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Topic: Video cameras in the crowd?
Message: Posted by: Jesse Dains (Jun 16, 2003 08:11AM)
Is it just me? Do you let people video your performance? What do you do to stop them?

For me, when anyone gets out a video camera during my routine, I pull out a small camera and point it at them. For some reason when, people are behind the video camera, they seem to think they are invisible. When you focus the attention to them. They will usually put the video camera down.
Message: Posted by: VampOfVegas (Jun 16, 2003 08:18AM)
Honestly, havent had this problem yet.. that I know of, Just take aim that they could be zooming into your hands, so just move your hands around to keep them off of you just a little while to do a sleight. As if you need to do a pass, move to your side and do a pass on your knee. But most of the time our production company has a camera out already so they don't usually pull one out. But if they did I'd probably tell them to put it away saying something to everyone "Does Seigfreid and Roy let people bring cameras into their shows?" "no" "Really" then stare at them funny looking. Just something I'd probably do at a moments notice...
Message: Posted by: keven (Jun 18, 2003 02:03AM)
Where are you at when you do your shows. If you are strolling, there's not much you can do but ask them in a nice way to stop, if you are on stage you should say "Please no taping during the show" Then they will know not to. Just a thought
Message: Posted by: Jesse Dains (Jun 18, 2003 12:53PM)
I do a lot of my shows at outdoor events. People tend to bring their video cameras there more than they would if they were just walking on the street, unless they are tourists.

While I know it’s legal for them to video tape me, I prefer people not to have my act on tape. Hey it’s my living and I worked hard to perfect it. (am I being over protective here?) If they want to ask me first, explain why they want to do it, I would respect them more. I would in all probability still say no.

Legal or not, I just think it’s rude and invasive. I know it’s part of what you have to deal with, when working on the street. But I have had drunks, in the edge, urinate on my props while I was working. If it was legal or not did not enter my mind. I did not like and I said something to him. Oh yeah I lost the tip, and the turn. The drunk thing has only happened once, the video thing maybe a half a dozen times.

My best way of dealing with this so far has been to focus my camera, and attention on them. The crowd also looks at them, so far most of them stop taping when this happens. I am assuming that they do not want to be the center of attention.

I would like to hear other methods of dealing with this problem. And I am surprised that it doesn’t seem to happen to anyone else. Could I be paranoid? Well of course I could be, but that doesn’t mean their not really after me. (sorry I couldn’t help that)
Message: Posted by: James Peters (Jun 18, 2003 03:03PM)
I mainly do escape stuff on the street, and usually either with a gospel message or to support charity events.

I have no objections to people either filming me or taking pictures. If they want to remember me, that's fine! If they want to remember the message, that's even better! :)

Message: Posted by: devilsmagic (Jun 18, 2003 03:11PM)
I love it, it helps me put on a show!! It just means they want to remember you, go with it, man just make sure you say your name and number for events during it and they have it and whoever they show it too will get it

Message: Posted by: keven (Jun 19, 2003 01:16AM)
You could always start running around like a mad man. Jump up and down and just have at it. Let them tape you while you are doing this. When they get home They are going to puke all over because they will get sick from all the running around you did.

HEHEHE :sick:
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Jun 19, 2003 05:57AM)
In a street venue, I do my show! Camera no camera, video recording or no video recording, I do my show.

I have seen performers stop their show as soon as they see a video Camera. Marker Jaster – a mime, who performs as “‘O’ a fool”! Is a good example, even when he is on stage at the Maryland Renaissance Festival, if he sees someone recording he stops and gets them to stop (never speaking of course).

I noticed that many people (not taping) tend to walk away from the show; I know that I have walked away from every performer that stopped his/her show to stop a person recording. Except in extremely rare cases, it simply breaks the momentum of the show.

Let me say that I go out of my way to watch a street performer no matter what is being performed (music, juggling, mime, puppets, even magic) and in all the years I have been watching I have never seen a show so unique that the performer needed to protect it from being stolen. Heck, most of the shows I have seen have many of the same patter lines.

My thinking is that if a person wants to tape my show then let them! If that person is going to steal my act then good luck to them! The tricks I do are not that original. I pride myself that my presentation is unique to me (uniquely me?). Good luck to anyone who wants to try to be me!

In terms of stealing a show, a note pad is just as good a tool as a videotape recorder. How do you stop someone from taking notes!
Message: Posted by: Jesse Dains (Jun 19, 2003 11:16AM)
I guess I am paronoid. Thanks for the response to my question.
Message: Posted by: keven (Jun 21, 2003 06:02PM)
Harry is right. The show is all about how you do your show. All the tricks that I have ever seen can be found in a book somewhere
so someone somewhere else is doing that same trick. But when you put them next to each other to do the same trick, It would look different.
Message: Posted by: Jesse Dains (Jun 21, 2003 06:34PM)
It's not tricks I am worried about it's the patter.
Message: Posted by: iamslow (Jun 22, 2003 01:31AM)
If your patter is original, then I wouldn't worry about it. People who steal patter word for word usually sound like idiots using someone else's lines. I'm sure you have seen it around.. well at least I do with all these Blaine copycats in my area.
Message: Posted by: Evan Williams (Jun 23, 2003 04:58PM)
I do not care at all. I just make sure the tricks that I do don't require a lot of misdirection while they are taping.
Message: Posted by: Sean Irvine (Jun 24, 2003 07:54PM)
I sort of see it as a compliment cus it's obviously something their gonna remember.

The only thing I have to worry about is making sure they aren't magicians and hope they don't know any, I don't want anyone taking credit for my effects before I get the credit myself.
Message: Posted by: Evan Williams (Jun 24, 2003 08:13PM)
That's a good point Sean, but I still like the exposure and the fact that people will remember me and hopefully remember that I'm amazing!

Good point though.
Message: Posted by: eddieloughran (Jun 25, 2003 10:42AM)
I tend to ignore camera`s. But as well as a magician I`m also a musician and film maker.
I once visited a film club and found someone had filmed me tuning up and had inserted it in a film as a laugh (?) Remember too that if a child does something silly they can sell the clip to one of those T.V. shows
Message: Posted by: JesseMagic (Jul 1, 2003 03:37AM)
I agree Harry Murphy, just put a show on...
Message: Posted by: myshadow (Jul 1, 2003 07:39AM)
A tourist uses a video camera to capture the memories. If they are filming you, you are memorable. Lets hope you are memorable for the right reasons!
Message: Posted by: cougar261084 (Jul 14, 2003 12:10PM)
Yes, indeed I would be very flattered if someone videotaped me I would probably do something special with that guy to, like card to his pocket or something like that.
Message: Posted by: Hoelderlin (Jul 15, 2003 01:47PM)
If people want take a viedotape of your performance, this means they've find you interesting. Professional magicians often don't like to be taped, for copyright reason, but if you are not a video star, this is not your case. I think you have to face this problem: camcorders are widespread today, and, if you perform on the street and meet tourists, you cannot avoid they film you. You can't spend your life telling them to turn off cameras. Let they take a souvenir of you. About the fear to be exposed, I think it's a bit unrealistic to think that people spend their afternoon analyzing your performance and watching it in stop-motion... there is just one category of people that do it, namely magicians... Laymen usually do not discover tricks only because they are too lazy for doing this (for example, I noticed a site in which are exposed almost all the tricks played by David Blaine). Try, instead, to modify your performance watching your angles toward the camera and, if you can, perform effects that are "camera-proof",
Message: Posted by: Chad Sanborn (Jul 15, 2003 02:38PM)
What you can do is put up a small sign that says that recording of the show is not allowed. Then list some silly reasons for this... Like
1. It will still your soul and you need it for the next show.

2. If show is recorded, you are not responsible for the broken lens that your face has caused

Well you get the idea
and so will people who record the show.

Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Jul 16, 2003 12:49AM)
I'm not afraid to be video taped by spectators because I can still fool the viewers watching the tapes. At the end of my show I always walk up to the camcorder and say," Thank you for watching tv viewers. You can reach me at __________. I do all kinds of parties." It's worth the free advertisement.

The only time I am annoyed is when it is another magician trying to copy my act.
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Aug 26, 2003 06:26PM)
Stealing patter...stealing the act...blah blah blah.

Just do the show.

Flirt with the camera. Isn't the point to entertain the lay people?

You can be known as a great entertainer or the magician who had a stick up his rear and was adamant about no taping.

Have fun with it.

Robert Bloor
Message: Posted by: DanielGreenWolf (Aug 28, 2003 09:49PM)
If I'm doing a street performance, there's not much I can do if their recording. I'm not going to break the flow of the set just to tell them to stop recording.

But if I'm doing a Ren show or evening show, then I tell them they can record a little bit but not the whole show. This way, I'm not too mean, but they don't get my whole show. Yes, piracy is a big issue with me, being a victim of it myself. So I try to let people save a moment, but not the entire show.

Message: Posted by: Gambit242 (Sep 4, 2003 11:18AM)
I'm new to magic, but have been performing music for years... I'm aways excited to be taped.

I guess in magic, just make sure you adjust your angles for the camera. ;->

Good luck,
Message: Posted by: glodmagic (Dec 20, 2003 11:48AM)
It doesn't sould like your venue but...
If you do private parties (such as kids birthdays) it's a double edged sword. The parents feel it's THEIR home and videotaping the Birthday honored child is mandatory now days. After many years and thousands of birthdays there is quite a collection of horrible versions of my show immortalized in video. If A&E ever came out with a Biography (fat chance) it would make my show a mockery. We all have bad days and on video those are now forever!
The way I deal with it now is in the preagreement I state that "Videotaping may be done from the audience point of view only (straight on) with no side angles. A copy of the tape must be provided (sent) to me which I may use for promotional purposes. The tape may not be used for any commercial purposes without written permission by Magician Walter Glod" (I don't want it on americas funniest videos!
This accomplishes 3 things:
*Discourages the use of the camera somewhat(I have noted an actual decrease)
*Provides me with a tape when they do it as a personal record of how dreadful I was!
*Allows me to review the tape prior to a return booking with that customer so I can alter the effects slightly rather than repeat.
Message: Posted by: StageDor990 (Dec 22, 2003 04:12PM)
I consider this more of a personal preference-- if you're confident in your work and don't mind it, let 'em tape. Who knows-- they might show that tape to someone who knows someone who knows someone who happens to be...Bill Gates. You never know-- but I would definitely think twice before stopping a performance due to a tape-- you don't want to lose the attention and flow of the entire crowd due to the actions of an individual, right?
Message: Posted by: Daryl -the other brother (Dec 26, 2003 01:14AM)
I do a lot of wedding reception work and in the last part of my show I bring up the bride & groom and finish my show with them. I then direct the applause to them, say goodnight, and leave the floor which is the DJ's cue to start the first dance for the couple. I am videotaped all the time. It is great promo material! I am on their wedding video and have had many couples tell me it is the best part of the tape; I have even gotten refferals from this. I do magic for the video man beforehand and I tell him what I would like him to shoot. They all seem more than willing to help make the show (and the tape) the best it can be. I know this is different than performing on the street, but I wanted just to put in my two cents.
Message: Posted by: David Garrity (Dec 26, 2003 08:05AM)
Another point to consider. If you are doing ANY audience participation, especially with someone's kid, how dare you tell the proud parents they can't tape the possibly once-in-a-lifetime moment.

The only issue I have is if the would-be Fellini is disturbing other viewers of the show by moving all over the room and standing in front of people to "get the shot!"
Message: Posted by: glodmagic (Dec 26, 2003 10:34AM)
True True, David.
On occasion, well meaning dads come up next or behind me to get a shot of the kids reaction. If it is in a non critical moment I can stop and wait and "stink eye" a bit. If it is in the middle of a moving routine (dove productions, etc where I can't stop) I am often forced into a strange angle to prevent exposure.
There are times at public festivals with so many cameras present that it has an affect on my position and angle to the point where I am almost forced into a corner. That is where I do get angry, when the audience and my show suffers because the cameras dictate my blocking.
Message: Posted by: Nathan J. Roberts (Apr 12, 2004 10:00PM)
I play to the camara or camaras when they're pulled out. I've found that they just film a little bit and quit. If they try to tape the whole thing, they're either magic lovers or magicians. In that case, after playing to the camara, I'll start moving, and make it hard for them to get any really good shots.
Message: Posted by: nathanallen (Apr 13, 2004 10:18PM)
I have a pre-recorded voice over the music 5 minutes before my hired stage shows: ".... Please be courteous to your neighbors and turn off all weapons of mass destruction, videocameras, pagers, cell phones, and vibrators..."

Of course, I have an edited version of that for family events.
Message: Posted by: Jon Gallagher (Apr 14, 2004 05:35PM)
Last year while doing one of my "Just Say No shows," a local TV station came out to film for the news. The cameraman kept sneaking up on me, getting closer and closer. I didn't pay a lot of attention to him since I didn't want to disrupt the flow of my show, so he managed to get right up on stage with me.

I had two kids on stage with me, one on each side, and I turned to the kid on my right when I bumped into the camera guy who was kneeling, shooting up at me. I took the nest of wands I was holding, and smacked him across the lens with it. "Git!" I scolded. The kids and teachers laughed and laughed.

I don't think that shot made the news. I was out of town so I didn't get to see the finished product.

Message: Posted by: Brent W (May 2, 2004 06:37AM)
Hello all...

Here is something many people never think about. I have performed an illusion act in our family circus for several seasons, first off the other acts usually have it in their contracts that video taping by the crowds is not allowed, so that announcement is made a few times before the show. But more important is this...if for some reason something should happen during the show i.e. an accident...someone falling on the bleachers, knocking a lightstand over on someone, etc..you don't want that on tape for insurance reasons..I carry two million dollars in public liability insurance and both companies I have dealt with told me this..I had never thought of it before.
Message: Posted by: Brent McLeod (May 25, 2004 05:16PM)
200 People in a hall watching you!!

Let them video you-Think of it as a compliment to your performing ability -providing they are not front stage annoying other spectators!

Dont stop your show-very unprofessional!

Play to the cameras-have fun, wink,nod,smile etc

Make sure you have your name well positioned on your table or stage poster etc-Free Publicity!!

Message: Posted by: Rob Johnston (May 26, 2004 12:09PM)
Some people are paranoid that the camera is in fact a monster which will steal business away from them!

Come on folks...relax and have a good time with the camera...this is going into the family archives, and you want to be remembered as someone who was a great entertainer, not a camera nazi.

They are paying you to perform at their children's bday/or wherever, and they want to always remember it!

Good for business.
Message: Posted by: magicreza (Jul 9, 2004 02:32AM)
We STRICTLY enforce no video recording.
Ushers and house management are instructed to watch for cameras coming into the theatre so it is never an issue during performance. If there IS an issue, it is handled by the house management...not by the performer!
It is VERY VERY VERY unprofessional to stop the show and handle those issues from the stage.

Message: Posted by: MISTER E (Jul 10, 2004 06:44AM)
The only time you should be worried about this is if you specifically ask for "no video at any time." Then and only then is there reason to get upset; because they've disregarded your request, and that's just plain rude.

Otherwise, get over yourself and let people enjoy your performance the way they want to.

Message: Posted by: JoeJoe (Sep 24, 2004 03:17AM)
In a street venue, I don't think it is legally possible to stop someone from recording you - the street belongs to the public and they have as much right to use it as a street performer does.

I work on private property at a tourist trap, and I don't think it's my place to tell vacationers they have to turn their camera off ... I tend to ask people after my show if they can mail me a copy, which some people have actually done. Been valuable tool for improving my act.