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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » How to look for a stage name? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Edith
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Germany
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Hey guys,

I', looking for a stage name that I can use to represent myself as an artist (magic and aerial artistics).

What is there to consider when choosing a stage name? For what reasons do people change their stage names again? What are common mistakes when choosing a stage name?

Thanks!
djurmann
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thinks time to practice and stop writing
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I plan to call myself the mysterious Eman Egats,and dress as a Victorian gentleman.

Though I am not proud.....if you want to use this instead then be my guest.
Dynamike
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Eternal Order
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You are your own own boss when picking a name. You be the judge.
DWRackley
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Wow, that could be a whole book! There are several options, but mostly it has to appeal to you, and be something memorable to your audience.

Many people think there’s nothing wrong with using your own name on stage, although some names “sound” more magical than others.

If it’s unusual, just a first (or last) name could be useful as well, like Oprah, Arsenio, or Shaq. Doesn’t even have to sound like your real name; Sade’s legal name is Helen Folasade Adu.

Or it could be entirely fictitious; there are several “Sam the Magic Man”s running around out there!

The main thing is that it should be something you like, that you personally identify with, that you can own. As long as it’s not patently offensive or completely opposite of your style, getting “name recognition” is a fairly standard business process. If your audience likes you, they’ll want to remember your name.

This is a time you can have fun.
...what if I could read your mind?

Chattanooga's Premier Mentalist

Donatelli and Company at ChattanoogaPerformers.com

also on FaceBook
Father Photius
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El Paso, TX (Formerly Amarillo)
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This question gets asked a lot. And the answers are generally the same. Stage names should be easy to remember and fit your character. My great uncle went through quite a few of them in his career. Every hear of Harry Boughton? or the Two Franciscos, or Harry Bouton and Company, or Fredrick the Great? Well Uncle Harry tried all of them and none played exceptionally well for him. Then he tried the name of a cigar, Blackstone, and somehow that seemed to work. So you never know. Personally I have used many stage names and changed them often (sometimes in the middle of my act, depending on how it was going). Some of them still surprise me to this day, such as Shihan Mietra, and Omyn (which was actually my maternal grandfather's middle name and the one he went by). I used my own name both birth name and post ordination name. Never made it as big as Uncle Harry. Many can't pronounce it properly, but seems Fr. Photius has gotten me wider notice than any other.
What ever you do, don't ad "ini" to the end of your name, and try to avoid the cliche "The Great" or "The Amazing". Simple and matching your character (i.e. don't try to do a straight tails type magician with a stange name like Mortermer Snerd). Now Dynamike is called Dynamike, well because he just is.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
Dynamike
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Quote:
On 2011-12-11 21:19, Father Photius wrote:
Now Dynamike is called Dynamike, well because he just is.

Thanks.
Edith
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DWRackley, I have a difficult time having fun with it.... By any chance IS there a book about it? I mean one that actually helps and explores all possibilities? Right now I find it difficult to be creative with names because there are so many possibilities and I don't even know half of them. So I am afraid that when I pick a name, I will have or want to change again just a weeks later after having new business cards and a new website because I learn something new which makes my name look stupid in MY eyes so I am not satisfied with it any more.
Megan
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This advice is coming from acting and the theatre not magic but I hope it still applies;

My recommendation would be to first think of what kind of performer you are. Do you work with children, adults or both? You name needs to be appropriate and to appeal to your target market. What brand of performance will you specialise in- parties, corperate, street? Your name needs to fit that. What style of magic do you do - stage, closeup, mentalism?

People would be confused by a children's entertainer with a slick, sophisticated stage name, and buisnesses and adults could not want to hire someone with a childish sounding name.

If you think about all these things then things could start closing down for you - eliminating possibilities.

Finally think more personally about yourself - what emotive words would you use to describe how you want to appear to others? Glamorous? Refined? Sparky and energetic? Think of names that fit with these words.


Another idea is to trawl through family history and favourite books for inspiration.


Most important is to remember that the name you're choosing is how people find you - it needs to be unique and easily memorable and 'Googlable' - nothing too generic and nothing too complicated to spell.

Above all remember that this is your choice and it's ultimately about how you want to present yourself. Only you can decide that.

Best of luck - and why not post some options for people to give their opinion on?

M
x
Ringo Manzana
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When I first got into radio, I chose a DJ name using my real first name and the name of a local, well-travelled street. Fortunately, that made for a pretty good DJ name.

Of course, there's the old "what's your stripper name" game, in which you take your first pet's name and the first street you lived on. A co-worker came up with "Coco Sinclair," which is awesome. Mine was "Sparky Walnut."

As for the name Ringo Manzana, "Ringo" is Japanese for "apple," and "Manzana" is Spanish for "apple." I like foreign languages, and I thought it sounded cool. I was considering having an invisible partner named "Outis" (Greek for "nobody"), but I wasn't sure anybody would get it.
Edith
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I am not such a big fan of posting some options since I come from Germany which means that names feel different.

I want a versatile name. One that's like camelion. A name that is big but isn't too big when I don't fufill it yet. A name that is elegant and strong. One that fits magic AND artistics. But it should be able to be rough enough that I can be a woman and don't have to stay a girl forever.
rjthomp
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Anything with "ini" added to the end of it sounds great!

-Robini
DWRackley
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Some very good advice above. And don’t be afraid to change the name if you need to. My proper name is Donald; most friends call me Don. My nom de plume has always been a derivation of that: WhoDonny (very young, then!), Patrick Donovan, and now Donatelli. If you’re just starting out in magic don’t think of it as a career decision. You are allowed to change.

Note Father Photius’ post above. I’ve enjoyed many hours reading about his uncle. If you didn’t figure it out, this was the Great Blackstone! A story goes that at one time a printer had made up some handbills for another magician, who didn’t pick them up. Harry bought them (at deep discount!) and performed as Fredrik The Great!

My German is probably the worst ever, but Edith Zauber wouldn’t be a terrible first attempt.
...what if I could read your mind?

Chattanooga's Premier Mentalist

Donatelli and Company at ChattanoogaPerformers.com

also on FaceBook
djurmann
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Edith,

Do you play in multiple countries? What sounds great in German may sound weird in French.

Just a thought.

Danny

Ringo - I like the Outis idea...it is nice if only a few people get it. I used to do a story with a Chinese dragon whose powerful breath blew the washing off of the lines of the locals (queue silk on rope routine). The name I gave the dragon meant in Madanrin - Mighty Fart. It added another chuckle for any Mandarin speaking Chinese.

Besides - it will raise a smile in your heart whenever YOU say it.
Kingman
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Personally, I chose my name because my real name is one that people forget because it is uncommon. I tried to pick something that would fit an old time gambler personae, someone you might see in a western saloon. One thing that I did was brainstorm on a giant white board. I just started writing all kinds of words associated with what and how I perform. Whether it was effect names or style or props didn't matter; I just wrote everything and anything. Eventually the letters seem to coalesce into what I now use and have always used.

Kingman
-*-The Card Magic of Kingman-*-

I took the Pledge
Aus
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Edith, I’m going to be presumptuous here and suggest to you that you’re not ready to choose a stage name yet. I make this assumption based on some of your replies to advice others have already given you, namely your points on fear of not fulfilling the lofty heights that your name may suggest, having to change your business cards later down the track due to a possible change of heart and wonting a name that is cameleon in nature.

All this suggests to me that you’re not confident in who you are as a performer and my advice to you in this case is work more on your act and performing persona in an effort to define who you are so you intrinsically know yourself what stage name best suits you. No one here on the café knows you better then yourself and we certainly don’t have a crystal ball allowing us the insight if the name we suggest now will be the same one you will like years down the track.

Plus in my opinion, what you’re asking is counter intuitive to what a stage name is, which is something that defines who you are as performer, and if the need arises that it no longer fits you and your persona anymore, then rather than trying to find a name that has a “one size fits all” characteristic, find one that defines you specifically. You will only benefit from it in the long run.

For business cards etc., in the interim I would suggest you use a business name rather than a stage name and if I was to throw my hat into the ring with a suggestion, I would say “Magical Horizons” as a fitting name that encompasses both magic and aerial artistics.

Magically

Aus
Edith
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Aus, I see what you are saying.


Business name is fine, too. I actually just want something that people can call me when they introduce me. Most circus artists just go by their regular name which sometimes sounds silly, weird, normal or just doesn't quite fit.

When being on stage and creating an act, I think about a stage character which I play. This character gets her own name which doesn't have to have anything in common with my stage name.

So I may get introduced like: " The next act is "name-of-the-act" with "stage-name"! " or "Next: "stage-name" as "character-name"!" or " "stage-name" with her "name of the act" aerial silks act."

I am looking for a pseudonym for me as an artist, not a name that a character on stage gets. I wanted to change what-I-go-by-with for more than 2 years now because it is just like: magicedith, or edith the magic woman which sounds rather childish and not thought through.
jasonmcconnie
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Great advice Megan. Very thoughtful;

Quote:
On 2011-12-12 18:32, Megan wrote:
This advice is coming from acting and the theatre not magic but I hope it still applies;

My recommendation would be to first think of what kind of performer you are. Do you work with children, adults or both? You name needs to be appropriate and to appeal to your target market. What brand of performance will you specialise in- parties, corperate, street? Your name needs to fit that. What style of magic do you do - stage, closeup, mentalism?

People would be confused by a children's entertainer with a slick, sophisticated stage name, and buisnesses and adults could not want to hire someone with a childish sounding name.

If you think about all these things then things could start closing down for you - eliminating possibilities.

Finally think more personally about yourself - what emotive words would you use to describe how you want to appear to others? Glamorous? Refined? Sparky and energetic? Think of names that fit with these words.


Another idea is to trawl through family history and favourite books for inspiration.


Most important is to remember that the name you're choosing is how people find you - it needs to be unique and easily memorable and 'Googlable' - nothing too generic and nothing too complicated to spell.

Above all remember that this is your choice and it's ultimately about how you want to present yourself. Only you can decide that.

Best of luck - and why not post some options for people to give their opinion on?

M
x
Aus
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Australia
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Quote:
On 2011-12-14 12:16, Edith wrote:
Aus, I see what you are saying.


Business name is fine, too. I actually just want something that people can call me when they introduce me. Most circus artists just go by their regular name which sometimes sounds silly, weird, normal or just doesn't quite fit.

When being on stage and creating an act, I think about a stage character which I play. This character gets her own name which doesn't have to have anything in common with my stage name.

So I may get introduced like: " The next act is "name-of-the-act" with "stage-name"! " or "Next: "stage-name" as "character-name"!" or " "stage-name" with her "name of the act" aerial silks act."

I am looking for a pseudonym for me as an artist, not a name that a character on stage gets. I wanted to change what-I-go-by-with for more than 2 years now because it is just like: magicedith, or edith the magic woman which sounds rather childish and not thought through.


Magic is an art form to Edith, so I’m a little perplexed at your distinction between an artist and a person on stage because the implications that somehow a name chosen for an artist is somehow different to a name chosen for a magician to me is just wrong. As far as I’m concerned they are one and the same and not to draw a to finer point on it I feel that despite you saying that your stage name has nothing to do with your character you have made some character based stipulations as follows:


Quote:
A name that is big but isn't too big when I don't fufill it yet. A name that is elegant and strong. One that fits magic AND artistics. But it should be able to be rough enough that I can be a woman and don't have to stay a girl forever


I’m not trying to nit-pick here but I’m just trying to clarify what you’re looking for.

Magically

Aus
maxnew40
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I am also trying to come up with a stage name. I perform at local medieval SCA events and my SCA name is Nigel Compton, my real name is Max Newman.

I have thought about "The Nearly Amazing Nigel" "Miraculous Max" "Nigellus"

I just haven't hit on the right name yet, nothing has really clicked with me so far.

-Max
Drosselmeyer
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West Hollywood, CA
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@Ringo...too funny! Never heard that before. My Stripper name is Lady Craig!
Regards,

--Drosselmeyer
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