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Topic: Culture Is Changing... Should We?
Message: Posted by: stempleton (Jun 2, 2019 09:01AM)
Let me first say that I've NEVER been called on this, but I'm looking for reaction from my fellow Children performers.

From the beginning of time we often use terms like "where's your boyfriend" to girls, and "why is your girlfriend laughing?" to boys. These types of references are in many of our routines. They often actually are integral to the plot of the routine, and not merely laugh lines. (Have you ever divided up the girls and boys in competition with Axtell's "Off The Meter?) In these ever changing times, do any of you feel the need to bow to PC and make them either "gender neutral" or even more extreme? I ask this as I am working on a kid/teen version of 3 card monte, with the typical "girl in the middle (queen)" start, then all three cards changing to kings.

Not looking for a debate on any social or political issue, and hope the moderators will intervene if it does. Simply looking for opinions of the working children's magic pros. Many thanks!
Message: Posted by: MichaelCGM (Jun 2, 2019 10:19AM)
No need to "bow to PC" without cause. Unless one is getting a lot of complaints from clients and/or audience members, script your show as you see fit. As professional entertainers, it's our job to script our show for best results, unless explicit concerns are voiced.
Message: Posted by: o2b2b2 (Jun 6, 2019 07:03AM)
My view is to avoid any problems before they occur. It’s not difficult to be gender neutral, so why not go that way before someone brings it up. Better to be ahead of the times than behind them.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Jun 6, 2019 10:54AM)
Michael and I don't always agree, but in this "case", we agree.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Jun 7, 2019 12:40AM)
Yes, me too
Message: Posted by: Jed Maxwell (Jun 7, 2019 07:32AM)
Label someone only when you *know* the label applies. Boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, husband, sexual orientation, creed, color, politics... why set yourself up for attack by assuming anything?

I play it safe by being everything-neutral. It is just a minefield out there with too many parents reading (and adopting) the mindset of attention-seeking crazy journalists and internet posters.

It's not placating to the crazies. It's choosing to not play their game by giving them either attention or fodder.
Message: Posted by: Scott Green (Jun 21, 2019 10:40AM)
A decade ago, when I started doing this full-time, I had no real understanding of gender dysphoria, transgender issues, etc. Now I know these issues affect people—real people, children and adults in our audiences—and I know the hardships these people often face, from bullying to depression to high rates of suicide. So I have no excuse not to perform a show that extends them compassion.

I don't see the harm to the performer in using gender neutral language (i.e., referring to the audience as "my friends" instead of "boys and girls"). You don't need to split the kids by gender for your Off The Meter routine. This side of the room vs that side! First grade vs second grade! Libras vs Capricorns!... You don't need to ask for a girl to play the queen in a routine. You can ask the children to volunteer if they'd like to pick the queen, and then, without saying anything about gender, pick whomever you would like to be in that role. (If you make a habit of always trying to pick a girl, make sure there are volunteer opportunities in your show that are gender-neutral so children who present as neither boys nor girls still have things for which they can be picked.)

It's not PC culture forcing you to do anything. It's you now knowing more about the world and choosing a compassionate, empathetic path, instead of refusing compassion and empathy because a dram of change is too much of an imposition.
Message: Posted by: stempleton (Jun 21, 2019 01:00PM)
I appreciate hearing from both sides here. One commonality that seems to present itself is that the longtime posters here(myself included)and the new users seem to have opposite points of view. Not making any causal link to that, just pointing it out.
Message: Posted by: VolunteerMagic (Jun 22, 2019 11:21PM)
Well said, Scott Green!
Message: Posted by: o2b2b2 (Jun 23, 2019 08:34AM)
If you are doing kid shows, the people who hire you usually skew younger. It will be noticed if your approach is not what they expect. Scott Green is absolutely correct. I don't understand why performers have a big reaction or make a big deal about making such a small change in words. I did school shows full time for nearly 30 years, often over 400 a year, so have some experience in this. You can either stand and yell “ get off my lawn”, or make small changes and keep your customers happy.
Message: Posted by: TomB (Jul 14, 2019 11:58PM)
The culture is changing, and there is a culture war. I am not a fan of self censorship. If your show is kid friendly, you do not need to change it.

The PC crowd will never be fully accepting of anything you say. They will always find a reason to be offended. You will never win.

Little kids just want to have fun and be entertained.

In the end, they hired the performer. If you are losing demand, then you might have to adjust and size up your competition. If people like you, do not change for the sake of change. If there is a specific request, then you can talk about that with the client.
Message: Posted by: RNK (Jul 26, 2019 01:01PM)
[quote]On Jul 14, 2019, TomB wrote:
The culture is changing, and there is a culture war. I am not a fan of self censorship. If your show is kid friendly, you do not need to change it.

The PC crowd will never be fully accepting of anything you say. They will always find a reason to be offended. You will never win.

Little kids just want to have fun and be entertained.

In the end, they hired the performer. If you are losing demand, then you might have to adjust and size up your competition. If people like you, do not change for the sake of change. If there is a specific request, then you can talk about that with the client. [/quote]

Very well stated and totally agree!!
Message: Posted by: countrymaven (Aug 19, 2019 08:21AM)
The culture is changing, and there is a culture war. I am not a fan of self censorship. If your show is kid friendly, you do not need to change it.

The PC crowd will never be fully accepting of anything you say. They will always find a reason to be offended. You will never win. AMEN.

Why cater to the !% sickos out in left field? Yes there may be some real problems in this area and we should have empathy. But God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. NO matter how you twist it, you can't let the 1% force you to cater to the strange and troubled people. If they have a child with a problem like that, it is up to them to tell you in advance. I am not saying don't care, just don't make every show into something that
mocks the way we are created. Man and woman. At the same time, if someone really had a problem and the parents told me, I would try to avoid offending. But you can never please those who want to basically hate God's word. Sorry but it really comes down to that. And this is not unexpected in the bible. so sorry to mention that. I hope you are not offended. hehe.
Message: Posted by: RNK (Sep 9, 2019 12:10PM)
Very well stated countrymaven!!
Message: Posted by: TBeamanJr (Sep 30, 2019 03:37AM)
Scott Green has it correct. For those who are aware and accepting of gender neutrality or fluidity in society--whether you agree or not--will likely be paid dividends by more bookings than those who don't. It's a small change in patter, but could be a tremendous difference in how you are perceived, whether you are a good magician/kid's show entertainer or not. In many cases, people who are gender neutral or fluid have other friends who are also. No offense intended to countrymaven and the few other negative voices, I'll happily accept the bookings who you don't get calls for because of your attitude.
Message: Posted by: stempleton (Sep 30, 2019 10:59AM)
I believe this thread has run its course, and I think all sides have been shared, so I will be asking the moderators to close it. While its's the parents who pay,they're paying for me. It's my show and I PLAY to the kids. So I'll stay true to self. Thank you all for your input.
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Sep 30, 2019 02:25PM)
[quote]On Sep 30, 2019, stempleton wrote:
I believe this thread has run its course, and I think all sides have been shared, so I will be asking the moderators to close it. While its's the parents who pay,they're paying for me. It's my show and I PLAY to the kids. So I'll stay true to self. Thank you all for your input. [/quote]


Go ahead and ask for it to be closed.

But if I may quickly add that

Yes, all sides have been aired and people have had their saw. BUT .... unlike some posts on here it has not dissolved into a flame war (do we still say that? I don't know - maybe I need to change! LOL :lol: ).



PS do I mean dissolve?
Message: Posted by: derrick (Sep 30, 2019 02:40PM)
I guess this topic has run its course but I'm glad I ran across it. Thanks for posting. This isn't something into which I've put a lot of thought, but it seems to me with just a little effort on my part it might make a difference to that one kid it might make a difference to. If my audience is having a good time and is entertained no-one will care or even notice this subtile change to my show.
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Sep 30, 2019 02:50PM)
To play devil's advocate - or not - shouldn't we want each and every child (and adult) we perform for have a good time and come away enjoying it? we don't really want to upset any of our audience. We may (some may) freak them out a little on the way (thining of the likes of shock magic and sideshow maybe.

I have been thinking about this for a while - since listening to Crisa's podcast from last year. they talk about "feminine qualites" and stuff - at first I was like "yeah right wwhatever" - but as I listened to the podcast well I've tried to avoid "You guys" (for a mixed audience at least) and trying to avoid "crazy", "luny" and "Mad". It can be darn hard sometimes!

But it keeps your brain working.
Message: Posted by: stempleton (Sep 30, 2019 03:03PM)
[quote]On Sep 30, 2019, dave_matkin wrote:
[quote]On Sep 30, 2019, stempleton wrote:
I believe this thread has run its course, and I think all sides have been shared, so I will be asking the moderators to close it. While its's the parents who pay,they're paying for me. It's my show and I PLAY to the kids. So I'll stay true to self. Thank you all for your input. [/quote]


Go ahead and ask for it to be closed.

But if I may quickly add that

Yes, all sides have been aired and people have had their saw. BUT .... unlike some posts on here it has not dissolved into a flame war (do we still say that? I don't know - maybe I need to change! LOL :lol: ).



PS do I mean dissolve? [/quote]

Agreed. I meant to thank everyone for the civility. Wish all threads here could be the same.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Sep 30, 2019 03:10PM)
Yeah, I don't think the thread should be closed, as it is for more than just the OP as others become vested in it as well. I think it has created a good discussion and has made some think, re-think, or possibly re-evaluate their position and perspective. It is a progressive topic so what is the benefit in closing it?

I think it has unearthed some other good things to consider such as who your ultimate customer is and other perspectives. Sure you are performing for the kids but they are just the end-user. The parents or committee booking you are the true client who is most likely to have a concern, issue, or problem with these cultural shifts. So for some it starts on a foundational level of how you operate your business - from a "me" perspective or from a market or industry perspective? It isn't always about you.

Some consider this a very touchy subject. For others, it may be very personal. For some performers, they may not care less, while others it is something we must face on a daily basis.

So if not just for a great discussion it has provided important food for thought for many here.