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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Children's Entertainers - free flow of information (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Wilf Birchall
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England
21 Posts

Profile of Wilf Birchall
Casting aside all petty differences, all aliases . . . as I've mentioned here before about the old London Punch and Judy man who once said: "we don't want too many people knowing about our business do we?"

It is a serious dilemma. Information about almost anything legal (and often illegal) flies around the world in split seconds these days via the internet. The world wide web is an angel and a devil both at the same time.

The question here is, do we walk away and stay silent to try and preserve the secrets we have, or do we give quality advice freely to try and ensure that the next generation of entertainers have high standards and are worthy of the business?

What troubles me is people who think they can do it all in just a few weeks, - buy a few tricks, get some printing done, and start selling.

Children's Entertaining is an art, and it is an art that MOST people are not suited to, either through temperament, or the sheer mental demands (and sometimes physically) it places on you whilst working with youngsters. Then there is the awful question of giving information freely to people to access children, who may be not fit to be around kids.

It's not just entertaining that has become public domain these days. The local optician for instance, who was a skilled craftsperson, - almost considered professionally alongside a doctor or dentist. Probably nearly all now gone. Why? Because 1-hour glasses outlets run by largely poorly trained staff are trading with hi-tech. equipment. Another example of instant fixes.

Entertainers' fees surely have suffered as a result of this 'instant fix' world we live in. Only the other day I was talking to a good friend who told me in 1972 he was sent to do a regular Christmas Day show at a Hotel by an Agent. He was paid £75. By today's standards this is now around £700!! ($1300). We ourselves now just shut down between Dec. 23 and Dec. 27 as we don't need the cheapskate calls that seem to dominate the Festive Season now. OK, some of you probably buck this trend - and no doubt you'll want to tell us all about it, - but it's just a matter of time!

So for the present I'll keep looking in here, alongside the much criticised but extremely well-meaning Kyle, alongside the knowledgeable 'Holmes' (whoever he or she may be), and alongside the forceful and often opinionated, but never the less knowledgeable Sharps; also solid coal-face workers like Ross too!

Sincerely - known as 'Wilf'.

As an addendum to my posting (which interestingly has had high viewing but no reply - LOL)! I notice someone trying to apply a 50 posting rule before a member gets a public reply, - but is offered a PM message instead. I don't know whether this is the concept of this member or something created by the crew of "HMS Marmite", - it is an 'admirable' idea but I feel that it may be cast ashore onto the rocks by the majority of new users.

Wilf.
Harv
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I'm building a fence with
1127 Posts

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Well said Wilf. I am not a "newbie"...I have been performing for the last 14 years or so, and I know that it took me time to learn (in the coal mines because I never had a mentor)that a magic show is around 10% magic and 90% entertainment. As you mentioned,it also bothers me (as it does many here) when someone with little or no experience goes to a magic shop on Monday and performs on Saturday. The outcome of that show reflects on us all. That being said, there are times when I hit a wall as far as routining for a certain item. The Café is about magicians helping magicians whether new or experienced and any information is given voluntarily. I would like to thank all of my fellow Café members who have freely shared their thoughts and ideas with me. It is greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
Harv
Rudolph McGuinness
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Isle of Man
23 Posts

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I don't know know what some of the things Wilf says are. I think they are for people who may have left here recently under various circumstances. But I think we should give general advice freely and openly to maintain standards, at the same time being guarded as to 'magical' advice. Purchasing magic is something we all have to go on a journey through. A journey of learning through mistakes and successes.

Those who do think they are coming into just another 'line' of business in entertaining kids soon have an almighty shock when they reach the 'coal face' don't they? Yep Harv., - it sure is 10% props and 90% entertaining skills.

Rudy.
harris
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Harris Deutsch
8687 Posts

Profile of harris
I love entertaining and love to share both on stage and on this forum.

Since this is a public forum, I knew what to expect from the start.

Life and this forum is what it is. (amen enough of that sermon....mini lol)

I can choose what to and what not to share. Going from a borrower(of ideas)to one who is sometimes the borrow eeeeeee, it gets a bit interesting at times.

As a student shared recently in a middle school class, I am not cheating off someone else, I am utilizing my resources.

Yes the resources are more availble then when I started in the mid 70's.

I am guessing the folks that started in the 40's and 50's said the same thing about me in my 20's(years of age)

Be safe, well and creative.

Just my two liberty half dollars worth.

You are all appreciated by,

Harris Deutsch
Laughologist
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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music, magic and marvelous toys
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rossmacrae
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Arlington, Virginia
2432 Posts

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Harris said it all ... it has ALWAYS been that way, and not just about magic. Witness "back yard wrestling," the plethora of low-budget horror/sci-fi flicks (from the 1950s to today) by one-shot directors, every kid I know "putting on a show" in his basement for longsuffering friends and family, and EVERY SINGLE PERSON who has ever appeared on "American Idol" thinking that maybe, if they hope and pray hard enough, fame will land in their lap (regardless of skill or aptitude).

And what's so spooky-holy-special about our "magic secrets" anyway? Do we imagine ourselves to be shamans who can't have their cover blown or the people won't believe any more? Fundamentally we're providing entertainment with special effects ... turn on the TV any night and see documentaries detailing the secrets behing "Harry Potter's" special effects, resulting in GREATER attendance, not disillusionment!
Wilf Birchall
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England
21 Posts

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Thanks guys. You see, this place can be a relaxed, stress-free informal gathering after all can't it? and the world is still turning isn't it!

Known as 'Wilf'
harris
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Harris Deutsch
8687 Posts

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The less stress the better.

I try to take the bizness (sic) serious and myself lightly. (Rule 62)

The longer I am sharing with audiences, the more I see I don't know.

On the other side, sometimes I relearn stuff, during and after one of my nearly normal programs.

One example is my choice of songs that Nigel and I sing.

Lets keep the fun in dysfunctional entertainers.

Nearly Normal tip of the moment....

Don't forget to record your liability insurance payment on your taxes.

(My nearly normal wife and I just got ours done this morning.)
Our favorite magic word today is AARP.




Just sewious,

Harris Deutsch (and Nigel.... He's the one with more hair.)
Laughologist
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
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magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

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Wilf: Thanks for the kind words. I may be criticized at times, but that is fine with me. I can respect anyone who has a strong opinion. I like when we can agree to disagree as long as it does not end up in arguing. That solves nothing and no one ver learns from it. I just like sharing my information, tips and experiences here. I always learn every day here and I like to hope that I may be helping others as well.

I strongly believe we should give out helpful information and insite to those who truely want to learn and have shown a deep interest to learn. Would I give a secret to a non magician? Certainly not. I have to make sure they really want to learn magic and I want to be certain they are sincere enough about it. But once that is established, I will freely give them any information, insite or help I can.

I do so because I remember bring in their shoes so long agao and wishing I had a place to turn to for guidance and answers. It is also the reason why I co-founded the Philadelphia Society of Young Magicians about 10 years ago. I want to instill in youg magicians the right attitudes and allow these young performers to know that magic is not about fooling anyone, but entertaining them.

Having taught people magic for years now, I can understand the frustration of teachers in magic when a person wants to go a mile a minute and wants to do it all in a few weeks. I have learned though, that this is not always a bad thing. In most cases it shows a deep passion and they just want to do it all and lack focus. This is where I come in to the picture. I try to give my students that focus, slow them down and use that energy and place it in a positive direction.

This Café is about sharing information freely amongst magician to magician. It is about learning from others and then helping others with the information that we might have that they might gain insite from.

We have got to learn to set our magic egos and leave them at the door. We do not need them in a place like this. It is ok to agree to disagree and often times that will happen. But we must remember that we are all magic brethren and we should treat each other with respect.

Kyle
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Joseph_Then
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I believe that in this forum, we should give our expertise, even if it is free.

I also believe that there will be a dozens of leaches who gets nothing but free information and "buy a few tricks today for a children show tomorrow".

I also believe that it is OK if there are people who wants to learn magic instantly, or do it fast.

You see, it takes only money to be a kids magician but a passion and determination to be a REAL kids entertainer. Those who cannot will fizzle out. Those who have a strong market share in the market will not be affected at all.

Also, we are living in the age where everything must be fast and instant. If a person want to learn magic fast and quick. Or wants to buy magic that 'requires no practice', go ahead. We are moving the art of magic. But those who TRULY WANTS to learn the art of magic will realised that it is a LONG road and if they moved on, why not?

As we share and make information free for all, there will be a bunch of free-loaders but there will be people who move forward from free-loaders to real students of magic.
-----



Joseph Then

Singapore Ventriloquist
Rudolph McGuinness
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Isle of Man
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I took the time last night to go back a few weeks in this section. "Sheeesh". Now I know what our colleague using the name Wilf was on about! Now I know what he means by it being "stress free" now! Hope it stays this way too.

Rudy.
Chrystal
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Canada/France
1552 Posts

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Hi,

I've always believed in the principals of the Café, Magicians helping Magicians. I am the same way with newcomers in person to those that visit the Magic Ring I belong to. I also did a stint in NY one year as Director of Magic teaching magic, discussing ethics and developing personas.

I will encourage those that have an interest but refrain from belittling them if they incorrectly state things that are contrary to my beliefs or popular magicians beliefs. Instead I would steer them on the right path as hopefully will others that respond to their quiries.

I've often said that sometimes newbies don't know any better and may incorrectly make the wrong statements. Instead of being bashed, it's my philosophy that they are more willing to listen if they are given positive feedback and pointed in the right direction. That doesn't mean we would encourage them to just go out and do it..nope instead suggest books or use other resources that they should read and learn how to develope their show. Those that are truly interested make the effect to do this and it shows in their post.

I would talk about ethics of our profession and the importance of performing. If they make the effort and I see it's genuine than I would encourage them to ask questions. Still keeping in mind that no secrets are given out. I think if they are taught right it's less likely we will have a lot of fly by night magicians.

Even so, those that purchase items one day in hopes of doing a show next week are not going to stay in business long. We all know that. We may argue that they bring down our business and give us a bad name. We then make take it out on those genuinely interested whom made the mistake of asking the incorrect thing. We should educate and share comeraderie amongst ourselves. Other posters before me have said it far better but I wanted to state my thoughts regarding this.

Chrystal
AceTony
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Northern UK
16 Posts

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Quote:
On 2005-02-09 14:05, Rudolph McGuinness wrote:
I don't know know what some of the things Wilf says are. I think they are for people who may have left here recently under various circumstances. But I think we should give general advice freely and openly to maintain standards, at the same time being guarded as to 'magical' advice. Purchasing magic is something we all have to go on a journey through. A journey of learning through mistakes and successes.

Those who do think they are coming into just another 'line' of business in entertaining kids soon have an almighty shock when they reach the 'coal face' don't they? Yep Harv., - it sure is 10% props and 90% entertaining skills.

Rudy.


What are you going on about tony, oh, your not Tony are you, I'm Tony. Eh, I'm losing it now I think I am.?
harris
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Harris Deutsch
8687 Posts

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Some might say,

"You have to give it away in order to keep it".

At least to realize you have it.

Of course they can't take you even if they take your bits.

Keep creating and keep you and your act fresh. (Even if you are using a bit for the 20,000 time.)

I had a fun experience a couple of hours ago. I shared a hospital program with a magic buddy of mine. It was fun to play off a human being.(sorry Nigel)

Before the show we talked a bit about the philosophy of kids magic. It was as much fun as doing the program.

Be safe, well and creative.

Harris
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
Rudolph McGuinness
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Isle of Man
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Re: Ace Tony.

You're spelling is too lousy to be related to the REAL Tony my friend. Too much clotted cream on the keys maybe? Or perhaps a little Merseyside mist? (or something that rhymes with mist!!)

Rudy.
alson
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143 Posts

Profile of alson
When I started magic back in the 60s there was not the information that much there is now.I found some local mentors to help some but they were not in to giving out information.It was hard at times even to the point of griving up. But I did
my best and did shows at an early age .Now with all the information ,I think it great. Since I come to the Café ,I have received lots of help . I feel also that the true performer is going to make it. It is 90% performing and 10 of magic or vent or whatever. If magic is going to make we will have to pass it on to the ones ,who will carry in to tomorrow.The Magic Café is great place to get help and to help others. So I will when I get.
Alson
AceTony
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Northern UK
16 Posts

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Quote:
On 2005-02-19 14:49, Rudolph McGuinness wrote:
Re: Ace Tony.

You're spelling is too lousy to be related to the REAL Tony my friend. Too much clotted cream on the keys maybe? Or perhaps a little Merseyside mist? (or something that rhymes with mist!!)

Rudy.


OH YOU´VE PUZZELED ME THEIR RUDOLPH, OH,OH, I Meant Tony, no.... Wilf, no that's not correct either, ..........it´s Ace Partys, ............... Oh I don´t know, I am really confused now am I. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh got it..... your Denia Bob the starnge one, that's youuuuu
Michael238
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Profile of Michael238
I am where I am today beccause of the help found on the Café.
A good practice I have noticed is not a lot of info gets shared until the fine entertainers get to know ya a little. The vast majority will give all kinds of help once they know someone is not just after a multitude of experience for free.
For free means not having paid the price that most of have to get a good show.
Most people here are outstanding individuals,I know for one Kyle, has given me great advice.
Get some ideas, put some things together, then ask questions. This is what I have found. If you are willing to do some hard work to think creative, to get a school show together, bounce the ideas around, or a b-day party, or whatever show, these people here love to help.
I have been asking a few about my summer library program ideas, and have recieved killer advice, that really opened my thinking, but only after I showed initiative to put this together. Too many just want our shows, and make money off them. It does not work that way.
www.mikebrownmagic.com
<BR>http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=885780636
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

Profile of magic4u02
I always try and help others and freely offer advice to anyone who asks me of it. The only thing I ask is that the person be willing to help themselves as well. Any advice is only as good as what the person does with it that is receiving the advice.

I feel strongly that if I can help others who are going through what I have gone through in the past, why not help them and encourage them and support them in their own growth as magicians.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

Entertainers Product Site

http://kpmagicproducts.com

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