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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The October 2013 entrée: Paul Romhany » » Religious views conflicting with Magic shows on Cruise Ships » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

ku7uk3
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I know several entertainers who have been air-lifted of a cruise ship due to one customer complaining that there was a magician on board. The customer never even saw the show, but their strict religious belief system was so temperamental that they complained to the Cruise Director, and demanded the entertainer be removed from the boat.

In the cases where there demands were met, the complainer was a high ranking ambassador with lots of money to spend (or so I'm told) so he was deemed more important that the magician.

Religious views are a big thing on the Cruise ship market, especially as many of the guests are in their later years and have come to believe in a religion as it offers them hope of an afterlife. They don't want their faith to be tested in any way and for some reason, take offence to a magician being onboard, as it goes against their faiths scripture. We can argue that there is nothing in any religious text about magicians until the cows come home, but that's nots going to change how these people think.

Have you ever had any problems with religious implications in reflect to your magic show, and how might you suggest we prepare ourselves should we ever work the cruise ship market on confronting a situation like this?

Do you ever address to the audience that its all a trick at the start of the show to earn their support or have you taken steps to word the name of your show to keep the word 'magic' out of the title for this reason?
Paul Romhany
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Wow NEVER heard of that before. I wouldn't think they would be air-lifted off as that only happens in emergencies and would cost way too much money. Perhaps taken off at the next port. The entertainer would still get paid so they shouldn't worry. Seems rather extreme to me. In all my years on ships I've never had an issue with religion and passengers. My show is billed as Chaplinesque Comedy so the magic isn't a major factor - even though it is. In performance I'm not coming off as a 'magician' but rather Chaplin with magical things happening to him. The older passengers just love this show as it brings back wonderful memories and feelings for them.

I know of several comedians who got complaints because of religious material in their show - for me that's a major no-no. You have to be middle of the road and try not to offend anybody. It's not a comedy club so the material needs to be well thought out. They never got kicked off though, perhaps didn't do a second show but they are all still working on ships.

The only story I've heard is an entertainer getting kicked off because they were going around with a bible preaching to passengers - they got kicked off very quickly!! Mentalism is HUGE on cruise ships right now and I also do a mentalism act on ships. Again it's all in the theme - I don't come off as a mind-reader but rather a Sherlock Holmes type character as part of my Murder By Mystery Show. It's like a one-man play with the audience taking part. There is no talk of religion - just plain fun. I do believe it's how you come across to the audience.
"life is like a movie ... you write your own ending" - Kermit the Frog

http://extrememagicmakeover.com

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ku7uk3
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So with your 'Chaplin' and 'Sherlock acts, the magic goes under the rador as its seen as a theatrical expereince (which sounds great by-the-way). I have differently themed shows also to get away from the word 'magic' as I learnt the elderly guest stayed away from 'magic shows' but had less confrontation when the show didn't have the word magic in its title even though Im performing magic tricks (they are dressed up to look like something else).

From your interaction with other entertainers in the cruise ship industry, how many perform a 'menatlism' or 'magic show' are asked to return? Are we simply both forward thinkers that have created a show to fit the market that don't highlight the magic element (until its too late and there already in the theatre), or am I over thinking this and its not such a problem as I see it?
Paul Romhany
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I do feel it is a small issue using the word magic but it all depends on the cruise. Some are world cruises, some party cruises, some adults only, some mixed families, etc. A younger more kids orientated cruise would use the word magic - a more adult cruise perhaps not. I haven't really bothered asking others. I must ask Nick Lewin when I meet up with him next week. I'm sure he would use magic and is one of the best in the business, as is Michael Finney and Jeff Hobson. I wonder what they all use in their show advertising on ships.

The people I know in the industry (mentalists and magicians) are all asked to return and some advertise themselves strictly as magicians. James Celien is a great act and been with the same line for many many years. They love him, as does the audience and he's strictly a magic or illusion act. (Not sure if he does his famous Dove act on there or not). I wouldn't imagine he has any trouble.

In a lot of cases the magician gets put on opening night spot - so most people turn up on that night to see the cruise director etc. If you can win them over there then they will turn up regardless. You want people to say 'I was never a fan of magic, but I would go back and see him' etc. you'd hope as an entertainer you could make them a fan of magic after your show.Smile

There is a reason why people see the word 'magic' and don't turn up - and that reason has nothing to do with cruise ships but performers in general. Too many bad acts out there that don't care enough about magic as an art form and give it the time it deserves. I believe if 3/4 of the magicians performing just stopped and spent more time working on their act for a few years THEN went out and performed magic wouldn't keep getting this bad wrap of being cheesy! Nothing makes me more angry than seeing unrehearsed acts and people who shouldn't be on stage.
"life is like a movie ... you write your own ending" - Kermit the Frog

http://extrememagicmakeover.com

http://www.paulromhany.com
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