We Remember The Magic Café We Remember
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » A Question For You Full- and Part-Time Professionals from a Hobbyist (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

ClintonMagus
View Profile
Inner circle
Southwestern Southeast
3999 Posts

Profile of ClintonMagus
There has been a lot of discussion about originality in magic. I am soliciting your opinions:

I am a hypothetical typical hobbyist magician. I seldom perform. Many years ago I performed fairly frequently, but now I spend the majority of my time at work or with my family doing other things. Every few years I am asked (or I offer) to get a few magician friends together and put on a fundraising show for some organization in need of money. Some of the guys are part-time pros, but most are hobbyists like me.

I will work very hard for seven or eight months to make my part of the show the best I can make it. My family is also involved, and we enjoy spending the time together preparing for the show. I have no delusions of grandeur. I know the act could always use more rehearsal, but I love to perform. Several of the routines I do are original, while others aren't. For those that aren't, I have either purchased the plans or the illusion(s), along with the legitimate rights to perform them. Several routines you will probably be able to see elsewhere, pretty much word-for-word, assuming you see enough magic shows to notice.

We do our show and the audience loves it. The organization makes $10,000, and we all have a great time. All the props are either sold, junked, or go back into storage until another opportunity rolls around in a few years.

My question - assuming I am playing to an audience that, for the most part, hasn't seen but one or two magic shown in their lives, am I doing them (or myself) a disservice by using "stock" routines? If I put everything I have into practicing, rehearsing, and performing, the show is entertaining, and the audience really enjoys themselves, does it matter that there are hundreds of other magicians around the world performing the same routines? If I am just "me", without years of acting, stagecraft, movement, and dance, is my show less valuable than a stage-savvy professional?

Thanks...
Things are more like they are today than they've ever been before...
Father Photius
View Profile
Grammar Host
El Paso, TX (Formerly Amarillo)
17198 Posts

Profile of Father Photius
Where magicians get the idea that you have to do something nobody else has done, I will never understand. Almost all of us are doing routines that have been done by thousands, oh we might put our own little twist on it, but basically we are doing the same magic done 50 or more years ago. Your show if you put that much work into it is just as valuable as having a pro, the only difference is it is you giving of urself for what ever cause, rather than them hiring a pro and using that to raise a few bucks beyond his fee. Amateurs are often better technical magicians than pros. And I've seen a few amateurs in my life who could hold their own with the top pros if that is what they wanted to do. Just keep doing and enjoying what you are doing.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
Kevin Ridgeway
View Profile
V.I.P.
Indianapolis, IN & Phoenix, AZ
1832 Posts

Profile of Kevin Ridgeway
It is my opinion that a very small percentage of the population have ever seen a live magic show...with the greatest percentage of those that have, seeing a birthday party, restaurant or strolling magician. Nothing wrong with that, just my observations. thus ANY stage show is new to MOST people.

I also believe that there are cookie cutter routines, the old stand bys, etc, that play very well any given day of the week. I don;t think you need to be so original that everything you do has never been done before...in fact it doesn't even need to be new to the entire audience.

Plenty of larger touring shows still feature Cube Zag, Modern Art, Twister, Origami, etc and they do a fine job of entertaining their audiences. There are two goals for a magic show, especially a public ticketed event, which it sounds like you do with this group. That is to pack the seats, then entertain them. If you do both of those...you have succeeded.


Kevin
Living Illusions
Ridgeway & Johnson Entertainment Inc

Kevin Ridgeway &
Kristen Johnson aka Lady Houdini
The World's Premier Female Escape Artist

www.LadyHoudini.com

www.livingillusions.com
The Drake
View Profile
Inner circle
2274 Posts

Profile of The Drake
I can sum up my answer with this story. A cruise ship magician I know worked his guts out at being original. He was revered by other magicians for his talent. He included the Vanishing Bandana routine as filler in his show. Many times after a show guests would come up to him to say great show. Guess what they mentioned of the top of their heads... the levitation? The Vanish? The morph?? No... They say.." Boy... was that banana trick ever great!"

If you AND the audience have fun with the stock stuff then keep having fun and so with they. If you stress to introduce something new and its not nailed to the point you are relaxed with it then it will lay an egg.

Now go out there and ENJOY your magic!

Best,

Tim
Tony Webs
View Profile
Regular user
134 Posts

Profile of Tony Webs
It depends what you maean by fun. Some people do like to see what they know to be 'tricks' and they feel safe about that. However there is an audience who find fun in being scared or having their belief systems shaken, a lot of the standard stock does not always offer this. I ask you this how many of you have lost friends and people that you grew up with because of the powerful effect your magic had on them. During the last twentyone years ive expeience a lot of people who say...you shouldnt mess with unknown forces etc...I have local religious fanatics posting litterature through my door saying things like "who is the antichrist?"
If you want to perceive what I do as trick that's fine If you want to walk away believing in magic then I have accomplished what I set out to do.
I am fully aware that I am not alone with these sort of reactions to the craft and that you all have your own expierences...just think its self defeating when one calls themselfs a magician anounces ' heres my next trick '
The standard stuff was once new in its day and created for the audience at that time, we must bare that in mind unless we are doing shows for people who have been asleep for the last fifty years, but even then I would still consider it bad practice.
Blair Marshall
View Profile
Inner circle
Montreal, Canada
3641 Posts

Profile of Blair Marshall
Wow Tony!!

Anyway, to me "stock stuff" can mean items that are "tried and true"

I once performed on a magic convention and asked a fellow performer (well respected) why they would want me, as I did many of the standard effects.

His response? "You do them so well!"

I still do the linking rings, with one or two volunteers on stage, I still get told by audience members that "the next time" they want to be up there so they can "check out " the rings.

"The next time"??? You mean they would want to watch the same effect again??

Rings, misers dream, colour change silk, so many routines are "stock". The prop may be stock, but what you put into the routine of yourself isn't, THAT'S THE ORIGINAL PART(or should be.)

An interesting side bar, when I bought the "ShaZzam!" show, an internationally known performer/illusionist was looking at some photos and repeated what he had been told by a major builder, it was "a show of older, standard illusions". At the same event several younger (under 30) performers were pointing out the Assistants Revenge, The Stove Illusion, and several other "standard" illusions asking what they were and what they did. These were performers! And you tell me the lay audience knows what is old, or what's new?

Another word for "stock" may be "classic". What's wrong with building a show on the basics?

Blair Marshall
"ShaZzam!"
Tony Webs
View Profile
Regular user
134 Posts

Profile of Tony Webs
Nothing wrong with building a show on the classics just, infact I started with a lot of classic stuff when I did the clubs, some of the older people back then saw it as a right pf passage, but that was then.......the next audience is the youth who were brought up on youtube..., the net...fox tv exposures...the masked magitian,,,etc
I don't seek originality just for originality sake,for me its about self expression.
I would like to see more mistery around the craft though instead of the lipservice many pay because of fear of not being 'politicaly correct'(see some of my other posts) but this is how it is in England when one performs to the public.
As you may know there are a number of youths who don't like 'boxy sorts of illusions' they say 'ow no wat about real magic' but then in fairness they maynot want illusion they want to believe theve perceived magic.....deep down they want the mystery in their world that's over exposed,,,,they see a magic man as the key out.
I suppose it depends on you audiences, resorces, experiense ect but for me its 'nesessity that's the mother of invention'
Tony Webs
View Profile
Regular user
134 Posts

Profile of Tony Webs
To Photius
The idea comes from seeing something that happens in a dream and then wanting to make it a 'reality'
Blair Marshall
View Profile
Inner circle
Montreal, Canada
3641 Posts

Profile of Blair Marshall
Tony,

Now I see where you are coming from.
It really does depend on your audience.

Different strokes.....etc.

Blair
Tony Webs
View Profile
Regular user
134 Posts

Profile of Tony Webs
Glad you do. Hay I like your website, quite an impressive set up.
Blair Marshall
View Profile
Inner circle
Montreal, Canada
3641 Posts

Profile of Blair Marshall
It is over 6 years old, doesn't do the show justice, gotta get some new stuff up.

Blair Marshall
"ShaZzam!'
Tony Webs
View Profile
Regular user
134 Posts

Profile of Tony Webs
Make a feature of it being 7 years old..7 being the mystical number etc
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » A Question For You Full- and Part-Time Professionals from a Hobbyist (0 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.15 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL