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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Adding A Touch Of Atmosphere (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

daffydoug
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David Copperfield adds a nice magical, mystical touch of atmosphere to his show by using a fogger to create a mysterious fog over the stage before the show. He also uses some kind of apparatus that produces a sweet incense odor throughout the theatre before the show begins.

These are classy professional touches.

I was wondering what you do to create a magical atmosphere in your shows?
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Caveat Lector
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I myself have been burning incense before my shows for years. I think it sets a nice mood for the people along with the pre-show music. I like to use an insence called Champa, Jeff McBride turned me onto this years ago and I have been using it ever since. Between that and the special effects that I use on stage I think it helps maintain the effect that they are no longer in there "normal" world. I also use an effect called a hazer, it makes the lights on stage stand out without using a fog machine.
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reedrc
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Ah yes. nagachampa , Love the stuff, burn it at the studio all the time for bit of meditation while designing.
I've seen Cirque burn chruch style incansense before a show (watching "O" in vegas) was really a nice touch.
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Chris Stolz
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I usually use a simple, pre-programmed lighting preset.

If I am in a full theatre I like to dress the stage a little. Curtains, tables, and when I can I put an actual themed set together. I program the lighting board so that the stage is black except for a dim little light on one area...a table for example. It stays for 15 seconds before slowly fading out. After another 15 second of darkness, a spot comes up on another piece. This continues.

It gives the audience something moving to look at while they wait for the rest of the crowd to be seated. Keeping the stage gently animated before the show draws the attention those who are seated to the stage. It helps to grace over that sudden transition from fully lighted audience to everything is dark, the show is starting now.
mvmagic
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I have used-in addition to incense("silk")-those relaxation cd's which have sound of ocean, forest etc. They don't neccessarily have anything to do with the show, but nevertheles create a nice mood.
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Paul Arthur
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Quote:
On 2005-09-06 09:38, reedrc wrote:
I've seen Cirque burn incsense before a show (watching "O" in vegas) was really a nice touch.


That is the only show in which CDS does this and has very specific reasons behind it... it is to hide the overwhelming chlorine scent from the pool.
Spellbinder
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Rather than create a quiet, relaxing mood, I prefer to build up excitement and anticipation with a light-show playing on the front curtains as the overture builds up to a smashing climax and the show begins with a flurry of magical excitement.

On the other hand, Grand Wizard Winkandnod begins with Brahms' Lullaby playing softly and the curtain opens on him sleeping in a chair, snoring away peacefully. This is his entire act. An apprentice comes on and actually does the show for him, explaining what the old Wizard would do if he were awake. My favorite bit is when the Grand Wizard falls over to one side, still asleep, still snoring. The apprentice covers his face with a silk he happens to be conjuring with, and the silk flutters up and down powered by the Grand Wizard's snores. I won't say what happens next, but the whole thing is hilarious.
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daffydoug
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Quote:
On 2005-09-06 09:28, Caveat Lector wrote:
I myself have been burning incense before my shows for years. I think it sets a nice mood for the people along with the pre-show music. I like to use an insence called Champa, Jeff McBride turned me onto this years ago and I have been using it ever since. Between that and the special effects that I use on stage I think it helps maintain the effect that they are no longer in there "normal" world. I also use an effect called a hazer, it makes the lights on stage stand out without using a fog machine.


Where can I get this Champa? How much does it cost?
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reedrc
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Its fairly inexpensive. Probably a couple bucks a box. I get mine from a local candle store.
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Ryan C. Reed
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designer, director, theatrical consultant, digital wizard, magic impresario, wonder aficionado, Illusioneer & dream architect.

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daffydoug
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I'm going to go check it out. Thanks for the tip!
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
ALLEN TIPTON
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The main supports for mood and atmosphere are definitely lighting and music. Learn the different colour filters & mixes of same, so you can (if available ) ask for them. So mystery can be created with the blue filters etc. And don't neglect the use of a follow spot(if available) Imagine telling a supernatural story with blue lighting around you and the follow, NARROW, on your face. Or in say the Floating Ball, the stage is lit with reads and a follow spot (as a pin spot) in gold on the Ball.Back lighting, ie light from behind you , coming down onto you or the stage, can be very dramatic. Music is easy but don't be fooled into thinking you have to use so called modern stuff, unless you're working to teenagers.Collect music all the time and keep a list. Check out your clothes/costumes, your makeup, if used. However..the most important and irreplacable atmosphere maker is YOU. Work on the voice, it's pace and pitch. Learn to use the pause and emphasis. Get someone to check out your movement. Can you stand still and hold the audience. Your gestures..are there too many? Do they serve a purpose, pointing, emphasising. Have you ever, in a quieter trick, tried sitting down, telling the story, taking the audience into your confidence? Remember the audience must like you first, then they'll like the tricks no matter what.
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Allen Tipton began magic at 9.Joined Staffs. Magic Soc at 14. President 8 times Guild Of Magicians Nottingham UK IBM member.1980 reproduced Dante's Show & made Magician Of Month by IBM Intern.President.Currently writing Dear Magician series in Abra magazi
Chris Stolz
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Well said Allen. Well said.
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