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taranwandering
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Hi Everyone!

I'm pretty new to learning magic-- it's such an amazing art! I'm building patter for some basic tricks I've pieced together and/or picked up, and I'd love to develop some patter related to my LGBTQ background. I can't think of too many magicians who bring this into their act, so I'd love if anyone can think of some examples. In general, I'm interested in learning more about magic history, especially where it intersects with LGBTQ identities.

Thank you!
davidpaul$
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With respect, what does it matter? Just entertain. Why does sexual orientation have to be interjected. People are people and for the most part, like to be entertained and amazed.
Just my opinion.
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
gaddy
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Quote:
On Feb 21, 2021, davidpaul$ wrote:
With respect, what does it matter? Just entertain. Why does sexual orientation have to be interjected. People are people and for the most part, like to be entertained and amazed.
Just my opinion.



It's entirely valid to talk about this subject, if the magician and the audience want to.

I say go for it. It's a subject that hasn't had a lot of "exposure" Smile so there's a lot a lot of ways that this could be approached, @taranwandering. Have fun, and good luck!

For a short while, I used one of Gazzo's lines in my street show: "I'm not gay, and I should know! I've tried it 10, maybe 15 times- and it's just not for me..."
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
taranwandering
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On Feb 21, 2021, davidpaul$ wrote:
With respect, what does it matter? Just entertain. Why does sexual orientation have to be interjected. People are people and for the most part, like to be entertained and amazed.
Just my opinion.


To clarify: I’m mostly learning magic as a hobby and art form, but the most likely venues where I’ll perform will be at lgbtq fundraisers; I already volunteer a lot in the community (not doing magic, just as a volunteer). I’d like to develop some routines that fit these contexts well, since I have a lot of opportunities to perform if I do.
The Burnaby Kid
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On Feb 22, 2021, taranwandering wrote:
I’d like to develop some routines that fit these contexts well, since I have a lot of opportunities to perform if I do.


Are you saying that the venues require you to design your script around being in the community? I'm genuinely asking. There have been plenty of gay magicians throughout history, but they didn't explore the topic of identity much in their act -- they would just show up and be awesome.
JACK, the Jolly Almanac of Card Knavery, a free card magic resource for beginners.
Dougini
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Doesn't Jeff Hobson do a sort of "gay" act? Just wondering...

Doug
Russo
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Sorry- since it came up, I must interject this - during my teen age years I had many Male gays try to subdue me (want to play? - party? - touch? ) - knowing I was a Man - I escaped such tries. Please, lets not interject this into Magic.
JonHackl
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I think there's nothing in principle wrong with this kind of thing. A lot of magicians like to infuse their magic with some kind of meaning or relevance to life, like believing in yourself or making decisions or whatever kind of themes. So why not some meaning specially relevant to LGBTQ people?

I'm afraid I can't give much in the way of suggestions. I usually find attempts to put "meaning" into magic pretty corny. But I bet if you watch a lot of magic and look for these kinds of acts you can find something adaptable for your intended audience. Over at r/magic some guys have started this thing called Scripting Saturday where they share presentation ideas for different tricks. Some of them are life-lesson oriented, for example:

Wishful thinking https://www.reddit.com/r/Magic/comments/......ontext=3

Needs and wants https://www.reddit.com/r/Magic/comments/......ontext=3

Several ideas here https://www.reddit.com/r/Magic/comments/......ontext=3

You biggest fear https://www.reddit.com/r/Magic/comments/......ontext=3

You'll notice one contributor frequently gives these kinds of presentations. Again, it's not my style, but he seems to have good ideas if you like this kind of thing.
"Magic is the only kind of entertainment where 90% of the audience is trying to ruin it for themselves." - Pete Holmes
JonHackl
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On Feb 22, 2021, Russo wrote:
Sorry- since it came up, I must interject this - during my teen age years I had many Male gays try to subdue me (want to play? - party? - touch? ) - knowing I was a Man - I escaped such tries. Please, lets not interject this into Magic.


I don't think the suggestion is to do magic themed around abuse!!
"Magic is the only kind of entertainment where 90% of the audience is trying to ruin it for themselves." - Pete Holmes
davidpaul$
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I am male, Straight and married to my wife and have 2 children. I don't think about some sort of presentation or patter related to my sexuality. Like The Burnaby Kid stated above , "Just Be Awesome" I don't get it. What you do is your business. I love magic too and just want to share it and show people respect and love no matter who they are, without interjecting a lifestyle.
That's the way I see it.
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
The Burnaby Kid
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To be clear, I wasn't trying to pass judgement on anything one way or the other. My own personal view is that a presentation's primary purpose is to help the magic. I don't see how signalling sexuality (of any kind, queer or straight) inherently helps the magic, although I don't see how it inherently hurts the magic either.
JACK, the Jolly Almanac of Card Knavery, a free card magic resource for beginners.
JonHackl
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To be honest, davidpaul$, that was my initial reaction. But then, I'm not one for putting life lessons and "moral of the story" into magic tricks in the first place. For example, I'm a Christian but not a big fan of gospel magic. But the fact that there is such a thing as gospel magic, or that other magicians like to use patter about conquering fears or whatever else, means that in principle there's no reason a magician couldn't do this kind of thing in ways that are particularly relevant for an LGBTQ audience.

Actually, I did use a magic trick in a Bible lesson once. My youth group asked me about the "mark of the beast" from Revelation 13. So I had three of them each pick a card from the deck, hold it in their right hand and up to their forehead, and behold, each card was a 6. lol
"Magic is the only kind of entertainment where 90% of the audience is trying to ruin it for themselves." - Pete Holmes
WitchDocChris
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Quote:
On Feb 21, 2021, taranwandering wrote:
Hi Everyone!

I'm pretty new to learning magic-- it's such an amazing art! I'm building patter for some basic tricks I've pieced together and/or picked up, and I'd love to develop some patter related to my LGBTQ background. I can't think of too many magicians who bring this into their act, so I'd love if anyone can think of some examples. In general, I'm interested in learning more about magic history, especially where it intersects with LGBTQ identities.

Thank you!


I would recommend checking out spaces that are already catering to concepts you're asking about. If you look up Daniel Greenwolf on Facebook he has a post up from Feb 9th that is looking for folks who are interested in magic and are part of the LGBTQ community.
Christopher
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taranwandering
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Thank you for the suggestions so far, everyone!

A lot of routines use patter around romance and whatnot. To clarify, and maybe give an example of one thing I am working on right now (I'm new still!) to give a bit better sense of what I'm thinking of: I've always loved how NDO for the KC and KD in some decks calls them "kissing kings." I thought this might be cute to build an ambitious ace routine around, then go from there (I'm not confident with the sleights for this routine yet, but I'm practicing!). I also thought (I can't pull off a good card change yet) there might be some fun potential in the pun of "drag queen" and the queen card, perhaps a card change from a king into a queen or something of that sort (drag queens also call themselves "illusionists," which adds some opportunity for puns; I even have a few sets of RuPaul themed playing cards I could bring in, though changing both the front and back of a card at the same time seems beyond me right now). If I get really creative and up my skills, I can maybe build this into a version of the Chicago Opener (I worry the added change might limit the effect though). Either way, I can see some of this patter playing really well to the LGBTQ audiences I volunteer for.

I would NEVER think of this patter as a way to flirt with an audience member (I always think it is extremely icky when male magicians flirt with females as part of their act, for example, and wouldn't want to subject men to that; I have yet to see a female closeup magician flirt with a male audience member, but I imagine it would also be uncomfortable). I also would never want to subject them to anything physical.
gaddy
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I love the "Drag Queens" idea! This sounds like a great intersection of magic and a very popular aspect of gay culture and theater that almost everyone, gay and straight will know of and can enjoy on some level.

Heck, get someone to custom print some gaff cards and you just might have a commercial possibility here!
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
The Burnaby Kid
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The drag queen idea is interesting. You could force the King of Diamonds, produce the Queen of Diamonds, ask if you got it right, they say No, you say "Oh, he must be in drag" and then do some magic to show the Queen change into the King. The joke might do better the less rehearsed it seems.

There's also a brother John Hamman trick (Two Twins) that could be adapted to the theme. No reason not to change the Queens to Jacks. Alternately it could be a couple where everybody involved is living a lie, and the Kings ends up together, as do the Queens.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OD0lsQm1Ayk

While it may seem icky to flirt, keep in mind the function of it isn't really to flirt (or, it shouldn't be, anyways). Magic performance is like a dance. Somebody has to lead and the other follow. Understanding charm is extremely helpful when it comes to getting cooperation from what might be an otherwise non-compliant participant.
JACK, the Jolly Almanac of Card Knavery, a free card magic resource for beginners.
taranwandering
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On Feb 22, 2021, gaddy wrote:
I love the "Drag Queens" idea! This sounds like a great intersection of magic and a very popular aspect of gay culture and theater that almost everyone, gay and straight will know of and can enjoy on some level.

Heck, get someone to custom print some gaff cards and you just might have a commercial possibility here!



That's a really good idea! I didn't think about getting custom prints. I was thinking of maybe just somehow substituting the RuPaul deck in, but a custom print would allow me to keep the backs consistent. Once I can practice the sleights enough, I think I'll do just that!
taranwandering
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On Feb 22, 2021, The Burnaby Kid wrote:
The drag queen idea is interesting. You could force the King of Diamonds, produce the Queen of Diamonds, ask if you got it right, they say No, you say "Oh, he must be in drag" and then do some magic to show the Queen change into the King. The joke might do better the less rehearsed it seems.

There's also a brother John Hamman trick (Two Twins) that could be adapted to the theme. No reason not to change the Queens to Jacks. Alternately it could be a couple where everybody involved is living a lie, and the Kings ends up together, as do the Queens.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OD0lsQm1Ayk

While it may seem icky to flirt, keep in mind the function of it isn't really to flirt (or, it shouldn't be, anyways). Magic performance is like a dance. Somebody has to lead and the other follow. Understanding charm is extremely helpful when it comes to getting cooperation from what might be an otherwise non-compliant participant.



I love the idea of using the "drag" change (can I call it that?) in that way! Thank you! The Twins suggestion is a GREAT idea! I've never seen that exact trick, and that's exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for. Thank you! I'm ordering the effect now. The sleights it uses are perfect for where I'm at right now, too! I have a passable Elmsley count, so this kind effect feels challenging but something I think I can get with some practice! It's a great and obtainable step up for me.
DerekG
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Welcome to the Café, Taran.

My biggest piece of advice is to figure out what kind of magician you want to be and go from there. There's the comedian, the mystic, the storyteller, the motivational speaker... there's possibly as many types of magicians as there are types of entertainers in general because magic can be incorporated into so many styles. Look at what other figures in the LGBTQ scene are doing that aligns with the style you wanna go for and draw inspiration from that. But never forget: good artists borrow, great ones steal. It's a common saying and what it means to me is that when you steal something, you make it your own. For instance, Pop Haydn does a fantastic routine with brass weights called Passing the Weights. His patter, all about corrupt assayers in an Alaska prospecting town in the 1800s, fits his Wild West swindler / gambler / snake oil salesman perfectly, but wouldn't logically fit my persona. To make that trick my own, I'd have to change the patter and presentation significantly. I'd probably go into how science depends on dealing with known quantities, things like these pure brass weights that have specific properties that will always behave how we expect them to... then they don't do that at all. That's something far more fitting my style. I have full confidence that you'll find ways to steal things and make them both yours and the LGBTQ community's as you go.

If you decide to go the comedy route, I say lean into those puns. Forcing a king, producing a queen, saying it's him in drag and changing it back to the king sounds great, but why stop there? You could do a bit where you change the "kissing kings" into queens "because they really were a couple of 'queens' all along." But above all else, be the magician you want to be.

Best wishes.
michaelpenkul
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Lots of people here sharing opinions not pertaining to OP's question; let's not gatekeep what should and shouldn't be 'interjected' into magic; it's an art form like any else that thrives on self-expression.

I'll have to give it some more thought, but one trick that comes to mind is 'Battle of the Sexes by Alvo Stockman', which is a card with the words 'love' on it, that can change to 'sex' and back. Not sure about the audience you're aiming for but I can see a cool LGBTQ theme around it.
Even something simple like a colour change from a Jack to a Queen while giving patter about identity could work.

I'm a high school teacher and LGBTQ awareness and acceptance is becoming more prominent in the classroom - this gave me a great idea to brainstorm some LGBTQ themed magic that can help the classroom feel more inclusive for LGBTQ students.
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