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curtrise garner Pictures, Images and PhotosEtiquette, as I understand the word, is conventional social behavior.  It means established, appropriate conduct in a community  for any occasion.

It’s loosely grounded on good manners and right conduct.

Sometimes behaviors that conform to these conventional requirements are unwritten. Many just happen to be common sense.

Dining etiquette is a bit structured.  Many people from other countries or cultures have to be instructed on which kitchen utensils and in what order to use during a meal.  Or how to eat with chopsticks. Or how to drink (or sip) expensive wine.

PhotobucketInner Magic Club has its own set of appropriate behaviors. During meetings, for example, we impose a dress code.  No one is allowed to attend meetings in short pants, rubber shoes, or collarless shirts—no matter how good looking they are in those outfits.

We also don’t allow smoking inside the meeting room, even though some of our most respected members are smokers.  They just excuse themselves out of the room when they feel lighting their cigarettes.

Propriety of conduct when beginning interaction with fellow IMC member means offering each other the IMC handshake.  The IMC handshake now has become a standard of greetings not only in IMC but also in social functions among magicians in the Philippines, including non-IMC members.

handshake Pictures, Images and PhotosNow why I’m mentioning etiquette today?

Because I stumbled upon a list that ranks performing artists according to how the lay public looks up to them.

Let me share with you the list, and be very humbled.  Magicians appear way down the bottom of the list.

  1. Movie Star
  2. Nationals News Anchor
  3. Local News Anchor
  4. Broadway actor
  5. Co9median
  6. Singer/Musician/Rock Band
  7. Dancer
  8. Magician
  9. Ventriloquist
  10. Juggler
  11. Mime/Clown

I don’t know who took the time and effort to research the ranking, or who checked its accuracy, or who validated its genuineness. I have seen similar lists in the past. Although the ranking is not exactly the same way, one thing remains constant.  Magicians always reside in the bottom of the list.

The sad truth is this: no matter how highly we consider our art, the public doesn’t hold the same high esteem for us wonder workers.

I have been looking for reasons of our lowly status, but so far I couldn’t give you something scholarly.

So I’ll just try to offer one that may be plausible explanation.

I think one of the reasons is that many people find magicians childish.  They come off as cheesy, because some magicians are quick to disregard etiquette that other performing artists hold sacred.

Let me cite an example. When a singer like Gary Valenciano goes to Araneta Coliseum to watch a Martin Nievera concert, will Gary sing songs in the line going to the ticket booth, or in the lobby?

When a dancer goes to CCP to watch ballet, is she going to dance in the hall?
No, of course not.

But magicians going to watch another magician perform will do card tricks and coin tricks at the ticket booth, or at the lobby, or even at their seats while waiting for the show on stage to start.

Some magicians will even perform magic at a birthday party for free even though the birthday mom hired a professional magician to entertain the guests.

Simple etiquette dictates that a performer should not perform at another performer’s show (unless invited to do so), but many magicians in the Philippines don’t seem to have a good grasp of the words simple and etiquette and their ramifications.

Ever  wonder why the lay public has a low regard of magic and magicians?

Sad but true, there are magicians in the Philippines, heck around the globe, who lack etiquette.

And for bringing this ugly truth, I may be accused of being one of those ill-mannered magicians.


Stay magical,