I wrote the original post in response to a query from one reader of this blog. Let me quote it in part:
I have read somewhere that you advocate putting objects in the mouth. Don’t you care about children being influenced by such performances? I have this psychic feeling you are not an expert on children and child rearing. I even suspect you are not a father.
Please enlighten me…
Hi Hygiene Freak,
I hate to say this. Your psychic powers are not working well today.
Of course, I’m a father. I have no intention of switching roles with my wife and become a mother.
Having five children qualifies me as an expert on children. Let me tell you a little secret: “Children putting something in their mouths” is a half-fallacious statement advocated by magicians who don’t have five children like me.
For heaven’s sake, don’t believe this drivel. Older children (4 to 10) don’t put things in their mouths. They shove them to my face, if they don’t like my face, which is often the case. But they don’t put objects in their mouths.
Babies and toddlers, however, do put things in their mouths. The family psychologist tells me that’s how babies learn the world. First, they hold a thing in their hands, turn it around several times, and put that confounding thing in their mouths as the ultimate laboratory test.
I don’t perform for babies and toddlers, so I don’t really worry about the possibility of their putting things in their mouths and gagging after watching me. I have performed razor blade swallowing and needle swallowing, and to date, I have not one baby or toddler follow my example.
I have put vegetables in my mouth in front of my five children. Not one of them has imitated my eating habit, thus debunking thoroughly the widely circulated rumor that children imitate what adults put in their mouths.
Instead, my children love to stuff their mouths with hamburgers, pizzas, junk foods, value meals—things I have told them not to eat plenty of. I guess eating too much of these foodstuffs not only made them deaf but also calcified their brains.
Here’s the bottom line: I don’t advocate putting things in the mouth when performing magic. I don’t have any advocacy except to make magic performances entertaining.
As a magician in the Philippines, your goal is to entertain people. If you put things in the mouth and entertain people, then by all means go ahead and put stuff in your mouth.
However, if doing so grosses people out, perform something else—like the Needle Thru Arm.
- Leodini, Can I Become a Great Magician in Two Years? (innermagicclub.wordpress.com)
- Ho-hum Magic Tricks (innermagicclub.wordpress.com)