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Topic: See The Flea, and enjoy some AAAAART!
Message: Posted by: Potty the Pirate (Jan 30, 2009 12:51PM)
Computer functioning normally again, don't know why. So I managed to get these clips onto You Tube:

YouTube Silver Sceptre Demo


You tube Potty and Squawk with Drawing Board:






The whole show will shortly be available on DVD. Would appreciate your feedback. Should I include an "explanation" section?
Potty ;)
Message: Posted by: Mumblemore (Jan 30, 2009 01:09PM)

That's fantastic stuff. Love the Flea jokes and the Silver Sceptre biplay. Is that the Practical Magic Silver Sceptre? They do great stuff.

Yes, get that DVD launched. Your distinct style and gift for interaction with kids is on display, but I would say absolutely include an explanation section to convey your lessons over the years about how to impact kids, to point out distinguishing parts of your act we might overlook, etc. The act is fantastic. The act plus an insightful explanation section (not just a perfunctory "I have to add content beyond just the show so here's the rundown of how they work) would be outstanding.

Thanks for sharing that. I wish I had your chops (slowly but surely getting better, but a good deal away from the "goal" which your act embodies).
Message: Posted by: Ken Dumm (Jan 30, 2009 07:01PM)

Great stuff, thanks for sharing. Real character based comedy, love it...

Message: Posted by: Rock_Slatestone (Jan 31, 2009 04:49AM)

Thank you for sharing. Especially the Silver Sceptre. I purchased the Silver Sceptre last year from David Ginn Magic and I had a tough time figuring out making the cover fly. I now have some better ideas watching your video.

Keep up the good work. The kids love it.

Message: Posted by: keeblem (Jan 31, 2009 08:41AM)
On 2009-01-30 13:51, Potty the Pirate wrote:

The whole show will shortly be available on DVD. Would appreciate your feedback. Should I include an "explanation" section?
Potty ;)

Yes - obviously with the exception of "marketed items". I really find that annoying when explanations aren't included. (the Colonel custard DVD springs to mind!)

Message: Posted by: Lou Hilario (Feb 1, 2009 05:22PM)
Doug, thanks for sharing your videos. You have great interaction with the kids. This is the first time I see the Flea Circus in action.

I hope to see a video of you performing with my cable ventriloquist pirate mask, too.
Message: Posted by: edwingoh88 (Feb 1, 2009 06:34PM)
Hi there,

I would love to buy the dvd. when will it be available!
Message: Posted by: stempleton (Feb 1, 2009 09:03PM)
Very engaging and entertaining.
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Feb 1, 2009 11:17PM)
You had on a costume, that is always nice.
Message: Posted by: Cliff G (Feb 2, 2009 01:32AM)
Great stuff Potty!

Made my morning! Your posts are some of the most helpful here on the Café and seeing you in action was great - thanks for sharing!

Please put me down for a DVD :)

Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Feb 2, 2009 12:30PM)
Are you planning on video taping the show and actually selling it? Why?
Message: Posted by: Potty the Pirate (Feb 2, 2009 12:42PM)
Magic Santa, as well as the show I've decided to include a series of tips and thoughts on characterisation, pacing, and general stagecraft. All of the routines in the film are designed to illustrate various elements that can be included in kid shows.
Just as I've studied the comedy of many of my contemporaries, some folks may wish to study mine. If they do, then they can get hold of a copy of the DVD. Want one?
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Feb 2, 2009 02:45PM)
Ohhhh....I thought you were just going to sale your show video, tips are always nice. You are an UKer so marketing tips likely wouldn't help those in other countries. No, I don't think I need one of your DVDs, I know about characterization, pacing, and general stagecraft. The show wouldn't help me much because to be honest I couldn't understand what you were saying a lot of the time. Well, pip pip and all that. Oh, the flea circus thing was interesting, nice to see a different version of side kick.
Message: Posted by: stempleton (Feb 2, 2009 05:59PM)
I think the difficulty in hearing was due more to the acoustics rather than any accent or dialect, etc. I would strongly suggest a mic or headset when making a dvd for purchase rather than relying on the videocam sound capturing capabilities. I'm always interested in how others perform for children.
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Feb 2, 2009 06:39PM)
Yes! Stempleton is no simpleton (see that? Poetic!)! I am hard of hearing I admit.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Feb 3, 2009 12:14AM)
Hey, that silver sceptre bag looked familiar ;)
Message: Posted by: Potty the Pirate (Feb 3, 2009 12:25AM)
Yes, it's a Starsini Sceprte bag, still going strong! Thanks, Frank...
There is an issue with the sound editing - this WAS my first time! The sound on the original is fairly clear - it was shot in TV quality by a professional documentary maker. You Tube downgrades all files including sound, as far as I'm aware. The whole edit is shortly to be refined, and all the wrinkles in the soundtrack should be gone. If you look closedly at the vid, you'll see that I am wearing a mic.
Of course, this DVD will maybe only appeal to a smaller number of entertainers, though I can't see why only UK folks would find it helpful. Although you're experienced with stagecraft, Magic Santa, not all are so lucky. And apart from that angle, there are plenty of bits of business, and four full-length routines plus lots of other stuff.
Message: Posted by: Al Kazam the Magic Man (Feb 3, 2009 07:31AM)
Hi All,

I have watched a few of the clips which are ok. Though I would have to add that for those who are interested in furthering their careers in this amazing life of kids performing should take a look at this link: http://www.practical-magic.com/components/com_virtuemart/shop_image/product/c555f31b66b986be2e1eaf8a3f514696.jpg

This book is a gold mine of info and a complete discourse on kids entertaining.


Message: Posted by: Mumblemore (Feb 3, 2009 08:05AM)
Let's turn this thread back from a non-related book plug to a celebration of Potty's outstanding work.
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Feb 3, 2009 01:55PM)
Cool! What are the links to his new video Mumblemore?
Message: Posted by: Potty the Pirate (Feb 3, 2009 02:26PM)
I love the word "abstemious", only because it contains each vowel in the English language, in order, once and only once. There is another word which also contains the vowels only once, in order. Why should such a word spring to mind?
Seriously, though, it seems that Magic Santa and JoJo aren't enamoured with my style? If you have any comments, please, this is the place to make them. I don't take offense, and would genuinely like to know what you guys, especially, think? I respect the opinions of everyone here at the Café, even though I don't always share them. You can be sure that nothing said here (about my work) will cause any ill-feeling whatsoever. Give it to me on the chin, I'm as keen to learn now as ever. Use any language you prefer, with the relevant %*~! where neccessary.
Can I say it any more plainly?
Thanks in advance for your candour.
Doug :)
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Feb 3, 2009 08:39PM)
Your costume is nice. I will say this, you are wayyyyy better than any other pirate oriented kids how magician I've seen. Your performance is what I would call practiced average, which is above most kids show performers.
Message: Posted by: Clownboy (Feb 4, 2009 06:20AM)
MagicSanta, Do you have any video's of yourself to show us how its done?
I think we would all like to see a demonstration of how you do it.


Message: Posted by: Potty the Pirate (Feb 4, 2009 08:18AM)
....and if you have any ideas how I could improve my show to better than "practiced average", or what I may be doing wrong, they'd be most welcome...
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Feb 4, 2009 12:26PM)
See how it goes? This fellow puts himself out there and ask for comments. Many of you line up like little girls "oh it is so pretty! I want to get one, does it come in my size?". The says he is a big boy and when told he is practiced average, compared to the bulk of kids show magicians that are unpracticed bad, now I get some dip asking for a video of me. No, I do not have a video of me working because I do not video tape the shows. Nor am I attempting to sell a DVD to a flock of sheep. Clownboy, unlike Potty I am not seeking comment or approval or anything else from the unwashed masses.

Potty, while I grant you that to some of these folks your performance is amazing, at a level they dream of reaching, in the stars! What I saw was a prop driven show with jokes that fell flat because they were not funny to kids. The Silver Scepture is a 'they see you don't' effect and you presented it more as a 'they see you react by making a funny face' effect. The first time I would have noticed the thing moving was when it hit the nose. I like the bird puppet but too much squaking from it, the reactions from the kids was far less than I would expect to see. I'm not sure why the drawing board puppet was used at all other than you have it and might as well toss it in, after all it is a prop show. The best use of that device I've seen is in a library show where a book talks and that is how the theme was introduced. The art routine existed to support the bigger wands so it was thin. By the way, do you drive a semi to your shows? Then there is The Flea, a lovely item, the reaction to expense seemed quite a bit off. I think that would play better in a family show than for kids, it was just a flat performance and the lack of reaction showed that, I've seen better reactions to an empty envelope. Your jokes, again, over the head of the kids. I've no problem if you insert jokes aimed at adults present, it is kind of fun to have mom and dad laughing while the kids sit puzzled, to be aiming the joke to the kids and their not understanding it isn't great. Lastly the background is too busy, I'd go with a single color, it won't drown out your props that way.

So basically you have a strong character, the performance pieces don't reflect the character, your presentations are pretty much store bought. If I was you I'd look at what you can perform and try to see how it applies to the pirate theme and toss out those that do not then write a script for a pirate show rather than a pirate doing a magic show.
Message: Posted by: Potty the Pirate (Feb 4, 2009 01:02PM)
Thanks, Magic Santa - that's all great advice, and I genuinely appreciate it. I will consider your points carefully, as there is much of merit, and on every point I know where you're coming from. The show I chose for the DVD isn't my standard show, I do have dozens of specific pirate-themed routines, as well as a full pirate story show. There is a reason for the routines I included, and that will become clear to those who see the "explanation" part should they invest in the DVD. Two of the routines were very new to me, I'd only been using The Flea and "Painting Competition" for 2 weeks before filming - there was a reason for that too.
So thanks, Magic Santa, for your time and opinion.
Potty :)
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Feb 4, 2009 02:09PM)
You are welcome. You are far ahead of most performers I'd just like to see the character drive the show more.
Message: Posted by: Clownboy (Feb 4, 2009 03:17PM)
Hey MagicSatan - I was just asking if you had a video. No need to get all nasty
about it. You obviously are an expert at this sort of thing so maybe you could teach us something. Who are we to question you "The Great Evil One".
Message: Posted by: Mumblemore (Feb 4, 2009 04:41PM)
With friends like Magic Satan, who needs critics? Seriously, we need to lighten up and take this all a little less seriously. When he lightens up on the rhetoric, our fiendish friend makes some great points, and I know "the devil is in the details." But let's come to grips with our demons on this board, and offer constructive criticism (as in the later part of the post), rather than mere "pitch fork" prodding, as in the first part.
Message: Posted by: Mumblemore (Feb 4, 2009 05:03PM)
To get back to the real subject, when and where can we see Potty's DVD? I think the character's consistent and funny and that the "prop-driven" criticism is overdone, because invariably, whoever makes it thinks that they're "talent-driven" and can do a brilliant 30 minutes on the spur of the moment with a thumb tack and rubber band. As in my profession, academia, critics are often trying to refocus the attention on themselves.

Potty has been a generous colleague, answering PMs and thread queries, posting routines and comments (and always with an original/creative take), and generally encouraging. His YouTube stuff is very well done (I laughed out loud at the Silver Sceptre) and now he's shown yet again how generous he is by replying graciously to Magic Santa's sarcasm. I don't even know Potty (never met the guy; don't know his given name), nor live on the same continent. But he gets it done and as an advanced beginner at this point (40-45 shows under my belt), I need models like him to learn from on character development, timing, comic pace, show organization and scripting, and technique. Potty, you're the pottiest.

Where do I get the DVD? More of us need to follow your generous and collaborative example.
Message: Posted by: Potty the Pirate (Feb 5, 2009 01:39AM)
Thaks, Mumblemore. My "other" name is Doug - but call me Potty. I've decided to completely re-edit the DVD, as the first edit was my very first attempt. I messed up the soundtrack some. I also have to film the Explanation, and have the printing organised. My guess is about 6 weeks before it's ready.
Thanks again for all the great input,
Potty ;)
Message: Posted by: keeblem (Feb 5, 2009 05:09AM)
I think magicsanta had a couple points - however I didn't think they were put in a very constructive way. Some of the jokes weren't that funny - and the lack of reaction did prove this.

Also, a show shouldn't be prop driven. BUT, I do think you need to show that the bookers are getting some kind of value. I remember reading somewhere that a guy did a fantastic show with just some rubber bands and a sponge balls, but he didn't get much work because there was no perceived value by the bookers. So he got a rabbit production and then the work came flooding in. Whether or not this is a true story, it does highlight an interesting point.

Finally, I don't agree with everything Doug does or says, but he tirelessly gives a lot of input to the magic Café for the benefit of others. I certainly can't be bothered to upload a video of my performance just to be knocked down by a bunch of grumpy old men. He contantly puts himself up in the firing line and takes all critisism on the chin. For that he should be applauded.

Finally, in my experience anyone who puts forward their opininion in a "nasty" or unhelpful way are usually a) jealous b)insecure or c) just plainly don't know what their talking about.

Message: Posted by: Chance Wolf (Feb 5, 2009 10:33AM)
Wow, your responses are a true lesson in civility!
Let's make a new, yet non official, rule in the Café.
You must post a 2 minute or more demo of your own act before posting criticism of others acts.
Will this ever happen?
Unlikely but it sure would VALIDATE the opinions of some.
Hang in there Potty!
Message: Posted by: Potty the Pirate (Feb 5, 2009 01:13PM)
Well, you see, I could have gotten upset at Magic Santa, and he'd never have bothered to take the time out to give me his actual opinion. Except that anyhow, I never get angry about this kind of stuff. In fact, I think he's given me a rather harsh critique, but that's what I wanted.
Of course, Santa's view and mine are very different. And I have some difficulty imagining a magic show that wasn't "prop driven"? There aren't very many tricks that don't involve props, as we need physical objects to demonstrate most magic. But as props are pretty much essential to magicians, I like to ensure mine are bright and fun.
But what he's pointed out are all the things that folks are likely to take issue with, and that's SO valuable to know. And it means I can go away and consider how to improve my show.
It's common in the UK for folks to be quite rude, in a light-hearted way. I don't think Magic Santa was doing any more than that.....
Message: Posted by: zimsalabim (Feb 6, 2009 09:24AM)
Potty I do a pirate themed show as well and I enjoyed your stuff a lot especially the idea of the silver sceptre sword. That is a lot of fun. As to everything else I honestly cannot say that every single joke I do is a laugh riot for the kids. I like it when they groan at the stuff and yes they do that as you well know. Doing kids shows here and over there can be vERY different. I know as I have been lucky enough to present my show to both kids from here in the states as well as children form the UK I live in Orlando and we have many visitors from the UK and I do a lot of shows for the children from there. Its a different dynamic at least in my experience but still a lot of fun. If I was to say anything about your style it would be YOU don't seem to be having fun. I honestly believe that is a contagious thing with the kids. Keep up the good work its a blast isn't it?
Message: Posted by: Clownboy (Feb 6, 2009 04:53PM)
Doug I got to tell yah that I thought you did a fine job on your routines. Sure, we all have room for improvement but it was very good in my opinion. My pastor once told me that if you stop growing then you start rotting. Good words to live by for all of us.

I must say that I would LOVE to see your character do the Picto-Chango routine. Maybe change it so that you both draw Pirates... How much fun that would be.
Your character affords a lot of variations and I Love that about "Potty".

Keep up the good work and Thanks for sharing with us!

Message: Posted by: Potty the Pirate (Feb 7, 2009 12:47PM)
Brad, thanks for your kind words - they are also welcome :) I have Gene Anderson's "Picto Transpo", which is excellent - it's prety much the same as "Picto-Chango", I think. However, I rarely use it, as a friend who works locally uses it a lot, so I promised to only use mine on the odd occasion. It it the obvious replacement for Adair's "Painting Competition" when you have an older crowd. Very strong magic, and nice and easy :)
Your post made me immediately "picture" a pastiche of the sideshow attraction that offers to dress folks up and take phoney vintage photos.....how about first getting a girl, (or possibly a mum) from the audience, and dressing them up in full pirate gear (or whatever costume you choose). Then, she and the entertainer draw each other. The transpo effect delivers a big kick in the pants magic-wise, and the routine finishes with a photograph being taken with a clown camera?
What else could we do?
Message: Posted by: cardone (Feb 7, 2009 06:24PM)
When I started doing a more elaborate stage show for kids parties I started commanding a high fee ... and I mean high... I don't always book the fancy show packages but I do book them ... Nice large props and a curtain stage set up makes the person's home into a mini theatre ... people know where their money went....into the show. I use a lot of skill oriented routines to highlight my ability and my theatre training takes care of the showmanship ...this makes a great product to sell to the clients .....Potty has a great show and good taste on what he buys to put into his show ...he act is an easy sell to his clients.
Message: Posted by: formfoam (Feb 8, 2009 06:35AM)
Potty, I like your show!
Message: Posted by: Clownboy (Feb 8, 2009 07:29AM)
You are right, its the Picto Transpo I was thinking of. OOps, Sorry Gene!

Adding Costumes would be a blast even for the Children. Wouldn't have to be elaborate or expensive but would definitely add another level of excitement to your audience. And if you can find a very straight laced person to participate with you that the crowd all knows you will have people stitches. I for one would get a kick out of it anyway!

Message: Posted by: pjw (Feb 9, 2009 01:24AM)
I enjoyed the show to be honest it was no where near the best I have seen, but it seemed a compitent enough show.
please don't take offence as there is none intended , but I am not sure if the perfomance was of a good enough std to produce a teaching video.
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Feb 10, 2009 11:24PM)
Hi kidz! Sorry I've not been here, been on the road, I was brilliant in case you were wondering. Sexy too.

Now I shall expand more for the sake of lessers out there that may learn something. This isn't directed at Potty as he at least has a track record, it is for some of the rest of you unpracticed baddies, you know, the ones that called me Satan and saw it allowed by the powers that be.

There are two basic types of kids show performers that you'll run into, I mean, other than you imagined ones.
1) Character driven performers. These are guys who basically pick a strong character, a pirate for example, and their show is based on that character having magical powers and the material is selected based on that character.

2) Prop driven magicians. These guys tend to lean heavily on the props and use standard presentations. Each segiment almost is like a mini playette in itself and one routine doesn't reflect on another.

Both work fine the first being more difficult to develop a show for and requires more creativity than the second but you can make a living for decades doing the second. The biggest problem with the second type is they usually just can't admit that is what they are. Hey, look at it from a musical stand point, some bands walk out and play music, others put on rock theater, they are what they are. This doesn't mean the rock theater guys are better than the straight up musicians, just different, so mellow out.

The problem with the limited amount of stuff Potty put out there, and note he put it out there I didn't, was he has a very strong character and clearly put a lot of effort into the 'look' and the staging. Everything cool. The problem as I saw it was he then turned around and presented the magic like the second type of magician! Prop driven, standard presentations, predictible jokes. The jokes, by the way, are ones that are directed to the adults present, they die on the vine for the kids though, I think you do need to slip in stuff for the adults present though. So what I saw was a great character delivering a standard practiced performance. Thank goodness is it practiced, it gets old seeing scripting that consist of 'oh uh, uh, this is, uh, a silk, er, I mean a hanky like your dad, er, uh, I mean like grandpas, uh, use to, uh, use ya know...'. Potty didn't do that, joyful joyful, of course had he and I mentioned it some of you still would have said "the grouping of your 'uh's was brilliant, that Satan is a clownboy!".

Now since I don't blow smoke up skirts I will offer suggestions to the enthusiastic Potty, if he can take time from packing up his DVD to send to his fan base here in the ol' Lil Darlins section. First I always liked the pirate as a character and it is a worker, in particular for boy parties. Write a list of what you associate a pirate with as far as what he'd have with him. Some examples from when I did this exercise for a pirate years ago are:

Chest, gold coins, royal colored silks, rope, chain, pearls, bandanas, parrot, sword, pirate hat (tri tip), patch, gems.

That gives you a lot to work with. The biggest prop I would consider, and if I was you Potty I'd consider this, a tip over chest! Plays big and magical, isn't too much to lug around, you can produce a load of stuff, killer item. Note, there is nothing wrong with that flea circus, it is a wonderful product that I'm sure is well made, what the #@R$@# does it have to do with your character? You could have spent the money on a solid tip over chest and a rubber parrot. Again, this is not a slam against Wolfe or his lovely products, if it doesn't fit your character why bother if your show is character driven? If it DOES fit your character (and it doesn't for a pirate) then it is worth every dime and more.

I'd do a sponge ball routine showing how I can steal stuff from peoples hands, a midas touch routine using gold coins (or silver, what the heck), produce pearls. Make a squared circle with a pirate theme, do a 21st century silks with a pirate flag, mismade flag with a jolly roger, there are so many things. Oh, One thing I made, badly, that I thought was great but clumsy how I made it was a break away sword. I cut up a plastic sword and threaded it on a piece of cord and worked it like a wand. It wasn't great but still, something worth considering. I could go on and on.

So now you know where I stand. If you want to just be stroked, ask for it and I won't toss in my opinion. I do think that other than those that suggested you may not have the material to justify selling a DVD that I offered not only my opinion but also advice and ideas. Now I invite those name callers to continue, for you see, your opinions mean so little to me it has no effect on me, so carry on!
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (Feb 11, 2009 05:35AM)
Well done, Potty. It takes guts to show your stuff to the masses here and I applaud you for it.

I thought the joke book jokes were fun and will get a laugh from the kids and adults if played well. I think the flea routine probably needs more stage time...probably because it hasn't had much. I'm not sure the flea routine would be worth including in a dvd anyhow, if folks are spending that much on a prop I think they'll want to do it there way. It might be an idea to send it to Chance when it's more polished and see if he wants to include it with the effect?

BTW can you theme the card part of it? Maybe have pictures of girl fleas and select a girlfriend for your flea or something like that?

The sceptre routine was fun. I thought the fact that they were laughing at your reaction rather than screaming at the "don't see" part of it was a plus point.

You've a great face for this line of work!

More power to ya,
Message: Posted by: Potty the Pirate (Feb 11, 2009 08:08AM)
Thanks to everyone for your great input - it has been really helpful. To respond to Magic Santa's points - I do have routines using ALL the props mentioned. The DVD will also include my mis-made pirate flag machine/routine, from my pirate-themed show, from which I haven't put a clip up on YouTube.. The routines I chose for this show were specifically chosen so that folks can adapt my presentations if they like, for their own shows. If I'd chosen my stronger pirate themed routines such as: "How to Be a Pirate" : a routine involving four kids, one adult, a L&H chest, and a strong mentalism effect to boot; or silk vanish routine/story with a treasure map and two kids; or "The Treasure Game" - a pirate-themed bill in lemon routine with a beautiful treasure chest - they would have only been useful for those presenting a pirate show. Instead, I chose the scepter as it's very popular, Magic Painting (my premise is simply that I, as a pirate, enjoy painting....), since I don't' know of any other DVDs with this routine, Mis-made flag, to illustrate lots of gags, and how to bnring this effect up to date, the Flea (my premise will be that the fleas belong to the ship's monkey, who will actually present the routine himself soon - see, fleas and pirates fit perfectly well together!)...and the Flea can be simply adapted for alternative presentations - And my Parrot/Drawing Board routine was chosen as it's unusual, and will be used to illustrate how the performer can manage his stage presence.
I also have a pirate-themed story show which includes: a BIG treasure map, a rope routine, "Captain Knottybeards' Incredible Seasickness Cure, A baby dragon, T.O. Trunk - treasure chest, and a Flying Carpet ride for the Birthday kid at the end.
If there is a demand for specific pirate-themed routines, I may consider offering some of these in the future. The problem is always filming the shows effectively.
Looks as if it mmay take a little longer to get the whole thing ready, but working hard to complete the project!
Thanks again to y'all,
Potty :)
Message: Posted by: Clownboy (Feb 12, 2009 05:48AM)
Hey Santa, Honestly I have no hard feelings.
You simply are not able interject without being rude or obnoxious. Want to do it to me then fine - go ahead. I can certainly take on anything you have. But when someone is looking for help and lay themselves out there, you SUCK at critiquing. Not sure if its because you have no manners or just rude in general.
You like to hide behind your avatar and crush those who just need a little helping hand to the next plateau. No need in "Blowing smoke up their skirts" or "stroking" them but show some respect and kindness when you do it.

As for me asking to see a video of you...
All I wanted to know is your credibility. You are unemployed (from reading your past posts) and haven't established yourself on here as a viable performer. For all we know you highest training in theater is watching Bambi in third grade. It sounded like most on here felt the same way. If you are going to criticize someone for something as harshly as you did then why not put a video out to demonstrate your technique and establish some credibility.

Again, no hard feelings towards you and sorry about the Satan comment. I didn't need to put that in there. I just don't like seeing people getting bullied or mistreated on here.

Message: Posted by: Potty the Pirate (Feb 12, 2009 10:53AM)
Brad, I just think that's Magic Santa's "way". What I'm curious about is why it took me to practically beg before Santa offered his actual opinion. pjw , a few posts above, has written nothing of any worth...more detail please, that's what makes constructive criticism. Just saying that "it's nowhere near the best I've seen" actually means pretty much nothing, with qualifying that statement.
Personally, I feel this forum is a good place to have your show torn to shreds....far better here, than while actually working!
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Feb 12, 2009 02:21PM)
You didn't have to beg, I was out of town and didn't access any computers during that time. You could have stood on your head and held your breath and it would have taken the same amount of time.

Clownboy (interesting, that is a name we use to use as a slam), there is a story about a man standing in the middle of the road with a donkey, just standing there. Another fellow comes along with a wagon and asks the first fellow to clear the road and the first man says he cannot because his donkey wouldn't move no matter how much he told it to. The second fellow gets off his wagon, pulls a 2x4 out and wacks the donkey across the head, at which point it starts walking down the road. The second fellow looks at the first and says "you have to get their attention first".

Since this is suppose to be a stroke fest and I just don't play well at those I'll make it clearer since it hasn't penitrated yet. Potty, if you were half as good as you think you are you would be the top performer in the UK. The videos you put up were not bad nor were they impressive. Deal with it or don't deal with it, I could care less what the poor children of the UK are subjected to. They handled the blitz I'm sure they can handle your show. I'm not even concerned about you because as I said you are an average performer which is not a bad thing. I was more addressing the dolts who were telling you how wonderful it was and how they would be in line to purchase a DVD of said performance! Come on, either they don't know what they are talking about or they are stroking you for no reason that I can determine. My comments were mostly to try to help your fans here hopefully become better magicians, oh wait, I forgot they all must be excellent top drawer performers.

As for establishing myself as a viable performer here you must be kidding. I have to establish myself you some of YOU? Why? What can you possibly bring to the table that would benefit me? From what I see a costume on one fellow and another adopting a Potter'ish name is enough to send some of you into a lather. Goody goody for you. I, at least, gave some advice to Potty that he could, in secret I'm sure, give thought too that could help him in the long run. Ewwwing and awwwing when it isn't called for does nothing except stroke the fellow looking for attention.

Hey, I tried to help y'all by explaining character development, all that came out of it was "I'm a pirate that likes to paint' as justification for a trick. I guess you do the flea because "I'm a pirate that likes flea circuses". That actually is a great way to justify adding anything and everything to your show.

Let me, the Great Satan, end with one thing. Watch what you put on You Tube, there is very, very, very few descent performances put on there. Quit shooting yourselves in the foot. Potty's (I can't take it any more, you are now Doug) video actually is far better than most I've seen though, some people on here, dang dudes, you need to think before you put up evidence against you.

Have a happy day!
Message: Posted by: Potty the Pirate (Feb 12, 2009 02:42PM)
Magic Santa, I never claimed to be as good as anything, except as good as I can be. Why I should be the top performer in the UK, I have no idea....that's not how I think - that's how egotists and my mother think. As performers, I believe we should be humble, and grateful that we are blessed with such a creative and fulfilling career.
As for pirate-theming my shows, well, I can assure you, they are pirate-themed. But Santa seems to believe that only piratical stereotypes are appropriate - whereas, having spent much of my life as a pirate of sorts, my take on the pirate theme is different. Take The Flea as an example: among the most common animals for pirates to have aboard ship were monkeys. Monkeys have fleas. Our ship's monkey has simply trained his fleas to do tricks! Comprendez?
Another Wolf trick - the Wacky Weasel - also fits the pirate character perfectly, in my shows: the ship's parrot (Squawk) is hopeless at catching rats, so we got a weasel to deal with them. Then, of course, we have the ship's rat, Spotty, who is so big (Axtell Neurotic Rat) that the Captian decides he can become one of the crew, and that way he'll manage the rat problem.
I hope someday you guys can see some of those routines too, but I've tried to make my first DVD offering more relevant to a wider audience.
On Magic Santa's final point - I disagree (what a surprise!) Really, if you want to learn, grow, and become the best you can be, absolutely put your clips on YouTube, and have your peers and associates profer their criticism.
Potty (please don't call me "Doug" in front of the kids)
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Feb 12, 2009 03:07PM)
Most don't critique what is on youtube, they sit around and mutter "oh my #$@% god, why would he put that up?" because the person putting it up thinks it is great. Again that isn't your videos I'm refering to, I won't name the main culprit but the fellow is on here and puts up lots of really bad video.
Message: Posted by: Mumblemore (Feb 12, 2009 06:34PM)

You are a model of showmanship, humility, and a creative "take." I'll buy the DVD just to learn more about the guy who has so graciously taught us all how to counter onslaughts like MagicSanta's criticism mixed with antipathy.

Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Feb 12, 2009 06:42PM)
He's almost like Jesus...
Message: Posted by: Al Kazam the Magic Man (Feb 12, 2009 09:13PM)
On 2009-02-12 19:42, MagicSanta wrote:
He's almost like Jesus...

that's funny!

You have to take into account that Mumblemore posted last week that he has only done about 40 -50 kids shows. That is not very many at all. He would certainly benifit from Potty's advice and routines, no doubt about it.

Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Feb 12, 2009 09:38PM)
Thanks JoJo, I started doing math and figured kids I use to work for when I started out now have kids too old for magicians! Augh!
Message: Posted by: Bumble (Feb 13, 2009 07:44AM)
I think regarding Magic Santa its a case of 'Lights on....nobody home.
Message: Posted by: Mumblemore (Feb 13, 2009 09:16AM)
I am honest about needing feedback . . . And not too proud to take up good generous people who are willing to offer it . . . It's how we all learn. There's no shame in being a novice. isn't' that what we all are at one point or another? I am "getting out there," have an excellent - and improving - kid show, and get paid for my services. Most importantly, in each of the last 10 or 15, I've gotten "knee hugs" after each and every show. To me, that means I'm doing something right. And secondly, I try hard not to take myself too seriously.

I frankly think that there's another important "experience issue" on the Little Darlings. I got into this as a parent of young kids, and I think understanding them well, by dealing with them every day, is worth some "show experience." I think that starting with my own kids and their friends has given me an understanding of how magic impacts them. The bottom line is that this is not a science. I don't have the most experience of anyone on this board; far from it. But I admit that, unlike many of our fellow "experts." I do not claim dazzling technical skills or sleight of hand. But I can do a great show (yes, Santa, it is prop driven and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, and yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus but this guy ain't him ...).

Let's be honest. The quality of a magician (especially close up) is measured by sleight of hand in combination with originality, presence and ability to WOW. To me at least, kid show performers should be judged on how entertaining they are. "Knee hugs" and "wound up kids" are the best measure of that, no matter what people get paid, or how many card flourishes they can do.

So yes, I would definitely benefit from Potty's advice and routines (although I do write my own routines, thank you, but yes, I enjoy getting ideas and bits of business from others). However, my point is that I think many others might also benefit. The guy is very creative and does excellent stuff. Why do people constantly have to deride others to build themselves up? Criticism is one thing, if it's specific and constructive. But just knocking others with a sour and general tone is not overly helpful to anyone.

Got to get back to practice. Lots to learn . . .
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Feb 13, 2009 11:18AM)
See...good info given but they are too blind to realize it. They spend too much time defending themselves to learn, poor buggers.
Message: Posted by: Bumble (Feb 13, 2009 11:53AM)
Well said.I feel that it is the energies we put into our acts that make it.
If you just go on and go through the motions with no real enthusiasm for it then it will show.
A true professional to me is someone who 'wants to be there'
Last Christmas I had a run of engagements entertaining the children as they came to see Santa (thankfully a proper one)many of the parents commented that I was as exited as the kids about it all.That to me is a great compliment and shows that I was doing my job right.
After they had got their gifts from Santa some would rush up to me to show me what they had got and I was genuinely pleased for them.
My efforts were noticed by the management and I was booked for next Christmas on the strength of it.
So it does'nt matter what props you have it is how you portray yourself that is important.
For my childrens shows I too am prop driven with a large assortment of effects which I enjoy using.
The theme which Potty puts through his routines I think is really good and the fact that he is forever pushing to put life into his act is to be commended.
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (Feb 14, 2009 06:56AM)
On 2009-02-13 08:44, Bumble wrote:
I think regarding Magic Santa its a case of 'Lights on....nobody home.

At least Santa's original and somewhat prolific in his insults. That cliched jibe would suggest a shortage in voltage elsewhere...
Message: Posted by: Chance Wolf (Feb 14, 2009 08:15AM)
The advice you are giving is solid but maybe your approach is making a few folks skin crawl. What you are trying to explain can be hard to relate into words as there are a lot of subtleties in body actions, delivery etc.

Why do you not post a demo video?

No need for super video production and slick editing. I am sure your experience and act will be more than fine.
Just plop a camera in front of your act and do your thing.
Actions speak a million words.
Show us your stuff!
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Feb 14, 2009 02:32PM)
Well Chance, a couple things. One, I'm basically retired so I'm not out performing any longer in a formal setting with rare exceptions. Secondly I don't care to share my routines with the unwashed masses as they will steal them and then claim originality. Third I can barely figure out how to get letters to appear on a computer and have no clue how to get video onto one. Lastly I don't need approval from you or anyone else, I do not seek it, and do not ask for it. There are those that do ask for it and they need to accept the responses for what they are. I said Potty was practiced average, nothing he showed was original or outside the creative box. He wanted more information, he PM'd asking for more comments, if not for that I would have left it at 'practiced average', which is better than most. I'm actually more concerned and shocked by those that saw the videos and then lined up to say "it was amazing! Great! I want to buy a DVD of that performance!". You, Chance, are going to think your products are suitable for each and every performer and performance, I don't blame you, it is how you make your living. Oh, the Flea looks very well made and done by the right performer and done well I'm sure it could be the centerpiece of a show. If anyone has video on youtube of it being performed well I'd like to see it, best flea performance I ever saw was by a mime about 25 years ago.
Message: Posted by: Chance Wolf (Feb 14, 2009 03:51PM)
I appreciate your response & convictions.
Message: Posted by: MagicSanta (Feb 14, 2009 04:37PM)
And I love your stuff!
Message: Posted by: kimmo (Feb 18, 2009 10:19AM)
Doug - returning to the subject of your forthcoming DVD - can you let us know what other routines will be included on it? I'd particularly like to see your Wacky Weasel in action, although it will probably make me wish I hadn't sold mine!
Message: Posted by: Potty the Pirate (Feb 18, 2009 11:24AM)
The main part of the DVD will be a one-hour show that includes: intro/Silver Septer/Magic Painting/ The Flea/the Pirate-thingumy-flag-a-bobba-watchamacallit machine (mis-made pirate flag), and the Squawk routine with the drawing board. Also, there will be some footage from my story show "Magic Island", showing some of "Captain Knottybeard's Incredible Seasickness Cure" (Kovari's "Passing Water"), my Treasure Chest production, and the Flying Carpet. Plus an original pirate song on my pirate guitar, and a short demonstration of how to organise a great group photo after the show.
I have yet to filmm the "explanation" section, which will concentrate more on stage techniques and characterisation. All the tricks I chose for this DVD reequire virtually no sleight-of-hand or manual skills.
good luck at Blackpool, Kimmo!
Potty :)
Message: Posted by: Neznarf (Feb 24, 2009 10:48AM)
Q: What happened when a dog sneaked into the flea circus?

A: He stole the whole show.
Message: Posted by: Michael238 (Nov 17, 2009 04:20PM)
What is a Picto Chango?
What is the difference between that and Gene Anderson Picto Tranpo?