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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » How to Work as a Renaissance Magician by Bill Palmer (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Review King
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Our own Bill Palmer had made this available to us. Bill, can we order direct from you?

Chris
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
Turk
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Quote:
On 2004-10-14 19:38, MagicChris wrote:
Our own Bill Palmer had made this available to us. Bill, can we order direct from you?

Chris


I'd be interested in a review of this book (booklet ?). It seems like it might just complement the Cellini "Art of Street Performing" DVD set.

Also a price for the item and a source for buying it would be appreciated also.

Thanks.

Mike
Magic is a vanishing Art.

This must not be Kansas anymore, Toto.

Eschew obfuscation.
tuffnavyrn
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Congrats to Mr. Palmer!!
Brian-
"That smart thing that somebody else said".
Magical Dimensions
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Hocus Pocus has it. $19.95. I think that this may be the first book of this type. Way to go Bill!

Ray
phread
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md
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Hi all,
just got a copy of it. save your money! it is over priced for what little useful information it contains. it is useful for someone who has never done magic or never been to faire...why such a person would choose to do this...?
dug
Deckless Wonder
Bill Palmer
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I respect phread's review (such as it was) of my notes.

However, let me say this. Everything in those notes is based upon the following:
1) watching people blow auditions.
2) seeing bad costumes
3) seeing inappropriate material done by Renaissance Festival acts.

Each item that I detail in the notes is one that I actually used in my show, even up until the last show that I performed at the Texas Renaissance Festival.

Some of the material is very basic. It has to be. It is a set of lecture notes for people who have never worked at a Renaissance Festival. If you are a veteran of Renaissance Festivals, and a seasoned street performer, you may not need this information.

But if you don't know any of it, you certainly can use it.

And the routine for the Bill in the Lemon is as clean as any routine that is currently marketed at 20 times the price of the lecture notes.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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phread
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Allow me to apologze for not being more precise. I bought Tarbell vol. 1 in 1977 and been involved since then in magic. I have been doing faire for over 20 years and have my own garb. I admit I thought it was more about the business end of the faire and much less about how to do the professor's nightmare or other standard effects. even with my misconceptions, @ $19.95 and $5.00 for shipping make the book very dissapointing given the hype about 26 years of experience by the author. I realize that each faire is different and it would be difficult if not impossible to cover the requirements of every faire in the U.S. the material it self is good as anyone else's versions of the same tricks...but I stand by my original post, there are better things to spend one's money on.
Deckless Wonder
MagiUlysses
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Greetings and Salutations,

Hmmm. OK. I'm not jumping to Bill's defense. He's certainly more capable of that than I am.

I'll just say that I found the book an excellent primer on working faires, and I've been working faires for a number of years -- although certainly nothing like 20 or 26 years. Sometimes I pick up books, lecture notes, etc., just to see what other people are thinking or to remind myself of what it is I'm starting to take for granted and forgetting.

No, if you have 10, or maybe even five or more years of active, regular, professional stage-performance under your renfest belt, this book may not be for you. However, for young performers waiting in the wings to take over for jaded old performers ready to retire, there is a lot of stuff you're going to need to know, and some of those old guys get a little stingy with info. Bill put it into print for you.

Besides, the Bill in Lemon is worth considerably more than the $25 you'll pay, and how many of you have plopped down $25 for the latest trick and it now resides proudly in your junk drawer.

Just my $.02 (USD) worth. YMMV.
Bill Palmer
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Phread:

Hype is only hype if it is exaggerated or untrue. If you take issue with the FACT that I have worked what is now THE LARGEST RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL IN THE US for 26 years, then you are absolutely wrong. If you have been working at Renaissance Festivals for more than 20 years, you are obviously doing something right, but I'll wager that you still see acts that should know better making all the mistakes that I point out in my notes.

There are only four tricks in the notes, and The Professor's Nightmare is NOT one of them. I mention it, but I don't give a routine for it. I mention a number of items that are suitable. I also give a lot of resource material that for someone who has been performing as long as you have would not be necessary.

But I also give information that, unless you have worked in management, as I have, you would not know.

If you had purchased the notes from me, they would have cost you $20 postpaid.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
phread
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md
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We're done...you are correct
Deckless Wonder
Bill Palmer
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I have a question for you, phread. Specifically what would you have wanted to see in the notes that isn't there? I'm planning to revise them. PM me, please. I'm serious about this.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Lee Darrow
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If there's anyone out there who is qualified to write such a book on working Faires, it's Bill. Longest run in the biz, to the best of my knowledge and he's been both "in the mud" and "in the trailer" for the largest Ren Faire in the USA (that's working the faire as a performer and working in management for those of you who haven't had the "fun" of working one of these puppies).

Having worked King Richard's near Chicago, back in it's original incarnation and later 7 years at Medieval Times (which is nowhere near so picky as a real Ren Faire - we used to call it "Ren Faire Light" even though it was 12th Century Spain and indoors), I can attest to the fact that any information he gives on working the festival circuit is worth its weight in platinum.

For me, as a working pro, the tricks aren't the real problem with working a faire. I came out of the Society for Creative Anachronism, where the costume nazi's are MUCH worse than the faire circuit tyeps usually are. That gave me a basic understanding of working "in period" and "speaking forsoothly," but the real inside scoop on how to audition, flow of the act, choice of performance spot and the like that I am sure is in there, is worth far more than any number of tricks he could have laid out.

But it's his last question that really shows his professionalism - he actually asked what he could have done better with the manuscript! Now THAT'S a PRO!

Lee Darrow, C.H.
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
Bill Palmer
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Thanks, Lee. I suspect that phread also came out of the SCA. It's funny that you should mention how strict the SCA is about costumes. Down here in the mid 1970's, they were far less strict about costumes than they are now. We saw everything from Nike shoes, to Everlast hockey gloves -- Lee rider jeans, etc. And the butterfly glasses with the rhinestones on the ends. Man! It was like watching children play dressup in the attic. Now that has changed quite a bit. I think it may be a regional thing.

The strictest dress codes of all the Faires are apparently the California Faires and the New York Faires.

And I'm still waiting for a PM from phread.

Take care, Lee.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
phread
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I have every intention of pm-ing you Mr. Palmer. I am working on your request for what I would like to have seen. I have nothing to do with sca, and never will.
I do want to clear the air here. I apologize if my criticism was seen as a personal assault on you Mr. palmer. The short answer to all of this is I had hoped a working pro could have told me more than I already knew-I am a hobbyist and a playtron at faire who would like to work at faire as a magician- I have a number of routines and things that I intend to use for the faire in question. I am currently re-reading ur manuscript and making notes that I will forward to u.
Again, I never intended for this to become personal- I was simply saying that I had hoped for more useful information based upon ur experience.
I apologize for any discomfort I have caused u.
dug
Deckless Wonder
Bill Palmer
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Phread:

Not a problem, really. I also have a couple of other fellows who are going over the notes as well. I'm sure I have other information you don't know. But if you have been working at Faires for 20 years, then you have a lot of experience. There are some things that really can't be put into a set of notes -- for example, pay rates. These vary so widely from one faire to another as to be meaningless.

And to be very specific, there was a clause in the contracts I gave out to all the entertainers that worked for me when I was the entertainment director at TRF that stated that if I learned that any entertainer had divulged his/her salary to another entertainer, they would be subject to dismissal. Salaries are between you and the E.D.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Lee Darrow
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Salaries?! You paid SALARIES?!!

We only dreamed of salaries back at King Richard's in the first two years (and even now for strolling entertainers from what my sources tell me)!

We had to eat mosquitos and deal with chiggers the size of mastodons, heat waves that rivalled the Great Wave in Japan that destroyed the Mongol Invasion, showers that were more like vertical floods and even the not-so-occasional tornado, too!

Kids these days - why I have even seen electricity in some booths!

Forsooth it's belike non I have e're seen!! Smile

Lee Darrow, C.H.
formerly afflicted with SCA, the Thing That Wouldn't Die! Smile
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
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