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

dpe666
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Ok, so, in mentalism a lot of people think that you need a disclaimer. Otherwise, people might think you have real psychic powers (God-forbid). In a sideshow, does one NEED to say, "Don't try this at home"? How many times does it need to be said if at all? Smile
Todd Robbins
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I do the whole don't try this at home spiel in several forms during my act. and yet there is a mindset that I have run into many times after the show. It is a political correctness view of "others". It is the, "Well, I have no problem with what you do, but others might try this and hurt themselves." Often this comes about when there are children watching. If someone comes up to me after a show and says, "Children should see what you do." I go in one of several directions. One is to say, "Would your children try this?" They will almost say "No, but someone will." I ask them to find that child and bring them to me, because I have yet to meet that kid. I have yet to encounter a child that doesn't understand this stuff is filled with risk.

Or I reply with, "This kind of material has been done for more than 150 years in circuses, carnivals and amusement parks. And who goes to circuses, carnivals and amusement parks? Families. So if your parents, grand parents and great grand parents saw this and survived, then I think the current generation of kids will too."

This is usually enough.
Harley Newman
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I use a variety of disclaimers, but rarely say "don't try this..."

In the situation Todd describes, I point out that children tend to have a much better sense of reality testing, than adults.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

www.bladewalker.com
Kondini
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The nature of sideshow is to entertain, partly useing the shock input.

To disclaim would be to state the obvious.

Culture differs, in the US you can get away with far more than we can here in the UK.

My workplace is mainly outdoors to very large audiences, mixed crowds which include many kids. Kids who find our act as entertaining and spectacle, also (The wish I could do that syndrome) Comes to the fore.

To tell a kid, don`t shove a nail up your nose, could encourage this to happen !

I open the act with "Don`t try this at home (Go next door) Also if you are of nervous disposition be warned, we want NO complaints afterwards.

Funny thing is we get no complaints,,,not direct to us,,,,they complain to the management instead`!!! (This is not good but does happen) Not often though.

The presentation we have found, is the key.

Years ago we worked the act to heavy metal backing tracks and metal groups live. This made the whole presentation very heavy. The teenager and Hells Angel loved it but it was aimed at them and not a family audience.

Now, by useing organ music as a talkover backing track and incorporating strong visual and verbal comedy, we have that the whole act is softened and become more acceptable to all classes.
The heavy leather outfit now replaced by a Bowler and Waistcoat. I tease and play with the kids !!!

The opening disclaimer remains,,,but the package is more readly accepted.

Yes, some content has been dropped,,Pins, Knife Thru Arm,Chainsaw amputation etc, but these still have their place in the heavier market.

* * * * * * * *

The UK has become "Political Correct" and a "Nanny State" Bookers are controlled by finance more than ever,where as before desire came into the equasion.

We have to put bums on seats and the family audience is the best money maker, we adapt or lose the gig !

You will never please all of the people all of the time,,,common sense, is the key.

Rather than disclaim on and off through the performance,,,I open with it, and close with the following.

"Ladies and Gentlemen" I would just like to say a couple of things before
you go.

Number One,,,,I hope you have enjoyed the show and if you have please tell
all your friends......If not !! Im Paul Daniels.

Number Two,,,,If I have offended anyone here today in any way shape or form.
I would just like to say from the bottom of my heart,,,,(Stage
wait),,,,,,
" I couldn't give a *** "


So re disclaimers >>>> Its down to the image you portray and how you wish Sideshow to be portrayed.

To me Entertainment is more important than the stunts,,,stunts presented as being of a danger theme,,,convinced that they are a health hazard !!!! Should deter enough,,,we must not judge our audiences as being stupid people,,,,,Even if they are !!!!!

Ken.
gsidhe
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Ironically enough...I finally met that kid.
She is a regular at our shows in which I do an obviously fake (And reveled as such) tongue piercing.
This weekend 10 year old Kayleigh came up to her grandmother (A good friend of ours) with a safety pin sideways through her tongue, neatly closed saying "Look! I'm Gwyd the Unusual!"
I was told all of this by her Grandmother.
In my defense, Kayleigh is a child of some of my fellow performers and is a performer in a show herself (Bellydancing) and so she is a little more immune to how odd skewering your tongue can be. She wanted to fit in with the other entertainers.
Just the same...My heart sank and I felt terrible.
Yes...I use disclaimers, always have. She of all people knows that the piercing is fake having seen it literally dozens of times...
Can't shake the thought though.
Horrid. Absolutely horrid.
Gwyd
T-RAY
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Gwyd, did they take a photo of it? If not, the hole probably hasn't closed yet Smile Just kidding...sort of. That is scary though. Is she ok?
Harley Newman
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That's a cool kid! She's not stuck in a place of fear.

Though, in need of guidance.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

www.bladewalker.com
gsidhe
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She's ok...Grandma made her take it out before she saw her parents. No pics.
And yes...She is a very cool kid. Good friend of my daughter of the same age and does great on stage.
And agreed...Very much in need of stricter guidance.
I just hate this feeling. What if she tried something stupider than that? She spins poi (With my daughter) What if she tries to light up, not content with ribbons?
I didn't get the chance to talk to her about it, but I really really want to.
*sighs*
Gwyd
thegreatnippulini
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of Hell because I've made
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For God's sake, do NOT show her my website!!
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
Harley Newman
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Very good idea. Part of her willingness to try this, is her familiarity with you. You can use that influence, to help prevent further "events".
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

www.bladewalker.com
dpe666
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She sounds like my 7-year-old daughter. She came up to me last week and told me that she wanted me to teach her this stuff. I just used that classic parental mantra, "Maybe when you are older." Smile
rossmacrae
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You can get some laughs while about to commence something appallingly dangerous, and pausing to say "now kids, don't try this at home."

It's a toss-up as to whether any warning or disclaimer makes any impact at all. Certainly there's no guarantee.

Certainly I feel better about my 'Ballycast' podcast for adding the warning "this podcast is not family-friendly, I'm not even thinking about it, so listen at your own risk." And I cribbed from the 'Sex Is Fun' podcast a line I couldn't resist: "please, use your common sense, and if you don't have any, stop listening now."
Steve_Mollett
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Eh, so I've made
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I always liked the disclaimer parody:

"Don't try this at home...unless there's nobody there to stop you."
Author of: GARROTE ESCAPES
The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
- Albert Camus
Addy
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When I do a kids show or a show with many kids in the audience I change it up a bit. I'll talk to the kids and tell them that what I'm doing is dangerous and took years of practice. 'I know that none of you kids are going to try this when you get home, it's your parents I worry about. So kids, YOU have to remind mom and dad not to try any of this.'
I make them the responsible ones. Never had a problem. And I do get booked for kids parties doing sidehsow acts. I make clear exactly what I do prior to booking and make sure that the parent or the one booking the party is comfortable with the sideshow acts.
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