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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » Disney/Broadway themed manip act?!?!?! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Benjamagic
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So I've been thinking of a Disney OR Broadway themed manip act. What I can do now are cards, balls, parasols, canes, and candles. I was thinking of having about 4-8 different songs from either famous Broadway or Disney and do the magic according to the songs(?). Any ideas of routines, tricks, songs, etc.?
Cheers,
~Ben
Bill Hegbli
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You are not the 1st person to think of doing something like this.

1st off Disney will send you a sees and desist order, as all their songs, video, characters, etc. are copyright and patented. They have spies everywhere. So doing anything that belongs to Disney will only result in you wasting your time, money and efforts. Even if you have a character that looks close to their characters, you will not be able to use it.

All it takes is one photo of you with any prop that looks like it is their property on YouTube or Facebook and you will be in trouble.
Mark Ross
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Bill is right. And you would have similar copyright issues with Broadway show based music. These are businesses and they protect their intellectual property.

Mark
Benjamagic
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It would not be for any monetary gain... Solely for the Stage Competition at Tannens Magic Camp.
mtpascoe
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I would stay away from Disney. But you can do Broadway tunes, but you have to pay to use it. It's been awhile, but I think either ASCAP or BMI. With the power of the internet, you can research it. I don't think they'll kick up a fuss for free shows, but if you want to get paid, better pay to play.
Bill Hegbli
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That does not matter if you are not being paid, it has to do with Disney being paid. You would have to contact the Disney Company. Apply to use their images and songs, then pay a huge fee, most likely in the neighborhood of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Then they may not still approve it use, they may not like how you are using their products.

A local costume shop had a custom that looked something like Big Bird, it was not exactly like but very close. J.C. Penny local store rented the character custom. They published a picture in their employee news letter.

Shortly, the custom store received a letter to seas and desist the use of the costume, and to send proof that the store had destroyed the custom.
Frank Simpson
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In short, you don't want to mess with the mouse.

As for Broadway, most recordings are administered through ASCAP or BMI, as mentioned above. It will vary by recording. If you are looking to have a different performance of Broadway music, then you need to find out who licenses performances for the specific show. Most will be administered by Music Theatre International (who actually licenses several Disney titles), The Rodgers & Hammerstein Music Library, Tams Whitmark or Samuel French. Many will only license a full show, but some, notably MTI, are known for licensing performances of individual numbers from shows as the author or authors' estates allow.

Not to rain on the parade, but you may be better to rethink your act's theme, although you could come up with a fantastical (ie. "Disneyesque") or broadway styled theme for your act with all original material. Then you'd be truly safe from any cease and desist orders or worse, litigation.

And a good lesson to learn right away is to avoid the "it's-not-for-profit" or "nobody-will-know/care" line of thinking. Neither philosophy carries any weight!

Good luck to you!
Mark Ross
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Frank summed it up well.
mtpascoe
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I think Frank is right. This way you own it and you don't end up with a bunch of music that sings about magic. It just doesn't work. You need songs that tell the story on what you are doing, not about that you are doing magic. David Copperfield never uses songs that mention magic.

Find out the plot of what you are trying to tell and then hire a good song writer to write around it. You want the music to match the magic. Everything must go together so well, it seems like it was made for each other. And if you get a writer, then it will.
Stucky
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Disney will likely not come after you (If they don't shut down vinyl sticker booths at every fair and street vendor space for using their copyrighted characters I am sure you are fine) for using their tunes.

You could ONLY likely do it at magic competitions however. There is a magician who competed in FISM using "Under the Sea" and an image of Ariel the Little Mermaid in his act and I am sure he has not received any "Cease" and desist orders.

Other have used stuff from Chicago and Cabaret in their acts and seem to still be doing so. We are such a small community we fly under their radar of being a threat. Is it wise to lean heavily on the works of others? No. Do you need a starting point to evolve from? Yes.

As for paying for the Broadway tunes, most magic competitions are held in places (ballrooms and theaters) that are required to have a license to play music covered by BMI and ASCAP. Again, it's not likely but the minute chance does exist they will come after you should you get rich and famous doing said routine.
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Frank Simpson
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Stucky gives some pretty flawed advice, and in his own first sentence there is a very telling phrase; "their tunes". That means that they are not yours, or ours, they are theirs.

I have personally known performers who have indeed been given cease and desist orders pertaining to Disney properties. And not "rich and famous" performers either. Is it a certainly that you would get one? Not at all. Is it a possibility? Very much so.

True, there are many, many knock-offs out there, but just because they are "flying under their radar" does not in any way justify their actions. Right and wrong is not an issue of scale. There is nothing in a legal definition that indicates that if you are small potatoes you are somehow exempt.

I suppose at the end of the day it will be a matter of personal integrity.
Stucky
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Quote:
On 2013-05-27 21:41, Frank Simpson wrote:
I have personally known performers who have indeed been given cease and desist orders pertaining to Disney properties.


Were they magicians? I'm curious to know who even if not. It would make for great research to see how this kind of stuff is handled.
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Dick Oslund
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Dear Ben: Four out of five of the above respondents gave you essentially the same answer! (80% vs 20%)

SHOW BUSINESS IS SPELLED: $HOW BU$INE$$. Intellectual property IS intellectual property. Stealing IS stealing.

You have an "idea". But apparently you don't have enough experience, knowledge, or wisdom to develop that idea, so you are asking others to develop your idea, for you, for free! (your OP) A true artist paints the picture that he "sees" (in his mind). I seriously doubt that Michelangelo asked others for advice when he created DAVID!

When four out of five tell you that you'll likely find yourself in real trouble if you develop that idea, it appears to me, that it would be wise to listen to the four.

I do not like to use an "argumentum ad hominem", but I suggest that you look at the avatar of the 20%. Would you as a summer camp director, hire that person, as pictured, to work your camp? If not, it would follow that that person's counsel would be of negligible value! You might infer from the phrase, "still not banned..." the attitude and the general thinking of this person.

You list in your OP, a bunch of PROPS. PROPS DO NOT A SHOW MAKE!!! (I wrote that sentence, that way, to get your attention!)
Props may be compared to the various ingredients of a good stew! --but to create that good stew from those ingredients, a real chef is needed.

You may be able to become a good "chef", but, usually to do so, you will need to study (with a QUALIFIED MENTOR) practice (with a good mentor)and THEN, perhaps, you will become a good chef, IF YOU ALSO HAVE A BIT OF TALENT!

I've said it many times: THERE AINT NO SHALLOW END IN THIS POOL. BEFORE YOU JUMP IN, BE SURE THAT YOU KNOW HOW TO SWIM!

I hope I haven't rained too hard on your parade! --I also hope that I may have gotten your attention!

Diamonds aint polished with marshmallows!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Frank Simpson
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Quote:
On 2013-05-29 03:48, Stucky wrote:

Were they magicians? I'm curious to know who even if not. It would make for great research to see how this kind of stuff is handled.


They were not magicians. One was a children's theater company and another was a juggler. Their stories are not mine to share publicly, but suffice to say that it was not a pleasant experience to go through in either case.

One chose bitterness and finger-pointing and complaining about "big corporations squashing little performers who really aren't doing any harm". The other chose to use it as a learning opportunity and the act was completely revamped on a similar theme with all original material. I'll give you one guess as to which of the two is still performing to this day (quite successfully, I might add) and which dwindled into obscurity.

I recommend reading Dick Oslund's post above several times. Consider each sentence carefully. There is a TON of wisdom and useful information in this post for the person who is wise enough to learn from it.
Anatole
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Although "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery," originality is often the first step toward success as an entertainer.

I remember reading a story about how Tommy Cooper started out copying a famous American magician's material and that when the American went to perform in England, the public thought he was stealing Tommy's act when in fact it was the other way around. Eventually Tommy developed his own unique style and went on to become one of magic's most successful entertainers. (Someone please feel free to correct my memory if I'm wrong. I think I read the Cooper story in one of Will Dexter's books.)

Dick Oslund makes some very valid points, metaphors and analogies. His comment that "PROPS DO NOT A SHOW MAKE" has counterparts in other arts, such as "A box of oil paints, a palette, brushes, and canvas do not a painter make." As Dick points out, it helps to have a mentor. Some of the present and past stars in magic had mentors who helped them "find themselves" without becoming clones.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
----- Sonny Narvaez
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