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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Very Silly Billy (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Tom Riddle
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I have recently read a copy of "Seriously Silly" by David Kaye. Whilst there are some wise words that will surely help the newbie starting out on his magical journey, there is little in it of which the experienced professional will not already be familiar. However, I am really quite shocked at the vulgarity in what many have hailed as the "bible" of children's entertainment. In an age where our television screens in Britain are full of the four letter word, and violence is becoming more rampant on a daily basis, surely it is our duty as children's entertainers to keep the childhood of the little darlings sacred, and not to inundate them with even more filth at their birthday parties? Does anyone else agree with me?
"Yes, Virginia, there really are people named Riddle...isn't that AMAZING! And to think of all the royalties I'm missing out on! SCANDALOUS!"

Thomas Williamson Riddle III
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Tony Thomas
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I agree with you. At my magic club meeting last month I brought my son and daughter because it was commedy night (our monthly meeting is open to the public). The final person performing asked for a volunteer and picked my 10 year old daughter. During her patter she used several vulgar & inappropriate words. I was very surprised, but it appears many have lost (or never developed) a sense of appropriateness. Performers must use their patter in a way that is respectful and sensitive to their audience. As a family we debriefed about it on the way home. Most kids don't see magicians perform too often, and at risk is their perception of magic and magicians. We are already portrayed poorly in most kids media, let's not add to the negative stereotypes.
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jakeg
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I feel that I will never offend anybody by keeping it appropriate ..... but,I have been in more than one home where parents use 4 letter words, (and every other word in the book), when talking to their kids. Maybe it's a generational thing, and maybe I'm behind the times, but it always mekes me feel uncomfortable. I personally do not take offense at cursing, and find certain words very helpful in describing exatly what I want to say, but never would use them in front of kids, nor do I use them in an adult show.
But here's a question for you: Why are Germanic words considered profanity, but words with the exact same meaning with Latin roots considered polite?
Payne
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Quote:
On 2007-09-07 12:10, jakeg wrote:

Why are Germanic words considered profanity, but words with the exact same meaning with Latin roots considered polite?

Possibly because Rome was sacked by Germanic Tribes.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Tod Todson
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LakeG or Payne,

Can you give an example of this Germanic/Latin situation with words?
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Scott O.
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For the record, I agree that appropriate behavior is not as common as in years past. Nor are manners, or respect.

But it never fails to make me wonder when this is brought up, "what basis do we have for deciding appropriate behavior?" I mean consider someone who builds a house. The first thing that gets put in is the foundation. Everything else stands on that foundation. So it must be secure and strong.

To carry on the analogy, what the initial couple of posts are talking about is the structure or house. That's what the behavior is. But what is the foundation? If we truly recognize these things as inappropriate, WHY? Why are they inappropriate? What do we base that judgment on? You see if the foundation is shaky, then so will the building put up on it.
Do not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest, if you do not give up. Galatians 6:9
Tom Riddle
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"The first thing that gets put in is the foundation. Everything else stands on that foundation. So it must be secure and strong. "

Scott. I believe the first time a child sees a magic show, this is part of their foundation. If they see someone putting a nappy over their head, picking their nose, or telling fart jokes, they will take note and believe it is acceptable behavior. It is not. In my view, this is not debatable. They should not be in the business of entertaining children, even if it does get a good laugh. I believe we should all be responsible in our performances........even more so if we perform in New York City.
"Yes, Virginia, there really are people named Riddle...isn't that AMAZING! And to think of all the royalties I'm missing out on! SCANDALOUS!"

Thomas Williamson Riddle III
Chelsea, UK
MagicSanta
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Senor Riddle, if I may use the tongue of your queen, NYC consist of massive amounts of self absorbed people who care not a boot (that is an English term) about their kids unless they are bringing in money! If pulling a nappy, as they say in Chelsea on Thames (that is in the Metric System, in the US it would be Chelsea on Mississippi), picking their noses, then farting keeps them quiet and out of the way, then by golly, let it be done.
kenscott
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Tom I must ask what vulgarity in the book are you referring to? I have read the book and have seen NO vulgarity.

Ken
kimmo
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I bought the book at Kidology this week and I thought it was packed with good advice. I personally draw the line at fart gags, which is probably what Tom is referring to. Maybe there are some cultural differences that are confusing the issue. It would be totally unnaceptable to say the word 'Fart' to an audience of children in the U.K. and I'm sure most English magicians would agree with me. Maybe the word is not as frowned upon in the U.S??

In similar fashion, I suspect that it would be ok to playfully ask a young girl assistant to 'shake her fanny' in America, wheras in England you could probably expect a visit from the police!!

Tom - Missed you at Kidology this year. I heard you were moving to the U.S. Is this true?
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Gordyboy
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I have found the book to be a tremendous resource. I think I overlooked the "vulgarity" because I'm accustomed to filtering everything and taking the information that is of value to me and that I can apply (because there is so much material and content around which I find objectionable or inappropriate). I think I'm a bit of a prude and crude humour about farting etc. would not only be inappropriate, but wouldn't be funny coming from me.

The same material that I filter out may be of value to a different personality in a different locale with different clientele.
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kenscott
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Ok fart would not be vulgarity in the states. Of course that type of humor is not very everyone. Kimmo that is so funny what is not aceptable in one is not in another. My daughter just said fart last night.

So really there is no "vulgarity" in the book no *#@& four letter words etc.

Ken
Payne
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Quote:
On 2007-09-07 15:40, kimmo wrote:

It would be totally unnaceptable to say the word 'Fart' to an audience of children in the U.K.



How times have changed. One of the pre-requisites of being a court fool in Mediaeval England was the ability to fart on cue.

It is not my style to include or make reference to bodily functions in my act but that in no way means that they are a taboo subject for another performers presentation. Look at Grossology http://www.grossology.org/ These people are making a very successful career out of your average kids fascination with disgusting and disturbing stuff, and being educational to boot.

Quote:

On 2007-09-07 14:43, Tom Riddle wrote:

If they see someone putting a nappy over their head, picking their nose, or telling fart jokes, they will take note and believe it is acceptable behavior. It is not. In my view, this is not debatable.



Until you become arbiter of all that are appropriate and acceptable then the subject will and should be debatable. If you find this form of humour offensive then don't partake of it. But don't put your restraints on others simply because you don't agree with their form of performing.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Tom Riddle
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"Tom - Missed you at Kidology this year. I heard you were moving to the U.S. Is this true?"

As a result of the response to this thread, I have changed my mind. I will shortly be a Chelsea Pensioner, though not in uniform. The Kings Road is not what it was was in the 60's, when Mary Quant ran her little Bistro, and The Chelsea Kitchen was in full swing. However, the thought of walking down Broadway and seeing a nappy on the head of George M Cohen, and the children all running around picking their noses and farting, is so unappealing that I shall cancel my one way ticket on the QE2 forthwith!
"Yes, Virginia, there really are people named Riddle...isn't that AMAZING! And to think of all the royalties I'm missing out on! SCANDALOUS!"

Thomas Williamson Riddle III
Chelsea, UK
MagicSanta
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Interesting....I found this passage concerning Queen Victoria:

"Whilst holding court Her Royal Majesty would often have brought before her a member of Parliment and request of him to pull her finger upon which time she would emit an explosion of air. The giggling that followed often would only be stopped upon the entry of His Royal Highness Prince Albert with a nappy upon his head...."
Tim Hannig
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Fart would be a vulgarity in a school assembly or a family show in my area.

Maybe not on the level of a swear word, but certainly on the level of not being invited back.

However, David is doing private parties, so that may be a different story in his area.

He has certainly been successful at what he does.
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Tom Riddle
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Quote:
However, David is doing private parties, so that may be a different story in his area.

I think my point is being entirely missed. Just because it may be acceptable at certain parties in certain areas does not mean that we should do it. As children's entertainers, we are roll models up to a point....just like schoolteachers. We have responsibilities. As for Queen Victoria, at least she tried to cover up her indiscretions. She was not, as you Americans say, "in your face" about it, as it was supposedly just between her and certain select members of Parliament. I realise this may have backfired on occasions( I am not trying to be funny). I am also a little dubious about the quote of Magic Santa, and would like to see the source. I am hopeful, Santa, that you refrain from passing wind when you have a child sitting on your lap at Christmas.
"Yes, Virginia, there really are people named Riddle...isn't that AMAZING! And to think of all the royalties I'm missing out on! SCANDALOUS!"

Thomas Williamson Riddle III
Chelsea, UK
MagicSanta
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Silly Billy uses 'fart' with the older kids not little kids by the way.

The quote is from: The Wicked Wicked Ways of Queen Vicky
magicmanfrank
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For six-months out of the year I am on the road performing at County Fairs all over the Western United States.

My show HAS to be Family Friendly!

There are NO Fart, Puke, Poop, etc... jokes or references!!!

This is a Family Venue and these would NOT be APPROPRIATE!

I had a friend of mine that was FIRED for using a "Booger" Joke in his act!

=Frank=
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Dennis Michael
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I've see reference to what could be considered "noise" (the polite reference to a fart) such as air coming out of a balloon., "Who did that!" The kids loved it. If it is your "cup of tea" then go for it, it is not for everyone. I do not think less of the person, because it is a natural bodily function. As the expression goes, "to each his own."
Dennis Michael
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