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jondark445
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Hey there!

I'm putting together a 20-30 minute routine, and I'm looking to do a few sideshow effects (blockhead, fire eating and a few others). The sideshow effects aren't the problem. I'd like to intersperse a few tricks in as well to add some variety. I'm looking for things that would go well with the sideshow theme. I've already added a three shell routine, and am looking for maybe 1 or 2 others that are similar in nature. Suggestions?

Hope I'm clear in what I'm asking....

--Jon
critter
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Needle trick. I usually do that right before a glasswalk. Needle trick.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
ReggieB
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If your having sideshow performers doing these acts, I would considering asking them for their suggestions......i don't know if I'm really clear on what you were asking? your going to do all of your acts and your looking for things that fit in between the sideshow acts? sideshow fits with about anything Smile maybe I'm just biased, but you can have anything from dancing ladies to flying poodles. work out what you want and then just see how if flows and adjust accordingly...sorry to sound a little vague, but I'm not sure what the rest of the show is or what kinda of venue, etc, so its a little hard to suggest anything....
Fitz
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Jondark445 I think I know what your asking...

I am currently in a internal (now external) debate with myself, its been going on for a couple of years now.

Am I a magician that does sideshow stunts?

Am I a sideshow guy that also does magic tricks?

Should I even do magic and sideshow in the same performance?

Why even use a magic or sideshow label, and not just be what my good friend Kenton once said to me. He said, "John your just like the boy next-door but with some really F%^&ed up ideas."

So does that mean I should just be the "normal" guy doing weerd things?

I'll let you know how it ends up, but now back to the original question as I perceive it.

What magic tricks work best when doing sideshow stunts all in the same show?

Fitz
I have a daily web show all about magic at http://FitzMagic.info
drwilson
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Well, look at what the sideshows do. They have always had magic. They present illusions (Spidora, Headless, Living Head, Girl Without a Middle, etc.). The illusions are ones that migrated from the magic stage to the sideshow. You can't beat the Blade Box. It always gets the extra money when the girl's costume top is removed from the box to get people to form a line.

Up on the platform they might have the linking rings, which is good because there is no reset. Many sideshows have had the cheesiest sort of apparatus magic: head twister, dagger box on the head, maybe even Hippity Hop Rabbits. For some reason, I think that cheesy magic really works in this setting. Anyone with half a brain can see it for the cheap trick that it is, so it doesn't detract from fire eating and sword swallowing. I think that if the magic were really good, people would figure that the stunts were fake too. You can see how a sucker trick like Silk to Egg could work well too.

Rather than thinking about individual tricks as appropriate or not appropriate, I think that it would make more sense to think about what the tricks are conveying. The cheesy apparatus tricks set off the real stunts in a nice way. A very slick manipulation act seems out of place, as it conveys real skill at sleight of hand. The illusions fit a framework in which the audience is shown people with unusual abilities. Spidora is a freak, Girl to Gorilla is a shapeshifter, Headless is a warning on the dangers of drunk driving or whatever, and so on.

Some magic tricks can be recast as sideshow. We had a young performer who had a Head Twister and an Arrow Box. For a stage show with a sideshow theme, we recast her as the Torture Queen, and her victim as the Invulnerable Man. This way, the magic is advancing the idea of unusual people, as conveyed on the banners, as the core of the show.

Yours,

Paul
Kondini
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Cant see the logic here!!! Is it to make the fake look real, or the real to look fake!!!

Magic is magic, sideshow is sideshow, both can and should be entertaining.

To use a trick as a come on or as a gag in a sideshow performance, can add or detract!!! What persona do you want,,,,,how would you wish to be billed?

Remember sideshow is a way of life, a way of liveing day to day when in season,,,,its so much more than just the performance.

To look on from another angle,,,we have a top notch mentalist over here who has added a few sideshow effects to his arsenal. He portrays these effects as being a "gift" etc etc. His name is always mentioned to me after any of my performances >>>>>>>>>>> I tell the truth,,,so he belittles himself through his own pompous stupidity !!! I become the sideshow performer, he then comes over as a feke!!!

Ken
drwilson
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Ken,

I am assuming that other performers do the cheesy magic, which isn't difficult, and that the sideshow performer does the stunts. There is a lot of fun in a mixed program.

Yours,

Paul
thegreatnippulini
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This tpye of thing always confuses me
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...
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Kondini
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Now Im more confused!!!
Statement "Sideshow Performer" One who performs sideshow stunts in a sideshow.

Or a magician who performs magic in a sideshow.

Does that meen sideshow performance out of the sideshow is a "Performer of sideshow stunts"!!

On a par>>>>> Circus performers,,,,are to be compared to a person with Circus skills who has never performed in a Circus !!!

To me Sideshow is just that,,,you perform and work the show as a liveing,,,your only return is from your little setup haveing performed sideshow stunts from it. Yes there could be a monkey, snake and belly dancer,live freak and magician working under the same canvas,,,,but each has their own spot,,,no mix and mingle of the acts as one would detract from the other.

So to put this to rest >>>> A magician doing sideshow stunts within his magic show is of a dual personality fighting himself and belittleing his own prowess at each individual skill.

There appears to be a lot of pretenders around sideshow,,,but to do is one thing to imagine is another,,,, well I was on this desert Island with this long legged blonde.... she took off her ,,,,,, zzzzzzzzz !

Ken
critter
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I tell you what, I had that same dilemna. Especially because I also do stongman stunts. I don't worry about it anymore. I consider myself an entertainer.
The entertainment I provide happens to be doing the impossible, using whatever methods fit the situation. I am a one man action-comedy! Smile



Quote:
On 2008-08-21 05:11, wizard_of_oddities wrote:
Jondark445 I think I know what your asking...

I am currently in a internal (now external) debate with myself, its been going on for a couple of years now.

Am I a magician that does sideshow stunts?

Am I a sideshow guy that also does magic tricks?

Should I even do magic and sideshow in the same performance?

Why even use a magic or sideshow label, and not just be what my good friend Kenton once said to me. He said, "John your just like the boy next-door but with some really F%^&ed up ideas."

So does that mean I should just be the "normal" guy doing weerd things?

I'll let you know how it ends up, but now back to the original question as I perceive it.

What magic tricks work best when doing sideshow stunts all in the same show?

Fitz
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
critter
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Well, sometimes 2 men when I am working with my partner.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
critter
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It's called 'variety entertainment.' You don't need a dozen people for it though.
I don't see why someone can't be multi-talented.
If a magician can learn needle swallowing, escapes, illusions, and sleights with cards, coins, jewelery, rubber bands, etc., etc. Then why couldn't they perform other stunts?
Is it a hard life that makes someone a "real" sideshow performer? All entertainers have a hard life.


Quote:
On 2008-08-21 11:26, Kondini wrote:
Now Im more confused!!!
Statement "Sideshow Performer" One who performs sideshow stunts in a sideshow.

Or a magician who performs magic in a sideshow.

Does that meen sideshow performance out of the sideshow is a "Performer of sideshow stunts"!!

On a par>>>>> Circus performers,,,,are to be compared to a person with Circus skills who has never performed in a Circus !!!

To me Sideshow is just that,,,you perform and work the show as a liveing,,,your only return is from your little setup haveing performed sideshow stunts from it. Yes there could be a monkey, snake and belly dancer,live freak and magician working under the same canvas,,,,but each has their own spot,,,no mix and mingle of the acts as one would detract from the other.

So to put this to rest >>>> A magician doing sideshow stunts within his magic show is of a dual personality fighting himself and belittleing his own prowess at each individual skill.

There appears to be a lot of pretenders around sideshow,,,but to do is one thing to imagine is another,,,, well I was on this desert Island with this long legged blonde.... she took off her ,,,,,, zzzzzzzzz !

Ken
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
Kondini
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Multi talented is fine, no problem,,,,so would you consider D Brown who is also multi talented as a sideshow performer, mentalist or magician ?

You are acting the part,,,to do so you must never come across as a Jack of all trades and master of none.

We are talking about sideshow here,,,I know about sideshow cos Im doing it, week in , week out,,,,, to portray and sell the illusion of sideshow it has to be kept pure. So you do it right, or not at all. Whatever you do you have to maintain the history and tradition which makes it what it is. To embellish is not to improve. When the word "Sideshow" is seen in print or mentioned, it conjures up a vision in the mind,,,this is what sideshow is. From the remarks here,,,there are a number of distorted visions flying around!!!

What does the word Sideshow meen to you ?

Ken

Also hard work >>>> Sideshow has always been for grafters,,,,its the nature of the beast. The actual entertaining is a very small percentage of a sideshow.
critter
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To me I would say it is a show 'on the side' of a main event.
That's why I consider my Ren Faire work to be legitimate Sideshow.
At the Spokane Renaissance Festival the main event is the plot which centers around the joust, kings court, etc.
The magicians and other entertainers like myself are not allowed into the standard cast area. Well, I am sometimes, but that's because I've earned some latitude after years of toil.
When going through the past guest of honor threads I noticed that Todd Robbins also recommends Ren Faires as a great avenue for Sideshow performers.
This definition is also why I had a hard time accepting the "Jim Rose Circus Sideshow" calling itself that, when there was no Sideshow. I finally just accepted that these guys worked long and hard to get where they were and I wasn't going to quibble them about it.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
Rodentia
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It seems that things have gotten far of track, with some taking offense at labels and the like, where the focus should be on helping jondark put on the best show possible.
Fire is a demanding Mistress...

http://combustiblecircus.com
Kondini
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From recent comments I gather that Sideshow in the US is different than the UK. Have just contacted the Warwick Heritage group who know more than me,,,and my deffinition is the same as their`s.

A magic show or jugglers etc performed under sideshow conditions was known as a Paradeing Show over here,,,ie Jimmy Keys, Betty Allens (Snake, ghost, bottle and acrobatics etc) Lord George Howards (Magic show,,,now in moth balls complete with all the show signs) etc etc.

The Sideshow as per Barry Walls, Chief Mahoona (Son in law of Betty Allen)Etc are classed as sideshows.This is what I consider to be Sideshow.

So I think beg to differ is the answer, you call anything and everything sideshow while I attempt to preserve the UK sideshow as passed down through our history.

So in answer to the original post >>>> My replies are as above.

Food for thought is The Wall of Death a sideshow, Paradeing show or walkaround ?

Ken.
Fitz
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Jon

To try and give you something productive for your needs I do mostly sideshow type of effects in my show and I also do "Sandsational Rope" a very direct comedy rope routine and they seem to mesh well. I say sideshow type because even my sideshow stuff involves magic.

For everyone else I'm sorry if I spun this topic in a different direction however I do like what I am reading. I feel Ken has some interesting and valid points. In fact he helped me realize that I am not a "sideshow guy" as I have never even performed in a real sideshow. However I am a guy who performs sideshow stunts. I also try to give the art the respect that it deserves. I love magic and sideshow and I have been performing both for many years. Locally I have many magic friends but only a couple of sideshow friends and one of them really doesn't hang out with me because he kind of stole one of my stunts. Heck I cant even find anyone to teach me how to eat glass one on one...

What I am trying to say is I rely on this forum and your input when it comes to sideshow. I respect your views and Ken has made me look at a point from an angle that I have not even tried before. This is all interesting stuff and I look forward to more...

Fitz
I have a daily web show all about magic at http://FitzMagic.info
Harley Newman
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So, if you cook an egg, and you don't work in a restaurant, you can't be a chef?
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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Kondini
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A chef can cook an egg anywhere he likes,,,but where ever he cooks it,,,it will not make that place a restaurant hehe.
critter
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Then where does the word 'side' come into it? Didn't it originate as a sideline entertainment to the Midway Faires? As I recall, the faires in England started as communal gatherings where people traded blankets and baked goods. Sideshow was introduced to it sometime in, what, the late 1800's? and regenerated interest in a flagging market. I could be wrong though.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
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