainment!
Big Daddy Cool
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Yes, he did Robert. Yes he did. Red is smokin!

BDC
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Red_Magic_Jones
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If I was smokin' I'd have to be on fire... that would hurt.

;)


Seriously though... heh heh heh....

Best way for a Magician to make his Assistant mad?
Marry her than get her pregnant... makes it hard to get into illusions and costumes then!
Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
19893 Posts

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Quote:
On 2005-06-15 17:41, afun14u wrote:
Bob,

As I understand your question ... wouldn't one way be "NOT to pay her or him"? I can't really complain about my lead assisntant she is well not only my assisntant she is my partner on stage and in life. She is beautiful, witty, and VERY professional when it comes to performing. Ok, you got me she is my wife but hey she is her own illusionist too. God was really looking down on me that day.

Robert Jones


Robert,

I caught your act at SEAM in Tennessee. You did get a deal! (Both of you!)

Hope I get to see you two while I am working Tennessee next week.

Bob
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Big Daddy Cool
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Well Bob, I won the close-up, but I was WAYYYY off my game on the stage comp. Nothing was working right. I learned a valuable lesson about compromise - I will never make the same mistake again. But thanks. You'll be able to see that Bill in Lemon act at Twin City the way it should be!

BDC
Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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Quote:
On 2005-06-18 10:21, Big Daddy Cool wrote:
Well Bob, I won the close-up, but I was WAYYYY off my game on the stage comp. Nothing was working right. I learned a valuable lesson about compromise - I will never make the same mistake again. But thanks. You'll be able to see that Bill in Lemon act at Twin City the way it should be!

BDC


Congratulations Big Daddy Cool!

I'm glad only about 150 people saw me lose a dove in Arkansas this spring. When It goes wrong, it goes wrong. I was lucky that the dove caught on a shirt button instead of falling to the floor. So I was able to just drop the silk to my waist and still come up with a dove. It was a Maalox moment! I don't think the audience knew any more than "plans were changing". Oddly I ran out of music at the right time anyway. Lucy is a great hand in a show. If I had run out of music, I'm sure she would have come out humming, playing a harmonica or something!

As long as we can avoid Zardin's stunt of getting locked in his subtrunk with the keys in his pocket, we'll do OK. After all it is entertainment! (The nick name of The Amazed Wiz fits me well. No one is more amazed than I am when it works perfectly!)

See you in Bristol.

Bob
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magicdave777
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My assistant used to hate it when credit wasn't given properly.
pradell
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The Late and Great Harry Blackstone Jr. called up a young assistant when he came to visit Alaska. He left the frightened child sitting on a stool in front of a very large audience in a huge theater as he turned his back to the audience and reached behind the curtain to steal his rabbit. The boy got up and walked off the stage and down the stairs. Harry turned around, noticed the fleeing spectator, and ordered him back on stage in his deep and powerful voice, but the boy refused and returned to his seat, upstaging the great Magi. Harry, perturbed by the boy's behavior, quickly followed the boy to his seat, pulled the rabbit out of his tux, left it with the boy, visibly upset with him, and returned to the stage.

Now, the Alaska audience is hungry for entertainment and normally very forgiving of entertainers who travel far from their normal venues to perform up North in this somewhat remote land. But Harry's handling of this young frigtened child changed the karma in the room and the audience was never the same that day after this trick concluded.

Moral: Treat your assistants with respect and dignity, even if they don't do exactly as they are asked. The audience can identify with their emotions. A performer must always be mindful of this as well.
fredmoore
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The best way for any Magician to get their assistant mad?

Start taking them for granted. Not complimenting them on doing a good job as often as you mention any mistakes they've made.
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gsidhe
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Uttering the words "They're just my assistant."
That'll pretty much lose you one.
No assistant (Preferred word "Partner") and you are just a guy on a stage with a fancy box.
Gwyd
Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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Quote:
On 2006-11-08 14:44, gsidhe wrote:
"They're just my assistant."

Gwyd

Great observation!

There is nothing just about the word "just".

I do my best to call everyone "cast". There are no ranks.

Bob Sanders
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aaronharp88
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My wife is my assistant. She says before shows I seem to take out stress on her... Not sure if that's the case. But being an assistant is a hard job to fill. I was an assitant for my uncle at a large show and got no credit for anything that was done and was doing most of the work..... So make sure if you do have an assitant thank them every show because without them there is no show
griffindance
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No matter what type of work we do we always need to be treated as a professionals.
Just because you are the boss it doesn't mean you have the right to forget the efforts of your staff or worse treat them like servants.
The boss is just someone else in the company who has DIFFERENT responsibilities! If more, then you potentially receive more recompense.
Remember that ultimately the performance is a combined effort and that everyone serves the audience.
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