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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The International Brotherhood of Magicians! » » Should lectures held by rings be family friendly? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

harris
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Harris Deutsch
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I think so. Perhaps I am old fashion, but I thought this was a given. Recently I went to a lecture sponsored by a ring. The magician is well known internationally. He is great at putting together moves and his magic chops are top notch. His patter was far from family friendly that I have come to expect connected to International Brotherhood of Magician's events. After the lecture, I wrote to the ring's officers and stated my opinion. What would (or have you) done in that instance.

Be safe, well and creative.

Harris
aka the doctor of laughlogy
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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Harris,

I think you are making very good points. As an old entertainer and booking agent, the shock factor of language used by some entertainers and lecturers is totally out of place in IBM Ring meetings. An individual is eligible for Ring and IBM membership at age 10! There is adult responsibility to that member.

Violations need to be reported and made public to the IBM membership, if not others too. It is not the magic we need to promote in affiliation with Rings and the International Brotherhood of Magicians.

I'm stopping here. However, as many of you know, I'm the guy with the routine "I Don't Do Blue Material". My audiences are usually adult audiences! (And this is year #51 for me in magic!)

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Someone asked me if there were kids there. In fact there were not. I believe it is important to act as if there were kids. The lecture was well attended and the lecturer had been to this location before. I had not seen him lecture, but have seen videos of his magic that were family friendly.

A kind (an honest friend/magician) who had seen this person before, advised me about the nature of the patter. I did not heed his advice(based on my ego wanting to learn some more top notch magic) His description actually was much more "tame", then what I heard and saw. (some props also not appropriate for family venues)

Harris
still 2 old to know it all
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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Ray Bertrand
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Ottawa, Ontario
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Harris I agree wholeheartedly with you. The simple fact that IBM members are mixed gender and have children as young as 10 as members should preclude any offensive language, behaviour and props. No one needs to be subjected to 'blue material'. When I started in magic around 50 years ago my mentor told me 'blue material' was offensive and not needed to entertain. Good for you for speaking out.

Ray
And I don't know it all either!
Mentalism in Ontario.
Payne
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There are no hard and fast rules. Certainly common sense should prevail and if there are children present one should refrain from doing certain types of performances. But if it is an all adult crowd I really wouldn't have too much issue with it, especially if the performer was known for doing such material.

You said there weren't any children present so, at last for me, this is a non issue. It's like when Lance Burton opened his show atr the Hacienda and recieved no end of flak from a certain segment of the magic community because he had topless assistants and sexually suggestive routines in his late show. I thought it was a far better and more artisticaly viable performance than the toned down one that eventaully made it to the Monte Carlo. But then the Monte Carlo show was designed to be more "family Friendly".

As Eugene Burger says "The house of magic has many rooms" not all of them are the family room.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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I agree folks that work certain venues have the right to play to what they think the audience. Knowing your audience is an important aspect to being an entertainer. When I lived in Reno, I worked at the State Hospital as well as occasionally in the casinos. During that time, I saw all types of acts. As I get older, my taste in entertainment as well as other things has gotten a bit conservative.

Yes the house of magic has many rooms. This nearly normal writer over the years has had residents with many types of rooms. My college house was full of cockaroaches. My room mate was studying them. Today I live in a house that has a stair glider. My wife and I bought a house so her parents could move in with us.
Their bathroom has hospital support bars and a modified shower. Annie and I decided to hire a person to come in and help clean our home.

My hope is that the house of the I.B.M., keeps it's rooms clean as well.

Harris
laughologist and nearly normal reader and righter
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
Payne
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The room with the roaches sounds a lot more fun, well interesting at least.

My hope is that the house of the I.B.M. (and all other clubs as well) is open to all types of performers and artists with varying views, philosophies and styles. Otherwise I fear you'll find that the membership will soon only be comprised of those who need hospital support bars installed in their bath.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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I love our local club. It is a mix of older folks like me as well as the younger. I am amazed at the quick learning curve some of our younger members have. I have learned much from them.

From color changing decks of cards, now we have moving tatoo's and sun tan lines.

Perhaps some day I will see linking piercings.

An open mind is a good thing...

When my mind is too open, things tend to fall out.

Payne ...I appreciate your writings and your creative magic.

Harris
still 2 old to know it all...
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
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DWRackley
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I have been very careful to describe my performances as "grown-up, but not 'adult'” (a word which has become synonymous with “obscene”). Kids do come to my shows, and I make it a point to involve them since, as any family magician knows, if the kids love you, their parents love you. But I see mentalism as naturally targeting a more intellectually mature audience, and I do make that clear whenever I’m describing it. But definitely not “adult”!

In the case of the IBM lecture, you did the right thing writing to the club leadership. Movies have a rating system designed specifically to prevent shocking surprises. An IBM lecture is not a casino, and professional decorum should always be a consideration. While I believe this talk is out of place at any IBM function, at the very least a “warning” should have been issued a few weeks before the lecture so that potential attendees could plan accordingly.
...what if I could read your mind?

Chattanooga's Premier Mentalist

Donatelli and Company at ChattanoogaPerformers.com

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Bob Sanders
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That is too true. There is no difference between "adult" and "obscene" to many people.
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com
robwar0100
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Harris,

I was not sure where you were going with this post based on the title. What I thought was this: Should lectures held by Rings be events for the entire family? My answer to that question is "no," the lectures are for magicians, not families.

However, my answer to your actual question is "yes." I am not a kid, but I don't want to be exposed to off-color language, blue humor, you name it. I am not the person I used to be, and I just don't want to hear it.

I think it would be a good idea for each Ring to establish a policy *if* its members don't want that kind of interaction. If the members don't care, obviously no need for a policy.

Bobby
"My definition of chance is my hands on the wheel," Greg Long.
Ray Bertrand
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Well put Bobby. I am not a kid anymore either and I am definitely not the person I used to be. Off-color language and blue humour (vulgar, degrading to women, etc.) is not necessary in order to entertain. I also agree that lectures by themselves should be for magicians and not families.

Ray
Mentalism in Ontario.
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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"Adult vs Blue".

Recently I had an agent contact me who thought my act would only appeal to the "kids". Though I do enjoy shows for kids(from preschool to high school), My Doctor of Laughology program can be appreciated by an all adult audience.
Due to a last minute cancellation, the agent agreed to try me out. The venue was kind enough to let him know the were very pleased. (a 4.8 on a 5 rating scale--and the agent told me they never give out 5's).

As I wrote in a different section of the Café, I do use the "blues", when I wail on the harmonica. I have wailed in places like churches, synagogues (on the shofar it is harder to bend notes) and even at 18th and Vine in Kansas City)

Harris
still 2 old to know it all
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
robwar0100
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Harris,

Your post reminded me of a story I wrote for the I.B.M. Magic Portal. After Peter Reveen was honored for his contributions to our art, I talked to him to do a story for the website. During our interview, he said he always performed a clean act. The Man They Call Reveen said that was part of the reason he was successful. If you have a clean show, then everybody can attend. As the kids who attended your shows grow older, they will take their kids.

Here is the Reveen story: http://www.magician.org/portal/es/node/914

Bobby
"My definition of chance is my hands on the wheel," Greg Long.
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Thanks for the link to the story.

Clean is good. Also noted in the article...importance of remembering "Star" backwards is
"Rats".

Side note....Last week I discovered there is an actual routine called "I don't do blue material". It is a great combination of the 21st century hanks and "sucker egg".
I am an owner of the effects and posted a review in the Tricks and effects.

Be safe, well and creative.

Harris
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
Pengnome
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There is a time and place for crude language. If the entertainer/lecturer was known as being a bit edgy I would expect an edgy presentation. e.g. I would feel a bit short changed if Penn Jillette didn’t swear as it suits his presentation style.

You did the right thing in writing to the organisers though. If the general consensus is that this group doesn't like a particular type of act then they shouldn't book it. It is all about context.
Pengnome
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There is a time and place for crude language. If the entertainer/lecturer was known as being a bit edgy I would expect an edgy presentation. e.g. I would feel a bit short changed if Penn Jillette didn’t swear as it suits his presentation style.

You did the right thing in writing to the organisers though. If the general consensus is that this group doesn't like a particular type of act then they shouldn't book it. It is all about context.
Paul Budd
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I am reminded of some time ago, when Chris Randall lectured for Ring 266 in Tyler, Texas. Chris has an amazing way about himself and is a skilled performer. HOWEVER, I distincly remember at his lecture, there being 1 or 2 under-18 magi........I felt uncomfortable listening to Chris spend 20 minutes in that lecture talk about how much um..........."romance" he'd gotten via magic. No, technically, he didn't use profanity, but the timbre of his "message" was clear......the theme was very adult, and I KNOW FOR A FACT that a number of middle-aged members felt uncomfortable with kids being in the room......some of them still talk about it today!! No, he hasn't been invited back to our club (it didn't help that it looked like he spent all of 10 minutes typing up his lecture notes, either). Granted, Chris was a long way from 30 at the time, so we'll just chalk it up to 20-something immaturity, but he was old enough to've known better.....I'll say that much.
I did, however, like how much time he spent talking about the day-to-day existence of being a working magician.....that was valuable.
His face isn't really this long in-person!
___________________________________________
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SIX
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I think its a tough question...If the performer, uses such langauge in his performance, TO enhance his act..Then it would be unfair to ask him to cut it out..Unfotunately, In magic, we get hired and do what the people hiring want us to do, in order to get a paycheck..We do NOT get to be artist, and paint the image we wish to do because we have to eat..So to me, it should be allowed if that is the image he wants to pay, because if we cant be artist amongst our peers, where can we be?

Yet, I think the person should know his act and mention, this may be 18 and older..Overall though, I feel that there should be a high level of respect between the audience and the performer. This is just me, when I perform..I know some people insult audience members. I feel, and I can only speak for my self... I want to connet with my audience, and if that means there is somone younger there, its my DUTY as performer to adjust accordingly so he/she has as good a time as everyone else.
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