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Topic: Girlfriend=Assistant - A good idea???
Message: Posted by: briansmagic (Aug 22, 2003 06:57PM)
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?
Message: Posted by: Peter Loughran (Aug 23, 2003 04:54AM)
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. :wavey:
Message: Posted by: briansmagic (Aug 23, 2003 01:37PM)
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!
Message: Posted by: Ron Reid (Aug 23, 2003 02:43PM)
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!

Message: Posted by: Peter Loughran (Aug 24, 2003 05:50AM)
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. :sawingchick:
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Aug 24, 2003 10:49AM)
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
Message: Posted by: Lyndsy M. (Aug 24, 2003 12:17PM)
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!!!!!
Message: Posted by: briansmagic (Aug 24, 2003 03:38PM)
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.
Message: Posted by: Reg Rozee (Sep 1, 2003 04:47AM)
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!) :bg:
Message: Posted by: King Of Pop (Sep 3, 2003 02:17PM)
Yes it's good, because she never speaks out his secrets. :)

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. :(
Message: Posted by: zaubern (Sep 18, 2003 02:33AM)
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.
Message: Posted by: briansmagic (Sep 18, 2003 11:38PM)

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!
Message: Posted by: crazyhands (Sep 26, 2003 09:43PM)
It's just my opinion that you shouldn't mix business with pleasure, just my .02 cents
Message: Posted by: WandSpin (Sep 29, 2003 09:33AM)
My fiance and I perform together. We have a common interest (and make money) so I think our relationship is healthier.
Message: Posted by: rowdymagi5 (Sep 30, 2003 11:27AM)
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!
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Oct 10, 2003 12:26AM)
If you think she is active enough for what your interest are, take the chance. :goodluck:
Message: Posted by: Geoff Weber (Nov 30, 2003 06:08PM)
It's good if it's something she's interested in. Don't twist her arm or beg her to do it.
Message: Posted by: DanielGreenWolf (Dec 1, 2003 12:50AM)
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. [list=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.

[*]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.

[*]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.

[*]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.

[*]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.[/list]These tips will help you and your assistant become a truly great team.

--Daniel GreenWolf
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Dec 12, 2003 01:44PM)

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
Message: Posted by: Dayanara (Dec 27, 2003 10:26PM)
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. :stuckinbag:
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 31, 2004 09:58PM)
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.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Feb 12, 2004 02:07AM)
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.
Message: Posted by: Rob Johnston (Feb 25, 2004 03:48PM)
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.
Message: Posted by: SWMagicsPinkLady (Apr 7, 2004 12:29PM)
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"..
Message: Posted by: Red_Magic_Jones (Apr 26, 2004 03:16AM)
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.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Apr 30, 2004 11:39AM)
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.

Message: Posted by: salsa_dancer (May 22, 2004 04:31AM)
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 ;)
Message: Posted by: zur (Jul 28, 2004 08:14PM)
I agree!
Message: Posted by: Laughing Otter (Aug 15, 2004 02:34PM)
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.
Message: Posted by: Kenn Capman (Aug 16, 2004 08:24AM)
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.
Message: Posted by: Brent McLeod (Oct 10, 2004 06:31PM)
I got busted a few years ago with my then Girlfriend of a few years.

My act that involved 3 Illusions all using her was redundant after we split up-remained friends.

I now work solo for majority shows with my eldest daughter coming into the first Levitation Illusion!

If your relationship is going places go for it & have fun - Make sure you pay your assistant!
Message: Posted by: briansmagic (Oct 10, 2004 07:12PM)
Hey Everyone,
I am the one who first started this post over a year ago and I thought I would let you know what happened! In March 2004 I got in a pinch and NEEDED someone to do a show w/ me b/c my regular couldn't do it. So she agreed to do it and was horrified, I have never seen anyone more scared in my life but we went out there and did it and she LOVED it. So she became my regular and we did TONS of shows together all over the place, we even flew from Seattle to St. Louis to do the Stars of Tomorrow Show for SAM. Everything was working out pretty well for us although sometimes things were hard. It's not easy to be "directed" by your b/f. But it went ok, mostly pretty good and we had a blast traveling all over the place doing these shows. Then a month ago we had a very sad, ugly, unfortunate break up. So now I'm back to strangers!
Message: Posted by: rannie (Nov 30, 2004 03:06AM)
Familiarity breeds contept! On the other hand, there is nothing more comforting performing with someone you have full trust. Being on the road with a girlfriend involved in the same business takes its toll. Fights happen and that's normal, but believe me , in a situation like this, it gets worse.

If the relationship is solid and the maturity is there, GO FOR IT !


Message: Posted by: MDS (Jan 10, 2005 11:10PM)
I have had problems with this in the past. I have started two ways: the first is that I started using my girlfriend and then I have also found an assistant and after spending so much time with her (on the road, theaters, hotels, etc.) we started dating. In both cases it has failed. Not saying that it will always. The reason that it didn't work for me is that even though she was my girlfriend when we were working I was her boss. I am passionate and serious about my magic (its my living) and if she isn't willing to do what I say in the show than she should'nt be in the show with me.

I will say that since I have realized this I treat my assistants with a lot more respect. I also realized that no matter how good of a magician I am that she can make my show. I have two assistants right now Emily and Emily, one of them is my girlfriend. It is nice to travel with my gf, but honestly the one that isn't my gf is a better worker. I think that I tend to push her a little harder, but it really pays off.

Message: Posted by: jl (Feb 8, 2005 10:53AM)
I have been working with my girlfriend for a year now sometimes it's bad but mostly it's better than working with just anyone we are just about to start our second season together so fingers crossed!
Message: Posted by: zaubern (Feb 11, 2005 04:22AM)
It really goes both ways...in some respects it great working with someone you are comfortable with but you always run the risk of losing an assistant if you split. It's great if you can make it work though.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Feb 11, 2005 10:45AM)
This is not a "Do as I do" post. If I had the answer carved in stone I would not have read the posts here. (Do you realize how long the same crew has been posting here?) It's something in over forty years of magic has deserved a look over and over.

For the most part, I can safely say of my wives (three of them), they never helped me on stage before we were married. Likewise, I have had plenty of other assistants. My wives have always had professional careers of their own (a college dean, a computer wizard MBA, and a physician who also performs separately in her own stage shows). Therefore, they were not available much of the time either. There is also the period between the time of the loss of my second wife (she died) and when I remarried (about a decade without a wife).

When it works, wives are certainly the best assistants. I can't remember ever being sorry that my assistant was my wife. I hope the feeling was mutual!

Assistants are part of the cast with important jobs that have to be performed with due care. That is more important than the source. The cast is a team. Fit is everything. I have also had assistants that did not fit well. Perhaps it is because I have also always been an entrepreneur, but I have never had a romantic relationship that began with an employee or even a member of the audience. It is a case of focus.

I know I have blind spots in this area. But perhaps that has served me well too. On stage I need support for the show and not some other agenda. In my younger days, I owned my own airplanes that I used in my work. One day when I recognized that I was trying to land at about twice landing speed, I decided that hiring pilot was just smart. There are limits on what I can juggle well at one time.

These are two entirely separate and unrelated roles. I don’t think I would force a merger. That also leaves the other options wide open. (I hope that is different from a definite "Maybe".)

Keep posting. We might learn something!

Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: magicalmischief (Mar 22, 2005 05:01AM)
On 2003-09-26 22:43, crazyhands wrote:
It's just my opinion that you shouldn't mix business with pleasure, just my .02 cents

I have to agree... It's never a good idea to mix Marriage (business) and Magic (pleasure)...LOL
Message: Posted by: Nick Wait (Mar 22, 2005 05:03PM)
I tried this when I was and still am doing very few shows due to school. Although we still rehearsed, I made my act to consist of a majority of solo stuff and 3 easy assistant illusions. I choreographed it for her, and because we're not always in each others faces we were fine. She was also in control of clothing!!! She had an input and I tried to make it more like a 50:50 venture.
Message: Posted by: kat_kelly_007 (Apr 30, 2005 03:31AM)
Hey I thought I'd comment on this.. I am the now ex-girlfriend of briansmagic and I just wanted to say I thought it worked pretty well. There were pros and cons. The pros were that we knew each other so well that I knew when to help and when to stay out of the way. I wasn't afraid to tell him when something went wrong or praise him when something went well. I thought that overall things went pretty smoothly. The cons were that sometimes it's hard to take crtique from someone you're so close too, and also to keep personal problems off the stage... I think we did a pretty good job though. I would tell someone that if they think their relationship is strong enough than to go for it! And just for the record we have worked together since the sad, ugly breakup! I guess it shows we could handle it since things went fine on stage! -kat
Message: Posted by: PyroJeffNic (Jul 10, 2005 04:15PM)
I won't lie to you, a person I know very well uses his girlfriend as his assistant. It is definately not a charming atmosphere back stage nor on stage. BUT then again his act is kinda like their relationship so it workes out well for them:P
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Jul 25, 2005 12:01PM)
The answer is very simple. If we are talking about my first wife the answer is "you must be crazy". If we are talking about my second wife the answer is "don't leave home without her", so there be the difference.
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Jul 25, 2005 08:03PM)
There's an old saying about bodily functions, location and eating as relates to work and romance.

The same thing applies with regards to assistants, unless you happen to be Falkenstein & Willard, the Pendragons or the Beckers. There are a few other notable exceptions, of course...

In fact, the exceptions seem to be more the rule in magic, now that I think about it...!

Lee Darrow, C.H.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Jul 26, 2005 07:10AM)
Bodily functions and eating. HA HA HA
Message: Posted by: DanielSteep (Jan 1, 2006 09:01PM)
I say NO don't get ur GF as an assistant what happens if you break up???? you would be left with out an assistnat and the secret could get out if ur GF is mad at you
Message: Posted by: Steven Steele (Jun 1, 2006 01:23AM)
Never? Seems a few started that way...

Mark Kalin & Ginger
Harry and Gay Blackstone
The Pendragons
The Falkensteins
Petric and Mia

I think it's a matter of how the two approach the situation. Work is work and play is play. I've worked alongside my girlfriend for a long time. I now work alongside my wife. We work well together...but not magic.
Message: Posted by: magicelam (Jun 13, 2006 09:38PM)

I have used 4 different girlfriends as assistants... since I no longer perform professionally anymore, nor date any of those girls, I'm probably not a good authority on this...

that being said, let me tell you why it didn't really work for me.

When I'm with my girlfriend (current and past) I tend to "baby" them. When I do shows, I'm all business. So, when what is normally, "Honey, let me go to the car and get this because I might need it." becomes, "Hey, get those silks out of the car I forgot, I have to set this table up... and try not to knock that stuff over again," they tend to not take it the right way.

So I would say don't mix business with pleasure... my fiance, for the most part, can't stand magic... but the other day I performed Michael P. Lair's Beach Memories for her (www.lairmagic.com to watch a video...) and now she likes to play with the invisible thread.

So... I'd say don't do it.

Message: Posted by: JackScratch (Jun 14, 2006 08:25AM)
On 2004-01-31 22:58, Bill Palmer wrote: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.

Ah yes, I remember her well.
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (Jun 15, 2006 09:26AM)
I would say the real issue is whether she's interested in show biz or not. I had several girlfriends over a period of years, and only one of them had any interest in being on stage; in fact, she was a very good dancer and costume designer. We talked several times about doing an act together, but I finally decided she wouldn't be amenable to all the rehearsals, so we dropped the idea.

A couple of years ago I trained Donna to do a short magic act for a couple of magician friends who were coming to dinner. We both thought it would be a blast, but it actually took about three sessions before she understood that rehearsals are a place to make mistakes and correct them. I'm so used to that idea that I found it amazing how long it took her to get it, especially considering she had been a cheerleader for four years in high school. But that's how it goes.

The act came out great, but she just doesn't have any interest in doing it again.
Message: Posted by: airship (Jun 19, 2006 11:48AM)
I think if your wife or girlfriend has had a burning, lifelong dream to be a magician's assistant, then go for it. Your passions are matched.

If not, you might want to leave it alone and use someone who is just in it for the money. They have a motivation to do it right and to keep doing it.
Message: Posted by: The Bonnie Kids (Jun 19, 2006 02:51PM)
I have performed in the past with girlfriends without any problem.
I have also performed with the last girlfriend, now wife, but she doesn't like it anymore, so now I am waiting to perform with my doughter, she looks good for shows (but she is still only 3....).
Regarding this I have a comment: if you think the girlfriend might me a "temporary relationship", how do you solve the fact that you have to tell her how you do your tricks? I mean, if she is an active partner of ocurse you have to, but if she only helps? I remember I never told them I did my tricks, and I think I did well because now they have nothing to do with magic... but I would like to listen your opinion..

// Andrea
Message: Posted by: P.T. Murphy (Jul 9, 2006 10:04PM)
Just remember this is SHOW/ BUSINESS. Sometimes an intimate relationship can get in the way of the business part. But sometimes it works in your favor.
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Aug 18, 2006 02:47PM)
All I can go by is my own experience...
My lovely girlfriend Sylver and I have been performing together for two years as part of a performance group, in the group we were pretty much equal...Now we perform a seperate sideshow act with just the two of us.
We're still equal.
I am a sideshow/fire performer/bizarrist magician and I am...Unusual looking to say the least.
She is a sideshow/fire performer/dancer who is Beautiful, filled with personality and is absolutelty adorable on stage.
Imagine a foppish Brit version of the Amazing Johnathon coupled with a mischevious Tinkerbell and you have our act.
I would be no where near as successful as I am without her and her unique interpretation of character. I do all of the talking during the act (Her character is silent, communicating only through cue cards), but it is her the crowd flocks to after the shows.
She is not my assistant...Yes, I wrote the show, developed the routines and built most of the props, but she puts just as much effort into it as I do and half of the stunts and illusions in the show are performed by her.
She's a partner.
Is it rough sometimes? Yes. When we are developing a new bit for her to perform, it can get tense ("I barely fit in this BOX you made...and now you try to poke me in the eye with a stick? GIMMIE THAT!!" Followed by thwacking sounds and a magician running for his own safety)
But those are few and far between. We have our props list and prep down so well that we can set up the whole act in under 5 minutes flawlessly. No bickering there!
I guess what I am saying is that if you have a good solid mature relationship, treat your partner like a partner with respect instead of dictating, if they have a real interest in performing and have some real skills...
There is no real reason why it won't work.
Message: Posted by: Peter Loughran (Aug 24, 2006 11:20PM)
The equation is simple, personalities, will they work together or not?

Every combo is different, what will work for one couple will not work for another.

If you can get the relationship to work, you will reap the benifits, however as we have also learned if the relationship fails, the damage is significant.

There is no one right answer, the answer and the chance of success all depends on the individual couple at hand, and it is impossible for one to predict the outcome.

Message: Posted by: Jason Johnson (Feb 11, 2012 11:29PM)
To me, there's a difference between a girlfriend and a wife.

A girlfriend is someone you date. They're temporary. They come and go. They'll spill the beans to get back at you. That's not a good proposition in my opinion.

A wife is someone who you're with for life (I'm old fashioned.) She is your partner in life and magic. There have been many great magic husband and wife teams, so I know it can work.

This is my opinion, and I'm not trying to tell anyone else how to live.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Aug 9, 2012 07:06AM)
The famous husband and wife teams were usually not married to begin with. They met or was offered an assistant position, then over time things developed into marriage.

The original poster is here asking us, when actually, he should be asking his girl friend. If he thinks he can just make the decision for her he is very wrong. The decision is hers as well as his invitation. And to think he don't have to pay her or pay her as much. Boy - That will go over like a lead balloon.

Actually, one of the best gauges to find out if she will fit your interest, is to take her to a magic shop, and if she wants to leave after 10 minutes, then she is not interested in magic. Another way is to take her to a magic convention, and if she doesn't want to go to most of the scheduled events and is happy when the convention is over, then she is the wrong for the job. She has not interest.

If she does agree, create a few tricks where she is an important part of the trick. A simple silk vanish, and she is holding the balloon that the silk appears in, will be a great trick, and help her feel like she is contributing to the show.
Message: Posted by: msmagic1 (Feb 2, 2013 12:16PM)
Better question..... why not?
Message: Posted by: jugglestruck (Mar 2, 2013 01:04PM)
On 2006-07-09 23:04, P.T. Murphy wrote:
Just remember this is SHOW/ BUSINESS. Sometimes an intimate relationship can get in the way of the business part. But sometimes it works in your favor.
Having married my assistant I think you speak wise words Mr Murphy.
Message: Posted by: thomasR (Mar 18, 2013 04:10PM)
I've worked for/ with couples in the entertainment industry (magic and non magic related shows) and I'm almost always against it.
The man will usually not tell the gf what to do in the same fashion as his other employees... That's simply not fair. The gf also feels like
she is some sort of automatic boss cause her bf is the employer. That really doesn't sit well with me.

I say hire professionals to do the job.
Message: Posted by: jugglestruck (Mar 30, 2013 02:52PM)
I say hire professionals to do the job.

In theory a great idea but often so much easier said than done.
Message: Posted by: DavidThomas (Jun 1, 2013 11:59AM)
There are so many great points everyone has posted.

Over the years I have any many magic "assistants" and many "magic partners". I would classify "assistants" as those male and female performers who do the easier roles in the show. Push props, bring items, ect. These roles are easily trained to people who have "performance arts skills" (Dance, stage movement) "Magical Partners" are the performers who have all the skills of performance (dance, stage movement, ect) These "partners" are as critical to the shows as the magician is. Think of the Pendragons, the Majestiscs, Kalin and Jinger and others.

Using your wife or girlfriends in the assistant roll is pretty easy. Using them in the "partner" roll is more difficult. In my opinion before you start down that road, look at their "performance skills" in a realistic manner. If they have the skills to make a great act then it makes a lot of sense. If they don't help create "great magic" then it is better not to start, as it is very difficult to fire them later and start with another person.

My goal is to see the world with my wife and partner when our teenagers are grown. Getting paid to do that is a wonderful bonus of a couple. If you want to do illusions and travel, make sure the goal is something you both want to do.