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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Looking out for our own » » Tony James has passed away. (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Red Shadow
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I just discovered that 'Tony James' from Cheshire, England has just passed away. He specialized in Punch and Judy shows and was an active poster on this forum.

We had spoken several times and I met him for a coffee once. Although most of our correspondence were through topics on here.

I thought you guys should know.

Stephen
magicgeorge
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Belfast
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Oh no, that's very sad. I loved his posts on here, he had a great way with words and was a fount of knowledge. He'll be missed. Thanks for letting us know, Stephen
Mary Mowder
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Sorry to hear that.

I always enjoyed Tony's posts.

-Mary Mowder
Danny Hustle
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Please say it isn't so! He was just posting a couple of days ago on the Busker's! I am just shattered. Tony was such a gentleman and all around good bloke. Always willing to share a laugh or help a fellow out. He was a tremendous storyteller and knew everyone! I learned so much from him. I'm absolutely gutted. God Speed Tony!
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kimmo
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What a shame. Tony was a great bloke. Thanks for letting us know Stephen.
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shomemagic
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May the good lord comfort all his family and friends during this most difficult time.
Magically,

Mike King - Sho-Me Magic

You can e-mail me at: shomemagic@gmail.com
Potty the Pirate
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Tony was such an enthusiastic and knowledgeable contributor to many discussions, always full of great advice. He will be sadly missed.
Dynamike
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He was well liked. Everyone will miss him sadly. RIP in heaven our dear friend.
Harry Murphy
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Such sad news! He was a delight to banter with! We shared stories of Punch professors now and then. He forgot more about busking than I'll ever know. His whit, charm, and knowledge will be missed.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
TomBoleware
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That is very sad news. Tony was an ok guy.
Thoughts and prayers for his friends and family.

Tom
"Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week"--Lori Greiner

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Jolly Roger
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I am devastated. Tony was a real showman and a trouper. Do a search of The Magic Café and you will see his words of wisdom are some of the best posts ever made on this forum. I shall miss him terribly. There will never be another Tony James. JR
Gerry Walkowski
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Danny,

You're really missed on the Magic Café. Would you consider returning?

Gerry
Jolly Roger
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Quote:
On Sep 1, 2014, Gerry Walkowski wrote:
Danny,

You're really missed on the Magic Café. Would you consider returning?

Gerry


I believe he just did, Gerry.

I think this was the last post Tony made on the Café, and it is typical of his wit, intermigled with truth:

"If you wish to know the 'going rate' in the UK simply attend the Blackpool Convention and quietly listen. You'll soon get the picture.

The going rate is around £500 for an hour and everyone is working flat out, several shows a day, everyday of the week and they are all desperate to lay off work they cannot cope with.

Now for American readers allow me to translate.

The going rate is anything from £50 to £80 an hour, maybe £100 for two hours. Weekends only. There is no midweek work at all outside of term/half term holidays as most parents both work all day. So there's no one at home to make a party happen except in poor districts where parents are frequently unemployed and on state benefits. Not much profit in those areas.

There are vast numbers of children's entertainers offering themselves and there are frankly hardly any working professionally. They couldn't make a living. So they are all working part time with a day job. And because there's no mid week work they are not losing out.

Very few families survive with mother at home with the children - they need the money.

And in the richer areas you find that families have few if any relatives living within 100 miles so there is no one around to help in that sense. Why?

Because future professionals meet at university normally a very long way from their homes and when they marry they end up in yet another area of the country also a long way from their families. It's a major weekend away for grandparents to travel for the child's first birthdays and often the novelty wears off by the time the child has attained five years.

Different in poor areas where people go to school and then either local work or unemployment. They marry locally, live locally and have families around them but often little money for parties.

I daresay America is similar.

And generally parties are in short supply even at weekends. Sundays are prime, Saturdays are thin."

R.I.P. Tony...
Danny Hustle
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Quote:
On Sep 1, 2014, Gerry Walkowski wrote:
Danny,

You're really missed on the Magic Café. Would you consider returning?

Gerry


No Gerry, but thanks for the kind words. Lets keep this thread about Tony,
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"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! I’m so sick of posts being deleted without any reason given, and by unknown people at that." - Steve Brooks Sep 7, 2001 8:38pm
©1999-2014 Daniel Denney all rights reserved.
Jolly Roger
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I think, out of respect to Tony, it would be great to copy and paste your favourite "Tony James" posts on the Café. He gave us a goldmine of information. Just do a search of "Tony James" to find them. JR
Jolly Roger
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Here is Tony on P and J scripting:

"To be honest there isn't really a script. Not something you can just go out and use. The How To books - and there are several - all include scripts but none of them was ever intended to be taken literally. They are all a framework on which to build your own show.

What's important is structure. Get that right and you van hang words on it and change them at will. Get it wrong and no matter how good or clever the words, the show won't work.

Remember, you don't need many words. Punch is a show of movement and visual humour, not puppets delivering speeches.

The original How To was by Sydney De Hempsey. 1941 or therabouts, published by London Dealer Max Andrews - Vampire Magic. Jay Marshall eventually aquired the rights and republished around 1976. Try Magic Inc.

Not a good script but some clever extras. The frame is of little use. The Fraser book shows an almost identical frame.

Edwin Hooper came next in 1963 with Hallo Mr Punch. Supreme Magic of course. Good advice, a frame plan I'm told doesn't work and a good script that's an abreviated version of a very good one put out by Oscar Oswald - The Magic Mart.

Oscar supplied it in typesheet form quarto paper size. Remember that? Oscar's full version is balanced whilst Edwin's version is unbalanced because it's been cut down. John Styles now runs The Magic Mart. He is also Punchman to the Queen.

Eric Sharpe put out Specialised Punch & Judy in the 80s. A good How To book as you'd expect from a time served pro. A lot of good advice. Personally I think of it as a book for someone who's already doing Punch, rather than someone starting out.

The latest How To is Successful Punch & Judy by Glyn Edwards. Once again, Glyn is at pains to remind his reader that the script is just a frame work on which to hang your own show. It goes into deatil about applying the knowledge you will gain from this book. And it's up-to-date.

There isn't one script anywhere that I would attempt to replicate. But every one I've read has some nuggets worth lifting. Even the Piccini routine. A couple of lines from that still pull laughs 200 years after they were first uttered.

The one book every Punchman should have is nothing to do with scripts. It's John Alexander's The Expanded Frame File. This is pure gold.

Forget the frames described in the How To books and buy this. A major revised version of the original Frame File. So many styles. So much detail. You shouldn't have problems making up one of these. And so many hints and tips too.

Check out http://maskandpuppetbooks.co.uk/

The Expanded Frame File is here and Gly Edwards book. The others you'll pick up second hand on the internet.

Remember, get the script structure right and hang your own lines and ideas on it - and those you have borrowed from other scripts. Keep the words to a minimum, the actions/movement to the maximum.

And PLEASE - someone - tell me what 'real' violence means."
Jolly Roger
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By the way, do any of you know who the avatar was that Tony used on the Café? I do, and my guess is that some of the Brits also do. JR
Stevethomas
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Very sad news.
Stevethomas
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Very sad news.
Mary Mowder
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Was it George Carl in the avatar?

Roger, thanks for the re-post of the one about prices. I remember reading that and laughing while acknowledging the truth of it here in the United States.

-Mary Mowder
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