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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Right or Wrong? » » Merging genres, characters (and another ethics question) (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Noel D
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I an a very well known person in my school. Seeing as to how I'm in the debate team, the drama club, the school news, and the student government, I'm recognized and respected by almost everyone in the school, which among other obvious perks, deals out any hecklers quite nicely.

Anyway, I recently came up with an idea to raise some money at my school. Since most of the money in our school goes to sports, the debate/drama/public speaking/anything requiring thought type of extracurricular activites are on their own to raise money.

SO why not a magic show?

I could put on a small hour and a half close up show for 15 people bi-monthly and chage $10 a ticket. If I gave a third to the drama department and a third to the debate club and kept the final third for myself, everyone would make $100 monthly.

I'm pretty confident I could put on the show, and the faculty and staff love the idea, btu I have not done many magic shows before. I have done tons of stuff on stage so presentation is usually not much of a problem for me. I am experienced, but indirectly so. Do you think I have a right to do the show?

My second though is a bit more magic related than this. I've already written the show, and while I'm content with it, it has one problem I think might make people unhappy.

It's not really a magic show so much as a gambling/mentalism/magic show. From my script, I'd say the combination works, as everythign kind of builds upon itself and the audience never really has any clue as to what is BS and what isn't. I've already put on this show for free at some charity events (Albeit on a much larger scale using jumbo cards and replacing somethings with more parlor suited effects.) and I can testify it plays quite nicely, but I am worried about the "ethics" of doing this?

I've always heard tham magic is magic, mentalism is mentalism, and bringing the two together doesn't work. gambling ruins the magic, and doing magic makes the mentalism less authentic.

In my specific show, I start out an a gambling theme, and then work my way from gambling physically (faux poker deals and monte routines, etc.) to cheating you out mentally (phycic revelations maintaining the use of cards with a somewhat plausible but truly wrong method given) and then do a quick mental preparation (a magic square) before moving onto full on mentalism (word divintations, book test, etc.) of course, the mental influence can also be used to show things that aren't really there, and from that, the show slowly moves into the magic section ending with a multiple selection routine of 15 cards where the final card is in a folded up paperclip in an envelope given to someone before the show began!

While I am quite happy with this, I just wanted to know if this seems to violate some sort of unwritten magic rule that people speak of.

My final question is in my character. More accurately, the lack of one. While I do have a stage persona, it's just that, a persona. Not a clownish or deceptive mysterious person, btu just a hieghtened and more polished up version of me that usually keeps things straight with steve martin-esque humor popping up occasionally.
I've seen people like bill Malone whom are excetionally funny, and darwin ortiz whom are quite serious. I'm neither and a bit of both. Is this allowed?

If you've read all the way through this, thank you. I just want to make sure that I'm doing the right thing if I do take on this show.

Sincerely,
Noel Dominguez.
MagicMarker
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Profile of MagicMarker
Unwritten rules are also known as opinions and you can't break an opinion, you can only make new ones.

There's nothing ethically wrong with what you're suggesting. I thought when you were talking about gambling that your concern was about using gambling in a kids show.

Whether or not there's a theatrical reason for not mixing magic and mentalism or magic and gambling, that's another area entirely. Personally I don't see a problem with it. It's like saying that a sweetshop shouldn't sell Newspapers. Why not? I sometimes wonder if Lay Audiences make the same distinction between Mentalism and Magic. It's all super powers right?

Create your show, perform it and see what happens. It's not going to end your career in magic if it doens't work, and you sound like you've already got positive feedback.

The great moments in entertainment have happened when people mixed genres. I'm not sure mixing Magic and Mentalism even counts as mixing genres.

> I've seen people like bill Malone whom are excetionally funny, and darwin ortiz > whom are quite serious. I'm neither and a bit of both. Is this allowed?

No. Rule 117 Paragraph 12, Sub paragraph b
No magician shall assume a persona that is anywhere between Bill Malone and Darwin Ortiz. You must pick one or the other.

(I'm kidding, in case that isn't obvious).

You are allowed to have any character you want. Again, whether it works or not will only emerge with time. I cringe sometimes watching magicians try to be someone they are not. It detracts from the magic, and borders on the annoying. I'd much rather see someone be a polished up version of themselves, relaxed, funny when they can be, Character should be like sleights, if the audience notice it, you've done it wrong.

The best scenario is someone whocan really pull off a great character, that takes acting skills and character development skills that most magicians don't bother acquiring. Until such time as you feel your acting is up to scratch, stick to your current strategy.

If you have opportunities to take acting lessings then do it. If you're serious about pursuing magic it will be a big help, and even if you're not, the ability to act and be aware of your self is a useful skill.
Best of luck with the show.

-Richard
Cliffg37
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Long Beach, CA
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The only reason not to mix magic and metalism has to do with confusing your audience. The magic part is more of a look what miricles I can do while the mentalism is more of an experiment on mind control. As long as your character can do both, then do both. Practice first. find someone you trust to tell you the straight story. Parents are usually poor choices for this. The director of your drama club might be better. Have them tell you what works. Yes men are of no value here.

Good luck,

I hope you pull it off.

Cliff

p.s. don't forget to add a small escape if you can.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
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