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sudheer_pc
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Dear All,

I learnt magic as a hobby and we never taught magic professionally, nor did I have the backing(both financially and morally) to get on stage.
I now have a son who is 7 years old...Shashank. I taught him the basic fundamentals of Magic and I was successful in taking him to perform on stage. He has performed on stage in front of 400+ audiances 6 times last year(2006). For his age, he has performed illusions that is comparable to what a 13 year old boy would do.
Click below to see his November 2006 performance in Sacramento, California.

http://www.furnitalia.com/Temp/Vibha.wmv

I admire the metamorphosis illusion, because he performs it in split second. Please give your feedback after watching the above video. The size of the file is about 75MB and might take a while to download.

On March 31st 2007, he has a performance and I have a 10 minute routine comprising of 3 tricks...
1. Torn and restored Newspaper (The Gene Anderson version)
2. Cut and Restored Rope (Same as performed by David Copperfied in his TV Special)
3. Disappear from stage and appear behind the audiance(This is my own routine using black art).

What I require from experienced and educated mentors like you is to help me with to connect the 3 illusions together seamlessly. What I mean is that I do not want it to look like trick 1, then trick 2 and then trick 3. I want it to flow as one illusion. Any tips is greatly appreciated.

If you have read till this line, then I sincerely believe that you know how much I love the art of magic as you do.

Regards
PC Sudheer
Spellbinder
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A couple of questions occur: Are the two of you performing together as you did in the video? Are you performing to music as you did in the video?

One comment- you have two "mutilation and restoration" tricks routined together- generally not a good idea (The Torn and Restored Newspaper and then the Cut and Restored Rope).

Unless you explain a bit more about the final illusion, it will be hard for us to suggest transitions between it and the previous trick. Is it a vanish in a box, beneath a cloth, or does someone just visibly disappear?

I have some constructive criticisms of the act you showed on video, but since you did not request critiques of the video, I will not state them here.
Professor Spellbinder

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sudheer_pc
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Thank you so much for the reply Spellbinder.
I definetely expected ONLY contructive criticisms. Otherwise I would not have even posted this.
I perform with my son and my wife assists us.
I tend to want to give him the most part of it, so he learns....I have to remind myself that he is just 7 years old. So I have to be on stage till I am comfortable he can handle all by himself.

Regarding the disappear and appear act, which I plan to have the grand finale...There is a regular table with black art on the back placed on the back end of the stage(close to the back curtain). There will be 2 girls his height dancing to a music with him. This gives me time to get into position from behind the curtain. He steps on the table. Uses a Cloth to cover himself. We switch places and I jump from the table down.. still covered and continue dancing maintina the height of the girls. My son makes in way to the back. I visually grow and point to the back of the stage.

From what you have seen us perform and describing what I would perform, you would get an idea of the kind of budget I am working with today. If you could suggest what would go with a "mutilation and restoration trick", I would start preparing for that.

Thanks a lot again for your time and advice.
Destiny
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PC

I think your son will be 70 before you are confident he can handle it by himself.

... because while he looks to be enjoying himself - you are an absolute addict. You love it - and there's nothing wrong with that - stop pretending and go for it.

My main criticism is that there were so many people on stage, and so much happening, and the action moving from person to person, and you running round all over the place - I couldn't follow what was happening. I'm familiar with the tricks - but I didn't know where to look.

Why not get rid of the other people - cut back to three - you, your wife and your son - all on equal footing - why should your wife be the assistant? - she looked to be the most focused person out there. I think it would be a great show - you are all attractive confident people. The limited interaction between the three of you had a very happy and loving vibe to it - that could be expanded into a very nice family show.

I hope Spellbinder returns here because he has vast experience with successful performing kids and his advice will be priceless.

I work solo, so I just have to keep their focus - you need to keep it - and direct it from person to person. To do that you are going to have to slow down the action so the audience can take in one thing at a time - particularly when the trick comes to fruition.

1 Bring volunteers on stage

2 Have them inspect props

3 Perform trick

4 Take applause

5 Thank volunteers and see them off stage - as they are leaving move into preparation for next trick - or have dancers start onto stage.

In the current video this all seems to be happening at once - plus you are running round all over the place doing the stage direction which should have happened during rehearsal.

I hope this doesn't sound harsh - I really think there's a lot of potential there - you do look to be a vibrant, happy, confident, attractive, and most importantly - loving family.

Destiny
reedrc
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Sudheer_pc


I am based out of Laguna, California (in Sacramento) If your local perhaps I can be of assistance to you.
Keep me posted - or contact me privatley,

Best

Ryan C. Reed
Kind Regards

Ryan C. Reed
Founder, Illusion Entertainment

designer, director, theatrical consultant, digital wizard, magic impresario, wonder aficionado, Illusioneer & dream architect.

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sudheer_pc
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Destiny, you were not harsh at all. You said it right and its exactly the same feeling I got at the end of the performance.
I had only 10 minutes time and wanted the 10 minutes to be non-stop without any delay. I guess that's what the problem was.
I shall sincerely take your advice of taking it slow during the March 31st 2007 performance. I will rework the whole routine. I would post the video after 31st and you will have to critcize it again. I cannot wait for my son to be 70 to get to perfection. I want to see it before I die!!!

Thanks again.
By the way, do you have any suggesstion for the routine I planned for the 31st March show ? Its again going to be 10 mintues. The audience would be around 400 including adults and kids.
sudheer_pc
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Reed, I would love to talk to you and get professional tips. So far, the only person who had helped us get to this level is Steve (www.grandillusions.com).
Destiny
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Hi PC

I have never performed the newspaper or rope trick so all I can offer is that I do enjoy both tricks, and well done - both are killers.

I agree with Spellbinders observation that they are very similar tricks to make up 2 of only 3 tricks in the routine.

Black Art I love, I study, and I play with.

My usual performance conditions are not suitable to use it though. Close enough is just not good enough with Black Art.

We can't really say too much more about it here in an open forum, but unless you are sure the lighting at the venue is suitable, and that you will have control over how it is used on the day, I would avoid it.

Why not devote the time to a wonderful illusion you already have - and know the basics of. I first saw Metamorphisis performed on television 40 years ago, and 40 years later I still love seeing it. I don't think I'm alone there.

Destiny
sudheer_pc
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Hi Destiny,

The reason I chose Black Art is because the stages I get to perform are too good. Good control of lighting and every stage has a black curtain. With limited budget and given the availablity of existing resources on stage, I think not using those would be a killer.

Only after Spellbinder mentioned the fact that 2 tricks are similar...it struck me too. I always admired these 2 tricks are was only focusing on using it but not really thinking about the overall impact on the routine as such.
I am thinking of replacing the "cut and restored rope" with something else and I just don't have a clue at this moment. These are what my son and myself have performed already...

Liquid Newspaper
Professors Nightmare
Needle Thru Baloon
D-Lite
Airborne
Self Tying Silks
Bottle from Silks
Metamorphosis
Shadow Box (Andrew Mayne version)
Card Prediction (A mentalism routine that I created with my son blindfolded)

The illusion has to be visible on stage and has to involve at least one adult or kid from the audiance. There should be music in the background too.
Spellbinder
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I have a few more concerns, based on your repsonses above.

Why does someone from the audience have to be on stage?

The Music: In your video you had two kinds of music. In the first part of the act, you were performing very closely TO the music. For the metamorphosis, the music was just "in the background" and did not seem critical to the act. For the 10 minute act, are you performing TO music, or is it just in the background as you state? Are you using the music to time the act, so that you need to have your son reappear just when the music reaches a critical moment? Or will he give you some kind of clue when he is ready and he just appears no matter what is going on with the music?

Will your son be performing the first tricks all alone, or will you be helping him? Is the moment you appear at the end of the illusion the first time the audience gets to see you?
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

http://www.magicnook.com

Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
sudheer_pc
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Dear Spellbinder,

Thanks for the response.

Why does someone from the audience have to be on stage ?
For the "torn and restored newspaper" which will be done by my son, I wanted to convince the audience that there is nothing hidden. So having 2 audience kids on the left of my son and 2 kids on the right of my son (not very close though) would be a convincing factor is what I felt.
After your first reply, I have decided to eliminate the "cut and restored rope" trick from the routine. I have to figure out something else instead.

The learning from Metamorphosis was to time the act to the music. I definetely need to time the music to the act in our next illusion.

Regarding the larger illusion that I plan to perform in the end with my son...you made me think again. Since the audience would see me from the begining, I don't think the illusion would have an impact when my son disappears and I appear. Hmmmm....

I would consider having this as the first illusion then. This would be the opening act. I will work with the music to time his disappearance and his reappearance.

75% of the illusion would be done by my son. This time I plan to only be there next to him and handle the interaction with the audience. Like preparing the audience about the illusion he is performing.

For the "torn and restored newspaper" trick, the music would be the piece from paul simon's "You can call me Al". There is a nice flute music and at one point the music changes, which is apt to do the restoration. The duration of the music is about 1 minute and 42 seconds.
I havent worked out the timing for the large illusion as the stage is not finalized yet. I need to calculate the time it takes for him to run behind the stage to re-appear. I hope some music similar to David Copperfields 13 would be appropriate.

Can you suggest me a trick that I can use to substitute in place of "Cut and restored rope" ?
Christopher Starr
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sudheer_pc:

I hope that you will not mind if I jump in.

I was reading your comments about having kids onstage to help convince the audience that there was nothing hidden. However, I can't recall ever seeing another magician perform this trick with people from the audience on stage acting as a convincer. It simply isn't necessary. That being said, I am also concerned that a regular size newspaper will be too large and difficult for your 7 year old to handle smoothly. Once he were to unfold a regular size newspaper, he would be 90% hidden by the paper. Then again, maybe the kids from the audience could help him hold it.


That was a joke. Disregard the last "suggestion".
aquamage
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Sudheer, just a thought here. What about opening this way, you come onto stage and talk about how you loved magic as a child. The music begins and you step onto your table and hold up the cloth. The cloth lowers and it is your son ( "you as a child" ) who then performs the rest of the routine. You could even add a young girl to assist him, then at the end they both step onto the table and transform into you and your wife. Just a quick thought off the top of my head. Good luck with the show!
SoCalPro
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Quote:
On 2007-03-05 22:45, aquamage wrote:
Sudheer, just a thought here. What about opening this way, you come onto stage and talk about how you loved magic as a child. The music begins and you step onto your table and hold up the cloth. The cloth lowers and it is your son ( "you as a child" ) who then performs the rest of the routine. You could even add a young girl to assist him, then at the end they both step onto the table and transform into you and your wife. Just a quick thought off the top of my head. Good luck with the show!


Great idea. Smile
Spellbinder
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I agree with the above scenario. It is an excellent idea (thank you aquamage). If your son is to be the magician, you need a way to get off of the stage and assist him from behind the scenes and just let him be the magician. I know this is a difficult thing to do. Jim Gerrish found it was really hard to step aside and let his Wiz Kids take center stage, and like a "mother hen" he found that at the beginning he kept stepping in to "help them," when he was actually getting over his natural propensity as a "control freak." You have to let them sink or swim on their own or they will never learn to fly or lay eggs.

Never mind that last strange saying and I never want to see myself quoted as ever having said it. Anyway, try it in rehearsal and see if it can be done.

If you have a cloth that has a wooden dowel in the top hem, and two dowels that drop down from the top dowel (not necessarily at the very ends, but just close to the ends) so your son can reach up and hold the cloth at the same height you left it, then when you are gone, he can just drop the cloth and let it flutter to the floor for his appearance.

I would then suggest that you have HIM make the young lady appear, but not in the same way that he just did. Instead, he jumps down (unless you have stairs) from the table and begins to dance alone, but realizes that something is missing... a partner! He produces a six foot silk (we'll work out how later) and stands in front of the table, holding up the silk. A form appears under the silk, he whisks away the silk and the young lady is there (having crawled between his legs from the back). Now the two of them dance to the music and the magic they do must fit the doubles theme you have established.

One suggestion would be a dancing handkerchief (and this gives you a chance to be a backstage "control freak" because the backstage assistant is really in control of the hank). If your wife can also operate a second hank, you could have one representing the boy and one representing the girl. If you get a copy of Doug Henning's Original Cast "The Magic Show" on DVD, you can see what I mean in the very first trick Henning performs on that show. The jar is optional but easy to add. Source for DVD ( http://tinyurl.com/23mmov )

Now the girl pantomimes that she wants to learn more magic. She gets a newspaper and gives the boy a couple of pages and keeps a couple for herself. Under his "instruction" the two of them tear up their newspapers together. He restores his, but hers just flutters to the floor in pieces and she pantomimes crying. He picks up her pieces and "shows her" how to say "the magic word" or he makes a magic wand appear and gives it to her to wave, and now her newspaper is also restored.

The boy forms a cone from her restored newspaper and individual flower blossoms fall from the cone into her hands to her delight. She hands the blossoms to him and waves the wand and they transform into a solid bouquet of flowers from the separate blooms. He hands her the bouquet and they jump up on the table. She picks up the cloth and wears it on her head as if it were a wedding veil (from the bottom end, not the dowel end!). She pantomimes that she would like him to give her a kiss, but he is bashful and reverses the cloth so he can hold it in front of them. It is at that point that you and your wife reappear, dressed in the same costumes as the kids, and she is still holding the bouquet, although it may now be a much larger bouquet.

Optional ending- you end the illusion by kissing your wife, no longer the bashful boy and girl, and the flower blossoms float up from the bouquet to form a flower heart high above your heads (now it's your son's turn to be the backstage assistant on this one). If you have a pin spot, the spotlight follows the flowers and focuses on the flower heart as it dims to darkness.

Have your son and the girl join you for a bow by running up the asile from the back of the auditorium if possible, or just coming out from the side wings.

If you practice and rehearse every day between now and the 31st, you just might accomplish it... otherwise, save the idea for the future.
Professor Spellbinder

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ClintonMagus
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Sudheer, I think it is wonderful that your son loves to perform as much as he does! I have a daughter who is the same way - she'll play the piano or perform for folks at the drop of a hat.

My comments:

1. There is too much going on at some points in the show. I agree with previous posters that everyone doesn't need to be onstage together all the time. The "Blair Witch" video might contribute some to this, but I was tired after watching the segment.

2. Changing the lighting to set different moods will help.

3. The shackles don't really fit your son well enough to be effective on Metamorphosis. Also, I feel a bit uncomfortable to see a child shackled at all. It's probably just me, but why not do Metamorphosis with your wife and use your son to assist?

4. I love the ideas about changing you into your son, etc. Also, consider starting with a single person on stage, and produce others later, magically or otherwise. Decide who will be the "star" of the show.

5. What sort of bottle is he producing? If it is an alcoholic drink, that also makes me feel uncomfortable. I can't tell from the video.

6. Use the "cuteness" of your son while you still can. Before you know it he'll be an old, useless teenager Smile, and you won't be able to use this to your advantage.

Overall, great job! I expect to see you all later.
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
Jim Snack
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Building on the great idea above, if you are transformed into your son in the beginning of the act, you could reappear at the end. Close with Metamorphosis, but with a twist.

Your son's assistant first goes in the trunk, he jumps up on top, when the curtain drops, the assistant is out. When she unlocks the trunk, it's not your son inside, but you! He reappears in the audience.

I've done this and it kills. If you need specific advice about staging it, PM me.

Jim
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Charlie the Tuna
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That sounds like an awesome enhancement. I look forward to seeing the next video. I hope they incorporate the new twist.

Charlie
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Only perform an illusion once. The first time is magical, the second is an education.
sudheer_pc
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WOW. All day yesterday I kept refreshing the page to see if I get help, tips, advice, etc. Spellbinder and destiny responded. But still I wasnt getting the kind of assistance I needed.
And then today morning when I open the topic....BANG...just like magic..great inputs...excellent ideas...all of a sudden I see lots of oppotunities in creating a near perfect routine.
Thank you so much Christopher, acquimage, SoCalPro, amosmc, Jim, Charlie and of course Spellbinder. You guys are all awesome!!!
I am going to digest each of your inputs and come up with a routine that I will post today.
I am so excited..can't wait to get started.

I again appreciate each one of you for having taken your time to help me....I mean it...I comes straight from my heart Smile
reedrc
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I agree with Jim, as well as amos,
Mark Wilson's complete course in magic was a great book for me when I was a kid. There are some simple yet effective stage illusions in the back. Particularly one where the magician rolls up into a cloth then is walked slightly downstage. Is unraveled. Then the assistant is there she points and the magician is in the audience. Its VERY effective and easy for a kid (and even a professional magician) to perform... Check out the book , could be a good resource to start getting his skills going on the hands as well as on stage.. . Emphasize also his skill in sleight of hand. (wish I went that route as a kid - I went right to stage illusions, which proved great for business but don't ask me to do many card tricks) Although the big stuff is great. You'll find if he is a master with his hands. he will captivate many audiences, without the big stuff, - the big stuff will act as a garnish (and will be easier on your pocket book as well) (and will do your son a favor by learning to be excellent in his ability with the hands that will accent the stage-work) If that makes sense. .Most of the great illusionists are just downright amazing with their hands & closeup - Its good to be well rounded in both area's.
Kind Regards

Ryan C. Reed
Founder, Illusion Entertainment

designer, director, theatrical consultant, digital wizard, magic impresario, wonder aficionado, Illusioneer & dream architect.

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