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Topic: Comedy Magic Query.
Message: Posted by: SmithMagicMan (Nov 24, 2011 02:15AM)
Hey Guys, I'm quite experienced in "normal" magic, but don't do much comedy magic - I want to get into it(:

I recently watched a dvd called Rune's World which featured Rune Klan. I saw some of his live shows and the stuff he did there was hilarious, like building everything up to a climatic point, and it not working and him finding the card in his fly for instance(:

He also talked about how he loved opening effects, like the first thing people see and how it's funny.

Are we as other magicians allowed to use the same type of tricks, same type of jokes and same presentation and stuff?
It just really inspired me and I wondered if I'm actually allowed to do this stuff.

Cheers, James
Message: Posted by: BrianMillerMagic (Nov 24, 2011 05:29PM)
James, that's an excellent question. You will find that many of the dime-a-dozen "comedy magicians" use the same tricks with the same terrible jokes. This seems to be the norm, although those of us who care have a real ethical issue with it.

However, today's shining stars of comedy magic, such as Rune Klan, The Amazing Jonathan, Mac King, Michael Finney, Michael Kent, etc have all developed their own unique material. Many of them have worked as stand-up comedians without any magic at all, which is very helpful for doing comedy magic successfully.

My advice to you: If you want to get into comedy magic, you should consider if you want to be either a humorous magician or a comedian/magician. If you want to be a humorous magician, focus on your magic and then find ways to add gags, musings, little jokes into the routines. If you want to be a true comedy magician, then you should learn the art of stand-up comedy by going into comedy clubs and doing open mics, taking comedy and acting classes, etc.

I have a series of articles on both the art of stand up comedy and comedy in magic that I write for Examiner.com as the Hartford Comedy Expert.

You'll find them here: http://www.examiner.com/comedy-in-hartford/brian-miller
Message: Posted by: SmithMagicMan (Nov 25, 2011 02:07AM)
Thanks, they look great, and that's some great information, cheers

I tried some of Rune Klans gags on my mum, and she didn't "get" it at all. I think theres a certain personality and persona you've got to have if you are a comedy magician.
Is that right?
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (Nov 26, 2011 11:35AM)
Hey Smith, good question.

Lots of magicians lift lines and gags so you wouldn't be on your own if you copied his act to some degree.

Firstly is the DVD a performance dvd or an instructional dvd? If it's a instructional dvd then you're probably allowed to use the lines but as you have found yourself a lot of things only work because they are intrinsically linked with the character and attitude of the performer saying them.

I would learn what you can from the dvd in terms of how he constructs his act, how he adds fresh thinking to new effects etc but then write your own stuff from what you have learned. If it is an instructional dvd you may find a couple of linbes that suit your style that you can use.

Also it depends where you are performing. In comedy clubs other people's material is a definite no no. For family shows,private parties etc the use of other people's routines that you have paid for is commonplace and ethically sound.

I too have a blog! And addressed this issue quite extensively:

Message: Posted by: SmithMagicMan (Nov 26, 2011 03:36PM)
Thanks, that looks great(:

It's actually a performance DVD, which has some of Rune Klans best comedy magic.

Like it was him performing it to a large audience, one of the effects was were there was like a lift, with smoke and lights in it, looking like he would appear, but then he appeared around the side and went: "It would be amazing if I could actually be in there - Hello!"

That was just amazingly good, so funny.

I'm not really a funny/comedical person, so perhaps comedy magic aint best for me(:
Message: Posted by: RJE2 (Nov 26, 2011 04:35PM)
Echoing what has been said, avoid if at all possible the gags and routines you see somebody else do as well as "store bought" routines. If you are actually going to work doing clubs, after dinner shows and corporates, then you do not want to be the act that comes in and repeats what the guy who was there last year did. It will hurt your agent's reputation who will then be inclined to drop you or use you less. If you do not use an agent, then it makes you look amateurish or inept in the audience's eyes.