(Close Window)
Topic: The Great FOO-LING-YU
Message: Posted by: KyletheGreat (Jun 19, 2005 07:03PM)
This one scared me!

I was doing a magic show at a chinese restaraunt. Now of course chinese people work there. So I am performing and I have this one trick where I use a box and a huge dice which dissappears in the box and reappears somewhere else. The patter goes something like this:

" This trick is wonderful and old. As a matter of fact it was taught to me by the ancient chinese magician Foo-Ling-Yu (a pun Foo-Ling-Yu=Fooling you in case you did not get that)."

and from this point on I usually present the whole trick with a bad chinese accent. Well... It just so happens that I had forgotton that I was in a chinese restaraunt. I begin the trick and I get to Foo-Ling-Yu... Suddenly it dawns on me. OH CRAP I am in a chinese restaraunt full of chinese people!!! I kept thinking to myself:

"oh no... They are gonna think that I was making fun of their language!"

I was embarassed. Then, all of the sudden they all just started laughing their heads off! I was so confused that I did not know what to think . turns out, what had happened was this:

Since they were chinese, they did not get the joke. It took a few minutes for the joke to sink into their heads, but when they got it, they thought that it was hillarious!

I decided to be bold (after I changed my underwear)[not really] and go ahead and do the regular routine with the bad chinese accent. They thought that it was even funnier. SO, everything worked out for the best and the show was a huge success. Thank goodness!

I no longer do this routine now though...I developed another one I liked much better, plus I don't have to worry about offending anyone!
Message: Posted by: Avrakdavra (Jun 21, 2005 07:38AM)
The laughter may have been more a way of covering up embarassment or contempt rather than reacting to your "humor." Glad to hear you don't do the routine any longer.
Message: Posted by: KyletheGreat (Jun 21, 2005 09:21AM)
Actually they enjoyed it. Several members of the audience came up to me after the show and told me how much they enjoyed the performance and that the Freat Foo Ling Yu was their favorite. Many of them took business cards and I ended up at most of their childrens birthday parties.

At least it worked out!
Message: Posted by: Father Photius (Jun 21, 2005 10:13AM)
Most people can laugh at themselves, as long as they realize you are not trying to demean them. You weren't. Plus, having studied Mandarin in College, I found out that most Americans trying to pronounce Chinese sounds very hillarious to Chinese. I was taught by a woman raised in Shanghai province who was teaching us Mandarin. Thus she was speaking Mandarin dialect with a shanghai accent. Add to that a Texas accent and my chinese is almost totally unrecognizable by anyone. Especially since most in the U.S. speak Cantonese (Hong Kong dialect). I was once told that my Ni Hao Ma? Sounded like I was saying "How Ya'll doin?" So even if I got up and tried to speak legitimate Chinese to a Chinese audience, with no intention of trying to immitate or mock them, they would roll in the floor laughing. You weren't mocking them, you were playing a character, and you weren't demeaning them, because the character in doing the trick was showing creativity and intelligence, and you weren't doing the effect to make the ethnic look stupid or the fool.
They were probably delayed in recognizing the joke of Foo-Ling-Yu because in Chinese you do not attempt to translate proper names. They probably thought it was a real name. Even if it wasn't a common Chinese name, foreign names get sound translated and they are used to that. Like the word for American is Mei Gao Ren, and while that translates as land of beautiful people, Americans being beautiful people had nothing to do with the name, it was just three chinese syllables that sounded close to the sound of "american". You caught them thinking in Chinese , not in English.
Message: Posted by: KyletheGreat (Jun 21, 2005 12:02PM)
Interesting...that is some really good input! What was it like learning chinese/mandarin?
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Jun 21, 2005 07:53PM)
Photius, your story reminds me of a time when I worked "The Science Fiction Convention that You Go To When You Die" if you are a fan. EVERYONE was there - Asimov, Harlan Ellison, the Apollo 13 crew, the cast of Star Trek, Steranko (yes him!), they had the set from Frankenstein up (and RUNNING!), Buster Crabbe (Olympic Gold Medalist, who played Flash Gordon AND Buck Rogers AND Tarzan AND Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion), Johnny Weissmueller (Tarzan and Olympic Gold Medalist as well), John Agar (actor), June Foray (voice to Rocky the Flying Squirrel and many others), Frank Frazetta's wife, Boris (the artist), Frank Kelly Freas (11 time Hugo winning artist) and many, many more).

I was helping coordinate security for one of the buildings and a young Japanese-American film student from UCLA came running up to me and introduced himself as follows: "Hi! I'm Randy Yamamoto. I'm your aide de camp and yout token ornamental with an epileptic fold. I'm originally from Southern Japan, so Ohayo Gozaimasu, y'all!"

I almost split a gut, but managed to respond "Konichi-wa, Bubba-san. Welcome to the bog. Y'all pull up a tatami and set a spell. We'uns gonna get alone chiisai fine!"

And it was his turn to lose it.

I wonder whatever happened to him - we lost touch after the convention. He was one helluva lot of help, too. Anyone who could open a conversation like that deserves to be recalled fondly, so wardrobe dressed him in one of the three robes that Charles Middleton wore as "Ming the Merciless" in the Flash Gordon serials. When Buster Crabbe came up the stairs, he stopped in his tracks and smiled, stuck out his hand and said, "If that's what I think it is, I haven't seen that since 1941 and it brings back some awfully good memories." And I got to shake the hand of one of my boyhood heroes.

Language and humor bring people together. The world could use a lot more of that.

Lee "Sum Dum Goy" Darrow, C.H.
Message: Posted by: God-glorified (Jun 21, 2005 08:00PM)
I must say Kyle I got nervous for you while reading the post but Im glad it turned out all right
Message: Posted by: Bill Ligon (Jun 22, 2005 12:01AM)
Ha! "Sum Dum Goy," indeed! I love it! Would you mind if I use it sometime?
Message: Posted by: Vandy Grift (Jun 23, 2005 02:48PM)
Where did you get that Foo Ling Yu line? That sounds so familar, is that an old gag? Dosen't Jeff Hobson do a character named Foo Ling Yu?
Message: Posted by: KyletheGreat (Jun 23, 2005 05:28PM)
No, Jeff Hobson does not do that if I remember correctly. The line is so old that I cannot even remember where I got it from. I just like to use it. The routine I used it with was my own (I did not become foo ling yu, I just did the routine in a poor accent). Most people just find it funny to hear there was an ancient Japanese magician called The Great Foo Ling Yu.
Message: Posted by: Father Photius (Jun 23, 2005 06:36PM)
LOL Kyle. Now Foo Ling Yu would not be a Japanese name. And the Japanese and Chinese aren't too fond of each other. Chinese names are monosyllable names, Japanese names are not such. You would not find a Foo Ling Yu who was Japanese. Learning Mandarin was a lot like learning anything else in college, booring, and required study. To this day my ear cannot really differentitate many of the minor sound inflections in the Chinese language which only has about 400 sounds (very small compared to most languages). It was interesting though.
Message: Posted by: Paul Jester (Jun 28, 2005 07:09PM)
I hear that Foo Ling Yoo, although based on chinese names, couldn't actually be one... I guess one or more of the words don't exist. Which would explain the delayed reaction too.
Paul
Message: Posted by: ladyofmagic (Jul 5, 2005 11:50AM)
HA!! Sooo funny - reminds me of what an older gentleman said about a magician friend of mine who had just completed his show, "Hey Tom, you remind me of that ancient Chineses magician, "On Tu Long"
Message: Posted by: jeffhobson (Jul 8, 2005 01:49AM)
OK. . .here's the real story. . . . in an old magic catalog (sorry can't remember which one although I am now talking about the 1940's or 50's), there was a trick in which the patter and/or title included the line "the famous Chinese magician. .. Fu Ling Yu". It's a very old line that I used as my character name when I do my "Asian" trick and subsequently in the "Carnival of Wonders" show that I produced which also had Kalin and Jinger in it. By the way, I usually have gotten the biggest laughs out of the Asians who saw me do the routine. The politically incorrect crowd usually consists of white folk who make their own judgement of whether I'm offending anyone. It's quite stupid actually. Not one Asian, in the 20 years of performing the trick, has ever voiced any offense. . . . . it's only been the caucasians. Interesting huh? So, there you have it. Fu Ling Yu and his brother, Won Bum Lung (he's dead now) salute you.
Message: Posted by: KyletheGreat (Jul 8, 2005 09:20AM)
Holy cow...JEff Hobson....

WOW. NEver expected to see you on here. Thanks for the clearing up! It was good to here from you...

It is fun to use that name in the right place and I have gotton countless laughs from it myself. I never knew that you used it though.
Message: Posted by: Vandy Grift (Jul 8, 2005 09:35AM)
Thanks Jeff, I knew someone was doing that and I thought it was you. Told ya Kyle :P LOL

Vandy
Message: Posted by: KyletheGreat (Jul 8, 2005 09:38AM)
Yes you got me...
Message: Posted by: KyletheGreat (Jul 8, 2005 01:22PM)
Jeff...I noticed on your web site that you played a part in the production of Barefoot in the park... Which character did you play? I was in my towns production of this play as well. I had the part of Victor Velasco. Quite a fun role to play!
Message: Posted by: jeffhobson (Jul 12, 2005 03:25AM)
I played Paul Bratter (I think that was "his" name). Your character, Velasco, at the time I did it, was
played by my best friend. We're still best friends today. Our performances were given 25 years ago. How old are you? You look like you're not old enough to shave. ;-)
Message: Posted by: KyletheGreat (Jul 12, 2005 08:46AM)
I am 17...But I am good at distorting my voice and doing put-on accents. This is why I landed the part. The director purchased a fake mustache for me to wear. It was fun playing the part of a bold, daring, 58 year old italian who loves to do ANYTHING, at any given time! I loved the scene where I climbed out over the ledge outside the window...it was so funny! I kindof figured you played paul. It is a good role, but he was a little too serious for me...so I went for the old crazy guy!

I don't know how your acting is, but when you perform magic...you are Great and Hillarious. I have always wanted to see you live, but I have never gotton the chance. I never see you on TV anymore, and I have a few of your televised performances on tape...but that is all I get to see.
Message: Posted by: Chris S (Aug 1, 2005 05:10PM)
"Since they were chinese, they did not get the joke. It took a few minutes for the joke to sink into their heads, but when they got it, they thought that it was hillarious"

What exactly does that mean?
Message: Posted by: KyletheGreat (Aug 1, 2005 05:37PM)
It means that since the joke was directed toward them, and they have heard these similar sounds in their language, they did not understand the humor in the joke. Most other nationalities who hear it get it as soon as it comes out of my mouth, but these chinese people did not...till they thought about it for a few seconds.

(it is like "What is so funny about foo ling you...?"hmmmm.... I don't get it....do you understand what he meant by that?....hmmm....OH! the Great FOOLING YOU! HAHAHAHHAHAHAHA")

Took a few seconds to register. I was not putting down an ethnicity if that is what you are thinking!
Message: Posted by: Xiqual (Aug 2, 2005 05:16AM)
It's more than likely they just didn't think your joke was funny. It isn't, so they are correct.

Have a nice day,
James
Message: Posted by: KyletheGreat (Aug 2, 2005 09:03AM)
No...that is not the case. I had a few approach me after the show telling me how funny that joke was...I do not think that would have happened if they did not like it. Like I also said...I recieved several bookings from that show as well...

They may not have liked the joke, but it would seem kind of stupid to book somebody that you did not like for an event...
Message: Posted by: Avocat (Aug 2, 2005 06:34PM)
As an Asian myself, I can say I wouldn't have liked the joke. But that's my own view.

Still and all, Kyle, I would ask you this: would you consider performing a routine using phony ebonics, wearing blackface makeup and calling yourself, "Jim Crow"? Would you decorate your box with Lincoln Logs and call it, "Uncle Tom's Cabin," and refer to the dice as "dem bones"? It wouldn't even have to be in front of a primarily African-American audience. Just, would you do it at all? And, if not, why not?

My proposal isn't meant to be sarcastic or bitter. I'm assuming "NO" is the answer ANY of us would give. And as a practical matter, I'm not blaming or faulting anyone. Actually, I fault people who look like me, to wit, Americans of Asian descent, for the cavalier manner in which we're often mocked. By and large, Americans who look like me didn't make a big fuss when cast as nerds in movies, had accents imitated, got told, "you speak English so well [when it's all we speak]," got locked up in concentration camps and so on. By and large, we tried to "laugh along" instead of filing civil rights actions or waving signs. So the fact that those who take offense are now branded political-correctness-prudes is largely our own fault for not fighting back.

Doesn't make it right, though.

By the way, this doesn't mean we should avoid all humor because it might offend someone; please don't argue to extremes - it's sloppy straw-man debate and gets nowhere. I'm just saying that it hurts no one to just give a bit of consideration to others. That's just common courtesy, not "political correctness" (which, you'll note, is a term mostly used by people who don't want to engage in such courtesy ... hence the straw-man reference above).

best wishes,

Jim Kawashima
Message: Posted by: Xiqual (Aug 2, 2005 09:32PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-02 19:34, Avocat wrote:
As an Asian myself, I can say I wouldn't have liked the joke. But that's my own view.

Still and all, Kyle, I would ask you this: would you consider performing a routine using phony ebonics, wearing blackface makeup and calling yourself, "Jim Crow"? Would you decorate your box with Lincoln Logs and call it, "Uncle Tom's Cabin," and refer to the dice as "dem bones"? It wouldn't even have to be in front of a primarily African-American audience. Just, would you do it at all? And, if not, why not?

My proposal isn't meant to be sarcastic or bitter. I'm assuming "NO" is the answer ANY of us would give. And as a practical matter, I'm not blaming or faulting anyone. Actually, I fault people who look like me, to wit, Americans of Asian descent, for the cavalier manner in which we're often mocked. By and large, Americans who look like me didn't make a big fuss when cast as nerds in movies, had accents imitated, got told, "you speak English so well [when it's all we speak]," got locked up in concentration camps and so on. By and large, we tried to "laugh along" instead of filing civil rights actions or waving signs. So the fact that those who take offense are now branded political-correctness-prudes is largely our own fault for not fighting back.

Doesn't make it right, though.

By the way, this doesn't mean we should avoid all humor because it might offend someone; please don't argue to extremes - it's sloppy straw-man debate and gets nowhere. I'm just saying that it hurts no one to just give a bit of consideration to others. That's just common courtesy, not "political correctness" (which, you'll note, is a term mostly used by people who don't want to engage in such courtesy ... hence the straw-man reference above).

best wishes,

Jim Kawashima
[/quote]

A heart felt post Jim. Thank you.

To Kyle's credit, he did apologise to me. Although the offensive material has been edited, so it looks like what he said was no big deal.

I am American and my wife is Chinese, my three children are,of course both.
They are lucky really, they cannot imagine the concept of rascism. I speak Mandarin fluently and have learned a lot about Chinese culture while living in Taiwan.

I think we all need to be more empathetic when it comes to race.

Sincerly,
James

"I believe, in kingdom come, where all the colors bleed into one... bleed into one..
but yes I'm still running"
U2
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Aug 2, 2005 09:55PM)
Jim - I'm glad that you posted what you did. I was thinking it but since I'm a tree hugging, white middle class do gooder I didn't want to actually say it and come off as a whiny jerk.
Message: Posted by: KyletheGreat (Aug 3, 2005 07:57AM)
MODS: Please do not delete the following message...it means so much to me and it needs to be seen!

Like I said before, (my appology post was deleted)

I am extremely sorry that I offended people. I am sorry to everyone of you. I did not mean to offend anyone, I was just telling a story about a performance. Now, I will have you know that I haven't done this routine in about three years. It was done when I was young, and I guess people found it cute more than anything...I appologise once more as I say that I am in no way racist or a bigot. I just said something without thinking which I will no longer do. I cannot stand racists and I think God that I am not one or raised as one. I feel terrible about the things I said and I want you all to know that. Since MCJ has wanted to make my life miserable, and not include my appologies in his article, I have gotton several nasty emails and aweful threats through email that I cannot stand. People think I am a bad person, and racist, and nazi...I cannot bare it all! I need some support in taking down this MCJ guy somehow!

He does this to too many people and makes them miserable! He twists the things he says and other people say to make himself feel better I guess. He must have a low self image...or a small something...anyways, He has said some aweful things about many of us here at the Café...I just got the worse end of it...He should have at least had the decency to put my appology in his terrible article..but now that I think about it, He probably has no decency. He needs to get a life and stop trying to take down so many magicians in his no good, down low, internet tabloid that he probably runs out of his mother's basement. This guy is a prick and he said some terribly offensive things about Steve Brooks...then turns around and makes the whole internet magic community look down on me...Like I said, I have recieved several hate messages from people just because they never saw my appologies.So I have been appologising personally...to everyone that emailed me.

I am sorry once again, and I cannot appologise enough!
Kyle

MODS: PLEASE DO NOT DELETE THIS MESSAGE!!!!! I WANT IT TO REMAIN SO PEOPLE CAN SEE MY APPOLOGIES!!! PLEASE DO NOT DELETE THIS!
Message: Posted by: Jeff J. (Aug 3, 2005 10:55AM)
Just some friendly advice. Those 3 letters you mentioned several times in your post regarding a certain blog are not well liked on the Café (with good reason, I might add). That may be why your previous post was deleted (Thats just a guess). You might want to apologize without mentioning any specific blog if it gets deleted again.

Jeff
Message: Posted by: Alewishus (Aug 3, 2005 02:41PM)
First, you didn't have enough sense to realize you were in a chinese resturant until you were into the suspect routine.
Second, you didn't have the good sense to keep the story to yourself because you didn't think you offended anyone.
Instead, you retold it on a message board!
What were you thinking?
Stop pointing fingers at others.
Start thinking before you act.


A.



A.
Message: Posted by: KyletheGreat (Aug 3, 2005 02:54PM)
I just said...That was years ago...I was very young Now that I have offended people with that post made about 6-7 weeks ago, I stopped just saying something. Now I have been thinking tremendously about anything I say or write anywhere...thinking hard as to whether or not it will upset someone...I am a nervous wreck, I am afraid to say anything anymore for fear of making somebody mad...all it takes is one person...Needless to say...I learned my lesson! I know that there is no way to take back what was said because you cannot unring a bell that you had just rang...All I can do is appologise again and let you know that I am doing it with all seriousness and regret for what I had said.

Sorry again,
Kyle
Message: Posted by: Vandy Grift (Aug 3, 2005 03:26PM)
It's over. Put it behind you. Don't worry about MCJ. Don't try and start some kind of war. You'll get buried. He even said on his site that he dosen't think you're a racist. So leave it at that.

You've apologized, just move on. You live and you learn.
Message: Posted by: Xiqual (Aug 3, 2005 07:59PM)
Kyle has apologised. He was a big enough person to send me an email and to also post here.

The thing is, I was not offended by the idea of him using a fake Chinese accent, it was what he said about Chinese people's eyes in a post that got deleted.

Many acts use parody on other cultures, sometimes it's funny, sometimes just lukewarm. I was refering to a comment he made that was edited out a long time ago.

That's the problem here. Moderators go in and edit parts of your post, and it changes the whole thread.

The whole idea of Chinese people thinking the parody is funny or not is pretty personal to that specific Chinese person.

Think about it, asking "Do Chinese people think using a fake Chinese accent is funny?" is pretty much a rascist thing to say anyway. People are individuals.
Not groups.

I think it's funny when I hear Chris Rock parody white people, but that's me. I'm sure some white people hate it. [I'm 3rd generation Irish American]

Kyle is a stand up guy in my opinion,
James Linn
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Aug 4, 2005 12:18PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-08 02:49, jeffhobson wrote:... Not one Asian, in the 20 years of performing the trick, has ever voiced any offense. ...[/quote]

Might be time to make some friends and learn to watch for the pauses, and listen for that "click" sound.

I heard a good one from a family about a son's intended spouse. They acutally asked what "what kind of jap is she?" . Yes they have ethnic humor too. ;)
Message: Posted by: lane99 (Aug 5, 2005 01:39PM)
"Foo-Ling-Yu" IS kind of funny. At least it's a lot more funny than your typical "name as description" joke. And if Kyle was doing a good (believable) mock Chinese accent, at least one half of me would have been rolling in the aisles.
Message: Posted by: lane99 (Aug 5, 2005 02:12PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-03 20:59, Xiqual wrote:
Think about it, asking "Do Chinese people think using a fake Chinese accent is funny?" is pretty much a rascist thing to say anyway.
[/quote]

No, it's not. Your comment sounds like a knee jerk reaction to me. How in the world could anyone fairly infer from a question such as this that the questioner believed Chinese people were inferior?? I'm not sure if you're aware, but cultural differences in humour are being studied and identified. So questions such as that, for a general perspective, are not unreasonable.


[quote]
On 2005-08-03 20:59, Xiqual wrote:
People are individuals.
Not groups.
[/quote]

Can I assume you belief that "groups" don't exist, then? Because if they do, what are they comprised of, if not "people"?

To me, it's pretty obvious people exist BOTH as "individuals" AND as parts of "groups". Therefore, the question: "do YOU (the person happens to be Chinese)think this is funny" is legitimate; and the question "do Chinese people tend to think something like this is funny" is also a reasonable enquiry.
Message: Posted by: lane99 (Aug 5, 2005 02:21PM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-02 19:34, Avocat wrote:
had accents imitated...By and large, we tried to "laugh along" instead of filing civil rights actions or waving signs. So the fact that those who take offense are now branded political-correctness-prudes is largely our own fault for not fighting back.

Doesn't make it right, though.

Jim Kawashima
[/quote]

Jim, do you also not like Margret Cho's (I think that's her name) humour? She's constantly imitating an Asian (I think it's supposed to be Korean) accent in her routine. Myself, I find that part of her act very funny.
Message: Posted by: JJDrew (Sep 17, 2005 04:48PM)
Accents are funny! I went to university in Rome. I'm fluent in Italian, but I will always have an American accent. That in and of itself is interesting to people, though not usually humorous. However, I also know some phrases of different Italian dialects. When I make a new Italian acquaintance, the subject of language invariably comes up (since most people's first question for me is "Where are you from")? So I often work these phrases into the conversation, and the result has always been hilarity. I'm not telling jokes, the phrases ranged from insults to 'spaghetti with tomatos on top.' The only funny thing is my accent.

For English-speakers out there, imagine a Japanese person who learned English in London saying different phrases in Eubonics. That's roughly the impression I made by speaking dialect with an American accent and the standard speech patterns of a Roman.

I had lots of people imitate my accent or pretend to speak English, and it always cracked me up! Intent is very important in humor. Nobody was imitating my accent to ridicule me, they were simply amused by the unusual sound and attempting to imitate it. Their imitations, in turn, were really funny to hear. I know I have an accent. Why would I get mad at people who acknowledge that fact?

There is something inherently amusing in strange sounds. Did you ever hang out with a group of people and have one of them suddenly make a weird noise? Maybe they had a strange laugh or hiccupped very loudly. The first reaction is to laugh, and the second is to attempt to make the noise yourself. Why do you think so many teens in the 90s worked so hard to perfect their imitations of the Beavis and Butthead laughs?

Accents are wonderful! They're hilarious (my own included)! Derogatory racists are scum, but for crying out loud, you can acknowledge that somebody is different from you in some way without meaning to insult them. I've encountered racists who despised me for being white. I've also met people who found my accent humorous but liked me in general. Believe me, the two are VERY EASY to tell apart! Misunderstood humor is the least of one's concerns when it comes to racism. If someone likes you enough to joke around with you, then they probably don't hate you for your nationality, skin color, etc. I would think this was obvious, but sometimes the obvious needs to be stated.

Oh yeah, and it takes me longer to get jokes in Italian then in English. I do have to think about them a bit longer. Not because we Americans are stupid, any more than his Chinese audience was, but because puns are a very advanced verbal skill, and when you hear them in your second language, the connections aren't instantaneous. You have to think about what was said, then what it sounds like in the language, then determine why that similarity is humorous. It takes some time in a non-native language. I'm pretty sure that's what he meant by the long pause and taking a moment to "get it."
Message: Posted by: Enigmo (Oct 24, 2005 12:19PM)
Kyle,

What I find sad in this whole thread is that you decided to stop doing the routine altogether rather than try to improve it. The bottom point is that no one in this thread was there when you performed it. You believe you had a great reaction and that is the key point here. You should be happy about that. The problem comes from the fact that you felt a bit uneasy about the whole thing. Maybe you just need to make it clear that you are simply mocking a chinese magic master called Foo-Ling-Yu. I really don't see anything wrong with that. The truth of the matter is no matter what you do, however polite, polically correct, clean cut you are, there will always be someone who will take offence at something you do. Ignore them and continue to explore your vision of who you should be as a magician.
Message: Posted by: Al Kazam the Magic Man (Jan 27, 2006 08:54PM)
Great little thread here.

As a big nose white guy who lived in Taiwan for almost 16 years I have a few different thoughts. ( I also have met James Linn *Xiuqual* and his family and he does speak great Mandarin Chinese) When I performed I only spoke Mandarin chinese and only a few English words.

I think your character determines a lot in regards to the kind of reaction you will get with different things you say. With me being a foreigner speaking to the local Taiwanese, they were prepared to cut me a lot of slack with my language skills. Also knowing that I was trying to have fun with them helped them a great deal. I often made fun of myself and my lack of correct pronunciation. They couldn't care less most of the time. It's all about showing them you like them and are having fun with them. As for the actual name: Foo Ling You,,,,,,these three words are actually in a lot of chinese names. Foo is an actual family name and the Chinese pronounce their names with their surname first, whereas us westerners say our christian names first and then our surnames. Ling is a name very often in girls names, and Yu is also a family name. I can see how many Chinese people would initially just think you are actually saying someones name.

One thing many people don't realise is that Chinese people from different places are different from each other in many regards. They often speak different languages, have different cultures, eat much different food, and react differently to various things. Hong Kong is very different from Taipei. Chinese humour and western humour is also very different. I often found most things they laughed at were not funny at all. They often did not get my western style of humour at all. (Think back to the movie Gung Ho, where the guy asks the Japanese automakers if a frog's a** is watertight) It was very funny for me, as I had lived in Japan for almost 2 years as well.

Anyway enough said. JoJo
Message: Posted by: Stinkfist (Feb 10, 2006 09:07PM)
That's a great story! and hilarious!