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Clown Magic In general

Discussion in 'Magic' started by Matt_Rambles, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. Matt_Rambles

    Matt_Rambles New Member

    Are there routines and magic ideas that are directly related to clowning. What are some of the differences from clown Magic to more standard magic. I was hoping to find something more on this when I was reading creative clowning. Is the aim of the magic only to be funny or seem like the character may be inept at performing the magic, just so you get a laugh. Or should I be looking more into the physicality and sight gag ideas. I really want to know what defines clown magic and makes it stand apart from standard magic. Is it simply because a clown is performing it? I know this a lot to ask and chew over but I would like to get some ideas about what makes it Clown specific magic. I know sucker effects can be used to good effect but a lot of clowns want to turn the silly parts back on themselves. Please help me understand, as I think clowning and magic fit very well together. I have studied a little of the silly billy material, but I would like some more examples.:seltzer:
  2. mr. kellygnc

    mr. kellygnc New Member

    i am still new to the clowning aspect of my magic but i feel it is the storylines of the tricks and the animation that a clown has when something goes wrong or when something happens right. clowns seem to bee more silly in their aspect opposed to the magicians who are more serious. as i said my knowlege of clowning is growing but i still have alot to learn. i look foward to hearing other responses!
  3. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

    A clown will use magic to support his character, comedy, and act. Whereas, for a magician, the magic most often IS the act. Clowns will often use the "magician in trouble" technique, whereby something goes wrong and has to be worked out. This is an opportunity to involve the audience through participation which "fixes" things. The clown may be inept, but the kid helps him get it right. That, of course, doesn't have to be how things work. Some clowns like to impress with their magic. Or perhaps being the trickster who is able to manipulate masterfully beyond what the audience expects is his style. Still, the point is simply to entertain with magic in a way that serves the clown's character. And that will be unique to each individual clown.
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  4. Pickles

    Pickles Czarina / Administrator

    Matt, you should check out David Ginn's book "Clown Magic" for more insight into this.

    In the first chapter of his book, Ginn addresses something most clowns have heard from magicians at one point or another: that clowns should not do magic because magic "should be taken seriously." This, of course, is ludicrous, because most of the clowns I know take their magic very seriously. We are serious about keeping our audience entertained and use magic to accomplish that.
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  5. Magic is a great way to entertain by itself, and when you add it in support of your clowning it becomes really special. Magic when used as a special effect for a clown (especially when done well) is really exciting to watch. Stan Laurel "White Magic" is some of my favorite. It looks like the Clown Magic book is on Amazon with some readable pages. I love that.


    I must buy this book tomorrow. Are the gags in it good Pickles? The suitcase gags sound
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2009
  6. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

    A clown may also be surprised by his own magic. He does a nice trick effectively then wonders, "Where'd it go?" "How in the world did THAT happen?" much to the surprise of an audience. So I would say that what it's about is how a clown interacts with his own magic that counts.
  7. Matt_Rambles

    Matt_Rambles New Member

    I had completely forgot about that book. I had always wondered if it was any good upon you recommendations gents this will go into my list of "TO GET" magic books Thanks everyone for the great responses. I really like this topic
  8. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

    This video appeared via Pat Cashin's blog yesterday. I think it represents a good demonstration of what "clown magic" is. Given, such a presentation differs somewhat from what most clowns would do for, say, a birthday party. (That is often much more about getting kids involved and making THEM the center of the show.) But the concept is the same in so far as how it employs the magic simply as a tool towards comedy. In this case there are a lot of giveaways. People will have conflicting ideas about that. I think that, for a clown, a certain amount of this for comic effect is worthwhile. Though if that's your entire show and certain things do not still seem somehow "magical" it can be detrimental, too. But, again, it all depends upon what exactly you are doing with it and how it plays on the whole.

    YouTube - Mac Ronay @Il Buono, Il Cattivo
  9. Kallie

    Kallie New Member

    Think I put this somewhere on the forum but in this thread it will suit nice.

    A Comedy Magician :
    Says or does things funny.
    He is majestic, skilled, mysterious, clever, serious, and powerful.
    He is always in control and the magic works.

    A Clown 'Magician' :
    Says or does things in funny ways.
    He is silly, friendly, funny, foolish, outlandish, clumsy.
    Accomplish magical effects by accidents, trickery, get a flumsy surprise finish.

    Example of producing a dove from a empty bag :
    Magician / Whiteface clown : Take out the real dove.
    Auguste Clown : Take out packet of Dove soap.
    Tramp Clown : Get feathers from an 'empty' bag.

    For me if you are a Magician it is his props that gives the effect, but as a Clown it is the clown that gives the effect. So it comes down that you can use the same prop but with different way of presentations.
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  10. Boffo

    Boffo New Member

    Sometimes it isn't meant to be "magic". For example Boffo does a comedy routine with a balloon where no magic happens until the end. Trying to put the balloon away, it won't fit back in my pocket. I try to "squeeze" the air out, but it doesn't work. Finally Boffo decides to "make a little hole" and let the air out. So the needle thru the balloon magic happens, not as a "trick", but just another part of the comedy balloon routine. But magic still happens, and the audience is entertained and mystified. Oh, and I pop the balloon after passing the needle through it, to make the balloon fit back in the pocket.
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