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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Feminine Mystique » » Women vs Men (7 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

yazz
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A question that has been sitting at the back of my mind lately, is do you think that the general public perceive female magicians differently to male magicians? If so how or why?
Anatole
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I think it's basically a cultural thing--not just in theatrical magic but in "real" magic across cultures--a matter of stereotypes. I think historically there has been a great disparity in the number of sorcerers compared to sorceresses. I would not be surprised if, when you look up the translation of "magician" in various foreign language translation dictionaries, you see the masculine form of the word but not the feminine. In fact, usually the feminine of a noun is the male word with a femine-suffix (e.g. Spanish "senor" vs "senora" or "senorita").

In Arthurian literature common to the general public, everyone knows the name of Arthur's court magician, but not many in the general public know the name of the enchantress known as "The Lady in the Lake" who gave Arthur his sword Excalibur.

It's like that in many professions. Say the word "doctor" and the first image that pops into most peoples' minds is a male doctor. Likewise when you say the words "soldier" or "police officer." It sometimes works the other way as well. Say the word "nurse" and the image that pops into most peoples' minds would be a woman nurse although there are many male nurses.

This quote that I found on John Bannon's website is another example of the stereotype:
"And although this art is so wonderful, still it is held in no honor . . . The reasons are various, it seems to me; first, the art is concerned with useless matters; second, it is practiced by men of low degree."--Cardano on card tricks, De Subilitate, 1554
Retrieved from http://johnbannonmagic.com/intheworks.html

I don't hear often of "women of low degree."

And why are there two male court cards in a deck but only one female???

----- Sonny
----- Sonny Narvaez
Peter Goldfield
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John Lennon said it best: http://youtu.be/OSycnQPeuSg
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” John Lennon
magicusb
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Add to this discussion is that magicians are moslty men in cultural references, but witches are mostly women, as are fortune tellers, and in lesser way mediums. Psychics possibly half and half.
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Vangel
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If I'm thinking about the present age, I would say no. The only difference in my opinion is the charm to the opposing genders (generally). It HIGHLY depends on demographics/culture but where I come from, most general public just want to see magic as magic.
Bill Hegbli
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Quote:
On Mar 22, 2014, yazz wrote:
A question that has been sitting at the back of my mind lately, is do you think that the general public perceive female magicians differently to male magicians? If so how or why?


Yes, they do, and I hope so, as you are woman and not a man. The biggest problem is that you have to make yourself stand out as woman magician. How do you do that, but using your femininity to your advantage. Don't watch men magicians, they are the wrong example for women. Men and women just do things differently, they pick up a glass differently, they walk differently, they talk differently. The women's body has architecture that nothing else in the world has, thus the artistic lines they can form can be used to advantage.

What most women who want to do stand-up magic have to do is, learn how to be a woman. They use to have schools to train woman to walk, move, stand up straight, etc. I think they called it charm school.

They need to use their sex appeal in a good subdued manner. Remember you have to appeal to women as well as men, and children. Having sex appeal without being sexy is very sexy.
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Dougini
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On Jun 18, 2015, Bill Hegbli wrote:
The woman's body has architecture that nothing else in the world has, thus the artistic lines they can form can be used to advantage.


Boy! Ain't that the truth! That architecture can be very distracting! Good misdirection! I really would like to study those artistic lines! In much closer detail...

Doug
randirain
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Well... Bill tried... I'll give him that much credit.
There is a very simple answer to all this.

First, magicians have the same racial, gender, you name it, stereotype plague that everything else does everywhere in the US, and beyond.
As a magician, you don't get a pass on any discrimination that already exists elsewhere.
So that answers that...

Now to edit what Bill said....
You have to make yourself stand out as a performer.
You take whatever your advantages are, and use them to your advantage.
Everybody does things differently.
Everybody is different and you must find your artistic lines.

What most people who want to do stand up have to do is, create something worth watching.
They have schools for that.

People need to be who they are and not bow to stereotypes. Some people don't feel "sexy", and you know what, that's okay. More power to you!
I believe it was Max Maven who said, "the audience doesn't have to like you, they just have to find you interesting."
That is your job, to be interesting. Whether that means playing good housewife from the 50's to get Bill off, or if it means flipping the coin and putting people on edge. It's not what someone else tells you, it's what you say, and never forget it.

Randi
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Low Key
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Hear hear Randi!

I wanted to say the same thing, but couldn't find the words without sounding argumentative, which wasn't my intent.
So, thanks for taking my thoughts and saying them right!
Dougini
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Quote:
On Jun 19, 2015, randirain wrote:
Some people don't feel "sexy", and you know what, that's okay. More power to you!


Yeah, I can relate. Never been a guy that was considered "sexy". I'm like an old dump truck. Not much to look at but I can "haul the load" as good as the new guys! I just enjoy Magic. Woman or man. I would like to see more women do magic. But I understand the situation.

Doug
Jacene
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Quote:
On Jun 19, 2015, randirain wrote:

I believe it was Max Maven who said, "the audience doesn't have to like you, they just have to find you interesting."
That is your job, to be interesting

Randi


I like this statement! My biggest fear used to be getting on stage and people not "liking me"! Once I got over that and realized it's not about liking me as a person, it's about them liking what I'm doing. It's about something interesting to capture the audiences attention. Once I realized this I got over the worry about what they thought of ME. It really didn't matter! ( if this makes sense, I don't have a nice way with words like Randi! Haha).

As for sex appeal, I try to look "classy"! For me, I feel pushing the women sex appeal just doesn't work with the audiences I have worked with. I find the females in my neck of the woods will react more if I have developed a connection with them! If I use more men and look too "sexy" women tend to give me more of a cold shoulder, as if I'm "after their man!" especially during pre stage show walk around! I like to direct most of my walk around to the women and get them focused on what I'm doing, not my appearance. I try to get them on my side for the stage show! Then when I bring their husband/ boyfriend on stage they are ok with it!
Just my 2 cents.
Jacene
Dougini
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Welcome to the Café, Jacene! Wow. Good point. Never thought about that. That makes sense. I now understand some of the difficulty women have in this area. Thank you. I kid around a lot. But this makes me take a harder look. Randi is a breath of fresh air! She can make sense of things I cannot fathom!

Doug
Jacene
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Thanks For the welcome, Doug! I do read many posts here on the Café, but it's not too often I comment. I have ran into a few "struggles" in the short time I have been performing but so far have been able to figure it out! Smile. For example carrying a few things for walk around! Most times I have no pockets and nowhere to sew one inside the bolero I will wear! Strapping a purse across my body just looks wrong, so I rigged up a decent looking purse type thing that clips onto the waist of my pants! It would be nice to hear more "feminine" struggles and how others overcome them!
Jacene
Dougini
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Ya know...I can think of two ladies who can really rig up their clothing for all kinds of ditches, steals, etc. Chrystal is one. Autumn Morningstar is another. Edith from Germany accessorizes herself brilliantly! I'll see if I can get them involved here.

Doug
Dougini
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On Jun 28, 2015, Autumn Morning Star wrote:
I guess you are talking walk around magic? Be sure to create a character that fits you. Then, match costuming and clothing to that character. Sew topits into your clothing for vanishes and carry an appropriate carry case (purse, belly bag, etc.). I bring a small bag with me when I do close up, but I mainly work stage shows and do not have to carry anything around for my performances.
Jacene
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Thanks for the info!
Luckily I don't need too many places to store items, as I am performing mentalism. I have just been carrying some different cards, papers...little things, but always open to new ideas! Smile
Jacene
Edith
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Well, I just take a purse with me. ;-) But it is only on one shoulder and I set it down whenever I can. As for pockets... well buy a sewing machine. Smile If you want to have anything decent made out of fabric you will need one anyway. And if you get one, a used one is usually just as good as a new one, sometimes even better.

I have also used old looking boxes and used them like purses. Basically you just need something to carry your stuff around and it must be something that people don't touch or think it belongs to someone else and then move it around. But when I set it down, the people around me always get this "touch-this-and-you-are-dead"-look... ;-)

Now when I buy cloths I always look for pockets or possible pockets as well. But if you sew in an extra pocket I would make it a divided one by default, then you get two pockets for one. Smile As long as you don't show the pocket it can be sewn pretty ugly as well. Nobody cares. And those who do, they shouldn't.

Maybe you would like to come to Germany in late August: http://www.sisters-of-magic.de/
Jacene
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Thanks Edith,
Like I said, close up/strolling I think I've got it cased now! Just putting it out there, great to see what others do and see how they overcome their obstacles! Love that you use old boxes! I might just have to grab some! Would LOVE to come to Germany, but already planned MindVention in October! Maybe one day...
Thx for the ideas!
Jacene
Dougini
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Ladies, have you ever used your clothing as a servante? Or had billiard balls in holders hidden in your clothing? You have MANY more option than men have! Skirts with layers, custom vests, etc. I thought of Edith, because she is one of the sharpest-dressed female magicians I have ever seen! She is unique. Uniqueness is what you want. Autumn Morning Star as well. Her outfit is unique to her.

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Doug
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