The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » LGBTQ Magicians + Patter (31 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page [Previous]  1~2~3 [Next]
michaelpenkul
View Profile
New user
Toronto Canada
50 Posts

Profile of michaelpenkul
There are also a few drag queen magicians on the Café if you do a search around - not exactly the same thing but they may have some good advice.
The Burnaby Kid
View Profile
Inner circle
St. John's, Canada
3124 Posts

Profile of The Burnaby Kid
I'm going to offer a contrasting view to some of the suggestions made, which is to not rely too heavily on gay-themed patter in order to define your persona.

I'm not going to name names on the prominent gay magicians we've had in the last half-century because frankly it's not my place to out them, but there are a surprising number of them, and the fact that it's surprising is because they never made it a feature of their persona. I don't think it's necessary to stay closeted, but going too far in the other direction is a potential trap akin to stand-up comics from specific ethnic backgrounds who always present their material through that lens. There's nothing necessarily wrong with that either, but the comics who transcend tend to be willing and able to explore everything out there.

A big part of being likable is about trying to find ways to connect. It's going to be more difficult to do that for a general audience if the tone is dominated by "Me one sexuality, you the other." Turning it into a shtick has some advantages, I suppose, but it risks being reductionist. There's also a weird sort of collateral damage coming from intersectional politics right now that has led to some latent hostility between different parts of the gay community (I literally read online somewhere where a lesbian was complaining about "gay male privilege" as if the nightmare of gay-bashing in the 80s never happened). This is bordering on the political, but that's sort of part-and-parcel of today's heavy interest in identity. Getting back to likability, keep in mind again that this is like a dance, and one of the best ways to have a magic trick go smoothly is to have your spectators do what you need them to, and one of the best ways to foster that compliance from a spectator is to get them to like you.

What does all this have to do with patter? Well, the best patter is that which flows naturally from who you are as a performer, because that's the stuff that's going to sound the most honest and authentic. It'll also be the most difficult for others to rip off.
JACK, the Jolly Almanac of Card Knavery, a free card magic resource for beginners.
gaddy
View Profile
Inner circle
Agent of Chaos
3245 Posts

Profile of gaddy
@The Burnaby Kid

As a counterpoint to your well stated contention that a specifically LBGTQ performance can limit ones appeal to a general audience, I would paraphrase Eugene Berger in an interview who stated:

"Why do magicians feel the need to perform down to the lowest common denominator?"

By stating this, I'm not implying that any segment of the population is a "lowest common denominator" -I'm merely pointing out that there are often other considerations than one's appeal to a general audience, and that not everything must take everyone's every predilection into account.

Some entertainment will always have a limited audience, by default.
*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
View Profile
Inner circle
St. John's, Canada
3124 Posts

Profile of The Burnaby Kid
The truth is that magicians don't often get to pick and choose their audiences. If you get booked to a Christmas party, do you want to bust out your politically-charged act and risk alienating half the crowd?

Most people aren't homophobic and would totally be fine with a gay magician. It's not about a queer performance potentially limiting one's appeal to a general audience, it's about an identity-focused performance potentially limiting one's appeal to a general audience. Part of what makes magic special is the interaction, and that means understanding how connection can help you. It can be the difference between eliciting genuine love from an audience versus just getting polite applause.

There are other options, of course. Being a character that stands in stark contrast to the audience can also have an appeal, but even then, it's a relationship that needs to be carefully managed.
JACK, the Jolly Almanac of Card Knavery, a free card magic resource for beginners.
Aus
View Profile
Special user
Australia
950 Posts

Profile of Aus
I have been to a magic show in which the magician was gay and gay themes pertained to his show. The one salient point I would strongly make is don't go near identity politics in your LGBTQ magic act. Hitting sore points of peoples political world view can shift peoples reflection of the show into directions unintended. Unless your performance is a political statement then by all means go ahead, just be prepared for the veering consequences.

The magician I had seen took funny everyday peculiarities of gay life and made a theme in his magic. One trick I remember clearly was his adaptation of Paul Curry's Out of This World in which he picked the most macho man in the audience and proceeded to test his "gaydar" with specially printed leader cards saying "homo" and "non-Homo". The tongue in cheek byplay between this macho heterosexual guy and the gay magician made for a hilarious routine.

Maybe you could extend that sort of idea by exploring the peculiarities of Drag Queens and Transgender people by solving a relatable issue, like fixing a run or tear in your pantyhose by doing some sort of T&R routine, or show your impeccable foresight in fashion and style by predicting a persons style of lipstick in some sort of mentalism type routine.

The options are endless...


Magically

Aus
davidpaul$
View Profile
Inner circle
Pittsburgh, Pa
2973 Posts

Profile of davidpaul$
And then there is Mr. Potato Head, a toy everyone is familiar with has been changed to gender neutral by Hasbro.
No more Mr.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/......neutral/

One has to ask, who are we anymore?? Does God know? I think so.
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
The Burnaby Kid
View Profile
Inner circle
St. John's, Canada
3124 Posts

Profile of The Burnaby Kid
If you're feeling despair over that, you'll be happy to know that the individual toys will retain the Mr. and Mrs. with their names. It's just the brand.

But this conversation isn't about that sort of thing. It's about somebody trying to convey their honest self while performing magic. That's not at all the same and shouldn't be mistaken as such.
JACK, the Jolly Almanac of Card Knavery, a free card magic resource for beginners.
davidpaul$
View Profile
Inner circle
Pittsburgh, Pa
2973 Posts

Profile of davidpaul$
Well I felt it relavent. Didn't know you were the moderator.
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
Aus
View Profile
Special user
Australia
950 Posts

Profile of Aus
As someone in the past that has opened another can of worms of this type, I implore you not to go down this path David. I say this to you not on any sense of chivalrous behaviour or white knighting for the after mentioned group but rather for reasons as to where this eventually leads.

Other members of the opposite but equally polarized view will descend on your comments and a vicious flurry of posts will ensue with nether changing the others mind. Tempers will be flared and this topic will be derailed with a side line issue that doesn't pertain to the original topic. Your posts will be reported by those other members and the moderators will ether delete the thread entirely or delete your posts and any associated posts from the discussion.

There seems to be left leaning bias here on the café from what I've seen with such things, well others can make provocative posts on magic related issues injected with left leaning political axioms, I have have rebutted many with my right leaning views and on occasion only my posts have been deleted. Say what you may about that, but that has been my anecdotal experience.

I have my personal views on LGBTQ and it's particular brand of identity politics which I suspect might not differ that greatly from yours but for different reasons, but this is nether the time nor the place for it.

As a side note It does open an interesting Segway to another topic about using magic performance for political statements, which would be a worth while discussion to have in it's own right.

Maybe a discussion for another day and another time.


Magically


Aus
gaddy
View Profile
Inner circle
Agent of Chaos
3245 Posts

Profile of gaddy
Here we go again.

Every. Single. Time.
*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
View Profile
Inner circle
St. John's, Canada
3124 Posts

Profile of The Burnaby Kid
Quote:
On Feb 25, 2021, davidpaul$ wrote:
Well I felt it relavent. Didn't know you were the moderator.


I'm not a moderator. I'm just trying to do my part to keep the conversation on track.

Quote:
On Feb 26, 2021, Aus wrote:
I have my personal views on LGBTQ and it's particular brand of identity politics...


Not everybody in the queer community is on-board with what's being termed identity politics these days.

If a performer goes on stage, announces their sexuality and puts the emphasis on that aspect of themselves instead of on the magic as the reason people should watch, the problem there isn't political so much as it's artistic -- they're literally competing with the myriad of gay magicians who don't and/or didn't do this, but who instead put the magic first and who moved the art forward in amazing ways because of their talent. Again, we could name names here but it's gross to out people who didn't ask for it.

That said, simply conveying one's sexuality is not engaging in identity politics, and shouldn't be seen as such. If a male magician makes a casual reference to their wife, or if a magician brings up a heterosexual couple and does some sort of trick whose presentation leverages that, they're not automatically trying to say anything about the virtues of being straight. A gay magician should have that same right if they want it.
JACK, the Jolly Almanac of Card Knavery, a free card magic resource for beginners.
JonHackl
View Profile
Regular user
Western Australia
118 Posts

Profile of JonHackl
Quote:
On Feb 26, 2021, The Burnaby Kid wrote:
That said, simply conveying one's sexuality is not engaging in identity politics, and shouldn't be seen as such. If a male magician makes a casual reference to their wife, or if a magician brings up a heterosexual couple and does some sort of trick whose presentation leverages that, they're not automatically trying to say anything about the virtues of being straight. A gay magician should have that same right if they want it.


Spot on.
"Magic is the only kind of entertainment where 90% of the audience is trying to ruin it for themselves." - Pete Holmes
DerekG
View Profile
New user
52 Posts

Profile of DerekG
Quote:
On Feb 26, 2021, The Burnaby Kid wrote:
That said, simply conveying one's sexuality is not engaging in identity politics, and shouldn't be seen as such. If a male magician makes a casual reference to their wife, or if a magician brings up a heterosexual couple and does some sort of trick whose presentation leverages that, they're not automatically trying to say anything about the virtues of being straight. A gay magician should have that same right if they want it.


Very well said. All too often, we can take it for granted when our own viewpoints are included in a piece of art and only notice when it's a differing viewpoint. Things like the heterosexual love story patter in Bro. Hamman's Twins aren't considered "injecting identity politics" into a trick. It's just a cute story. That doesn't change simply because it becomes a gay love story. Giving a large portion of people something that they can relate to shouldn't be controversial.
Mindpro
View Profile
Eternal Order
10169 Posts

Profile of Mindpro
Quote:
On Feb 22, 2021, taranwandering wrote:
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.



I must say I've been sitting back and watching this unfold. As many of us, we knew where this would go. The thing with the Café is amateurs, beginners, and newbies converse directly with experienced pros, semi-pros, part-time professionals, and others further along in their own journey. This often creates an uneven field for discussion. The newbie doesn't always understand the things offered from an experienced point of view, and the more experienced quickly forget they are talking to a newbie or amateur.

The OP quickly mentioned he was looking for "patter" for his thoughts and ideas. This tells you where is currently at. Next, he tells you the quote above that he is not a working magician and is just learning magic as a hobby. His thoughts, approaches, and perspectives are that of a hobbyist. He volunteers for these very specific type of fundraising events and started thinking about how his own personal interests and hobby could be relative. So first off, kudos for some creative thinking and imagination.

Thinking as a hobbyist and thinking as someone who does this part or full-time for income is the difference between night and day, between watermelons and kumquats.

For over 40 years I am and have been a full-time professional performer, agent and owner of 5 entertainment agencies, a promoter of shows and events, a producer of t.v., radio, and online talent and events, and as many here know a professional coach, consultant, trainer and mentor (including my EBS Fundraising) to performers in both their performance as well as business operations.

The Burnaby Kid has tried to be very helpful and enlightening in real-world performance situations. His insights have been very spot on for operating as a business and in a mass-appeal performance world.

As I discuss regularly in the business section here, the one thing I wish was different about the magician learning process is I wish magicians would equally learn and work on their magic and the business side of magic simultaneously, at the same time, from the beginning. This would eliminate so many of the problems magicians have in both determining their performance material, and when ready going to market to book their services.

The Burnaby Kid and several others here are right, any time you pick a political or religious stance or platform you will immediately alienate 50% (or more) of your audience. He is simply expressing that this makes your potential service market and those that may have an interest in you a very small niche. A niche that is likely not enough to support a professional. Especially a fundraising market in such a sub-category or niche.

Magic is an art and that art, wonder, mystery, and experience is what should always be first and foremost, front and center. If you want to use your performance to make your own political or cultural beliefs, you are making a small potential market even smaller.

Magic has long attracted LGBTQ. Many well-known performers were gay but for the purposes of career stability, financial success, business relationships, and mass-appeal have kept it very low-profile as not to jeopardize their position. This must be considered from a business position.

So I think it is important to remember his amateur, hobbyist thoughts as compared to those with more experience, knowledge, and real-world reference from which to draw. It appears much more clearer when operating from experience vs. trying to educate someone without this to draw upon.

To the OP, why limit yourself? If you want to serve the LGBTQ community, good for you, go for it. But don't compromise the magic, or alienate other prospective opportunities (amateur or professional) by becoming a branded or labeled performer based on a belief or such positioning.

Best of luck!
taranwandering
View Profile
New user
9 Posts

Profile of taranwandering
I'd like to avoid politics in my posts, if possible. I'm not trying to make any statements about voting habits or policy. Given the international membership of these forums, I wouldn't even know how or where to begin even if I wanted to do so; political spectrums and issues vary so much from country to country. Even in the US, these issues vary state by state.

Another way to frame this question that might seem less controversial (I hope): I'd like to ask about how to represent and engage better with audiences who identify primarily as lgbtq; I'm not planning to make this act political, though I understand that sometimes the visibility and/or invisibility of my identity makes a political statement, no matter how much I'd rather avoid that.

As I mentioned in my previous posts, I'm a new magician who will likely have opportunities to perform in lgbtq bars/clubs (in fact, these spaces are probably the only spaces where I have connections that will let me start performing). All of the points about knowing audiences, not alienating audiences, etc. are relevant for broad contexts maybe, but even if I were a straight magician (I'm not), I'd likely need lgbtq friendly patter in order to better connect with my audiences in these spaces. I appreciate quite deeply the recommendations for tricks to learn that might allow me to modify the patter and such. I've recently signed up for magic lessons to help, and I'm working through Card College, so hopefully I'll be able to perform a few of these routines soon!
The Burnaby Kid
View Profile
Inner circle
St. John's, Canada
3124 Posts

Profile of The Burnaby Kid
You're coming at this with the right attitude.

Probably the only thing I'd advise is completely unrelated to the sexuality aspect of this, and more related to the experience side of things as it relates to finding your performing persona. Avoid the stage for a little while. Do these events as a walk-around or table-hopping magician, with a small number of tricks that you repeat over and over again for the various small groups of people you encounter. Start with bare-bones presentations that anybody could do, and once you're fully comfortable with the tricks, let aspects of who you are naturally come out. If the event is queer-friendly, then experiment a little bit with that side of things just to see what happens. Your point about even straight performers needing queer-friendly material is granted, but remember that as an in-group member you'll have some latitude that you may want to take advantage of. If you're at all worried that you might overstep with your artistic choices, then you could go even more casual and try busking.

Once you find your persona (or your persona finds you, whatever) then it might be a good time to start considering performing for the stage. There are other adjustments you'll have to make (the visibility of the tricks, the need to play large, the lack of initial interaction, and just basic stage fright if that's a problem) but at least you won't be experimenting with an entirely blank slate.
JACK, the Jolly Almanac of Card Knavery, a free card magic resource for beginners.
DerekG
View Profile
New user
52 Posts

Profile of DerekG
Quote:
On Feb 26, 2021, taranwandering wrote:
I'm not planning to make this act political, though I understand that sometimes the visibility and/or invisibility of my identity makes a political statement, no matter how much I'd rather avoid that.


I don't think I've ever read someone so fairly stating such an unfair issue. Well done.


Check your PMs when you get a chance. I sent you a possible handling for one of the tricks discussed in the thread.
Pop Haydn
View Profile
Inner circle
Los Angeles
3536 Posts

Profile of Pop Haydn
Quote:
On Feb 25, 2021, davidpaul$ wrote:
And then there is Mr. Potato Head, a toy everyone is familiar with has been changed to gender neutral by Hasbro.
No more Mr.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/......neutral/

One has to ask, who are we anymore?? Does God know? I think so.


Which one is Mr. Potato Head and which one is Mrs. Potato Head?
You can't tell anymore!
Image


Gee, how will the kids be able to even tell male potatoes from female potatoes? God didn't mean for all potatoes to be the same gender. It's so wrong... Smile
davidpaul$
View Profile
Inner circle
Pittsburgh, Pa
2973 Posts

Profile of davidpaul$
Quote:
On Feb 26, 2021, Aus wrote:
As someone in the past that has opened another can of worms of this type, I implore you not to go down this path David. I say this to you not on any sense of chivalrous behaviour or white knighting for the after mentioned group but rather for reasons as to where this eventually leads.

Other members of the opposite but equally polarized view will descend on your comments and a vicious flurry of posts will ensue with nether changing the others mind. Tempers will be flared and this topic will be derailed with a side line issue that doesn't pertain to the original topic. Your posts will be reported by those other members and the moderators will ether delete the thread entirely or delete your posts and any associated posts from the discussion.

There seems to be left leaning bias here on the café from what I've seen with such things, well others can make provocative posts on magic related issues injected with left leaning political axioms, I have have rebutted many with my right leaning views and on occasion only my posts have been deleted. Say what you may about that, but that has been my anecdotal experience.

I have my personal views on LGBTQ and it's particular brand of identity politics which I suspect might not differ that greatly from yours but for different reasons, but this is nether the time nor the place for it.

As a side note It does open an interesting Segway to another topic about using magic performance for political statements, which would be a worth while discussion to have in it's own right.

Maybe a discussion for another day and another time.


Magically


Aus


Just wanted to make a comment, but first want to say that the OP sounds like a really nice person and someone that would be fun
to hang out with practicing / sessioning magic.

Regarding Aus's referenced post above and stating that some members might find one's (mine or others) posts viscous, that tempers will be flared resulting in
being reported to the moderators and posts deleted because of a sideline issue derailing the topic at hand. That's what's wrong with our society now.
You have free speech only as long as it agrees with mine. (Can you say Cancel Culture?) Look at Facebook and Twitter.

Back to Mr. (or not) Potato head comment that I posted and why I chose to include the news report. Why was it relevant to the OP's inquiry? "Identity"
What effects, patter, would be relevant to the LGBTQ community?

Our identity, real or perceived, governs everything about us. How we see the world, how we perceive God and His authority or not, what movies we go to see, what books we read or TV shows that appeal to us,
what form of entertainment/ entertainers we enjoy even magicians. Also, politically it governs who we vote for and the changes we want our leaders to support.

Mindpro said it very well in the above post. (doesn't need my endorsement) I thought it was well stated.

I interjected my comment "Who are we anymore, does God know?" because there is a crisis in society regarding sexuality / identity. It's not a hurtful statement, it's true.

Our own Secretary of PA. Dept. of Health, Rachel Levine is male, but is now Transgender and female. She was just nominated to be the Assistant Health Secretary
of The US.. Because of her identity "now" as a Transgender, it will effect her decisions as was evident by her refusal to answer specific questions in the confirmation hearings ( If anyone watched)

I stated early in the thread quote: "I love magic too and just want to share it and show people respect and love no matter who they are."

LGBTQ is an identity and in my view and is relevant to this Thread. I am entitled to that as long as I adhere to The Magic Café rules.

I am appreciative Steve Brooks the founder of The Magic Café to provide this forum.

BTW Steve and his family are going through some extremly tough times and will gladly sidetrack this topic to put up the Go Fund Me page to help Steve.
If you feel so inclined.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-steve-brooks-and-mya-angel
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
taranwandering
View Profile
New user
9 Posts

Profile of taranwandering
Thank you again for all of your feedback, everyone!

@DavidPaul$,
I understand that these issues frustrate you, and I hear the emotion in your concerns. I would be comfortable chatting about politics via private message if you'd like, but I'd prefer to sustain an entirely practical conversation for this thread that focuses on performing within LGBTQ spaces, please. This isn't an attempt to "cancel" your points-- I'll gladly listen to your perspective in a different thread or private message-- but I worry that once we start talking politics (and discussing a confirmation hearing is unavoidably political), we will lose any opportunity to continue this quite helpful conversation about preforming.

Also, thank you for sharing the gofundme link. I'll edit the first post to include your message, so that it reaches more people.

Thank you!
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » LGBTQ Magicians + Patter (31 Likes)
 Go to page [Previous]  1~2~3 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.31 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL