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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » See The Flea, and enjoy some AAAAART! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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pjw
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Hi.
I enjoyed the show to be honest it was no where near the best I have seen, but it seemed a compitent enough show.
please don't take offence as there is none intended , but I am not sure if the perfomance was of a good enough std to produce a teaching video.
MagicSanta
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Hi kidz! Sorry I've not been here, been on the road, I was brilliant in case you were wondering. Sexy too.

Now I shall expand more for the sake of lessers out there that may learn something. This isn't directed at Potty as he at least has a track record, it is for some of the rest of you unpracticed baddies, you know, the ones that called me Satan and saw it allowed by the powers that be.

There are two basic types of kids show performers that you'll run into, I mean, other than you imagined ones.
1) Character driven performers. These are guys who basically pick a strong character, a pirate for example, and their show is based on that character having magical powers and the material is selected based on that character.

2) Prop driven magicians. These guys tend to lean heavily on the props and use standard presentations. Each segiment almost is like a mini playette in itself and one routine doesn't reflect on another.

Both work fine the first being more difficult to develop a show for and requires more creativity than the second but you can make a living for decades doing the second. The biggest problem with the second type is they usually just can't admit that is what they are. Hey, look at it from a musical stand point, some bands walk out and play music, others put on rock theater, they are what they are. This doesn't mean the rock theater guys are better than the straight up musicians, just different, so mellow out.

The problem with the limited amount of stuff Potty put out there, and note he put it out there I didn't, was he has a very strong character and clearly put a lot of effort into the 'look' and the staging. Everything cool. The problem as I saw it was he then turned around and presented the magic like the second type of magician! Prop driven, standard presentations, predictible jokes. The jokes, by the way, are ones that are directed to the adults present, they die on the vine for the kids though, I think you do need to slip in stuff for the adults present though. So what I saw was a great character delivering a standard practiced performance. Thank goodness is it practiced, it gets old seeing scripting that consist of 'oh uh, uh, this is, uh, a silk, er, I mean a hanky like your dad, er, uh, I mean like grandpas, uh, use to, uh, use ya know...'. Potty didn't do that, joyful joyful, of course had he and I mentioned it some of you still would have said "the grouping of your 'uh's was brilliant, that Satan is a clownboy!".

Now since I don't blow smoke up skirts I will offer suggestions to the enthusiastic Potty, if he can take time from packing up his DVD to send to his fan base here in the ol' Lil Darlins section. First I always liked the pirate as a character and it is a worker, in particular for boy parties. Write a list of what you associate a pirate with as far as what he'd have with him. Some examples from when I did this exercise for a pirate years ago are:

Chest, gold coins, royal colored silks, rope, chain, pearls, bandanas, parrot, sword, pirate hat (tri tip), patch, gems.

That gives you a lot to work with. The biggest prop I would consider, and if I was you Potty I'd consider this, a tip over chest! Plays big and magical, isn't too much to lug around, you can produce a load of stuff, killer item. Note, there is nothing wrong with that flea circus, it is a wonderful product that I'm sure is well made, what the #@R$@# does it have to do with your character? You could have spent the money on a solid tip over chest and a rubber parrot. Again, this is not a slam against Wolfe or his lovely products, if it doesn't fit your character why bother if your show is character driven? If it DOES fit your character (and it doesn't for a pirate) then it is worth every dime and more.

I'd do a sponge ball routine showing how I can steal stuff from peoples hands, a midas touch routine using gold coins (or silver, what the heck), produce pearls. Make a squared circle with a pirate theme, do a 21st century silks with a pirate flag, mismade flag with a jolly roger, there are so many things. Oh, One thing I made, badly, that I thought was great but clumsy how I made it was a break away sword. I cut up a plastic sword and threaded it on a piece of cord and worked it like a wand. It wasn't great but still, something worth considering. I could go on and on.

So now you know where I stand. If you want to just be stroked, ask for it and I won't toss in my opinion. I do think that other than those that suggested you may not have the material to justify selling a DVD that I offered not only my opinion but also advice and ideas. Now I invite those name callers to continue, for you see, your opinions mean so little to me it has no effect on me, so carry on!
magicgeorge
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Well done, Potty. It takes guts to show your stuff to the masses here and I applaud you for it.

I thought the joke book jokes were fun and will get a laugh from the kids and adults if played well. I think the flea routine probably needs more stage time...probably because it hasn't had much. I'm not sure the flea routine would be worth including in a dvd anyhow, if folks are spending that much on a prop I think they'll want to do it there way. It might be an idea to send it to Chance when it's more polished and see if he wants to include it with the effect?

BTW can you theme the card part of it? Maybe have pictures of girl fleas and select a girlfriend for your flea or something like that?

The sceptre routine was fun. I thought the fact that they were laughing at your reaction rather than screaming at the "don't see" part of it was a plus point.

You've a great face for this line of work!

More power to ya,
George
Potty the Pirate
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Thanks to everyone for your great input - it has been really helpful. To respond to Magic Santa's points - I do have routines using ALL the props mentioned. The DVD will also include my mis-made pirate flag machine/routine, from my pirate-themed show, from which I haven't put a clip up on YouTube.. The routines I chose for this show were specifically chosen so that folks can adapt my presentations if they like, for their own shows. If I'd chosen my stronger pirate themed routines such as: "How to Be a Pirate" : a routine involving four kids, one adult, a L&H chest, and a strong mentalism effect to boot; or silk vanish routine/story with a treasure map and two kids; or "The Treasure Game" - a pirate-themed bill in lemon routine with a beautiful treasure chest - they would have only been useful for those presenting a pirate show. Instead, I chose the scepter as it's very popular, Magic Painting (my premise is simply that I, as a pirate, enjoy painting....), since I don't' know of any other DVDs with this routine, Mis-made flag, to illustrate lots of gags, and how to bnring this effect up to date, the Flea (my premise will be that the fleas belong to the ship's monkey, who will actually present the routine himself soon - see, fleas and pirates fit perfectly well together!)...and the Flea can be simply adapted for alternative presentations - And my Parrot/Drawing Board routine was chosen as it's unusual, and will be used to illustrate how the performer can manage his stage presence.
I also have a pirate-themed story show which includes: a BIG treasure map, a rope routine, "Captain Knottybeards' Incredible Seasickness Cure, A baby dragon, T.O. Trunk - treasure chest, and a Flying Carpet ride for the Birthday kid at the end.
If there is a demand for specific pirate-themed routines, I may consider offering some of these in the future. The problem is always filming the shows effectively.
Looks as if it mmay take a little longer to get the whole thing ready, but working hard to complete the project!
Thanks again to y'all,
Potty Smile
Clownboy
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Hey Santa, Honestly I have no hard feelings.
You simply are not able interject without being rude or obnoxious. Want to do it to me then fine - go ahead. I can certainly take on anything you have. But when someone is looking for help and lay themselves out there, you SUCK at critiquing. Not sure if its because you have no manners or just rude in general.
You like to hide behind your avatar and crush those who just need a little helping hand to the next plateau. No need in "Blowing smoke up their skirts" or "stroking" them but show some respect and kindness when you do it.

As for me asking to see a video of you...
All I wanted to know is your credibility. You are unemployed (from reading your past posts) and haven't established yourself on here as a viable performer. For all we know you highest training in theater is watching Bambi in third grade. It sounded like most on here felt the same way. If you are going to criticize someone for something as harshly as you did then why not put a video out to demonstrate your technique and establish some credibility.

Again, no hard feelings towards you and sorry about the Satan comment. I didn't need to put that in there. I just don't like seeing people getting bullied or mistreated on here.


Brad
As the Frogs say "Times Fun when you're having Flies" Smile
Potty the Pirate
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Brad, I just think that's Magic Santa's "way". What I'm curious about is why it took me to practically beg before Santa offered his actual opinion. pjw , a few posts above, has written nothing of any worth...more detail please, that's what makes constructive criticism. Just saying that "it's nowhere near the best I've seen" actually means pretty much nothing, with qualifying that statement.
Personally, I feel this forum is a good place to have your show torn to shreds....far better here, than while actually working!
;)
MagicSanta
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You didn't have to beg, I was out of town and didn't access any computers during that time. You could have stood on your head and held your breath and it would have taken the same amount of time.

Clownboy (interesting, that is a name we use to use as a slam), there is a story about a man standing in the middle of the road with a donkey, just standing there. Another fellow comes along with a wagon and asks the first fellow to clear the road and the first man says he cannot because his donkey wouldn't move no matter how much he told it to. The second fellow gets off his wagon, pulls a 2x4 out and wacks the donkey across the head, at which point it starts walking down the road. The second fellow looks at the first and says "you have to get their attention first".

Since this is suppose to be a stroke fest and I just don't play well at those I'll make it clearer since it hasn't penitrated yet. Potty, if you were half as good as you think you are you would be the top performer in the UK. The videos you put up were not bad nor were they impressive. Deal with it or don't deal with it, I could care less what the poor children of the UK are subjected to. They handled the blitz I'm sure they can handle your show. I'm not even concerned about you because as I said you are an average performer which is not a bad thing. I was more addressing the dolts who were telling you how wonderful it was and how they would be in line to purchase a DVD of said performance! Come on, either they don't know what they are talking about or they are stroking you for no reason that I can determine. My comments were mostly to try to help your fans here hopefully become better magicians, oh wait, I forgot they all must be excellent top drawer performers.

As for establishing myself as a viable performer here you must be kidding. I have to establish myself you some of YOU? Why? What can you possibly bring to the table that would benefit me? From what I see a costume on one fellow and another adopting a Potter'ish name is enough to send some of you into a lather. Goody goody for you. I, at least, gave some advice to Potty that he could, in secret I'm sure, give thought too that could help him in the long run. Ewwwing and awwwing when it isn't called for does nothing except stroke the fellow looking for attention.

Hey, I tried to help y'all by explaining character development, all that came out of it was "I'm a pirate that likes to paint' as justification for a trick. I guess you do the flea because "I'm a pirate that likes flea circuses". That actually is a great way to justify adding anything and everything to your show.

Let me, the Great Satan, end with one thing. Watch what you put on You Tube, there is very, very, very few descent performances put on there. Quit shooting yourselves in the foot. Potty's (I can't take it any more, you are now Doug) video actually is far better than most I've seen though, some people on here, dang dudes, you need to think before you put up evidence against you.

Have a happy day!
Potty the Pirate
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Magic Santa, I never claimed to be as good as anything, except as good as I can be. Why I should be the top performer in the UK, I have no idea....that's not how I think - that's how egotists and my mother think. As performers, I believe we should be humble, and grateful that we are blessed with such a creative and fulfilling career.
As for pirate-theming my shows, well, I can assure you, they are pirate-themed. But Santa seems to believe that only piratical stereotypes are appropriate - whereas, having spent much of my life as a pirate of sorts, my take on the pirate theme is different. Take The Flea as an example: among the most common animals for pirates to have aboard ship were monkeys. Monkeys have fleas. Our ship's monkey has simply trained his fleas to do tricks! Comprendez?
Another Wolf trick - the Wacky Weasel - also fits the pirate character perfectly, in my shows: the ship's parrot (Squawk) is hopeless at catching rats, so we got a weasel to deal with them. Then, of course, we have the ship's rat, Spotty, who is so big (Axtell Neurotic Rat) that the Captian decides he can become one of the crew, and that way he'll manage the rat problem.
I hope someday you guys can see some of those routines too, but I've tried to make my first DVD offering more relevant to a wider audience.
On Magic Santa's final point - I disagree (what a surprise!) Really, if you want to learn, grow, and become the best you can be, absolutely put your clips on YouTube, and have your peers and associates profer their criticism.
Potty (please don't call me "Doug" in front of the kids)
:)
MagicSanta
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Most don't critique what is on youtube, they sit around and mutter "oh my #$@% god, why would he put that up?" because the person putting it up thinks it is great. Again that isn't your videos I'm refering to, I won't name the main culprit but the fellow is on here and puts up lots of really bad video.
Mumblemore
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Potty,

You are a model of showmanship, humility, and a creative "take." I'll buy the DVD just to learn more about the guy who has so graciously taught us all how to counter onslaughts like MagicSanta's criticism mixed with antipathy.

Todd
MagicSanta
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He's almost like Jesus...
Al Kazam the Magic Man
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Quote:
On 2009-02-12 19:42, MagicSanta wrote:
He's almost like Jesus...


that's funny!

You have to take into account that Mumblemore posted last week that he has only done about 40 -50 kids shows. That is not very many at all. He would certainly benifit from Potty's advice and routines, no doubt about it.

JoJo
Al Kazam --> Magic guy in Perth Australia
MagicSanta
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Thanks JoJo, I started doing math and figured kids I use to work for when I started out now have kids too old for magicians! Augh!
Bumble
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I think regarding Magic Santa its a case of 'Lights on....nobody home.
Mumblemore
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I am honest about needing feedback . . . And not too proud to take up good generous people who are willing to offer it . . . It's how we all learn. There's no shame in being a novice. isn't' that what we all are at one point or another? I am "getting out there," have an excellent - and improving - kid show, and get paid for my services. Most importantly, in each of the last 10 or 15, I've gotten "knee hugs" after each and every show. To me, that means I'm doing something right. And secondly, I try hard not to take myself too seriously.

I frankly think that there's another important "experience issue" on the Little Darlings. I got into this as a parent of young kids, and I think understanding them well, by dealing with them every day, is worth some "show experience." I think that starting with my own kids and their friends has given me an understanding of how magic impacts them. The bottom line is that this is not a science. I don't have the most experience of anyone on this board; far from it. But I admit that, unlike many of our fellow "experts." I do not claim dazzling technical skills or sleight of hand. But I can do a great show (yes, Santa, it is prop driven and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, and yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus but this guy ain't him ...).

Let's be honest. The quality of a magician (especially close up) is measured by sleight of hand in combination with originality, presence and ability to WOW. To me at least, kid show performers should be judged on how entertaining they are. "Knee hugs" and "wound up kids" are the best measure of that, no matter what people get paid, or how many card flourishes they can do.

So yes, I would definitely benefit from Potty's advice and routines (although I do write my own routines, thank you, but yes, I enjoy getting ideas and bits of business from others). However, my point is that I think many others might also benefit. The guy is very creative and does excellent stuff. Why do people constantly have to deride others to build themselves up? Criticism is one thing, if it's specific and constructive. But just knocking others with a sour and general tone is not overly helpful to anyone.

Got to get back to practice. Lots to learn . . .
MagicSanta
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See...good info given but they are too blind to realize it. They spend too much time defending themselves to learn, poor buggers.
Bumble
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Well said.I feel that it is the energies we put into our acts that make it.
If you just go on and go through the motions with no real enthusiasm for it then it will show.
A true professional to me is someone who 'wants to be there'
Last Christmas I had a run of engagements entertaining the children as they came to see Santa (thankfully a proper one)many of the parents commented that I was as exited as the kids about it all.That to me is a great compliment and shows that I was doing my job right.
After they had got their gifts from Santa some would rush up to me to show me what they had got and I was genuinely pleased for them.
My efforts were noticed by the management and I was booked for next Christmas on the strength of it.
So it does'nt matter what props you have it is how you portray yourself that is important.
For my childrens shows I too am prop driven with a large assortment of effects which I enjoy using.
The theme which Potty puts through his routines I think is really good and the fact that he is forever pushing to put life into his act is to be commended.
magicgeorge
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Quote:
On 2009-02-13 08:44, Bumble wrote:
I think regarding Magic Santa its a case of 'Lights on....nobody home.


At least Santa's original and somewhat prolific in his insults. That cliched jibe would suggest a shortage in voltage elsewhere...
Chance Wolf
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MagicSanta,
The advice you are giving is solid but maybe your approach is making a few folks skin crawl. What you are trying to explain can be hard to relate into words as there are a lot of subtleties in body actions, delivery etc.

Why do you not post a demo video?

No need for super video production and slick editing. I am sure your experience and act will be more than fine.
Just plop a camera in front of your act and do your thing.
Actions speak a million words.
Show us your stuff!
Chance
Creator of Wacky Wolf Productions & Fine Collectibles

A DECADE of building Magic and we're just getting started!

http://www.wolfsmagic.com
MagicSanta
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Well Chance, a couple things. One, I'm basically retired so I'm not out performing any longer in a formal setting with rare exceptions. Secondly I don't care to share my routines with the unwashed masses as they will steal them and then claim originality. Third I can barely figure out how to get letters to appear on a computer and have no clue how to get video onto one. Lastly I don't need approval from you or anyone else, I do not seek it, and do not ask for it. There are those that do ask for it and they need to accept the responses for what they are. I said Potty was practiced average, nothing he showed was original or outside the creative box. He wanted more information, he PM'd asking for more comments, if not for that I would have left it at 'practiced average', which is better than most. I'm actually more concerned and shocked by those that saw the videos and then lined up to say "it was amazing! Great! I want to buy a DVD of that performance!". You, Chance, are going to think your products are suitable for each and every performer and performance, I don't blame you, it is how you make your living. Oh, the Flea looks very well made and done by the right performer and done well I'm sure it could be the centerpiece of a show. If anyone has video on youtube of it being performed well I'd like to see it, best flea performance I ever saw was by a mime about 25 years ago.
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