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magicalaurie
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For me, regarding Siegfried and Roy, it is about SIEGFRIED AND ROY. They didn't start out with those costumes or stages. But they made it that far because of who they are. People love THEM. A major accomplishment, but in their case, not a surprising one. They've worked extremely hard, overcome great obstacles and given so much of themselves to their audience. They've earned every flamboyant costume they own and million dollar stage they've worked on. Inspirational.
"Every thought you think, word you speak, and action you take proceeds from either love or fear. Peace and upset, innocence and guilt, healing and illness all spring from that one fundamental choice." Alan Cohen
https://magicalaurieblog.wordpress.com/
Lee Darrow
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Most of us do not have the advantage of a million dollar budget or the ability to house and feed the Great Cats, elephants, or other large critters, so talking about that is a little like talking about flying a jet airplane to a gig down the street. Sorry to be a bit harsh here, folks, but let's be a bit realistic.

Even if you do have a large cat or elephant, you STILL have to have the presence on stage to overcome the fact that you DO have that dangerous animal with you or the audience will ignore you and focus completely on this big, dangerous, people-eating carnivore. YOU will be lost to their perception.

Watch S&R sometime on video. When they walk on stage with one of the cats, you look at THEM, not the cat first. Why? because their posture, the lighting, their manner, their gestures, their entire attitude forces you to focus on them and THEN they direct your attention to the Big Cat with them.

Now apply that kind of stage movement to your own entrance to the stage without ANY props. If you can command the full attention of the audience through your posture, attitude, gestures, head position, eye contact, breathing (yes, I said breathing) and body position, then you will have something going on!

In other words, take a stage movement class. Learn the right way to enter and exit. Learn how to focus attention. Theater departments actually teach this stuff. Stage movement and voice control are two very important aspects of our Art that many magicians completely ignore. As newcomers to the Art, please, don't make that error.

Lee Darrow, C.H.
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
magicalaurie
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I am in a absolute agreement with you, Mr. Darrow. That's what I was getting at. Siegfried and Roy THEMSELVES each have a commanding presence. I have had some theatre training and will be returning to a college theatre program this fall. We focus very much on the things you mentioned, Lee. Our body and our voice are our instrument. And breathing technique is DEFINITELY crucial. Proper breathing lends to relaxation, control and focus. Thus leading to comfort and confidence on stage. And a confident, comfortable performer gets the audience's attention. Be in control of your instrument. Own your performance. Give that to your audience. They'll notice.

Quote:
"people-eating carnivore."

Lee Darrow, C.H.


Actually, I may not be in "absolute agreement" on this point. Not to say large cats haven't eaten people. That's possible, but not attributable to all of them. As far as I know, however, elephants don't eat people Smile

Just a very technical point, and off topic. Please forgive me, but I strive to be completely honest Smile
"Every thought you think, word you speak, and action you take proceeds from either love or fear. Peace and upset, innocence and guilt, healing and illness all spring from that one fundamental choice." Alan Cohen
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Frank Tougas
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No but elephants have been known in rare circumstances to go wild and trample any and all in their way. The point is no one knows why this happens and no one could know when.

Even more off point and technical. Smile

Frank Tougas
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
magicalaurie
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Point taken, Frank Smile I have heard of such instances. But I wonder if anyone might have a possible explanation to offer for the elephant's behaviour in these cases. Maybe we should start a new thread in the animal section. Interesting.

Ladies and gentlemen, we now return you to the topic: ENTERING A STAGE WITH PRESENCE, already in progress...

O.K., I'll pick it back up.

Mr. Roy Horn said, "Wear the cape. Never let the cape wear you." Some of the very best performance advice I've ever received.
"Every thought you think, word you speak, and action you take proceeds from either love or fear. Peace and upset, innocence and guilt, healing and illness all spring from that one fundamental choice." Alan Cohen
https://magicalaurieblog.wordpress.com/
Lee Darrow
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Old joke/riddle:

Q: What;s the reddish gooey stuff between an elephant's toes called?

A: Slow Elephant Handler.

I will now go to my cave and evolve for a while...

Also, minor technical note: elephants are herbivores. Smile

Lee Darrow, C.H.
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
magicalaurie
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[quote]On 2005-07-12 12:25, Lee Darrow wrote:
"Even if you do have a large cat or elephant, you STILL have to have the presence on stage to overcome the fact that you DO have that dangerous animal with you or the audience will ignore you and focus completely on this big, dangerous, people-eating carnivore."



Elephants are herbivores, correct. I am well aware. Glad we're all clear on that Smile

.......... I always ENTER A STAGE WITH PRESENCE. To all performers: Please, make sure you do the same thing. EXIT with presence, too Smile
"Every thought you think, word you speak, and action you take proceeds from either love or fear. Peace and upset, innocence and guilt, healing and illness all spring from that one fundamental choice." Alan Cohen
https://magicalaurieblog.wordpress.com/
Erion
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Another related question is what trick to do as your first, I've always heard that you should start and end with a bang, i.e. visual and really good tricks. Myself I would rather start with something easy that I know best (since that seems like the trick I would have easiest time doing)

Now I have never performed magic on stage so I have no idea what you should really do, but all you other how do you start? Can I use my teory or will the audience just be bored?
Al Schneider
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OK
Now its my turn.
This is a subject that is for some reason near and dear to my heart.

I, as many magicians, grew up introverted and unaware of how to talk to girls much less the common citizen. I read books and went to self help classes in an attempt to "figure it out". Well, after 50 years I finally figured it out and realized that most of my life I made an a-- of myself. That is not a magic trick. For example during my studies of all this I learned how to talk to people on an elevator without appearing as a jerk. I actually have a program to do that. It has 10 steps and requires about 45 seconds to do.

I also studied what to do at a party. Many people gave me much advice on this. I was told to, "Act like the host." Others said to, "Act natural." Well one, if I don't know how to act at a party how would I know how to run one. Then, if I act natural I will go over to the corner, sit down and suck my thumb.

What I found out is that at a party you can get along well if you act like you are waiting to get into a movie. That is, just stand there and chat with the people near you. Something that simple actually works wonders.

I have done this with many things in life.

One of the subjects under study was how to enter the stage appropriately. In this category I have studdied some people I admire greatly. These would be Karrell Fox, Jay Marshall and Paul Howard Bahman. Here is what I discovered.

First make sure the first trick you are going to perform is simple. You must know that it is sure fire, not requiring any skill or any gimmicks that can fail. Practice this at least 1000 times if not more. It should be easy to see and not require anyone from the audience. This has already been addressed.

Second, here is how you enter.

Walk onto the stage without looking at the audience. Walk to the center and address the michrophone or just stand there Wait a moment and then look at the audience. Then smile and say, "Hello." Then tell them what you are going to do and do it.

The first time you do this it won't be great, but it will go well. Doing it more often you will get better and see that it is the right thing of do and you will add to it.

What is going on here.

First and foremost the audience came to see a person do magic. Note that ther word person appears before magic. So, do not open with magic. You must open with you. So, when you enter the stage give the audience a chance to get to know you. If you look at them they feel they are being studied. Let them study you first. Your walk across stage can be slow and take some time. They will let you do this. Once they know who you are you can look at them. (This is part of the secret of talking to people on an elevator.)

This business of not looking for the first few moments is the heart of what I have to say.

Now, there are other ways to go about this task. But this one is surefire and can be done by incompetants like me.

As I write this I have an image in my mind of Karrell Fox walking on stage. getting to the mike, bending over a bit to adjust it (I will guarentee a stage hand had it already adjusted) and then in a very endearing voice saying, "Hi, my name is Karrell Fox, we are going to..."

Well that is my 2 cents.
Al Schneider
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
magicalaurie
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I strongly disagree on the point of not looking at the audience right away. I think they should be acknowledged immediately. I believe if you don't acknowledge them right away they may infer you are intimidated or disinterested. I enter quickly and face the audience immediately as I perform a flashy effect. You want to grab them right away if you can. Connect with them as much as possible. They'll appreciate it. I agree the audience wants to see YOU. That's a great point. But I also believe, as a matter of respect for your audience, they should be acknowledged as soon as you enter, if possible.
"Every thought you think, word you speak, and action you take proceeds from either love or fear. Peace and upset, innocence and guilt, healing and illness all spring from that one fundamental choice." Alan Cohen
https://magicalaurieblog.wordpress.com/
Frank Tougas
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I disagree with your disagreement. When I walk onto stage I head for my mark, adjust the mike, look up smile and say hello. I don't consider that I am on stage until I've hit that mark. It would be interesting to read how others make their approach in a forml stage setting. Like many of my peers I start off with a joke to break the ice. Not a formal type joke but a well practiced casual one. Smile

I open with the rings so it is a built in attention getter. I want the audience to have time to "size me up" without them thinking I need to stare them down. This may be old fashioned but to me it is a sign of respect.

If there is never a time you should not be looking at your audience, someone needs to call Jeff McBride and set him straight.

Frank Tougas
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
Rhabarber
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Not looking at the audience in the first few moments is a good advice. But what I found to be very helpful to lose the nervousness, is to get a glance at the audience before the show. When you're doing a stage show, while people are taking their seats and everything, do not fear to take a glimpse through the curtains, or even stand in a corner of the room and have a look at the people. It makes it much easier to come on stage when you know what's awaiting you. To know that they are nothing but plain PEOPLE. Then when walking on stage you can easily let them have a look at you first before you look at them.
Al Schneider
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Dear Rhabarber:
Glancing at the audience through the curtain is excellant advice.

I have made a habit of going to the back of the theater even before people come in. I stand in a spot and get familiar with it. Then I stand on stage and look at that location and remember when I was standing back there.

I am a little embarassed to admit this but that is what I do.
Al Schneider
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
Julie
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Al, if you could just overcome your basic shyness... Smile BTW when are you coming to Phoenix?
magicalaurie
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If it is appropriate for your character, then I agree it is o.k not to look at the audience right away. I didn't say it is NEVER o.k to not look at them. I said they should be acknowledged immediately IF POSSIBLE. Again, as a sign of respect for them. I don't mean you should "stare them down". Just acknowledge their presence. Don't hide from them.

I have been trained as an actor. Trained to always enter in character. If I didn't enter in character, I would NEVER make it to centre stage. I would be asked to go backstage and try again.

Of course, performing in a play is a different situation from performing a magic show. When performing in a play (though there are exceptions), we do not directly recognize the audience. There is an invisible fourth wall between us. But we always enter in character. We are expected to "be there" before we enter. That's my training. And I apply it to all of my performance situations, including my magic show. Others have different philosophies. Audience response will let you know if yours is on track.

Getting a look at the audience prior to a show is always nice. At school, we have tiny holes in the stage walls through which we can get a glimpse. Though in this case, it's mainly done to see how many familiar faces are out there.

I'd like to add that if what you're doing is done out of respect for your audience, I don't think you'll go wrong with them. Your respectful attitude will come across and they'll appreciate you.

Believe it or not, Mr. Tougas, I'm an old-fashioned kind of girl. Smile Respect for the audience is top of my list. And in your case, since you don't consider yourself to be on stage until you've hit your mark (even though you ARE on stage prior Smile ), you are addressing your audience pretty much right away. I think, however, that some others are trying to find a way to avoid the audience until they can do so no longer. In which case I believe their primary concern is for themselves.

I too, would like to hear how others make their "approach".
"Every thought you think, word you speak, and action you take proceeds from either love or fear. Peace and upset, innocence and guilt, healing and illness all spring from that one fundamental choice." Alan Cohen
https://magicalaurieblog.wordpress.com/
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