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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Magicians can't make magic shows anymore, because of the cups? (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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MagiCol
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Imgic, I like what you said! [2 posts ago]. I think most newbies to magic simply copy a routine but I hope they grow in understanding and techneques to personalize the routine for themselves with changes to moves, patter, props, etc.
The presentation makes the magic.
RobertSmith
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On 2012-09-01 12:43, djurmann wrote:
I was thinking about Gazzo, about originality and the affect a good act has on an audience. For me one of the biggest problems has not been mentioned. Often street performances are just unpleasant. The sort of thing where you invite a spectator up, they are all loved up, just married, you ask for their ring and then start making a mockery. Everyone laughs....perhaps even the spectator who owns the ring laughs....what else are they going to do? Everyone is laughing and the magician feels great.

I used to do this sort of humour, I find it really easy and I got lots of laughs....until I realised that the person who was the butt of the joke was sometimes only laughing on the outside. I thought I was really funny; I realised I was just being cruel.

I know some talented lovely kind buskers who would not hurt a fly. They use Gazzo lines like "I'm not your father kid, it could be any one of us". That is just horrid. Sure it works (in street) and everyone laughs. But it is nasty. This kind of stuff has started to leave the theatres. When will it leave the street?

People copy Gazzo's cups and balls routine. But they copy his lines in many routines. Nasty, funny lines. When will artists develop different ones?


The irony about copying his lines is awesome.
Magician Shaun
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You never know what the reaction of a group of spectators could be to a questionable line. Up until today I had a line in my rope routine that went like so: "When my wife first saw this trick she got really excited but then she found out it only works on ropes..." Now I have never noticed anyone upset with this joke, I always direct it towards adults and I never use it if my audience is primarily children. It is my line and has gotten lots of laughs. Today I was working a festival. I was even a sort of Busking Ambassador of sorts to this City, and will be again tomorrow.

I was working my first or second crowd. The rope trick is the second one in my show. I had an edge that was between 20 and 25 people. I used the joke as normal, the adults laughed, and I turned to face the people on my left as I started the Slydini Count. When I turned to my right, half my edge was walking away. A couple of adults were sort of dragging their kids away. I have always looked at this line as extremely tame, PG or PG-13 MAX! Apparently the family that made up about half of my edge at that time didn't feel the same way. I lost half my crowd and had no way to get them back because I had offended them. That was one of the worst feelings ever. I miss judged the crowd and paid for it with a lost crowd. The few people that were left were not enough at that late stage in the show to build the type of crowd that would have come from the 25+ people that were there at the time of the questionable joke. I haven't used it a single time since and I even replaced a semi-questionable line during Jimmy's dreaded cups and balls after the initial vanish of the three balls, I have always looked for a male spectator and asked him to take the balls out of his pockets, I play it up and of course they are not there. I typically quip "They must be in your wife's purse. That is where I keep mine." In light of the walk away's, I changed that to, "There not there? Well I'm not a miracle worker, just a magician."

I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome of this joke change. It actually has gotten more laughs than the other line ever did and it could never be seen as offensive. I know Jimmy is big on family and kid friendly and I thought I was doing OK. Now I fully understand why. Having that group melt away on me with no recourse because I had offended them actually felt awful. I instantly decided that would never, ever happen again! (I also posted about this on my Diary of beginning Street Magician thread)
djurmann
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For me though your rope joke was a) original and b) did not demean or insult any individual. You misjudged the audience....but the joke is a good one and not cruel in any way.

Danny
Mario Morris
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I have always avocated good humour more so on the streets, the streets is for every one and that includes family.

Apearance is also important, now in my show and as a lot of busking magicians do, the tramp is often portrayed.

The Tramp is by far my favourite clown character

Some of the Old Time greats also portrayed the Tramp in their performance, but this can be achieved and you still can be well gromed.

To perform as a Tramp one does not have to smell like one or do they?

While we are talking about do's and don'ts on pitch, bad humour verses good. I would encourege performers not drink or smoke on Pitch.

I have seen this, I am doing a show and in my back ground their is the next performer drinking a beer sucking on Fags. In my mind as a performer kids look up to you as a kind of Mentore, so even when I use to smoke I would not smoke on pitch and the thought of dinking a beer on pitch. Hay I have been saying this for years perhaps I am just old School

Bottom line is each to their own I guess, I do hear of pitches are getting regulated because of Insult humour, Granvel Island is one of them so hear.
I am in Sinapour right now and It is a rule no smoking on pitch never mind drink and for drugs, death sentance!

I guess I have a greater issue with Pitches being regulated than I do with Insult performers who smoke fags on pitch!
Dispite all I just said I beleave with a passion in free expression but then what about family and so I go around on this one.
I have learnt to hold my ideals lightly the streets are constantly teaching me lessons I thought I new!
JoeJoe
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Quote:
On 2012-09-01 12:43, djurmann wrote:
I know some talented lovely kind buskers who would not hurt a fly. They use Gazzo lines like "I'm not your father kid, it could be any one of us". That is just horrid. Sure it works (in street) and everyone laughs. But it is nasty. This kind of stuff has started to leave the theatres. When will it leave the street?


Being as how I believe this horse has already been beaten to death years ago, I'll try to take us off-topic:

My "As Seen on TV" show was written with the goal of being able to pass the 1950's television censors and still hold it's own in today's world of sex violence and drugs plaguing our televisions. Proud to say my show is cleaner than an episode of "Happy Days", and still just as entertaining.

I'm really trying to incorporate more of that show into my street work, but is difficult because the street work is so much more fast paced.

Okay ... I just wanted to say that ... can now resume beating the dead horse. Smile

-JoeJoe
Watch the Pilot Episode of my new TV Show:As Seen on TV: The JoeJoe Magic Show
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djurmann
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Hi Mario,

I'd love to hear how Singapore is working out. I will be there later this year but never dreamt of trying to perform....I thought I would get arrested! Anywhere you would recommend either to perform or to watch?

As for humour I think it is an evolving thing. Bear baiting was once acceptable, now it isn't. The jokes exist because once they were the norm. The jokes persist because they still work....but every year they work for fewer people and more people complain and regulation comes. For me getting some poor schmo up on stage and getting everyone to laugh at them is not a million miles away from times past when a trip to the lunatic asylum to mock the inmates was a fun day out.

Freedom of speech for the individual should not trump the freedom from insult for the majority. If I set up on a street corner and am really offensive, my right to freedom of speech as an individual should not supercede the rights of the many in the neighbourhood. This seems to happen a lot in many areas, the rights of the perpetrator seem to take precedence over the rights of the victim. Why?

Danny

(sorry went a bit tangential to the topic there)

Posted: Sep 2, 2012 4:22am
Sorry Joe Joe, I missed the dead horse first time around!
jimmy talksalot
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I don't think there should be any law against this type of behavior, I just think it's irrisponsible and money driven.

like blareing an amp a block down the street to build a crowd....only a money guy does this.

an artist knows how to use an amp for theater.

once again I don't think there should be a law. but a money guy does not care if he burns that pitch for himself and everyone else, because it's all about him, he'll just find another pitch an artist opened.

you see communities like artists, so they'll let them work, then along comes "the money guy."

with his massive out of control crowds, vulgur insulting humor, and an attitude that everyone owes him money.

when the cops come, he's the first to talk about his "rights"

but what he really wants protected, is his rights to open business on the street without paying taxes, rent, or a business licence....the thought of himself expressing anything (art) only occurs to him when the cops shut him down.

sure the streets is for everyone, but shouldn't people like this have the common sense to book themselves some where, instead of making it hard for the artists and the communities?

I think the solution is for performers to band together and try and control ourselves, we know when we are behaving baddly, even a money guy knows, he just doesn't care, because he wants that extra few dollars he can make using these tactics.

I will say I have seen many instances where the performers have band together to try and stop one really bad money guy with reason, but he continued to raise cain in that town, so the performers finally just sided with the city and the cops and the whole town ran him out.

this is why I think "magicians" can't make magic shows any more....the intention was never to make a magic show, but to make as much money as possible.
gallagher
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Amen.
leolaurindo
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Amen (2)
Eduardo
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Amen (3)
djurmann
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Insult humour has its place.....in a comedy club where the punters know they are going to see an insult comedian.

Take it to a comedy club where the guys in the front row know you are going to pick on them and are looking forward to it.

as for the rest amen (4)
Mario Morris
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I agree with the senterment.
I will express my anger if a big act turns up and trys to blow me out, that is just one side of it.
I also know and respect to many Artist that may fall under that BIG CIRCLE brush that would not.
I would hasten to add the circle show performers I refer to do not all use an amp but their shows are huge but it is an puer joy to watch them perform and an art build a show.

I don't know of any pitches in the UK that have been burnt out by big circle shows.
Qwite the opposite, I know of established pitches that have been built on the back of them.
One classic of which is Covent Garden, the circle performers have fought hand over foot to help save the magic corner.
Bath is another, their are tones of little and big festavles where both circle and door way shows coinside.
Look futher affield India huge street shows with history going back hundreads of years.
Morroco, Marekesh WOW let not right that off.

Some of the world Oldest pitches have circle shows, BIG SHOWS!
Real traverling shows who take their family with them and school them on the road.
Then you have the birth of Circus who origeons was born in the open air.
The first of which where traverling mintrals banding together to provide big show in towns they visited.

I love the history of street performing, I mean the whole bag not this modern take on it.

I love been able to get in a Motor Home and travel to pitches, more so I love the fact I can do so with my Wife Lady Vee.
I admire acts that travel with their family and kids totaly self sustained by passing the hat.

The fact is the way of life of Traverling Show Folk has been under threat for some time and I think we should defend it.
we don't want to forget about the broader family, Carney workers, side show perofmers and even grafters.

When I look at the diffrent avenues of our industry I cant help but think it all goes back to the traverling perofmer, all of it.
In my mind we cant turn you back on Show Business, in my mind we started it, lol!
djurmann
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Loud and clear, the performers at Covent Garden are LOVELY. They have helped me, encouraged me and are altogether wonderful; some of the acts are definitely not Gazzo clones....and they guy who does Gazzo's act is ALSO lovely..... but I can't pretend to like insult humour and do think that greater originality (read variety) would be a good thing.....and now I will take my high horse and ride out of town.

Danny

NOTE: to perform in Magician's corner you do not need a licence....in the rest of Covent Garden you do. If you work or want to work magician's corner then you and me owe a debt to the guys and gals that fight to keep it that way.
jimmy talksalot
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Mario,

my post had nothing to do with circle shows.

this post was about behavior, sorry I thought that was pretty clear.

circle shows aren't what I was complaining about....unless they behave the way I described.

I've seen statue acts so obnoxious that they have been run off a pitch, but I'm not saying I don't like statues.

please read my post again.

for what my opinion is worth I totally agree with your post.

but, if you think the sort of behavior I described is the correct way to do a show, then yes I would finally have to disagree with you.
Mario Morris
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As I said I agree with the senterment.

Any one who knows me, knows what I think of obnoxius behaviour.

I don't want to be part of some Witch hunt so My post is to CLAFY what I love and what I think is worth while defending.
vernon
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Wish I had an answer that would cut mustard Jimmy.

Unfortunately I don't. Got a few things on my mind though.

As someone who teaches, mentors and is in that arena, I'm sure you see more of this than others ( the main push of your initial post). And yes, I realize it can be so frustrating and cause dispair. Dispair that the art of magic is being destroyed, torn apart, spat upon, and used solely as a money maker.

I interviewed Charlie for MagicNews TeleVision last year, and he gave a knowledgeble insight into his work on his cups routine.

I've been doing the cups for over 8 years, and took an easier path, therefore subjugating myself to smaller growth in the field of festivals etc, or respect from my peers, but acknowledge that and am at peace with it. Okay, I'm a hack... At times.

Nick once said, to change one bit every few shows. By the end of a few weeks or do, you'll have a presentation that fits more with you. But always at the back of my mind, is I need to pay rent.

Interesting thread, which is now a 10 pager... Phew!

I'll keep reading

JJ
jimmy talksalot
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I miss you james.

I hope eveything is good with you.

your a good friend.

I've just been going on, running my mouth again.
vernon
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Hey Jimmy. You're not running your mouth. I think you have a very valid point. One that bears mentioning and creating discussion from. I have the greatest respect for you, and your philosophy.
I met up with Chris at Edinburgh and as a magician, it was good to see something else other than the cups. Which is how far it's gone I suppose.
It s endemic, the cups. As this is what I do, I've seen 5, 6 folks at Covent doing the same routine... Me included.

I , as said, realize my shortcomings, and now have my own larger picture to paint. Nothing to do with cups, performing, or busking, for my main income. Just it's taking me time to get it up n running...

I will add though that Gazxo did say learn it as rote, then once one understands the why it works, change it accordingly. To either suit your style or presentation. I haven't done much with it, but have those words ringing in my ears.

Last thing though. What I've learned from Gazzo, did make me better on the streets a lot quicker. I now have skills and understandings I can use in other areas...

I know this isn't relevant to the piece you wrote, I'm just extemporising...

Much love and Respect Jimmy.

JJ
magicalaurie
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Quote:
On 2012-09-03 00:50, vernon wrote:
I will add though that Gazxo did say learn it as rote, then once one understands the why it works, change it accordingly. To either suit your style or presentation. I haven't done much with it, but have those words ringing in my ears.

Last thing though. What I've learned from Gazzo, did make me better on the streets a lot quicker. I now have skills and understandings I can use in other areas...

I know this isn't relevant to the piece you wrote...



To the contrary, it's highly relevant, if those who are doing Gazzo "by rote" are actually doing it out of respect for his own advice, that casts a very different light on the matter, one that's glimmered in the thread a few times, if I recall correctly. Interesting...
"Every thought you think, word you speak, and action you take proceeds from either love or fear. Peace and upset, innocence and guilt, healing and illness all spring from that one fundamental choice." Alan Cohen
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