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Jaxon
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"If you ever stop doing magic. Stick with the comedy"

I've had this said to me a number of times after a performance from both magicians and non-magicians. I've thought about leaving my props at home someday and do just a stand up act, but I haven't had the guts to do it yet. I think it's because a lot of my comedy kind of fits into the rythm of the routines I do.

When it comes to being funny, I have a little something I use to my advantage. It's something unique and not everyone will be able to use it. What I have to work with is my deafness. I say things like< "Deaf defying trick" and "Don't worry, I didn't see the card... I'm deaf (Smirk)".

Not everyone will be able to use lines like this, but I do believe everyone has an edge they can use. It can be anything you can point out and express the funny side of. Maybe you can find some humor about the area you are from. Or something about your looks (Hair, height, etc...).

I use my humor for a number of reasons. For me personally I use it to try and let the audience feel comfortable with my difference. Some people are intimidate by someone who is blind, deaf, in a wheel chair. Doesn't make them bad people. Sometimes they just don't know how to react. I've had a number of people ask me if I read Braille. wrong difference there bud! That just goes to show that if they don't know much about it. Or haven't had much experience with a deaf person. Then they don't know how to react, or act around me.

So I use my humor to try and break through that. Let them laugh with me about it then it's no longer that much of an issue.

Anyway, back to my original point. We all have something to say that's funny. The hard part for some people is to actually say these things. I'm sure we've all had things come to mind and felt it was funny. Then went out and used that line, story or what ever and it didn't get the reaction we thought it would. As a result we might get scared to try it again with anything new. That's not the way to go. When we're performing the silliest things can be funny to people simple because of the fact that we are up there performing while we say it.

Have you ever watched a funny juggling team? They'll get a lot of laughs with the corniest lines on the planet but the audience laughs because they are saying these things while they are juggling. If they where to say those same things while they weren't juggling they probably would get the same reaction.

I honestly believe that being funny while performing is a state of mind. We have to feel like being funny. Or at least make the audience believe we are feeling funny. When you can do that. You'll get laughs at things you don't even plan on getting laughs about.

I realize this post has kind of jumped from topic to topic. I'm just talking off the top of my head here.

In closing. If you happen to ever see me at a magic gathering. I should tell you my real name isn't Jaxon. I won't tell you my real name though. Call me anything you want I can't hear you anyway.

Ron Jaxon
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
sniper1
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Nicely said there jaxon,

I couldn't have said it better myself

what I can add is it depends if you are a magician saying jokes or a comedian doing magic
or going into character {ill explain this later on }


and if your comedy act is manly normal effects with jokes in between
or the other type of act where its manly comedy and magic is something extra

now as I said I work in character

and one of them is toni l-kajjik { kajjik is a maltese fishing boat }

now I picked this name in the first place is cos toni is a drunkard , I mean he's always drunk even while doing magic { and that's what a fishing boat does on the water itsalways swinging }

and now a drunk magician allows for a lot of comedy by play

one of them is a lota type jug or bottle , so you get a running gag of bottle of wine always refilling itself ,
secondly the magic is happening against the magicians will or the magician doesn't know that he is doing magic

2 examples of these are AIRBORNE , where you are pouring another glass of wine and suddenly you get an itch , you let go of the glass and scratch you head and regrip the glass as if nothing happened

and the other is the linking rings rouitine I use { credit goes to mago forest from italy } where you start by trying to make a crash link , doesn't succeed , you try again hitting harder , still nothing you try again hitting more harder only to have the bottom ring break in 2 peices

then you get another ring out and you suceed to make them link , but now comes the problem of unlinking them , so after a ,ot of futile tries you get the instructions out and look at them a bit .

you try a couple of more times and you decide to get the last resort a hacksaw out , but you only manage to link the hacksaw aswell ,so you take off your glasses to take a better look only to have the glasses link aswell . ect ect

so that's mainly it , get an effect out , think the most perverse tought and ruitines you can make out of it and a nice routine will usually come out

and another method of doing comedy is take an effect , think about the worst things and nightmares that can happen to you when performing it at a normal performance and use those to make comedy

like for an example the 3rd hand gimmick
the main thing and fear about a 3rd hand gimmick is the exposure of the gimmick itself , but what if you take this disadvantage and transform it into a comedy peice

by giving clues that what they see is a gimmick , like absent mindedly scratching your nose , or letting the gimmick fall of , only to place it back on top as if nothing happened

Ah yes one last thing , exposure is bad , so if you are using the 3rd hand in the way I mentioned at least make it look fake from the start , example painting it bright pink or something
THE MOST CRAZY MAGICIAN ON THE MALTESE ISLANDS
Doug Higley
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Another terrific thread in the making...thanks Jaxon!

A long time ago in New York I was facinated watching some deaf folks use American Sign Language (I think it was American!) Anyway at the time I was on a Subway conming back from one of my trips to Tannen's and my head was full of watching coin manipulations etc...anyway I thought at the time (and obviously never forgot) how wonderful it would be for a deaf person to learn hand manipulation and perform close-up while communicating in sign! Do you do this?

Still seems like it would be a prety cool thing...

might be like a hearing person pulling out a mouth paper coil in the middle of patter... Smile


Doug
Higley's Giant Flea Pocket Zibit
Jaxon
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Quote:
secondly the magic is happening against the magicians will or the magician doesn't know that he is doing magic


Going by your post and the picture of you. My trick Outsmokin" would probably fit in very nicely with toni l-kajjik. Not just that trick but the entire act I do with it. It's all about trying to smoke a cigarette but the cigarette is working against you magically. So it never gets lit. I fallow with a comedy bit with a lighter (Which also works against me). Then some comedy with a match box. It has the old gag of openning the drawing upside down and the matches fall out. Then trying to light the match and that doesn't work. So I'm sure you can see, someone acting like a drunk would have a lot of fun with this.

Quote:
how wonderful it would be for a deaf person to learn hand manipulation and perform close-up while communicating in sign! Do you do this?


I've played around with things like this. For example finger spelling the word CARD while back palming one. It's not easy but it's possible. I've done this in casualy performing a couple of times.
First I teach them the sign language alphabet. I came up with a bunch of comical memory aids to help them learn. I don't expect them to learn it all right away but with these funny memory aids you'd be surprise how fast they do learn and how much they remember. For example the letter "Q". you hold your hand in the shape you would to pick up a Q-tip. In other words, if you had a Q'tip in front of you right now and picked it up with your thumb and index finger, you'd be naturally making the sign for the letter "Q" as you pick it up.
That ones not very funny but a funnier example is the letter "G". If you use your right hand and point to to a location on your left and say "GO" (As in go there). You're hand will make the sign for "G". I really play these things up.

Anyway, after I teach them this. I test them. I slowly sign the word card. I do it a few times until the firgure it out. The moment they figure it out and say the word "CARD" I produce the card I was back paling with that hand.

Maybe that story should be in another location on the board. Oh well.

Ron Jaxon
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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R.J.

What a delightful thread.

Thanks for sharing. On another "booth", I wrote about getting a gig, and then having the consumers ask me if I could do it without using magic. The conference was called Transforming Lives through Faith. After a quick pause, I said yes. During the preparation and actual program, I took several risk, but they paid off.

I also learned a new word. Plenary, meaning a presentation in front of the whole group. Can you say plenary. Using things that are funny about you, and thus also in the collective unconcious,(WHAT?) is risky business. The payoff is much greater than doing a muscle pass with a nickle.(Which scares magicians,little children and dogs...)
Although I can also do that one.

Through your post on this thread, you illustrate an important idea in comedy. That is know your audience.

Things I would use for a group of i.e. recovering drug addicts, may be different than those lines to an 7th and 8th grade School Red Ribbon Week Assembly. Of course some of those items might overlap.

Be safe and creative.

P.P.S.(Pre-Post Script)
Your idea with not lighting a cigarette, reads very funny. I am guessing it plays even better.

Is the manuscript available anywhere???

Harris Deutsch
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Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
mormonyoyoman
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When I have to use my cane in my act (or fall down, a rather unpleasant alternative) I try to fit in my favorite line from a lady comedian whose name has vanished from my memory:

"We with disabilities have struggled and fought for our rights --- to be stared at."
#ShareGoodness #ldsconf
Jaxon
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Quote:
Your idea with not lighting a cigarette, reads very funny. I am guessing it plays even better.

Is the manuscript available anywhere???


I had it in my JaxonMagic Notes. When I lost my old server I also lost all the tricks I had in those notes (The notes where in the form of a message board). This cigarette trick is in the notes again now but the instructions are incomplete because I don't have any images in there yet. So yes it's available now, but I'd suggest waiting a week or two. The instructions will be finished then. Wait a little longer and I'll be making it available with premade gimmicks (The manuscript shows how to make the gimmick). I'll post on the board to let everyone know.
Maybe you'd like to see the trick in action. Go to the main page of my site at magicjax.com and watch the video. It's in the video that is linked to the image of me floating on the main page. The video shows me doing a few of my tricks and the cigarette one is one of them.

Back to the topic. This may sound funny, but sometimes I wish I had other differences or disabilities. OK, I don't wish that really but sometimes I think of "What if" lines. For example a freind of mine has spinal bifida (SP) and is in a wheel chair. He has so many funny lines with that. I love it when he says, "Don't make me get up!"

I waited years to be able to say "My wife" jokes. I got to use them for a while but now I'm divorced. You guessed it. I now do ex wife jokes..Smile

By the way, I got a question for all you close up magicians out there. Why do the click pass? What's the point? Smile

Ron Jaxon
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After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
sniper1
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Yeah I use you trick outsmokin , jaxon , and I can assure you its a killer . I even worked a version of it where you can do it surrounded ,

you do a click pass to accomodate all those people out there who love to hear the noise ka-chink
or when you just need to pass only one coin to the left hand while you make them think you passed 2

Hmmmmmmm let me guess jaxon she left for another magician with a bigger wand ,

or maybe this one hehe

new illusion on the market , makes your wife your kids, your house , your car and most of your money dissapear , so what are you waiting for get DIVORCED the brand new illusion on the market
THE MOST CRAZY MAGICIAN ON THE MALTESE ISLANDS
Cabrera
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I've thought about leaving my props at home someday and do just a stand up act"

A great way to learn the art of comedy is to join a local Toastmasters chapter. You learn a a lot about yourself(weaknesses and strengths)
last night I performed six minutes of a stand up humorous story (on a stage) with no props and took first place.This was a monumenatal personal achievement for me because after writing and practicing comedy, I am beginning to understand what really makes people laugh; which in turn has helped my show!
There's so many different types of comedy such as, conflict between characters, slapstick, things gone wrong, one liners, situational, absurd etc. The more that you write and perform, the better you will understand comedy and yourself. Plus you get honest feedback from evaluators who are trying to help you.
I believe that you need to understand yourself , before you can understned your audience. Toasmasters can help you achieve this.
You will learn differnt techniques and ideas of creatinfg humor , sincerity, body language, voice inflection etc.as you go along in Toastmasters. Also I was blown away by how funny and creative some ordinary non- magicians or performers can be.
It's been said that Comedy is Hard, Dying is Easy.
That is true, and probably why it frightens so many people. But, if you have experineced a good night of making an audience laugh and the feeling that goes with it ....it's easy to get hooked ,comedy becomes your drug of choice.
The dying part becomes less and less, as you hone your comedic skills. Soon you will have a sense of what makes people laugh and a good percentage of the time you can throw a line in on paper and be right on without a rehearsal!
If you find yourself funny around friends in a normal situation, there's a good chance that you hae a comedy knack. The trick is to develop a routine that plays as well in performance as it does whan you ar right on in an everyday situation. A routine that can be modified impromptu or on the spot for different types of audiences. This takes time,dedication, rehearsal,an open mind,creativity, talent and guts.
"The quilt of life is woven with many different threads"
sniper1
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I totally agree with you CABRERA , { yeah I seem to agree with everything }

some people are born with an inate ability for comedy , when I come to think of it I'm one of those persons

usually I just sit there staring for hours just thinking up punch lines for different situations of life

and comedy has helped me by turning me from being just another guy doing tricks , into someone who is entertaining
THE MOST CRAZY MAGICIAN ON THE MALTESE ISLANDS
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