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Kameron Messmer
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So I'm wanting to put together an adult show (for bars, nightclubs etc) That has a lot of the sideshow kind of stuff. I have some gimmicked and some real effects and was thinking I would say up front "Some of the effects here are magic, tricks and gimmicks, but some are real. No trick, just me doing it. and I'm not telling which is which... I see some people here might think this would be dishonest. I would think it was dishonest if I said everything was real when it wasnt. I like the Penn and Teller approach, "We're lying to you" as opposed to Criss Angel-"I'm going to get run over by a steam roller and it's REAL!" I'm thinking of doing - Fire eating, Human Blockhead, Glass walking, Glass eating, needle swallowing, balloon up the nose, sword swallowing, pulse stop, plus probably some mentalism...SO what say you?
Freak Prodigy
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I say unless you can really swallow a sword and eat glass, don't do it.

Those of us that have the skills and knowledge necessary to achieve these stunts have worked very hard for them. It can take years of research and practice to safely and correctly perform these stunts. If you go on stage and do a cheap trick, well then, you are doing a cheap trick and it does nothing but hurt those of us that risk our lives to REALLY perform these stunts.


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Kameron Messmer
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I expected you'd say that... My thought was that I am a magician that happens to do some sideshow stuff. Why not mix it and make it the theme. The theme is sideshow/bizarre magic. Some people think the real stuff is fake and the fake is real anyways. Should I reveal the methods of the tricks? Tell them which is real and which is a stunt? I mean in my show, not in general, because of course people CAN eat glass, and I'm sure I could do it, it's just more than I want to risk. Same with Sword Swallowing. I don't have a teacher and I don't want to risk more than I do with the rest of the stuff I do. My original thought was tell people up front "some is real some is fake and at the end, ask the audience what they think is real and not and tell them "yup, the sword swallowing is fake etc" I dunno just thought it was an interesting idea. didn't want to cheapen anything just wanting to entertain...
Harley Newman
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I mix it up, but it's a run-on gag about telling people when it's a trick. Be careful not to mix too many of the same themed things together.

Also, get a teacher.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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Kameron Messmer
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It would be really difficult to get a teacher. Not really the area for that kind of thing. I've self taught everything else I've done, but again there are risks I wont take.

Harley: I kinda don't get what your saying... maybe new years was a bit too hard on me.. You would make it a running gag about telling people when its a trick? and what shouldnt I mix? I mean what do you mean by "same themed things"...
Martin_Ling
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You said you are mixing it up. My question is what of the Sideshow Stunts are you actually doing? Sounds like you are using a magic gaff on the glass and swords?
Kameron Messmer
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I really do fire eating, and manipulating and have been doing it for...13 years about..
Blockhead. Im new to it but can do it no problem
Walk on glass doing that for 3 or so years.
as soon as I can get a bed of nails, cause that's not too hard at all...
the human floss or whatever its been called, but I have to brush up on it...

The sword swallow and the glass eating would be fake just cause they seem to be the most dangerous and again I don't have a teacher. I'm willing, but don't want to do something TOO stupid Smile

The rest is self explanatory

Another question is What else can I add? Someone suggested animal traps, which technically could be both real - mouse and rat traps AND a trick (i.e. Penn and tellers animal trap routine)

But what else could I add that would fit the theme that I could learn?
Harley Newman
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The type of theme I'm talking about, is one that I've seen done a lot. Bed of nails/ bed of swords, or glasswalking/ladder of swords are each a theme...showing that either your back or your feet are invulnerable. Once you've demonstrated it, everybody knows.

As for "sideshow" as a theme, it allows you to do almost anything you can think of. It's the ultimate "variety" entertainment.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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Kameron Messmer
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Gotcha. like I said, I don't have a bed of nails yet, but I think its different enough from glass although they are the same concept basically. I wouldnt do that for the same reason I don't do 2 card tricks etc. good advice. thanks!
Martin_Ling
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Just be honest with your audience. When its a trick its a trick, when its real its real. Either way its entertaining. You, unlike me have the ability to do both.
Kondini
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Why bother to make a statement at all ?
Let them decide.

I know of an Illusion act who incorporates escapes. To the speckies which are they,,,,a magician doing escapes or an escapologist doing illusion ???

To me one belittles the other its like being a jack of all trades but master of none.

Ken.
thegreatnippulini
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Kam, where are you located? You say you can't get a teacher, in 5th grade gym class I learned that can't means won't. I'm SURE there is someone close enough to help you out.
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thegreatnippulini
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Oh, and BTW, do some research about the misuse of the word "freak" in the sideshow community.
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Kameron Messmer
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I am in Billings MT. If there IS someone I would be more than willing to learn. being that I work at the only magic store in a very big area I figured if someone COULD teach me they would have stopped in the shop by now...
Kameron Messmer
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I didn't mean to offend by using the word "freak". Im assuming that freak refers to people with a physical condition vs someone who sticks weird things in their body for money... I think there's another word for that, but "freak" seems oddly more marketable than the alternative. Smile

Should I use another word then? To most people "freak" is just a weird person. To most people, someone that does the crap I do is a "freak". I guess I'm going for more of the modern vernacular...
Stephon
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I wouldn't necessarily assume that some who does sideshow would stop by the magic store; while many sideshow performers started out with magic, there are plenty who never "crossed the streams."
~Les S. Moore, The Dapper Dipper
Swami Yomahmi and Cheeky Monkey Sideshow

"Comedy is a man in trouble." ~Bill Irwin
jondark445
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I crossed the streams the other night with someone...just don't know who it was....

There was a Geek video out that kind of taught "safe" ways of doing some of the sideshow stuff. For example glass eating was taught by using hard candy that was thinned out.

For me...I'd never do something like that. There are people out there ACTUALLY EATING GLASS. Kind of takes away from what they're doing, don't you think?

Stephon...love the Bill Irwin quote. Reminded me of the one by Mel Brooks: "Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall in a sewer and die."

--Tony
rossmacrae
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It seems there are a lot of conflicting opinions here.

But if you can manage to work up a glass-eating, nail-up-nose-pounding, needle-swallowing show you can sell for 5-year-old birthday parties, I know some people who'll pay to learn from you.

You have enough genuine repertoire (for now) that you don't need to fake anything. Get caught in one trick, and your entire credibility falls apart. I'm working on an article suggesting the opposite: that a limited number of "trick" effects might be useful. But only when they're 100% bulletproof, and certainly not for those who don't already have expertise at presenting the real thing regularly.

I know this is self-promotion of a sort, but you really need to listen to the working performers (34 to date) interviewed on my podcast.
T-RAY
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Just do what you feel and don't make it look stupid. People will either like you or say you suck....then you will know what to do, so stop asking questions and get down to business. That's how I do it.
Martin_Ling
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"I don't **** in my hand and call it magic. So don't swallow a slap bracelet and call it Sideshow!"
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