The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Helping hands » » Proper/improper use of assistants (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

sethb
View Profile
Inner circle
The Jersey Shore
2695 Posts

Profile of sethb
I have just watched another so-called “professional” magician perform an effect that involved bringing a volunteer up on stage – and then embarrassing the volunteer by asking her to do things that couldn’t be done (such as trying to unlink two linked Chinese Rings, and so on). The magician also used a number of “snappy” comments that were supposed to be humorous, but were funny only at the expense of the volunteer, by making her look slow or stupid.

When you ask for a volunteer, unless you are Don Rickles, that person assumes that they are being asked to help out, and that they will not be taken advantage of or be made the butt of a joke. The main purpose of volunteers is to ENHANCE the magic by having them inspect and/or hold the equipment, or otherwise participate in the trick.

By taking advantage of a volunteer, you may get a few cheap temporary laughs. But you also run the very real risk of alienating the rest of the audience –- not a good situation. In my humble opinion, embarrassing or making fun of a volunteer is not funny. With VERY few exceptions, I also think it is also extremely unprofessional. Unfortunately, it appears to be a magic “tradition” of sorts, and therefore seems to be generally accepted among magicians as being appropriate, especially if the assistant is a young child. But common sense should tell you otherwise.

If you really want to generate some honest belly laughs, then turn these embarrassing situations on yourself, make yourself the butt of the joke, in the same way that Johnny Thompson (The Great Tomsoni) has done. If you can’t be funny without embarrassing someone else, then perhaps comedy magic isn’t for you. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Lee Darrow
View Profile
V.I.P.
Chicago, IL USA
3588 Posts

Profile of Lee Darrow
One of the greatest and highest paid comedians of all time did exactly that - he turned almost every joke, gag and bit on himself. he had an enormously long run in vaudeville, radio and on TV.

His name?

Jack Benny.

There was another guy who did much the same thing... what was his name...? Oh yeah! Bob Hope!

Do I need to say more?

You hit the nail right on the thumb, Seth. Bravo!

Lee Darrow, C.H.
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
Bob Sanders
View Profile
Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
20495 Posts

Profile of Bob Sanders
Audiences and volunteers talk. Embarrassed audiences get even!

Bob
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com
asper
View Profile
Veteran user
365 Posts

Profile of asper
The Golden Rule is always golden. Just follow it and you won't run into any of these problems.
Alewishus
View Profile
Inner circle
parts unknown
1210 Posts

Profile of Alewishus
Does the Golden rule apply to masochists?
I'm not trying to be funny, but it would be pretty neat if you had a sure fire way to pick these people as assistants, and could then treat them badly as you wanted without any guilt.
A surefire laugh generator is an animal act, small animals, where the animals are dressed in human clothing!

A.
Sack subs, ok Ross?
We miss you asper.
Alewishus
View Profile
Inner circle
parts unknown
1210 Posts

Profile of Alewishus
I guess it doesn't make sense to say 'human clothing', does it?
You get the picture though - a small dog with a suit and hat! hahaha!
What I don't like is when some one dresses up monkeys; to me that's simply offensive! I saw an ape once that smoked cigars - I was nearly sick to my stomache!

A.
Sack subs, ok Ross?
We miss you asper.
JohnWolf
View Profile
New user
88 Posts

Profile of JohnWolf
When I used Assistants from the audience I always threat them with respect. Try instead of the sucker gags using them in reverse. It is great fun when the assistant does a better effect then the Magician. And it makes for a light humor when they can't explain how they did the trick.
John
fredmoore
View Profile
New user
72 Posts

Profile of fredmoore
There are so many people that do treat their audience assistants poorly, and a handful that get away with it.

A street-performer by the name of The Butterflyman, is down-right mean to his audience and they love him for it!

If you have the right personality and demeanor you CAN get away with it. The only problem is that MOST magicians are just going for the easy laugh. And it's always easier to insult someone else, then to actually sit down and write a funny routine!

This is probably why magic as a profession is not that well respected.

Just my 2 cents!
www.moorefred.com


"Find A Job You Love And You
Add 5 Days To Your Week!"
Lyndel
View Profile
Inner circle
wrote the theme to the TV show COPS!
1623 Posts

Profile of Lyndel
...And with such a "macho" name like "Butterflyman" who's going to challenge this guy on the street?


Lyndel
Image
fredmoore
View Profile
New user
72 Posts

Profile of fredmoore
The funny thing about it, Robert (aka Butterflyman) is the nicest guy in the world when he's "off".

Go figure!
www.moorefred.com


"Find A Job You Love And You
Add 5 Days To Your Week!"
Bill Nuvo
View Profile
Inner circle
3094 Posts or
2747 Posts

Profile of Bill Nuvo
Hey Fred, have you been up here at the Windsor Buskerfest (across from Detroit)?

Butterflyman is a nice guy (even when you have issues with him)! He is actually an upstanding guy.
ibm_usa
View Profile
Special user
In Your Mind, Ky, USA
722 Posts

Profile of ibm_usa
Quote:
On 2006-10-23 07:37, Lyndel wrote:

...And with such a "macho" name like "Butterflyman" who's going to challenge this guy on the street?


Lyndel


Let me guess..........
Nobody would waste a single punch on someone with a name like that nor a attitude like that. people like that aren't even worth walking by.
"You may think that i only talk of things from the past, you know, history, well magic is history"

-Guy Jarrett

"Curiosity isn't a sin Harry, but it should be exorcised with great caution."

-Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)
http://www.jordanallen-mentalist.webs.com/
Butterfly Man
View Profile
New user
21 Posts

Profile of Butterfly Man
Well, let's see ... I've never been punched because of my name (either Robert Nelson or Butterfly Man)... however, it is true my attitude has gotten me into some trouble in the past (specifically at a bar in Brisbane in '88)...I do take umbrage sir with your belief that I'm not worth walking by ... I am so ... in my 30 some odd years as a street performer lots of people have walked by me ... lots.


I wonder how many have walked by you?
Magic isn't what it seems
It's found in thoughts and words and dreams
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Helping hands » » Proper/improper use of assistants (0 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2020 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.11 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL