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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » Stage Performance? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Twilight
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UK
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What sort of things should you consider when you are performing magic on stage?

Any advice or tips?
Daniel Faith
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Inner circle
Neenah, Wisconsin
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That's a huge question.
Do you do any magic at all right now?
Read and study everything you can get your hands on.
Try to find a local stage magician that would be willing to help.
Daniel Faith
Tony S
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New York
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Daniel is right - that is a HUGE question. Very quickly off the top of my head:

What kind of character do you want to portray?
Which effects/illusions to perform - they should fit the character.
Timing of the show.
Tempo.
Music.
Sound system (mixer, speakers, microphones, music sources, etc)
Lighting.
Transitions from one effect to the next.
Load in / load out time.
Will you use assistants?
Transportation of props/equipment to and from the show.
Marketing.
Insurance.
etc, etc, etc.....

I'll stop now, but I could go on and on.
We are all about as successful as we choose to be.



www.anthonysisti.com
Twilight
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UK
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I'm sorry, I wasn't very clear with my original post, I was very tired when I posted it.

I should probably have pointed out; this isn't for an actual performance (I do intend to perform eventually, but right now I'm just trying to get a basic routine together). I'm trying to aim for about 10-15 minutes.


Quote:
Do you do any magic at all right now?


I don't perform magic at all at the moment, however I'm always practicing the tricks I have (your basic closet magician I'm afraid; always practicing, never performing for anyone).

I don’t lack confidence with my tricks, I DO however lack confidence with my performance.

I want to start getting used to the idea of performing i.e. Having a proper, ‘scripted’ act that I can practice from beginning to end, instead of just practicing individual tricks.

I hope that helps.
Twilight
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Quote:
What kind of character do you want to portray


I’m not really sure what my character is.

I know how I tend to perform (at least on the very few occasions that I have performed), however it doesn’t seem to fit with how the people who know me think I should be performing.


Quote:
Which effects/illusions to perform - they should fit the character


Again, I’m not sure, but;

I have quite a lot of tricks, some that are intended for stage shows, as well as some tricks that aren't strictly stage effects but can be adapted to work on stage, and some that are obviously unsuitable for stage performances (close-up type tricks). I don't have any large scale illusions (I do have Mark Wilson's Book 'Complete Course in Magic' so I suppose I could make some, but I'd prefer to stick with what I know at the moment)

I've narrowed down my tricks and made a list of the ones that I have that would be suitable for a stage show, then I narrowed it down again by crossing off the one's that don't seem to suit me (what I'm doing) at the moment.

So now I have a much shorter list of tricks that I....

....practice regularly
....can do well
....am comfortable doing
....think fit with what I'm trying to do

They also have little to no set-up time and can be got out/put away quickly.

There are still too many tricks on my list for a 10-15 minute routine though, so I need to narrow it down a bit more. (I was thinking of having 3 or 4 tricks, though I'm not sure if that would be too many/not enough etc.)

Quote:
will you use assistants?


No, I won't be using assistants.

Quote:
transportation of props/equipment to and from the show

As I stated above I don't have any large illusions, most of what I have will fit in a briefcase, and the things that don't are small enough to carry anyway without much trouble.
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

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This is something I wrote a while back and I want to post it here in that it may help you in your quest to learn routining and what your manipulative act can really be about. I hope it helps.

I decided to write this article out of numerous requests I have received from many magicians and manipulators on the subject of putting an act together. How do you keep it creative and different and why is it not the best to just do an act of pure skill alone. Below is my answer to these questions along with some tips on what has worked for me in regards to ways anyone can make their own acts more creative and therefore connect better with the audience and gather more response and applause along with it.

My first question to anyone putting an act together may seem a bit strange or sound like I am being too harsh, but read on and I think you will see what I am referring to. Some of these tips relate to manipulative magic, but the tips can be used for any type of an act. My big question to you is: WHY!!!!!

I told you that it may seem a bit strange, but let me go on now to tell you about what I am referring to. To a magician, we are fascinated with cards and flourishes and vanishes and anything related to manipulation. It amazes us by the technique and the method and skill involved in doing the executions of the routines. This alone keeps us striving to learn more and peaks our interest and curiosity.

However, this is often NOT the case with a lay audience. A lay audience does not see manipulative magic in the same way we do. They do not understand the techniques and skills involved and nor should they if what we are doing is supposed to be magical. With this in mind, the audience often will say to themselves... "WHY". Why is this magician doing the same thing over and over again.

Why? Because the magician knows he is doing different vanishes and each one is slightly unique. However the audience only knows that the card vanishes, the card returned and now your doing it again. This is why an act of manipulation is very hard to do well if your doing it for 7-8 mins in a normal act time. You do not want your audience ever going "Why" at any time in the routine.

So how do you work around this problem of boring your audience to tears? Well that is where research and creativity comes into the picture. It gets back to the point that in a manipulative act you must give the audience "more". It is not good enough to simply show an 8 minute act of pure skill alone doing moves that appear the same to any audience.

So how do you give your audience more? Well you can give them more through the use of themes, character, style, pacing, transition effects and emotional response to just name a few. Let me go on to talk very briefly about each of these I just mentioned. Each could be an article all in itself but I will just give you my tips on each one for now in hopes you can grasps what I am referring to.

- Themes: You can give more to your audience in any manipulative act if you simply add in a theme to the act you are doing. This can be a generalized theme in regards to the objects all relating that you are manipulating, or the act itself can be themed around a storyline. In this way you are performing a small 8 min play that just so happens to have magic in it. The audience can relate to the themed objects or the story and get more involved with your act and with you.

- Character: Every act you do should have a strong character present on stage. The audience needs to be able to connect with this character. If you can connect the audience with you, then they become more attached to you and can relate to what you are doing on stage. Ask yourself if your character is suave, comical, athletic, hip, sad, down on his luck. Each of these can become a strong character that can be conveyed in your stage movement and even your music.

- Style: With style, I mean the way you move on stage and the way you conduct and hold yourself throughout the act. It is something that must be learned over time. It is those little things that make a huge difference to an audience liking you or not. It can be the way you pause at the right moment and look at the audience and wink right before a big production. It could be the way you move and look and smile at the audience as if saying thank you without moving your mouth at all.

- Pacing: The way you pace and time your act can make a world of difference to an audience. In many manipulative acts, the audience is being barraged with too much visual input. They can not follow it all the time and so start shutting themselves down from even watching what it is you are doing. You must pace your act and place in it pauses that give the audience a chance to catch up, breathe a bit and give them a chance to applaude you before going into the next sequence.

- Transition effects: These are the simple things you can place into your act that changes it up a bit and ads so called "spice" to the act. It gives your audience something more to watch and breaks up the act from being too repetitive.
For example: You could be doing a billiard ball act. You do a few vanishes and produce the ball. The ball gets tossed up and as you catch it it turns into a white silk. You do a knots of silk effect and the not becomes the ball again. In this way the ball to silk becomes a transition effect that gives your audience something more to be interested in.

- Emotional Response: This is a HUGE one and can work so wonderful if done well. If done right it can make your audience connect with you long after you have left the stage. It is causing an emotional response in your audiences by allowing them to connect and relate to your character and the predicament presented on the stage. It can also work closely in with the theme you are presenting.

Every person in your audience has experienced something in common. What is common to us all is emotions. We have all felt fear, love, confusion and happiness. These are common to every person know matter who you are performing for. So if you can connect with them on one or more of these emotions, you can get that audience member to really relate to you because they are remembering a similar situation when they too had that exact same emotion or situation happen to them. they can relate.

For example, your manipulative act could be all about this guy at night who is just trying to reach a bus to get home. It is late and he misses his bus and the entire world seems to be passing him buy. He sits on a bench to wait for the next bus and turns on his radio. He drifts off to sleep only to awake moments later. He realizes that magic starts happening to him even though he does not know exactly why it is. Through out the act the magic that happens to him causes him to smile and to realize that life is full of wonder even if we may not always see it.

Now this is just a very vague example but you can see how the entire act could be a manipulative routine but now you are relating to them a story of a very well defined character with a well defined theme. You give them an emotional response to the act because most can relate to being in a similar situation in their own life. In this way they relate better to what you are doing on stage.

Now these ideas are not meant to be the bible for a great act by any means. They are simply some of my own understandings on what I have experienced that has really worked not only for myself but to other acts that have really "made it." They are meant only to be reviewed and given some thought to. Take even one thing from them and I think you will see your act reaching your audiences in a whole different light.

So I simply ask you to ask yourself. WHY?

Hope this helps.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

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bennyo
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Sydney, Australia
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The bus comes and he doesn't have enough money. He reaches into the air and pulls some coins out from nowhere. Showers of coins suddenly fill his hands. (Coins manip)

What? The bus driver doesn't what the money. That's ok because there is a bus ticket behind my leg. Not just one but 2. Bus tickets everywhere... Carzy (Card manip)

Hehee…. I just find that after you’ve decided on the theme just have fun and things just fall into place.

Just play, have fun, and record everything.

Just my 2cents,

BennyO
Paradox Architect.
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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It does help when thinking creatively to have a theme although one is not always needed. However a theme or a centralized and developed character can really help you to lock in on what would be appropriate for that character to do in a certain situation. it starts to force your mind to open up to new and exciting ideas for your magic that are different from the norm.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

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http://kpmagicproducts.com

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