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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Why do people make fun of magic and magicians? (55 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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danaruns
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Why do people make fun of magic and magicians?
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
WitchDocChris
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I think it's because of bad performers with no social skills.
Christopher
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Mary Mowder
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You've been to a Magic Club, right?

-Mary Mowder (Magic Club Member)
funsway
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The question is why one would wish to associate with folks who make fun of others for any reason.

or, why do people feel a need to make fun of tother people (or their profession) at all? Insecurity? Guilt? Basic evil? Bigotry training?

Perhaps "make fun of" is just a form of bullying and magic has nothing to do with it.

Glad you posted this question, though. Caused me to think of several people to scratch off my "worth my time" list.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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Mindpro
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Quote:
On Nov 30, 2018, Mary Mowder wrote:
You've been to a Magic Club, right?

-Mary Mowder (Magic Club Member)



LOl! Made me spit up my Cap 'N Crucnh!
lynnef
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'making fun of' can also be thought of as a 'roast'. It's not necessarily meant in a mean way. There are jokes about almost all professions. "What's the difference between a pizza and a musician?.... A pizza can feed a family of four." If however it's in a mean way, that may just be a sign of jealousy. Lynn
Mary Mowder
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Mean or not it behooves Magicians to examine ourselves to see if we are the cause.

I've done a few cringe worthy performances and it is necessary to address it to fix it.

When any group of performers becomes a laughing stock it effects the business as a whole, not just the poorest performers.

There are certainly genius Mimes but because there are so many poor Mimes I'm betting it is hard for even the most gifted to make a living or to be taken seriously.

Whether we associate with the ones making fun of Magicians or not makes no difference. If Magic becomes the object of distain for enough people it will suffer. Both the business and in Magic's ability to attract the most apt to it.

I know some people are just mean and make themselves feel better but poking fun at others but who is more aware than we are that Magic is suffering from poor Magicians?

- Mary Mowder
Jonathan Townsend
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Https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeH6r9QTxng
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWfqiCpscOE

Quote:
On Nov 30, 2018, danaruns wrote:
Why do people make fun of magic and magicians?
As buffoon? As student of "what is not"? As unintended comedy or inept con game?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
danaruns
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Quote:
On Dec 1, 2018, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeH6r9QTxng
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWfqiCpscOE

Quote:
On Nov 30, 2018, danaruns wrote:
Why do people make fun of magic and magicians?
As buffoon? As student of "what is not"? As unintended comedy or inept con game?


Just a note on your video links:

I LOVE that Patton Oswalt routine. I hear it's a true story. And I strongly suspect it refers to my friend Phil Van Tee (El Ropo), as they were both doing that same circuit and played that same club at the same time.

On the Carl Ballantine video, I always loved him. He had such a glorious comedic spirit. And I know his daughter, Sara, who is the nicest person you could ever meet, extremely sweet, but not funny. So, so sweet though, as was her father.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
Mary Mowder
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As someone who only worked for a Comedy Club for two, 2 week engagements, and was cheated out of half my wages the second time ( by the same Comedy club as I'd worked for the first time) I gotta say I really found the Magician's answer to the problem hilarious. Cheating Comedians was a major trend at one time and may still be.
It isn't always $5.

Sorry to go off topic.

- Mary Mowder
George Ledo
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IMHO, people, being only human, don't make fun of magic and magicians per se. They (the ones we're talking about) make fun of what they've seen and what they "therefore" assume all magic and magicians must be.

If you've only seen one (or two) lousy singer or guitarist, and are predisposed to make assumptions, you're going to assume that all singers or guitarists must therefore be lousy. In logic class in high school, we learned this is known as a hasty generalization.
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Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Dec 3, 2018, George Ledo wrote:
IMHO, people, being only human, don't make fun of magic and magicians per se. They (the ones we're talking about) make fun of what they've seen and what they "therefore" assume all magic and magicians must be.

If you've only seen one (or two) lousy singer or guitarist, and are predisposed to make assumptions, you're going to assume that all singers or guitarists must therefore be lousy. In logic class in high school, we learned this is known as a hasty generalization.



Yup! Sfunny! Youse musta had the same logic professor that I had! heehee
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lynnef
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Very good point, George. Simon Cowell remarked in judgement to Cristal Bowersox (now a successful singer/guitarist) that he'd seen lots of musicians just like her in the subways, at which she replied that in fact she may have in fact been one of them. ie Making a "hasty generalization". Lynn
WitchDocChris
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I think the problem is, when it comes to magicians, the hasty generalizations and assumptions are so often true.

I ask a lot of people what they think when I say the word "magician" - I try to do this when I first meet them, just to sort of test the waters, before they realize how involved with magic I am. The responses are almost never positive. Most are more or less neutral, quite a few are actively negative. Even my former roommate, who absolutely LOVES watching magic, thinks magicians tend to be socially awkward and weird. This is a woman who will be actively angry if you expose a trick to her, because she enjoys having no idea how it works so much.

Regardless of the fact that there are many people who are magicians who are perfectly pleasant socially, regardless of the fact that making fun of others is lame - I do agree with the others that it's important to understand what the general public thinks of "magician". If most people think magicians are awkward nerds - then that's the perception we have to understand is present.
Christopher
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Mindpro
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I agree and think about it even further. In this day and age, where there seems to only be three "types" of magicians to most lay people, it should be something that is quite concerning to magicians as well as the art and industry. Look at the current attitudes towards clowns and the major hit that art has taken. Magicians are not far behind.

Many people think of magicians as either a creepy older man (really bad in this current age and times), a young "trying to be hip" magician (under 30, ala Blaine - and don't even get me started on 40-60+ guys trying pull of hip and contemporary), and of course the big flashy guys, usually established illusionists with fancy costumes and production. Sure WE know there are decent corporate professionals and dedicated pro kids performers, but again that is not the same perception as most lay people or the general public.

As a talent broker and agency owner, we are faced with this almost every day, more so around this (Sept-Dec) heavy booking time of the year.

Chris is right, we need to understand this and respond accordingly.
George Ledo
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It's not just in magic. People form assumptions in other fields too.

I've been a theatrical set designer for 30+ years. I've worked for theme parks, opera, television, and numerous live productions. Yet the first thing that very often - too often - comes out of someone's mouth when I respond to their question of what I do is something to the effect of, "Oh, yeah, that's fun. I used to do that in high school."

One lady asked me, and when I responded she immediately asked where I taught. I said I didn't teach, I just designed, and it took her a few more questions to catch on. Apparently she thought all set designers taught in high school and was having a hard time accepting otherwise.

So what's the answer? I don't have a clue, except maybe for a double dose of patience and a heckuva sense of humor.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
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tommy
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Our Magic is nonsense that that apparently makes sense and so by nature it is ludicrous. Not as ludicrous though as magicians who take it seriously and wonder why people make fun of magic and magicians.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
WitchDocChris
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Quote:
On Dec 3, 2018, tommy wrote:
Our Magic is nonsense


Speak for yourself.
Christopher
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danaruns
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Quote:
On Dec 3, 2018, tommy wrote:
Our Magic is nonsense that that apparently makes sense and so by nature it is ludicrous. Not as ludicrous though as magicians who take it seriously and wonder why people make fun of magic and magicians.


Perhaps your magic is nonsense and ludicrous. Mine is not. And perhaps that's a reason people make fun of magic and magicians, all the ludicrous nonsense magicians.

Yes, some of us do take our art seriously. For some of us, our magic is art. For others, their magic is mere nonsense. And some of us think the reason people make fun of magic and magicians is because of all the ludicrous magicians with their nonsense magic.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
critter
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I must run in different social circles. Most people I meet think it's cool.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
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