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Topic: One liners
Message: Posted by: rjb1991 (Dec 21, 2013 10:24AM)
Just a question about how magicians get away with saying things like "Check your pockets, do you have your selected card? Of course not, stupid audience" That would fit my personality but I am putting together my first show. I want it to be a comedy type presentation. How does everyone feel about lines such as the one above?
Message: Posted by: Stanyon (Dec 21, 2013 11:22AM)
Never belittle your audience or volunteers.

Message: Posted by: davidpaul$ (Dec 21, 2013 11:32AM)
I would NEVER put down my audience or call them stupid even in jest. That's just me, it might fly for some people but I wouldn't.
I do use lines like the late J.C. Wagner. Quote: (He asks his audience) "Have you ever seen me before? No? Well then how do you know it's me?
I will also, as you said, vanish a card and tell them it's in your right pants pocket and when they check I'll say Boy!that would have been good. (That's a pretty standard line but it works.) You'd be surprised the funny lines your spectators come up with and if it's good I ask them if it's OK if I use it. It's Ok to be funny just NOT at your spectators expense. My opinion...
Message: Posted by: rjb1991 (Dec 21, 2013 01:20PM)
Those are the principles I also follow. I guess the question is how does someone like gazzo get away with it?
Message: Posted by: Ihop (Dec 21, 2013 02:19PM)
Or comedians like Don Rickles.
Message: Posted by: Kbuck54 (Dec 21, 2013 03:03PM)
Never insult your audience. Don't do effects that make them look stupid and you smart. That stuff will not work.
Put yourself in their place and what would you think would be funny. Just my two cents. Good luck with your quest.
Message: Posted by: RobertlewisIR (Dec 21, 2013 04:41PM)
Someone like Gazzo gets away with it for, I think, two reasons. First, he's performing in a situation where it's more acceptable. He'd never get away with that hopping tables at a restaurant. Second, he's actually really funny. People will forgive many things if they find it funny. If you're as funny as Gazzo, go for it. But don't just fool yourself into thinking you're funny enough because your girlfriend or mother thinks you are. You have to actually be funny enough to make people realize that you're just having a bit of fun and get them to laugh at their own expense.

Even at that, there are plenty of people who *don't* like Gazzo's presentation. You will never please everyone, much less so with a presentation like that.

I'd say it's best to get really good first. Once you're really good, then you can start to think about whether you're funny enough to pull that off.
Message: Posted by: Mercutio01 (Dec 21, 2013 05:08PM)
I don't think of myself as in any way as funny as Gazzo, but in teaching college composition courses, I do use abrasive humor. I pick on myself first and foremost. I'm a bit of a pessimist anyway, so it fits my style of banter to take knocks at myself in my endeavors to educate people on how to properly construct a college essay.

That said, I do sometimes inject seemingly caustic (but inoffensive, if that makes any sense at all) comments at my students. Generally I do it as a form of cold-reading, which I use to help students pick topics, create thesis statements, and find their writing voices, but I always make sure to reframe the statements. For example, to the male student with ripped jeans, a spiked wristwatch band, and somewhat greasy longish hair -- "You look like a heavy metal fan, but, I don't know, kind of a poser. Avril Lavigne doesn't count." Which I then add to with, "But what do I know? I look like a fat white dork in a shirt and tie, and I totally am that! But I'm out in the mosh pits every summer. So, are you a fan of Cannibal Corpse or some of that lame crap like 30 Seconds to Mars?"

That's just an example, and probably doesn't read as funny, but in context it gets good reactions, and because I've taken shots at myself before that (and will do so afterwards), it's disarming, ice-breaking, and helps me connect with students.

Long story short, find what works for you. Penn and Teller can also be pretty caustic, but it works for them. Harry Anderson comes across somewhat abrasive as well, but each of those guys has a different approach to their characters and attitudes.

Also - you could take a look down the page a little in [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewforum.php?forum=24&99892]Now that's funny![/url]
Message: Posted by: davidpaul$ (Dec 21, 2013 09:44PM)
Your audiences will be the TRUE judge. If they laugh and stick around to watch you great. If they walk away and you find yourself performing for no one well then...... You'll also know by how many times you get hired.. or have repeat bookings.. Bill Malone also has some suggestive and off putting presentations but he has a way of (because of HIS personality) making it work and people KNOW he is just kidding.(tongue in cheek humor) He has great advice on his DVD sets that are really worth looking at.
Message: Posted by: rjb1991 (Dec 21, 2013 10:51PM)
Basically just see what works for me. Everyone has to create their own impression and put on a show based on your personality. The more it matches your personality the better it will be.
Message: Posted by: Tricky Hands (Dec 22, 2013 02:50PM)
Great question!
I like to start with the old "Thump-up warm up" where they all have to do what I do.
I announce that by saying: "Wow! Great to be here...Iīm a little late so I forgot to do my finger-warm-up every magicians does backstage before the show...so...know what: letīs do it all together, ok?!"
Now I have funny lines for each of the four steps which I found during the time . In these 90 seconds there is no magic. Insted they got to know me and see that I also want to entertain them and give a good time.
When they finallly canīt turn up their thumps and
when they start reacting and feeling, they have been fooled the first time even Iīve announced that this is just a "warm up for magicians", I say: "Well...for those few who canīt untie the knot in there elbows, the waite calls the ambulance. For the rest...letīs start with the magic!"
I smile and knick own eye ;-)
Here they laugh and apploud normaly.

My idea are the gags during the movement and the last line. The warm up is from somebody I donīt know (Thanxx for that, Mr.Unknown- it is still great!!!)

In my opinion the lines have to main reasons:

1. the audience realizes the show is on, have their first collectiv laughs and feels that thid was the first trick

2. they (hopeful) like the guy on stage ...

...but I canīt rember that this opening has ever failed ;-)

From that time on I introduced myself as someone who likes to interact and "just wantīs to play".

I hope you can find the "how & why" I do this in my little opening that works for me.

Best wishes,
Tricky Hands
Message: Posted by: Ado (Dec 22, 2013 04:07PM)
On 2013-12-21 14:20, rjb1991 wrote:
Those are the principles I also follow. I guess the question is how does someone like gazzo get away with it?

Well, he doesn't. I really don't like his personna.

Message: Posted by: magic4children (Dec 24, 2013 05:49AM)
Value your audience and they will value you.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Dec 24, 2013 10:48AM)
On 2013-12-21 14:20, rjb1991 wrote:

I guess the question is how does someone like gazzo get away with it?


If you have to ask then you're not ready to use this level of material.
Message: Posted by: DWRackley (Dec 24, 2013 01:16PM)
Master Payne has hit the proverbial nail dead on. You don't want to look/sound/act like anyone else, but until you've gotten the experience necessary to both try out new things AND to make an honest self-appraisal of what's working and what isn't, it's better to stay with proven stage-craft principles. Make small "tests" along the way, and your audiences will eventually be coming to see YOU, rather than some guy doing tricks.