MySTAGE: Practical Strategies to Help Young Adults Manage Their Emotions (Is This MyStory Book 3)
I make sure I try a new bit, or a new magic item, 12 or more times before keeping it or discarding it. Watch and learn from as many magicians as you can, both good and bad. On your way to self discovery it will be difficult not to steal from other performers, but force yourself not to. At the very least, go out of your way to ask the performer if you may use a bit of business from their show.
The really original and excellent routines you see performed by any magician are normally a product of years of fine tuning, and trial and error. This, I believe, is what gives that magician the right to be upset if someone just comes along and thieves it, word for word and action by action! Combined with a mischievous sense of humour, the audience is manipulated psychologically. With this persona then, I can quite often push the envelope as to what some magicians perceive themselves to be, or at least should be.
As an individual performer, I have my own line to that goal marked out. All of the time I walk this line with big clown shoes on. Sometimes I may teeter, but I have the sensibility to know this, and get back on the line and regain my balance. An audience reaction that I love to see is not so much the expression of surprise, but the condition when people have been belly laughing so hard, they have to get a hanky or serviette to wipe those laughter tears away! I love to hear people complain that their jaws ache from laughing so long and so hard!
As a means to an end, I have directed more of my energies into comedy magic. The objective is to replace the amount of props being carried around with more personality, so that the boxes and apparatus receive less of an end credit. My work these days is mostly generated from the demanding corporate market. I do some clubs, but not many. However, in the last year I have been getting booked more regularly into comedy clubs, and I thoroughly enjoy these nights.
So far there have been 27 appearances over 6 years. This has done wonders in lifting my public profile. This allows me to tour and experience the new challenge of pulling in my own crowds. I prefer live because there is less stress. In live television the time limits can be restrictive on your creativity and delivery. There is a lack of artistic control and there is no room for error.
Do you enjoy lecturing? Yes, very much. I would say my own niche in the marketplace through developing my own personality and style. I love performing too much, but believe me, I am my own worst critic. I very much compete with myself. I come down hard on myself as I search for ways to improve. God willing, my long- term goal is basically to have the foresight and ability to keep up with the changing times, always remaining fresh with my finger firmly on the pulse, and to continue being an entertainer in the true sense of the word.
It then becomes a mission for me during that show to make that one audience member laugh and have a good time.
Being a magician I know that you are in control and prompting him off mic, but I wonder if you sometimes have to ease off a bit because the audience starts to feel that you are being too rough and you begin to lose them? There is however a fine line between comedy and tragedy…it can be a tightrope walk. I believe wholly in the line I said earlier in this interview.
If you are going to walk a fine line, make sure you are wearing very big clown shoes. The finer the line, the bigger the shoes. The successful integration of my brand of magic and comedy is absolutely dependent upon the audience never being in doubt as to what my performance style is. Therein lies the problem. Some people can be in doubt and miss the point entirely. Under this framework then it would be very easy to assume that I was making a fool out of an audience volunteer just for the sake of it.
Nothing could be further from the truth. If you care to take a little closer look, I do care about my volunteers and my audience. I treat them all as if they are my mates. I want to have a good time with them. I have witnessed shows that are so saccharin sweet and nice that they end up being far more offensive. The small amount of insult humour that I do use in my act is basically just my rather perverse way of being friendly. To take the mickey out of someone in fun, to me, is not insulting…. Things they probably kid themselves about.
How we relate to our audience volunteers impromptu stooges is an important element in the construction and revelation of our own theatrical characterisation. Working masterfully with a spectator is an art and the technique required, on the part of the performer, deserves serious consideration and development so that the act can be enhanced and not weakened. I have so many shows under my belt, that I know what the desired result is that I am looking for from the spectator to get the best audience reaction.
This is communicated to them by what I say and do. There is a precise way that I like spectators to jump out of the electric chair for example… Philippa explains this to them as she guides them up onto the stage. His own interpretation of how he thinks he should react to situations that are thrust upon him will dictate the audience reaction. If he is acting with too much discomfort or anger then I will start to lose my audience. I do this by stage cueing… by the things I say, by the way I touch them, and by the way I make them feel.
They are embarrassed already just being on stage so I try to make them feel comfortable and at home with me and under no circumstances do I let them lose their dignity. Their fear dissipates because they are constantly reassured that they are doing a great job by the amount of laughter and feedback coming back from the rest of the audience. Remember, I am doing an act up there and the spectator is on my side working for me not against me. If he is not on my side I know it immediately and I let him go.
This is a very rare occurrence.
Awards Won by Phil Cass
Yes, of course, you have to be aware of how far you are going, and whether your audience is still with you, but this is what comedy and the art of being an entertainer is all about. Not everyone can perform in the style that I do. I get away with it because of my personality. It is because I have made mistakes in the past and I have learnt the hard way…. The environment you work in also plays a direct role in the way my act is received.
People who book me are sent a strict and precise plan as to how to set up the room so that my show will have every chance of succeeding. The results speak for themselves. You have your own personality — look through the grease paint and false nose and discover it, then beat it into shape. Not a Magician!! You can order it from this website under merchandise in the tool bar.
He was 27 when his girlfriend purchased him a simple rope trick from a novelty store. In fact, the bug bit deep, and shook him by the throat. It was here that he honed some of the close-up items that became indelibly associated with Phil Cass over the years. I still remember seeing Cass for the first time on the Ray Martin show performing his trademark shell and pea routine.
From fairly standard beginnings, Cass has gone from strength to strength, and is now the top corporate magician in Australia, earning the biggest bucks in the country. So is it true? Are lay audiences up in arms? Are they deeply offended? Is Phil going to see the error of his ways and invest in a Zombie Ball and some fanning powder?
So thanks for this opportunity. However, there is an. Was it a case of good luck or good planning, or a bit of both? A lot of thought and practical experience has gone into the act over the years. The more you try things and the more times you fail the more experienced and polished you become. The trick is to have the will to discover what makes you tick and to carry this knowledge along with you into a focused stage persona. To make this discovery is very difficult but hugely rewarding because you will have found your purpose, your destination.
Even without knowing it, your audience demands only two things from you — sincerity and believability. I want to send my audience on an emotional rollercoaster. I want to hit an audience in the cockles of their heart and maybe even in the sub-cockle area, whatever that is! With this persona then, I can quite often push the envelope as to what some magicians perceive themselves to be or at least should be. I will try out a new line or a new piece of magic a bit at a time and for at least 12 attempts before I decide to throw it away or to keep it. I will place a new line in different parts of the act or I might try different inflections in my voice over and over just to try and.
That is, I can be relied upon not to fail. I have to live up to that. Hence the higher performance fees. Presently I have 3 hours of audience tested material to choose to work from, but my act has to have continuity and meaning so I.
People book what they have seen and any large bulk of new material must be up to or better than what was originally experienced. They have much higher expectations. So, it is a slow process for me to add new material. Do you still work close-up venues, and do you still retain an interest in that facet of magic? I still perform some walk-around magic at well-to-do cocktail parties, but my difficulty is that due to the demand for my floor show I simply do not get enough chances to perform it anymore. Hence my ability to learn and polish new close-up material is hindered.
How do you feel this affects your work? It can put bums on seats but it does chew up material in large gulps, just ask The Amazing Jonathan. However, because magic carries with it both the mystery and the use of different volunteers, an audience can still watch it many times and enjoy it immensely. TV is not one of my personal priorities at the moment as I presently specialise in the corporate market where business is generated by word of mouth ie.
Sporadic TV appearances will increase your confidence and help you overcome your nerves and stress and eventually you will learn to tame the beast, but unless you use a strategic attack and appear on it regularly and in particular, on night time television, it is. Most people find it difficult to remember names and they particularly do not remember the bland or the common. When I choose to go public however, I will use it with a vengeance. If you witnessed the standing ovation I received at the Adelaide convention in or if you were at the 25th Australian convention held in Melbourne in , or the 24th New Zealand Magic convention held in March , you may be excused if you are scratching your heads wondering what the fuss is about.
Have an Impossible Dream? This Woman Proves You Can Achieve It
Ultimately, this was of course, my fault. I am aware that the successful integration of my brand of magic and comedy is absolutely dependent upon, above all else, an audience being never in doubt as to what my performance style is. Some of them were in doubt and missed the point entirely. Apparently the cut and restored tie was a big fooler at the convention, so it is obvious that they did not suspend their disbelief.
They will find it hard to admit but I believe they misread the act. Furthermore, I also believe that due to the success of my close-up performances earlier in the day some of the magicians may have also been under the expectation that my persona would be the same as when performing close-up. If I had perhaps attacked the first few minutes of my act in a more explanatory manner then maybe the theorists would have better known from where I was coming and would then have perceived me to be a warm and friendly guy. Remember what I said in my lecture notes?
I treat them all as if they are all my mates. On stage I use a lot of stage cues — surprise, surprise! Now lets put all this into perspective. Now that I think about it, this was the same reaction most Australian magicians gave me when I first appeared on the scene way back at the Brisbane convention.
M ring for 3 months! A lay audience on the other hand, can and will only too easily suspend their disbelief and moreover they are rarely fooled into thinking that the sit-com created on stage right before their eyes is actually a reality. How do you feel about these criticisms, and how valid are they? Even if I was to never win another award, my record in the entertainment industry, to date, speaks for itself. On the other hand, I am also sincerely thankful for the tonnes of support which I have received from both within Australia and from around the world.
Truly a heartwarming surprise! The controversy at Sacramento has been a much needed shot in the arm for me. Any comments? I thought my job as a magician was to make things look believable!
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- Katrina: One Set of Footprints.
- Remember Us: My Journey from the Shtetl Through the Holocaust;
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- An Interview With Phil Cass.
Everybody in the show is at some point stage-cued. Am I being accused by magicians of managing to make it look too real? He is a true professional and thank you for the recommendation. Hang on a tick, I want to go and get my lecture notes. The bigger the shoes, the finer the line. The finer the line, the easier it is to fall. Harmless things. Has this caused any problems? There has been some talk of somebody suing someone over this method.
I always try to pick the right sort of guy for the chair routine. I stage cue if this criterion is not met or I will simply make a judgement not do the routine until the next guy comes up on stage. My stage persona allows me to do it for real and get away with it. I think it is almost expected of me. The comedy that is generated from the effect comes from a far different angle than some would expect. It does not come from the spectator losing his cool, as in the stooge method, but rather it comes more from the tension that is created by the magician having the ability to talk the spectator into trusting him and getting him to actually sit back down on the chair.
The consequent expectations are classic laws of comedy. It adds believability. The shock itself is generated from a 9 volt battery and is not strong. Both Philippa and I sit on the chair to check it every now and then. They have to be stage cued to get out of the chair and to give the appropriate response. The response I always arrive at is the one Brandon the guy in Sacramento gave me first up. Brandon has since confirmed that he did enjoy himself with me, as I did with him, and that I had cued him on stage by saying he was doing great.
In other words I thought he was milking the effect really well. Unfortunately, he was given unwarranted negative attention after the show, which I think he started to believe. He actually said to me though, after the show, that it did hurt a bit but probably because he was ultra sensitive. Brandon was a good bloke. The second guy to sit on the chair was Enrico, the guy whose tie I cut. He also has confirmed publicly that the chair was nothing to worry about and the controversy was just an overreaction by some magicians.
He also had a great time on stage with me and stated that he did not feel mistreated at all but, rather, he felt special. I cue everybody that joins me on stage, not just in this routine but in all of my routines and this is without exception; from the things they say to the things they do.
Except of course from the ones being cued. Incidentally, I have performed the same electric chair routine strictly in a stooged environment. For those who can recollect, I performed the chair on the Midday Show on an older gentleman. The chair was not working that day. It broke prior to the show, so he was stooged. A case of being too believable again? So the feeling of strangulation and severe discomfort round the portocath But what we got was That w My dad was diagnosed almost a year ago with a single tumor in his Has anyone else noticed the recent cluster of TV coverage about cancer?
So this is me today, bit fed up. It's dark early, looks a bit damp out there, I've so much to do, not getting anywhere and would like a glass Going to visit my parents this weekend, been a while since I've seen them properly so looking forward to that. Anyone else got nice plans fo Maggie's Visit:. Maggie's CancerLinks. Maggie's main website.
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About Phil Cass
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Nicole Feledy (Author of Is This MyStory)
View hello. View RE: I'm feeling crap. View I'm feeling. View Bad stomach pains. View Healing through Temperament. View Bone pain? View Laughter. View Exercise. He was so good at what he did; he looked like he was the person who was on top of the situation. He actually convinced them that my minister and my mother were the people who were trying to destroy me. So he took me out of the hospital. When I was able to get away from him, they took me to the hospital.
It slowly worked its way out, and I started thinking straight. I was wired. I never did sleep in that hospital, but at least I got my brain back to where I could think again. I had counselors there. I thought that I was in hell for a long time. I thought that my mother and brother had driven me straight to hell and that I was done for. At first, the GROW meetings seemed weird, but of course everything was weird.
I had very low self-esteem, so talking in front of people was really hard. But at that time my self esteem had gotten about as low as it can get, and I was on my way back up. I went down through the stages of decline that we talk about in GROW. I had a really bad temper. I decided that everything the Program said needed to be changed. People would give me practical tasks, and I considered them more of a put-down than a challenge. Slowly I realized that the temper was my problem, and being unreasonable was a way I had learned to cope with things. I started realizing that the only way to get well was to cooperate with help.
I came to meetings because I was getting something out of it. The real understanding of the Program came later. When I was first asked to lead a meeting, it was totally devastating. Slowly I worked into being comfortable leading meetings and actually enjoying it. I have a whole different and much better view of God now. I believe God is a loving God. Before, I thought that everything was me, me, me. It sure makes life a whole lot easier. Through change in my relationships and change in my thinking, everything started falling into place. It built my self-esteem to the point where I was talking and working with people.
I had to learn how to be a friend and what the different types of friendships were. I changed my attitude toward people; I learned what it takes to survive. You either survive healthy or unhealthy, and I knew what I wanted. I left GROW to have my second child. I also quit because I thought I had it together. About one year later, my life started going in different directions, and I realized I could use the group to keep me on track.
When I came back, I was on a level where I could understand the Program, apply it and use it in my life. I wanted to do something with my life. I was working. I was out in the community. I had a nice home. I had a family, but there was still something missing. But after I got started, I found it was fun. I enjoyed it. Responsibility was the first thing I got out of being an Organizer. My approach was to write it like you see it.
I got support from a lot of good leaders in GROW. I did things I never thought I could have done, like walk into an orientation, make an appointment with a newspaper, do a newspaper article, provide transportation, make phone calls, and all the things an Organizer does. With the support and understanding of other people, I could do it. Sometimes the people who are the leaders are the ones who give you that. It takes time. GROW gives you the opportunity to start getting there. There comes a time when you stop centralizing on yourself and start helping others.
You become a solution person, not just a problem person. Just seeing that gives you another part of your life that you need to grow into. Then I was asked to become a Fieldworker. As a Fieldworker, I sometimes get put on a higher level. I never wanted to become so much a leader that I ceased to be a companion. GROW can and will always be able to help anyone who needs help and is willing to be helped. I became mentally ill during my senior year of high school.
I began to self-abuse, and then went to the other extreme of spending all of my money. I became very depressed and tried to kill myself. In and out of hospitals for many years, finally I was diagnosed with a mental illness and placed on medications. I started to feel better, went on to college and graduated. Obtaining a job as a special education teacher, I taught for three years. It was during this time that I was putting myself in unhealthy relationships.
It finally caught up with me, and I became extremely depressed and ended up driving my car into a tree at 80 MPH. I broke my neck in two places. I recovered physically from that accident over a long period of time, but mentally I was a wreck. I had gone through all the services in the community and was written off as someone who would never get well. The structure and staff helped me right away. I realized I had to take responsibility for my illness.
My doctor helped reduce my medications to half right away, and I started to feel better. Now I work full-time with developmentally disabled adults, and have held this job for over twelve years. I live on my own in my own apartment. I handle my own finances, and it feels great to be independent. Recently I am realizing the value of giving back to others, and have been volunteering weekly at the GROW Residential center over the past year, sharing with others what has been given to me.
I am finding this a very rewarding experience. In May of , I hit rock bottom. I thought I was doing society a favor by getting rid of myself. I had so much negativity in my life. I lived alone, which was not good. I thought I had no friends. So, one day I decided to get rid of myself.
So I called my sister-in-law, who lived out-of-state, because I felt like she understood me. I told her what I did. Somehow she contacted my friends as I said before, I thought I had no friends. They said something to me about going to the hospital. I finally decided to go to the hospital if it made my friends feel better. Once I was there, I realized I was in the right place. Jane explained how the program works — we help each other. I was cynical. That first GROW meeting made me feel so much better, as somebody else had a problem that was familiar ground to me. At that time, I thought it was other people who could change, not me.
It reads:. I still get down sometimes, but I am not suicidal anymore. I know I have friends who will support me. Some people with strong personalities get to me. There was one person who liked to tell me what to do. With the help of the group, I learned to speak up and get my point across without raising my voice. They are:. Change of thinking and talk. Change of ways. Change of relationships. There are some GROW wisdoms that helped me through my recovery and continue to help me.
Just walk beside me and be my friend. I attended the group faithfully for a couple of years until it closed. The support from the group was excellent, as they realized where I was coming from. The communication is better, and it has restored some unhappy relationships. The understanding is much better.