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NJJ
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I'd rather see toilet humour in a kid's act then knives and fire. No kid ever died copying toilet humour!
AceTony
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I would NEVER NEVER NEVER use this kind of humour, well that's what it might say in the instruction booklet, but, oh dear, what is this world coming too? Don't listen to these naff comments about not using this material. If it works for you, use it. SIMPLE, USE IT!!!
It looks like the professionals amoungst us can see the potential in the fun side of this humour, but many of those who don't really work that much, with little expeience, decide not to use it. If I was starting out now in magic, instead of having 25 years experience as I do, I would go with the professional views on this topic.
Kent Wong
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Quote:
On 2005-02-14 17:36, Nicholas J. Johnson wrote:
I'd rather see toilet humour in a kid's act then knives and fire. No kid ever died copying toilet humour!


I agree. However, parents have a responsibility greater than the physical safety of the kids in their care. Moral and social ubringing are also extremely important responsiblities. There may actually be a place for potty humor in some shows, but it is our responsiblity to make sure it is the right place and the right time. Just as there are divergent views among magicians on this forum, there will lso be divergent views among parents. Remember, it is the parents who are inviting us to come into their homes and entertain their children. We are the outsiders and so, we must be respectful of any limits that may or may not exist.

We cannot go blindly on with our performance without taking that reality into account. Otherwise, all we are doing is performing for ourselves instead of serving the needs of our clients. If the parents agree that such humor is acceptable, and if it serves to accent the magic, then by all means use it.

But if you are unsure, then why take the risk of offending the parents? I know that I am capable of performing a very entertaining kids show without potty humor and so, it wouldn't be a huge task for me to simply modify my patter. Maybe not everyone has this ability - but 28 years of performing experience sure helps.

Now, I'm not trying to preach to anybody or to change anyone's mind. This is simply how I conduct MYSELF in the art of magic. Although I have my own opinions in this matter, nothing qualifies me to tell others how to act.

As for magic somehow being some kind of high-brow art form, give me a break. Before Robert Houdin, magicians were outlawed in France as being associated with the lifestyle of vagabonds. Yet, magic has always persevered and today, it has a greater reputation than ever. It is my firm opinion that this popularity is directly as a result of the overwhelming variety of performing styles available today.

So, I do not believe that performing "potty" magic disqualifies anyone as a magician. But, in all circumstances, the magic must come first as the vehicle for entertainment and the performing style must keep the client in mind.

Just my two bits Smile
Kent
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magic4u02
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In my opwn personal opinion on this, I would do not try and use any type of potty humor or use of fake dog poop or the like. For me and the character I portray on stage, this is just out of acharacter for me.

However, if it works for you and if it fits your own unique character and style, then go for it. I would just hope that your show is not entirely depndant upon this humor only. If your show is dependant upon this brand of humor, then I think it is time to reevaluate yourself and your show.

I find there is many other ways to engage my audiences and get them having fun, laughing and having a great time without having to resort to these gimmicks. This is just me though. If you feel you can use it, people like it and you are not getting complaints from it, then go for it. I just prefer using other techniques.

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prude
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I would like to address the point that the esteemed Mr Darrow made about "dignity"
At no time did I say that the performer couldn't be undignified. He can stand on his head and make funny faces as much as he likes for all I care. I merely stated that VULGARITY lowers the dignity of the ART.

And as for the silly notion that magic isn't an art form I can assure you all that it IS. I will certainly admit that not one performer in a hundred actually performs or looks at it in that way but art form it is. With regard to magicians being ill regarded in Robert Houdin's day I don't doubt it. I expect there were just as many incompetents around then as there are now. Hopefully they were somewhat less vulgar.

Magic has gone down the drain in recent years what with "performers" using insult humour, vulgarity, politically incorrect patter and even treating audience volunteers badly.

I have no idea what the relevance of being a professional has to do with this matter. However I agree with Mr Scarlett and I am a full time professional magician. If I am not deemed suitable then perhaps I should mention John Calvert who is well known for his antagonism to unseemliness on stage. Surely nobody in their right mind would accuse Mr Calvert of not being a professional but he seems to have managed to have a career spanning several decades without having had to utter one vulgar word or make one tasteless joke.

However it doesn't matter anyway whether you do magic for money or not. Art is something with which money has no concern. You either do things the right way or you don't. Young Mr Johnson with his talk of "Ding Dongs" certainly doesn't. I am afraid this young man has rather a lot to learn. Let us hope he does so quickly before he taints the art further.

He may be getting support from Wales. However I would simply say that Mr Jones laudable though he may be rather reminds me of the professional magicians decried in "Our Magic": who call themselves "perfeshanals" but perform in a rough and ready manner.

Vulgar and low class humour may be perfectly acceptable entertainment in certain British "cabaret" venues. However it is hardly class entertainment and it lowers the dignity of the art form and equates magicians with second rate low class entertainment which is more suited to the vulgar comedy club environment.

Victor Farelli once said "anyone can raise a vulgar laugh" There is really nothing clever about it. Any fool can do it and most fools do. It takes a good entertainer who can hold an audience without resorting to vulgarity.

This thread specifically applies to children's work. How anyone can even conceive of this type of "humour" for children is beyond me.

The "tone" of what you do is very important. It reveals what kind of person you are. One trifling vulgarity shows that you are the sort of person who talks like that all the time. You may get a temporary vulgar laugh but you will have done yourself and your art damage.

Ugh!!!!!
rossmacrae
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"Young Mr Johnson with his talk of "Ding Dongs" certainly doesn't. I am afraid this young man has rather a lot to learn. Let us hope he does so quickly before he taints the art further. Ding dongs indeed."

Actually, I opened the door to that - and the "Ding Dong" wasn't what I was referring to (but now that you mention it, I wouldn't perform THAT either!)

I was making an example of a balloon book I had sent back - directions to "table hop" making a balloon dog with a "functioning" male member. I thought it was hideous in concept and unthinkable as material for anyone's performance, I returned it and to my great surprise I got my money back.
itsmagic
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Certain kind of humor may not be appropriate for certain age groups or audience groups. A group of 4-7 year olds may find certain things funny, whereas a group of 11-14 year olds may not. I think we should be cognizant of our audience's tastes.

Having said that, certain performers are known for their brand of humor and audiences pay to experience that kind of humor.

Andrew Dice Clay doesn't perform for a bunch of 4-7 year olds, nor would parents allow their kids to witness his performance. On the other hand, Andrew Dice Clay's fans may or may not wish to watch a "prude" perform magic. Yes, the "prude" magician may be entertaining and even funny without "vulgarity," but must EVERYONE be subjected to experience the same kind of humour or entertainment style?
Lee Darrow
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Okay, I stand clarified on the dignified issue. No problem - and I agree on the vulgarity issue as well.

As for the Ding Dong - Well I use a Square Circle and produce about a dozen Hostess Ding Dong cakes from it and I completely fail to see what's wrong with that. As Eddie Izzard asks in his shows "Cake or Death?" Smile Smile Smile

Lee Darrow, C.H.
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p.b.jones
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HI
I would not use Ding dong Either, but I think the words Bum , Poo, wee which we started this thread about are not in that league and I do not see them as rude, vulgar or offensive. Though I use none of these words in my act as I said my puppet dog does pee on the kids and will continue to do so.
as to wether I am " laudable though he may be rather reminds me of the professional magicians decried in "Our Magic": who call themselves "perfeshanals" but perform in a rough and ready manner."
I would rather leave to the people who pay me to decide .
Phillip
ThePartyMagician
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Quote:
If in doubt, ask the parent who hired you so as to ensure it doesn't offend. After all, they are the ones responsible for the upbringing of their child; they are the ones responsible for the other kids in attendance; and they are the ones who are paying you.


That my friends is the "secret" - it doesn't matter what WE may think is acceptable. Our clients (ie. the ones actually paying our fee!) are the ones who we should be thinking about here.

If the parents are okay with that kind of humour - then you can (not 'must') use it. If they are NOT happy with it, if you go ahead and use it anyway, are they going to refer business your way?

To each their own...but ensure your client is happy with whatever you choose to do! Smile

Kind regards
Mike
rhinomax
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Mike it is good to see someone who cares about that posible client (be them few or many) but thay are out there that would prefer you don't pull rubber poop from a change bag in front of their 5 year old

my only hope is that your a (Properformer?!?!?!?!)as the words of us non properformers may not be acceptable to some in this forum

Phillip I don't know how many shows one must do to fit your criteria, pro or nonpro I take all posts in this forum equally. Some of the finest thinkers in this art are or where non pro ( Dai Vernon, Walter Gibson, Gene Anderson, Kohl and CO,General Grant, the list goes on)
NEVER UNDER ESTIMATE THE POWER OF THE FEW TO CHANGE THE WORLD "THATS USUALY HOW IT WORKS" MARGRET MEAD
ThePartyMagician
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Quote:
my only hope is that your a (Properformer?!?!?!?!)


Hehehee - I do indeed count myself as a "pro performer". But then, anyone who is making money from magic is a 'professional' in my book (certainly in the taxman's eyes, hehee!!). Maybe not even a good professional, but a professional all the same. However...I do NOT want to turn this subject into a debate about 'pro/amateur' status as that's a whole other topic! Smile

Let's keep the focus on what we, as entertainment "professionals" (see above paragraph!)can do to enhance our show and increase the experience of everyone who sees us, so that they remember having a 'magical experience'.

As entertainment "professionals", we have the ability to influence lives with our magic - HOW we influence them is our choice. Whether toilet humour works is (obviously!) open to discussion...

Just a few thoughts, NOT the end of the topic by a loooooooooong way!

Thanks all for your thoughts/insights etc. It's ALWAYS good to hear different opinions from people, as it enables us to get a more 'rounded' view of things.
So I suggest that we continue this discussion without name-calling, personal criticism or put-downs, but rather with a willingness to discover what will help us to provide the VERY BEST entertainment we can for our clients.

Kind regards
Mike
graemesd
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Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!
what a great thread - glad I started it!
just come back from a show thought I'd do the whole thing without the dreaded words at all - the kids didn't smile or laugh once!!!
miserable kids
rhinomax
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Well that speaks volumes
it is unfortunate you cant get laughs (with out poop that is )
I would suggest updating your material
perhaps you could set that as a goal

I have never use this kind of material and my show never fails to get positive response both from kids and their parents
NEVER UNDER ESTIMATE THE POWER OF THE FEW TO CHANGE THE WORLD "THATS USUALY HOW IT WORKS" MARGRET MEAD
Bill Scarlett
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Quote:
On 2005-02-15 03:48, p.b.jones wrote:

Though I use none of these words in my act as I said my puppet dog does pee on the kids and will continue to do so.

Phillip


Wow! Do you advertise that to parents as a highlight of your act? I am a professional parent and I can tell you that doing that would be a sure way to get me NOT to hire you. Things must be different in Wales, I guess.
Macbeth
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Does this mean I've got to change the name of my monkey puppet called 'Spank'?
rhinomax
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Funny Phillip your web page reads

NO BLUE MATERIAL OR OFF COLOUR STORIES.


NO EMBARRASSMENT TO ANY PARTICIPANTS FROM THE AUDIENCE.


JUST GOOD CLEAN FUN, MAGIC AND MYSTERY.

and then have a dog puppet pee on a room full of 5 year olds

Misleading ?

well yer the "perfeshanal" you must know what is best Smile lol Smile

sorry just a bit of fun

well peace to you all I believe I have spent way to long in this thread

but it sure has been fun

great views from both sides of the fence

I agree do what is you but lets be careful with the young minds we entertain

Dave "Topper" Anderson
NEVER UNDER ESTIMATE THE POWER OF THE FEW TO CHANGE THE WORLD "THATS USUALY HOW IT WORKS" MARGRET MEAD
RJE
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Hehe, this looks like a fun thread to get involved in.

Personally, I don't us the words listed so far in my children's act. However, I have no problem if others do. I do use the appearing bra trick on a little boy as the climax to a rather hectic routine blending a number of effects at a fast pace that audiences find hilarious. In thousands of performances to literally over 100's of thousands of audience members over 20 years, there has been only 1 concern voiced by 1 mother in the late 1980's. I use this routine as my closer because it is a sure thing.

Back to words we choose to use, if you use "potty humour" as it is being described here, and you keep getting booked, then I guess it is not offensive to the clients doing the rebooking or referrals. If you do not get rebooked or referrals, then maybe your act is offensive.

There are lots of things that might offend. Your clothes might be offensive. Your "preaching" might be offensive. Your choice of aftershave might be offensive. And on and on...

You aren't going to please everyone whether you are using potty humour or not. If it works for you, then by all means do it. If you personally find it offensive, then don't do it.

Well, that's my opinion voiced.

Rob
Kent Wong
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O.k., I'm going to get into a little of semantics here and I apologize in advance for that. I often hear the phrase "professional" magician. In context it only seems to mean a magician who is paid to perform.

But many people in this world are paid to do things. Does that make them a professional? Have you ever heard of a "professional" cab driver? What about a "professional" cashier? I'm not trying to belittle any of these jobs - I have the highest respect for them. But I hope you get my point.

Being a "professional" magician must mean something more than a person who turns tricks for money (read into that what you will). If you look at the recognized professions (ie. Doctor, Lawyer, Engineer, etc), they all have certain common elements. They all have extremely high standards for admission. They all have an established eithical code of conduct to which each member adheres, and they have a self-governing body to ensure that ethical code of conduct is maintained. Notice, here that an out-of work lawyer, doctor or whatever, still remains part of the profession and thus, continues to be a "professional". Thus, the phrase "professional" really has very little to do with whether a person makes any money at what he/she does.

Unfortunately, Magic does not have an established ethical code of conduct. It does not have a self-governing body. And it does not have high standards of entry. So, as a Craft or an Art form, magicians do not qualify as a "profession".

That, however, does not mean that individual magicians cannot be "professionals". If a magician establishes and adheres to a specific ethical code of conduct in everything he/she does, and vigilantly governs himself/herself according to that code, then the magician is a "professional". And this will hold true regardless of whether that magician is earning some, none, or all of his/her livelihood from the Craft.

Now, I've referred to Magic as Craft and as Art. What is it? In my opinion, it is both. As an art form, it is a vehicle for individual self expression. As a vehicle for artistic self expression, I have to agree with Prude when he/she stated "You either do things the right way or you don't". However, as a "professional" artist, what is RIGHT is defined by your own ethical code of conduct and not necessarily societal acceptance.

In fact, if you look at the introduction and evolution of many art forms, you will see that they did NOT receive immediate social acceptance. Rock & Roll music is a prime example. Ballroom dance is another (the thought of two bodies of the opposite sex in public contact with one another was quite alarming when the Waltz was first introduced in the United States).

Sometimes social acceptance takes time to achieve. But the "professional" artist will tend to persevere as popularity for his/her art form continues to grow. In fact, many well known artists were not well respected in life, but only came to be revered in death.

So, Bathroom Magic may not be socially acceptable today, but if those who practice it continue to adhere to their own high standards of ethical conduct, they have a right to consider themselves "professional". Similarly, if that same performer engages in Bathroom Magic as a vehicle of artistic expression (and not a crutch because that's the only way they can get a laugh), then they also have a right to consider themselves artists.

Again, just the opinion of one guy, with a little too much time on his hands Smile

Kent
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p.b.jones
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HI,
With regards what I have on my website,

Funny Phillip your web page reads

NO BLUE MATERIAL OR OFF COLOUR STORIES.


NO EMBARRASSMENT TO ANY PARTICIPANTS FROM THE AUDIENCE.


JUST GOOD CLEAN FUN, MAGIC AND MYSTERY.


Well truthfully no one here (where I live) would consider a puppet weeing on the crowd as blue or even off colour, I do a puppet show for Pembrokshire coast national park in fact we have just written a new show which goes out 140 performances in schools march 1st - april 29th this year,if you know anything about local authorities like this in the Uk you will know that they must be Squeaky clean and politicaly correct. I have performed for them 7 years now both the school shows and 2 days a week on the beach throught the summer. well the words bum, pee and poo are all in the script and this will be for kids 4 - 11 years old.

with regards my own comments on pro, non pro I was not trying to get into a pro non pro debate, merly point out that there is a vast differense bettween a FULL TIME PRO and any other type of PRO. Until you have worked full time where ENTERTAINING is the only thing that pays your bills or you starve will you understand that rules are nothing, you do what you need to to feed your family Ext.
I agree there are some things in which part timers /amature magicains are in many ways superiour to Full time Pros , particularly in the fields of creating new effects /slieghts and winning magic competitions to name a few. Full Time Pros normaly understand the rael world performace side a little better as their lively hood depends on it. I do not mean that this makes them any better than anyone else just different
Phillip
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