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Topic: Please guide me with my first show
Message: Posted by: Utkarsh Sinha (Nov 24, 2006 07:21AM)
I have my first stage show in a month. Its not very big... just a school level thing. Basically, I'm a closeup magician. But all the teachers and students are "forcing" me to do something on stage so that a larger audience can see the magic.

I've decided to do the following:

1) Self folding bill (opener - the audience "helps" me fold the bill)
2) Cards across
3) Coin through sodacan (finale - they keep the can, I keep the soda!!)

The show would be around 5-10 minutes with the audience upto about 20 metres of distance. There will be about 250 people. I'll have a collar microphone.

So, can you all guide me? Are the tricks good enough to be done on stage? Are there some other tricks that I should do too? Should I remove some trick from the current list?

I thought of doing rope magic (prof's nightmare, cut and restored, etc). But it doesn't go with my "style".

I've read other posts too.. they recommend a sponge balls routine (enjoyed by everyone, and visible from far away). Sponge balls aren't available here, does anyone know how to make them? Is there some good instant download from where I can learn to do magic with sponge balls?

How about Dan Harland's hover card and maybe a moving pip card routine?


If you're interested, you might want to see my blog. There is a video of me doing Shinkoh's arm twist illusion at school. The video is in the Children's Day post. The address of my blog is in my signature.
Message: Posted by: mrunge (Nov 24, 2006 09:11AM)
Hmmm...being forced to do something you're not really wanting to do. Talk about peer pressure!

I would suggest NOT doing a bill trick, a coin trick or (dare I say) even a card trick. The props are too small and the audience is too far for them to "play" in that environment.

A good cut and restored rope routine would be nice. You can even include someone from the audience like the teacher "forcing" you to do this. Although it might not fit your "style," the better idea would be to change your "style" so that you can pull this performance off.

Make it fun, have a good time and best of luck!

Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Nov 24, 2006 09:34AM)
First I would agree with Mark. Never allow yourself to be forced into doing anything you are not 100% comfortable in doing. Just because they like your magic and want to see you on stage, does not mean that you have to be forced into doing it if it is not something you are comfortable in taking on. Your teachers and friends will understand if you say I am not ready yet or I am working on it and let me get a show together first.

However, if you are committed to making this work, then you need to focus your energies into doing the best you can with what you already have. What I try to do is start with what you already know and adapt that to the stage. It will allow you to be more relaxed becasue you are not having to reinvent the wheel.

Self-folding bill may not be a good one as it often is hard to see from the stage. You may have too many folks standing up or bloacking others in the audience just trying to see what it is you are doing. Make sure to keep the magic visible to a larger audience size. When doing stage performances, you are no longer doing personal close-up. You have to make the magic much more visual and to be seen for a much larger crowd size. With 250 people, you need to be able to show the magic and have it seen by all of them from where they are watching.

Card across can certainly be donw on stage and I have seen many do it successfully. keep in midn to show the cards to the audience and count them so they can see them. The idea is that you have to change your handling just a little bit to make sure the audience sees what you are doing clearly. The people on stage will see easily but the audience also needs to be able to see it. This means showing the cards a bit more and showing the backs of the cards more when you count them. Make the routine fun and use comedy to spice up the routine. You can do this with normal size cards as long as you clearly show them to the audience. You can also adapt it to jumbo cards as well as an option.

Rope magic is very good for the stage. It is so,mething that can be easily seen by all 25o people and is very visual in nature. I would use that instead of the coin in can. It will show up much better to the audience and they can see it easier as you perform it.

Keep in mind that a trick is just a trick and nothing more. You can take anything, including ropes, and change it into your style. that is what a good magician is able to do. a good magician knows that the trick is only a trick and the magician can change that trick into his or her own style through creativity. Just because you may have seen the ropes performed a certain way, does not mean you have to do it that way. As a creative magician, YOU have the power to change things around to best suit your character and personal style of performance.

Good luck on your performance and please let us know how you are progressing and if there is anything we can do to help you.

Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Nov 24, 2006 03:00PM)
What do you do best? Keep it simple. Let your personality rule.
Rope magic is always good and easy to follow.
Cards Across is fine, also six card repeat.
An egg bag would be good too.

What is the age group?
Message: Posted by: sethman (Nov 24, 2006 03:50PM)
Mentalism might be a good idea.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Nov 24, 2006 03:53PM)
It certainly can play well for a size crowd like that.

Message: Posted by: Paul Jester (Nov 25, 2006 01:15AM)
Have you got any linking rings in your prop bag? Or mouth coils? Torn and Restorn Newspaper? Hydrostatic Glass, Vanishing Bottle... they all lend themselves to routines without a lot of work.

With self folding bill your front rows will be staring at the gimmick...

Whatever you do, make sure you know it well enough that you can perform it, without having to think about the moves or worrying about it. That way you can focus on entertaining your audience.

If you don't have anything in your repertoire for stage work, then don't do stage work.

Message: Posted by: Utkarsh Sinha (Nov 25, 2006 02:30AM)
Thanks everyone.

I'll definitely try to do some rope tricks.

Won't black clothing hide the gimmick in the self folding bill?

Age group: around 16(us)-50(teachers)

I was planning to get some spoon bending dvd in a few months. Is there some good spoon bending routine that I can perfect in about 2 weeks? LiquidMetal??

I've attached a picture of the stage. It might help you help me a bit more :)
Message: Posted by: cardcaptor (Nov 25, 2006 04:19AM)
Is that the venue for your first show??? you really need to do some nice visual tricks if that's the place, cards (unless if its jumbo), coins and bill tricks are no good if your to far from the audience.

if your doing a rope routine use a nice magic rope that is visible even the audience is at the last seat at the back.

Message: Posted by: mrunge (Nov 25, 2006 07:19AM)
Wow!!! After seeing the stage, I'll say it again. Do NOT use bills, coins or regular cards!!! People are going to need binoculars to see what is going on!

As everyone has been mentioning, stay away from close-up and parlor type stuff, including spoons! All these props are TOO SMALL.

You need to do stage stuff. Why? Take a look at the picture you just posted! What a stage. And look at how far away that first row of seats is.

Want another reason? Think about the age group you're soon going to perform for. Don't worry about the teachers. They are adults and know how to act. The students on the other hand, at 16 years of age, are going to KILL! Talk about trouble.


Mark. :fear:
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Nov 25, 2006 10:30AM)
Ok Thanks for posting the picture. Let me try and help you the best that I can. You can do this if you properly prepare yourself for it. When working with and on a stage like that you need to make sure your stuff you are doing is visual. The audience has got to be able to see what is going on and also HEAR what is going on as well. that is why you must make sure you are miced in some way and that what you present is visual enough in nature that the aucience can see everything that is going on.

If you do a card effect, cards across can still work well as long as you make sure to show the cards in a visual fashion and have the helpers count the cards into the mic. It is about presentation and making sure your audience knows what is taking place on the stage.

Some of the card effects can be done on stage if you convert them to using jumbo sized cards. I sometimes have done a 3-card monte effetc on the stage by simply adapting the moves to jumbo szed cards that the audience can see easily. I can then choose to do the routine to music and make it a nice presentation.

Rope effects will also work out well. Use rope that is a bit think and contrasting in color to what you are wearing. Rope is very visual and a nice rope routine done with some comedy by-play can work really nice on this stage. Perhaps professors nitemare or a cut and restored rope or even some sand's Sensational rope moves cna work well in a combined routine.

Hope this helps.

Message: Posted by: Ustaad (Nov 27, 2006 04:42AM)
Hello Utkarsh,

For a show of about 5-10 minutes you have selected the following tricks for 250 people seated upto 20 meter distance:

1) Self folding bill (opener - the audience "helps" me fold the bill)
2) Cards across
3) Coin through soda can (finale - they keep the can, I keep the soda!!)

I think non of the above tricks are suitable for such a gathering keeping in mind the distance of the seated audience at say 5 to 20 meters from the magician.

The above tricks are more suited for close-up/ walk around magic & not for stage. I would suggest the following self working tricks provided you have the desired props.

1. Combination of Water Tricks

(a) Lota Bowl (Water of India)
(b) Foo Can
(c) Comedy Funnel

2. Drawer Box (slightly large size)

3. Change Bag

4. Stiff rope

Hope this helps!

Message: Posted by: Utkarsh Sinha (Nov 27, 2006 06:38AM)
Thanks a lot to everyone!!

Based on everyone's advice, I've finally decided to do the following things:

1) Cut and restored rope
2) Professor's nightmare
3) Cards across
4) Not decided

Can anyone suggest some ender? I need something that everyone will really remember.

How about Card thru window?
Message: Posted by: mrunge (Nov 27, 2006 07:41AM)
Again...don't do card through window. The props are too small and the audience is too far away to be "something to remember."

Think about all the times you might have seen CTW done. Ever seen it done on a stage with an audience far away? I doubt it.

That is another effect that is done close-up, in an average size room for example, for a couple of people. Are there exceptions? I'm sure there are, as with anything.

Should it be done in a large performing stage area, such as your using, for a bunch of 16 year olds? Absolutely NOT!

I'd focus on the 1st three you have listed, making the presentation something special. That, they will remember.

Message: Posted by: mrunge (Nov 27, 2006 07:49AM)
If you want to do something really special with CTW, wait until the next day when your back in class. Everyone will be talking about your performance from the previous day.

Listen to all the great things people are saying about you and then, as an afterthought, say "Hey...watch this!" Now...perform CTW for the class and blow their mind!

This, will get people talking and everyone will want you to do some more. Talk about "word of mouth." They won't stop talking about you!

Message: Posted by: Utkarsh Sinha (Nov 27, 2006 09:03AM)
Are the first three enough? Will they cover up around 7 minutes??

that's a nice idea about CTW! I will also be doing closeup magic later (after the show). I can do that at that time along with other tricks!
Message: Posted by: mrunge (Nov 27, 2006 10:22PM)
You have way more material than is needed for only 7 minutes. You can do that, and then some, with the cut and restored rope alone.

Want another suggestion? Practice the effects your thinking of doing over and over. When you get really bored with all the practice, do them again, only use a timer and see just how long it is actually taking you to get through them all, just like you're planning on doing them in the show.

I think you are going to surprise yourself!

Message: Posted by: carbone1853 (Nov 27, 2006 11:05PM)
Yes the first 3 are enough. Infact the 1 or 2 and 3 would most likley be over 5 min unless you rush. As Mark said time your act. Also (as Mark said) do them over and over again. You should be good enough with you tricks that if someone were to wake you up in the middle of the night and hand you a deck of cards and say do Cards Across, you could do it. You will be nervous in your first show, this is natural, but if you practice to the point where the trick is second nature you will be able to get through the show successfully.

Good Luck
Message: Posted by: Benji Bruce (Nov 28, 2006 10:13PM)
Haha this is funny. not too long ago one of my magician friends bet me that I cant do the self folding bill in my stage show for about 2000 people. I couldn't help but take him up on that bet:). its ALL about presentation with an effect like that. I wasnt worried about what people were seeing because the magic ALWAYS happens in the mind of the spectators. everyone expects someone working on stage to stay on that stage and perform, however, when I performed the self folding bill I jumped right off the stage and presented it like hell. as a matter of fact, the trick lasted for about 7 minutes because everyone was getting out of their seats...i just want to say that a close up effect like the self folding bill CAN be performed on stage since magic is 100% mental...in the end, I won $100 from my friend:)
Message: Posted by: mrunge (Nov 28, 2006 11:30PM)
Sounds to me like you "jumped right off the stage" and did the effect and had "everyone getting out of their seats."

Talk about chaos...and NOT on stage! No wonder it lasted 7 minutes. It took 6 for them to find their seats again.

Message: Posted by: Benji Bruce (Nov 29, 2006 08:23PM)
:) if you say so
Message: Posted by: Paul Jester (Nov 30, 2006 01:22PM)
1 and 2 could be made into one routine. Don't finish with cards... for your finalle do something which allows you to end alone (no participents) on stage to accept your applause. Also it's difficult to start with a routine that needs audience members.

For your finalle why not buy an impressive production prop, such as an appearing pole, or Splash Bottle, or Flowers?

Check your lighting, you might be able to do an invisible thread effect such as floating bill. Or float flash paper... burn it in midair and take your bow!

Message: Posted by: Utkarsh Sinha (Nov 30, 2006 07:21PM)
I don't have IT... is it ok to use black thread against black clothing?
Message: Posted by: mrunge (Nov 30, 2006 08:55PM)
Black thread is not strong enough. It will probably break on you.

You can go to a fabric store and get a spool of black "woolly nylon." This is what IT is. If it is not in stock, they can order it for you.

You'll need to "strip" individual strands from the thread. This is similar to coring magicians rope. You can run a search here on the café for more info if needed.

With one spool of the thread, which is cheap, you'll have a lifetime supply of IT.

Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Nov 30, 2006 09:23PM)
Chinese stick, linking rings or Duke's Dye Version to close.
Message: Posted by: Manny (Dec 9, 2006 12:57AM)
Do the tricks you know how to do best.
With one caveat ... make sure your audience can see them.
Otherwise do the next best tricks you can do that can be easily seen.
Don't try to do something new. Stick with what you know.