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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Believe it or not... » » John of God (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Stephon
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So. . .
Whudda ya' think?
~Les S. Moore, The Dapper Dipper
Swami Yomahmi and Cheeky Monkey Sideshow

"Comedy is a man in trouble." ~Bill Irwin
handa
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Wrong board to be asking this question.

Unless, of course, you want people to actually give their opinions.

And that's when all the yelling and screaming starts...

Chris
Stephon
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Of course I want people's real opinion.

And this is the perfect board--the man does blockhead (to others) with a forceps.
~Les S. Moore, The Dapper Dipper
Swami Yomahmi and Cheeky Monkey Sideshow

"Comedy is a man in trouble." ~Bill Irwin
handa
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I like the presentation of the effect and the use of the props, but not the scripting, motivation, or venue.

It is also a good caveat for performers who give their audiences too much credit for being intelligent.

Still happy to be doing all of my fake fakery,

Chris

P.S.--The "talking head" segments on the "news" piece I saw were nothing less than awful.
thegreatnippulini
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Fake fakery? Funny you should use those words.... the word FAKE and FAKER has roots from the word "Fakir". Seems that a lot of "fakirs" in the turn of the century were stupid white guys that falsified almost EVERY act, hence they became known as "Faking" it. Don't fake sideshow acts... you become a mere illusionist and will wreck it for everyone who does it right!
The Great Nippulini: body piercer, Guinness World Record holder, blacksmith and man with The World's Strongest Nipples! Does the WORLD care? We shall see...
http://www.greatnippulini.com
Doug Higley
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http://www.randi.org/jr/021805a.html#4

Your answers...in detail at the above address.
Higley's Doug's Museum
doctorrigormorto
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"Don't fake sideshow acts... you become a mere illusionist and will wreck it for everyone who does it right!"
Nippulini


I am afraid that I would have to disagree.
I have been running a large Sideshow (Carnival Diablo) for 14 years and the most important thing about performing is entertaining the audience. I have found that an audience does not have the ability to tell between a good gaff and a real feat. And most of the time they tend to believe that most feats are not real anyway ie: Sword Swallowing- a retractable sword Impaling- fake skin Glass walking- soft glass..... as you know ALL of these feats are REAL, but we still hear the skeptics voice their opinions.

I find that instead of worrying wheather ALL of our feats are REAL and true to the ART.... ultimately it comes down to, DOES THIS REALLY SHOCK PEOPLE?

I am happy to say that we are still working and have allways had a tremendous reaction to our show... even though 35% of the acts are gaffed! I AM a Sideshow purist.... meaning, I do Sideshow the way it was done a Century ago. And with that comes some of the most ingenious Gaffs in magic or sidehsow history! I'll be honest, when you work as much as we do, there are certain things that you would NOT want to do nightly.

But just so you know... we do have REAL Impalers, REAL Swordswallowers, REAL Glass Walkers and 15 other REAL Sideshow Feats. But.... I have 6 maybe 7 gaffed feats as well. In all our format makes for a very entertaining show and we will be working for another 14 years with the way things are going now.

that's just my two cents worth... but what do I know? I come from a Sideshow family that goes back 88 years in the industry. (sorry Nipp this is just my opinion and I have nothing but respect for what you do)

sinn-searly,
Scott McClelland
Carnival Diablo
Stephon
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Thanks, Doug, for the link.

I read Randi's observations before I posted here--I'm hoping to get some commentary from the people who frequent this board.

But, still--thank you for the link.

~Stephon
~Les S. Moore, The Dapper Dipper
Swami Yomahmi and Cheeky Monkey Sideshow

"Comedy is a man in trouble." ~Bill Irwin
handa
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TGN,

I do magic and have gaffs. I leave the real stuff to the pros who are already doing it quite well. You guys work too hard at it to have somebody like me muddy the waters by mixing magic and stunts.

I'm proud to keep my fake fakery separate from the cold reality of the working act. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Chris

P.S.--Can't do most of the stuff anyway. I have managed to lay down on a bed of nails but couldn't get myself very comfortable. I can also dry swallow a pill of just about any size and degree of chalkiness, but this is more adapted survival than diversion for the masses. Other than that, it's just magic tricks and gaffs.
Addy
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Quote:
On 2006-05-02 11:28, Doug Higley wrote:
http://www.randi.org/jr/021805a.html#4

Your answers...in detail at the above address.


That was a great read.
thegreatnippulini
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Hey Scott,
You have every right to disagree, that's what makes freedom of expression so wonderful! This is a very hotly debated topic, I've gone through this with MANY performers. Here's my take on the idea of gaffs:if you are using gaffed props to perform what can be done perfectly well without them, you are doing something very wrong. Now, if you want to gaff up something that's completely and remotely physically IMPOSSIBLE, then be my guest and gaff away. Can someone REALLY twist their head 360 degrees over and over again? No. So we use the crank box. It's a gaff and I think it's cool. But all it takes is one fake sword swallower and the public will think everyones faking it. This is a matter of numbers and statistics and I refuse to argue that point of fact.
You underestimate your audience, which in itself is not good as a performer. Trust me, they'll know the difference between a good realism act and a faked illusion regardless of how well put together it is. I have never performed to "shock" people, I did it to entertain, THAT'S purism. Fakery goes beyond skin deep, Scott... how far separated are you from your stage persona? How long does it take for you to put in your fake eye color contacts? Makeup? Wigs, etc. etc. If you fake who you are onstage, then you are living a lie, a double life. I am inseparable from my stage character. This is who I am and I can be recognized on the street in my civilian clothes. No lies, fakery or trickery here and I pride myself on that fact. There are MANY MANY of us who do the same.
Scott, you tend to lose respect when you say things like "but what do I know? I come from a Sideshow family that goes back 88 years in the industry", sounds like John Strong BS and comes off childish. Are you 88 years old? Were you there? Have you pitched a sideshow tent in 90 degree weather pounding stake after stake in hot asphalt, worked the marks, made the tip, only to pick up a week later move to the next town to do it all over again throughout the season? There's the true sideshow experience. Base your opinions on WHO you are and WHAT you've experienced, not on your family, people will respect you more.

Yours,
TGN
The Great Nippulini: body piercer, Guinness World Record holder, blacksmith and man with The World's Strongest Nipples! Does the WORLD care? We shall see...
http://www.greatnippulini.com
Todd Robbins
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Nipp,
Scott IS with it. He has been out there in the trenches and does now his stuff. You are right when you state that we all have to come up with our own answers. It all boils down to what works. If someone make a gaff look good, then all is well. Just as a bad magician can sour an audience on seen another magician, a bad use of a gaff by a performer will make all of our jobs a bit harder.
Doug Higley
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The Buffet...there is real Crab meat and there is fake Crab meat. Those who may be alergic to real crab go for the fake...does the fake crab turn people away from the real? nah. Just needs a lable and most will know the difference...however many are sceptical and without the proper lable some will ASSUME the real crab meat is probably fake fish with pink dye.

"Authentic...Not A Trick" is akin to "The Real Stuff, Caught in the North Sea"...

Fake exists in actuality and in perception... lables are necessary.

Like a buffet there is something for everybody and there are cheap buffets and expensive buffets...

What's yer poison?
Higley's Doug's Museum
Harley Newman
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It's all in the show, or at least most of it. If the audience has a good time, that's the important thing.

Doug's creations, for example, are absolutely real. Every bit and piece of them is real. Did they grow thay way? Let others ask such questions, and provide their own answers. Some of the wannabe skeptics won't believe anything anyway. They'll choke on their spit, and refuse to believe it, because the formal word is saliva.

I've seen folks perform, who do the "real" things, who are totally bad performers. Over the years, I've lost out on some jobs, because of sponsors assuming that they'll be burned again, merely because the genre is the same.

I've also seen folks perform, who fake it beautifully. Because there's something to learn from each, I'd not want to choose one over the other, but I'd rather see the good show.

The "purists" I know, have their egos wrapped up in their own reality. So does everybody else.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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T-RAY
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Isn't this post about John of God? I didn't even know about him until this post.....it looks like he's just the new guy in a long line of spiritual actors. I like this type of stuff.....I grew up with the Houdini mindstate that all fakes should be exposed, but I've kind of change my ways. The more I learn about super reality (beyond planet Earth and our cultures and ideas of right and wrong)...the more I realise that nothing we think is important is really important unless we think it is...and even then it's only important to us and people who think like us. Super Novas and alien creatures and spirits and gods could care less about what we think is real. Everything we believe is only in our minds and when we die, those thoughts die with us...unless we have convinced someone through our thoughts and actions that they should believe what we have believed. So you guys who are arguing should see who can convince more people through your performances that you are the ultimate. John of God is doing it right now.......he'll die away soon enough. If you guys don't prove your talk on the stage....you will too.....and maybe the sideshow will go with you. God Forbid!!! I'm really happy to have all of you around.....it means a lot to me as a fan of the sideshow.....so stop #%#^&^ and let's keep this show on the road. Right now, I hear more people saying it's dead or dying....maybe ya'll are creating a self-fullfilling prophesy. So says Todd of God...........
doctorrigormorto
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Nippulini:

I am afraid you don't know much about what I do.
Not only do I run a stage Sideshow, but I have been running Attractions with Conklin Shows for the past 6 years. I have my own circus tents and bannerline that I have to set up over and over again every summer.... and I do ALOT of the stake pounding myself.

And kudos to you for wearing your Freakishness on the outside... I employ people that do that, but as a producer and Ringmaster of the Show I prefer to be able to wear many hats. And yes, I do wear make-up and contact lenses etc. But that is how the public has SEEN me for the past 14 years, much like my friend Marilyn Manson.
And personally it is my choice as to what I want my public to see. Trust me, when it comes to being seen by the general public... I am Nikolai Diablo.

I don't hide behind my family background... I propagate it and work at making this world we call Sideshow a bit more colorful. Plus I do NOT cheapen Sideshow Classics like Swordswallowing with fake swords etc.
I think that you would have a different opinion of me if you actually saw one of our shows.

And I take offence to you stating that I underestimate my audience, you have no idea how much thought has gone into building Carnival Diablo. I have been trying to put the Show back in Sideshow, and we have a very strong fanbase because of it.

Thank you Todd for the kind words.... the last thing I have wanted to do is come across like John Strong.

And finally I want you to know that what sells tickets and puts bums in seats is the SHOCKING things that we can do to our bodies. People go to a Sideshow for the thrill, I have added the Theatre and ART as part of the package... but its the Thrills that keep em' comin back for more!

I am afraid that we will have to agree to disagree.

As it stands I am behind Todd, Harley and Doug on this one... as long as the audience is having one HELL of a time I am HAPPY!
Harley Newman
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Don't worry about being confused with JS. You're definitely not JS.

By the way, that's JS, Junior. He should not be confused with his father. He's Junior.

As for John of God...on one level, he's a good showman, because he entertains his audience in a way that's convincing. I have a problem with it, though. He's not just doing it, to entertain people. He's out to take them for all he can, by any means possible, legitimate or not.

It's possible to give folks a good show, without having to pretend to sanctity or possession of special powers. Reading some of the anecdotes helped me clarify something that's bothered me for a long time. We do honest performance. We're not out to damage people. John of God apparently doesn't care.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

www.bladewalker.com
thegreatnippulini
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Quote:
On 2006-05-03 15:25, Todd Robbins wrote:
...just as a bad magician can sour an audience on seen another magician, a bad use of a gaff by a performer will make all of our jobs a bit harder.




That's all I was trying to say. Scott, relax man.
The Great Nippulini: body piercer, Guinness World Record holder, blacksmith and man with The World's Strongest Nipples! Does the WORLD care? We shall see...
http://www.greatnippulini.com
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