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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » What do you do in a 20- 30 min Manipulation act (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Paul Jester
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I tend to find that in shows with lots of acts then I'm only doing 10 minutes, the 20-30 minute slot seems to be when working with a band, and you fill their break. The snow storm is only in the 20-30 show, so far I've had no problems, but of course, I can sub it if the mess would be a problem. Incidently I'm looking to have salt pour as a substitute, a similar effect, but the mess is easily contained, I've also considered a kabuki streamer and a large production. But audiences, and often organises love the snowstorm, I've not known an organiser that didn't think the mess was worth the effect. And lets not forget there is the evapourating snowstorm on the market now, only $1000 and something dollars!

But on the subject of mess and stages, my first version on my 10 minute act was all done so I could walk on stage with my breifcase, volla it's a table, do the act, bow, close the case and leave the stage as I found it. If I need to do that again I'll buy a smaller box rather than a case because it doesn't look so good.

But for a short while I found myself getting requested to do my 3 minute "Singin' in the Rain" Umbrella act, at the expense of the 10 minute act. This was something I did for just a bit of fun once at a small venue, but everybody loved it. In it I produce 8 umbrellas and fill the stage, so the organises put me on to close the first half. Closing the first half is a great spot too, because then everyone's talking about you during the interval!

So I sat and thought about this for a while and combined the 2. Now I walk on empty handed (saves getting a table put on, which can be a hassle), produce 2 umbrellas, 'balance' one on the other and I have a table. I end with 6 umbrellas on stage, stuff in my 'table', and bits ditched behind other umbrellas. But the organisers and audience seem to much prefer it, and they're happy to place me as closing the first half. Compared to the other acts I work with in Cabaret venues, I'm a big act! There's no illusions to set up behind the non-existant curtain, there's just comedians, singers and dancers, so it works. If I'm taking it onto a larger show, then the 'mess' goes to the back of the stage where it's out of the way, and eventually I guess I'll have my assistants clearing it and setting up the next peice while I'm in 1 doing the rings or something... ahh, one day!

As for length, it all depends on how good you are as to how long you can go.

Kyle, of course you can PM me, I'll be happy to help.

Paul
Joshua Barrett
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I do 99% close up but have been wanting to put together some stuff for a stage show. I was thinking of practing some card manipulation for like a 30 sec to 1 min opener, do you guys think that's a good idea, is it pausable to perfect, perfect productions and a split fan, in a decent amount of time if your not a full time manipulator
Paul Jester
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All you can do Josh is practise and find out, you may well just fall in love with it, although I think the real addiction comes from your first curtain call. However it will take practise. I wouldn't worry about the routining of it just yet, get your fingers around the moves first.

I'm going to hazard a guess that the difference between only being able to perform a short manip act, as opposed to a longer show, is the difference between manipulation being card fans and it being a style of working. To me manipulation should appear to be magic performed by the magician, as opposed to his magical apparatus. Also to make a longer show you need to work with more than just cards.

Also remember that when you're being a manipulator you also need to work really hard to convey your character. If you look at other performance arts that work silently to music, for example Ballet, you'll find they often have a story to tell, at the very least a message to convey. In magic this tends to be done as a simple story, either a spoken prelude, or something very obvious, like Very obvious, and Very simple. I believe it was Charlie Chaplin who could make a hilarious skit out of simply eating a bowl of soup. Simple story, done to music, people understood. Also very important in the Chaplin example is the conflict. Conflict makes for a good plot, the classic magical example being Cardini.

Quote:
On 2007-02-10 08:00, NickJegor wrote:
Well from my experiance, when you show to magician's your act they all will say
"Nice Job, profesional handling and very good techniq"
Ordinary people will be killed in the 5~6 min. They will be bored.
That happend to me a lot of times.
Becides the music for your act must be in "TEMPO" fast and expire the audience.
They must be on a level Smile


I disagree with the tempo needing to be fast. When I started out I'd rush everything. Then Roy Davenport taught me timing in like 5 minutes with 1min of music and 15 coins. Now I perform slowly. Very slow and gracefully. I like to think that if you can do something well, then it can be done slowly, and you can let the audience watch what is happening. Also to avoid the 5-6 minute boredom threshold, change what you're doing in your manip act. My standard 10 mins is split for 3 mins graceful flowers, 2 mins fun thimbles, 5 mins balls. Also if you can raise and lower tension you can extend how long you work one style of prop for. For example my ball routine is designed to start gently and pretty, then crescendo up to the big 4 balls in one hand... pause... small diminuendo, before launching of up to the 8, and to top it off, 9. Hard to describe, but easy to feel. Also the effects change, from productions and vanishes to penetrations, multiplications, transpositions, and colour changes, oh and a transformation. (Incidentally, all of those effects can not be performed so clearly with card manipulation... another reason to choose the props you use carefully.) Magicians tell me I have good chops, laypeople tell me it's amazing. I'm happy.

Paul

p.s. Pete... I'm planning on dropping the snowstorm soon... just as soon as I can get the Butterflies sorted!! Smile
kregg
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When I develop a character, I begin by reading the script, next I ask two questions. First, why is my character there and what keeps me there? This helps me to develop a task.
An hour of straight out, non-supported dialogue is tedium to both actor and audience.

That said, if you know the wheres & the whys and you dump the unsupported eye candy for substance. Sustaining an audience is set by pace, not time.
POOF!
Joshua Barrett
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I like the idea of stage manipulation alot, but as a hobbist type, I have a good close up audience all the time, where stage might be twice a year.
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