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Topic: R&B or RAP MUSIC
Message: Posted by: RideorDie99 (Jun 29, 2004 06:24PM)
Does anyone do magic to R&B or Rap Music?
What kinda routines do you come up with?
Message: Posted by: g0thike (Jun 29, 2004 07:11PM)

Personally I listen to New Wave, Goth and Industrial music think Criss Angel, I am Mr. Goth boy.

But I do a dove act to “gansta rap and r & b” music along with standard illusions such as a broom suspension, sub trunk, sword basket and audience participation bits. I learned how to talk “gansta and/or hip-hop” by renting movies such as “The Next Friday, 8 Mile, Boys In the Hood, Barber Shop” and watching the MTV show “Yo MTV Rap”.

You can basically do whatever you want to do, I would just find some “hip-hop” outfit, like a sports jacket, super baggy pants and cap. If your in downtown Los Angeles in the garment district check out the alley, you can pick up an outfit for about $100.00 bucks that included multiple layers of those big fake necklaces with spinners.

I would pick popular R & B songs like “Yeah” by Usher or Mary J Blige since most audiences have heard the songs plus they usually have some type of dance beat.

I would definitely dress hip-hop and not gansta rap. I tried gansta rap and it did not work.

I would also speak hip-hop, remember to use phrases like “what’s up dog, keep it real, word, hey player, you go girl”.

I also took some break dancing lessons so that I can do a “do as I do” dancing routine with 3 spectators. I mostly work comedy clubs with this act and have only done 2 stage shows.

Tim & Sue Ellis from Australia sell a six card repeat in rap that I have used, found at http://www.magicunlimited.com

If you don’t want to do a dove act I do recommend tailoring your jacket with dove pockets. In the past I have produced bags of heroin, beer bottles, guns, knifes and other objects just use wire and loops. For a good loop holder I recommend Dan Sperry's loop holder. His holder can be found at http://www.dansperry.com

Also my version of the “floating joint” gets a good reaction. See Steve Fearson's Floating Cigarette.

As a finally to my show I sometimes rap Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice” it is available on Karaoke.

Anyhow hope my advice works but I would seriously post this in the manipulation and polly wants a cracker forum this is the E-FX.

Message: Posted by: Natural Mystic (Jun 29, 2004 09:20PM)

I found several of your comments laughable and stereotypical.

"you can pick up an outfit for about $100.00 bucks that included multiple layers of those big fake necklaces with spinners."

"I would also speak hip-hop, remember to use phrases like “what’s up dog, keep it real, word, hey player, you go girl”.

"In the past I have produced bags of heroin, beer bottles, guns, knifes and other objects just use wire and loops."

"I learned how to talk “gansta and/or hip-hop” by renting movies such as “The Next Friday, 8 Mile, Boys In the Hood, Barber Shop” and watching the MTV show “Yo MTV Rap”.

OK! Where do I start? Not all African-American speak using slang, do drugs or wear baggy clothing. African-Americans are more diverse and multi-faceted than movies, music videos or the media would portray us to be.

If you want to use Hip-Hop or R&B in your act, use it. If you really,"Want to keep it Real", be yourself and not some caricature of a supposed African-American. During otherwise, will make you look "Whack Homie".

I can't begin to tell you the un-believeable comments my daugthers have gotten, because they don't speak or act like stereotypical urban youth. In fact,I'm constructing a mentalism act based on preception/self-esteem for high school students, based on their experiences.

I live in Georgia, when one of my daugther's white girl friends introduced her to her parents, she said, "She is the whiteist black girl I have ever met".

I spent twenty years in the Army and have been retired for eight years. I've travelled to Africa twice, two countries in the Middle East and several countries in Europe; therefore, never judge a race of people by what you see in the media.

One Love!
Message: Posted by: mdspark (Jun 30, 2004 01:29AM)
Well said Natural Mystic....not to mention an act like that would have very narrow appeal...everyone is allowed to have their opinion...but in mine...BAAAAAD MOVE and damage to the Art.
Message: Posted by: g0thike (Jun 30, 2004 02:54AM)
Natural Mystic,

You are assuming things about me, I was just sharing my personal experience, advice and what I do and have done.

First off, I am Mexican American and was raised in Compton and East Los Angeles as a kid, a lot of my neighbors, friends are Afro-American. I have performed magic for people like rapper Coolio, Lakers Center Shaquille O’neil, boxer Mohamed Ali and others. I am aware of the media portrayals and I don’t believe in them personally.

I only do my “Hip-Hop” act in comedy clubs in Los Angeles. In Los Angeles the “Latino Comedy” club shows are really stereotypical sorta like “Def Comedy Jam”. I would say that about half of the comedians that I work with are Afro-American. In those shows I use slangs and stereotypes and I do the effects that I talked about and the surprising thing is that the audience loves it and they relate to it.

A “Latino Comedy” club promoter once told me to do the magic show as a hip hopper because that is what the audience in those comedy shows relate to. I did go to downtown and I bought my whole outfit for about $100.00 bucks.

I do know the talk and walk of a hip hopper because my best friend as a kid was a hip hopper, then as a teenage I used to work doing magic at night clubs in clubs that played hip hop and r & b. So I also know the music and the lifestyle.

I can do my magic show to Nelly, Usher, or I can change outfits and do my show in Spanish and to the music of Enrique Iglesias, Heroes Del Silencio or mariachi music like La Son De La Negra, Harape Tapatio. But sometime I wear a tux with tails and do my act to classical music like Beethoven, Mozart. Last week I did a Hawaiian show and had to wear a grass skirt and I played some Polynesian music. In October I am doing my Gothic magic show to the music of Static X, Orgy and Sisters Of Mercy.

Believe me I tried doing my magic act in comedy clubs in a tuxedo but it bombed. I tried the standard magic effects but the audience didn’t buy it.

The “hip hop act” is a satire of Mexican Americans that are into Hip Hop. There is a whole movement of Hispanics rapping and wearing baggy jeans and jackets. You have to know the scene to know what I am talking about. It is Hispanics trying to be Afro-Americans.

But the good thing about the act, it has allowed me to work in venues that I would not be able to work in. I have made friends and shown certain promoters and comedians that magicians can put on a good show.

mspark wrote:
an act like that would have very narrow appeal...everyone is allowed to have their opinion...but in mine...BAAAAAD MOVE and damage to the Art.

What is damaging to the ART is having a narrow mind and not considering other performance pieces. In order for magic to evolve we have to modernize it. We have to perform magic in venues like “latino comedy clubs” that require a certain style of magic. Think about it. How much longer can we continue performing in a tux and tails.

But you are entitled to your opinion.

Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Jun 30, 2004 09:43AM)
"Last week I did a Hawaiian show and had to wear a grass skirt.."

If your 'act' is as entertaining as your posts, I can't wait to see it! Thanks for the smiles.

I only have the 'slightest' of arguments with doing a thing because it is what the audience 'relates' to...I always felt it was part of my job to 'expand their horizons' a bit...somewhat like what Natural Mystic has planned for his mentalist routine.

But hey as they so sagely used to say...'everything is everything.

Pretty entertaining and enlightening thread...hope it can continue.

Message: Posted by: g0thike (Jun 30, 2004 12:04PM)
Doug Wrote:
I only have the 'slightest' of arguments with doing a thing because it is what the audience 'relates' to...I always felt it was part of my job to 'expand their horizons' a bit...


Try selling a magic show wearing a tuxedo and tails to Persian people who are throwing a Persian themed party with belly dancers as entertainment.

I can honestly tell you that some of my clients are Persians and my assistant is an excellent belly dancer (she also does the hip-hop show with me) and I wear a modified Persian suit with dove pockets. I do “expand their horizon” by doing a good magic show but I would not get the job if I wasn’t dressed for the occasion. Of course I do the show to belly dancing music and I pick the appropriate material.

Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Jun 30, 2004 03:05PM)
I think what you are doing (except mabye for the Drug connotations) to be terrific stuff! Your costume/cleaning bill must be 'off the hook' (so to speak, pun intended) BUT...I think Persian people...at least the ones I know would get a kick out of the tails! If done in a retro 1930's type routine. Of course those tails would have to be 'tear away' at some stage of the act to compliment the 'Belly Dancer'. Anyway...good stuff.

I do some Voice Over for Persian TV (in English of course)and I'm glad they haven't asked me to take on an accent!

You mention Tails alot...I'm with you on that for any audience except maybe a cruise line...but only because I looked like Orson Wells in the outfit.

Message: Posted by: mdspark (Jun 30, 2004 03:19PM)
As I said... Everyone is allowed to have an opinion.

Message: Posted by: g0thike (Jun 30, 2004 07:07PM)
Mdspark: If you read the post, I did say you can have an opinion, relax, this is just the internet and not real life.


Thanks for your insight, I just had to defend myself and not sound racist in my above posts. I think my show is Ok but I keep making it better or (spending more money on stuff).

I just got a call today from someone about a “gypsy” themed party that they want me to perform at, it is not confirmed yet. But that means I have to find out what male gypsies wear.

My dry cleaning bill is small, my favorite tailor has a dry cleaning business so it is not that bad, since I do his children’s birthday parties and he does his magic with my stuff.

A buddy of mine also owns a costume rental shop in Sherman Oaks so I can also rent outfits, which I might do this time.

I do have a special magic vest with ¼ inch sponge in the extended shoulders, part of the upper chest and it has dove pockets. All I need is a jacket that is 4 sizes bigger than my size and I can do a dove act with any rented jacket and costume.

Some classic texts of magic call a magician, an actor playing the part of a magician. I consider myself an actor and entertainer. Maybe I do get carried away during my show but I have a few phrases that always stick to my head such as “Always keep them laughing”, the more they laugh, the more they like you. Another phrase I always remind myself of is “people go to shows to laugh and be entertained”, they don’t go out to get tricked and fooled.

Anyhow if my posts change the way someone thinks and they get more shows, I did my good deed for the day.

Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Jun 30, 2004 08:27PM)

What's it all about?

The guests having fun and the act going home feeling good about the choices made on stage.

Oh and getting the check.

I like to change all the time...and it's for me more than the crowd.

I used to do a sideshow museum trailer and I took it to flea amarkets, fairs & circus etc....I kept getting cool ideas and would wind up re-painting the banners and re-designing the whole show and making new exhibits every couple of weeks! But it was fun! And all for me...the folks liked whatever I put up...so all the change and the scrambling to get a new show ready was my thing...that was the part I really enjoyed.

Maybe we have the same bug.

When you get to wearing a Gorilla Suit though...we'll bring out the couch and a pill.
Message: Posted by: Natural Mystic (Jun 30, 2004 10:18PM)

You wrote,

"You are assuming things about me"

You are correct and I apologize for prejudging you without knowing you or your experiences. Certain mainstream media stereotypes get under my skin which is why I responded the way I did previously. Your latter posts revealed that your act is light-hearted, satirical in nature and opening new doors of opportunity. Cool! Although, as artists I feel our acts should be structured in such a way as to not offend anyone.


“I always felt it was part of my job to 'expand their horizons' a bit”

My goal in performing shows is to affect people at the emotional level, to cause them to “Think outside the box” or think beyond established belief patterns. I stated earlier I’m developing a mentalism act based on how people perceive reality. I explained the premise of my mentalism act with other parents and conscious members of my community, to gauge there reactions, based on my daughter’s experiences and why people react so differently to her. They responded very favorably.

One Love
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Jul 1, 2004 12:22AM)
Natural Mystic...Sounds good to me! Mentalism acts have that certain purity of performance that allows for so many shadings and revelations.

And...you don't have to move a 1/2 ton of equipt!

Being inqusitive to a fault...were you able to locate many "conscious members of (your) community? Or is that the Illusion? :)
Message: Posted by: mdspark (Jul 1, 2004 03:50AM)

Sorry...didnt mean to burst your eardrums...the way you were carrying on...I thought you had forgotten this was the internet...sorry I acted so...gettoh ( or however the hell you spell it!)
Message: Posted by: BronxRican (Jul 16, 2004 11:49AM)
Wow go0thike you really makin me laugh man. me living as a puertorican in the bronx I find your comments funny as hell. you cant really "act" ghetto or learn to use slang by renting movies with african american actors. you just have to live it. around here a gun shot is like a knock on the door. just because youre performin in a minority based area doesn't mean you have to try and "fit" in to get them to like you. sobe yourself ;D
Message: Posted by: g0thike (Jul 16, 2004 02:37PM)

A magician is an ACTOR playing the role of a magician. Read the book “Magic and Showmanship” by Nelms or Wood Pitman’s ‘The Big Picture”. It’ll help you form your persona and/or character on stage.

Every one of my characters do include part of myself. I honestly feel that I have successfully done an act to hip-hop and rap music. That I know of, I am the only person doing such a show. I am not wrong in performing as such a character.

I dare you to perform magic dressed in a tuxedo in a Latino Comedy show, once you see the crowd and hear the comedy, you will understand why I do the things I do.

I did learn funny lines from watching movies but I also know a lot from being in the scene. Anyone can watch a movie and learn a character.

Yes, you do have to try to “fit” in. When you show up for a black tie affair you dress in a tux, when you show up for a luau, you wear Polynesian attire.

Message: Posted by: mdspark (Jul 17, 2004 02:01PM)
If you perform in a strip club do you perform in your undies?

In my previous career, I worked in a prison for nearly 10yrs... Why on earth one would want to appeal to "Homies in the Ghettos" as a culture and niche market is beyond me...unless it is the only place one can find to perform...
Message: Posted by: g0thike (Jul 17, 2004 03:24PM)

Lance Burton (las Vegas Monte Carlo) used to work at the "Body Shop" strip club in Los Angeles and that is a fellow magician from your part of the country. The owner of that strip club is a huge magic fan and he hired magicians in between girls.

Some of my work is from niche markets. In between the coporate shows, the better paying party events, I work the niche markets. I find nothing wrong with performing for people that you labled "Homies in the Ghetto" not unless you a little racist.

But if you look around Hip Hop music is mainstream. I have performed for Homies in the Ghettos and they do pay my fee so they get my show.

I have also peformed for politicians, movie stars, the Itlian mafia, Mexican mafia, drug dealers, Los Angeles Lakers and others, but they pay my fee.

Message: Posted by: Natural Mystic (Jul 17, 2004 11:54PM)

Being inqusitive to a fault...were you able to locate many "conscious members of (your) community? Or is that the Illusion?

The term "conscious members of my community" meant that
there are Black parents here in Atlanta that belong to various community organizations. We are tired of the mainstream media stereotypes and reject those negative images. I know Latino parents have similar views.

As magicians and mentalists, I think we have a extraordinary tool to affect social change in our communties,if we choose to. I consider myself to be a "Mental Activist". Like they say in the Air Force commercials,"Aim High".

That's what Bill Cosby does in his television shows and stand-up acts. Bill Cosby recently caused an up-roar with airing "dirty laundry" about some disadvanagted communties.

[url=http://www.pbs.org/kcet/tavissmiley/archive/200405/20040526_transcript.html]Here's[/url] an interview of him on NPR.

One Love!
Message: Posted by: mdspark (Jul 18, 2004 01:31AM)

Yes, I have had conversations with Lance on many occassions in Louisville....I guess the humor of my statment about strip clubs went over your head...

"Hip Hop" maybe "mainstream" now...just as Disco was once mainstream... But this fad too, shall pass....LOL.

I am clueless how you could draw the conclusion that I may be 'racist' because I used YOUR quote about "Homies in the Ghetto." Perhaps you are, shall we say, a bit sensative/defensive?

You say you perform for these niche markets between more lucrative corporate gigs as well as a myriad of other characters including but not limited to politicians, actors, mafia.... If you are that busy...how could you find time for such a small niche market...unless you are desparate for work.

The week or so I have off each month, I devote to developing new routines and marketing. I will gladly leave the 'niche' markets to you. When I want to endanger my safety and compromise my performance standards, I will go back to performing for prison inmates.
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Jul 18, 2004 02:35AM)
Natural Mystic, thanks...we're on the same page.

Maintain equilibrium, that's a BIG rabbit to pull out out of a hat...if you get my drift.

Message: Posted by: g0thike (Jul 19, 2004 02:43PM)

You are ignorant in thinking that magicians shouldn’t market to niche markets. You have to realize that a lot of members in this Café live in poor neighborhoods and/or are from minority races and may listen to hip hop and/or rap. A lot of decent people live in ghettos and listen to hip hop music, maybe since you worked at a jail you have different experiences, but your remarks seem racists. The cost of living, or rent in major cities is ridiculous and many decent people can only afford housing in neighborhoods classified as “ghettos”. Do I market to this niche, yes I do, do others in the Café, I like to think so.

David Copperfield has a hip hop duck called Webster in his show, I can also name other magicians that use hip hop music. I have an assistant that makes a living off my shows and she is doing pretty well. I am not desperate for work as you imply. I just have clients from all backgrounds, rich and poor and they request which show they want performed. It is none of my business what they do for a living, their criminal records or that they are an A list celebrity. I have NEVER endangered my assistant, animals or myself. Just because you perform at a minority party, ghetto and such, does not mean that you are going to get shot, hurt or have your equipment stolen. As a matter of fact after the show I usually get invited to stick around at the party and people offer themselves to help me reload my equipment.

This past weekend I performed at a lower-middle class wedding for people from Cuban background, I did my Salsa music magic show. I also sang a Celia Cruz song and I got more bookings off that show.

In the year 2023 Hispanics, one of the niche groups I market to will become the majority race (general market) in the United States according to some statistic. In Los Angeles, the majority race (general market) is Hispanics, and I market to them. I am not sure the statistics of other ethnic groups.

Hip Hop and rap are not my favorite music but the music has reached the mainstream and it is staying just like country music. I do perform random hip hop magic shows and yes I have done hip hop magic shows to underprivileged kids, I just pick more appropriate material and music without foul language, I just do the more controversial material for adults in comedy clubs.

Honestly the kids love my show since I use music they can relate to and I also leave them with positive messages. Am I wrong for marketing to this “niche” market, but I have thousands of people who will say otherwise.

Message: Posted by: mdspark (Jul 20, 2004 01:27AM)
I don't have a problem with what and where you decide to perform and market...Its your act, your market, your business, and your life.

But, mark my works, Hip Hop and rap will go the way of disco, techno pop, glam and other sub-genres of popular music... It may last longer than disco or whatever but that is irrelevant... It will become passe and not have the staying power of classic rock, jazz, country, etc..... Rap wont stay because it is not music..it is the primative chanting poetry by singer wanna bees, LOL...

But, in away that too is irrelevant...there were magicians appealing to the disco crowd in the 70's...Ok, so Hip Hop is currently topical. I can see how you could use it to appeal to a certain population.
Have fun and enjoy!

I still don't see how my remarks seem "racist"..Incase you didn't know, prisons (even here in Ky where I worked) are full with a diversity of races...Caucasion, African American, Hispanic, even some Asians and many blends inbetween!...In my book, gutter slang is gutter slang no matter who's mouth it comes out of as well as horridly improper English. It denotes an uncaring attitude toward society and a lack of self respect. It also strongly suggests, the persons in question couldn't care less about educating themselves.

I too perform for lower income folks here in the "hollers" of eastern Ky with my birthday party shows...yes I use music and guess what? ITS NOT COUNTRY OR BLUEGRASS that most in east ky love...and guess what...they still love my show and I get invited back for next year. Oh, and many times they say something to the effect, "That was real perty music you used in the floatin ball trick, I aint never heard none like that before!"

And, I don't use incorrect english or slang either! Yet, they still love the show and because I relate to them as people, NOT a social/economic niche! No, I don't wear tails but I don't wear bib-overalls just because they are!!! And,I am telling you, these are HARDCORE country/bluegrass music people!!!

Personally, I see no purpose or need to appeal to the lowest common denominator...but as I said..it is YOUR business, your image, enjoy!

"Keepin it real for the Homies in the Hollers - see ya'll later!"
Message: Posted by: TK Astound (Jul 21, 2004 01:23PM)
I think that if you are on a stage or in a theatre doing a magic act to R&B/Hip Hop music, you should use the instrumental versions of the songs. For example, Lose Yourself by Eminem would work great even without the words. If you do use the words, then you have to make your magic act have a connection with the lyrics of the song. In the song Lose Yourself, it goes "I want to lose myself in the music, the moment...etc" For this you could do a trick which involves vanishing something or someone, aka losing someone. In conclusion, BE CREATIVE.