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David Charvet
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Lou - You are right about not picking volunteers before the show. After enough years on stage you do tend to get a sense for who will work, just by spotting them in the audience during the show. And the reactions are not the same if they know in advance.

I have always found on corporate dates it works better (at least for me) to NOT do the guillotine with the CEO. The "second level management" (i.e. V.P., one of the department heads, Sales Manager, accounting controller, etc.) tends to be funnier. This is the case with larger corporations, at least in my experience. The CEO doesn't lose face or made to look foolish (in their mind.) Especially important if the CEO is giving a speech to "rally the troups" after the show, etc. I WILL use the CEO for something like a Bill In Lemon or other routine of that type where they tend to be seen as equals on stage. Of course it depends on the CEO. In smaller companies where there is not a chain of hierarchy the company President can sometimes be a good foil in the guillotine and since he is more of a "regular guy" in the minds of the employees, it will play funny.
illusions & reality
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Saskatoon, SK, CANADA
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Hi David,

You are correct. I usually don't put the "top banana" in the guillotine for the reasons you outlined. There have been a few exceptions where the CEO was extremely personable. Again, I usually ask the main contact in the corporation who they would suggest.

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Since we're going down that route...

Why not:


"I can't digest those either"

Then pull out a full cob of corn.

The diamond thing is rather confusing. Will the audience get that the stress of the volunteer about to have his head apparently chopped has produced a tightening in his sphincter that has produced the needed 130,000 atmospheres of pressure to turn the graphite in his arse into diamonds or will they just be wondering why anyone would eat coal?

Is MCM still knocking about? I'd like to know if he tried it.
R.E. Byrnes
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Not every laugh is a real laugh
RVH Magic
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Eugene Burger says: Unfortunately, most magicians seem to think that any laugh is a good laugh. This can lead to disastrous performances. It took me until the mid to late ‘80’s finally to understand deeply that not all laughs are good laughs. Some laughs are embarrassed laughs. Some laughs make people think you’re an idiot. Other laughs can make people think you’re a sleaze or just creepy. So not all laughs are good laughs, which is a lesson that many magicians fail to understand very deeply.
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