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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » What happened, was this... » » Poor Showmanship (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

RoyHolidayMagic
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New York
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Has anyone seen a magician performing where the magician did things that were completely out of place? Post them here. Here's mine.

I was at a Monday Night Magic show about a year ago. About 2 or 3 people were chatting at a BARELY AUDIBLE level off to the side of the theater. A well-known magician (one of the producers of Monday Night Magic) was performing. He turned to them, and at the top of his lungs, yelled "SHUT UP. THIS IS A MAGIC SHOW. YOU ARE NOT TO TALK. IF YOU WANT TO TALK GO OUTSIDE." I will not mention his name, but those who have seen this person perform almost surely know who I'm talking about. It doesn't matter how much people are talking, a performing magician should NEVER lose his temper at an audience like that. If anyone in the audience at that point was saying "He is really good" (which he is. He is really, really good with cards), I guarantee you their train of thought turned to "Boy that man's a jacka**. He should learn how to control himself and how to handle an audience."

I would also like to take this time to talk about magicians who are hypocrites. All the time you hear the rant of "never steal lines, jokes, etc." The best magicians I have seen steal lines. If I hear a line that works for my act or a particular trick, I use it. As a matter of fact, the man I was talking about earlier in the post always says "don't steal lines." On the other hand, one of his colleagues (and fellow producer of Monday Night Magic) that I saw performing used a line that was said by Jay Leno on his show on national TV. Now, "I'm not a big time slick city lawyer," but I highly doubt that Leno's writers are stealing from a little magician on an off-broadway show. They have too much on their hands as it is that they don't have to worry about legal battles with a sideshow performer. The fact is, no matter what line you use, chances are it was NOT heard by your audience unless it is from a popular movie or TV show (needless to say, most people don't watch Leno...11:35 isn't exactly a prime timeslot).

I was just wondering what you think about the above 2 issues.
Monte
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I have actually seen a magician grab, and I mean grab, a child on the arm and yank him literally off the stage because he was jumping around on stage. What an embarrassment to our art (and that guy's future as a magician trying to book gigs) This is really sad. A magician, as you said Roy, should never lose his cool no matter the circumstance.
Monte, as in the 3 cards.
indridcold
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Yes, children are very, very sensitive, and saying small things can really upset them at that age. Even doing little magic jokes can embarrass them alot. Be careful with em.
Mark Rough
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Issue #1: I think anything screamed in an English accent is funny. Maybe this was over the top though.

Issue #2: I was at one of the smaller conventions summer and found that one of the higher, shall we say "ranked", magicians performing used several well known lines from some rather well known (and I mean well known to the public) magicians. He does some great magic, and I really like his effects, but this really ruined his presentation for me at least.

It seems to me that if we're going to spend so much time learning effects we should probably spend as much time coming up with original presentations. I'm not an inventor. I use published effects that others have come up with. But I spend the time to create presentations and scripts that are mine.

That being said, I understand how easy it is to happen. Sometimes lines sneak into our minds and we don't consciously know it's happening.

Sorry if I'm sounding especially harsh this morning. I left my glasses at home and am working on a tremendous headache right now.

Mark
What would Wavy do?
daffydoug
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I think this man's outburst was deplorable, and his manners were atrocious. I don't see how he can call himself a magician, he's more like an orangatan, if you ask me. Just makes all the rest of us look bad. Shame on his head.

Smile
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
Rodentia
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He should have head a plan ready, some patter or something, a way to turn them talking into part of the show, to get his point across but not upset the moment..
Fire is a demanding Mistress...

http://combustiblecircus.com
Dannydoyle
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Discussing things that people do out of context without them being involved in the discussion to present their point of view seems less than productive to me. It certainly does not seem to be "helping magicians" either.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Rodentia
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I think that taken as general statements they can be helpful, but as for the other, I see your point, we should have both sides..
Fire is a demanding Mistress...

http://combustiblecircus.com
Josh Riel
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Anecdotes are fine, and sometimes enjoyable to read/hear as far as I'm concerned.
Probably naming the other party/parties is in poor taste particularly if it is a negative story about them.

Obviously attacking the "other" in the anecdote is attacking the idea, as you have no way to know if it is true or not (or if the "other even exists).
On the extreme end of this, in the Internet we don't really even know that each other exist as a general rule. We know who we SAY we are... So insulting the "other" in a story that may not have happened by a person that may not "exist" is even more difficult.

We here are probably getting catfished and reacting to a lie wearing the disguise of an anecdote. So the best thing to do is relax, and enjoy the story for what it is if there is anything to enjoy about it at all.

Having said that, I could give many embarrassing anecdotes of a magician doing things out of place, or just terribly... unfortunately I am usually that magician. In magic as in my profession, and life I have learned how to do well by making error after error and learning from them. Almost everything I know I have learned by screwing up, I wish I could learn by example.
Magic is doing improbable things with odd items that, under normal circumstances, would be unnessecary and quite often undesirable.
GlennLawrence
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Josh, don't be too hard on yourself, that is the case for most, if not all of us. What is that saying again, "Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement" So true!
imgic
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I've been watching too many youtube videos during pandemic and I've stumbled across comedian Steve Hofstetter.

He makes it a point to address people talking during his show...his view is the audience paid money to see a show, and he wants to give them the best show possible. So if you talk or disrupts his show he calls you out on it. Which has included telling people to leave.

Regarding poor showmanship, the example I think of is at a Magic Open mic a few years back. In the middle of a set, magician says "I'll be right back" and leaves stage. Well over 5 minutes later (as crowd is getting restless) he returns in on of those big puffy T-Rex dinosaur suits. And proceeds to do a card trick. I couldn't hear the patter thru the costume...think it was something about T-Rex having small hands. But it just tanked. And he'd been doing okay up to then...but audience lost interest, got to talking, and overall just bombed.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
GlennLawrence
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Randolph NJ
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Wow that is pretty bad- I can't imagine how any performer would think just leaving the stage for 5 minutes would be a good idea.
Steve Hofstetter is great and if you like videos of comedians dealing with hecklers he's got tons of them!
Russo
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So.California / Centl.Florida / retired Florida
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One time, when I was doing a Birthday Party in New York City, a little girl interrupted the Show - asking "Why do you tawlk so funny ' (we just moved from S. Calif. where I was brought up ). I didn't say any thing, but thought -"I Taulk funny ?" - years later when we moved to Florida light N.Y. accent - changed to a Florida accent. Fun Fun Fun.
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