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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » Footwork (5 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

asif
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Hi friends,
Since sometime I have been seriously looking into stage manipulation(ball particularly). A number of books and dvds helped me a lot, but the real problem is they all basically dealt with sleights and routines. But as of now am more interested in knowing about the stage movement for manipulation and basic footwork. It'll be of great help if someone here can guide me through it.
Cheers
Azreal
asif
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Https://youtu.be/aVRvgSl2z60

This is how my performance looks like now, even I feel like robotic and literally am thinking about the placement of body each now and then. And I sincerely want to improve and have a good command over stage.
danaruns
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The City of Angels
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Asif, I suggest you contact Dale Salwak at the Chavez Studio of Magic. http://chavezcollegeofmagic.com/

Even if you can't do it in person, they have remote alternatives. But learning from Dale will take you very far. People come from all over the world to study with him (including me).
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
Bill Hegbli
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I will first suggest you get this book, Magic and Showmanship by Henning Helms. This covers stage presence as well as other areas of stage presence.

https://www.amazon.com/Magic-Showmanship......86410870

If you are not in the U.S. this is downloadable as well from the publisher.

What I notices is your stooping and crouching at the knees. As you practice and rehearse, you should image in your mind you are in front of a large audience of 500 or more.

You have to look at your audience, smile and react to what you are showing the audience. Much of this has to do with learning your routine, so you don't have to think about the moves, and next object. Then you will realize that there is things you can improve on, and be thinking of your audience.

I also noticed you have your lips open during much of the routine, like you are going to say something, but you don't. Practice standing straight, and turn your body left and right without moving your feet. Many of your moves can be performed in this way.

The most important advice I every received, was, imagine you are on a floor of eggs, and if you step to hard you will break the eggs.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Pete Biro
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My feeling is it is too long, with a lot of sameness. Have you considered going to acting classes?
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Frank Simpson
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I have some opinions on this.

My impression is that this is not so much a routine as it is "tricks in a row". I see a lot of "quick and flashy moves" that are very "dramatic" but for no discernible purpose. Particularly head movements. I get the impression that you've seen others move this way and are trying to be similar. Usually when you make a quick move it is to cover a steal or a transfer or the like. This of course only draws suspicion.

Every movement must answer the question, "why?"

If you write out the routine in prose, does it read as an interesting story? Or is is just a laundry list of things happening one after another? The story must be solid and compelling. If you feel that you have a strong story (I get no sense of one from the video) then you have to objectively look at the performance to see that all the story's elements are being communicated clearly. This is where having a director comes in handy. A director is the audience's advocate in the rehearsal process. They can be more objective in determining where strengths can be developed, weaknesses identified and corrected, and the interstitial moments between effects clarified. A good director will dissect an act, moment by moment, to create a strong performance.

Sometimes magicians become afraid of the story element of a routine. Your story does not have to be particularly elaborate, but it does have to have a beginning, middle and end with logical progressions between.

Many magicians think that performing to music absolves them from storytelling. It does not. I always create a spoken script for silent routines that I use in rehearsal. If I am speaking my script over the music it creates reminders to myself that my body language must communicate the same things. Then as I remove the words my body has learned its cues to communicate my script. A really good act will suit the phrasing of the magic to coincide with the phrasing of the music. In this case I see a guy doing tricks while music plays in the background. You could really substitute any music and it would make no difference to the act because the moves are not set to it.

In the case of my zombie routine, my script has two characters: myself and the ball. The dialog gives separate intentions to each character to create a subtle dramatic conflict, which makes for a more interesting routine. I also chose music and listened to it over and over and over without a prop in my hand to let the music suggest the moves to me. This ties the routine to the music and the music to the routine. In that way, they reinforce one another.

Acting classes and dance classes will give you more skills than you may think. I always advise magicians to study acting, and even participate in a local play (or better yet, a musical if they intend to perform to music) that has nothing whatsoever to do with magic. It is usually better to sharpen these performance and showmanship skills without the distraction of "the tricks" which steal our focus simply because we've become so infatuated with our tricks.

Learning stage presence is one of the most important skills you can possibly learn. Once you can command a stage on your own you have a good foundation on which you can lay your magic.
Dick Oslund
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In general, I would agree with most of the comments above.

Here are a few SPECIFIC notes:

FACE THE AUDIENCE! Your are in profile for much of what you are doing! People on stage LEFT, see only your back! --and, when you face left, the spectators on stage right, see only your back.

IMO, you are just "demonstrating" a bunch of moves", that you have learned, and, you are not "selling" what you are doing! (PERFORMING, AND DEMONSTRATING ARE NOT THE SAME THING!

It appears to me that you are trying to do a "look how clever I am" act. --THAT, does not ENTERTAIN!!! (Magic is NOT inherently ENTERTAINING!) Whether you are a talking act, or a pantomime act, you must COMMUNICATE with the spectators, using your facial and body movements!

Your movements are "jerky".

Several, (too many) of your steals are awkward.

Your "dissolving knot" (Tarbell) looks like a slip knot! --which it is! I explain HOW to SELL the EFFECT in my book so it gets APPLAUSE.

Your "Perpetual Balls" are also in profile. I've done that for 67 years, FACING the audience, and get LAUGHS, AND APPLAUSE. It's the big "effect" in my ball routine. (My ball routine is the surprise" production of ONE ball from a silk, then a few standard flourishes. Next, the Perpetual Balls (big laughs) followed by a visible penetration of one ball through a silk (Bill Williston's) and, then trying to vanish one ball under a silk, but FOUR balls are produced, instead. (I can do the ball routine, SURROUNDED.)

I stopped presenting the multiplying balls, fifty years ago. --and, I had learned how to do them surrounded!

You don't know how to cue the spectators to laugh, and APPLAUD. You need to learn how to "style", not "bow".

In general, your TIMING, AND TEMPO, both need work.

Practicing and rehearsing are DIFFERENT! --Practicing, improves moves! (SKILLS) Rehearsing, improves the ACT! (TIMING...TEMPO...TIME) and "CHOREOGRAPHY".

You need a qualified director to help you!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
asif
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Quote:
On Feb 24, 2018, danaruns wrote:
Asif, I suggest you contact Dale Salwak at the Chavez Studio of Magic. http://chavezcollegeofmagic.com/

Even if you can't do it in person, they have remote alternatives. But learning from Dale will take you very far. People come from all over the world to study with him (including me).


Hi Danaruns. am from India. So are there any outreaches of the college here.
asif
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Quote:
On Feb 24, 2018, Bill Hegbli wrote:
I will first suggest you get this book, Magic and Showmanship by Henning Helms. This covers stage presence as well as other areas of stage presence.

https://www.amazon.com/Magic-Showmanship......86410870

If you are not in the U.S. this is downloadable as well from the publisher.

What I notices is your stooping and crouching at the knees. As you practice and rehearse, you should image in your mind you are in front of a large audience of 500 or more.

You have to look at your audience, smile and react to what you are showing the audience. Much of this has to do with learning your routine, so you don't have to think about the moves, and next object. Then you will realize that there is things you can improve on, and be thinking of your audience.

I also noticed you have your lips open during much of the routine, like you are going to say something, but you don't. Practice standing straight, and turn your body left and right without moving your feet. Many of your moves can be performed in this way.

The most important advice I every received, was, imagine you are on a floor of eggs, and if you step to hard you will break the eggs.


That's some wonderful advice Bill. And the lip problem is little bit genetic as when I was younger there was a twist in my nose and was forced to do breathing by mouth. And that slowly changed into a habit. But am trying to change that now.
asif
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Also guys can will ultimate guide to billiard ball magic by levent, help me. In terms of movement.
George Ledo
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I very rarely respond to invitations for critiques, mostly because I know I'd end up critiquing from the viewpoint of how I would do the routine. However, in your case, I'm going to make a few comments. And I agree you've received some very good advice so far.

First, as soon as the clip started, I caught myself asking, who is this guy and why is he doing this? Between the choice of music, the darkness, and your persona, I honestly thought you were doing a take-off of some of Copperfield's very early routines: the guy who was stood up by a girl and is at home feeling bad. Turns out that was not the case, but that was my first impression. And you only get one chance to make a first impression.

Two, you didn't give us a chance to meet you, which goes with the above. At least look at the audience, acknowledge them, and "tell" them you're going to do something for them. From where I sat, it looked like you were just looking around your empty room.

Acting lessons, as suggested above, are fine, but acting lessons are going to make you become a character, understand that character, believe in that character, and make us care about that character. I'm a theatrical designer with over thirty-five years of experience working with directors, and I can tell you that two huge pet peeves of directors are actors who don't know how to get in character or who overact. They don't give the audience any reason to relate to them. It's like listening to a GPS in your car: go straight for half a mile, turn left, and then turn right.

Acting lessons are also going to show you that blocking -- moving from here to there -- has to be motivated by something. It's not random. Real people don't move that way.

I would definitely suggest a few acting lessons, but also that you work with a choreographer or dance teacher who specializes in theatrical performances and can show you how to move energetically and in step with -- or in counterpoint to -- the music.

Don't know how many top-notch professional magic performers you have studied, but please find some online and really study them. It'll make a huge difference.

Finally, here are a few pieces from my column here in the Café, discussing magic from the viewpoint of the professional entertainment business. If nothing else, they're free:

That's cool, but why are you doing it: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......orum=173

Working with a director: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......orum=173

On acting: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......orum=173

Creating a stage persona: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......orum=173

Keep at it! Smile
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
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