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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Larger Illusions and Assitants - I need help. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Elite user
Southern California
468 Posts

Profile of DerZauberer
I am getting to point in my magic performances where sometimes the audience is larger than parlor show can compensate.

During Christmas I had a lot of holiday shows. I was quite taken by surprise that I had to perform for over 500 people in a large dining room setting. The venue was too large to accommodate a parlor show – but I do not have the props or materials for a stage show. In this instance I compensated by shortening my platform magic then performed table-hopping close-up for 3 or 4 hours. I lost money doing this gig, but I wanted that exposure and I did not want to disappoint anyone there.

I suppose I need to invest in larger illusions for when I do get those larger than 100 people audiences. I have Murder Inc. and Chair Suspension now and I am looking to invest in more – but my budget must be taken into consideration. Any suggestions?

My next quandary is an assistant. My wife is not comfortable to help on stage and our schedules conflict in many of my bookings. I really think I need an assistant for my larger shows. This problem raises several questions where I need help and advice.

I live in a small Bavarian village - population 5000. I perform in the surrounding cities. I have many birthdays and special event shows where a parlor show or close-up is just fine, but I do get that occasional large show.

How do I go about searching for an assistant? I do have some concerns. First, the assistant should be able to fit on the Chair Suspension illusion. And, since I am not native to Germany, an assistant that speaks a little English would be helpful.

Is it justified to hire and train an assistant even though I only book a few large shows a year? How do I make it clear that I am not hiring a full-time position? I only need an assistant as an as-needed basis. What is fair compensation for an assistant, (for shows and rehearsals?)

Any advice to my concerns would be appreciated.
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350 Posts

Profile of markparker
Try some local drama and dance shcools you may strike lucky - Bespoke Illusion design - Publications -Show consultancy....Vivify a collection of stage illusions limited edition of 500 copies available now.
Kent Wong
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Inner circle
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
2458 Posts

Profile of Kent Wong
You may want to try expanding your repertoire with a number of illusionettes. These are illusions of a smaller scale that have the ability to play to larger audiences. The advantage with some of these illusionettes is that you can often use a volunteer from the audience, with little or no training. Some examples include:

1. Dagger Head Chest
2. Head Twister
3. Chair Suspension
4. Princess Flying Carpet
5. Visible Sawing
6. Ultimate Dancing Hank
7. Victory Cubes

The other advantage is cost. You could probably purchase all of the items listed above for less than one full-sized illusion. You'll also get a lot more mileage from the illusionettes since you may be able to perform them in a larger variety of shows and they are much easier to transport.

As your larger-scale bookings continue to increase, you may wish to add a full-scale illusion to end your show. At that time, consider performance angles and portablility in your purchase decision.

"Believing is Seeing"
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Special user
Bolton, England UK
831 Posts

Profile of magicmarkdaniel
Interesting topic...

When I first started out with assistants I went to our local dance college. I have had 3 different girls work with me from there and 1 still does to this day. They seem to love opportunities like that as its extra cash for them whilst they're still studying. Explain that its on an as-needed basis and keep in touch between shows to keep that contact for when you next need them. One point to bear in mind is the confidentiality agreement. The last thing you need is all your closely guarded secrets the subject of pub gossip! But, treat and pay them well and respect them as a fellow performer and you'll establish a great working relationship. Whether you're using the larger illusions or smaller illusionettes, an extra pair of hands onstage is always a help for moving things about keeping the show running smoothly and creating the misdirection when its needed.

Mark Daniel
Christopher Starr
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Inner circle
Heart of America
1851 Posts

Profile of Christopher Starr

Another great one man illusion would be a Head Chopper or Guillotine. These perform well, and traditionally get great audience response.
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