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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Believe it or not... » » A question for any of the old pros....... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Roslyn
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Inner circle
UK
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First off I'd like to appologise for the use of the word old, but couldn't think of another.

Ok, here's the thing.

I'm writing my disertation at the moment on how live entertainment has changed over the years, with particular interest on sideshow, circus and related arts.

I was hoping that some of you "older" guys might like to recount some stories from your own glory days.

If you have a tale to tell, and I'm sure you all have, please drop me a PM.

Also, how has the biz changed since you first started out.

Now, even if you weren't working "back in the day" do you have any stories of the greats you saw, or perhaps you worked with.

Finally, if you have any old pics etc... that you'd be willing to share and can send them electronically then please do.

Thanks for your time and ytour help,

Ros
The Magic Cafe account of The Conwy Jester, Erwyd le Fol formerly known as Roslyn Walker.
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tim_mantis
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Regular user
UK
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Wow - what a task! Any time period in particular?

If you have any specific questions about the history of shows and showmen in the UK, get in touch with the National Fairground Archive (drop me a PM if you need contact details). The ephemera collection there is incredible! I think some of it is available to view online.

Also look at the July 2006 edition of the journal Early Popular Visual Culture, which has a paper by Vanessa Toulmin about Victorian and Edwardian entertainment in temporary exhibition venues (sideshows to you and me!). It covers everything from Fasting Men and Tattooed Ladies to Living Mermaid Ehxibitions, and my favourite: Baldwin's Parachuting Cat!
Roslyn
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Nice one Tim!!

I'll be in touch about the above. Thanks for getting in touch.

Basically I'm looking at live entertainment at the turn of the 20th century and how that differs to what's going on now, at the turn of the 21st century.

Has things like the invention of cinema, radio, TV and the Internet affected live entertainment in a negative way, or, rather than being a drain on audiences does it mean that live acts have an easier way of getting known to the general public?

I'm also going to look in to convergence between the telecommunications mediums and what this means for live acts.

Things like YouTube and Myspace. The new "on demand" services that means audiences can watch what they want and when they want. No need to try fit things in around their lives.

I'm also interested in the fact that all this new technology means that society is becoming fragmented. Will the draw of interaction between 2 human beings make them want to go and see a live show in a theatre rather than spending yet another night in front of a screen?

I know from talking to some of the larger TV acts here in the UK that once their TV shows were successful it meant that they could charge more for a live performance than they could before gaining "fame".

To put all that in to one sentence, I'm basically asking is there really any difference between then and now? And at what point did it change?

Which is why I'm interested in the views of all showmen (and women), but especially anyone who's been at it for quite a number of years. If you worked in the 50s (about when TV was gaining pace here in the UK) I'd love to hear your stories. Good and bad.

I'm interested in showmen from both sides of the pond too. Not just those from the UK.

Anyway, yet another essay. Sorry.

Take it easy and I look forward to hearing from you all.

Ros
The Magic Cafe account of The Conwy Jester, Erwyd le Fol formerly known as Roslyn Walker.
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