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Topic: Routining?
Message: Posted by: Magicjg (Jun 7, 2006 10:53PM)
So I'm ready to begin performing. I have done magic for years now, acutally around 9 years. I'm not a beginner but I'm still having a problem. When you are trying to market a show, how do you make a show? That might sound silly, but I don't want it to seem like I just put together a bunch of tricks and that's it. I want it to flow. Any suggestions? I want to use a sub trunk at the end of my show, so I guess that is a start. I had an idea just to work out of that, use tricks that fit in there and to keep pulling articles out of the trunk to use for my show. What should I do to make things seem like they fit together rather than jumping from a card trick right into something so off the cuff that it doesn't make sense? Help!!!
Message: Posted by: JackScratch (Jun 8, 2006 08:26AM)
OK, this is a realy involved question. I suspect you will not get the entire answer from this forum. A routine means that there is something connecting your effects. A reason you are doing what you are doing. What should it be? Anything. It can be subtle, it can be overt, it can be character, it can be story, it can even be a theme of style. The problem is, your question is very broad, and sadly, it has to be. There isn't one answer. There are billions. Writing is a tricky thing, and the only way that I know, to become good at it is practice. Use your imagination, just let it flow. Think of as many different ways to string your effects together as you can. Write them down. See which one sounds the best to you. All you are realy looking for is an excuse. Some rationalization for doing the things that you do. It can even be a bit contrived. All you need is to prevent your audience from ever asking "Why did he do those things?"

Another idea is to look at performances you admire. See how they do it. See what they say that tells you why they are performing what they are performing. Not all magicians do it, but most do it, and do it well. The fun part is, if done particularly well, you may not even notice it. You might actualy have to think about what reason it is a magician gives. That would be the subtle I spoke of.

I'm a big fan of Burton. Usualy, the theme he uses is the classic "I'm a magician" theme. The only thing realy connecting what he does is that they are all magic. For each effect, he takes you into a different field of magic. He tells you a bit about that field. If anything, Burton performs a "History of magic" show. A sort of insiders tour of the magicians relm. You never think of it that way, because he never tells you that is what he is doing, but for each effect, you get a brief introduction from the man, telling you where this part of the trip will take you. Many of the greats in history have used this style. It is but one example.
Message: Posted by: ShawnB (Jun 8, 2006 07:12PM)

Thank you! I have been working on a routine for the last week or two and have
got nowhere...

You simplified the process for me... I honestly can not thank you enough for your words..

You gave me an epiphany.

Message: Posted by: Brad Burt (Jun 10, 2006 07:01PM)
You are actually ahead of the curve in that you have a good solid Finale selected. So let's tackle the Opening of the act and the middle.

For your opening you need a routine that does not use a spectator assistant, that is magical, you can't screw up and that instantly sells the fact that YOU ARE A MAGICIAN. There is probably no more important aspect to your Opener. You want something that says YOU know what the heck you are doing. You call yourself a magician? Then show us something magical. I use either the classic Six Card Repeat or a three part Rope Routine, but there are many others.

O.k., you have gotten the opening out of the way. You are a pleasant fellow with an appealing personality and you have rehearsed so much that you obviously are a pro. The audience is now on YOUR side and waiting to see more. Waiting to be further intertained. Now, you fill the middle part of your act with other strong and appealing routines. Some of the routines here CAN use spectators from the audience. These routines can be longer with more audience interaction. You can toss in a solid Mental routine, you can do a Sucker effect, etc. Maybe a nice little 2-3 minute interlude of card manipulation, etc. to music. Fill it out and play with if over time to tune it up. Take notes RIGHT after the show! What went right and what went wrong. Every 2-3 shows try to have someone video tape it for you.

So you have the Opening the Middle and the Finale....Now, you have an act. Rehearse it about 300 times and then go out and sell it and do it a bunch. Best,
Message: Posted by: tglund (Jun 11, 2006 01:13AM)
When you are developing a show one of the critical things that is easy to overlook, especially when you are starting out, is transitions. i.e. how you move from one effect to another. This is one of the reasons that many professionals have dancers or come out in front of the curtain is to allow for the last illusion to be cleared and for the next to be set up.

Even if you are not doing a big illusion show, transitions are still key. You still need to think about how you are going to dispose of a prop and how you will obtain the next prop in a smooth uninterrupted fashion.

In terms of linking effects there are several ways to do it. In manipulation acts some performers link objects. For example a performer may start with a single color streamer draped over their neck to look like a scarf, then have it change colors, then multiply, grow, shrink, whatever, then eventually they either produce a ball from the scarf or change the scarf to a ball, and go into a ball manipulation routine.

Others link effects together via a theme. Think of a reading program. The message of such a show would be the benefits/wonders of reading, so all the effects would support the theme. It could be as easy as saying "I love to read because I learn so many wonderful things. Let me show you this great thing I learned from a book the other day." and then you go into your effect.

Another way to link effects might be based upon your character. Note: you are a character even if you represent yourself as Mr. (insert your name here) Magician. You have a specific personality, likes dislikes, and motiviations. You can create a show based around your character and the things that your character does. Think of your show as a story about your character. Sort of like writing a movie script. Make sure that what you do fits with your character. For example is you are playing a wizzard in King Arthur's court it probably wouldn't fit your character to do an effect with a leaf blower. I say probably because I know there are many creative people out there who could probably fingure out a way to have it make sense ;)

Hopefully you find this helpful.
Message: Posted by: tglund (Jun 11, 2006 02:39AM)

I just came across this where there is a lot of good adivce on this topic.