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Topic: How Important is a Stage Name/Alter Ego?
Message: Posted by: C_Biskit (Jan 4, 2014 02:37AM)
I was wondering if people think it is necissary to have an alter ego/use a fake name while performing. Are there any real advantages to this or is this kinda like taking your performing character to the next level. How many of you use a performer name and how many just use your genuine name? Why should we or why should we not hide our name?

I understand the concept of playing an actor/performer and you performing is a character and not actually you but the name change?
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Jan 4, 2014 04:19AM)
Look up L'Hommw MASQUE!
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Jan 4, 2014 04:21AM)
OOOOOPS that should be l'HommE Masque!
Message: Posted by: C_Biskit (Jan 4, 2014 04:51AM)
An unknown man? I am confused.
Message: Posted by: DWRackley (Jan 4, 2014 05:01AM)
I think it’s entirely up to the individual.

Are you playing a character? If so, a nom de plume makes perfect sense. Not many kids of the 60s and 70s would recognize “Bob Keeshan”, but Captain Kangaroo is still familiar to many. If on the other hand the “character” you are playing is yourself, just amped up, your own name should be fine, as long as it’s pronounceable to your target audience.

Remember that it IS a stage persona, and some names are great just as they are. Other names (like say, Marion Morrison) should probably be changed to something else.

There are some other questions that will appear down the road, such as, will you change your name legally, or just onstage? This also brings income taxes into question. Once you start performing for money, you’ll probably need to file a “DBA” (doing business as) or business license even if you keep your given name.
Message: Posted by: David Fillary (Jan 4, 2014 05:22AM)
I don't think there is any rush to have a name. I'd quite like to have an alter ego name, but I'd rather wait for a spectator to coin it as it would probably be more apt than anything I could come up with myself. There seems to be far more important things to focus on right now and I'm sure I'll know when it feels right to have another name.
Message: Posted by: 55Hudson (Jan 4, 2014 07:29AM)
It also may depend on other work you do. Many magicians also have a day job where being known as a magician may be detrimental. Think corporate lawyer for example.

Message: Posted by: djurmann (Jan 4, 2014 01:02PM)
I would suggest asking this question in Food for Thought.

Message: Posted by: C_Biskit (Jan 5, 2014 02:41AM)
That is a great point 55Hudson.

And I will try it there, thanks Danny.

Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Jan 5, 2014 08:36AM)
On 2014-01-04 05:21, Dick Oslund wrote:
OOOOOPS that should be l'HommE Masque!

C Biskit~~~ Re: "L'Homme Masque" cf. BOBO pp xix, xx, 181, 333 (plus other sources) "Masque" lived ca late 19th C and early 20th C. He was a very artistic and skilled magician. From a rather prominent family, for social reasons, he did not wish that his real identity be known. (Remember that, in those days, magicians were still widely regarded (with a few exceptions like HERMANN & KELLAR)as "mountebancs", :"quacksalvers" etc.) So, he adopted a mask (like the Lone Ranger!). I've cited BOBO, as it's my handiest reference. There are other sources. "Those that don't study history, are condemned to repeaat it!"

"...Drink deep or taste not the Pyrrhean Spring, There, shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, While drinking largely, sobers us again." (Alexander Pope)

Hope this is helpful! Don't tell anyone else, but when I was 14, my 'business' card read: RICHARD the Youthful MAGICIAN! Nowadays, it should probably read: DICK OSLUND -- THE SENILE MAGICIAN!
Message: Posted by: DWRackley (Jan 7, 2014 09:55PM)
Dick, LOL!

When I was a teen, my first attempt was as "Mister Houdini", like that was something original. It quickly became nothing more than a CB handle (KIX4802), and future magical ventures involved "The Amazing Donovan". (What was most "Amazing" was that I could draw an audience at all!) :)
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Jan 8, 2014 04:40AM)
Hi Donovan!

Your use of the term "draw an audience" reminds me of an evening show at an Abbott Get Together, sometime back in the '70s, (I think).

Jay Marshall was working "in one", doing his SHADOWGRAPH routine. A fly, attracted by the spotlight that "projected" the shadows on the screen, interrupted the act. The fly's "antics" got a chuckle from the audience. Jay was not going to be upstaged by an insect! His adlib comment got a show stop laugh: "And Greg Bordner told me that a SHADOWGRAPH ACT WOULDN'T DRAW FLIES."
Message: Posted by: MagicianFromHades (Mar 21, 2014 12:11AM)
What about some kind of "puny" name, like Jack Ohearts or something?
Message: Posted by: MRSharpe (Mar 21, 2014 07:52AM)
I started using a stage name for my kids shows because my last name is sometime difficult for kids to pronounce. I also use a variation of my actual first and last name for mentalism/bizarre because I think it sounds better. A case can also be made for using a stage name if you are literally playing a fantasy character. Then the name can reflect some sapect of that character. Eg. Sylvester the Jester.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Mar 21, 2014 08:20AM)
I would advise you not to put "The Great" after whatever you decide to call yourself, as a young fellow in West Hamlet, Montana, is already using that billing, and he has the title registered with the BILLBOARD MATERIAL PROTECTION SERVICE.

I'm merely passing along this warning, becauae AL BAKER passed it on to me.

also...I am considering using the name: WHITESTONE the MAGICIAN, so don't use that either. OK?

Jeff Wawrzaszek had to get an extra long business card when he started. He also had a CD introduction for the MC to use. Plus he needed an extra long table in order to have his name embroidered on the black velvet drape. Also, he couldn't sign autographs, because he could never remember how to spell his name.

(signed) Woostenwalbert Schimmelpfennig.
Message: Posted by: rockkid (Mar 22, 2014 06:36PM)
Maybe you could only use your first name, or put ad an adjective according to your act (just a stupid example: If your act has a bit of a mystical tone to it, you could call yourself, X the mystic magician)
Message: Posted by: Steven Webb (Mar 23, 2014 08:15AM)
I always thought it would be fun to use a boring first name in an ironic name like "The Amazing Steve." I could just imagine the billing "Ladies and gentleman, today we have a very special guest. All the way from the far away land of Chicago....well, a city about an hour outside of it that you've never heard of....we're obligated to announce to you The Amazing....Steve?" Though I could never pull that off without being recognized and known over first. No need to ruin an act before it begins.

The only person I can imagine pulling it off really well is this kid, Kyle Eschen: