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Martin_Ling
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Ok, that could probly be taken as harsh, so Ill explain. I have absolutly no talent with slight of hand or magic, so I would never perform a trick half assed and then call it magic. If you want to perform Sideshow, real sideshow, get a teacher, and do it for real. Otherwise you are just doing a dis-service to those who can actually perform it.

Now on the other hand, I find nothing funnier than blowing the gag on something that is obviously fake, this actually pays a compliment to people whom can do it for real, and if you do both fake and real as Harley does, you are just playing with your audience, which is enjoyable for the both of you.
Kameron Messmer
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I know I'll probably get killed for asking this, but can someone here train me? I know online is not ideal, but with skype/video conferencing etc I'm sure it'll be better than me trying it by myself. Im halfway tempted to try glass eating at least because I know how it works I just havent done it. Im sure just getting up the courage is a big part of it... so whos the first to throw stones...
Harley Newman
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The two places for formal training are Coney Island, and me.

I won't train online, only in person. Good training involves being able to see which muscles twitch, in what way, on which piece of equipment. Etc.

Coney's schedule is online. I usually teach about the third weekend of June, 3 days of 13+ hours a day, definite schedule to be announced in the next couple of weeks.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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Kondini
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I have reservations regarding the teaching of this biz.

To attain a pro standard in any walk of life requires hard work, study and dedication. To think that sideshow can be taught in full over a few hours, days or even months when other professions take years to attain screams danger out loud to me.

Yes the general ideas and technique can be picked up quickly but just to have a gist of what is required in order to safely perform these stunts is not enough.

I traveled with a sideshow for several years, ate, worked and slept with the people doing this stuff. I set and struck, drove and ballied for no pay other than food and bed. It took me three months to sword swallow alone and with a master present at every stage it gave me the confidence and someone to answer my questions as each stage was gained. The glass eating took a lot of self bottle which I don`t think I could have gained on my own.

My faith and relationship with my teacher made all possible, some weeks progression, some weeks digression. To live, work and do the apprenticeship is the only safe way to me.

I have taught basics and often wondered if it was a moral thing for me to do. On one such occasion after a body burning session with a man who came across as intelligent and stable ,,,he had returned home and a couple of days later I heard he had several nasty burns to his arms. Now was it my fault for teaching or his for un tutored self progression ?

I understand with the internet and such as YouTube (The answer to all !!!) Some people tend to think its all up for grabs. In sideshow this would be a very foolish attitude to take. So I ask, where after teaching does the responsibility end.

I always felt my learning stage was safe and progressed at my own speed which made it even safer for me. My teacher was always at hand until such time as he (Not me) Considered It was safe for me to go my own way.

This is not to knock anyone who feels they can teach, it is my own feelings on a matter which I feel strongly about. My teacher was taught the same way as he taught me, through free labour in return for the biz.

Sideshow can and has killed so can not be compared to any other branch of showbiz.


Teach magic,,,great, I paid Ken Brooke a fortune over many years but other than knocking my front tooth out with a linking ring, I was safe in practice on my own.

I studied escapes under David Deval and other than a few rope burns came through ok.

Sideshow is on a different level, mainly because it is real and can be a killer,,that`s what attracts.

My 2p worth,,,but what do I know !!!

Ken.
thegreatnippulini
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In online videos you can see muscles twitch, you can hear instruction, but you cannot feel someones skin, you cannot smell the precursors to danger, you cannot taste blood. 2 out of 5 senses is deprivation and makes for disatrous learning. Do it in person for real.
The Great Nippulini: body piercer, Guinness World Record holder, blacksmith and man with The World's Strongest Nipples! Does the WORLD care? We shall see...
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jondark445
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My book, CARNY SIDESHOWS: WEIRD WONDERS OF THE MIDWAY (not my title choice...wasn't even one of the 150 I suggested) goes into some of the science behind some of the stunts (the physics, for example, behind the bed of nails). But I go out of my way to say that the book is not in any way shape or form to be taken as instruction. Just because you know the science of something doesn't mean you know how to do it. In the book I refer everyone to either Harley or Coney.

--T
Kameron Messmer
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I understand why people say you need a mentor, and I'm not even saying I disagree, but I am not like the people you don't want to try this at home. I am a performer, a professional that HAS done this kind of stuff. I HAVE been burned and have the scars to prove it. If I could travel to a teacher I would, but right now its not feasible. There is probably,(i am guessing) no one till the middle of Canada to the north, no one till Washington State to my west, no one till minnesota to the east and COlorado to the south that could teach me. I REALLY don't want to travel hundreds of miles and spend thousands to learn one or two things I can probably learn myself. I've learned ALL the fire tricks I do by myself, MOST magic, the block head, Glass Walking, Human Floss BY myself. I know you guys don't want to be responsible if anyone gets hurt and I know its easier to teach one on one, but right now I can't. Im pretty much to the point of just trying this stuff just cause I am out of options. If you can give me tips, great, if not, I'm going to learn from the school of hard knocks...
Steve_Mollett
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Quote:
On 2010-01-04 08:13, Kondini wrote:
I have reservations regarding the teaching of this biz.

To attain a pro standard in any walk of life requires hard work, study and dedication. To think that sideshow can be taught in full over a few hours, days or even months when other professions take years to attain screams danger out loud to me.

Yes the general ideas and technique can be picked up quickly but just to have a gist of what is required in order to safely perform these stunts is not enough.

I traveled with a sideshow for several years, ate, worked and slept with the people doing this stuff. I set and struck, drove and ballied for no pay other than food and bed. It took me three months to sword swallow alone and with a master present at every stage it gave me the confidence and someone to answer my questions as each stage was gained. The glass eating took a lot of self bottle which I don`t think I could have gained on my own.

My faith and relationship with my teacher made all possible, some weeks progression, some weeks digression. To live, work and do the apprenticeship is the only safe way to me.

I have taught basics and often wondered if it was a moral thing for me to do. On one such occasion after a body burning session with a man who came across as intelligent and stable ,,,he had returned home and a couple of days later I heard he had several nasty burns to his arms. Now was it my fault for teaching or his for un tutored self progression ?

I understand with the internet and such as YouTube (The answer to all !!!) Some people tend to think its all up for grabs. In sideshow this would be a very foolish attitude to take. So I ask, where after teaching does the responsibility end.

I always felt my learning stage was safe and progressed at my own speed which made it even safer for me. My teacher was always at hand until such time as he (Not me) Considered It was safe for me to go my own way.

This is not to knock anyone who feels they can teach, it is my own feelings on a matter which I feel strongly about. My teacher was taught the same way as he taught me, through free labour in return for the biz.

Sideshow can and has killed so can not be compared to any other branch of showbiz.


Teach magic,,,great, I paid Ken Brooke a fortune over many years but other than knocking my front tooth out with a linking ring, I was safe in practice on my own.

I studied escapes under David Deval and other than a few rope burns came through ok.

Sideshow is on a different level, mainly because it is real and can be a killer,,that`s what attracts.

My 2p worth,,,but what do I know !!!

Ken.


You know far more than the 'average bear.'
Dead on.
Author of: GARROTE ESCAPES
The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
- Albert Camus
critter
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Quote:
On 2010-01-04 20:04, Kameron Messmer wrote:
I understand why people say you need a mentor, and I'm not even saying I disagree, but I am not like the people you don't want to try this at home. I am a performer, a professional that HAS done this kind of stuff. I HAVE been burned and have the scars to prove it. If I could travel to a teacher I would, but right now its not feasible. There is probably,(i am guessing) no one till the middle of Canada to the north, no one till Washington State to my west, no one till minnesota to the east and COlorado to the south that could teach me. I REALLY don't want to travel hundreds of miles and spend thousands to learn one or two things I can probably learn myself. I've learned ALL the fire tricks I do by myself, MOST magic, the block head, Glass Walking, Human Floss BY myself. I know you guys don't want to be responsible if anyone gets hurt and I know its easier to teach one on one, but right now I can't. Im pretty much to the point of just trying this stuff just cause I am out of options. If you can give me tips, great, if not, I'm going to learn from the school of hard knocks...


Why ask for advice in the first place if you already decided what you wanted the answer to be?
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
Kameron Messmer
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I was hoping I could find some alternatives, since I really cant find an instructor. And I'm not a 13 year old kid who wants to try something cool he saw on tv. Im a professional entertainer who wants to add things to his repertoire. In this part of the country there are not a lot of anything let alone side show performers. There are probably more people in your city than in my whole state. I just thought if I could get some advice I could show the people that go to my shows a bit of the sideshow they don't get to see anywhere else. I'm not trying to be difficult. Sorry.
julieannjohnson
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I'd like to make some suggestions:

1) If you do mix fake with real, don't announce it. By making such an announcement you will only kill your own audience's sense of wonder and if they talk about it or travel to see someone who does these stunts for real, you will end up killing the sense of wonder in the audiences of performers who DO do it for real by introducing audience members to the concept that we ought to question if those performances (or all such performances) are fake. You owe it to the profession to not degrade the work of others. Penn and Teller are not great role models, in my opinion; they have produced a generation of know-it-all, heckling, jaded, cynical audiences.

2) Don't mix fake and real unless you are 100% sure the fake cannot be spotted. Even then, don't do it. What you CAN do is great. Stick with that.

3) If you wanted to train to be a surgeon or a lawyer or an Olympic athlete, it would take you years of study and work. This is your body you are using as a vehicle for some dangerous work. Listen to the opinions of those who have walked farther down this path then you. Save up some money and take the time to travel to a good teacher, if only for three months per year.

These are just the thoughts of someone who would rather be in the audience than eating fire -- but who loves a good show.
Danny Borneo
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Great input Julieann. Kameron, please heed the advice in this thread. Many of us have put countless hours of travel and training into doing what we do because we have a passion for it. There are no shortcuts in this business and you'll be a much more rounded performer for taking the time to study with an experienced instructor. If now is not financially the time for you, then wait. There's no need to rush putting the content in your show just because there are some inferior sources for learning out there. If you truly want to do this do it right. You may even find that stunts that you believe you have 100% knowledge of, it's not really the case and there's much more to learn. We are all still learning on a daily basis.

And the one piece of advice/opinion I have is please please please don't do the gimmicked sword swallowing it is extremely bad looking despite what most magicians would have you believe. Anyone who has seen real sword swallowing can tell it's fake right off the bat and anyone of us who do swallow swords find it to be very insulting considering the amount of time, discomfort and in some people's cases pain and or injury that we have endured.

Danny B.
thegreatnippulini
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Quote:
On 2010-01-05 07:16, julieannjohnson wrote:
Penn and Teller are not great role models, in my opinion; they have produced a generation of know-it-all, heckling, jaded, cynical audiences.


...and they make fecal-loads of money in the process.
The Great Nippulini: body piercer, Guinness World Record holder, blacksmith and man with The World's Strongest Nipples! Does the WORLD care? We shall see...
http://www.greatnippulini.com
Kondini
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So do prostitutes (So I have been told !) Phewww
Harley Newman
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P&T do not produce that cynicism, but they do have greater appeal to a cynical audience than other big-name magicians. Cynicism does not prevent cynical jaws dropping from amazement. I think the line they walk, better enables their audiences to appreciate their artistry. They're not stuck in a world of fluffy assistants.

One of the things that makes them successful, is that their performance is character-driven. With many other shows, we see Robert-Houdin's "actor playing magican" paradigm, and never find clear definition of the performer's identity. With P&T, it's very clear.

P&T don't restrict themselves to "magic". They're entertainers first. They also dip regularly into old clown and vaudeville routines, to great success. They find the way to make each routine a signature piece. People who vanish cars, vanish cars. They rarely HAVE a signature piece.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

www.bladewalker.com
critter
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My opinion:
Teller's 'Silverfish' sums up everything I love about magic.
And Penn is a pretty good juggler and a darn funny dude.
And they are both very intelligent and sweet guys.
To each their own.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
Harley Newman
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I agree, about Silverfish. The rose/shadow routine is one of the most brilliant illusions of the 20th century.

Teller is one of the best working mimes in the world, in the complementary sense of the word "mime". The things in his head, come out through his body. It's a great conversation.

For most mimes, if a tree falls on one in the forest, does anybody care?
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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Stephon
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Quote:
On 2010-01-05 22:21, Harley Newman wrote:
For most mimes, if a tree falls on one in the forest, does anybody care?
Usually, all you hear is applause.
~Les S. Moore, The Dapper Dipper
Swami Yomahmi and Cheeky Monkey Sideshow

"Comedy is a man in trouble." ~Bill Irwin
Kondini
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Then I pop out from behind the tree with chainsaw in hand.
thegreatnippulini
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Except it's an imaginary chainsaw.
The Great Nippulini: body piercer, Guinness World Record holder, blacksmith and man with The World's Strongest Nipples! Does the WORLD care? We shall see...
http://www.greatnippulini.com
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