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Topic: How to Start and End a Show
Message: Posted by: Robbie_Sales (Nov 3, 2014 09:49AM)
I am performing at a high school. For a high school audience and I am trying to put together a show. I need some help.
Message: Posted by: Invisticone (Nov 3, 2014 10:22AM)
What types of magic are you proficient at? Which tricks can you do? How long is the show supposed to be? How big is the setting? etc?
Message: Posted by: Kabbalah (Nov 3, 2014 11:38AM)
How many times do you plan on making this same post?

It is getting old.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Nov 3, 2014 03:19PM)
[quote]On Nov 3, 2014, Robbie_Sales wrote:
I am performing at a high school. For a high school audience and I am trying to put together a show. I need some help. [/quote]

"I am performing" --that's present tense! You are NOT PERFORMING!! as evidenced by your posts early last month, You WANT to perform. You don't HAVE a show to perform.

You need help? Yes, you certainly do need help.

You appear to think that there are people in the Café that are ready, able, and willing to do for you what you should be doing for yourself.

When I was 13, I booked my show at the local Junior High School. I booked it on percentage, It was 1945. I did a 40 minute show, that I had produced by myself. I made $26.00. That would be about $260. today. The resulting good publicity brought more bookings. My buddies were getting fifty cents an hour sacking groceries. I was getting ten to fifteen dollars for a 30 minute show.

There wss no magic Café, to help. I did it by myself. I read books that were available in the public library. I made the few props that I had, I practiced the tricks. Then, I rehearsed the show. Then, I booked the show. Then, I performed the show.

There were no video tapes, DVDs. There was no internet. There was no free help in a magic Café. There were no mentors in my home town, or even my part of the state. Mentors came later, when I had proved that I was serious, had done my "homework", and was willing to work to learn about performing magic.

Several of us offered a bit of guidance when you made your first posts. You ignored our guidance.

If you insist on charging ahead you most likely will fall on your butt, in front of your peers. (Not a pretty sight.)

Most of the members in the Café, are ardent amateurs. ("Amateur" from the Latin "amatus" means "loved"). Most of them love their hobby. Most of them perform casually for their friends. Only a few are part time or full time professional performers. THEY know how to produce, book,and perform. They may offer encouragement, but they are busy making a living. I doubt that many, if any, have the available time or willingness to help someone who is crying "help", but is unwilling to help himself by studying practicing and rehearsing.

I did not book the show BEFORE I had studied those books, made the props, practiced the tricks, and rehearsed the show.

I suggest that you do some serious thinking!
Message: Posted by: Kabbalah (Nov 3, 2014 05:01PM)
Dick, why waste your time again?

It is obvious that this kid just doesn't get it.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Nov 3, 2014 05:34PM)
[quote]On Nov 3, 2014, Kabbalah wrote:
Dick, why waste your time again?

It is obvious that this kid just doesn't get it. [/quote]

Yes, I think you are right.

I laid it out rather plainly. I hate to see any one make a fool of himself in front of his peers. --And, that, is what's going to happen, if he continues .

My post is the last effort to wake him up!

On the wall of the SHOWMEN'S LEAGUE OF AMERIDA clubroom in Chicago, hangs an old fashioned "sampler". Lettered on the samplerl is a six word statement:


He is acting like a chump, and will be a chump if he tries to entertain a Senior High School audience.
Message: Posted by: MichaelJae (Nov 4, 2014 10:11AM)
Dick nailed it!! If you come to the Café and seek guidance on how to put together a show, you are obviously not ready. A true professional would already know how. However, to answer your question, you shouls start with a bang and end with a bang.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Nov 4, 2014 01:04PM)
So that's what my problem was! (I only had one bang, and it was in the middle!) Sheeesh!
Message: Posted by: george1953 (Nov 4, 2014 01:16PM)
I haven't had a good bang🎇. For years :-)
Message: Posted by: Magic Oli (Nov 6, 2014 11:07AM)
It's really not that hard to find an effect to start and end a show, it's like a story or movie, the opening sequence must be captivating and the end must be amazing and exciting. Not rocket science haha. You can't expect everyone to do the work for you
Message: Posted by: Robbie_Sales (Nov 26, 2014 01:09PM)
Dear everyone

Thanks for the advice if you gave me any. I am not trying to annoy anyone or make an one frustrated. I am a magician that has been in the practice for 5 years and am just looking for guidance to the next step. I have no one to help me that I can physical talk to my teachers are books. I go home after school and read and learn. My problem is that I only have books with tricks in them. I am sorry for apparently wasting your guys time. I just need some guidance if would like to give any.
Message: Posted by: Oliver Ross (Nov 26, 2014 07:49PM)

Following another of your topics I've send you a private message that you've left unread... Why ?

My friend Dick has given you at least three times already more then some guidelines and great suggestions, as have many others, me included...

You say your problem is that you only have books with tricks, so why don't you get a book that deals with presentation, routining an act or a show... ? If I remember correctly, a few were suggested to you already. If not, please correct me.

I give you another hint : Go into the "New to magic" section here on the Café, you'll find some very interesting topics that could help you.

The Magic Café is a great place, BUT it's not only made for asking short questions in hope that other will do your work, by giving you straight answers. Magic isn't like mathematics where you learn that 2 + 2 = 4 and that's it. Magic is an art, which means you need to think about it, what it represents to you, what it looks to you in your imagination, how you feel about it etc...

Go out and read, explore, study, learn, practice the magic...Come back and ask questions about what you've read, what you've learned to be sure you understood correctly... Continue to explore, to learn, to practice the magic and put a little show together, even a short one, rehears it and present it on front of your family and selected friends.

Tell us more about you, your magic, what you like in magic, what you did in magic, more details... Share your experience in magic with us, as small as it might be... Don't be afraid, everyone started small some day, made mistakes, failed but stood up stronger by having learned from errors and trials.

Then, and only then we might be assured that you're seriously interested in the art of magic.

I've got a last question for you : Why did you wrote "Thanks for the advice, if you gave me any" ? You got advice, plently of advice already, in this new topic and in others where you asked similar questions.

So I seriously hope to read you with some more information and data concerning you, your magic etc...then just saying that "you're a magician that has been in the practice for 5 years".

I hope I didn't sounded too harsh.

Please reply.

Message: Posted by: Robbie_Sales (Nov 26, 2014 08:46PM)
Thank you Oliver Ross

I think I rushed into the Café without knowing what it was all about. I do thank you for you advice and Dick's. I will go over to the New to Magic section and read up. Thanks for your help and the confidence that you gave to me to move on.
Message: Posted by: Robbie_Sales (Nov 26, 2014 08:47PM)
I wrote "Thanks for the advice, if you gave me any"

Becasue I felt some people just jumped into this post to talk down at me.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Nov 27, 2014 07:09AM)

It took one day less than three weeks, but apparently, you are beginning to "catch on". I'm glad.

S. H. Sharpe said (long ago): "Those who think that magic consists of doing tricks, are strangers to magic. Tricks are only the crude residue from which the lifeblood of magic has been drained."

You came on in October, more or less bragging that you were a magician with five years of experience. --and, then asked questions that revealed you may have been doing tricks for five years, but you were not yet a magician. Some of us made an effort to point out a few things, and you never bothered to reply.

I'm pleased that you have begun to realize, at least a little, that there is more to being a magician than doing a few tricks.

What books have you read? What tricks do you "know" (I didn't say, "perform".) Have you ever stood up in front of a group, and done a "show" (not, just a few tricks!)

About ten years ago, Ken Weber published,"Maximum Entertainment". Ken discusses and explains many of the topics you need to know about.
Address: KEN WEBER PRODUCTIONS 1983 Marcus Ave. #221 Lake Success,NY 11042 [ www.ken-weber.com ] [ maxent@ken-weber.com ] I think the book price is about $40.00.

Where do you live? PM me, if you prefer keeping that confidential,

I have mentored many young men in the past 70 years. A half dozen or so, are now successful professionals. One of them even trouped a show that needed a semi truck to carry it down the road. Others do a suitcase show. The others are active part time professionals, or avid amateurs.

None of us here can TEACH you ANYTHING! We can HELP YOU TO LEARN, but, you must realize that learning is an active process. Sophocles said it a few millenia ago: "ONE LEARNS BY DOING THE THING"!

The ball is now in YOUR court!

Dick Oslund
Message: Posted by: charliemartin (Dec 1, 2014 04:33PM)
All great advice for this young man. I would add The Show Doctor by Jeff McBride. Use the Magic Café as a resource, check out all the departments and start reading. We are here to help but you need to some of the groundwork for yourself.
Message: Posted by: Kabbalah (Dec 5, 2014 06:40AM)
NVM...wrong thread.
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Dec 7, 2014 02:44PM)
[quote]On Nov 26, 2014, Robbie_Sales wrote:
I wrote "Thanks for the advice, if you gave me any"

Becasue I felt some people just jumped into this post to talk down at me. [/quote]
Exposing your weak areas is not "talking down".
It it instead one of the greatest gifts you will ever have.

Message: Posted by: Mortimer Graves (Dec 7, 2014 04:51PM)
[quote]On Nov 3, 2014, Robbie_Sales wrote:
I am performing at a high school.[/quote]

I am so sorry.


I only hope it goes better than the shows I once did for similar audiences.
Message: Posted by: krowboom (Dec 7, 2014 11:55PM)
I missed the previous posts from Robbie_Sales that others referred to but isn't everyone being a little harsh and patronizing to this guy? It's usually a freindly bunch on the Café.
Message: Posted by: quietriot (Dec 11, 2014 12:33AM)
To perform, you must be a performer.

To perform, you must have something to perform.

Tricks are not necessarily magical.

Tricks are not necessarily entertaining.

Nothing makes you better, than trying and failing.

You won't know what you need to do, if you haven't done anything.

Engage your audience. Eye contact, smiles, engage them and make them like you. Even if you are unlikable, as long as you are humble, and smile a lot without being lecherous or threatening, you can get it done.

Remember sincerity is important. And if you have trouble being sincere, fake it!

Think about what I have said.

Message: Posted by: Robbie_Sales (Dec 15, 2014 09:44AM)
Thanks for everyones help. Happy Holidays