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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » Closeup Routine (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Mayo
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WorymWood
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Can someone post a closeup routine? Or give me a round abouts to how long they are to last?
I have a cups n balls routine wich is 5 minutes, but I am a bit clueless as to where to go from there, five minutes one effect that hardly seems worth paying for.
So what would be to the proper time estimant for me to work with.

Thanks in advance!
"I love the night. It's the only time I feel really alive."

---Helen Chandler in the film "Dracula" (1931)
"There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to l
Comedy and then the magic
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Geez, for one. 5 minutes is a really long time for cups. I get bored with that stupid trick at 30 seconds. and number two post this in the closeup section, not the stage.
"Always Make It Magic Plus Laughs" - R.I.P. Mark Hendrickson
Mayo
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Ah, Alright then thank you for the erm, comments. I was under the impression presented properly you could make it comftorably at 3-4 minutes five minutes pushing the envelope.
And I also would like to thank you on your abrupt way of directing me. Not many people do it like that.
"I love the night. It's the only time I feel really alive."

---Helen Chandler in the film "Dracula" (1931)
"There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to l
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
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Mayo,

Sorry you had to be abused at the hands of this newbie jerk. 8 posts and we already have God's gift to the Café. I'm guessing he's a failure in progress.

More productively... you will find much useful information in the forums under Close-up, including: "Table-hoppers and party strollers", and "Ever so sleightly". I suggest you browse those areas for awhile.

First of all, you'll find many experienced people to talk with who can give you a thousand reasons why the Cups and Balls is not boring. Secondly, you will likely get encouragement for your efforts and not criticism from someone who thinks their opinion is worthy of the suffering of others.

It sounds to me like you are asking for some help, so let me be one to offer it. What other tricks do you do? We'll examine your current repertoire, and work on assembling it into an act. That will give you a solid goal. If you don't have other tricks, maybe I can offer a few suggestions.

Let me know.

~michael
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Jaz
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Is this part of a formal table show or table hopping routine?

I can watch an entertaining movie for 2 hours so I don't think that an entertaining C&B routine of 5 minutes is too long.

If you haven't already considered this, some time will likely be used when setting up, interacting with spectators and ending.
Michael Baker
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I haven't timed Gazzo's C&B routine, but I can almost guarantee it's longer than 5 minutes, and entertaining every minute of it.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Mayo
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Hoping to make this a formal table routine, Cups and balls sadly are the only thing I think would qualify for a table routine. I don't like cards, this is a backwoods town in south alabama, So cards are not magicial to them I am just a card cheat if I do magic with cards. After catching this I ordered cups and balls, vanishing silk, mark wilsons complete course, Michael Ammars complete course, and now you see it. I also have Bo Bo's book of modern coin magic, Book one of the art of astonishment, royal rode to card magic, and Invisible thread.
So any suggestions would be much appreciated. I also before getting into magic done contact juggling, and normal juggling. And a very tiny bit of miming.

Anyways I will end this with a thank you to both Michael and Jaz. and I am all ears for suggestions Smile.
"I love the night. It's the only time I feel really alive."

---Helen Chandler in the film "Dracula" (1931)
"There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to l
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
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Where in south Alabama are you? I am in Birmingham, and know other magicians all around the state. A support group of sorts may be the ticket.

If your vanishing silk uses a TT, that device alone is a warehouse of magic possibilities. You have enough material at your fingertips in the books you have. The Mark Wilson book, I cannot begin to sing the praises for it. There is so much good stuff in there that can be used to good effect in a close up show. The same goes for the Now You See It book (if that's the Bill Tarr book).

What impresses me the most is that you have made the decision to buy books and not the current "hot" tricks that every dealer site pushes.

One thing I might suggest is that you focus initially on some of the tricks that require little in the way of difficult sleights, so you'll have some short term goals, but still use normal objects. If you use tricks that are magic shop bought or heavily gimmicked, you may get busted in close up work. People tend to grab, and if you aren't experienced, it's hard to work under these conditions. With ungimmicked stuff, if they grab, there's not much for them to find.

Some of the more involved tricks with more difficult to master sleights can be set as long term goals. Keep all that in perspective, and your less likely to get discouraged.

Which Cup and Ball routine are you using (or did you design your own)? If you can learn a 5 minute Cup and Ball routine, you will be able to flesh out a good act in reasonable time.

Another thing to know and understand... a pretty good 30 minute act may be a killer 15 minute act in disguise. Don't try to take on too much. Pushing the envelope, as you mentioned earlier, sometimes leads to superfluous show time. Keep the act tight. You want to go in, kick some ass, and leave them all going, "Wow...!"

~michael

Mayo,

I just read through your posts on your character. You don't need our help. We should be asking you for help. Good job!
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Mayo
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WorymWood
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Hey Mr.Michael, My silk that would be the one. I love my tip, I just am trying to figure outt the best way to use it.

The tricks, I don't care much for tricks, my uncle In Atlanta told me the real knowledge of magic are in books, not the tricks. Took me a few to realise that. But when I did it was ahole new ball game, That is about the time I developed my character.

Sadly I have to say my character won't work in this town for everyone knows me, and if I presented myself a vampire in this town, then they saw me the next day on the street normal, nothing mystical about me. That would indeed spoil some of there magic if not all of it.

So I have to change up a bit. I have to entertain as a normal magician which is throwing me off my mark. I can perform for children easy, a quarter goes ALONG way with children, and you put them in the spot light nothing is more rewarding then seeing them happy and cheerful!

By the way I am in Crenshaw about 50 miles south of montgomery, with no ride to montgomery's magic shop or dothan's.
Know any magicians my way?

Thank you again for your help Mr.Michael!
"I love the night. It's the only time I feel really alive."

---Helen Chandler in the film "Dracula" (1931)
"There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to l
Jaz
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"everyone knows me" etc...
That can become somewhat of a problem when trying to use a certain character.
One way to have locals discover this vampire character is to slowly evolve from a cups and balls magician into the vampire character.

Another idea would be to NOT get too dark but likely be more like the "Angel" character on TV. Look normal but exercise vampyric powers in your magic. Throw in an occasional blood lust and maybe an extended fang bit at opportune moments.
Items and routine I would suggest are:

  • IT, PK, Raven, Swami.
  • Haunted Key, Haunted Deck, Rising Card(s)?Kundalini?.
  • Escapes like Thumb Cuffs or ties.
  • Gypsy Thread pattering about the lives of those you've encountered in your long life and how each prolonged your life.
  • Maybe the card packet tricks, Gypsy's Curse.
  • Color changing silk, white to black to blood red. Red to white?
  • Gorpy aka Haunted Hanky.
  • Rope thru the body.
  • Home made paddle effect with a wood stake.


Some more subtle things like producing a silk to wipe your forehead, having things move to your hand.
Maybe incorporate some Black Art effects.

None of these are too expensive or threatening and could be useful.

I guess there could be some vampire related patter for C&B too.

Great posts Mayo.
Best wishes
Michael Baker
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Transportation is always an issue, I understand. I know Gary Ledbetter, the owner of Dynamite Magic & Balloons in Montgomery, very well. I will email him and see if he knows of anyone from the Montgomery Magic Club that is relatively close to you.

Bob Sanders, who is a grammar host here on the Café, is from Valley Grande, and is a member of our club here in Birmingham. I will contact him, and also Bruce Walstad who lives in Foley. He is the Territorial Vice President for the International Brotherhood of Magicians for the state of Alabama.

I thoroughly understand being thrown off your mark with your character. I would suggest that you develop two personas:

1) A persona that works for normal everyday use. Use this character when you perform locally. It should be a larger than life version of you. For the time you are onstage (close-up or otherwise), you become a true performer. Let the audience feel and experience the genuineness of your passion for magic. Perform FOR, rather than AT the audience.

In a small town, you can become known very quickly, and this can be famously or infamously. I grew up in a small town, so I know. You will risk being viewed as too odd if you go too much against the grain. A bit eccentric is OK, however. As a performer, you want to stand out enough to be noticed as someone who is more special than the average guy.

The point is, with this persona, your goal is to sell a quality, pleasing, entertaining magician. You want to be the one who gets the call for birthday parties, family picnics, civic club functions, town festivals, etc. Let this spread to the surrounding towns, as well. Become the big fish.

The reasons for doing this, even though it is remotely distant from your desired character, is that you are A) building a support system of people who will sing your praises as a magician (you never know who the really important ones are), B) making money to fund your real desires, and C) gaining the performing experience that you cannot do without.

2) The vampire character can work, but probably not in the present environment. You should however, develop this act. There will be a time and place when and where this character will be workable and you will have your plan developed. Think of some of the big music or movie stars that we see everyday. Some of these people are so amazing in their personas that it would be impossible to imagine growing up next door to them. They are elevated on the celebrity pedestal, and distinguishable because of certain, sometimes very extreme characteristics... and this is even without them stepping onto a stage or into a role.

You will be using this persona mostly around people who do not know you in everyday life. With it, you have a choice. You can A) become that character 24/7/365, in which case you make the quantum leap to celebrity with no turning back, lest you become tagged a fraud, B) you don't let the public see the normal you when offstage, thereby perpetuating the persona in their minds, or C) you own up to this being a character role that you are playing, and let the public see the man behind the mask (in calculated doses). What's to say this may not be one of many roles you'll desire to play as you mature.

The character that I portray onstage (as you see in my avatar) is not me in normal life... nor is it the only character that I play, have played, or will play. Many things in your life will cause you to reinvent youself for public consumption. Keep that in mind, and play the roles as they come to you. The last thing we want to do is compromise our plans, but remember that most plans can be executed more effectively than the way they first exited the chute. When changes and sidetracking are necessary, they aren't always bad, if you can look at how you can take advantage of them and use them toward a higher goal.

Edit: Apparently, Jaz and I were typing at the same time, so I hadn't read his post until mine had been submitted. I really like his ideas here, which I believe are very, very good. They seem to solve the dilemma quite handsomely!
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Mayo
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WorymWood
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Hm, I never really thought of building the vampire character through normal magic, that is a great idea! which means I may want to scratch my cups n balls patter off my list, but I will post it as I said I would. So here goes nothing

"When I was in Atlanta visiting my Aunt and Uncle many years ago, I saw this man in a park talking to with a younger kid about eight I would say. I went to see what was happening, upon arriving the kids eyes were lit up with joy.
'What is going on I asked.' The child just stared in aww, as this man rolled three balls out of three stacked cups.
(basic cups routine no slieghts)
The man then moved the three forword giving room to place his cups onto the table. He took one ball placed it ontop of the cup, then proceeded to cover the cup. He asked the kid, 'do you believe in magic?' as he asked the kid said yes, and this man had just slowly pulled his hand down from the top cup onto the table like so.
He then lifted the cups, and the ball had penatrated the cups!
He said watch again, but this time he placed the ball on the second cup! my eyes in aww at what I had just wittnessed he looked upon me with a fair smile, ' I don't need to ask, I see it in you. ' waveing his hand in front of the cups at the same moment, he lifted them showing that the one had just joined the other.
'One more' he spoke.
He took it and. It would appear we don't have a skarf as he had, we can use this napkin though. He placed the ball onto the top cup and placed the scark, well napkin in our case. He then told me to push the ball through, I trusted him and pushed and as I did, I was a bit shocked to find the ball melting slowly into the cups as my finger pressed it!
He looked deep into me, we strong eyes and replied to my feat, ' I have found these cups.' He gave them to me, that was the first step upon our magical journey."

Well that is the first go at my cups routine.
The ball melting through is actually the same principle as the saltshaker through table. I have been trying to work with a silk but it will not hold the shape. any idea's? I know mark wilson has a way to simulate a glass under a skarf.

Also, is that too much? Any constructive critisism always welcome.

I am thinking about making this my last effect. But the story would be a perfect introduction I think.

And Thank you both Mr. Michael and Jaz, This has been a big help. I will be looking into those effects very soon!
And Mr. Michael I thank you for taking your time to find people that are close to me. And I thank you both for your time spent helping me.
"I love the night. It's the only time I feel really alive."

---Helen Chandler in the film "Dracula" (1931)
"There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to l
Jaz
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Actually with some minor adjustments your patter could work fine.

Here's some possible modifications.

When I was in Atlanta (New Orleans may be better?) visiting my Aunt and Uncle many years ago, the sun had just set and I took an early evening walk. I saw this man in a park talking to with a child about eight I would say. I went to see what was happening, upon arriving the childs eyes lit up with joy.
'What is going on', I asked. 'Join us?' asked the child. The man rolled three balls out of three stacked cups.
(basic cups routine no slieghts)
The man then moved the three balls forward giving room to place his cups onto the table. He took one ball placed it on top of the cup, then proceeded to cover the cup. He asked me, 'do you believe in magic?' he asked. I just shrugged. This man had just slowly pulled his hand down from the top cup onto the table like so.
He then lifted the cups, and the ball had penatrated the cups!
I felt compelled to watch, and this time he placed the ball on the second cup! My eyes buldged at what I had just witnessed he looked upon me with a fair smile, 'I don't need to ask, I see it in you.' waveing his hand in front of the cups at the same moment, he lifted them showing that the one had just joined the other.
'It seems one more has joined' he spoke and both he and the child smiled. For a moment I thought I saw the glistening of pointy teeth.
(Maybe produce a dark silk at this point?) He placed the ball onto the top cup and placed a dark scarf. He then told me to push the ball through, I trusted him and pushed and as I did, I was a bit shocked to find the ball melting slowly into the cups as my finger pressed it!
He looked deep into me with strong eyes and replied, 'I have found you at last.'
For a moment I felt a darkness come over me. When I regained my composure the man and child were gone, the cups were at my side and two small marks were on my throat. That was the first step of my magical journey."
Mayo
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WOAH! That will work, but my problem with the silks are they never retain the shape I hate to say. I will keep working on that though, There has to be a way.

Also I really like the twist too it, but as with my raven effect I think it would be best for them to travel to there own conclusions so in the last paragraph how about,

" I felt a rush come over me, When I reagained my composure the man and the child were both gone. Leavening me with the cups, and a soar neck, something I did not understand for quite sometime."

My theory, well one of my friends from the bizarre fourms, I take to heart.

Is let them travel down there own road for the answers, instead of cutting them off let there imagination wonder. So by leaving them without saying I saw a vampire, I was bitten by a vampire.

I Really like your twist to the patter, that was really amazing! lol I had actually been trying to manipulate the patter for the vampire act. Very Nicely done. Thank you Jaz

Your friend, Mayo

I was thinking cups and balls be my opener, and my closer be, " The iceman cometh" by Michael Ammar. The effect which I am sure both of you know is where the card is chosen the corner is then ripped off, and the card is found in a block of ice.

The patter for that effect Iam thinking something along the lines of:

"When this gift was given to me, I thought it to be a curse as I was cold all the time, I had no idea what was wrong with me!
Okay so this is your card? Alright we need to be able to identify it."

I then rip the corner off the card. Perform the effect there card now gone from the deck.I have them count the cards one by one or just search for the ripped card.

" The past few years have been quite an expieriance to say the least, as I learned and developed I came to find I could lower my bodies tempeture to a chomotoas state."

I then toss the box onto the table with a loud thud, they open it revealing there card frozen in a block of ice. They then chip it away or have me chip it away and match the corner to there card.

"I am sorry but I am feeling a bit drained so this is the closing of my show, I hope you have had an eyeopening expieriance, and will come to see me perform again."

That is the only card effect so far I have found that is indirect enough to not get busted on. They will hear the story, as they pick a card and show it to everyone, thinking I am going to place it back into the deck, instead I take it and rip it up! Then for the big effect it is frozen in a block of ice! The only problem is my ending, I would hate for them to feel cheated, but I am clueless as to ending on that effect, but that would be one VERY hard feet to top for my closer. The ending I have I think mite would work, but I am seeing it from my perspective not my audiance, do you guys feel that it is a bit, off rythem?

I have thought about here then there, But hardly seems right at a sit down performance, if it were walk around I think it would be ideal.

I am working on it as you all can tell, again any critisism/ suggestions are very much welcome.
Thank you for reading and assisting Smile

Your friend,
Mayo
"I love the night. It's the only time I feel really alive."

---Helen Chandler in the film "Dracula" (1931)
"There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to l
Jaz
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I know this topic began as a quest for some (I hate to use this word but..) NORMAL magic but since the vampire idea is so good I think you should stay with effects that relate to this type of undead creature. It don't have to be 'dark' magic and can even have some comedy. Just use effects that relate somehow.

Basically what I'm saying is that if you want to perform for families, businessmen, etc, that you will likely not want to get into full vampire mode. However, there are effects that if using sleight modifications of props and patter could be used for both.
This way you will be well practiced and more than ready when you cross over to the vampire character. Just use a black and red silk instead of a rainbow silk or a wilted rose instead of a blooming one. I like the ice idea too because you can use it with both venues with only patter modifications.

You have some great ideas Mayo.
I'm glad to help but the final solution, will of course, be your own.
I sincerely wish you the best in magic.
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