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Kozmo
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hum...Well I worked this weekend and offended someone. I guess it's the Gazzo in me. I had a conversation with Gazzo last summer about how similar we are. I use, and have been using, a bunch of bits that he uses. No, I didn't steal them from him, they are classic bits that have been around for a million years. Now here's the bit I used...the KISS thing...you know, "Hey lady, how about a kiss on my cheek?" And when she leans over you turn your head and get her on the lips. I have done this bit 1000's of times and the husband or boyfriend laughs harder than anyone. Not this time. This guy went nuts. Complained to the management of the facilty I was working. They called me today to tell me I was no longer welcome. 1000 shows at this place and they get one complaint and I'm gone. So what do you guys think of this? How far can you go? Some say there are no rules. Well, there are. I personally don't think this is offensive. Eyes of the beholder, I guess, but I hate to lose this facilty.

koz
Nathan Pain
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I mean no offense to you, but if you did this to my wife, I'd smash your head with a brick Smile It all comes down to the person, I am jealous when men get too fresh with my wife. A lot of people are not. But that does stink that you got fired. It seems like you had a good rep there. Sorry for this misfortune. If a female magician did this to me, my wife would probably brick her head too!

Good luck in the future!

Nathan Pain

By the way, I think the kiss move is hilarious, as long as it isn't my wife on the other end! I guess that makes me somewhat of a hypocrite, but I wouldn't have the ***** to even try that!
...
Kozmo
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The kiss thing works everytime. But think about it, how does the woman feel? And when it happens, it might be different for you. It's amazing. The guys laugh the hardest...the husbands, the girlfriends...

koz
KingStardog
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I would think that if you worked for an employer, that proper family traditional values, are the standard that you must uphold.

He was right to fire you, even on one complaint, as above. I would have too.

At work I have a reputation as "The Terminator" and people say that I am heartless and show no remorse.

This is the farthest thing from the truth.
I do feel badly for people that lose their jobs. I secretly hope they find another the next day.

There is a huge difference between being employed and being self employed. I do not wish to get rid of anyone, but the standards of my company are the measuring stick that everyone is judged by. In some states kissing the woman against her will is a crime called sexual assault.

BTW: Sorry you lost your job.

You are mistaken in the use of the bit. People laugh for many reasons and one is to cover up anxiety in a stressful situation.

Comedy that demeans people, is not comedy, it's insecurity and immaturity.

Duane Laflin has a book on clean comedy, that is suitable for any venue (even Church venues).
...think not that all wisdom is in your school. You may have studied other paths,but, it is important to remember that no matter who you are or where you come from, there is always more to learn.
BroDavid
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I guess if you stopped short of actual physical lip to lip contact, and acted like it surprised you too, or as if you did do it, but everyone knew you didn't, you might get away with it.

But in this day of social diseases, etc, (practical stance), sexual harrassment (prudish stance) and people who are walking around angry and on the far edge of sanity, (paranoid stance), stopping short - might keep you working and ultimately save you a broken nose.

My style is a bit more distant than yours and Gazzo's, so I never get that close to a woman who isn't my wife or my sister.

You are the one who has to ask himself, what is this worth to me? Is it worth another job in the future? Or a big guy pummeling you into a spot on the street.

One of the hardest things in perfroming is reading the audience. Was there any "tell" with this guy that in retrospect, you could say, "I will watch for that in the future"?

Tough thing when it it is a part of who you are (performance wise) and you can't use it. Hope you get the job back with a humble explanation.

Does this mean that we will see a kinder gentler Kozmo on the street, now? (Just kidding, Koz, we love you the way you are! Most of the time.........)

Good Luck!

BroDavid
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
Danny Hustle
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Quote:
On 2002-12-09 14:48, nathanpain wrote:
I mean no offense to you, but if you did this to my wife, I'd smash your head with a brick Smile It all comes down to the person, I am jealous when men get too fresh with my wife, a lot of people are not.


Nathan, just looking at the look on your face in that picture a guy would have to be OFF HIS FLIPPIN' ROCKER to try that bit with YOUR wife. **SHUDDER** Smile

Koz? You win some, you lose some. Lucky performs that bit in his show and I've never seen it get a bad reaction.

It's all about taking chances. Now all of us that do that bit should study Nathan's picture and remember the man carries a brick and his name is MISTER Pain.

Smile

Best,

Dan-
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JamesinLA
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In this day and age, I think that "bit" is asking for trouble. It's obvious to anyone who's been in any type of "professional" workplace enviornment. Why risk offending someone? You've probably gots tons of other gags that don't. And by the way, IMHO the performer should be the butt (and victim) of the jokes, not the people he is there to entertain.
Jim
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Kozmo
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Danny, I take a ton of chances. That's the lamest of things I do. Man, 1000's of times. Also, I wasn't fired. They weren't paying me. They just prefer to not let me work there again. Smile They have several street guys at this venue. None draw a crowd like I do...NONE. I get big crowds and entertain 1000's while the others are lucky to have $10 in the hat when they are done.
Gazzo gets the biggest hats. He works for money. I work for money. I will not change my show cause some youngster...Would Gazzo?. No...20 years old is offended. Jealous because I kissed his girlfriend during my show. The bit works. I will find places that understand that 1 person complaining is not worth losing a good street performer. Ya know, I move on so fast afterwards. Don't see it, usually the husband is the one who laughs the loudest. I used to play it straight. Look at the magic, clean little jokes. Hats were small. Then I started to entertain them using the real me, a little edgy, and my hats have tripled. So it's a risk. I will end up being welcomed back until the next one complains then I will be gone forever. Too bad...everyone loses.

koz
Adam V
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Each to their own I suppose. I must admit I'm surprised that this is the first time anybody's complained. Actually, maybe I'm not. If you did that to my girlfriend I'd be furious but I probably wouldn't go as far as to complain.

Just remember, if one guy actually complained to management there were probably one hundred guys who got really angry but aren't the type of people to complain like that.
Adam V - 9 out of 10 dentists recommend him.
Nathan Pain
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Quote:
On 2002-12-09 17:00, Danny Hustle wrote:

Nathan, just looking at the look on your face in that picture a guy would have to be OFF HIS FLIPPIN' ROCKER to try that bit with YOUR wife. **SHUDDER** Smile

It's all about taking chances. Now all of us that do that bit should study Nathan's picture and remember the man carries a brick and his name is MISTER Pain.

Best,

Dan-

Danny, thanks for the compliment. I, of course, am actually a big sissy. If you look at my picture again, you will see those are my bedroom eyes, big boy. Just kidding, seriously, I love the ladies, I mean my wife....ow ow ow quit hitting me honey!

Nathan Pain
...
Payne
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At a local con a magician did the old "kissing bit" and you could feel the entire room bristle. The nerdy magician, completely oblivious to the reaction of the room, thought it was a funny bit, which it probably was for whoever he stole it from. It just wasn't him.
It sounds like it is a gag that works for you, though, and this was just a one time thing, so don't sweat it. These things happen.
I was doing some work for a Church sponsored Mediaeval Faire, a gig I had worked before with no problems, but this time after each performance I had a concerned mother come up to me and question my choice of material and patter. I just told them that this is what I do and that I was sorry they didn't enjoy it and that I can't make everyone happy. These also were the first complaints I had ever gotten about my show in the twenty years I have been doing it.
It happens, so just roll with it, unless it happens all the time, then try to fix it.
If you were *****ing everyone off not only would your hats be light but you wouldn't have an audience.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
TheAmbitiousCard
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ted,

Next time you could ask the husband's permission if you could get a kiss on the cheek.

His response, even if it is, "yes," may very well telegraph what his response WILL BE when you get your freebie on the lips.

I believe I would always direct my attention directly at the husband afterwards and apologize profusely about how you just could not help yourself. Give him your card, tell him he gets a discount if he ever wants a show. Maybe in an over-the-top kind of way....etc.

These are just ideas, but getting on the husband's good side immediately afterwards in a big way can't hurt.

Perhaps Nathan Pain up there can give feedback to this idea. Would he still be flinging bricks or it would tend to tone it down a bit (and maybe instead he'll just run away with your Gazzo Cups and your Evan's monkey fists).
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Nathan Pain
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I would still brick him, even for asking. But like I said everyone is different. I don't like other men touching my wife AT ALL!

But that's just me.

Nathan Pain
...
Vaclav
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Hi tedb.
A little story of my own:
About a year ago I was working at this restaurant and went on to entertain a table with this lady and her 2 kids. As I'm in middle the first routine the husband comes. I introduced my self and continue with the show.
They all were having a good time (especially the kids) so at the end I did the watch steal
with the lady. Then I gave them my business card, wished them good evening, and started to leave. Then I stopped like I forgot something and returned the watch, apologizing that this happened. The kids and the lady love it, but the husband returned my business card. At that time I didn't think much of it.
But later on, the daughter of the owner which works at the front desk asked me if we could talk.
What happened? The guy complained that I was flirting with his wife. I could not be more surprised, for I would never do such a thing. First, I'm always polite to the customers in restaurants and second, how stupid I would have to be to do that.
I was smiling at her but so I did at him and the kids.
Anyway, the next day I found a message on my voice mail from the owner's wife (who is actually running the restaurant since he is busy with their new establishment) saying that there was a complaint and I'm no longer welcome 'cause they can not have these things happening.
Mind you that I have been working there for 3 years and never have had a single complaint.
The saddest thing is that the owner is a magician himself and on many of occasions he was part (and helping me) of that particular routine.
And 'till this day I still do not know what really happened. I do the watch steal all the time and it never happened before or after.
So I guess, perhaps the only way not to offend someone is not to perform at all. Smile

By the way, I do like the kiss gag (did it few times myself with no problem) but always look for people with some sense of humor.
Smile

I also agree with Payne that you should have the right personality or character to do any (risque stuff) and not to upset the audience.
Kozmo
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Guys, trust me, this works for me. I have that personality. fstarsinic, I like your idea of saying, "Oh my, I'm sorry sir. I just couldn't help myself." What I do is, I look at the husband right away with a surprised look and say, "Hey man, take it easy. It's just a show. I have a stick. I'm from NY." And then I move on to the next thing.

vaclav, same thing happened to me. 2 years ago I was working in this restaurant, hot honey at this table. She was on me big time right in front of her husband. He was a dorky lookin' dude but had a lot of cash. After I left, with his wife smiling at me and winking, he went to the owner and complained that I was after his wife. MAN!!! I did nothing but the guy couldn't deal with it. She was high maintenance and he couldn't deal. Pays to marry a fat woman. Smile
Danny Hustle
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Quote:
On 2002-12-09 22:42, Vaclav wrote:
The guy complained that I was flirting with his wife.

You know, this is an interesting thing. I don't think you were flirting but, some guys are really weird about this. I grew up in a neighborhood full of them. For this reason, and this is something I've never really thought of until just now, I am the anti-flirt.

What I mean by this is, when I perform for a couple, I play to the guy. I might do the trick to the woman but my sole purpose is to make that guy look like a hero to his girl. I build him up and downplay myself. The woman still gives the huge reaction but I always at least get a smile out of the guy. Even if he is trying to play it cool and look unimpressed.

Another reason I think I do this is I work for tips almost exclusively. If I make this guy look like the greastest thing since beer to his girl he is going to tip me. If it is a girl he is trying to impress he is going to tip me big.

I also NEVER say how beautiful the woman is even if she is a movie star. I may tell the woman her husband looks like a movie star though and how did SHE get so lucky. At this point she often says HE is the lucky one. He may even agree but I am not the one who puts it out on the table, they do.

Where I am from, a lot of guys are like our friend Mr. Paine, great guys, but don't mess with their girls! I respect that and treat every guy as if he were Mr. Paine. It works for me. Also, I am a big guy and talk with a Boston accent. If I am dealing with people from out of town it can appear as if I think I'm a tough guy if I play my part wrong.

Luckily, I have a friendly face and if I downplay myself people forgive the size and the accent.

It really is an interesting dynamic the way we have to work with people. I never really given it much thought before. It just worked and I never questioned it.

Best,

Dan-
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©1999-2014 Daniel Denney all rights reserved.
Peter Marucci
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Sorry, tedb, but I think you are dead wrong on this one!
I agree with nathanpain; in fact, you are very lucky that the husband didn't flatten you.
And you are very, VERY lucky to have got away with this if you have done it thousands of times, as you say.

Common sense should tell anyone not to do this; but, then, common sense is very uncommon.

You, no doubt, will continue to do this elsewhere, thinking it is uproariously funny.
That's too bad.
Not only because it isn't, but -- more importantly -- you are dragging magic down and giving other performers a bad name for even admitting that they are in the same business.

You may not see a problem -- but many others obviously do!

(BTW, there's a name for touching people without their permission: It's common assault and it's called a felony!)
Danny Hustle
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Wow, I don't think this is ALWAYS a bad bit. I have a friend that does it and he ALWAYS gets away with it. But, He NEVER does it to the woman from a couple though. He only does it to either a single girl or a couple of girls together. He is also one of the most unthreataning, Gregarious, mild mannered, pleasant, and talented, performers I know.

When he does it, it looks like the girl kissed him and not that he stole the kiss. He turns as if to say something just as she is about to kiss him. When she kisses him, he looks shocked, sputters, blushes, and kicks the ground. It is SO funny the girl often kisses him again!

When he collects his hat he often gets MORE KISSES FROM OTHER GIRLS!

He's a great guy, but I hate him! Smile

Best,

Dan-
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"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! I’m so sick of posts being deleted without any reason given, and by unknown people at that." - Steve Brooks Sep 7, 2001 8:38pm
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Pokie-Poke
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Wow.
WOW. I can't beleive this much of a stink over a joke that is older than any two people on this bord!!
A vaudeville bit that made it into the movies.

Fired on one complant is unreasonable. Go back to the restaurant and complain that the food was not cooked right. Do they fire the cook? If not, sue them, as improper cooking can make you sick and is a danger. Flirting is not and if one complant is all it takes to fire someone, then most waitstaff would be in trouble!

I like the kiss bit, done right it is very funny! It does not fit in my act right now as I do a bit of flirting, and I feel that would push it too far.
I also agree with Danny, the meek character, "Oops, I didn't... um a .. Smile "
works for this bit. I was working on a Harold Lloyd type character, and for this it will work.
Whenever you flirt with someone, watch the reactions of the male counterparts for clues as to where to go with it. You are going to embarrass one of them. If it is her, the guy will probably be cool with it. (Guys are dogs.) However, if she is cool with it, the joke is then on him, do you think he can take a joke? If not, jump ship quick. Turn it around so the pie is in your face, and save the funny stuff for your next show.
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Kozmo
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lol. You have got to be kidding me. I make magicians look bad because I do this bit? That's such crap. I have other words to describe that, but I won't, because they won't let me back on. That's one of the reasons why I don't lecture and teach, because magicians have this holier than thou attitude. Man! You should see Gazzo. "Hey lady, speak up. You're not buying condoms." And in case you haven't noticed, he's the most successful street magician on the planet. Makes more money than all of us. More than Cellini, more than anyone.

Eddie Murphy shouldn't make movies, he makes actors look bad!!! You have got to be kidding me. This bit has been around for a million years. The reason why you think it's so bad is because you don't have the twins to try it. But it works and it has for 100 years. And it's amazing, the guys whose wives I kiss, they give me the MOST money. They laugh until they cry. You might not think it's funny, but I do and so have many for 100 years. You have the right to your opinion, but I have to tell you, don't run down to see my show because I'm gonna give all the magicians a bad name.

Here's another subject. Danny said he is the anti-flirt. You should be, but watch your audience as you build it. The kids, they are watching. How does he get that coin to go from one hand to the other? The dad, he's watching too. But mom? Nope, mom is looking at the next thing to go and see. Let's move on fellas. So I attack the wife. I get her involoved so she doesn't want to move on. I do the magic in her hand. Wow! How'd he do that? And when that's done, no one is going anywhere because she wants to stay.

Also, someone said something about a restaurant. I did not do this in a restaurant. I did it on the streets at a facilty that has street performers.

This is very interesting stuff and I'm glad I posted this. I appreciate all of your opinions even if they are different than mine. I have been thinking about not doing this bit anymore but have not yet decided on what I want to replace it with. I'm sure that some have walked away less than happy but most walk away going, "WOW!!! That guy was good," because I am And I have to tell you, I don't care if I give you a bad name. I don't. I make a living doing this and have for years. I try to perform magic in a pure form...no tricky cards, no tricky coins...pure. And I try to do it in an artistic way. I used to do nothing but magic, but some would walk away and listen, they walk away from everyone. They walk away from Cellini...I have seen it first hand...but, when I started adding comedy--comedy that fits my personality--they started to stay longer and the hats got bigger. And Gazzo, no one walks away from that guy. His hats are huge on slow days. He can build a crowd when no one is there. But you would come and judge him and say, he sucks. My oh my, Gazzo gives all magicians a bad name.

koz
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