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Doc Dixon
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Thank YOU, brother Gross. Thank you.

You wrote:
"A little struggle in each show is how we get better. And that is after 18 years of struggling as a performer."

But you know, when you do it right, it's a joyous struggle -- filled with mistakes that you can laugh at (that never make it in the show again)and victories that are thriliing (becoming a permanent part of the show.)

I can't remember where I was when I first heard any number of stock lines, but I sure as heck can remember virtually every detail of the bits that were first adlibs, but then became permanent parts of the my show.

It's a huge feeling of satisfaction when you have a place in your show that you KNOW needs a certain line, but you just can't figure out what it is ... and then in one show it will just come out ... you'll say it, it not only gets the big laugh you've wanted, but it FITS, it supplies a needed transition, it FLOWS. You almost have to fight to get yourself not to write the line down that very second.

What makes that line so valuable to you is NOT the fact that it was adlibbed. No. That's just the gravy. What makes it so valuable are all the performances you had to work, sweat, and labor through to arrive at that line. If someone were to take that line (or just slightly "revamp it" whatever that means) they'd be taking not only the line, but ALL THE WORK THAT WENT INTO IT.

It reminds me of something I told an agent years ago. He was asking me what I wanted for a certain local gig. I told him my price and he said, "Doc, come on. It's only 30 minutes."

I responded, "You're not paying for the minutes. You're paying me for the years."

Please don't mistake this post for preaching. It's just that despite all my weaknesses (and there are many), MagiComedy has been pretty good to me and I can't help but be passionate about it.

Respectfully,

DD
“For centuries we’ve said playing cards – even a single playing card – could reveal a person’s innermost thoughts.
Now you can prove it!”
See http://www.dixonmagic.com/page5/page5.html
Spinnato
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Quote:
On 2005-01-27 20:40, Magicray80 wrote:
Any good one liners as openers. Also I'm having trouble tring to find a few one liner or fill in for cardiographic will I'm drawing thier card. Any ideas....


I suggest Aldo Columbini's new book, FIRST AID LINES. It's loaded with one liners.
Sonny Vegas
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Here's some comedy magic writing advice.
If you're looking for a basis of jokes that can be formed to your own liking, there are Milton Berle's comedy joke book. In there he stresses the point to use these jokes, but only if you format, rewrite them to you taste. It's basically a bunch of stock jokes that every performer uses now and then. There are a lot of jokes in the books, but only a few will be good for your liking. Stealing joke will only harm you performance. Using someone elses lines will only show you as a cheap performer.

Think simple..when you write..Even those mild humourous lines will make people laugh. Pick a trick you do, now write all the details, actions,and out comes that trick can do. Anything related to the trick can be molded into a joke. Look at your list, pull out the funnier words..maybe your rope trick started at a young age and doing the trick with worms or your teachers shoe string started it all off...

Remember, you're a magician not a standup comedian. Really any subtle joke from a magician will go over well better than a regular comedian. You gotta hit homerun jokes if your strictly a standup comedian.

I like the line "This trick is magically delicious" Thus the cereal we have here in the states "Lucky Charms" whose motto is just that. If you use that, you might want to even find yourself a small box of that cereal to use in a trick.

I do Adult comedy only.I usually open my routine with how good looking the crowd is and I'm excited to be here. Then I go to my "Magic hat" which is nothing more than a floppy casual hat. I dig around inside the hat as if I was looking for a pre-set prop.I explain that this is a magical hat and we need to get the show started with this first trick. Then I proceed to pull my hand out with it being in the middle finger salute. I then say " ah-ha! I magically pulled a "bird" out of my hat!...Sorry I didn't have enough money for a dove."
Use it if you like it....but just make sure if you use that one on your audience, they are mature enough and over 18.

You can also use just a rabbit foot for those "Teleporting" tricks.."Teleporting just a rabbit's foot in a trick will get a roar if you planned on having a whole rabbit appear...yikes!

Have fun and enjoy yourself.

Sonny Vegas
Believe in yourself and the magic will come.

www.SonnyVegas.com
www.TheVegasBrothers.com
JonathanM
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As an opener, I like to DO SOMETHING, not necessarily say something.

At one time, as an opener - I'd say nothing, smile, and like Lance Burton, stare at the audience, pull out a flash string from my inside coat pocket, light it, and I'm holding a silk handkerchief. I'd get applause by smiling and looking all around the audience, continuously nodding my head, with a facial expression non-verbally saying "pretty good huh?".

Anyway, as soon as they start applauding, look puzzled, look at the hankerchief, and back at audience, hold the hankerchief up, and when applause is completely finished I'd say "you guys don't get out much do you?" (as if to say, "it wasn't THAT good") Audience always laughs and they are really kind of surprized at the boldness.
And then I'd hold a condescending look, make eye contact with as many audience members as possible for about 5 to 10 seconds.

Then I'd finally break eye contact, look down and break down for about 2 seconds as though I couldn't keep a straight face and hold my hand palm facing audience as if to say "just kidding". Then, 2 seconds later, I'm back into "character" and looking somewhat serious again. I'd do the silk to egg, ending with cracking open a real egg.

That opener just "happened" one time, and I used it many times - years ago. I liked it because it shows the audience a lot of confidence.

In fact, I always respected comedians who did this kind of thing. It always seemed to add an unspoken/silent "respect" to the comedian/entertainer. But, you got to break down and laugh for a brief moment to show the new audience that you're not really a COCKY JERK!
Jonathan Meyer
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
www.jonathanmagic.com
jstone
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Quote:
On 2005-03-28 13:20, walsall wrote:
Jokes are also in the public domain. Very few comedians actually tell their own jokes now a days. They just "revamp" old material and make it fresh. So if using a changed joke, your likely to be doing the same as the person who you heard it form.
Nick

Actually, people often pay a lot of money for their jokes. In fact, Jay Leno gets paid quite nicely to write jokes for a lot of people, and the jokes are "protected." They are not legally allowed to be added to someone's act.
The Donster
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Doesn't Jay Leno have Writers that Write for Him ?
jstone
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Quote:
On 2005-04-17 09:36, The Donster wrote:
Doesn't Jay Leno have Writers that Write for Him ?


He probably does, and in fact, the stuff that he sells to others may actually be created by his staff. However, the point still remains that people do pay for material and that it's inappropriate to "borrow" material from other performers. Smile
The Donster
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One can also ask for Permission to use Ideas/Jokes/Patter which is what I have done. and I have had others. also ask if they could use a line I made up. jstone is correct. be sure you have permission etc before you use anyone elses jokes etc. other Professionals have done this to. Turner Classic Movies has pointed this out in Film Clips. where someone used the same idea as someone else.
freakshowjim
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This can go on Forever... Think I'll go ask the chicken to cross the road again.
The Donster
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Yes it can go on forever. that is why the best thing to do is try and come up with material on your own. but by the time you do someone else has already had the same idea.
Magicray80
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Thanks everybody!
"And What Not!!!" paisa23 you know what i mean.
The Donster
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Magicray80 your Welcome. that's what this board is for is to Help Out.
Mr_Matthew_Charles
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If you ever get heckled by a random audience member, you could say to the rest of the audience 'see folks that's what happens when cousins marry' but that might be too insulting
If you don't have enimies then you don't have character
The Donster
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Has anyone tryed or used OOPS yet ?
itshim
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To add my 2p, If you use somebody elses material, unless you are EXACTLY the same as that person then it will not work as well and often won't work at all. The best lines as has been stated earlier in this thread are the ones that start as adlibs and are still funny the second time you use them. The most productive time for comedy is in the middle of a show, when the adrenalin is running through you and you need to say something and a response occurs. The hard part is remembering the line after the show. I've actually asked audience members to remember lines for me, it makes them more involved and lets the rest of the audience know that you are finding the show amusing as well. Here's an example from my kids show, at one point the kids want me to repeat a trick which in this instance I'm happy to do as it isn't magic if I get the response "again! again!" I ask them if they are a teletubby. Works well for me I doubt it will work for most acts.

Nigel
I knew a man who kept saying "pliers, pincers, scissors". He was speaking in tongs.

www.itshim.co.uk
Jimeuax
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So many of these discussions are just re-stating the obvious. The best idea is to buy a book on writing comedy---There are formulas, of sorts ,that writers follow to create jokes. It is really EASIER to come up with stuff for yourself than try to force some one elses material on your character. Sure, you will spend a few bucks learning how to write them, but you will be glad you did. Then we won't have to listen to the same old trite responses and life will be good!---cheers!
gabelson
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Writing comedy, for one who is not a seasoned stand-up, is not "easy", but it is a skill which can be aquired. Like any other specialty (sleight of hand, for instance), it takes YEARS of practice to really be smooth. The difference between getting a huge laugh and a joke dying completely can be as simple as the placement of an "and" or an "or" in a sentence. The reason Seinfeld was looked upon by his peers as the best, was his economy of words. (As Stephen King mentions in his book, "On Writing", which I recommend to ANYONE writing ANY kind of act), the first rule of writing is "economy of words". When people say, "I can't tell a joke", it's because they go on too ***ed long. There's no way a two minute story can have ONE payoff line and be worth it. Condense that 2-minute story to 15 seconds. If you listen to Seinfeld's act, you'll notice he has ONE set-up, and follow it with 10 straight punch lines, WITHOUT ANOTHER SET-UP! Dangerfield- bang, bang, bang. And yes, as Jimeuax mentioned, there ARE formulas- basically, 90% of all jokes can be deconstructed as: two or more ideas tied together in a funny way. Here's an example of a Jay Leno joke that illustrates that: "I'm sure you all saw those pictures of Saddam Hussein in his underwear... here's the creepy part- they were taken at Michael Jackson's house." In this example, two topical ideas have found common ground, and the result is a joke. Writing a joke is basically starting with a reference, or a set-up if you will, and then going through a mental Rolodex to find ANOTHER reference that ties into the first one in a funny way. Sorry if I sound preachy, but I'm one of "those guys" who does write for Jay Leno. Was Letterman's head monologue writer for four years, too. Before that, did stand-up for a living for 17 years. Did all those "brick wall" TV shows of the 80's and early 90's... "Comic Strip Live", "Caroline's Comedy Hour", "MTV Half Hour Comedy Hour", etc. So I can tell you, definitively, YES, we do hold our jokes near and dear, and get quite ****ed off when they are stolen (or even mis-quoted... which happens constantly.) Gone are the days when comics like Milton Berle "shared" jokes with the rest of the comedy community. Now, the jokes are tailored to the comic's individual personality. As it should be for magicians, as well. -BUT, it is not as important for the magician to be a comic technician, for magicians need not open their soul to the crowd the way a stand-up must.

Just my two cents... or three.
Doc Dixon
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Gabelson,

Your "two cents" had about $100 worth of smarts. At least.

Thanks.

Re: Rodney Dangerfield, I always thought one of the things that made him so incredibly funny and his comedy so "word economical", for lack of a better term, was the fact that his PERSONA WAS 90% OF THE SET-UP.

Thanks again for a great post.

DD
“For centuries we’ve said playing cards – even a single playing card – could reveal a person’s innermost thoughts.
Now you can prove it!”
See http://www.dixonmagic.com/page5/page5.html
davidbod
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Great tips, Gabelson!
mike gallo
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Your "two cents" had about $100 worth of smarts. At least.


Only 100bucks...I'd say it was priceless!

Mike
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