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Topic: It's a 90 second world for us now it seems...
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Jun 20, 2013 11:55AM)
Thanks to America's Got Talent (and the likes) it seems that now your show must wow in less than 90 seconds or you're deemed not talented.

Take it as you please...

This might be good or bad depending on your act.

But the general TV audience at least, have been fed this logic.

So be prepared.
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Jun 20, 2013 12:12PM)
There is a degree of truth to this.

I don't think Chan Canasta or David Berglas would last too long on shows like Britain's Got Talent. But then again, I rather suspect they would have too much class to touch such shows with a barge pole.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Jun 20, 2013 12:15PM)
Yes.

Mentalists can do well there but I think there are better performing venues.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jun 20, 2013 12:21PM)
Ninety seconds is only a barrier if you want to perform in talent shows.
Message: Posted by: eSamuels (Jun 20, 2013 01:02PM)
[quote]
On 2013-06-20 13:21, mastermindreader wrote:
Ninety seconds is only a barrier if you want to perform in talent shows.
[/quote]

Excluding porn talent shows.
(you may laugh, but they're coming....let me rephrase that....
;)

e
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Jun 20, 2013 01:06PM)
LOL!
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jun 20, 2013 01:17PM)
I don't know that the 90 second limit is strictly enforced though, as there have been exceptions, notably in the "outdoor" stunt acts. The escape artist Alexanderia, for example, spend more than 90 seconds under water, and that was AFTER the process of chaining her up.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Jun 20, 2013 01:18PM)
[quote]
On 2013-06-20 13:21, mastermindreader wrote:
Ninety seconds is only a barrier if you want to perform in talent shows.
[/quote]

While I agree, my point is more on the mindset of TV audiences nowadays.

Especially those into the reality TV talent shows.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jun 20, 2013 01:23PM)
Yes, Pakar, but the mindset is one of an audience watching talent shows. That has no relation to what they would expect when watching a show featuring a single professional performer.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Jun 20, 2013 01:29PM)
[quote]
On 2013-06-20 14:23, mastermindreader wrote:
Yes, Pakar, but the mindset is one of an audience watching talent shows. That has no relation to what they would expect when watching a show featuring a single professional performer.
[/quote]

I agree, but still worth noting that if you could just do a quick effect or whatever (music, video etc.) within those first 90 seconds of being in front of them, you've 'got' them. At least the ones who think this way.

I do it with the music choice, but it is very cultural based as I play a Shamanistic character. The song is an actual ritualistic song here in my culture.

But certainly, this is just my opinion. ;)
Message: Posted by: music (Jun 20, 2013 07:52PM)
Like the new avatar Mr. Cassidy!
Message: Posted by: funsway (Jun 21, 2013 03:41AM)
[quote]
On 2013-06-20 14:29, Pakar Ilusi wrote:
[quote]

I do it with the music choice, but it is very cultural based as I play a Shamanistic character. The song is an actual ritualistic song here in my culture.

[/quote]

One could view that if you use a ritualistic song to influence a person you ARE being a Shaman rather than acting like one; or conversely, "playing a Shamanistic character" is part of what being a Shaman is.

To understand what any culture considers to be magic in any form is wise. You can't pretend at being a tennis player if a culture has no concept of what tennis is.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Jun 21, 2013 05:06AM)
[quote]
On 2013-06-21 04:41, funsway wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-06-20 14:29, Pakar Ilusi wrote:
[quote]

I do it with the music choice, but it is very cultural based as I play a Shamanistic character. The song is an actual ritualistic song here in my culture.

[/quote]

One could view that if you use a ritualistic song to influence a person you ARE being a Shaman rather than acting like one; or conversely, "playing a Shamanistic character" is part of what being a Shaman is.

To understand what any culture considers to be magic in any form is wise. You can't pretend at being a tennis player if a culture has no concept of what tennis is.
[/quote]

Ahh, I see you see what I'm doing. Nice.

I'm exposing Shamans in my culture by doing what they do but telling it for what it is.

Mind games using illusions of perception.

But that's for another thread funsway. ;)

We're talking 90 second mindsets here. :P
Message: Posted by: erikdobell (Jun 21, 2013 05:13AM)
I'm not so sure that general TV audience buys this logic. If the show is good, the audience has a remarkably long attention span.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Jun 21, 2013 05:18AM)
[quote]
On 2013-06-21 06:13, erikdobell wrote:
I'm not so sure that general TV audience buys this logic. If the show is good, the audience has a remarkably long attention span.
[/quote]

If you catch them at the first 90 seconds.

And...

I'm only talking about new acts of course...

Those shows with a following already have no such problem, as they've 'proven' themselves to be worth waiting for in whatever terms.
Message: Posted by: MatCult (Jun 21, 2013 05:34AM)
Thread too long. Didn't read.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Jun 21, 2013 05:48AM)
[quote]
On 2013-06-21 06:34, MatCult wrote:
Thread too long. Didn't read.
[/quote]

:applause:
Message: Posted by: Jon_Thompson (Jun 21, 2013 07:25AM)
Why would ANYONE go on <country>'s Got Talent in the first place?
Message: Posted by: VernonOnCoins (Jun 21, 2013 08:23AM)
For an intro, 90 seconds is an excruciatingly long time to let pass without something happening.

However, if you create a suspenseful situation, people will wait much longer than 90 seconds for resolution.
Message: Posted by: catweazle (Jun 21, 2013 08:41AM)
[quote]
On 2013-06-21 08:25, Jon_Thompson wrote:
Why would ANYONE go on <country>'s Got Talent in the first place?
[/quote]

to get rich and famous!! or something like that anyway :)
here is an example of the deal a winner can expect

"'But then I found out that Simon's company takes 90 per cent of the revenue. I get ten per cent. But I have to pay the production costs out of that. So I ended up owing them money.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1266614/Britains-Got-Talent-How-did-George-Sampson-end-owing-money-Simon-Cowell--working-Butlins.html#ixzz2WrE0JI38
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Jun 21, 2013 09:05AM)
[quote]
On 2013-06-21 09:23, VernonOnCoins wrote:
For an intro, 90 seconds is an excruciatingly long time to let pass without something happening.

However, if you create a suspenseful situation, people will wait much longer than 90 seconds for resolution.
[/quote]

I completely agree with that. :)
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Jun 21, 2013 09:47AM)
[quote]
On 2013-06-21 10:05, Pakar Ilusi wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-06-21 09:23, VernonOnCoins wrote:
For an intro, 90 seconds is an excruciatingly long time to let pass without something happening.

However, if you create a suspenseful situation, people will wait much longer than 90 seconds for resolution.
[/quote]

I completely agree with that. :)


[/quote]
Absolutely. Take a look at Geller's work for proof.
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Jun 21, 2013 09:53AM)
[quote]
On 2013-06-21 08:25, Jon_Thompson wrote:
Why would ANYONE go on <country>'s Got Talent in the first place?
[/quote]

Couldn't agree more. I'm especially amazed by professionals going onto an amateur talent show. I thought Colin McLeod's "performance" on BGT was just about the lowest moment in the history of Mentalism on British television.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Jun 21, 2013 09:53AM)
[quote]
On 2013-06-21 09:23, VernonOnCoins wrote:
However, if you create a suspenseful situation, people will wait much longer than 90 seconds for resolution.
[/quote]

building on that from a different venue. I am a story teller -- mostly with original material, hence there is some suspense. Presentation can also captivate for a long period.

However, if I tell as story the attention of some listeners will wonder after a couple of minutes regardless of the dynamics of voice and gesture. But if I READ the story I can command attention for 10 minutes or more.

I have a theory as to why this is true. A TOLD story has no perceived end or promise of a meaningful conclusion. But a story READ from a book means that there is a known end and a perceived value from being put in a book. Thus, attention span may be related to the perceived commitment on the part of the listener vs. the anticipated rewards. Does this apply to astonishment for entertainment?

Perhaps -- extract from it what you may. If your Effect/Demonstration has no anticipated conclusion you must continuously "re-excite" some listeners -- and lack of attention can be infectious to the entire audience. If the listener has an expectation of a positive result attention span can be sustained because the "suspense" is now safe. Regardless, presentation and presence can command attention from a performer known to produce the expected results, while being an unknown quantity commands less respect.
Message: Posted by: dmkraig (Jun 21, 2013 10:54AM)
While I agree with your point, Pakar, I don't think <country>'s got talent is the cause. I contend there are two major causes. The first is MTV. This popularized the fast cuts and make-your-point-fast style of entertainment. Compare the comics on the old Ed Sullivan show of the 1960s who took a long time to set up laughs with the comics of today. Every line today is a joke. Look at the mother of all situation comedies, "I Love Lucy." They had long set ups to gags. Today, with shows like "2 1/2 Men" and "Big Bang Theory" almost every line is a joke. Beginning in 1989, there was even a TV show called "Short Attention Span Theater." MTV and fast moving video games were the root. But the second major cause of the change was "the clicker," the TV Remove Control. No longer did you have to consider, "Do I really want to get up and walk across the room just to see if something is good on another channel or wait and see if this becomes interesting?" Now, if a TV show doesn't interest you fast, you change the channel. Advertisers don't like that, so entertainment of all sorts has to become faster.

If Kreskin started out today he would never get on any TV show. Why hasn't a certain British mentalist people here rave about made it on US TV? Because it takes FOR EVER for his stunts to occur. Very old school. Advertisers wouldn't put up with it. They want entertainers who will glue audiences to the screen so they'll be tranced out when the commercial comes on.

MTV (and to a lesser extent, video games) and TV remote controls are the cause, not the "Got Talent" shows.

Like it or hate it, we need to adapt to provide what modern audiences want. Or better yet, control the audience so that you can bring them to the more intimate and in depth show you want to present.
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Jun 21, 2013 11:05AM)
Not all US comedy is like 2 and a half men! Shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm are massive hits and take their time to slowly build the comedy through character and situation, not gags. In drama, The Wire, The Sopranos etc spend hours building up character detail. I agree that the networks are all but a lost cause, but maybe mentalism will always appeal more to a slightly more select audience. Derren Brown is certainly a big star in the UK but his shows are not on either of the two main channels and his audience is a fraction of BGT.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Jun 21, 2013 11:08AM)
I agree dmkraig.

It started much earlier...
Message: Posted by: Wizzard (Jun 21, 2013 11:26AM)
It all started with TV dinners (1954) and instant mashed potatoes (1962).

JMN
Message: Posted by: Chris Cheong (Jun 21, 2013 11:32AM)
I disagree.

Talent show will always be a talent show. Today - we still live in the world where ppl will pay to go for a 2 hours movie and still enjoy it.

People like us - performing - goes beyond just "talent". That's why people would que up for Lu Chen's magic show and spend hours watching it. People buy personalities, show presentation element and your talent.

90sec.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Jun 21, 2013 11:38AM)
You misunderstand my point.

If it's a known artiste, people will wait 24 hours in the rain.

I'm talking about someone relatively new to the audience, he/she now has to get them in 90 seconds or they'll change the channel.
Message: Posted by: eSamuels (Jun 21, 2013 12:09PM)
Let me put a different perspective on this discussion.
If you're not compelling, you won't even hold people's attention for 10 seconds, let alone 90.

Yes, the medium (venue, type of entertainment, etc.) is relevant (see below), but the more important consideration is getting and holding the audience's attention.
Whether you are a storyteller, Mime, Comedian, or juggling Malamutes, you need to capture and hold people's interest.
And there is no question that the average attention-span has diminished greatly in recent years for myriad reasons.

In a live theatre setting, with a captive audience (particularly one who have come to see you specifically), there is certainly more license to stretch things out.
But you still can't take their attention-span for granted, or you will lose their focus. I've seen this happen - even with famous performers.

I worked for many years in radio, on the content (programming) side of things.
The #1 job of a radio programmer (technically #2 after 'protect the broadcast license') is always to retain the audience (listener) for as long as possible.
In many ways, there is no tougher task, as the average radio listener has numerous choices, all of which are only a button-push away.
So, we spent countless hours and $$$ studying why people listen and why they leave.
Among the many research projects that I was involved in, were focus groups using dial feedback systems.
You probably know of the technology, which allows people to turn 'up' the dial when they like something, and turn it down when they don't or are bored. We used these to test on-air host talk content (on both music & talk formats)

As primitive as it was, it was one of the few ways we could measure listener interest and apathy.
(Today, the new PPM ratings monitoring system is able to monitor actual radio listeners behaviour by the second).
It was a stunning to see what worked and what didn't. With few exceptions, the dials turned down when the radio host lost their 'connection' with the listener. It didn't matter if they were telling a joke, recounting a story, or providing information on weather, traffic, etc., When there was a content disconnect, the test groups lost immediate interest. And the more emotional connection, the higher the dials turned.

This also helped to dismantle an old radio myth - that listener attention spans were maxed out at 30 seconds. Truth is, listeners lose interest even faster, if it's not compelling and on the other side, a truly compelling host can hold interest for a very long. Alas, these types of skilled orators are few and far between.

This is an example of one medium, but the rules hold for just about anything that requires maintaining a listener/viewer/audience's attention.

e
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Jun 21, 2013 12:18PM)
To sum it up...

Emotional connection is the key?

Or something else?
Message: Posted by: eSamuels (Jun 21, 2013 12:27PM)
[quote]
On 2013-06-21 13:18, Pakar Ilusi wrote:
To sum it up...

Emotional connection is the key?

Or something else?
[/quote]

Emotion is certainly one form of connection, but not the only one.

I always challenge performers, regardless of the medium, to be compelling, which is defined as:
Evoking interest, attention, or admiration in a powerfully irresistible way.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Jun 21, 2013 12:46PM)
Evoking all that in the first 10 seconds right?
Message: Posted by: eSamuels (Jun 21, 2013 02:21PM)
Some brain researchers theorize that the brain requires compelling stimulus EVERY 10 SECONDS.

However, Mentalists (when we're on our game), have the wonderful benefit of audience 'anticipation' - a powerful force that can extend the attention span, carrying it through moments of less stimulation (but only to a certain extent).
This is why, for instance, I always urge performers to continue to engage the audience with some kind of compelling stimulus (whether that be an ongoing narrative, video, or even a simple joke) through any boring procedural activity.

Seasoned performers tend to know this, intuitively (another misunderstood and often misrepresented process).

e
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jun 21, 2013 02:28PM)
Yes- we call it "avoiding dead time." (Except in those instances in which just standing there and doing nothing is used as a theatrical device to elicit a specific response.)
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Jun 22, 2013 04:20AM)
Mostly "acts" go on there to get a promo tape.

Seasoned Professionals would never have a problem with the time constraints. Give Kreskin 90 seconds and he'd blow the audinece away.
Message: Posted by: innercirclewannabe (Jun 22, 2013 07:38AM)
Yes, and he'd still have time to tell you how many celebrity friends he has, how many books he reads each night, and how many times he was on the Johnny Carson show!
Oh, and he might even play a bar or two on the piano!

Just kidding. I agree, seasoned pro's like Kreskin could do plenty in 90 seconds..
Message: Posted by: Martin Pulman (Jun 22, 2013 01:00PM)
I recently watched the episode of the Kreskin show on YouTube with the Penthouse Pets!?!

Boy, has the world changed!
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Jun 22, 2013 06:57PM)
I met Kreskin when I was a kid in New York City. He was VERY kind to everyone in the group.

Here he is, being brilliant in a format that isn't he easy to cook in:

http://youtu.be/WQNbpaQv5dE?t=48s
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jun 22, 2013 07:11PM)
I must be getting old. I can't even take a leak in ninety seconds, let alone do my act. :eek:
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Jun 22, 2013 07:13PM)
:sun:
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Jun 23, 2013 04:19AM)
[quote]
On 2013-06-22 20:11, mastermindreader wrote:
I must be getting old. I can't even take a leak in ninety seconds, let alone do my act. :eek:

[/quote]

Wow, too much information there. :lol:
Message: Posted by: gypsyfish (Jun 23, 2013 08:35AM)
I used to be able to take a leak FOR 90 seconds, but now...