Nudity in Magic

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Richard Kaufman
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Nudity in Magic

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 11th, 2015, 1:22 pm

It's a slow Sunday here on the Forum, so decided to get your thoughts on nudity in magic. That includes both female and male nudity.
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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby Waterman » January 11th, 2015, 2:26 pm

Several years ago I was the president of a local magic club. Like most magic related fraternities the club was comprised of mostly men in their 70's who performed the same tricks each month during the "Showtime" portion of the meeting agenda ( I believe we set the worlds record for having the most performances of The Professors Nightmare in a one hour time frame...one fellow even got through the routine without mucking it up).

Anyhow....
one of the members told me about a stripper back in the 50's and 60's who used to do magic during her routine. I was intrigued and decided to see if I could track her down. It took some doing ,but the women was still living in the area and accepted my invitation to come to our next meeting and share her experiences as a magician/stripper.

She showed up on meeting night with her granddaughter who unknown to me had taken over the stripper act, magic tricks and all. I assumed she was just helping grandma out by giving her a lift to the meeting. Instead, the granddaughter ("The Naughty Mistress of Magic")
recreated the act her grandmother introduced to the strip club world 50 years ago. The performance resulted in a topless and G-string attired young lady (very attractive I might add) who used mouth coils (from her mouth thank goodness) and silk appearances/vanishes with a cheap change bag. The act concluded with a decent linking ring routine,but by that time no one was giving much thought to the magic.

Afterward, the grandmother shared the history of the routine and some interesting experiences she had as a stripper/magician. Her granddaughter had gotten dressed by then but everyone was still looking at her during the lecture and probably hoping for an encore performance at the end of the meeting ( I know I kind of was).

That's the only exposure I have had with nudity and magic. For the most part we felt it was more a nudity act with magic than it was a magic act with nudity, but at the end of the night we all left feeling like it was the best meeting we had in a loooooong time.

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MManchester
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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby MManchester » January 11th, 2015, 3:01 pm

I'll give you my opinion when I get the chance to see male nudity in magic. Please provide a link to a video. :D
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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby TheLovelyDebbie » January 11th, 2015, 3:56 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbVz5V6DCds

Cabaret performer Ursula Martinez doing a clever little thumb tip trick with a handkerchief. Not for the faint hearted or prudish
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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 11th, 2015, 4:22 pm

We've discussed Ursula Martinez at length somewhere on the Forum.
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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby AJM » January 11th, 2015, 4:29 pm

That reminds me of The Piddingtons - I wondered if they had ever considered doing a nude act.

Anyone know?

:-)
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Brad Jeffers
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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby Brad Jeffers » January 11th, 2015, 4:41 pm

MManchester wrote:I'll give you my opinion when I get the chance to see male nudity in magic. :D

How about these blokes ...

Image

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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby brianarudolph » January 11th, 2015, 4:51 pm

Brad Jeffers wrote:How about these blokes ...

Image


I sure hope this doesn't give Vernet any ideas about extending their product line (so to speak.)

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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby Ted M » January 11th, 2015, 5:13 pm

Wasn't Houdini strip-searched before certain escapes?

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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby Ian Kendall » January 11th, 2015, 5:37 pm

Ursula now franchises her act (I saw one of them this summer - she was beat for beat a carbon copy of Ursula, who I had seen a few years before).

I heard (but cannot prove) that one of the people who bought the act was a man from Australia...

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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby Steve Bryant » January 11th, 2015, 5:41 pm

Bonnie Saxe produced the Showgirls of Magic at the San Remo, a successful little show for a time. The late show was topless, and the girls would hang out at the Desert Magic Seminar. I was there once and taking notes for my web site. A young Mexican spectator said, "Hey, look at that guy." I replied, "They said no photos. They didn't say we couldn't draw them."

Another interesting illusion of that era was Lance's double levitation, with a topless dancer lying atop him. This always struck me as an E-ticket ride.

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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby Steve Bryant » January 11th, 2015, 5:45 pm

Martin Lewis had some interesting effects involving nude young women as props. I refer you back to the September 2002 issue of Genii for a complete description.

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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby Will Jung » January 11th, 2015, 6:04 pm

brianarudolph wrote:
Brad Jeffers wrote:How about these blokes ...

Image


I sure hope this doesn't give Vernet any ideas about extending their product line (so to speak.)


I apologize for not posting anything that contributes to this topic, but the above statement literally had me laughing out loud. :lol:

I really needed that. Thank you.

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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby Larry S. » January 11th, 2015, 6:36 pm

I recently re-read "The Last Magician" by Bruce Elliott. The lead character begins one act by producing a live Martian girl, nude, then magically produces clothing for her, piece-by-piece. (I hope I'm remembering correctly). It sounds like a good effect!

Larry

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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby Roger M. » January 11th, 2015, 7:37 pm

Ursula Martinez is a Performance Artist, she has absolutely nothing to do with magic.

In the case of the thumb tip, she's a bad actor with a prop she never took the time to learn how to use, and that's all she is.

Equating her with magicians is ridiculous.

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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby Leonard Hevia » January 11th, 2015, 8:12 pm

Most likely the nudest photo of Houdini in existence:


Image

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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby Rick Ruhl » January 11th, 2015, 9:11 pm


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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby Rick Ruhl » January 11th, 2015, 9:17 pm


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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby Jonathan Pendragon » January 12th, 2015, 4:15 am

In my younger days, sporting the body displayed in the pages of Muscle and Fitness, I was still very reluctant to go bare chested on stage. "Showing skin," performing Metamorphosis and occasionally Interlude sans shirt, even with the physique I had, was never easy. In our art it would be difficult to present it as anything other than shock, even if the intent was otherwise. A dancer in a ballet, an actor in a play, content becomes the ultimate fig leaf. In my show it was eye candy, matching my partners notoriously brief costumes. We would talk about needed streamline apparel to accomplish our presentations, and it did help not being weighed down in elaborate costumes while trying to negotiate the trunk, in truth we knew sex sold. Full nudity would require a well defined... why.

I designed a levitation where Charlotte could float nude. I created a contoured support that held her body in place by use of an arm strap that her upstage arm linked through. She could lean towards the audience hiding the support. Her downstage leg was bent at the knee and her arm covered her breast a la Botticelli's Venus. It worked perfectly, but I had doubts about perception. It began as a thought experiment; how would you do it? My "why" dealt with the impossibility of method; naked you have no place to hide a support. Before I ever presented it I had added a body suit and diaphanous drape, destroying what I had set out to accomplish. I had solved the problem, but was afraid that my intent would be misunderstood.

In Italy, recently, I presented my barbed wire escape which I do bare chested. I felt my numerous scars led to the credibility of the stunt. Again, I struggled with justification; I am doing this because I am in great shape for my age or because I think it is effective?

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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby TheLovelyDebbie » January 12th, 2015, 6:08 am

www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uwkD9COyIU

For one awful moment there with my dodgy eyesight, before the camera zoomed in I saw the frizzy hair and the top hat and I thought it was Jerry Sadowitz :D
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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby Ian Kendall » January 12th, 2015, 7:44 am

Ursula Martinez is a Performance Artist, she has absolutely nothing to do with magic.

In the case of the thumb tip, she's a bad actor with a prop she never took the time to learn how to use, and that's all she is.

Equating her with magicians is ridiculous.


For magicians, yes. For real people, she does a magic trick five times in a row.

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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby Roger M. » January 12th, 2015, 9:20 am

Perhaps Ian, but she also has about 20 other "performance pieces" in her repertoire, none of which have any relationship to magic.

Considering her audience goes to see her because she's a performance artist, and not because she does one magic trick (poorly), I suspect the concept of a disappearing hank means far less to the audience than the naked lady dancing around in front of them who in the previous show promised to cure homosexuality, and in the one before that she sang Spanish songs.

But what do I know, as one of her new shows features flash paper produced from the crotch, so I guess she's a magician after all.

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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby TheLovelyDebbie » January 12th, 2015, 11:52 am

But what do I know, as one of her new shows features flash paper produced from the crotch, so I guess she's a magician after all.


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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby Ian Kendall » January 12th, 2015, 12:53 pm

Fairy nuff. I've only seen her do the one act, and no one I know (and I know a fair number of people in the industry) have ever seen her do anything else. I would wager that if you mention the name Ursula Martinez, you'll get more responses about this act than any of her others.

However, she does magic in the act, and if she juggled, I would still lump her in with 'acts who juggle nude'.

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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby Joneseymagic » January 12th, 2015, 12:55 pm

I'm surprised no-one's mentioned Benidorm's finest - Sticky Vicky!

Here she is performing a novel version of The Razor Blades…..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7J5sHv04-ak

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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 12th, 2015, 1:05 pm

Omigod.
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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby fred kirchner » January 12th, 2015, 2:34 pm

maybe the males could do a zombie act or glorpy

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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 12th, 2015, 3:28 pm

Don't know how well "Glorpy" would go over on stage.

As for "Zombie," somehow I'm thinking that's already been done.
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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby AJM » January 12th, 2015, 3:32 pm

I once took part in a nude 'dancing cane' competition.

I came within an inch of being the winner.
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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby Brad Jeffers » January 12th, 2015, 3:42 pm

OK, so here's my question ...

Awhile back, in a thread where someone was asking where they could buy the cards for the trick "Kate & Edith", I (being clever), suggested they try HERE

The link is to Kate & Edith.com, a women's lingerie shop.

My post was promptly deleted. I figured this was done because the moderator found the link to be too "risque". Why else?

Now I just watched the Sticky Vicky link :shock: and I am confused :?

What gives?

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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 12th, 2015, 5:32 pm

Brad, I would not have deleted your post. Not sure who did.
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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 12th, 2015, 7:23 pm

1,113 views! Must be a very slow news Monday.
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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby IrishMagicNews » January 12th, 2015, 7:24 pm

Ian Kendall wrote:Fairy nuff. I've only seen her do the one act, and no one I know (and I know a fair number of people in the industry) have ever seen her do anything else. I would wager that if you mention the name Ursula Martinez, you'll get more responses about this act than any of her others.

However, she does magic in the act, and if she juggled, I would still lump her in with 'acts who juggle nude'.

I saw her some years back in Dublin while she was performing in a Speigletent show along with some other very good acts. She did three acts, the TT, the flash paper bra and knicker act and a pretty funny song (I think on Uke).

The flash paper act was terrible. essentially she just gyrated around in a flash paper bra and kickers and then lit them to finish. It was atrocious.
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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby Brad Jeffers » January 12th, 2015, 11:12 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:As for "Zombie," somehow I'm thinking that's already been done.


I believe you are correct.

I seem to recall the nude Zombie routine being performed by Sticky Vicky's husband, Sticky Walter.

This was before the divorce, when they were still working together.

I'm sure you must remember their act ...

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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby Paul Richards » January 13th, 2015, 9:03 am

Would you include Eric Buss' "After The Gig" act in this list?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TB8iE1jN0gg

I'm not entirely sure if it meets the criteria of the subject line. However, I've always felt it was one of the most original dove acts in the business - and one that should get more mention.

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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 13th, 2015, 10:50 am

But he's not nude!
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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby Paul Richards » January 13th, 2015, 4:58 pm

Neither is Houdini in that photo above.

By the end of the act, Eric is certainly more nude than I’d ever be on stage. Hell, he’s more nude than I like to be in my own house.

But I fully understand if he doesn’t qualify for the topic at hand...

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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 13th, 2015, 5:13 pm

But he's not as nude as Houdini!
Nudity is generally defined as the public exposure of private "bits."
The tush qualifies. The male chest does not.
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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby Jeff Haas » January 13th, 2015, 5:59 pm

Michael Carbonaro - Shaving Dream
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=os2uw8uyc7s

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Re: Nudity in Magic

Postby Steve Bryant » January 13th, 2015, 10:52 pm

Nudity also flavors magical literature. A quick look around turned up line drawings of nudes in The Great Stage Illusions and Sexy Magic by James Hodges and in Duffie's Card Compulsions by Peter Duffie. There are photos of nudes in Expert Card Mysteries by Alton Sharpe, The Cantrip Codex by Tony Shiels, and in Cards as Weapons by Ricky Jay.


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