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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » When belief systems don't match up (5 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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C.J.
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There's a lotta rambling in my
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Quote:
On Dec 16, 2014, Al Desmond wrote:
Quote:
On Dec 16, 2014, Mortimer Graves wrote:
Honestly, I think it's a bit flattering to be accused of being the Antichrist now and then. People are really unique sometimes.

It's funny, I've actually been asked out of the blue to perform for people during the social-mixing part of more than one funeral, and everyone ended up laughing and clapping and having fun without anyone being offended in the least. I think sometimes that when this happens I'm actually the only one who thinks it's weird that people would want to see magic at a funeral.

And yet, the same stuff done as an ordinary family entertainment in a place like a church, where people are expected to socialize and have some happy fun now and then without everything being negative, can bring down condemnation and the judgements of the self-righteous.

The gods must be crazy.


When that happens the only thing you can do is take out the balloon animals.


WHAT?! And defy the 2nd Commandment?! Are you crazy??

"You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below." --Exodus 20:4 Smile



Sorry IAIN, I've thrown it off again already.
Connor Jacobs - The Thought Sculptor
Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur
Be fondly remembered.
Mortimer Graves
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I think that it can indeed be a bit of a sticky wicket when we're faced with the beliefs of our audiences, especially when they're nothing like our own. It can be an awkward situation, to say the least. Especially if they then try to turn it into an interrogation of your personal life, so they can tell you they don't like you while still feeling like they're the good guys. Hey, it happens.

Experience is probably the best teacher in this case; meeting people of various beliefs and faiths can help an awful lot in learning how to get through a performance without ruffling any feathers. Or at least with the smallest possible amount of ruffling.

I usually try to avoid doing anything that could be taken as a direct attack on, or contradiction of, any audience member's personal convictions, but some people seem to go out of their way to ensure that we know they have a problem with us, just because we're not just like them. I do my best to let those things go when they happen; it just goes with the territory.

On the somewhat off-topic of divination, I too try to use older, more obscure methods. For one thing, if it's of historical significance, and presented in an entertaining and educational way, very few tend to take issue with it. Plus, if it's really obscure (or if I made it up myself), nobody will be familiar with it enough to contradict me while I'm "interpreting" it.

The same goes for spiritist-type stuff; if you make it clear that you're simply giving a demonstration of what someone a hundred years ago might have been able to expect from an alleged medium, then you're giving an entertaining demonstration. If, on the other hand, you tell them that the spirits of the dead have something to show them, you immediately open the door to potential conflict.

The only way to really learn how to smoothly handle these kinds of social situations is experience. The more you know about how people feel and express their feelings and handle certain subjects, the better you get at presenting those subjects in an entertaining and non-inflammatory way.
'Tis an ill wind that blows no minds.

Hastur, Hastur, Hastur! See? Nothing hap-

...and if we rub each other the wrong way, let's try going in another direction. - Pokey the Porcupine
John C
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I can only add that I am a Romantic Catholic. Matter fact my livelihood keeps me visiting with Catholic Families churches and meetings with Catholic men and Priests. I live in West Palm Beach. My walkabout takes me to the Breakers in Palm Beach and all the top country clubs in the area.

I've performed at bar and bat mitzfahs for the rich and the not so rich, Needless to say Jewish, athiests and all the rest.

Now I don't do tarot or readings. But at every event they usually have readers stationed about. I can't say I ever was concerned with what to perform or not perform for or at religious groups. I've performed my mindreading mentalism show for lots of Catholic groups. Never a concern,ever.
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John C
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I would also say that with my experience as a Catholic the stories some site, to me and my 58 or perhaps 50 coherent years as a Catholic these are totally isolated situations. A Catholic who equates cards or tarot with devils or Antichrist are in their own world. Believe me these people are not the norm. These things are NOT against the church and its teaching. Not in a 21st century way.
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Mortimer Graves
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Yeah, considering how many Catholics regularly get tarot readings, I think the accuser of the Antichrist must have been a pretty special case. A lot of people are simply over their hangups with such things these days. In fact, an atheist magician friend of mine tried to stir up drama between me and the monsignor of the local cathedral once while I was doing readings nearby. I can only assume he was attempting to entertain himself at both of our expense. The monsignor laughed and told him that what I was doing wasn't that different from what his function was in the church, and that we were basically on the same team as far as he was concerned.

I was pretty impressed with his response, to be honest.

I also think it's funny that the name Satan literally means "the accuser". Of course, mentioning this fact to someone who accuses you of something to prove that they're a better person than you never really does anybody any good... They simply won't listen. XD

Trust me on this one.
'Tis an ill wind that blows no minds.

Hastur, Hastur, Hastur! See? Nothing hap-

...and if we rub each other the wrong way, let's try going in another direction. - Pokey the Porcupine
phillsmiff
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Not really the same thing but a friend of mine was hired for an event with a lot of orthodox Jews present and had this experience:

"...so could you just write the name you are thinking of on here?"
"No."
"Er... why not?"
"Because it's the Shabbat, and writing more than two letter is work."
"OK."

So I guess that's not so much about their belief systems not matching up (I think they enjoyed his stuff) rather the belief system basically precluding his performance.
Funny story though.

Phill
Bill Cushman
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Quote:
On Dec 17, 2014, phillsmiff wrote:

So I guess that's not so much about their belief systems not matching up (I think they enjoyed his stuff) rather the belief system basically precluding his performance.
Funny story though.

Phill


Oy vey!
IAIN
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I remember a few years back, a mate of mine was doing a sponge ball routine for a group of city boys, and it was based on quantum theory...one of the city boys corrected him on his explanation which was kinda funny...

Should explain, over here, city boys is the common slang for people who work in the financial side of London...
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Mortimer Graves
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Yeah, it does kind of help if you know your subject, especially when you're performing for intelligent people. Some of them know their subjects pretty well, too. XD
'Tis an ill wind that blows no minds.

Hastur, Hastur, Hastur! See? Nothing hap-

...and if we rub each other the wrong way, let's try going in another direction. - Pokey the Porcupine
funsway
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old things in new ways - new things in old ways
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For a group of folks where everyone had a Masters Degree or better in some field I contrived a coin routine explaining String Theory.

Some of the effects are "Virtual Magic" and extremely clean for those who might choose to replay.

One person offered, "I think I understand the Theory better now. Scientists just made it up out of nothing."

Another offered, "I did read that it can be demonstrated that an object can be in two places at the same time."

A third claimed, "That was incredible magic but a little weak on the science side. That's not how String Theory works."

at this a silent guest picked up the coins I had used and handed them to the speaker saying, "OK, you explain it better."

My point is that educated people often or uneducated out of their own field -- so choose a subject no one understands.

Is this one of the reasons why Mentalism is gaining in popularity? No one can say you are wrong, while each spectator can come up with an explanation that justifies what they observed?
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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Mortimer Graves
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My subject matter is usually archaeopseudocryptophenomenology, and for now I think I might actually have the market cornered on expertise in the field.

At least until one of my volunteers turns out to know more about it than I do. If that ever happens, I'll probably just have to hang it up.
'Tis an ill wind that blows no minds.

Hastur, Hastur, Hastur! See? Nothing hap-

...and if we rub each other the wrong way, let's try going in another direction. - Pokey the Porcupine
phillsmiff
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Don't give it up, just push it out to xenoarchaeopseudocryptophenomonology. Simples.

Phill
Mortimer Graves
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Aw gee, why didn't I think of that?

Why, that's probably the Next Big Thing!
'Tis an ill wind that blows no minds.

Hastur, Hastur, Hastur! See? Nothing hap-

...and if we rub each other the wrong way, let's try going in another direction. - Pokey the Porcupine
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