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Topic: LGBTQ Magicians + Patter
Message: Posted by: taranwandering (Feb 21, 2021 08:17PM)
Hi Everyone!

I'm pretty new to learning magic-- it's such an amazing art! I'm building patter for some basic tricks I've pieced together and/or picked up, and I'd love to develop some patter related to my LGBTQ background. I can't think of too many magicians who bring this into their act, so I'd love if anyone can think of some examples. In general, I'm interested in learning more about magic history, especially where it intersects with LGBTQ identities.

Thank you!
Message: Posted by: davidpaul$ (Feb 21, 2021 11:30PM)
With respect, what does it matter? Just entertain. Why does sexual orientation have to be interjected. People are people and for the most part, like to be entertained and amazed.
Just my opinion.
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Feb 22, 2021 01:48AM)
[quote]On Feb 21, 2021, davidpaul$ wrote:
With respect, what does it matter? Just entertain. Why does sexual orientation have to be interjected. People are people and for the most part, like to be entertained and amazed.
Just my opinion. [/quote]


It's entirely valid to talk about this subject, if the magician and the audience want to.

I say go for it. It's a subject that hasn't had a lot of "exposure" :shucks: so there's a lot a lot of ways that this could be approached, @taranwandering. Have fun, and good luck!

For a short while, I used one of Gazzo's lines in my street show: "I'm not gay, and I should know! I've tried it 10, maybe 15 times- and it's just not for me..."
Message: Posted by: taranwandering (Feb 22, 2021 02:00AM)
[quote]On Feb 21, 2021, davidpaul$ wrote:
With respect, what does it matter? Just entertain. Why does sexual orientation have to be interjected. People are people and for the most part, like to be entertained and amazed.
Just my opinion. [/quote]

To clarify: I’m mostly learning magic as a hobby and art form, but the most likely venues where I’ll perform will be at lgbtq fundraisers; I already volunteer a lot in the community (not doing magic, just as a volunteer). I’d like to develop some routines that fit these contexts well, since I have a lot of opportunities to perform if I do.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Feb 22, 2021 06:47AM)
[quote]On Feb 22, 2021, taranwandering wrote:
I’d like to develop some routines that fit these contexts well, since I have a lot of opportunities to perform if I do. [/quote]

Are you saying that the venues require you to design your script around being in the community? I'm genuinely asking. There have been plenty of gay magicians throughout history, but they didn't explore the topic of identity much in their act -- they would just show up and be awesome.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Feb 22, 2021 07:16AM)
Doesn't Jeff Hobson do a sort of "gay" act? Just wondering...

Doug
Message: Posted by: Russo (Feb 22, 2021 07:36AM)
Sorry- since it came up, I must interject this - during my teen age years I had many Male gays try to subdue me (want to play? - party? - touch? ) - knowing I was a Man - I escaped such tries. Please, lets not interject this into Magic.
Message: Posted by: JonHackl (Feb 22, 2021 07:57AM)
I think there's nothing in principle wrong with this kind of thing. A lot of magicians like to infuse their magic with some kind of meaning or relevance to life, like believing in yourself or making decisions or whatever kind of themes. So why not some meaning specially relevant to LGBTQ people?

I'm afraid I can't give much in the way of suggestions. I usually find attempts to put "meaning" into magic pretty corny. But I bet if you watch a lot of magic and look for these kinds of acts you can find something adaptable for your intended audience. Over at r/magic some guys have started this thing called Scripting Saturday where they share presentation ideas for different tricks. Some of them are life-lesson oriented, for example:

Wishful thinking https://www.reddit.com/r/Magic/comments/lixg4l/scripting_saturday_5/gn7sqr7/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

Needs and wants https://www.reddit.com/r/Magic/comments/lixg4l/scripting_saturday_5/gn85gqo/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

Several ideas here https://www.reddit.com/r/Magic/comments/ldrwjy/scripting_saturday_4_6_february_2021/gm7l6mh/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

You biggest fear https://www.reddit.com/r/Magic/comments/kycrkf/scripting_saturday_1_16_january_2021/gjg66ni/?utm_source=reddit&utm_medium=web2x&context=3

You'll notice one contributor frequently gives these kinds of presentations. Again, it's not my style, but he seems to have good ideas if you like this kind of thing.
Message: Posted by: JonHackl (Feb 22, 2021 07:58AM)
[quote]On Feb 22, 2021, Russo wrote:
Sorry- since it came up, I must interject this - during my teen age years I had many Male gays try to subdue me (want to play? - party? - touch? ) - knowing I was a Man - I escaped such tries. Please, lets not interject this into Magic. [/quote]

I don't think the suggestion is to do magic themed around abuse!!
Message: Posted by: davidpaul$ (Feb 22, 2021 09:01AM)
I am male, Straight and married to my wife and have 2 children. I don't think about some sort of presentation or patter related to my sexuality. Like The Burnaby Kid stated above , "Just Be Awesome" I don't get it. What you do is your business. I love magic too and just want to share it and show people respect and love no matter who they are, without interjecting a lifestyle.
That's the way I see it.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Feb 22, 2021 09:59AM)
To be clear, I wasn't trying to pass judgement on anything one way or the other. My own personal view is that a presentation's primary purpose is to help the magic. I don't see how signalling sexuality (of any kind, queer or straight) inherently helps the magic, although I don't see how it inherently hurts the magic either.
Message: Posted by: JonHackl (Feb 22, 2021 10:01AM)
To be honest, davidpaul$, that was my initial reaction. But then, I'm not one for putting life lessons and "moral of the story" into magic tricks in the first place. For example, I'm a Christian but not a big fan of gospel magic. But the fact that there is such a thing as gospel magic, or that other magicians like to use patter about conquering fears or whatever else, means that in principle there's no reason a magician couldn't do this kind of thing in ways that are particularly relevant for an LGBTQ audience.

Actually, I did use a magic trick in a Bible lesson once. My youth group asked me about the "mark of the beast" from Revelation 13. So I had three of them each pick a card from the deck, hold it in their right hand and up to their forehead, and behold, each card was a 6. lol
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Feb 22, 2021 11:09AM)
[quote]On Feb 21, 2021, taranwandering wrote:
Hi Everyone!

I'm pretty new to learning magic-- it's such an amazing art! I'm building patter for some basic tricks I've pieced together and/or picked up, and I'd love to develop some patter related to my LGBTQ background. I can't think of too many magicians who bring this into their act, so I'd love if anyone can think of some examples. In general, I'm interested in learning more about magic history, especially where it intersects with LGBTQ identities.

Thank you! [/quote]

I would recommend checking out spaces that are already catering to concepts you're asking about. If you look up Daniel Greenwolf on Facebook he has a post up from Feb 9th that is looking for folks who are interested in magic and are part of the LGBTQ community.
Message: Posted by: taranwandering (Feb 22, 2021 12:54PM)
Thank you for the suggestions so far, everyone!

A lot of routines use patter around romance and whatnot. To clarify, and maybe give an example of one thing I am working on right now (I'm new still!) to give a bit better sense of what I'm thinking of: I've always loved how NDO for the KC and KD in some decks calls them "kissing kings." I thought this might be cute to build an ambitious ace routine around, then go from there (I'm not confident with the sleights for this routine yet, but I'm practicing!). I also thought (I can't pull off a good card change yet) there might be some fun potential in the pun of "drag queen" and the queen card, perhaps a card change from a king into a queen or something of that sort (drag queens also call themselves "illusionists," which adds some opportunity for puns; I even have a few sets of RuPaul themed playing cards I could bring in, though changing both the front and back of a card at the same time seems beyond me right now). If I get really creative and up my skills, I can maybe build this into a version of the Chicago Opener (I worry the added change might limit the effect though). Either way, I can see some of this patter playing really well to the LGBTQ audiences I volunteer for.

I would NEVER think of this patter as a way to flirt with an audience member (I always think it is extremely icky when male magicians flirt with females as part of their act, for example, and wouldn't want to subject men to that; I have yet to see a female closeup magician flirt with a male audience member, but I imagine it would also be uncomfortable). I also would never want to subject them to anything physical.
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Feb 22, 2021 01:07PM)
I love the "Drag Queens" idea! This sounds like a great intersection of magic and a very popular aspect of gay culture and theater that almost everyone, gay and straight will know of and can enjoy on some level.

Heck, get someone to custom print some gaff cards and you just might have a commercial possibility here!
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Feb 22, 2021 01:11PM)
The drag queen idea is interesting. You could force the King of Diamonds, produce the Queen of Diamonds, ask if you got it right, they say No, you say "Oh, he must be in drag" and then do some magic to show the Queen change into the King. The joke might do better the less rehearsed it seems.

There's also a brother John Hamman trick (Two Twins) that could be adapted to the theme. No reason not to change the Queens to Jacks. Alternately it could be a couple where everybody involved is living a lie, and the Kings ends up together, as do the Queens.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OD0lsQm1Ayk

While it may seem icky to flirt, keep in mind the function of it isn't really to flirt (or, it shouldn't be, anyways). Magic performance is like a dance. Somebody has to lead and the other follow. Understanding charm is extremely helpful when it comes to getting cooperation from what might be an otherwise non-compliant participant.
Message: Posted by: taranwandering (Feb 22, 2021 01:23PM)
[quote]On Feb 22, 2021, gaddy wrote:
I love the "Drag Queens" idea! This sounds like a great intersection of magic and a very popular aspect of gay culture and theater that almost everyone, gay and straight will know of and can enjoy on some level.

Heck, get someone to custom print some gaff cards and you just might have a commercial possibility here! [/quote]


That's a really good idea! I didn't think about getting custom prints. I was thinking of maybe just somehow substituting the RuPaul deck in, but a custom print would allow me to keep the backs consistent. Once I can practice the sleights enough, I think I'll do just that!
Message: Posted by: taranwandering (Feb 22, 2021 01:28PM)
[quote]On Feb 22, 2021, The Burnaby Kid wrote:
The drag queen idea is interesting. You could force the King of Diamonds, produce the Queen of Diamonds, ask if you got it right, they say No, you say "Oh, he must be in drag" and then do some magic to show the Queen change into the King. The joke might do better the less rehearsed it seems.

There's also a brother John Hamman trick (Two Twins) that could be adapted to the theme. No reason not to change the Queens to Jacks. Alternately it could be a couple where everybody involved is living a lie, and the Kings ends up together, as do the Queens.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OD0lsQm1Ayk

While it may seem icky to flirt, keep in mind the function of it isn't really to flirt (or, it shouldn't be, anyways). Magic performance is like a dance. Somebody has to lead and the other follow. Understanding charm is extremely helpful when it comes to getting cooperation from what might be an otherwise non-compliant participant. [/quote]


I love the idea of using the "drag" change (can I call it that?) in that way! Thank you! The Twins suggestion is a GREAT idea! I've never seen that exact trick, and that's exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for. Thank you! I'm ordering the effect now. The sleights it uses are perfect for where I'm at right now, too! I have a passable Elmsley count, so this kind effect feels challenging but something I think I can get with some practice! It's a great and obtainable step up for me.
Message: Posted by: DerekG (Feb 22, 2021 09:27PM)
Welcome to the Café, Taran.

My biggest piece of advice is to figure out what kind of magician you want to be and go from there. There's the comedian, the mystic, the storyteller, the motivational speaker... there's possibly as many types of magicians as there are types of entertainers in general because magic can be incorporated into so many styles. Look at what other figures in the LGBTQ scene are doing that aligns with the style you wanna go for and draw inspiration from that. But never forget: good artists borrow, great ones steal. It's a common saying and what it means to me is that when you steal something, you make it your own. For instance, Pop Haydn does a fantastic routine with brass weights called Passing the Weights. His patter, all about corrupt assayers in an Alaska prospecting town in the 1800s, fits his Wild West swindler / gambler / snake oil salesman perfectly, but wouldn't logically fit my persona. To make that trick my own, I'd have to change the patter and presentation significantly. I'd probably go into how science depends on dealing with known quantities, things like these pure brass weights that have specific properties that will always behave how we expect them to... then they don't do that at all. That's something far more fitting my style. I have full confidence that you'll find ways to steal things and make them both yours and the LGBTQ community's as you go.

If you decide to go the comedy route, I say lean into those puns. Forcing a king, producing a queen, saying it's him in drag and changing it back to the king sounds great, but why stop there? You could do a bit where you change the "kissing kings" into queens "because they really were a couple of 'queens' all along." But above all else, be the magician you want to be.

Best wishes.
Message: Posted by: michaelpenkul (Feb 22, 2021 09:39PM)
Lots of people here sharing opinions not pertaining to OP's question; let's not gatekeep what should and shouldn't be 'interjected' into magic; it's an art form like any else that thrives on self-expression.

I'll have to give it some more thought, but one trick that comes to mind is 'Battle of the Sexes by Alvo Stockman', which is a card with the words 'love' on it, that can change to 'sex' and back. Not sure about the audience you're aiming for but I can see a cool LGBTQ theme around it.
Even something simple like a colour change from a Jack to a Queen while giving patter about identity could work.

I'm a high school teacher and LGBTQ awareness and acceptance is becoming more prominent in the classroom - this gave me a great idea to brainstorm some LGBTQ themed magic that can help the classroom feel more inclusive for LGBTQ students.
Message: Posted by: michaelpenkul (Feb 22, 2021 09:42PM)
There are also a few drag queen magicians on the Café if you do a search around - not exactly the same thing but they may have some good advice.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Feb 23, 2021 10:20AM)
I'm going to offer a contrasting view to some of the suggestions made, which is to not rely too heavily on gay-themed patter in order to define your persona.

I'm not going to name names on the prominent gay magicians we've had in the last half-century because frankly it's not my place to out them, but there are a surprising number of them, and the fact that it's surprising is because they never made it a feature of their persona. I don't think it's necessary to stay closeted, but going too far in the other direction is a potential trap akin to stand-up comics from specific ethnic backgrounds who always present their material through that lens. There's nothing necessarily wrong with that either, but the comics who transcend tend to be willing and able to explore everything out there.

A big part of being likable is about trying to find ways to connect. It's going to be more difficult to do that for a general audience if the tone is dominated by "Me one sexuality, you the other." Turning it into a shtick has some advantages, I suppose, but it risks being reductionist. There's also a weird sort of collateral damage coming from intersectional politics right now that has led to some latent hostility between different parts of the gay community (I literally read online somewhere where a lesbian was complaining about "gay male privilege" as if the nightmare of gay-bashing in the 80s never happened). This is bordering on the political, but that's sort of part-and-parcel of today's heavy interest in identity. Getting back to likability, keep in mind again that this is like a dance, and one of the best ways to have a magic trick go smoothly is to have your spectators do what you need them to, and one of the best ways to foster that compliance from a spectator is to get them to like you.

What does all this have to do with patter? Well, the best patter is that which flows naturally from who you are as a performer, because that's the stuff that's going to sound the most honest and authentic. It'll also be the most difficult for others to rip off.
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Feb 23, 2021 01:38PM)
@The Burnaby Kid

As a counterpoint to your well stated contention that a specifically LBGTQ performance can limit ones appeal to a general audience, I would paraphrase Eugene Berger in an interview who stated:

"Why do magicians feel the need to perform down to the lowest common denominator?"

By stating this, I'm not implying that any segment of the population is a "lowest common denominator" -I'm merely pointing out that there are often other considerations than one's appeal to a general audience, and that not everything must take everyone's every predilection into account.

Some entertainment will always have a limited audience, by default.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Feb 23, 2021 01:52PM)
The truth is that magicians don't often get to pick and choose their audiences. If you get booked to a Christmas party, do you want to bust out your politically-charged act and risk alienating half the crowd?

Most people aren't homophobic and would totally be fine with a gay magician. It's not about a queer performance potentially limiting one's appeal to a general audience, it's about an identity-focused performance potentially limiting one's appeal to a general audience. Part of what makes magic special is the interaction, and that means understanding how connection can help you. It can be the difference between eliciting genuine love from an audience versus just getting polite applause.

There are other options, of course. Being a character that stands in stark contrast to the audience can also have an appeal, but even then, it's a relationship that needs to be carefully managed.
Message: Posted by: Aus (Feb 24, 2021 03:50PM)
I have been to a magic show in which the magician was gay and gay themes pertained to his show. The one salient point I would strongly make is don't go near identity politics in your LGBTQ magic act. Hitting sore points of peoples political world view can shift peoples reflection of the show into directions unintended. Unless your performance is a political statement then by all means go ahead, just be prepared for the veering consequences.

The magician I had seen took funny everyday peculiarities of gay life and made a theme in his magic. One trick I remember clearly was his adaptation of Paul Curry's Out of This World in which he picked the most macho man in the audience and proceeded to test his "gaydar" with specially printed leader cards saying "homo" and "non-Homo". The tongue in cheek byplay between this macho heterosexual guy and the gay magician made for a hilarious routine.

Maybe you could extend that sort of idea by exploring the peculiarities of Drag Queens and Transgender people by solving a relatable issue, like fixing a run or tear in your pantyhose by doing some sort of T&R routine, or show your impeccable foresight in fashion and style by predicting a persons style of lipstick in some sort of mentalism type routine.

The options are endless...


Magically

Aus
Message: Posted by: davidpaul$ (Feb 25, 2021 06:19PM)
And then there is Mr. Potato Head, a toy everyone is familiar with has been changed to gender neutral by Hasbro.
No more Mr.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/02/25/mister-potato-head-gender-neutral/

One has to ask, who are we anymore?? Does God know? I think so.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Feb 25, 2021 08:26PM)
If you're feeling despair over that, you'll be happy to know that the individual toys will retain the Mr. and Mrs. with their names. It's just the brand.

But this conversation isn't about that sort of thing. It's about somebody trying to convey their honest self while performing magic. That's not at all the same and shouldn't be mistaken as such.
Message: Posted by: davidpaul$ (Feb 25, 2021 11:22PM)
Well I felt it relavent. Didn't know you were the moderator.
Message: Posted by: Aus (Feb 26, 2021 01:47AM)
As someone in the past that has opened another can of worms of this type, I implore you not to go down this path David. I say this to you not on any sense of chivalrous behaviour or white knighting for the after mentioned group but rather for reasons as to where this eventually leads.

Other members of the opposite but equally polarized view will descend on your comments and a vicious flurry of posts will ensue with nether changing the others mind. Tempers will be flared and this topic will be derailed with a side line issue that doesn't pertain to the original topic. Your posts will be reported by those other members and the moderators will ether delete the thread entirely or delete your posts and any associated posts from the discussion.

There seems to be left leaning bias here on the café from what I've seen with such things, well others can make provocative posts on magic related issues injected with left leaning political axioms, I have have rebutted many with my right leaning views and on occasion only my posts have been deleted. Say what you may about that, but that has been my anecdotal experience.

I have my personal views on LGBTQ and it's particular brand of identity politics which I suspect might not differ that greatly from yours but for different reasons, but this is nether the time nor the place for it.

As a side note It does open an interesting Segway to another topic about using magic performance for political statements, which would be a worth while discussion to have in it's own right.

Maybe a discussion for another day and another time.


Magically


Aus
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Feb 26, 2021 03:38AM)
Here we go again.

Every. Single. Time.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Feb 26, 2021 05:39AM)
[quote]On Feb 25, 2021, davidpaul$ wrote:
Well I felt it relavent. Didn't know you were the moderator.[/quote]

I'm not a moderator. I'm just trying to do my part to keep the conversation on track.

[quote]On Feb 26, 2021, Aus wrote:
I have my personal views on LGBTQ and it's particular brand of identity politics...[/quote]

Not everybody in the queer community is on-board with what's being termed identity politics these days.

If a performer goes on stage, announces their sexuality and puts the emphasis on that aspect of themselves instead of on the magic as the reason people should watch, the problem there isn't political so much as it's artistic -- they're literally competing with the myriad of gay magicians who don't and/or didn't do this, but who instead put the magic first and who moved the art forward in amazing ways because of their talent. Again, we could name names here but it's gross to out people who didn't ask for it.

That said, simply conveying one's sexuality is not engaging in identity politics, and shouldn't be seen as such. If a male magician makes a casual reference to their wife, or if a magician brings up a heterosexual couple and does some sort of trick whose presentation leverages that, they're not automatically trying to say anything about the virtues of being straight. A gay magician should have that same right if they want it.
Message: Posted by: JonHackl (Feb 26, 2021 06:33AM)
[quote]On Feb 26, 2021, The Burnaby Kid wrote:
That said, simply conveying one's sexuality is not engaging in identity politics, and shouldn't be seen as such. If a male magician makes a casual reference to their wife, or if a magician brings up a heterosexual couple and does some sort of trick whose presentation leverages that, they're not automatically trying to say anything about the virtues of being straight. A gay magician should have that same right if they want it. [/quote]

Spot on.
Message: Posted by: DerekG (Feb 26, 2021 11:13AM)
[quote]On Feb 26, 2021, The Burnaby Kid wrote:
That said, simply conveying one's sexuality is not engaging in identity politics, and shouldn't be seen as such. If a male magician makes a casual reference to their wife, or if a magician brings up a heterosexual couple and does some sort of trick whose presentation leverages that, they're not automatically trying to say anything about the virtues of being straight. A gay magician should have that same right if they want it. [/quote]

Very well said. All too often, we can take it for granted when our own viewpoints are included in a piece of art and only notice when it's a differing viewpoint. Things like the heterosexual love story patter in Bro. Hamman's Twins aren't considered "injecting identity politics" into a trick. It's just a cute story. That doesn't change simply because it becomes a gay love story. Giving a large portion of people something that they can relate to shouldn't be controversial.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Feb 26, 2021 01:33PM)
[quote]On Feb 22, 2021, taranwandering wrote:
To clarify: I’m mostly learning magic as a hobby and art form, but the most likely venues where I’ll perform will be at lgbtq fundraisers; I already volunteer a lot in the community (not doing magic, just as a volunteer). I’d like to develop some routines that fit these contexts well, since I have a lot of opportunities to perform if I do. [/quote]


I must say I've been sitting back and watching this unfold. As many of us, we knew where this would go. The thing with the Café is amateurs, beginners, and newbies converse directly with experienced pros, semi-pros, part-time professionals, and others further along in their own journey. This often creates an uneven field for discussion. The newbie doesn't always understand the things offered from an experienced point of view, and the more experienced quickly forget they are talking to a newbie or amateur.

The OP quickly mentioned he was looking for "patter" for his thoughts and ideas. This tells you where is currently at. Next, he tells you the quote above that he is not a working magician and is just learning magic as a hobby. His thoughts, approaches, and perspectives are that of a hobbyist. He volunteers for these very specific type of fundraising events and started thinking about how his own personal interests and hobby could be relative. So first off, kudos for some creative thinking and imagination.

Thinking as a hobbyist and thinking as someone who does this part or full-time for income is the difference between night and day, between watermelons and kumquats.

For over 40 years I am and have been a full-time professional performer, agent and owner of 5 entertainment agencies, a promoter of shows and events, a producer of t.v., radio, and online talent and events, and as many here know a professional coach, consultant, trainer and mentor (including my EBS Fundraising) to performers in both their performance as well as business operations.

The Burnaby Kid has tried to be very helpful and enlightening in real-world performance situations. His insights have been very spot on for operating as a business and in a mass-appeal performance world.

As I discuss regularly in the business section here, the one thing I wish was different about the magician learning process is I wish magicians would equally learn and work on their magic and the business side of magic simultaneously, at the same time, from the beginning. This would eliminate so many of the problems magicians have in both determining their performance material, and when ready going to market to book their services.

The Burnaby Kid and several others here are right, any time you pick a political or religious stance or platform you will immediately alienate 50% (or more) of your audience. He is simply expressing that this makes your potential service market and those that may have an interest in you a very small niche. A niche that is likely not enough to support a professional. Especially a fundraising market in such a sub-category or niche.

Magic is an art and that art, wonder, mystery, and experience is what should always be first and foremost, front and center. If you want to use your performance to make your own political or cultural beliefs, you are making a small potential market even smaller.

Magic has long attracted LGBTQ. Many well-known performers were gay but for the purposes of career stability, financial success, business relationships, and mass-appeal have kept it very low-profile as not to jeopardize their position. This must be considered from a business position.

So I think it is important to remember his amateur, hobbyist thoughts as compared to those with more experience, knowledge, and real-world reference from which to draw. It appears much more clearer when operating from experience vs. trying to educate someone without this to draw upon.

To the OP, why limit yourself? If you want to serve the LGBTQ community, good for you, go for it. But don't compromise the magic, or alienate other prospective opportunities (amateur or professional) by becoming a branded or labeled performer based on a belief or such positioning.

Best of luck!
Message: Posted by: taranwandering (Feb 26, 2021 01:36PM)
I'd like to avoid politics in my posts, if possible. I'm not trying to make any statements about voting habits or policy. Given the international membership of these forums, I wouldn't even know how or where to begin even if I wanted to do so; political spectrums and issues vary so much from country to country. Even in the US, these issues vary state by state.

Another way to frame this question that might seem less controversial (I hope): I'd like to ask about how to represent and engage better with audiences who identify primarily as lgbtq; I'm not planning to make this act political, though I understand that sometimes the visibility and/or invisibility of my identity makes a political statement, no matter how much I'd rather avoid that.

As I mentioned in my previous posts, I'm a new magician who will likely have opportunities to perform in lgbtq bars/clubs (in fact, these spaces are probably the only spaces where I have connections that will let me start performing). All of the points about knowing audiences, not alienating audiences, etc. are relevant for broad contexts maybe, but even if I were a straight magician (I'm not), I'd likely need lgbtq friendly patter in order to better connect with my audiences in these spaces. I appreciate quite deeply the recommendations for tricks to learn that might allow me to modify the patter and such. I've recently signed up for magic lessons to help, and I'm working through Card College, so hopefully I'll be able to perform a few of these routines soon!
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Feb 26, 2021 02:17PM)
You're coming at this with the right attitude.

Probably the only thing I'd advise is completely unrelated to the sexuality aspect of this, and more related to the experience side of things as it relates to finding your performing persona. Avoid the stage for a little while. Do these events as a walk-around or table-hopping magician, with a small number of tricks that you repeat over and over again for the various small groups of people you encounter. Start with bare-bones presentations that anybody could do, and once you're fully comfortable with the tricks, let aspects of who you are naturally come out. If the event is queer-friendly, then experiment a little bit with that side of things just to see what happens. Your point about even straight performers needing queer-friendly material is granted, but remember that as an in-group member you'll have some latitude that you may want to take advantage of. If you're at all worried that you might overstep with your artistic choices, then you could go even more casual and try busking.

Once you find your persona (or your persona finds you, whatever) then it might be a good time to start considering performing for the stage. There are other adjustments you'll have to make (the visibility of the tricks, the need to play large, the lack of initial interaction, and just basic stage fright if that's a problem) but at least you won't be experimenting with an entirely blank slate.
Message: Posted by: DerekG (Feb 26, 2021 05:00PM)
[quote]On Feb 26, 2021, taranwandering wrote:
I'm not planning to make this act political, though I understand that sometimes the visibility and/or invisibility of my identity makes a political statement, no matter how much I'd rather avoid that.
[/quote]

I don't think I've ever read someone so fairly stating such an unfair issue. Well done.


Check your PMs when you get a chance. I sent you a possible handling for one of the tricks discussed in the thread.
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (Feb 27, 2021 01:08AM)
[quote]On Feb 25, 2021, davidpaul$ wrote:
And then there is Mr. Potato Head, a toy everyone is familiar with has been changed to gender neutral by Hasbro.
No more Mr.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/02/25/mister-potato-head-gender-neutral/

One has to ask, who are we anymore?? Does God know? I think so. [/quote]

Which one is Mr. Potato Head and which one is Mrs. Potato Head?
You can't tell anymore!
[img]https://averagebaker.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/114.jpg[/img]

Gee, how will the kids be able to even tell male potatoes from female potatoes? God didn't mean for all potatoes to be the same gender. It's so wrong... :)
Message: Posted by: davidpaul$ (Feb 27, 2021 01:00PM)
[quote]On Feb 26, 2021, Aus wrote:
As someone in the past that has opened another can of worms of this type, I implore you not to go down this path David. I say this to you not on any sense of chivalrous behaviour or white knighting for the after mentioned group but rather for reasons as to where this eventually leads.

Other members of the opposite but equally polarized view will descend on your comments and a vicious flurry of posts will ensue with nether changing the others mind. Tempers will be flared and this topic will be derailed with a side line issue that doesn't pertain to the original topic. Your posts will be reported by those other members and the moderators will ether delete the thread entirely or delete your posts and any associated posts from the discussion.

There seems to be left leaning bias here on the café from what I've seen with such things, well others can make provocative posts on magic related issues injected with left leaning political axioms, I have have rebutted many with my right leaning views and on occasion only my posts have been deleted. Say what you may about that, but that has been my anecdotal experience.

I have my personal views on LGBTQ and it's particular brand of identity politics which I suspect might not differ that greatly from yours but for different reasons, but this is nether the time nor the place for it.

As a side note It does open an interesting Segway to another topic about using magic performance for political statements, which would be a worth while discussion to have in it's own right.

Maybe a discussion for another day and another time.


Magically


Aus [/quote]

Just wanted to make a comment, but first want to say that the OP sounds like a really nice person and someone that would be fun
to hang out with practicing / sessioning magic.

Regarding Aus's referenced post above and stating that some members might find one's (mine or others) posts viscous, that tempers will be flared resulting in
being reported to the moderators and posts deleted because of a sideline issue derailing the topic at hand. That's what's wrong with our society now.
You have free speech only as long as it agrees with mine. (Can you say Cancel Culture?) Look at Facebook and Twitter.

Back to Mr. (or not) Potato head comment that I posted and why I chose to include the news report. Why was it relevant to the OP's inquiry? "Identity"
What effects, patter, would be relevant to the LGBTQ community?

Our identity, real or perceived, governs everything about us. How we see the world, how we perceive God and His authority or not, what movies we go to see, what books we read or TV shows that appeal to us,
what form of entertainment/ entertainers we enjoy even magicians. Also, politically it governs who we vote for and the changes we want our leaders to support.

Mindpro said it very well in the above post. (doesn't need my endorsement) I thought it was well stated.

I interjected my comment "Who are we anymore, does God know?" because there is a crisis in society regarding sexuality / identity. It's not a hurtful statement, it's true.

Our own Secretary of PA. Dept. of Health, Rachel Levine is male, but is now Transgender and female. She was just nominated to be the Assistant Health Secretary
of The US.. Because of her identity "now" as a Transgender, it will effect her decisions as was evident by her refusal to answer specific questions in the confirmation hearings ( If anyone watched)

I stated early in the thread quote: "I love magic too and just want to share it and show people respect and love no matter who they are."

LGBTQ is an identity and in my view and is relevant to this Thread. I am entitled to that as long as I adhere to The Magic Café rules.

I am appreciative Steve Brooks the founder of The Magic Café to provide this forum.

BTW Steve and his family are going through some extremly tough times and will gladly sidetrack this topic to put up the Go Fund Me page to help Steve.
If you feel so inclined.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-steve-brooks-and-mya-angel
Message: Posted by: taranwandering (Feb 27, 2021 06:41PM)
Thank you again for all of your feedback, everyone!

@DavidPaul$,
I understand that these issues frustrate you, and I hear the emotion in your concerns. I would be comfortable chatting about politics via private message if you'd like, but I'd prefer to sustain an entirely practical conversation for this thread that focuses on performing within LGBTQ spaces, please. This isn't an attempt to "cancel" your points-- I'll gladly listen to your perspective in a different thread or private message-- but I worry that once we start talking politics (and discussing a confirmation hearing is unavoidably political), we will lose any opportunity to continue this quite helpful conversation about preforming.

Also, thank you for sharing the gofundme link. I'll edit the first post to include your message, so that it reaches more people.

Thank you!
Message: Posted by: davidpaul$ (Feb 27, 2021 08:48PM)
[quote]On Feb 27, 2021, taranwandering wrote:
Thank you again for all of your feedback, everyone!

@DavidPaul$,
I understand that these issues frustrate you, and I hear the emotion in your concerns. I would be comfortable chatting about politics via private message if you'd like, but I'd prefer to sustain an entirely practical conversation for this thread that focuses on performing within LGBTQ spaces, please. This isn't an attempt to "cancel" your points-- I'll gladly listen to your perspective in a different thread or private message-- but I worry that once we start talking politics (and discussing a confirmation hearing is unavoidably political), we will lose any opportunity to continue this quite helpful conversation about preforming.

Also, thank you for sharing the gofundme link. I'll edit the first post to include your message, so that it reaches more people.

Thank you! [/quote]

With "all due" respect my recent post wasn't about politics in totality. I wasn't in the least bit frustrated, rather passionate. It was about humanity and reality, culturally. I referenced "identity" and how we choose effects and patter in that vain. Even my Mr. Potato reference/ example could be used in a magic effect utilizing the popular Peanut Butter and Jelly transposition effect. I've stated what I felt was relevant and hopefully thought provoking as it pertains to your OP. I was not condesending. I respect you and wish you the "very best". I will now exit this thread.
Take care.
Message: Posted by: Roberto Juan (Feb 28, 2021 12:02AM)
I don't think anyone needs to, for example, hide the fact they have a same sex partner during performance.

[quote]On Feb 22, 2021, gaddy wrote:

It's entirely valid to talk about this subject, if the magician and the audience want to.
[/quote]

But what an audience wants is difficult to determine. I will carefully tip-toe now and mention that my understanding is NBA viewership declined by 50 percent when they added the sociopolitical messaging on the court, jerseys, etc. I believe much of society is super saturated with so much of this and wants entertainment to just be entertainment. Because sexual identity, sexual preference, and sociopolitical messaging are now very common in every corner of American culture, I avoid some entertainment I would otherwise support or engage in and know of others who do the same. While watching television I constantly mute commercial breaks as a way to maintain my sanity.
Message: Posted by: gaddy (Feb 28, 2021 01:25PM)
[i]“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”[/i]

Sometimes you got to just make your stand. If people are receptive, you win. If people are not interested, you'll be talking to the wind.

My show is an expression of myself, not a commercial product. So I have a certain luxury that your typical cruise ship magician or kids show magician does not have, so of course YMMV.
Message: Posted by: jeffhobson (Mar 3, 2021 06:59PM)
[quote]On Feb 22, 2021, Dougini wrote:
Doesn't Jeff Hobson do a sort of "gay" act? Just wondering...

Doug [/quote]

Just to clarify - my character came about one night when the audience thought I was gay when I mentioned my costume. I denied that I was gay and the audience started to laugh. The more I denied it, the more they laughed. So, my immediate tag-line became.... "I'm not. I'm not. I WAS. But, I'm not anymore." (I look at a man in audience) "But I could be again". It's meant to keep the audience questioning my sexuality which has happened for the last 30 years. I've taken the audiences perception and played on it. Is it a "gay act"? No. Am I a flamboyant character who keeps the audience questioning his sexual orientation? Yes. And you can thank one audience 30 years ago at a comedy club in Detroit for that inspiration.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Mar 4, 2021 07:42AM)
Excellent! Thank you Jeff! Your Egg Bag act KILLS me!

Doug
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Mar 4, 2021 10:26AM)
[quote]On Mar 3, 2021, jeffhobson wrote:
[quote]On Feb 22, 2021, Dougini wrote:
Doesn't Jeff Hobson do a sort of "gay" act? Just wondering...

Doug [/quote]

Just to clarify - my character came about one night when the audience thought I was gay when I mentioned my costume. I denied that I was gay and the audience started to laugh. The more I denied it, the more they laughed. So, my immediate tag-line became.... "I'm not. I'm not. I WAS. But, I'm not anymore." (I look at a man in audience) "But I could be again". It's meant to keep the audience questioning my sexuality which has happened for the last 30 years. I've taken the audiences perception and played on it. Is it a "gay act"? No. Am I a flamboyant character who keeps the audience questioning his sexual orientation? Yes. And you can thank one audience 30 years ago at a comedy club in Detroit for that inspiration. [/quote]

In the last decade or so, have you noticed any changing attitudes from the audience to this approach?
Message: Posted by: michaelpenkul (Mar 4, 2021 07:49PM)
^ great question, I'd love to know more about that, though I'm sure location matters a bit too
Message: Posted by: Mr. Woolery (Mar 10, 2021 01:13AM)
I admit I haven't read this whole thread. I read about half of page one. So perhaps what I'm going to say has already been addressed. If so, ignore it and move on.

Taran, first a little bit about me. One of my three children first identified as bisexual about 3 years ago. And two weeks ago, that same child came out as transgender. I am coming at this from the role of a supportive outsider, but family of someone who is LGBTQ. Just so you know my perspective. I know my kid felt safe coming out to me and my wife because we have long had friends who are gay and raised all our kids to think of it as just a small part of who a person is. Frankly, I care a lot more about a couple's garden than their bedroom, regardless of whether they are both the same sex or not. For most of our gay friends, the subject of their relationship is no more a part of regular conversation or consideration than is the case with our straight friends. One day, I hope the whole world thinks that way, but I know right now the people in my life who are not straight do need allies.

That said, some of what I say may be tonedeaf. I'm still making silly gaffes in what I say and probably always will. Understand that I'm not trying to stereotype or project. I'm just putting my stream of consciousness thoughts onto a computer screen for people I don't even know to read them.

I think you need to perform in whatever way is most genuine to yourself. I look forward to the day when sexuality is a total non-issue, but we are not there yet. If your genuine self is best off making a point of your sexual identity, then do that. If you someday reach the point where the subject is a non-issue, don't trap yourself in a position of always having to perform with a message. For now, it is pretty clear that you need to express this aspect of who you are in what you perform. If this were not so, you wouldn't be asking this question in the first place.

Niche performance does exist. And for good reason. There are magicians who make a living with acts that portray particular characters. Would you hire these for an event where you just want the kids entertained? Probably not. But if you want a big Harry Potter party with a magician who will be the real make-or-break focal point of the party, there are niche performers who you can hire who will deliver. Consider Christian Cagigal. One of my absolute favorite performers. I doubt most folks would have looked at his act and said "yeah, that's commercial and he will make a living with that material." And yet, he does.
Really, any magician who achieves real success does so because of being different from the pack. If you just want to be a cookie cutter copy of another magician, a pathetic parody, then avoid injecting yourself into your act. But if you want to be successful, you need to reflect who you are in what you do. I don't honestly know what sort of market there is outside of Fairbanks Alaska, so can't really suggest how to market yourself if you want to make money at it. And if you don't want to make money at it, that's great, too, because it frees you from that potential concern entirely.

I can imagine all sorts of routines that I would find fun, but since I'm on the outside, I don't know what would be potentially offensive. I think of cups and balls with each ball named something like Tom, Richard, and Harry. Raise your eyebrows whenever you say Richard. One by one, they sneak into the same cup. Which really isn't right at all. Nope, not a bit of it! Why should they feel the need to sneak around? To hide themselves? At the end, lift the cups to show the final balls are all spangly and sparkly because Tom, Richard, and Harriet have all embraced the awesome and flamboyant people they really were inside all along. Again, that might be offensive or preachy if done wrong, but I think I'd enjoy watching it.

A rope routine can include a moment when you stretch the rope out to the side with one hand about the middle, then slide that hand closer to the other one, giving the effect of the rope drooping from horizontal to hanging down. Pause and say to the audience "It happens to all of us." And otherwise go on. But when it comes time to cut the rope, cringe and look away for a moment. Played as a gag, I think this could really be funny in the right hands.

I think that when you find your voice, you'll find that there are a lot of people who will enjoy your performing. I know I'd get a tremendous kick out of this theme, myself.

-Patrick
Message: Posted by: The_Mediocre_Gatsby (Mar 10, 2021 11:37AM)
Well said Mr. Woolery
Message: Posted by: gossamer (Mar 10, 2021 12:44PM)
I’m going to offer possibly a unique perspective. I find that sometimes my identity can be used to my advantage, as if I make some remark letting onto it, the typical man will be startled for a great moment of misdirection. As they consider this, I’ve done the move. Just something to consider! I don’t have much to say on the rest of this.