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Old 07-19-04, 08:35 PM   #1
mcstone71
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Bunny Cell Phones

Any idea how to handle the situation gracefully when someone answers their cell in the middle of a performace and begins talking to the other person. I want them to shut up, but I don't want to do it in a rude way. Usually I say cheerfully, "Now remember, the cell phone rule applies not only to the movies, but also to live performances." It get a laugh and it works but I still think I'm kind of being a prick. I know, I know, the cell phone talker is being a prick himself. But then, on the other hand, I am out in the street and he just walked by and happened to stop to see me, so I don't want to get on his case about breaking some unwritten cade of etiquette.

Any suggestions?
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Old 07-19-04, 08:59 PM   #2
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Watch Gazzo Uncensored. He has the funniest line for that situation. It's a little dirty, but it's good.
You can also say, "If it's my wife, don't tell her I'm here."
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Old 07-19-04, 11:36 PM   #3
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I've had to deal with this problem several times. I usually walk over to the person with the phone, and ask them to let me talk to their friend:

"Hi, [friend's name] this is [my name], how are you? What are you doing? Oh, well I'm doing a show. Really. Everybody say, 'hi [friend's name].' See? [Phone owner] is going to have to call you back, 'cuz it's really impolite to talk on a cell phone while people are trying to watch a show. Ok, talk to you later."

On one occassion, after doing this, the phone rang again. I went into the audience and took it from the patron, walked back up on stage and told the person on the line that the show was still not over, call back later. Then I put the phone in my show case and told the owner I was going to keep it in my desk until the end of the semester. A few minutes later, the phone rang again. I picked it up, took a hammer out of my case, walked back stage, pretended to smash the phone and then yelled, "Can you hear me know?!"

So basically, I guess I'm saying rude cell phone owners can be a good oppotunity for comedy and a chance to turn an interruption into a part of your show.
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Old 07-20-04, 12:32 AM   #4
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The classic cell-phone bit (what has big balls and hangs up? Prolly same thing as on the Gazzo tape), works way too well for me to give it up, I sheepishly admit. But, the nice thing is that once you've got the phone in your hand, there are a million places you can go with it, if it's a girls phone, take it then yell "Hey, you're hogging all the covers!" Or tell the person on the other line that she just stopped by to get her watch off of your nightstand. Whatever, anyway, my point is, if you don't want to be a prick, then don't say anything. Because in my opinion "Now remember, the cell phone rule applies not only to the movies, but also to live performances."
is blatantly condescending, completely pretentious, and a lot more rude than making everyone laugh, which I'm sure this line never accomplishes. It's just not funny, at all. Being rude is fine if you make people laugh, but if you talked to me like a first grader, I'd turn around and walk on your show. Trying not to be rude when they really want to be is a lot of performers downfall, because anything you say will just sound as fake as Michael Jacksons nose, so, be rude, in one way or another, or deal with it.
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Old 07-20-04, 01:22 AM   #5
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"If you're going to talk on the phone, please leave." That's how I avoid being hack, end the problem and show that I'm in control of my space.

It makes everyone a little uncomfortable too. I like that.

If you admit that you just stopped some people who have otherthings to do, you are gonna do (and probably have been doing) crap shows.

Polite:
"let's all be quiet so he can finish his conversation"

Rude:
the opposite, airhorn, knock the phone on the ground

Dirty:
talk about the dirtiest things that come to mind right by the phone reciever

Think about how you truely want to deal with it, and you can come up with something. We can't tell you how to be the pretentious character you want to be.

"Politeness is fake niceness"-- Scot Nery
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Old 07-20-04, 05:57 AM   #6
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"Let me talk to them... HEY! Come on down to (venue). There's this crazy guy here eating fire! He's amazing. Later on he's going to swallow a sword and lay on a bed of nails!"

If they won't give you the phone: "Tell them to come down. No... now! Tell them to get their ass down here and watch the show! And bring money to tip with!"
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Old 07-20-04, 06:19 AM   #7
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I just get them to give me the phone, fake like I'm going to speak into it, then hang it up and hand the phone back to the bastard. It gets a laugh from everyone except the guy whose phone it is, and who needs his laugh?


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Old 07-20-04, 10:24 PM   #8
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Thumbs down Cell Phone Ediket

I stop my show, look at the miscreant and say: "Ah, do remember the good old days when people went to a 'phone booth to hold a private conversation?"

Or how about, "Excuse me, sir, if you have something to say won't you share it with the rest of the class?"
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Old 07-20-04, 11:54 PM   #9
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Has anyone ever had their own cell phone ring during a show. I've forgotten to cut mine off before. We have one balloon twister that will answer his damn phone in the middle of working a line so he can talk to his girlfriend.
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Old 07-21-04, 12:13 AM   #10
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Yeah, my phone went off today in the middle of the show, when I was performing my diabolo routine.

I said to myself, "Self, this could be important!" So I stopped the routine, told the sound guy to cut the music and asked the audience to hold on for a second.

I'm SOOOOO glad I did that because I was able to sign up for an Ebay Visa card!!! I get 21.9% APR and a credit line of $250!!!

Hey, in life we have to make choices and this was probably one of the best choices I've made in a while. The client didn't seem to mind, and the audience (mostly 4- 6 year olds) were THRILLED when I told them I was getting a new credit card. Talk about win-win!!!

I suggest to EVERYONE out there that you definately DON'T turn off your phone during your shows and TAKE ALL CALLS. Like some dead guy once said: "Ask not: for who do you ring, opportunity? It rings for thee!!!"


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Old 07-21-04, 05:54 AM   #11
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We've actually worked it in as part of the routine. Frack will be in the straitjacket, struggle for a moment or two, and I'll clandestinely dial his #. The phone will audibly ring in his pocket, and he'll have an audience member get it out, and hold it up to his ear.
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Old 07-21-04, 06:27 AM   #12
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One thing I always want to pull off, but never remember at the time, is to call MY phone with the spectator's, just long enough to have their number, so if they get back on the phone (which happens alot) you can beep in on their conversation, hell you could call them even if they don't get back on the phone, and berate them for being on the phone the first time.

New goal for self- pull this one off tomorrow.
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Old 07-21-04, 12:05 PM   #13
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Ask to speak to the person, say something funny, have the audience shout hi, ask their relation to the person with the phone. Then turn off the phone, put it in your bag and say "just a few more phones, couple cameras and I can get back home", Then continue with your show.
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Old 07-22-04, 02:10 PM   #14
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Default Here's a (somewhat) funny cell phone story...

clickity click click
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Old 07-22-04, 06:35 PM   #15
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I collect old cellphones from pals, and then plant one on a participating patron, remove it and smash it. Alternatively, pull one from the prop box, bold it like a dead rat, and ask the crowd what to do with this odious and execrable thing. Inevitably the call is to smash the m-fer.

I've taken a real one off a legit (rude) patron, told the caller that the recipient is too busy to talk, as they're at a show and it's phenomenally, brain-stampingly inapropriate to chat at the live theater, hung up and handed the phone back.

"Just because one can talk anywhere, doesn't mean one is empowered to."
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Old 08-10-04, 03:48 PM   #16
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Default Thanks for the advice

Thanks for the feedback. Those of you who jumped all on my case about being a condescending, pretentious prick:
A: You haven't seen my act, so I don't take it personally
B I agree, I was using a weak line, WHICH IS WHY I POSTED THE THREAD FOR FEEDBACK
B": There are different performing styles. There's the Magic Gentleman (Leigpzig, Vernon, Burger, Gertner) and the magic
mad man (Max Malini, Amazing Johnathon, Joel Bauer). Can you imagine, in 100 years, Eugene Burger grapping someones cell phone and turning it off? I saw Joel Bauer do just that and practically died with laughter -but that doesn't mean it would suit me or my performing style.

Mick
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Old 08-10-04, 07:00 PM   #17
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Default RRAWR!

So, you ask for feedback, ask if you are being a prick, get your answers, and then jump on the defensive because of it? Then, on top of that, you claim you didn't take it personally?

"Calm down, honey..."
"I AM !@#?ING CALM!"

A good rule to follow when asking for criticism, or just performing for a live audience, is to shut up and listen.

We are all here aware that each and every person is as unique as a tiny snowflake, we are aware of the wonderous rainbow of diversity in the variety arts community. The line still sucks, and is still rude, condescending, as well as idiotic. No one needs to see you perform to know that. The advice that you wound up with, which I think is quite good, has nothing to do with performing "style" (or lack thereof), and it consisted of a very simple idea: if you are going to inconvenience someone, like make them get off of their phone, then there had better be a pay off, like a big laugh. If you can't sell the jokes or bits that were offered up here, then work on writing something that you can sell. Take the time to think about it, like it seems you haven't done yet, and you will probably answer your own question.

By the way, the numbering system in your post is pure genius.
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Old 08-11-04, 03:05 AM   #18
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here it comes...
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Old 08-11-04, 03:13 AM   #19
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Default Dr Eric...

Hey -you're online now. Anyway to IM you?
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Old 08-11-04, 03:16 AM   #20
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!@#? no, if there was, I would be flooded with half-assed magicians asking me how to wipe their asses in their street shows.

Heh, alright, pm me through p.net (oooh, that souds so very dirty...), I grant thee permutation.
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