(Close Window)
Topic: The show must go on - but I need some help!
Message: Posted by: BillyRobertReid (Nov 21, 2013 05:19PM)
Hi everyone,

I am in the process of writing a 45 minute close-up show for a magic festival next year, but I've hit a bit of a mental brick wall in terms of the premise/concept of the show. I am not worried about material - once I have the show concept I will be able to work the effects in thereafter.

Originally I had planned to close the show by revealing a prediction which would outline everything that had happened throughout the show, but after further consideration this type of finale has been done so many times I am determined to do something a bit more original.

So I got thinking - what is the message I want to convey? Should my show have a narrative? What would people care about? Could the premise be about me personally?

I don't want to just come out and do a series of tricks - I want my show to be more powerful. But I've been thinking about this for weeks and I am struggling so I really wanted to bounce some ideas about on here... I hope that's ok!

The first thing I wrote down on my pad was "Must have the Sixth Sense factor!". Remember how you felt like you'd been hit by a psychological sledgehammer at the end of this film? What kind of finale/twist could I write into the show that would deliver a similar impact on my audience?

I thought about promising something will happen "over the course of the next 45 minutes", then break my word but reveal it was the 46th minute of the show so I hadn't lied after all...? Do you think this is worth exploring?

I thought about having a voiceover track (of me) so my "thoughts" play a part throughout the show...? Maybe the moral conflict of lying vs. performing magic?

I also thought about using the film The Prestige as a premise, exploring "the pledge", "the turn" and "the prestige" of each effect... but how could I tie it all up at the end?

And I thought about switching myself out at the end with my replacement holding a newspaper up in front of his face with a headline explaining how I'd escaped from prison after being arrested for cheating casinos - "whereabouts unknown" then when the paper drops it's someone else...?

I wouldn't be overly keen playing a character or acting to any great degree - I just want to focus on presenting my magic and delivering a great performance.

That's what I've got. It's a bit all over the place, a bit crazy, a bit vague, but I think there's potential in some of these ideas...

I'd really, really appreciate some feedback/ideas/dialogue to inspire my brain...

Sincere thanks!!!
Message: Posted by: TheRaven (Dec 7, 2013 08:57PM)
First question - do you have a twin? :)
Second - 45 min is a LONG time.

Your thoughts about 6th sense and a theme are not really on the same topic that I can understand. Seems like two different q's.

As I was reading your post I was thinking that in order to have the impact level of the 6th Sense, you should have yourself turn out to be somebody else. Similar to what you suggested near the end. The ultimate way to do this would be to have your replacement perform the FIRST trick and you are involved in the trick as a volunteer. Ultimate would be your replacement (who everyone thinks is the magician) makes you disappear. Then you switch yourself in in costume and makeup as your replacement and perform the rest of the show and then at the end reveal yourself to be the volunteer that disappeared. THis is really off the wall and probably completely impractical - not sure if it even makes sense.

Another option is to have some kind of running trick where in between tricks you have someone do something each time -- sign a card and put it in a clear box, or something. Then your finale uses those cards or whatever.

THe prediction off by a minute doesn't sound like it would have a big impact to me.

Honestly, I think your best bet is to come up with a strong closer. Perhaps one that can have a "running" component to it so it builds through your act.

I am an amateur that spends a lot of time on routining and scripting. I've found that your first performance of a routine is really only about midway through the process of developing a routine. I would not discourage you from following your ideas through, but I would temper that with the thought that your first iteration may not fully fulfill all your expectations for yourself.

Final thought: as far as a theme -- one method is to adopt the theme of something else -- a movie, a poem, a historical event, a biography.... ... i.e. you could do say The TItanic. Act I, the romance, Act II, etc.... obviously you have to pick a theme that you can fit your magic into somehow in some clever but disconnected way.
Message: Posted by: biggen12002 (Dec 10, 2013 03:48PM)
[quote]
On 2013-12-07 21:57, TheRaven wrote:
...
As I was reading your post I was thinking that in order to have the impact level of the 6th Sense, you should have yourself turn out to be somebody . Similar to what you suggested near the end. The ultimate way to do this would be to have your replacement perform the FIRST trick and you are involved in the trick as a volunteer. Ultimate would be your replacement (who everyone thinks is the magician) makes you disappear. Then you switch yourself in in costume and makeup as your replacement and perform the rest of the show and then at the end reveal yourself to be the volunteer that disappeared. This is really off the wall and probably completely impractical - not sure if it even makes sense.
...
[/quote]

I think that's really creative! Not hard to pull off if the "magician" had a mask or disguise. I also think the whole routine would have to be much shorter. You need the audience to really remember you as that first volunteer, so the first trick would have to be long enough to instill your face and outfit in their memories. Then you couldn't wait too long to reveal yourself as the magician, otherwise people might forget you were the first volunteer. I like that idea TheRaven!