I was recently interviewed by my long-time magician friend, Jonathan May (http://JMayMagic.com) à la “Inside The Actors Studio” (only for magicians), before a live audience of magicians and magic enthusiasts (professionals, part-timers, hobbyists, and amateurs), at a club meeting of The International Brotherhood of Magicians (http://Magician.org), ring #167 in Des Moines, Iowa (http://JustoHijo.com). Here’s the video:
Awhile back, I got a call from the producers of a Norwegian TV show, “Onkel Amerika,” starring Dansken & Fingern. One of the hosts (Esben “Dansken” Selvig) wanted me to help him prank the other host (Thomas “Fingern” Gullestad), while they were filming here in the USA (South Dakota). I obliged. It was fun. Here’s the video:
Finally got around to assembling a new preview/demo video. The one I’ve been using is damn near 4 years old now. Okie dokie. Enough with the small-talk. Here’s the video.
I got pranked so hard this morning. My g/f, Sara, sends me this photo, says she received it last night, demanding to know who this woman is, and freaking the fuck out.
(A) I was alone last night, (B) I’m not a cheater, and (C) I don’t even recognize the woman.
So I’m in full-on panic mode, especially after several stalker-esque emails I’ve been receiving, AND all of my underwear disappeared from my home recently (not even kidding). I’m physically shaking because someone has taken the casual-stalking a bit too far, there were strangers in my room while I slept, and my love hates me and thinks I cheated.
After much dedicated jealous & angry acting on Sara’s part, I find out that she and her friend, Jackie, had snuck into the house around 4am and took the photo (I didn’t recognize Jackie in the pic) without waking me with their giggling (I was snoring pretty hard), and left.
I was pranked so, so hard.
I am sooooo done entertaining at post-prom parties.
The students are cool, but I’m sick of dealing with the occasional hyper-P.C.-parents who are in denial and think their teens need to be sheltered from innuendo, humor, and LIFE.
I talk to the students like they’re real people because – guess what? – they are.
Your teens have brains, damn good senses of humor, and – like it or not – they know what sex is. They’re smarter than you give them credit for. They’re funny. They understand innuendo and adult references. They have opinions, personalities, and life experiences. They’re PEOPLE, goddamn it. DEAL. WITH. IT.
Don’t write me angry letters because I respect them enough to NOT insult their intelligence and NOT treat them like 5-year-olds. Don’t blame me for your inability to cope with the fact that Little Johnny and Little Jennifer have grown up.
I’m done with the complaints, I’m done with the angry letters, I’m done responding to decisions I didn’t make and shit I didn’t do. I’m done with this petty, small-minded drama. I’m done with post-prom parties.
The most frustrating thing about this “break up” is that most schools are really cool. The EXACT SAME MATERIAL that gets complaints, also gets reviews like this:
“The kids loved your show – they were still buzzing about it on Monday!”
Caledonia High School; Caledonia, Minnesota
“It was very funny, cool, and entertaining! I really enjoyed the show.”
Fennimore Post Prom; Fennimore, Wisconsin
“Thanks! The night was a big hit!”
Jesup High School Post Prom; Jesup, Iowa
“Dynamic… Nathan has the ability to improvise, right with the audience… He shined on the stage. Nathan’s range and abilities are outstanding.”
John R. Mott High School; Postville, Iowa
“We thought a hypnotist would be missed – Not true. Excellent job. Many positive comments from all the adults present. There wasn’t one negative comment made about your show. We, the parents, thought you did an excellent job. Student response was just as favorable. Really like the audience participation – Kids did too! Thank you so much!”
River Ridge High School; Patch Grove, Wisconsin
“The kids loved the show – lots of positive comments. You kept them involved and interested, which is hard to do at 2 AM. I got to see part of the show and loved it. I would recommend you to others – it is hard to find a show that is a lot of fun, but still appropriate for teens. Great job!”
Sumner / Fredericksburg High School; Sumner, Iowa
“The students gave Nathan rave reviews. Besides the show being a super event for students, Nathan is a dream to work with. I have also seen Nathan’s show when he has performed for adults, and it too was fantastically funny and engaging. I highly recommend Nathan to anyone who is looking for high-quality, professional, humorous entertainment.”
Valley Community School District; Elkader, Iowa
I repeat: the exact same material that gets reviews like that, ALSO gets complaints from some people.
The. Exact. Same. Material.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to know in advance WHICH schools are going to have those sheltered, holier-than-thou parents who think a 17 year old is going to be psychologically damaged by an innuendo.
The fun-hating prudes are NOT the majority, by any means, but even ONE person complaining and gossiping about how I’m “corrupting the kids” and “being inappropriate in front of high-schoolers” can do major damage. And you know how gossip works; I actually showed up to one school this year to be greeted with an accusation of an activity that would have had me thrown in prison, had it been true: “I heard, last week, at school, you pulled down your pants during the show.” Um… What now?!
I had another parent this year try to chastise me for having a piercing because “men shouldn’t have those and the kids shouldn’t see it.” I shit you not.
It’s enough to make me want to rip out my (already thinning) hair!
All of that other bullshit aside, why would you hire ME if what you really want is “Silly Willy The Birthday Clown”? I mean, I’m called “The Maniac of Magic.” My tagline is “Part Magician, Part Comedian, Totally Dysfunctional.” I am very forthcoming about the adult nature of my show in all of my promo materials and website. I often use the official “Parental Advisory” logo on my stuff. I’m certainly not giving anyone the impression that what I do is Disney-G-rated.
Let me get this straight: You seek out an entertainer who performs “adult humor,” you assure said entertainer that you really do want “adult humor,” you sign a contract that clearly states the show will contain “adult humor,” and then bitch when you get “adult humor”?! Really?! WTF?!
Again, the majority of post-prom shows over the past decade have been a lot of fun, and I’m going to miss doing those. But a couple bad apples have ruined the entire barrel.
I’m done risking my reputation and sanity – and done wasting my time reading and responding to hate mail – because some self-righteous pricks thought their kids had never heard the word “damn” until I visited their back-assward village.
I’m done being the convenient scapegoat for puritan parents’ denialist issues and inability to deal with reality.
I’m done with post-prom parties.
///***drops microphone on floor, flips the bird, and walks away***///
It is with great regret that I announce the discontinuation of Birdie’s employment in the show.
I had no choice but to fire him. He has had a very poor attitude as of late, which created a hostile work environment.
Granted, I did accidentally crush his favorite cage, but I apologized and offered to buy him a new one; he just gave me the silent treatment. Ever since then, he refused to speak to me, and refused to leave his cage. He just sat in there, silently sulking.
When I informed him that I would no longer be needing his services, he just stared at me in a threatening manner. He ignored my requests for him to leave – I had to physically remove him from the house.
He still hasn’t left the property. He’s still out there on the sidewalk, staring at me through the window (see photo, below). I think he’s trying to intimidate me. And, honestly, it’s working. I fear for my safety. There’s no telling what a disgruntled ex-employee will do – especially one who so obviously didn’t like me to begin with.
Do you think I should call the authorities?