It is a new and more politically correct world. Adapt or become irrelevant.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that the mood of the times has changed dramatically when it comes to the contemporary sensibilities of audiences. Much as we veteran performers like to bitch about the trend of politically correct attitudes that are currently so prevalent: this is what is happening at this moment in time. Nothing about this looks like it is going to change very much in the foreseeable future so you had better get used to it, or realize you are becoming a dinosaur. I have had to bite the bullet and discard several of my favorite routines and jokes in order to remain relevant in today’s market. It is no good railing against the new trends and it is much more beneficial to wake up and smell the PC coffee. The younger generations just have different sensibilities and ideas, and we have to realize that their viewpoint is more valid and important than ours. We are the ones who are out of touch with contemporary standards regarding such integral areas as sexism, racism, and other hot topics. In the words of my old friend Jack Goldfinger, “It is easier to wear slippers than carpet the world.”

The vital guideline to follow is that if you have any doubts about your material then cut it out. What was okay five years ago may

Caution – Politically Correct Area Ahead

not work today, and saying; “Well, it still gets a laugh,” just doesn’t cut it anymore. Take the time to edit and rewrite material that is outmoded. Even if the new version doesn’t get you as big a laugh initially, it will do when the line is adapted, developed, and broken in. Magic has a pretty well deserved reputation for generally being corny, dated, and sexist–don’t add to it!

I for one recognize that The Times They Are A Changin’ and want to put in that little extra time to make myself culturally relevant and acceptable. I have noticed a great many magicians huff and puff and take a righteous stance as though they are filling some vital role by fighting the growth of “political correctness” when in fact they are actually just being lazy and remaining mired in the past. I refuse to have that happen to me. As you can tell from the photo above with the great Kinky Friedman, my true heroes are not PC folk! I really think this is an issue that needs to come from the mind not the heart. The effect of ignoring it hits the wallet and the work.

 

~ by Nick Lewin on January 13, 2018.

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