A Review & A Rant About Nomenclature

Genii Magazine put pen to paper to review my book, The Show Is The Mother Of Invention. Thank you, Nathan Coe Marsh. Here’s an excerpt:

Get your copy here.


I posted this on my personal Facebook page April 2, 2013.
I offer it here, eleven years later, unedited, as it still rings true to me.


Magic needs a more refined nomenclature.

I recently had a friend ask me about some magicians who represent themselves as “comedy magicians”. I went online and watched their videos.

Apparently promiscuous use of the term “comedy magician” is more popular than ever. Just because an act gets a few laughs, it’s not a comedy magic act. What is it? It’s a MAGIC ACT THAT GETS A FEW LAUGHS. Try getting “just a few laughs” with that act in a comedy club. There’s a name for that experience. It’s called “bombing”. If a so called comedy magic act is not getting multiple laughs per minute, virtually every minute, it needs a new label. It may be a wonderful act, but it’s not a comedy magic act and the performer is not a comedy magician.

To become an actual comedy magician a particular kind of dues have to be paid, whether it’s bombing early in a career or sweating the exact wording of jokes throughout a career. Adopting the name without paying those dues devalues the work of those who have.

Buying a few “comedy magic” routines doesn’t do it, either. About 20 years ago I bought a chair suspension. I called a good friend and talented magician, Nick Carifo and told him, “Hey, Nick, there’s a new ILLUSIONIST in town!” Of course, I was kidding. Buying a chair suspension no more made me an illusionist than buying (fill-in-the-blank) makes someone a comedy magician.

Thus ends my morning rant. More coffee.


Until Next Time,

Doc Dixon

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