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Topic: Need Illusions for College Talent Show-HELP!
Message: Posted by: inshanemagic (Feb 17, 2014 12:39PM)
Hey everyone,

I am entered into a talent show at my college March 5th. I originally had a plan to do some card tricks and utilize a projector. But yesterday I found out that they had moved it to an outside stage. I was rather upset! The layout of the venue is as follows:

-It is outside on a large field, equipped with lights and a sound system.
-The stage is raised off the ground.
-There will be a large audience.
-I have 15 minutes for my act.
-It'll be at night, but the stage is lighted.
-Angles are weak: the stage is open on all sides.

I have attached a picture of the stage at night.

Does anyone have suggestions for tricks that would work with this set-up? I have some experience with stage work. I'm looking for low-budget, minimal construction illusions. I haven't created a persona yet because I was going to see what suggestions people had. I'd like something funny; remember, this is college!

One of the tricks I am looking at is Sympathetic Silks (with a Levent-esque knot/not stage twist).

Any other ideas or tips on how to make this a successful show would help too. There are big prizes for first place!

Thanks everyone,
-Shane
Message: Posted by: jimgerrish (Feb 17, 2014 01:09PM)
You can still do card tricks, if the cards are large enough: See "Ace Chaser" from The Wizards' Journal #21.


The biggest problem with illusions is that you usually need one or two assistants - do you have any?

If you choose to do an escape, you usually need people from the audience to confine you - is that acceptable?

Productions might work if you can produce 36 inch silks or larger (six foot).
Message: Posted by: inshanemagic (Feb 17, 2014 01:11PM)
The picture didn't upload last time. Here's the stage. Sorry, if it's a bit hard to see.

-Shane
Message: Posted by: inshanemagic (Feb 17, 2014 01:21PM)
[quote]
On 2014-02-17 14:09, jimgerrish wrote:
You can still do card tricks, if the cards are large enough: See "Ace Chaser" from The Wizards' Journal #21.


The biggest problem with illusions is that you usually need one or two assistants - do you have any?

If you choose to do an escape, you usually need people from the audience to confine you - is that acceptable?

Productions might work if you can produce 36 inch silks or larger (six foot).
[/quote]

I can get one assistant. I can probably get spectators to tie me up. But I've never done an escape before, so I don't know about that one. I'll look into silks. But I actually did like the Ace Chaser trick. It seems to be the Million Dollar Monte with jumbo cards...that's a good idea.

Thanks for the suggestions! Anymore would be awesome!

-Shane
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Feb 17, 2014 01:45PM)
Do a big prediction in an envelope or box.

You can even start the hype now by hanging the prediction somewhere at your college where it can be seen all the time.

Find a simple cheap method. ;)
Message: Posted by: charliecheckers (Feb 17, 2014 05:02PM)
This is likely to not go well. You seem to lack time or money to change the current situation, which is that you are not prepared for this event. I would suggest withdrawing from the event. If you choose to continue with it - I wish you good luck.
Message: Posted by: jimgerrish (Feb 17, 2014 06:39PM)
From the look of that stage, I would want to be further elevated in order to be seen. One way would be to stand on top of a substitution box and perform the solo hand-held magic (jumbo cards or silks) from there. Then end with the metamorphosis effect with your assistant using the box.

However, I'm guessing you don't have a sub trunk and you don't have much time to build one and rehearse with it. There are two escapes you could quickly learn and put together with one assistant- and both of them are in Wiz Kid Qua-Fiki's "Double Rope Escapes" from his "Escapes For Teens" Book, and both are demonstrated in the video.
Message: Posted by: MagicalMotivator (Feb 17, 2014 10:33PM)
Shane,

I am sorry, but I have to agree with Charlie. Not much time and minimum experience and resources. Also working outside with cards and especially silks can be challenging if the weather and wind conditions are not right for you. if you had a clear "vision" of what you wanted to do, well that would be a start. You just seem to be all over the map here. Best to plan for another day and really low them away. Either way best of luck.

Rick
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Feb 24, 2014 02:02AM)
Go with the prediction, trust me.

Packs small, plays big, prolonged exposure and intellectually challenging. ;)
Message: Posted by: Blair Marshall (Feb 24, 2014 10:31AM)
Pack small play mega big!

Here's a scenario...

You have a locked plexi box on stage with a key hanging on a stand in it. A brand new car is driven on the field comp of a local dealer. You need 6 - 10 players for your game of "chance". Beach balls (dollar store) are tossed into the audience, they are allowed to bounce around for awhile to lively music. When it stops the folks holding a ball (6-10) are invited to the stage to "let's make a deal", stage is filled nicely. You perhaps have a school cheerleader handle all the keys for the plexi box lock, because you would not want to be accused of cheating (ah hem). You play the game with the folks, folks changing their minds, changing keys with each other etc. Last minute chance to change with your key as your cheerleader puts it in the lock. Nope...sorry...she uses your key to open the box, you reach into the box for the car key, you thank the folks who return to their seats, then you get into the car with the cheerleader and drive off of the field.

Action on the field, action in the audience, lot's of folks involved etc.

Box with car key could be exhibited in the school, name of car dealer on it.

This could be a 7 keys routine, box could probably be made or obtained from a company that runs contests, collects entry forms etc. This could be a gimmicked version or a non-gimmicked version of this effect (there are a few).

Anyway just my thoughts.

Blair
Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (Feb 24, 2014 10:44AM)
As much as I like to encourage enthusiasm, the art of magic and illusion deserves more time and attention than what you have available to you. It simply isn't possible (or even advisable) to simply grab an illusion and perform it in front of a live audience in a polished, professional manner. Illusions can take months and even years to perfect.

If you want to showcase your talent, perform what you already know. If you were planning on cards with projection, see what is available that may work for an outdoor projection screen. Depending on your budget, you may either rent a screen or you can get creative and build something. If it were me, I would simply use a white anchored bed sheet with some holes in it so it doesn't billow out like a balloon. Since you are performing at night, the lumens of the projector should not be a problem. Good luck.

Kent
Message: Posted by: TheMagicOfDean (Feb 25, 2014 09:14AM)
Voodoo Box by Andrew Maybe. I tried it before and I think with limited time and budget, this would be good. It has nice angles as well. Can be done 360. For me, I added an additional umbrella through the top. And you can also look up this illusion on youtube. There are great ideas for performing this. You can add your own style into this illusion too. Try it with an elevated platform. :)
Message: Posted by: TaylorReed (Feb 25, 2014 03:46PM)
I have a 10foot wide video screen you could buy so you could do close up magic with it



Taylor
Message: Posted by: magicwatcher2005 (Feb 25, 2014 09:23PM)
Charlie and Rick are right. It's called a "talent show" for a reason, and you're not currently qualified.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Feb 26, 2014 01:01AM)
I say just do it.

Do your best okay! ;)
Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (Feb 26, 2014 10:11AM)
I agree with Pakar. Don't ever let anyone tell you you're not good enough to do something. But if you are going to do something, DO YOUR BEST. You owe that much to your audiences and to yourself.

Kent
Message: Posted by: magicwatcher2005 (Feb 26, 2014 11:16AM)
[quote]
On , Kent Wong wrote:
I agree with Pakar. Don't ever let anyone tell you you're not good enough to do something. But if you are going to do something, DO YOUR BEST. You owe that much to your audiences and to yourself.

Kent
[/quote]

Ridiculous philosophy. Youtube is literally bursting at the seams with "magicians" who aren't good enough to represent the art, AND they'll never get any better if they adhere to your philosophy because they'll never listen to criticism OR seek out any instruction or coaching. Why? Because to have an instructor or coach means someone will CONSTANTLY be telling you you're "not good enough" (yet) - that's the exact nature of teaching/coaching. Your philosophy clutches at the fallacy that self-confidence and a refusing to consider you might not be good enough will somehow make you come through with flying colors. Makes a great "feel-good" movie plot but in REAL life is pure BS.
Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (Feb 26, 2014 11:38AM)
I never believe that encouraging someone to DO THEIR BEST is a ridiculous philosophy. Of course, you are entitled to your opinion and I will not tear you down for expressing it. I will simply and respectfully disagree with you on this issue.

Kent
Message: Posted by: magicwatcher2005 (Feb 26, 2014 12:18PM)
[quote]
On , Kent Wong wrote:
I never believe that [b]encouraging someone to DO THEIR BEST is a ridiculous philosophy[/b]. Of course, you are entitled to your opinion and I will not tear you down for expressing it. I will simply and respectfully disagree with you on this issue.

Kent
[/quote]

Quote where I said "encouraging someone to DO THEIR BEST" is a ridiculous philosophy, Kent. You can't, because I didn't.

There's nothing "respectful" about twisting someone's statements around so you have something to argue against. What I said was the philosophy of "[b]don't ever let someone tell you you're not good enough[/b]" is ridiculous. The only way to improve is to first accept that you're not quite there yet, and a good way to fix that is to get someone else's insightful criticism.

And guess what, Kent... listening to someone else's criticism IS letting them "tell you you're not good enough".

.
Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (Feb 26, 2014 01:50PM)
O.K., now we all know WHAT you are; Will you be brave enough to tell us WHO you are?

Kent
Message: Posted by: magicwatcher2005 (Feb 26, 2014 06:00PM)
[quote]
On , Kent Wong wrote:
O.K., now we all know WHAT you are; Will you be brave enough to tell us WHO you are?

Kent
[/quote]

"All"? You feel you speak for everyone, do you?

You haven't the foggiest idea "what" I am, so there's no point in bothering with "who" I am. As for youself... you're a guy who has a hard time dealing with being wrong.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Feb 28, 2014 11:19AM)
[quote]
On Feb 26, 2014, Kent Wong wrote:
O.K., now we all know WHAT you are; Will you be brave enough to tell us WHO you are?

Kent
[/quote]

Kent, it's not worth it bro... ;)
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (Feb 28, 2014 12:51PM)
If you are still going to do the show, the "In and Out Rope Escape" is quick to learn, easy to do, funny and plays pretty big. Plus the only "props" you need are a length of rope and a suit jacket.
Message: Posted by: MagicalMotivator (Feb 28, 2014 07:33PM)
Shane,

What did you end up doing?

Rick
Message: Posted by: magicwatcher2005 (Feb 28, 2014 10:23PM)
[quote]
On Feb 28, 2014, Pakar Ilusi wrote:
[quote]
On Feb 26, 2014, Kent Wong wrote:
O.K., now we all know WHAT you are; Will you be brave enough to tell us WHO you are?

Kent
[/quote]

Kent, it's not worth it bro... ;)
[/quote]

Yup. Especially when you're dead wrong.
Message: Posted by: MRSharpe (Mar 2, 2014 12:26AM)
P.P.P.P.P.P.P. as I am told they say in the military.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Mar 2, 2014 07:46AM)
PPPPPPP! Ha! Me, too! --I've used that little acronym many times, and it certainly applies here!

The "other one" is "FAIL TO PLAN, AND YOU PLAN TO FAIL"

I believe thet I've expressed my opinion, in situations like this several times in the past.

This time, Charliecheckers, Magical Motivator, and Magic Watcher2005 have said it quite well. I FULLY AGREE WITH THEIR COMMENTS. Jimgerrish raised the "right" sort of questions. Kent Wong's first paragraph of his first post was sensible.
Message: Posted by: w_s_anderson (Mar 2, 2014 11:27AM)
Perfect Practice Prevents P*$$ Poor Performance..........I'm missing a P.
Message: Posted by: magicwatcher2005 (Mar 2, 2014 12:59PM)
[quote]
On Mar 2, 2014, w_s_anderson wrote:
Perfect Practice Prevents P*$$ Poor Performance..........I'm missing a P.
[/quote]

There are two versions, both similar and known as the "Seven P's":

Perfect Prior Practice Prevents P*$$ Poor Performance

and

Perfect Practice and Planning Prevents P*$$ Poor Performance

The second makes more sense (since both "practice" and "planning" already imply "prior") and is also more appropriate for a magic act.
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (Mar 2, 2014 08:59PM)
More than that, actually...I have heard it as "Proper Prior Planning Prevents Pi** Poor Performance"
Message: Posted by: charliecheckers (Mar 2, 2014 10:49PM)
I love these threads where the OP comes in and starts a discussion, asking for assistance, then never rejoins the discussion after the first day. I think this is why you have to be cautious when offering advice to these inquiries. I thought Blair offered the most reasonable and well thought out advice, but without knowing anything about Inshanemagic, I think it takes too much of an assumption that an inexperienced performer could pull it off in an entertaining fashion. College students are unlikely to be a gentle audience for a performance that goes wrong. I hope Inshanemagic returns to TMC to discuss areas of magic that will allow him to develop in a more systematic way, in areas where he has true interest and can benefit from the great advice that is offered.
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (Mar 3, 2014 07:48AM)
Agreed, Charlie...it is odd that he never returned to update us. Perhaps he felt that a few people were being rather harsh?