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Topic: Head decapitation effects in poor taste these days
Message: Posted by: jlevey (Oct 3, 2004 11:49PM)
With all the terrible images on the news that refer to the beheading of innocent civilians, I wonder if there many magicians have either removed the buzz saw or head guillotine illusion from their promo materials and/or show?

My feeling is, remove it from promo materials, but keep the effect in the show, as long as it's all handled with comedy and fun.

I believe that even though it's all in fun, it also can be viewed as being in poor taste these days.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Oct 4, 2004 09:24AM)
Quite agreed...

I never was in favour of it anyway...

Message: Posted by: reedrc (Oct 4, 2004 09:52AM)
Yeah. we were going to make a tribute illusion to the towers but felt capatalizing on the 11th would not be a good thing although our intentions were to be a tribute. The emotion for it was just to high.
So I agree with the head chopper thing. I do want to say however just cause some a-holes decide to go on a murder rampage, and kill innocent people, does not mean we have to change our way of life.

I am VERY fond of sawing, head off / and cutting illusions
as well. Spikes, all of the horror or wow type props
but........ I do feel that we need to respect the feelings of our audiences through these times and entertain them with illusions that uplift them and cause awe and wonder/ magic.....all that stuff... cheers :)

Message: Posted by: spkrosky (Oct 4, 2004 10:36AM)
I have these reservations as well. Although I think the head chopper effects/ sword through the neck are best done as comedy pieces and as such I'm not sure how quickly the audience relates them to the current events. Now if we were to include jokes alluding to Arabic beheadings, torture, etc, that would indicate extremely poor taste. So as long as we keep it extremely lighthearted and keep the makeup of the audience in mind, I'm not sure it's a problem
Message: Posted by: The Mirror Images (Oct 4, 2004 10:41AM)
It all comes down to presenation. If you present the piece in a tastful manner you are good to go. Don't treat this effect with poor taste cause you won't get that responds you are looking for.

Message: Posted by: kregg (Oct 4, 2004 12:19PM)
Wouldn't this topic be better suited in the "Food For Thought" section?
No pun intended.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Oct 4, 2004 01:11PM)
Just in case you didn't know, there are other recent threads on this exact subject.

Here's one of them: [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=69400&forum=7]Magic Café thread... Guillotine - Distasteful?[/url]

Use a keyword search of "chopper" or "guillotine", and you'll find pages of threads. Several recent ones mention this concern.

- Donald
Message: Posted by: johnnymystic (Oct 4, 2004 01:50PM)
Nonsense!!! Theres nothing wrong with head chopper effects, sheesh I can't stand this politically correct BS!
Message: Posted by: jlevey (Oct 4, 2004 03:28PM)
I think showing sensitivity to our global community is a valid concern. That's why I believe that entertainers should "consider" removing from our promo kits, the close-up image of a head about to be cut into with either a buzz saw or a guillotine blade.

Of course, in the end it's a personal decision. I also believe that there is nothing wrong with keeping the routine in the show as long as it is lighthearted, has comedic appeal and (as spkrosky writes) does not offend the particular make-up of the audience or the setting(ie. wouldn't do it in a Mosque, synagogue, or in front of military groups, etc.).

When I received a recent call from the head of a Baptist association, they expressed deep concern at seeing such an image on our web site. Again, this is why we have removed it from our site (for the time being. We (you) never know who will visit your site and find genuine offense. I'd rather promote the fun and laughter of our show and although the way in which we present the buzz-saw routine evokes gales of fun and laughter (and not at the expense of the volunteer), we know that, but until I can describe the effect further to the potential client, they do not know that (it remains vague and ambiguous). Sure I had a caption beneath that said "Laugh your head off!", but I believe I have explained my own reasons for removing the image from our site.

I would like to move this posting to a more appropriate section of the Magic Café (ie. Food for Thought). Can anyone advise me on the steps necessary to do this?

Thanks for the thoughtful input on this thread.

Message: Posted by: Scruffy the Clown (Oct 4, 2004 06:42PM)
Ironically, one of the recent victims was from the neighboring community of Hillsdale, MI.
Very sad indeed. Just out of curiosity, does anyone still perform the John the Baptist illusion?
Message: Posted by: seanalexander (Oct 4, 2004 07:14PM)
What if you do a Chris Angel style of magic? (I mean dark and gory! and not necessary his effects!) OR better still, there is an act in the UK called Nightmare and their WHOLE show is about impaling, hanging, beheading.....Do you get me?
If everybody was to say we shouldn't do these type of effects at the moment, these poor guys are gonna s@/t out big time!!
People come to watch a show and to enjoy it, I don't think that people will relate to todays issues too much! They just wanna have a good time. As long as there is no relation to recent issues I don't think there would be too much of a problem.
Also why should these murdering @?$£"&* be allowed to place all of us in a situation of Do I, Don't I perform this? Why should we change our way of life, stop doing what we are doing because of these maniacs? (And before you say it yes I understand we need to acknowlodge and respect the victims and their families, but not by the world changing what it does in every day life, because does that not give exactly what they want, for us to stop and change what we do?)
Anyway just my thought on the subject and lets all hope that Ken Bigley is released safely and there is an end to all this soon!

Message: Posted by: jlevey (Oct 7, 2004 05:59PM)
Please note, I've shifted my thoughts on this subject over to the following thread:


Please check it out and continue the discussion, should you desire.

Once again, many thanks to all those that participated in this particualr thread.

Message: Posted by: The Great Blackwell (Oct 13, 2004 10:55PM)
Consider your audience and act accordingly...
Message: Posted by: Dr Magic (Oct 15, 2004 08:41AM)
On 2004-10-04 19:42, Scruffy the Clown wrote:
Just out of curiosity, does anyone still perform the John the Baptist illusion?

On 2004-10-04 16:28, jlevey wrote:
I received a recent call from the head of a Baptist[/quote]


:banana: :carrot:
Message: Posted by: Liam Jones (Oct 16, 2004 03:14AM)
I think head decapatation is great depending on the routine although I don't mean it as if I am someone completely sick in the head I just like the effects
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 17, 2004 12:51AM)
Just one question. If you are doing a decapitation, what else can you remove other than the head?