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Lothar
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I am starting a new show using men as assistants in the box illusions. (Don't worry, the illusions are large enough to hold them.) They'll be muscular and good "eye candy" for the females in the audience. I think this is an idea whose time has come.
My "schtick" is that I'm a 90-pound weakling, and they sometimes play the role of a "bully". (I have one idea where I get revenge on a beach bully by zig zagging him.)
What do y'all think?
Wes
Rob Johnston
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I think this is great.

Equal rights my friend....and the women have crowded the assistant scene forever.

This could provide a great uniqueness to your show and a bit of humor.
"Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable." - Margot Fonteyn
PROOF
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Not so much.
Bob Sanders
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I have used male assistants as have probably most stage magicians over time. For a while I even used aspiring young magicians who had their own spot in the shows. Frankly, I found that even the best worried so much about their part of the show until they were relatively useless on the road and as assistants. I tried very hard to be wrong. I really wanted it to work. I saw it work in the recording industry. For magic it was a very bad fit.

However, true "roadies" that are also assistants during the show are different. Assisting is the important part of the show to them. They do well. They are hard to keep because they receive so many opportunities. Lucy and I need one now for the Star Dancer Castle productions with the Live Magic Unicorn beginning in March. Can we steal yours?

Bob
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amazingluke
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Hi Lothar,

I have used both males and females in my shows as assistants (although that's a loose term because as I have characters that are in the shows which aren't there purely to assist). I've always worked better with females than males, probably because my character is a womanising type, so there is an interesting dynamic between the characters. I believe that characterisation is the most important part of the decision, rather than gender politics. If the characters interact well, the audience will love the show...and overlook any prejudices with gender roles.

Hope this helps,

Luke
Harlequin
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Amazingluke makes a good point in the distinction between assistant and 'other characters' in a show. Males as assistants to a male magician may be a bit strange unless there is an actual reason for it as mentioned in Lothars post with the bully angle. But other males as 'supporting characters' eg. doing a bit of their own magic or actively interacting in the magicians trick, makes for a more theatrical experience for the audience and if done well should draw them in more.
Bob Sanders
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Lothar,

You have the knack for starting these good threads and then we never hear from you again. How has your "male assistant" concept worked out?

Bob
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Lothar
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I have a performance in May at a talent show. Jim Sommers is going to fix my cabinet that I had made by an "amateur" (but the price was right! LOL). The cabinet is made of pressboard (I know, it's heavy.) It can fit a guy from 5'5" to 5'11". (That means most of my friends are tall enough to fit inside.) I haven't found any guy who wants to be zig zagged. I'm thinking that I'll get in the cabinet myself with someone else doing the cutting (a la Doug Henning and his wife doing disembodied). I'll be showing him how to do the illusion and he locks me in and performs it.
My other alternative would be to have an "invisible asssistant". LOL

Posted: May 25, 2005 10:56am

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Well, I performed my zig zag last Saturday night. I had to get inside, and a friend did the cutting. I wish my friends wouldn't see being a magician's assistant as "unmanly". Maybe when I get more routines and gigs, then they'll hop on my bandwagon.

Starting a revolution...LOL

Wes
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Chrystal
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Hi Lothar,

I really like your concept! After reading your post earlier and the hesitation of your friends it got me thinking, especially considering they are bigger in stature than yourself. What if you promoted the zigzag as almost a Fear Factor aparatus. " Only the bravest and strongest, those with no fear...can step into this box" Perhaps that would change their attitudes? Just a thought anyhow. Hey good luck with your show!

Chrystal
magicalaurie
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I like your idea, Chrystal. A little reverse psychology. I'm sure there must be some secure male assistants out there, though. Hope so.
"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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In my show I have no assistant. I have a partner. He is in the show. He performs magic and juggling just as I do. He is an equal onstage. I often try to make him the star. Maybe it's because he makes less than me. It is my show, design and concept anyway. For any assistant I think it is good to let them show their personality and perform also. Why have nameless people on stage with you?
Bob Sanders
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As I recall, the one taking the chances in a very famous magicial career was named Houdini. Wasn't he a smallish male? Wasn't he the box jumper?

Ever seen an Andre' Kole show?

Bob
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Lothar
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Does Andre Kole put men in cabinets?
davetolomy
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Lothar, if your male the audience might think your gay...

Not being rude but this might be their perception.
RandyStewart
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Quote:
On 2005-10-02 14:32, davetolomy wrote:
Lothar, if your male the audience might think your gay...

Not being rude but this might be their perception.


LOL! Well we certainly can't have that! It might even keep you out of Vegas.

LOL!

Whew! I just recovered from choking on my cheeseburger.

If that is the general "perception" then we have a winner as there will be two unanswered questions or "mysteries" if you will.

1. How'd he do that?
2. Could he be......

Well good luck in experimenting with this. Find what works best for you and the audience and keep the audience in mind as THEIR entertainment comes first and is most important regardless of who gets in that box.
Lothar
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Well,
That's kind of the idea. There are several famous magicians who people wonder about (Darren Romeo, Sigfried & Roy, Jeremy Vargus, etc.) As a result, women find them absolutely irresistible. (I know , women love gay men. Just ask Claire Danes and Reese Witherspoon.)
I think it's a great marketing ploy. Not all illusion shows need to be marketed to the male libido.
Wes
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So your deliberately trying to look gay?

and also

Quote:
1. How'd he do that?
2. Could he be......
RandyStewart
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Davetolomy I was being sarcastic as I didn't think it was an important issue. And no I didn't mean any disrespect or harm by it Smile

What I think is important is that the audience remain entertained. I doubt it matters who gets sectioned on stage. It should remain important to be focused on the entertainment value.

By the way, I've seen a couple of magicians put their FEMALE assistant through the rigors of stage illusion etc. and they were a horrible production at best. Maybe the fact that no one suspected he was gay saved the show and the day!

Quite frankly, if the show were truly amazing or entertaining I'd be fine with an all male or all female or all dwarf cast of performers. I just don't care as it's the magic I'm there to see.
Bob Sanders
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Quote:
On 2005-09-30 13:51, Lothar wrote:
Does Andre Kole put men in cabinets?



Yes Sir! Andre' Kole himself! (Actually he walks through fans, etc.)

Catch his show, if you ever get the chance. I like his work.

Bob
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Shrubsole
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Wow! This is a fascinating thread!

I think it boils down to whether a particular illusion is performed in a sexual way.
Classics of magic like; levitation, sawing in half, and a lot of others have traditionally been very sexual. They have mostly been the all powerful MALE magician having his way with a weak defenceless female (At least that's how the audience see it)

So should this change?
Should we take the sexual angle out of it so that they can be performed with male assistants?

...and what about Female magicians? Should they/do they keep the sexual angle in but reverse it or do they just drop the sexual angle?

...And yes, Gay magicians! (We don't have any problems with that in England) There must be as many Gay magicians in magic as there are in society, so it's a question of whether they choose to use this in their act.
A Gay magician can "act" straight and have sexual looking illusions in their act involving females.
A Gay magician can have male and female assistants and not have any sexual angle in the show.
A Gay magician can of course perform openly Gay shows with male assistants!
(All of the above equally applies to lesbian females as well!)

This topic has so many angles and branches and a very interesting one it is.

I'd especially like to hear from female magicians and get their ideas and views on how they play it.

...and of course, any gay magicians out there: How do you approach this subject?

:)
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