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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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WitchDocChris
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If you don't believe that people make fun of magic and magicians you are simply not paying attention.

The pop culture representation of a magician is almost always a socially awkard weirdo. Or a birthday clown. Or a socially awkward, weird, birthday clown.

Burt Wonderstone. The SNL skit about dating magicians. Howard Wallowitz. GOB. South park had parodies of Blaine, Angel, and Copperfield. There's a whole YouTube series making fun of Blaine. I don't even pay that much attention to magic references in pop culture and I can think of these off the top of my head.

Just because the echo chamber of your friends are nice, doesn't mean the general populace doesn't have a low opinion of magicians.
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Mindpro
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Quote:
On Dec 4, 2018, critter wrote:
I must run in different social circles. Most people I meet think it's cool.



#1 People will not tell this to your face or to the face of a magician, and #2 I wasn't speaking of socially.

This, of course, is part of the problem, is magicians don't see it, they don't get it. This is the root of its perpetuation.
lynnef
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Quote:
On Nov 30, 2018, WitchDocChris wrote:
I think it's because of bad performers with no social skills.


I do see the basic point, but think it's a bit more nuanced. There are good performers with no social skills that can also be the butt of jokes. Superstars are sometimes made fun of because of themselves alone. Enjoying this topic, as it behooves us to improve our acts and the art itself. Lynn
George Ledo
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I think we might be falling into the old trap of lumping all "magicians" into the same can.

Copperfield is a magician. Penn and Teller are magicians. Joe Schmoe, who does four packet tricks and hangs out here in the Café... well... no he's not regardless of calling himself one. We can argue about this until the rabbits come home, but the general public sees far more Joe Schmoes than DCs and P&Ts. And yes, unfortunately, a lot of the Joe Schmoes do tend to come across as having no social skills, especially when they insist on showing you one more trick.

People respond to what they see and hear, not to what anyone wants them to respond to.

I'been saying for years that there's nothing wrong with being an amateur magician, but a lot of them don't seem to see the difference.
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Mindpro
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I've always said that magicians, especially amateur and hobbyists do not really understand there are different levels of status. I say this not as any type of ego thing, most of us are here without our egos, but rather as a reference point to perception and understanding.

This type of level also carries over into the pubic's belief and perceptions as well. They very much distinguish between a cheesy kids party magician and David Copperfield. The problem is they often don't see the many levels in between.

Magicians have to realize all are not equal. Professionals see, think, act and operate from an entirely different level than hobbyists and amateurs. Full-time workers think, act, and operate much differently than part-time workers or enthusiasts. Major differences in almost every aspect of it.
Dannydoyle
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My experience is not people making fun of magicians. But if we are using comics as a benchmark for who gets made fun of then mother in laws, people from the South, lawyers, doctors, podiatrists, dentists, presidents, CEO's, Disney, wives, husbands, dogs, cats, Uber drivers, pizza delivery people, strippers, mimes, jugglers, servers, bartenders, Kareoke singers, politicians, foreigners, and a WHOLE LOT of others are "made fun of" as groups.

It is my experience that people tend to "make fun of" hacks of all types. Those who "wanna be" are often targets of derision because they fall so pathetically short of the mark and it is amusing when they do. It tends to be memorable when they fail. Also consider that which is being put forth by any magician. You want to "fool" someone almost by definition. When you end up looking "foolish" it is just a bit of poetic justice if nothing else.

Also it is not my experience that people make fun of magic or magicians anyhow. Now the difference is simply that I am paid to perform. I do not perform unless I am paid to do so. I do not foist magic on an unsuspecting public. I do shows, people pay to see them and that is the extent of my performance. So in those specific circumstance why would one who shows up to pay to see a performance then go on to make fun of that performance? (Unless of course I have done something to warrant such behavior. In this case it seems that it is my fault.)

If your experience is that people make fun of magic and magicians I will not dispute that. It is perfectly valid. My experience differs from that.
Danny Doyle
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tommy
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Our Magic derives its humour from the absurdity of nonsense apparently making sense. The art of it is in balancing one against the other to create the dilemma. The world of magic defies rational explanation but beware of dismissing it all as nonsense: beware the rag doll with a stiletto stuck through its face.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
critter
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Well, I say "most." There is definitely a "creepy magician" stereotype that exists and I've heard talk after watching a really bad magic act where the individual had apparently never heard of angles and another where the fellow was a trick collector who had no business touching a deck of cards- nice Losander table though.

However, when I see people exposed to good magic they tend to forget those stereotypes. The most common reaction I hear to good magic is "wait... what?" And then how cool it was.

Now if it's the person being made fun of... so what? Weirdos still sell tickets.
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Dannydoyle
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Very good point. It usually depends on the experience they have.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Dec 4, 2018, Mindpro wrote:
I've always said that magicians, especially amateur and hobbyists do not really understand there are different levels of status. I say this not as any type of ego thing, most of us are here without our egos, but rather as a reference point to perception and understanding.

This type of level also carries over into the pubic's belief and perceptions as well. They very much distinguish between a cheesy kids party magician and David Copperfield. The problem is they often don't see the many levels in between.

Magicians have to realize all are not equal. Professionals see, think, act and operate from an entirely different level than hobbyists and amateurs. Full-time workers think, act, and operate much differently than part-time workers or enthusiasts. Major differences in almost every aspect of it.


YUP!
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Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Dec 4, 2018, Dannydoyle wrote:
My experience is not people making fun of magicians. But if we are using comics as a benchmark for who gets made fun of then mother in laws, people from the South, lawyers, doctors, podiatrists, dentists, presidents, CEO's, Disney, wives, husbands, dogs, cats, Uber drivers, pizza delivery people, strippers, mimes, jugglers, servers, bartenders, Kareoke singers, politicians, foreigners, and a WHOLE LOT of others are "made fun of" as groups.

It is my experience that people tend to "make fun of" hacks of all types. Those who "wanna be" are often targets of derision because they fall so pathetically short of the mark and it is amusing when they do. It tends to be memorable when they fail. Also consider that which is being put forth by any magician. You want to "fool" someone almost by definition. When you end up looking "foolish" it is just a bit of poetic justice if nothing else.

Also it is not my experience that people make fun of magic or magicians anyhow. Now the difference is simply that I am paid to perform. I do not perform unless I am paid to do so. I do not foist magic on an unsuspecting public. I do shows, people pay to see them and that is the extent of my performance. So in those specific circumstance why would one who shows up to pay to see a performance then go on to make fun of that performance? (Unless of course I have done something to warrant such behavior. In this case it seems that it is my fault.)

If your experience is that people make fun of magic and magicians I will not dispute that. It is perfectly valid. My experience differs from that.


I agree, pretty much with Danny.
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tommy
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The charlatans are the ones who offer magic seriously and it is usually them and their magic that gets mocked and exposed.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
danaruns
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Quote:
On Dec 6, 2018, tommy wrote:
The charlatans are the ones who offer magic seriously and it is usually them and their magic that gets mocked and exposed.


Really? You mean like David Copperfield, Shimada, Max Maven, Shin Lim, et al.?

I'm not sure you're right about that.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
tommy
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David Copperfield or any other legitimate magician around the world is not going to ask us to seriously believe that he really does make the Statue of Liberty disappear. However, in doing so he can seriously remind us all how precious liberty is and how easily it can be lost. Our magic is fiction and because it is fiction the audience go along with the patter for their amusement and when the magic apparently shoes it true it creates a dilemma because they know it is not. The charlatan asks us to seriously believe his magic is real or might be. Some supercilious magicians cross that line and are rightly made fun of.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
danaruns
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Oh, so by "doing magic seriously" you mean magicians who try to pass off their magic as real. Okay. Interesting way of putting it. So you think the reason people make fun of magic and magicians is because of magicians who try to convince their audiences that they are doing real magic.

Other than mentalists, who kind of do that as a staple of their trade, I can't think of anyone who has done that since Uri Geller.
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Josh Riel
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Envy, insecurity, and especially the fear of the unknown have destroyed civilizations... Magic offers all of that to each spectator.

People have made fun of jesters for a loooooong time, even now when few know what a jester was.

I've seen a few TV shows making fun of jugglers. Comedians are always mocked, anyone on TV or any other platform has the haters.

Even the president of the United States of America, whoever that dumbass is when you're reading this (it doesn't matter) gets made fun of.


So magicians get made fun of? Cool! Those impotent jerks who can't even make milk spill out of their empty hand mock us? We must be people too.
Magic is doing improbable things with odd items that, under normal circumstances, would be unnessecary and quite often undesirable.
Josh Riel
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This is just between you and I: I heard someone making fun of Taylor Swift because her music was garbage and just the most bland and self important garbage any teenager could possibly write.
For example a song about calling a person "babe": It was an ENTIRE SONG! And to make matters worse, she sold it to a band that bought it for money. They paid money to sing "Babe". They even made money off this insipid garbage.

Yes, I heard someone say ALL OF THAT!

At least no one says that about magicians... oh, right...

We can try to be different
Magic is doing improbable things with odd items that, under normal circumstances, would be unnessecary and quite often undesirable.
tommy
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It seems to me, people do not make fun of legitimate magicians who are playfully making fun of the idea of real magic themselves. When one sees a parody of magic or a magician, one sees the overstressed noticeable feature, the thing they are making fun of, is the seriousness with which the magic is treated.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYVEvQKfcpM
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Senor Fabuloso
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Performers who take themselves to seriously, are asking to be made fun of. It's entertainment and not meant to be serious, although serious interpretations of classics do have there place, in the entertainment industry.
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danaruns
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No one does magic more seriously than Shin Lim. Is his Dream Act asking to be made fun of?

https://youtu.be/EAN-PwRfJcA

"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
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