We Remember The Magic Café We Remember
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Helping hands » » Girlfriend=Assistant - A good idea??? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2~3 [Next]
briansmagic
View Profile
Special user
USA
506 Posts

Profile of briansmagic
I am in the market for a new assistant. My girlfriend wanted to be my assistant and I think that would be a good thing to have her in my show. It would make rehearsing easier, it would be someone who is easier to deal with, I wouldn't have to pay her as much as a dancer, and we would have a lot of fun going around doing shows. She would also be much more reliable than girls I have used in the past.

What do you guys think about having my girlfriend in my show? I have been told it is a bad idea and to stay away from it but it has been proven to work many times with others. What do you guys think? Any of you used your girlfriend/wife in the show? What are your experiences?
Peter Loughran
View Profile
V.I.P.
Ontario, Canada
2584 Posts

Profile of Peter Loughran
Go for it! Lyndsy and I have a great performing relationship together.

I think you sold yourself already with your own points that you made, which are all valid and strong points. Look at all the husband and wife teams out there that are successful, for some of the very same reasons you mentioned above.

But (there's always a 'but') I would only go this route if you think your relationship is strong enough to last through the trials and tribulations of performing. And remember that if you think your relationship is a fly-by-night thing, then it is always good to have a back up in case things go sour, and working together becomes uncomfortable—you will have another assistant to call upon in an emergency situation. Better to be safe than sorry.

Good luck I'm sure you guys will be great together on the stage!

P. Smile
Brand new: LIFT Levitation
www.masterofillusions.ca

Check out my new movie:
www.plasterrockmovie.com
www.globaluniversal.com

Also visit: www.tenyoelite.com
briansmagic
View Profile
Special user
USA
506 Posts

Profile of briansmagic
Peter—
Great, thanks for the input. It was good to hear what you thought. Maybe we will go for it...got nothing to lose because anything would work better than the girl I have been using! Thanks again!
Ron Reid
View Profile
Inner circle
Phoenix, Arizona
2718 Posts

Profile of Ron Reid
Hi Briansmagic:

I say working with a girlfriend as an assistant is a really bad idea; I've tried it twice through the years and it was a bust each time. I've worked strictly solo for the last 20 years because I don't want to rely on anyone else. But...that's just me—maybe you can handle it better!

Ron
Peter Loughran
View Profile
V.I.P.
Ontario, Canada
2584 Posts

Profile of Peter Loughran
Ron speaks of the 'But' that I was referring to. But I don't think it is a bad idea, I think it can be a great move, but again just as long as you feel that you and your partner can handle this together.

You could always slowly bring her into the show while still keeping your current assistant just to see how things work out for a while.

But there are tons and tons of 'partner' acts. Let's see, you've got: the Pendragons, Jeff Evason and Tessa, The Great Thompsoni and Co., Gold Finger and Dove, Phantasma and Princess Karma, Peter Gossamer, Hans Klock(although I'm not sure they are still together), Ken and Barbie Poynter, Houdini, The Majestics, and let's not forget Seigfried and Roy...lol, there are just countless and countless 'partner' teams out there, and I would be here all day listing them all.

There is a lot of success to be found in 'partner' acts giving you certain advantages and opportunities that you might not otherwise have sometimes. I don't think it's a bad idea, in fact I think it's a great idea, just as long as you are aware that there can be 'Buts'. Just know this going in, and you guys will do fine. Make sure she understands all the 'buts' as well before you begin your performing relationship together.

P. Smile
Brand new: LIFT Levitation
www.masterofillusions.ca

Check out my new movie:
www.plasterrockmovie.com
www.globaluniversal.com

Also visit: www.tenyoelite.com
Slim King
View Profile
Eternal Order
Orlando
14191 Posts

Profile of Slim King
In any relationship there is "Baggage" from your everyday life that may effect your show. That can't happen. I personally think that the idea is Fantastic and I envy anyone who can do it. However, I've experienced some odd things while working with past Wives. Making sure that their makeup makes it to the gig while your suit didn't.???... Something no assistant would do. You'll be expected to "forgive" mistakes that you'd fire someone else for. Someone said "Don't mix business with pleasure." If your assistant knows the JOB DESCRIPTION and follows it like anyone else would, maybe the clear communication could overcome the pitfalls.
Good Luck
Dave
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS
Lyndsy M.
View Profile
New user
Ontario, Canada
6 Posts

Profile of Lyndsy M.
Being a "girlfriend assistant" I have to say something here...

There are many wonderful things about being a team—you know what the other person wants, expects, and thinks; you can rehearse whenever you want; you're not paying that money out to someone, it stays in the house; you get to travel together; it goes on, BUT (there's that but again) there can be a lot of strain on the relationship too. Some people can't handle all that time together, or simply aren't commited enough to try it out, but if you can communicate well, and treat each other with respect, everything should work out great!

Peter and I have a wonderful wonderful working relationship and it's so much fun!
I say go for it!!!!!
Smile
Check out Peter Loughran's newest illusions:
www.masterofillusions.ca
briansmagic
View Profile
Special user
USA
506 Posts

Profile of briansmagic
Thanks so much everyone for your input. It is great to hear from all different points of view...all of it really makes sense. And it was REALLY GREAT to hear from Lyndsy...good to hear from someone who is actually in that position. Thanks everyone! I think I will give this a shot.
Reg Rozee
View Profile
Special user
Vancouver, Canada
592 Posts

Profile of Reg Rozee
I'm a little late adding this, but I notice that no one else has mentioned it. If you have a wife or girlfriend and you choose NOT to use her in your show (even though she is willing) but instead hire the prettiest dancer you can find, you may have some real conflict in your future! From that perspective, you may find it easier on your relationship NOT to use an assistant instead of your significant other...

-Reg {*} (who is very happy with his wife as an assistant—hi hon!) Smile
Reality is what doesn't go away when you stop believing in it. -Phillip K. Dick



Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes? -Chico Marx
King Of Pop
View Profile
Veteran user
Estonia
392 Posts

Profile of King Of Pop
Yes it's good, because she never speaks out his secrets. Smile

But on the other hand, you can't flirt with the girls during your shows any more, when you are doing tricks where audience is involved. Smile
God Bless You, I Love You From The Bottom Of My Heart
zaubern
View Profile
Veteran user
Seattle, Wa
335 Posts

Profile of zaubern
There is always the problem if you break up and she doesn't want to work with you. You have to find someone else and this could be hard.

P.S. I just wanted to add that working with someone you have chemistry with really reflects on stage...it looks a lot better if it's there.
Zaubern Smile
briansmagic
View Profile
Special user
USA
506 Posts

Profile of briansmagic
Zaubern,

Thanks for bringing up the good point of showing chemistry to the audience. I never even thought that the natural unstaged chemistry would be seen by the audience. Great point!
crazyhands
View Profile
New user
52 Posts

Profile of crazyhands
It's just my opinion that you shouldn't mix business with pleasure, just my .02 cents
WandSpin
View Profile
New user
59 Posts

Profile of WandSpin
My fiance and I perform together. We have a common interest (and make money) so I think our relationship is healthier.
rowdymagi5
View Profile
Inner circle
Virginia
2434 Posts

Profile of rowdymagi5
It really all comes down to trust. Everyone has a unique perspective, and has a unique relationship. What's good for some, isn't good for others. This is a personal decision that no amount of advice can really help!
Dynamike
View Profile
Eternal Order
FullTimer
22236 Posts

Profile of Dynamike
If you think she is active enough for what your interest are, take the chance. Smile
Geoff Weber
View Profile
Inner circle
Washington DC
1300 Posts

Profile of Geoff Weber
It's good if it's something she's interested in. Don't twist her arm or beg her to do it.
Planning a lecture tour in the Mid-Atlantic region... if you have a group that's interested, let me know.
DanielGreenWolf
View Profile
Veteran user
Waterbury, CT
363 Posts

Profile of DanielGreenWolf
If your other half is highly interested in it, by all means do it. I have been working with my girlfriend in shows for over a year. But there are a few bits of advice I received from Jeff McBride and others about this, and a few I've learned from experience.
  1. Make sure they're comfortable on stage. This is paramount. If they say they want to and they really don't, it'll show. Make sure they're not doing it for you alone.

  2. Teach them some magic, don't just tell them how tricks are done. All assistants should know some magic, if just for their own mental well-being. Also because it's a nice way to show more of a partnership if they are even able to do their own eye popping effect in a show.

  3. Leave it at the door. This means emotional problems, difficulties, etc. you are having with your other half. If BOTH of you can't do this, solve your problem quickly or don't do the show together. Which leads me to my next point, straight from Jeff's mouth.

  4. Make sure you can do your show without your assistant. This is for several reasons: A) if you end the relationship for some reason, you can easily flow into your shows without them, B) in case they get too ill to perform or hurt something and can't perform, it makes doing it much easier to handle.

  5. If you're going to have an assistant, make sure she's involved in the show completely. If this seems contrary to number 4, it really isn't. You should have two versions of the show. Maybe one without your assistant won't be AS strong, but you should work to have it as strong either way. This is why the best magicians are inventive and creative and able to adapt to any situation.
These tips will help you and your assistant become a truly great team.

--Daniel GreenWolf
-Much love,
Daniel GreenWolf
Celtic Magician

www.GreenWolfMagic.com
Bob Sanders
View Profile
Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
19958 Posts

Profile of Bob Sanders
Brian,

Assuming the ability to pay an assistant is there, whom would you use? If you were a singer, would you want just any band? You have a show to do. Assistants are not dumb, untrained, extra people. They are part of the show. The real question is do they belong in the show? Your show?

I do both, hire assistants and use my significant other. But I've only been doing magic a little over 40 years. (I hope I’m not halfway through yet.) The first 15 we had to hire them although I was married for seven years of it. My spouse was "Too Professional" to be on stage. She was a college dean. It was not a good fit for the show. It worked fine. (And no, there were no extra activities with my assistants. I guess it must have been a boring life to others.) She liked entertainers, but not entertaining.

The next 16 years I had a spouse with an acting and modeling background and excellent stage training. She worked with me when she could and I hired someone else when she could not or the job required it. This too worked fine. It perhaps worked better because I traveled constantly and I did not have to make travel arrangements for an assistant.

Now I am married to the best assistant ever with an extensive ballet and modeling background. But she also has her own show and a medical practice. We can not always work together. Sometimes, I'm her assistant. This works well too. When we play, we play. When we work, we work hard. Often, magic is play and/or work. We consider magic conventions together playtime.

My message is still consistent. The show needs to be the best show you can deliver. And your personal relationship needs to be the best one you can deliver also. They may or may not fit. That can be sometimes, always and never. Lucy (my wife) and Pam (Johnny Thompson’s wife) agree that it is nice for a magician’s assistant to own her own magician. We like it!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@MagicBySander.com

http://www.magicbysander.com/
Dayanara
View Profile
New user
Michigan
64 Posts

Profile of Dayanara
Sorry, but I'd have to agree with the naysayers in this situation. I'd be too worried that my relationship would get in the way of my job, or that we'd break up and I'd lose my magician/assistant (frankly, I'm ready to work in either direction). I also wouldn't work for any hot guys (You Know Who excluded), because men tend to get just as jealous as women sometimes. Smile
Bill Palmer
View Profile
Eternal Order
Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
23985 Posts

Profile of Bill Palmer
I, too, would have to agree with the naysayers. If you don't have a really stable relationship with your girlfriend, then having her as an assistant can be a disaster. If you break up, she can RUIN your show for you.

My wife and I have a really great marriage. This is partially due to the fact that I don't expect her to be a box jumper and she doesn't expect me to participate in Scottish Country Dancing. I go to her performances, applaud and enjoy myself. Sometimes I run sound for her. But I am not a Scottish Country Dancer.

She knows I'm a perfectionist and she is afraid she will mess something up. However, she also knows that I am not going to run off with some little cupcake just because she can fit in the Indian Basket Illusion.

I have had some wonderful assistants, and a couple of dogs! But the wonderful ones were great, and I was never tempted to wander off with them.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Bill Hegbli
View Profile
Eternal Order
U.S.A.
15103 Posts

Profile of Bill Hegbli
A lot depends on wheather your girlfriend or wife really enjoys magic. Not many do, so if she is doing it because you want her to, forget it.

I have never found a woman that I had a relationship with that wanted to perform in my show. Thus I am going on 25 years with a wife.

The other side is how jealous will your girl friend or spouse be if you hire someone. This can cause problems if you travel a lot. When you get home the house may be dark or your cloths on the lawn.

Very serious considerations to be made up front.
Graduate of Chavez School of Prestidigitation and Showmanship
Rob Johnston
View Profile
Inner circle
Utah
2060 Posts

Profile of Rob Johnston
I think the greatest Assistant I have ever seen is the WIFE of Johnny Thompson. She cracks me up and adds so much to the show. I love to see her on stage with The Great Thomsini.

If you have doubts about using a girlfriend or wife...just watch Johnny perform.
"Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable." - Margot Fonteyn
SWMagicsPinkLady
View Profile
New user
Roanoke/Hampton, VA
2 Posts

Profile of SWMagicsPinkLady
I think it's a great idea. And, too we do keep Magic Secrets to ourselves. I am dating a Magician but has no calls for me to be his at this time. And, I love too be involved because it is a wonderful thing to share.

"I Love Magic"..
Red_Magic_Jones
View Profile
New user
\
20 Posts

Profile of Red_Magic_Jones
Boy what a sticky topic!
This was somthing that I know that Robert wrestled over when we got together. We didn't end up hooking up like a normal dating couple, a friend of ours (who also happends to be a magician) got us together under the pretense that Robert needed a new assistant (I had no idea he was intersted in dating me till later). So poor guy wanted me as his assistant and wanted to date me at the same time. From what he had told me he tried using a girlfriend before as his assistant and it didn't work out. Our first date was to a magic show and our second to a lecture, and neither one of us really wanted to mix business and personal, but we decided to give it a shot. Turns out that it worked out amazing for us. With our crazy schedules we could spend time together practicing and performing. And later on down the road we ended up tying the knot, and I made the move from assistant to partner in show. So I guess I would say it really depends on each of you as individuals. No one answer is going to be right for everyone.
Bob Sanders
View Profile
Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
19958 Posts

Profile of Bob Sanders
Looking at this topic again after four months, there is one more factor I feel should be considered. That is competition. Some people are simply too competitive to assist anyone without being in charge. If competition within the act causes a problem, the thing to do is keep shopping. The act needs a solution, not a contest. Multiple relationships are a fact of life. They work when the boundries are honored. I've been very lucky.

Bob
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@MagicBySander.com

http://www.magicbysander.com/
salsa_dancer
View Profile
Inner circle
1935 Posts

Profile of salsa_dancer
It is hard enough these days getting the girlfriend to even let me practice on her let alone become an assistant!!!

Congratualtions to those that have managed it Smile
zur
View Profile
Special user
California
671 Posts

Profile of zur
I agree!
Laughing Otter
View Profile
Loyal user
Behind you!
209 Posts

Profile of Laughing Otter
Whoa, there, Briansmagic!
Whaddaya mean you wouldn't have to pay her as much as a dancer?
If she has the ability to do as good a job as someone off the street, and the two of you decide she will be your stage partner, you had darned well better be willing to pay her exactly as if she were a stranger!!
Anything else would be just plain wrong.
Kenn Capman
View Profile
Regular user
Southwestern Michigan
197 Posts

Profile of Kenn Capman
I have to go with Laughing Otter on this one, Briansmagic.

If your girlfriend is doing the work of a dancer/actor, she should receive the same pay that a dancer/actor would.

I used to run a fairly large show with my wife, in addition to my solo stand-up and psychic shows. Whenever the large show was booked (i.e. the show that included my wife) the fees almost doubled due to the fact that she deserved a decent payday for all of her rehearsal time and performance energy. (Not to mention the fascinating collection of scrapes and bruises she collected while we developed our sub-trunk routine, but that's another story!)

Bottom line is; anybody that performs a service to enhance your show should be fairly compensated. It doesn't matter if they're running your lights and sound, acting on stage with you, or managing your backstage logistics (or in some cases all of the above). Further, it doesn't matter if they're your girlfriend, boyfriend, aunt, uncle, kid next door, or the stray mutt you load into your Temple of Benares.

If someone wants to apprentice under you in order to learn, that's another story. There is a different implied relationship there. Interns are not typically paid very much, if at all. Even then, be good to your student. Pick up the check when you go out after the show once in a while.

But I repeat; if someone is doing the work, they deserve to be compensated regardless of their relationship to you.
"The thermometer of success is merely the jealousy of the malcontents."
- Salvador Dali -
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Helping hands » » Girlfriend=Assistant - A good idea??? (0 Likes)
<<< Previous Topic Next Topic >>>
 Go to page 1~2~3 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001- 2014 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.253981 seconds, requiring 100 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

[1] [0] [3] [6] [3] [3] [7] [2] [3] [0]