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magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

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You certainly can learn from other children's performers. The problems lies in that people use their routines word for word and move for move. This does NOTHING but make more magic clones that we do not need.

You need and should learn to step away from that. Learn to be creative thinkers on your own. The reason why people do not do this is because they are flat out lazy. Sorry folks but it is so true.

So many magicians that do shows for kids just do NOT want to put forth the effort to try new things, to try and be creative and to invent their own style.

WHY? Lazy is one but the other is FEAR. They are afriad to fail. They are afraid that it will not work. Well I am sure that Clive, Phillip and others here who do profesisonal kids shows have failed in the past. BUT I can bet you dollars that each and every one of them learned from trial and error and now their shows are ten times better because of it.

You have to be willing to work at it. You have to work to be creative and to try new things. Sure it may not work sometimes, but that is when you learn from your mistakes. You get stronger and so does your show because of it.

Kyle
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magicbern
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Inner circle
Hong Kong, China
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The reason why after 20 yrs I'm 'only' doing 20 shows a month is because I don't need to do more. My full-time profession is a secondary school teacher working a 45-hr week from Monday-Friday. That leaves me with only weekends and school holidaqys to perofrm. So I think 4-5 shows per weekend is pretty good going.
As for 'following their (SIlly Billy, Mark LEveridge, David Ginn, Sammy Smith etc) examples, and adapting to my style and situation, I don't find any shame in such a practice. Can the member who felt the need to criticize me for that say he hasn't been influenced either directly or indirectly by ANY kidshow entertainers?
It seems rather presumptious to claim complete originality in any field given the wealth of information we're exposed to in the magical field.
I'm not aiming to start an argument, just that I feel the number of shows one does has no bearing on whether or not he/she is qualified to speak out on a topic. I stated my show experience to put forward the point that when criticizing established performers we ought to realize our own limitations. Everyone can be an armchair critic but give credit where credit is due.
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

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You do the number of shows you WEANT to do. For me, I love my day job as much as I love performing magic. So I too am a full time wekend and holidays and some weeknights performer. I may not work 25-30 shows a month, but at this point, for me, I do not need to or want to. I just know that with my show and my marketing and business knowledge, I could if I decide I want to take step sometime.

I think we all have to set our own goals and standards to which we want to acheive. The idea here though is that your reaching those goals no matter if it is weekend work only or full time work. Regardless of the numbers of shows you do a month, make sure your doing what you set out to do and what works best for your own personal growth.

Anyone can be influenced by a performer and learn from perofmrrs. That is good and works fine. I just see so many magicians not spending one ounce of effort to find their own style and personality. They but videos and do the acts and routines exactly as they see them in HOPES they go over. To me this is just really sad.

Your not giving the audience what they should be given and your certainly not learning or growing as a performer yourself.

Take the videos and the books and use them as ideas and inspiration. Take them and build upon them. Find your own style and learn as you go along. Add your personal flare and touch and soon you will not only find what works for you, but you will find it easioer to create your own routines of magic.

Kyle
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magicbern
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Inner circle
Hong Kong, China
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By the way, I'm very open to constructive suggestions, but save the dry British wit (read: sarcasm) for your British audiences who may appreciate it.
The comment "that says it all really, you're following their examples, but after 20 years you're still only doing 10-15 shows a month' reeks of a rather dismissive attitude.
Perhaps some members feel the need to stress 'quantity' of shows performed versus 'quality' or financial returns.
What I'm saying is that we could open a can of worms over this issue if we choose to. If your fee is high enough, then perhaps you don't really need to do as many shows.
Before some members start questioning my right as a semi-pro to compete with the pros for a limited share of the magic pie...everyone has a right to partake in a market if they have the product and service to fill a market need - be it magic or opening a rival supermarket in the same area. I paid my way through university with magic, it provides a steady side-income, I don't undercut other performers (and we cross-refer each other for shows regularly)and I also use magic to teach linguistics as well as self-esteem in my own school and other schools in my area.
I relish the stimulation of a lively and informed discussion on any topic, but I can do without negativity from performers who steadfastly refuse to acknowledge success and begrudge those who have reached heights they may or may not personally aspire to. I wonder if this is a phenomenon exclusive to the magic field...would award-winning entertainers or experts in other fields be deined well-deserved alocades from their peers?
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

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With my own personal goals set up for myself this year, I wanted to work festivals and I personally wanted to make more money doing less performances. I am happy to say I have made this a reality. HOWEVER, this is my own personal goal set by myself and my wife.

I know I am not in a contest with anyone else but me. I do not care if Joe Schmo is doing 50 shows a month or 10. It does not concern me really. What concerns me is:

- That I am reaching and acheiving my own goals set forth by myself

- That I am learning and studying and achieving every single time I go out and perform

- That I make an effort to give a quality performance and show every time out there.

- That not only do I provide my client with a great show, but I listen enough to them to meet their needs and be a solutions provider for them

I do not get myself worked up about others and what they are doing. I can not control that. I can only control what I personally do myself.

I do what works best for me.

Kyle
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magicbern
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Inner circle
Hong Kong, China
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Thank you for your take on the matter. I have never said that I COPY the routines of others; just that I read and watch everything related to kidshows and develop and adapt to my own personality and performing situation here in HK. I think it's only logical to think that intelligent adults do that in any field. As an academic and a teacher, I am fully aware of the implications and consequences of plagarism and indiscriminate poaching of intellectual property. That's not what I do, I watch, read, learn (not imitate0 and adapt. Not once have I said I copy other's routines word for word or action for action.

And I also thank you for your comments of show quantity versus quality. We all have the right to choose the number of shows we do, but we should keep developing ourselves as entertainers.
Touche!
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

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Bern:

Perfect. That is the way to go about it. Learn from them and adapt things to meet your own needs and learn from the experience. Nothing wrong with that.

Each and every one of us has our own goals and ambitions with magic. Not all of us aspire to be in Vegas or to do magic full time. Some just want a fun hobby and are fione with that, Others want a great weekend side business to bring in extra income and others want to do it full time.

Whichever avenue you choose for your magic is just that.. it is YOUR choice and yours to make. There is nothing wrong with any avanue. The only wrong thing is if you:

- stop pushing yourself
- stop learning
- stop making goals for yourself to acheive with your magic

If you remain stagnant then your not doing yourself any good at all. Enjoy your magical journey. Learn as you go on your journey and achieve what you seek out to each year.

YOU can make a differnce no matter if you want to do 1 show a month or 50 shows a month. Anyone can do anything they set out to do if your willing to work hard at it and reach the goals.

Do not worry about what others are doing, only worry about your YOU are doing or what you are NOT doing because your too busy worrying or arguing. hehe Go out there and get those clients if you want them.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

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Emazdad
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Inner circle
Plymouth UK
1954 Posts

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Reference your comments regarding quantity over quality, If you don't have a quality show, you won't get the quantity of work. It's the high quality of my shows and my professional attitude that has built my reputation and my customer database.

My style is influenced purly by the reactions of the kids in the audiences, not by the likes of any of the guy's you've mentioned, as Kyle said Trial and Error. I had no help when I first started out, my first shows were put together using stuff from kids magic books, which were all I could find in the shops, which I had to invent routines for.

It wasn't until I joined the Plymouth Magic Circle that I even found out about magic dealers etc. This I feel has been a bonus in my book, because I fear that if I had been subjected to the influences of these other guys earlier on, I wouldn't be the person I am today. My personality would have been poluted by their styles.

Most lectures you see like Ian Adair etc use a style that's so out of date that the only thing I learn is that by not doing what they do, I'm doing it right.

I've got nothing against Part timers, I used to be one. I find it hard to understand though why anyone who has a good show, and enjoys entertaining kids and can make a good living out of this business, could possibly want to be a wage slave. But then each to his own.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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Clive well me doing this part time is done simply for this reason. I LOVE both jobs. I am the lucky few who have a passion for art and for magic. My day job is as a graphic designer and illustrator. I adore the place I work at, I Love the people there and I get a lot of of the work I do there. It is the same for my magic. So for me, I just could not see myself quiting one over the other as I enjoy them both equally. I guess I am lucky. Many hate their jobs. I love mine.

I thionk others who hate their jobs or find the day jobs redious, do not do magic full time out of fear. They have no idea how to go about it and how to make the money or get the shows to just make ends meet.

Me, I know I could do it if I really wanted to. I have a great show and enjoy kids performances and have done them for years. I also know enough about the business side of things and marketing to really make it work for me if I decided to do so. I think others do not do this because they do not understand what we understand.

I also admire the fact that you did not have the books or videos when you were starting out. That forced you to be creative with your magic and to think differently then the others. That is always a very good thing.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

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magicgeorge
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Inner circle
Belfast
4299 Posts

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People are funny, not nations.
magicbern
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Inner circle
Hong Kong, China
1217 Posts

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'wage slave' - another derogatory remark ... or is it just misunderstood British 'humour'? If you think being a school teacher is equivalent to being a 'slave' then I really have nothing to say to this member. Maybe teachers also make a small contibution to the betterment of the next generation - but of course not as much as 'original' entertainers who have a great magic show! And what pray tell is a 'good living'? I earn around 4,000 pounds sterling a month from teaching, plus my 1 hr Magic Party shows are 250 pounds each (x approx 15 shows a month). Plus I make a telling contribution to the education of our next generation.
Thanks to Kyle who seems to see things objectively and fairly. Its members like that who make my time here worthwhile. To people like Clive, all I will say is I respect your choice of 'making a living' and just ask that you respect ours.

ANother question is why some members feel that by watching experienced kidshow entertainers like Ginn, Smith, Silly Billy, it would 'pollute their style'? Can't you just observe, take critical notes and find the good points as well as bad ones? When I read books
written by the great authors like DIckens, Austen, Hemmingway, I can only feel inspired and wanting to emulate them, not imitate! There is a very clear difference! I maintain that in magic, as in most things , 'there's nothing new under the sun' and 'we all stand on the shoulders of giants'
p.b.jones
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Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
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'wage slave' - another derogatory remark ... or is it just misunderstood British 'humour'?

HI,
Just the name we give to any one that has a 9 -5 (or often much longer).....5 days a week or more job so to speak

Earning lots of money is fine providing you are not spending most of your time working.
I like to work to live not live to work. but that's just my choice
Phillip

phillip
Emazdad
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Inner circle
Plymouth UK
1954 Posts

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Magicbern, for a supposed children's entertainer you seem to be lacking in one key ingredient, Funnily enough it's the thing this topic started off being about. a sense of humour.

The term Derogatory remark, is one generally used only by the Politicaly correct gestapo, that's infecting the world today.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

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Clive and Phillip are fine. They have done what they set out to do and are finding much success and rewards from it. I have no problems with that and say congrats. Wage Slves is just humor and you just have to laugh. Do not take it personally.

I just happen to love my day job enough that I can do both magic and art and design and get a lot from both. There point is do what you like to do. If your day job is soemthing you can not stand, then why not make a change. It is your life to live to live it well.

Kyle
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Emazdad
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Inner circle
Plymouth UK
1954 Posts

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Hear hear Kyle, that's the important thing, you have to do what make you happy.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

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Exactly Clive. You have to set your own goals and then go about acheiving them. Only you know what you want out of your magic.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

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magicbern
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Hong Kong, China
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I accept your point about humour but I don't have to find your comments funny. Why the need to use the term 'supposed' children's entertainer? Why the need to 'turn the screw' at every opportunity? Can't you turn your humour off at appropriate times?
Emazdad
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Inner circle
Plymouth UK
1954 Posts

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I'm sorry my humour is a built in part of myself, why would I want to turn it off? Your statement baffles me completely.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

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I agree with Clive again. It is his personality and it is the way he is. It works for him and it shows in his success rate.

The problem here sometimes, at no one fault, is that there is a cultural barrier that gets in the way. What we states folks find is funny may not come across that way over the pond and vice-versa.

We just need to relax and spend less time arguing and more time doing what we need to do to better ourselves and the magic that we do.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

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magicbern
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Hong Kong, China
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Well you seem to be easily baffled. Turning off means selecting appropriate times and venues to exhibit your 'humour'. Perhaps the problem is that you find the need to be funny 24-7.
I don't have any intention to argue and I respect all the sage advice given by this member in various posts. Its just that I don't agree with his sense of humour or what he perceives as being funny. If he is successful then so be it; I happen to think I'm quite successful in balancing my magic life with my profession as a teacher. All I'm reiterating is that we should give credit to other well-known pros where it is due and not begrudge them their success.
I think everyone is tiring of this post and so I respectfully withdraw from any further discussion on this thread.
Thank you to all members who share my views and to those of you on the other side of the 'argument' I respect your opinions too.
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