Different magicians officialy performing the same

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Andres Reynoso
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Different magicians officialy performing the same

Postby Andres Reynoso » July 5th, 2018, 4:31 pm

I want to ask your opinion in this topic.

On stage arts like dance and theater is completly normal that a work be played by different performers, even works originally staged for a specific performer could be played later by another one.

Is it valid in magic?

I not mean copycats or "everybody performs that trick the same way". I mean, different performers working together or teaching the routine to another one and officially presenting the same thing, staged the same way.

In a dance coreography or a theater play, the opus is that way and doesn't matter too much who is performing. Yes, each performer is different and you like one more than another but nobody question it.

What happens with magic or comedy? What happens if you watch a magician performing exactly the same way than another and both agree? Is it valid if a comedian can't attend a show and send another who will perform exactly the same jokes?

Maybe if both are in a company, a collective, an organization or something like that, it could be well seen? Returning to the dance analogy: You can switch dancers without interfer with the play, but always is the same company, if another company want to dance it, needs to ask permission or pay rights.

What are your thoughts?
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Bill Duncan
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Re: Different magicians officialy performing the same

Postby Bill Duncan » July 5th, 2018, 9:29 pm

It's pretty simple really. If I make a movie, or write a play, and you recreate that using my words, you are wrong. Same with magic.

if you make a movie about the same subject, even using some of the same plot points, you're a hack, but within your rights.

If you take inspiration from something I wrote, and make something significantly different, thank you for moving the art forward. (Hopefully.)

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Re: Different magicians officialy performing the same

Postby Jonathan Townsend » July 5th, 2018, 10:14 pm

Andres Reynoso wrote:I want to ask your opinion in this topic.

On stage arts like dance and theater is completly normal that a work be played by different performers, even works originally staged for a specific performer could be played later by another one....


Magic is a performing art. There are basic rights associated with works. Play or, playlet ... performing rights

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Performing_rights
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

MagicbyAlfred
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Re: Different magicians officialy performing the same

Postby MagicbyAlfred » July 5th, 2018, 10:26 pm

Theater and dance are group endeavors, where the individual is only a component and is subordinated to the greater good and success of the company, cast or troupe. Magic is almost universally an individualistic pursuit ("The Illusionists" being one prominent exception). Thus, with magic, there is an intrinsic piracy aspect to copying and appropriating the unique attributes or presentations of another magician.

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Re: Different magicians officialy performing the same

Postby Jack Shalom » July 6th, 2018, 1:25 am

Under capitalism, producers want interchangeable parts; performers want their names known. Stars are performers who can win that battle.

In less capitalist markets, the collective concept can sometimes also produce great artistic merit, forfeiting personal immediate gain for collective gain.

Who profits? First question, then you can talk morality.

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Tom Stone
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Re: Different magicians officialy performing the same

Postby Tom Stone » July 6th, 2018, 6:15 am

Bill Duncan wrote:It's pretty simple really. If I make a movie, or write a play, and you recreate that using my words, you are wrong. Same with magic.

I think this is a different question. More along the lines of...
...let's say you have an unique act, and that you are beginning to get more bookings than you can handle. At that point, it might feel reasonable to hire another performer, teach that performer your act, and send that performer out on the bookings you can't cover yourself. I think that is what the O.P want to hear opinions about.

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Re: Different magicians officialy performing the same

Postby Tom Moore » July 6th, 2018, 8:10 am

There are officially sanctioned “franchise” stage magic acts - a stage act that you can book all over the world but which is physically performed by different people in each country; often using the same performer name so that the audience thinks they are seeing the same act. Of course there are also rip off acts that do the same without permission.

There’s also a long history of stage acts being sold from one generation to the next.

It’s not /that/ uncommon
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Andres Reynoso
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Re: Different magicians officialy performing the same

Postby Andres Reynoso » July 6th, 2018, 1:45 pm

MagicbyAlfred wrote:Theater and dance are group endeavors, where the individual is only a component and is subordinated to the greater good and success of the company, cast or troupe. Magic is almost universally an individualistic pursuit ("The Illusionists" being one prominent exception). Thus, with magic, there is an intrinsic piracy aspect to copying and appropriating the unique attributes or presentations of another magician.


I agree. That was point when I said that if it could be permissible if the magician belongs to a group.

Even "The Illusionists" performs individual acts and nobody performs the act from a peer. They switch casts on each country but each magician performs his own routins. Jeff Hobson was not included in Mexico tour but Gaetan Bloom didn't performed Hobson's tricks.
The Illusionists casted existing magic numbers and each member on the troup continues with his rights over his acts. What would had happened if Illusionists producers had made new routines, new staged acts and the magicians would be asked to perform them? Each time they switch casts the same act remains and just change performers?

Tom Stone wrote:I think this is a different question. More along the lines of...
...let's say you have an unique act, and that you are beginning to get more bookings than you can handle. At that point, it might feel reasonable to hire another performer, teach that performer your act, and send that performer out on the bookings you can't cover yourself. I think that is what the O.P want to hear opinions about.


Yes Tom, it's more in this aspect my question.
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Bill Mullins
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Re: Different magicians officialy performing the same

Postby Bill Mullins » July 6th, 2018, 3:30 pm

Tom Stone wrote:
Bill Duncan wrote:It's pretty simple really. If I make a movie, or write a play, and you recreate that using my words, you are wrong. Same with magic.

I think this is a different question. More along the lines of...
...let's say you have an unique act, and that you are beginning to get more bookings than you can handle. At that point, it might feel reasonable to hire another performer, teach that performer your act, and send that performer out on the bookings you can't cover yourself. I think that is what the O.P want to hear opinions about.


Like Blue Man Group. I think Gallagher's brother also does the Gallagher act.

observer
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Re: Different magicians officialy performing the same

Postby observer » July 6th, 2018, 3:33 pm

Andres Reynoso wrote:
MagicbyAlfred wrote:
Tom Stone wrote:I think this is a different question. More along the lines of...
...let's say you have an unique act, and that you are beginning to get more bookings than you can handle. At that point, it might feel reasonable to hire another performer, teach that performer your act, and send that performer out on the bookings you can't cover yourself. I think that is what the O.P want to hear opinions about.


Yes Tom, it's more in this aspect my question.


Like Bozo the Clown? That character was franchised in several cities in the USA and in Mexico and in Brazil as well.

Ian Kendall
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Re: Different magicians officialy performing the same

Postby Ian Kendall » July 6th, 2018, 4:20 pm

Doesn't Silly Billy do this with his kids shows in New York? And Ursula sold her stripper act to a bunch of people.

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erdnasephile
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Re: Different magicians officialy performing the same

Postby erdnasephile » July 6th, 2018, 6:45 pm

Not quite the same, but Doug Henning's "The Magic Show" had a West Coast touring company with some other person playing Doug's role.

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Re: Different magicians officialy performing the same

Postby Jonathan Townsend » July 6th, 2018, 6:57 pm

The act, defined and copyright - may be licensed.

This guy did the copyright and has not licensed others:
https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/201 ... dow-trick/
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

MagicbyAlfred
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Re: Different magicians officialy performing the same

Postby MagicbyAlfred » July 6th, 2018, 7:09 pm

OBSERVER WROTE: "Like Bozo the Clown? That character was franchised in several cities in the USA and in Mexico and in Brazil as well."

So, is Bozo the Clown a registered trademark? I have seen many clowns twisting up balloons at restaurants and special events under the moniker of "Bozo the Clown." Apparently this would mean that they could actually be sued, as I'm sure they never became legitimate franchisees.

I imagine the same would hold true if someone started performing magic as "David Copperfield." It seems that magicians would have definitive legal rights in relation to their "brand" names, while any rights in relation to their acts and routines are murky, if not non-existent.

I wonder where it would fall on the legal spectrum if someone went on World's greatest magic as "Bozo the Magician"?
A grey area?

Max Maven
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Re: Different magicians officialy performing the same

Postby Max Maven » July 7th, 2018, 12:15 am

Tom Moore wrote:There are officially sanctioned “franchise” stage magic acts - a stage act that you can book all over the world but which is physically performed by different people in each country; often using the same performer name so that the audience thinks they are seeing the same act. Of course there are also rip off acts that do the same without permission.

There’s also a long history of stage acts being sold from one generation to the next.

It’s not /that/ uncommon


I wouldn’t say that it’s common, but it certainly has been done. A contemporary example would be Jerome Murat, whose statue act is currently being performed by three different people, internationally. The originator still does the act, but all three performers work under the same name.

Edward Pungot
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Re: Different magicians officialy performing the same

Postby Edward Pungot » July 7th, 2018, 1:24 am

Some kids just want to be Max Maven clones when they grow up.

Bill Mullins
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Re: Different magicians officialy performing the same

Postby Bill Mullins » July 7th, 2018, 2:20 am

Ian Kendall wrote:Doesn't Silly Billy do this with his kids shows in New York? And Ursula sold her stripper act to a bunch of people.


They should team up, don't you think?

Tom Moore
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Re: Different magicians officialy performing the same

Postby Tom Moore » July 7th, 2018, 4:55 am

I wouldn’t say that it’s common, but it certainly has been done. A contemporary example would be Jerome Murat, whose statue act is currently being performed by three different people, internationally. The originator still does the act, but all three performers work under the same name.


I’d politely disagree there. Doing full “licensed act as known” there’s several (Jerome, Marcel / Magus utopia, laserman to pick just the most famous examples) but I can also tell you first hand that a LOT of illusionists who get long tours or contracts typically have one or more stand-ins who take over mid contract and perform the existing stage show exactly as the first illusionist did it under the same name. Franz Harary is probably the most high profile person to do it but I could name a dozen of my clients who have other people performing their show for them / on their behalf on a regular basis.

Then there’s the sold-on acts; that’s less common now but some of the classic iconic magic acts working today (professor Al Cathy, Omar Pasha, The Whchwoods, Papillion, tomsoni & co) are in fact 2, 3 or even 4th generation of performer presenting someone else’s routine verbatim.
"Ingenious" - Ben Brantley: New York Times

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Bill Mullins
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Re: Different magicians officialy performing the same

Postby Bill Mullins » July 7th, 2018, 12:09 pm

Tom Moore wrote:
Then there’s the sold-on acts; that’s less common now but some of the classic iconic magic acts working today ( tomsoni & co) are in fact 2, 3 or even 4th generation of performer presenting someone else’s routine verbatim.


Are you saying the Tomsoni & Co act is not his?

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Re: Different magicians officialy performing the same

Postby Tom Moore » July 7th, 2018, 12:11 pm

He sold the act to Penn & Teller who now perform it nightly in their show as "tomsoni & co"
"Ingenious" - Ben Brantley: New York Times

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Bill Mullins
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Re: Different magicians officialy performing the same

Postby Bill Mullins » July 7th, 2018, 5:11 pm

Ah, thanks.

Bill Duncan
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Re: Different magicians officialy performing the same

Postby Bill Duncan » July 8th, 2018, 2:00 am

I see a magic act as different from a play (or a musical like The Magic Show). To me magic acts are more like seeing a stand up comic, or a band. Generally speaking, I don't want to invest my time to see a cover band, any more than I want to see someone else do Mitch Hedberg's jokes.

I'm perfectly ok with seeing artists re-interpet a piece. I could listen to Walk Off The Earth for hours, and Michael's Ammar's work on Roll Over Aces is brilliant. But I wouldn't spend a dollar to see someone else do In And Of Itself.


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