Women In Magic

Talk about what is being written in other magic publications.

Postby Naphtalia » 09/11/08 05:22 PM

I was recently told that there had been an entire edition of Genii dedicated to Women in Magic. I was then told "no, it was Magic Magazine." Someone else suggested.....well, I've had lots of suggestions of places to start looking for "whole issues dedicated to Women in Magic."

Can anyone definitively point me to a publication and a date of such an issue.

Once I can narrow it down I have Ask Alexander and the Magic Castle library as resources.


Just looking for a little inspiration.

Thanks

Naphtalia
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Postby David Ben » 09/11/08 05:55 PM

The Linking Ring for has been running a series of articles that profile Women in Magic. The series is by Michael Claxton; he is the authority on this topic. (This series has been running for the past couple of years.) Also, Elizabeth Warlock has written a series of articles within the past year or so on this topic in the Magic Circular.
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Postby Naphtalia » 09/11/08 05:59 PM

Many thanks. Will check those out.
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Postby mai-ling » 09/12/08 03:35 PM

its not an entire issue, however,
BUST magazine did a nice feature on
women in magic a couple of months ago.
If you search at the forum you'll find
the thread.
you will remember my name
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Postby Joe Pecore » 09/12/08 03:58 PM

The two last issues of Tannen's Magic Manuscript (no longer published) had cover stories dedicated to Women in Magic.

http://geniimagazine.com/wiki/index.php ... Manuscript
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Postby Naphtalia » 09/12/08 04:05 PM

Knew about the Bust magazine and got that one.

Didn't know about the Tannen's. Will check that out.
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Postby Joe Pecore » 09/12/08 05:05 PM

We've been slowly adding women to MagicPedia also http://geniimagazine.com/wiki/index.php ... _magicians
Share your knowledge on the MagicPedia wiki.
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Postby Brad Henderson » 09/12/08 08:25 PM

Yes this will sound very sexist but I have observed something lately.

I have recently seen a number of acts performed by female magicians. Had a male magician been performing the same act, they would have been booed off stage OR would have been just another hack act unworthy of comment (or being asked to be showcased at a magic convention.)

Should we inflate our praise when dealing with female magicians? Should we look the other way at their flaws and faults simply because they have boobs?

Look, I'm not saying men should get a free pass. I'm just suggesting that perhaps we hold everyone to the same standard. One of the acts I saw recently was awful beyond belief - so why was she hired?

It's like a dog dancing ballet. Sure, the ballet sucks, but how often do you get to see a dog do it. So we watch and are amused.

Is that fair to the art? Is it fair to them?

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/12/08 08:38 PM

I wouldn't compare it to a dog dancing ballet because I (and I can only speak for myself) have no sexual attraction to dogs. Others may differ.

Woof!

But, Brad's point is easily seen. Would "Scarlett--Princess of Magic" have a show in Vegas right now if "Scarlett" was "Samuel--Prince of Magic"? I don't think so.
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Postby Curtis Kam » 09/12/08 11:05 PM

BUST magazine has a forum? To think of all the time I've wasted here...
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Postby amp » 09/12/08 11:10 PM

Well some women magicians are like Copperfield clones with rice bowls. I think women can do so much more with magic. A silk act for a woman is better. Us guys can't do tricks with lipstick ,purse ect Luna Shimada does a great trick with a band aid. In a guys hands wouldn't have the same impact.
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Postby Naphtalia » 09/13/08 12:02 AM

Brad,

I've certainly seen some women given leeway because they are considered by someone to be a novelty. I have watched a lady perform amazing miracles recently only to hear magician members of the audience say, "I don't care what magic she does. Her rack is more entertaining than anything I've seen on this stage in weeks."

Ouch!

If there are people with that attitude doing the booking, then the magic ceases to matter. Sad, but true.

There aren't as many women in the magic community as there are men, but there are some amazing performers out there. I figure the folks who would be written up among the great women in magic are a place for me to draw inspiration. Among my biggest inspirations these days - Tina Lenert, Romany, Joycee Beck, Suzanne, Abbi McBride....I actually have a pretty long list of ladies who make me believe in miracles.

There will always be some tricks the guys can do that I can't. I get a very different response reaching into my jacket's breast pocket. On the other hand, there are things I get to do that the guys don't -- talk to me someday about what happens if I'm planning to do the invisible deck, and someone picks the Queen of Hearts - strictly a woman's thing.

I think people who hire entertainers need to pay attention to what the most entertaining act is. I've seen people with great technical skills magically who aren't great performers. I don't believe in giving special treatment based on sex. I want the most entertaining performers hired.

I know I get special treatment by some because I'm a woman. I also know that some have sought to put up roadblocks for the same reason. There was a night at the Magic Castle where I was told flat out by one member that, "A woman's place in magic is in a box or bringing on a tray." Jules Lenier, of blessed memory, responded before I could. He told that person, "Men do magic tricks; women do magic." I've held onto that sentiment every time I've heard a nasty comment based not on my skills but on my gender.
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Postby raj k » 09/15/08 05:46 PM

Some female magicians just take revenge.....

Short Film: "Help Wanted..."



"Roles are reversed as a female magician takes the ultimate revenge..."
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Postby Brad Henderson » 09/16/08 11:37 AM

The sad thing - as RK pointed out - is that ALL some women have to offer is "sex." So, yes, it is a shame when a truly talented person gets lumped into that when they actually have something to offer. But we hear the same thing about talented male magicians - sort of - we hear how lucky they got, or that they knew "so and so." Talent will always be disparaged by those who are jealous.

(Though, your malicious commentator may have been right - given the week - her rack MAY have been the most entertaining thing on stage! I think that says more about the other acts than it does her!)

But even still, there are many women in magic who are held in esteem whose skills as performers/technicians/whatever would not have earned them that esteem had they been male. They are playing the "dancing dog" novelty card. And, I'm sure, a lot of magician men harbor inflated fantasies that perhaps - if they are kind and supportive enough - the lady just might end up sleeping with them. Male magicians cluster around female performers like vultures starved for a week. The motivation for their luring statements can be debated, but the effect is obvious - a lot of female magicians walk away believing they are far more advanced in their studies than they really are. Couple that with the novelty card bookings at conventions and you have created a community of the mediocre held up as role models to an entire gender.

Unfortunate.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/16/08 11:47 AM

One thing most of us boys can't do (at least those of us who don't cross-dress) is ditch things into a "Bra-pit," which was Lisa Menna's name for the way she ditched stuff into her bra when wearing a low-cut dress.
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Postby Naphtalia » 09/16/08 12:43 PM

I call mine a Drop-It...but yes, definitely one for the ladies.

Male or female, the process is the same -
1) identify the miracle you want to make happen
2) figure out the obstacles to making it happen
3) figure out the tools you have to overcome the obstacles.

Being female, I sometimes encounter different obstacles. I sometimes have to come up with a unique set of tools to make my miracles.

....but back to topic, written resources about lady magicians, please. As ever, seeking inspiration.
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Postby Maritess » 09/16/08 02:50 PM

Naphtalia,
I've participated in many magic boards over the years and I'll tell you, this topic is such a ridiculous non-issue, of women in magic, it's as ridiculous as starting a thread on men in magic. It's just a ploy for attention and it's a huge waste of time. You can never change people's minds, example is the best teacher and success is the best revenge.

The best use of boards like these is for research and remaining professional. You'll find through the years who the truly helpful magicians are just by their attitudes, and if some people don't agree with you, who cares?

It's like David Bowie. You don't need everyone to like you, just the cool people.
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Postby Naphtalia » 09/16/08 03:25 PM

Maritess.

To start, if you don't feel this thread is worthwhile, please feel free to ignore it. If you continue on, however, understand that in starting this thread I am not trying to raise issues, change minds, or bid for attention. I am trying to get help from experts active in magic on a specific topic of interest to me. My goal in starting this thread is what I first asked about....resources for further personal research.

I have indeed found magicians who are truly helpful by their attitudes, but you do have to be where they are....and many are here. I am grateful to those who have assisted me in finding what I want.

And as for the quotes, I'll quote my parents and a teacher...

Dad said, "If you don't tell people what you want, they won't know what to give you."... that's why I asked here for what I wanted.

My teacher said, "Not everyone is going to like you; not everyone has good taste."

Mom said, "If you live your life the doing the things you think you should, you're going to piss off somebody."
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Postby Maritess » 09/16/08 04:01 PM

Paula Paul, one of my mentors quoted magician Kathy Diamond, by saying that it's weird for female magicians to get together because you're always told "you're the only one, you're the only one, you're the only female magician I know," and that sort of pits the chicks against each other. Rather, what I gather from Kathy's quote is that we should really stick together, because our existence or importance is not diminished just because we're in the same room.

And dude, I didn't realize you started the thread, I thought it was a guy, my bad!
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Postby Brad Henderson » 09/16/08 04:26 PM

Maritess wrote:we should really stick together, because our existence or importance is not diminished just because we're in the same room.

And dude, I didn't realize you started the thread, I thought it was a guy, my bad!


So, there are two take aways here:

1) You feel you (i.e. female magicians) are IMPORTANT simply because you are female. (Which I think gets to the heart of the matter being discussed - Being female is more important than being a magician? That's what you are selling then? Your website proclaims it is "home of professional female magician and mentalist." Why not just magician? It's obvious you are female...novelty ticket, anyone? You fronted a show called "Girliemagic." Apparently it's ok to sell the [censored] out the fact you have a vagina, but whoa to someone who comments on what you are throwing up in their face.)

and 2) the gender of the thread starter is important to you. A male would deserve criticism, a female would not. Again, the double standard for women (can I call them chicks, since you did?) rears it's head.

Just observing and saying what seems obvious.

For the record, I love talented magicians in all shapes, sizes, and genders. But when someone does a piss poor job of representing our art - but we look the other way (or worse, congratulate them) simply because they are a female - that's wrong. Isn't it time we got honest with ourselves, here.

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Postby Naphtalia » 09/16/08 05:19 PM

The thread was meant to seek out positive and inspiring information.

It appears to have now been hijacked.

I will step away.

If anyone has any resources to suggest, please feel free to p.m. them to me.

Many thanks.
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Postby mrgoat » 09/16/08 06:47 PM

Maritess wrote:Naphtalia,
I've participated in many magic boards over the years and I'll tell you, this topic is such a ridiculous non-issue, of women in magic, it's as ridiculous as starting a thread on men in magic. It's just a ploy for attention and it's a huge waste of time.


You really are talking nonsense.

99% of magicians are men. Therefore a thread about sources of studying women in magic is far from ridiculous. Naphtalia is far from an attention seeker, and if you knew her - as I do - you would know this.

I think your post is rude and insulting.
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Postby David Ben » 09/16/08 07:46 PM

I'd be hard pressed to recommend better sources in print than I did earlier. If Naphtalia has a difficult time tracking down the series of articles, I'm sure that I can locate them for her. Just email me.
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Postby Brad Henderson » 09/17/08 01:52 AM

Just wanted to apologize to Napthalia for my part in hijacking the thread. Having read some of the replies, and having seen several sub par acts held to acclaim for no other reason than gender, I thought this would be a good place to discuss the matter. I hope the original intent of this thread (something I have nothing but support for) bears fruit for Napthalia.
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Postby Bill McFadden » 09/17/08 12:36 PM

Last evening while walking with my dog Zoot, I was thinking about this thread. It triggered an old memory of the terrific performance and routine by Marianne Sagebrecht (sp?) in the film, Baghdad Cafe. Must go watch it again.

And now, back to the civil discourse . . .
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Postby Naphtalia » 09/17/08 01:51 PM

Thanks so much to all who have helped me find resources. In talking to friend last night, he suggested I explain why I started this thread....it's a bit long, I apologize....but here goes...

When I was 6 years old, I ended up playing football in the park with a local "league."...nothing nearly as formal as the Pop Warner today. I was small, thin, and wore my hair very short. I was often mistaken for a boy. The fact that my nickname at the time was Lee (short for my English name Lisa) added to the errors. My team was disqualified and didn't get the trophies we had won because someone found out there was a girl on the team - me. I was told that despite throwing better than most of the boys, girls weren't allowed to play. I didn't have any role models of women who were playing....pre Title IX. I quit and didn't play again.

In Junior high, I fought for the right to take Industrial arts classes. There were two girls that year at my school who got to take shop classes. We still had to take home-ec. We went through the sequence of drafting, metal and wood shop. The skills we were studying didn't come naturally to me. Unlike some of the boys who started out struggling, I didn't get help. I took a lot of abuse in those classes because as a girl, I was told I didn't belong. With no role models out there, I didn't have an argument for the adults who were in authority. I lasted the year, but never pursued these fields even as a hobby.

Now, I end up being involved in a couple of hobbies that are largely participated in by men - ham radio and magic. Along with the encouragement I have had, I have heard several people comment that in the world of magic, "A woman's place in a box," or explained to me that "women should be set dressing," or just flat out "Women shouldn't do magic." Fortunately, the encouragement has been received more often than the comments above. Along with the spoken encouragement, it helped to encounter amazing women doing magic. I have role models! I'm looking in this thread to educate myself, and to encounter more women who will inspire me.

I have another reason, too. It seems that working in a magic store, I become a role model to young girls who want to learn magic. I want to be able to point these girls to women who did or who do the kind of magic they are interested in.

I did my graduate work in the difference between men's and women's communication styles. Naturally, I tend to see differences in how men and women approach their magic, too. This isn't a case of better or worse. It's just that men and women often make me think about different things when I watch them perform.
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Postby Donal Chayce » 09/17/08 02:58 PM

Thank you for sharing that with us. You've shown much more civility and, dare I say, class than some of the responses that you received warranted. In that, if nothing else, you're a model for us all.
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Postby rkosby » 09/17/08 06:43 PM

Hi Naphtalia. I looked through all my magic magazine covers but didn't find an issue with a cover devoted to women in magic. That doesn't mean they didn't contain a story devoted to the subject. Somehow I have a vague recollection of reading a magazine story like that. I can't remember if it was a magic magazine or a magazine for the public. It was definitely a long time ago. Maybe the 80's.

I did find several Genii covers devoted to a particular woman in magic. I hope this is of some help.

Ray
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Postby Naphtalia » 09/17/08 06:57 PM

People's responses and directions have been a great help. Thanks. I'm so immensely grateful for this forum and the ability it gives me to connect with people more expert than myself. If I haven't said it lately, thanks RK.

And yay for Ask Alexander which lets me access stories from home computers.

This week, focussing on Dell O'Dell.
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Postby Merlina » 09/18/08 06:02 AM

Greetings Naphtalia

Magicana from New Zealand had, I believe it was last year, an issue with Lisa Mena on the cover and large article on her. The MUM also had a cover and story featurning Jania Taylor.

A good source of information for you would be Celeste Evans who is now living here in Florida near Tampa. She has just written a book of stories of things which have happened to magicians during their performances and is in the process of writing a second one.

Best of luck in your quest

Maria Ibanez
Keep a dream in the making for we create our tomorrows by what we dream today.

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Postby Bob Sanders » 01/25/10 03:52 PM

Like some of the ones above, I'm not sure there should be a separate thread on Women in Magic without the same for Men in Magic. Neither should be needed.

However, with over fifty years in the professional entertainment industry as both talent and personal management/agency, it is not new to recognize that the gender is assumed to be male unless otherwise noted.

My mother was an entertainer. (My dad was an IRS agent!) At home she was the IQ and he was the noise. In public together, he was genius and she was his servant. In public separately, she was courageous and he was hardly brave. I spent my early years learning the difference in performances on and off "stage". Roles are roles whether or not they are well-played. Gender does not determine that. Venue might!

My wife has career paths including model and ballet dancer (New York and LA), private practice physician, and stage magician. We tend to think of models and ballet dancers being female. Some are. We tend to think of private practice physicians and stage magicians as male. Some are. Neither is actually gender specific. Yet, even in polite company, explanations are due!

Culture is responsible for some of this. Entertainers usually travel a lot. Historically, females were considered at risk here. Also men were the ONLY workers outside the home. Even employed, men had "careers" and females had "jobs".

Of course, only females need maternity leave. My children had the misfortune of having their mom die when they were very young. At that point in time, there were no facilities in the men's restrooms for diaper changing! I was actually called into the department heads office at a state university where I was a professor and threatened with termination for using my sick leave to carry my children to the doctor. Males were not allowed to do that. Only female professors were allowed to do that.

In spite of having perfect credit, two credit cards dropped me because I was a single custodial father. It was the culture and totally unrelated to facts. Welcome to America!

We do strange things. Personally, I do think stage magic is a better venue for females. Lucy does both stage and closeup. We both do. I gave up bar magic many years ago because I quit working in cigarette smoke. (Wonderful decision!) I rarely do closeup because, from my experience as both and entertainer and agent, it simply pays too little.

On the other hand, I love the concept of more women than men being birthday magicians. It's typically a matter of training and experience.

In summary, I'm very much in love with a female magician. Apparently, I like them. Welcome aboard!

Bob Sanders
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