Sorry I missed yesterday. I was distracted by something shiny... So to make up for it, I have two, count them two essays from a good friend of Fire Cat Studios, Dwayne Andrew.
"Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible" [Frank Zappa]
If one person wears outrageous clothing then he is just a freak. If a few people wear the same things then it is probably a cult. Done for a short time it becomes a fad; given enough time it then becomes fashion,(I am positive this is how neckties got their start) at what point does society stop ridiculing the unusual, when it becomes beneficial- how about when you can no longer avoid it in your daily life. Maybe I can accept diversity in private but is it OK to ridicule people if I am with my friends ,It makes me look so much cooler.
In the early seventies a Harvard professor declared that the worlds necessity for personal computers would be about four, talk about missing the mark. Why would anyone need a car phone, I have a phone at the office and one at home thats enough, besides a personal phone seems just too extravagant and ostentatious. Maybe someone should have told Michael Angelo to tone down his paintings after all some of it looks so pornographic. Well I guess I can get
used to inventions and fads that may come in handy, but I don't want to stop making fun of people that are different from me and my friends. By the way, I wonder what I would look like with a facial-piercing and a tattoo. Hey you, get a horse.
I realized something rather important, we make the points about certian character flaws in those who detract from our line of work and then say "you know who you are". Truth be told they dont know who they are.
Just as everyone who sings in the shower thinks they should win American Idol. Every schmuck who buys a stripper deck or TT thinks they have the same level of show that you do. It is just not true, and they will never get that lesson unless someone else points it out to them.
In college or at a job our professors; and sometimes our bosses will let us know when we are screwing up, ( or failing ). In magic we dont really have that.
By not pointing out a bad performers gross attrocities we are doing ourselves a big disservice.
Question is do you do it with a smile or a gun, i guess it depends wether you want them to sink or swim.
If you are an amature please dont introduce yourself as a magician. I prepare my own taxes, but I I dont call myself an accountant. You are not fooling anyone except yourself.
I came out of a different era. A time when you would apprentice to a professional to learn your craft. I know you are thinking you dont need someone to teach you about magic. WELL THINK AGAIN. If you read books or watch videos, you are accepting a teacher. By working with a professional you will learn more than just magic. You will learn marketing, and sales ( you dont think that the world is just waiting to get your business card to call you, do you ). You will learn stage presence and blocking, movement and gesturing. You will learn about dealing with the client and audience. Some of the things I learned had to be modified for me to continue working regularly. Marketing tecniques have changed and so has the way agencies hire performers. But at least I had the background knowledge to be able to adapt to current conditions.
I bring this part up because I have had a rash of young men come to me and try to tear down my act or me personally because they believe they are superior in some way. I am a grown man who used to start barfights for fun. and this punk kid thinks I will suffer him gladly because his mommy said he is special. Well guess again, I gave him the verbal spanking his dear mommy should have given him physically on his younger ass. had he approached me in a polite manner with just a bit of respect I would have given him the world. It seems that so many people believe the world spins around them personally, If you take that attitude on stage with you, your audience will abanden you and leave you floundering around wondering what happened. And unfortunately this is affecting a lot of our younger people, because no one has taken the time to teach them about reality. And unfortunately we stand to lose some great talents when they get frustrated from life continually slapping them down.
I guess what it comes down to is that we need to hold ourself to a higher standard than we have in the past. At least then maybe we can be percieved on a higher entertainment value level than mimes.
If only we could be so lucky.