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Topic: My show idea, please critque (it's a bit long, sorry)
Message: Posted by: kasper777 (Jan 8, 2003 09:28PM)
(Background - I'm 22 and hoping to do my first show in a few months)

Being a former Marine I have no problem using my loud, commanding voice and banging my wand to get attention while using lines like "show starting in two minutes. Hurry, the good seats are being taken. Come up close to the line, I don't bite, unless you ask." From there go into my opening pitch, via Cellini, but modified.

I would then say, I need a little kid. I would then do the bit of using him as a coat rack, hanging my hat and whatever else on him. I would take my items back and leave him with the hat and go into Miser's Dream with a sponge ball, only to show the hat empty at the end. I would send him back and do some more physical comedy to get a person to sign a card and go into "Card on Table" via Cellini's lecture notes.

{I am considering throwing in a rope routine or Slydini silks after the card trick, not sure though.} I would then bring a tall guy up and do some funny bits with him. Have him hold his hands above his head and tickle him. making sure his hands are above his head, hug him. Then have him hold his hands above his head and point his fingers down and wiggle them as I pretend to shower. I would then send him back and announce my final trick is coming up.

I would then go into my C&B. The routine is short (like Sonny Holiday's) but finish with six load (Gazzo). Then throw out my hat lines.

Sorry about that. I hope you enjoyed my show. Feedback, good and bad are welcome.


Wow, whoever he is, his show is awesome. I can't wait to see it. Oh, sorry, it's my show. hehe. Just trying to get things started.
Message: Posted by: Pokie-Poke (Jan 8, 2003 11:10PM)
You have some funny lazzi, what if you don't have any tall guys in the audance?

Don't "throw out" your hat lines, thay are important! also hit a warning hat line before the last trick, this is a biggie.

You may want to give the kid something for helping. I have seen some one, long time ago give a kid a buck out of his hat! This sets up all sorts of hat/money lines.
I turn rocks into marbels and let the kid keep it. yes I'm losing my marbels. :dizzy:
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Jan 8, 2003 11:34PM)

That will get you started for sure. Read those lecture notes again and again they are truly gold!

I think you could play up the Marine in you a bit too. I think it would be funny as anything if say you wrote a story about using magic to con your DI when you were a boot.

You could do the bit imitating the DI's voice like this:

"Who do you think you are private pile, A MAGICIAN? What do you mean you want me to field strip your weapon with the clean hand! I don't care how many rounds are in your hand and how many are in your pocket! What is your major malfunction dirt ball!"


Message: Posted by: kasper777 (Jan 8, 2003 11:48PM)
Danny, what about throwing in a rope routine or Slydini silks, yes or no. Or is the show long enough and entertaining enough without it. Thanks again for everyone's advice.
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Jan 9, 2003 12:02AM)
Danny goes right to the heart of what makes you special, what you have to offer an audience: your experience as a marine. And those are great and funny ideas. (Danny, with your way with character, I think you should be a writer.)
When people post, asking for this line or that line, the idea of these lines shouldn't be so much to use these line exactly as written, but rather that we should take the "concept" of that line, the concept of what that line is achieving structurally so to speak at that moment in the routine, and then make the line fit your own show/character/routines/personality etc. Someone once said, the difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between a firecracker and an atomic bomb. I think that applies to the difference between a generic line and one that comes right from the heart of a specific character.
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Jan 9, 2003 07:30AM)

You hit the nail right on the head. Thanks.


Both are great tricks. You could add either or both you will need a good routine to go with them. The show being long enough and entertaining enough is something that can only be gauged by going out there and working it.

I say polish it up and let it rip.


Message: Posted by: kasper777 (Jan 10, 2003 08:24AM)
I would like to get some more responses. If you like it or don't. Basically, if you saw it going on, would you stop and watch. Thanks for your feedback.
Message: Posted by: cfrye (Jan 10, 2003 12:56PM)
I have to admit I don't care much for the physical humor...I think it would put people on edge. Even so, if it works for you, go for it. If I saw something like it, I'd probably keep moving.
Message: Posted by: rkrahlmann (Jan 10, 2003 01:23PM)
It's hard to say if I would stop and watch.
Reading it and seeing it are two different things. Based on what you posted, I'd at least stop and give you five mintues to hold me.
You're going to know for sure if the show works only when you're out on the street. Do your act, see what works, change what doesn't. When Groucho Marx was playing in theaters, he used to work lines over and over, changing words, re-ordering words, playing with timing and inflections, until it got the best response. Sometimes this took months.
I think you're off to a great start! Good luck.
Message: Posted by: Eric Evans (Jan 11, 2003 11:18AM)
I'd agree with rkrahlmann -- you have a great start.

One thing to consider is using the big guy for the rope or knot routine. If he's expressive and responsive this could get a few laughs. Also it makes transitioning from one bit to another more seamless. Hype your last trick during the show, then before you perform it, Hype your Hat. Little previews set them up for the end, something you want them waiting around for.
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Jan 11, 2003 12:01PM)
Kasper, I like the silliness of the routines. I can see that being a lot of fun if it's played right, so I'm assuming that it fits your personality. Of course, that's just one opinion. Good luck.
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Jan 19, 2003 07:02AM)
I would stop and watch,,,see what I could pinch from you (Well at least I'm honest !).
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Jan 19, 2003 07:36AM)
Overall, I like it.
Danny Hustle is right; play up the Marine bit; after all, you've got the experience so work it for all it's worth.
The only way you're really going to know if this works is to do it on real people.
Keep what works, and throw out or replace what doesn't.
(See rkrahlmann's comments, above, on Groucho Marx; that's it, exactly!)
Two suggestions:
Make the hat pitch before your last trick ("Big finale coming up! You don't want to miss it!").
And try for three or four shows an hour, for maximum hats.
Message: Posted by: SKILL (Jan 20, 2003 06:26PM)
yes very good :wow:
Message: Posted by: Turk (Mar 6, 2003 03:41PM)

I like the suggestions from Danny Hustle about playing up your unique experience of being a marine. You could get a lot of humorous mileage out of self-depreciating humor.

BTW, I respectfully suggest that you are in error ("Being a former Marine..."). IMHO (and I thought the Corps always taught you), there is no such thing as a "former" Marine. Once a Marine, always a Marine. You have nothing but my total respect and appreciation.

Best regards,

Message: Posted by: kasper777 (Mar 7, 2003 07:46AM)
Thanks for the appreciation Turk. After living in Marine towns for the past several years, we don't get appreciated, most of the town hate Marines. Thanks again.

Message: Posted by: magicman222 (Mar 26, 2003 07:50PM)
That's a good idea.
Message: Posted by: Paul Chosse (Mar 27, 2003 09:59AM)
I would certainly stop to watch - the thing that puts me off a show is the response of the "volunteers". If you handle them so that they are comfortable, they actually join in, and it feels like they are having fun, then I am going to stay for sure. No matter how good the magic is, if I get that "queasy, I'm embarassed just watching you, I can't stand how you're treating the spectator", feeling - I'm gone!

The material sounds fine - all strong, visual stuff, with lots of room for by-play. I'm with Danny - polish what you have and try it out. You can lengthen or shorten the show based on response, but you want to build a really solid core act to start. If that's what you have (material that you are sure of) then go with it.

David Devant tells the story of a magician who said to him "I know 810 tricks how many do you know?" Devants' answer? "Eight..." The point? Devant really "knew" those eight tricks - he could do them anytime, anywhere, and they always played the same way. He knew everything that could go wrong, how to handle it, he could ABSOLUTELY DEPEND on those eight tricks to carry him under any circumstances. Build your core act like that - then if you add other material and it doesn't play quite right, it won't hurt your overall effect much.

By the way the qoute that applies to using the right word that is alluded to above is actually from Mark Twain and it goes like this: "The difference between using the right word and the almost right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug!" A small change can mean a HUGE difference in impact - be careful!

Best, PSC
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Mar 27, 2003 07:03PM)
Each and every one of us should chisel this on a stone tablet, write it on a piece of paper, have it tattooed inside our eyelids, and remember it always no matter what.

If you are a person who performs for real people there is no better advice on the face of the planet.

I have a bunch of friends who take over a comedy club once a week in Harvard Square and do magic.

I am there every week, and every week I have an honest to God good time. They all think I go there to “Support the cause” But the fact of the matter is every week these guys have a new audience and every week the show is different and always a flat straight out blast.

I can recite the core of all of their acts chapter and verse but the core of their act is only half of what they do each and every week. The rest of it is letting the audience be the show.

This is a tough thing for the ego of a lot of magicians. They think it is about the big “ME”. Using the guys I really admire as a guide that just ain’t so.

So if you ask me (and nobody did :) ), If you want to be any good at this and if you have any hope of ever being really great at it, your show had better be all about them.

If you are learning to be a professional entertainer, this is probably the toughest and most rewarding trick you will ever learn.

Great post PSC, thanks.


Message: Posted by: Al Kazam the Magic Man (Mar 28, 2003 09:59AM)
Could't agree more with the above advise. I'm not a GREAT magician, as far as advanced sleight of hand skills or even super good patter for most of my effects (can't always get the language right, gotta speak Chinese). However, I always get the best response and reaction from the specs when the specs themselves come out looking good and everyone's having a good time. Not necessarily oohing and ahhing to my personal magic skills. (Hey, that doesn't mean I'm not working on improving them. HA!) I do many effects that I use volunteers for and pass out many different things for them to use to help the magic to happen.
Message: Posted by: magicsoup (Apr 22, 2003 01:41AM)
If at first your show is a little flat don't give up. I only do street shows once in a while so I don't have a lot of experience, but if I gave up after my first show I'd have none! I find that most shows that go well do so because of the rapport you have with your audience. I have had some dissappointing street shows and some of my absolute best shows on the street. I think I don't do enough to be consistant. Don't judge your show on one performance. Do it lots! And when you are genuinely having fun the audience can tell.