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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » Manipulation in large venue (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

vennom
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Hi I was wondering if performing manipulation in a large venue is a appropriate idea.My concerns are that my performance would not be visible to the audience sitting far away from the stage.Especially when manipulating balls,thimbles and cards.The items to produce are also under consideration due to performance in a large venue.So are there any form of manipulation or tips that you can give to help enhance the visibility of manipulation?the venue that I'm planning to perform in, has the audience seated furthest as far as 150m away from stage.
The Great Danton
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Cards will work fine in a large venue. I'm not sure about thimbles (never used them), but cards and balls should be fine. Jeff McBride, Lance Burton and Tony Clark all do card manipulations for large groups.

As far as making it more visible, using white balls will make them easier to see from far away. Cards are already mostly white, so you shouldn't have to worry about them. Also, if you can, make sure the backdrop is a dark color, so that the white will contrast with it well, thus making it easier to see. =)

Hope this helps,
Danton

Day 8
"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house."
jaynet
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A lot of acts use a projector and screen to show their act so
the whole audience can see it. Brett Daniels was one of the
first to do this and in his new show he is featuring manipulation and
close-up routines with only a couple of illusions. This is in a casino
theater. You can probably start off with an inexpensive camera and
projector and screen purchased online.
SpellbinderEntertainment
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Master of manipulation,
Jay Scott Berry does what is almost “close-up” magic in quite large venues,
along with the great performers mentioned above.

The right colors, reflections, effect choices, and playing style
can help manipulation work in large venues,
study some of McBride’s older videos and you’ll get a feel for how he compensates.

There was a time when Herrmann, Thurston, Blackstone, LeRoy, and Dekolta entertained huge crowds at the Hippodrome by only gaslight.

Each time we bring in a high-tech gizmo, an artificial amplification system,
or projections,
or video,
we become yet another step removed from LIVE performances.

If the audience cannot see what you are doing
without looking at a monitor or screen,
well…. they might as well be watching a television show,
why go to the theatre at all?

The argument may be made that with the human voice
filtered through a sound system,
and the entertainer’s image projected on a large screen,
the show is no longer LIVE at all,
but a reflection-of-a-reflection
of what WAS a live performance.

Just because we have technology,
does not mean it is the best choice for all performers.
OK, call me old-fashioned, call me backward,
but I long to see the *real* thing,
and not an enhanced, over-lit, over-miked,
projected image of what may be going on at the front of the room.

No matter how good the artificial techno-gizmos,
once they are looking at a screen and hearing only speakers,
it is not YOU they are seeing and hearing,
but only an imitation of a “live” show.

Thanks,
Walt
The Great Danton
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I agree with you Walt.

Let's try to keep magic a live art, by doing effects everyone can see. Houdini actually performed the needle trick (where he 'swallowed' needles and thread, then pulled threaded needles from his mouth after having someone from the audience look in his mouth, they of course, saw nothing), at the Hippodrome. They called it "the worlds smallest trick performed on the worlds largest stage." Because the needles where shiny, the people watching could see them, even though they where rather far away.

Day 10
"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house."
Harry Murphy
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I recently (December) went to a magic stage show in an auditorium that sat over 1500. It was a sold out show. At one point the magician performed multiplying balls (a one-to-four production with a color change and a flash four finale) that played to the back of the house. He also did the standard card manipulations including some exhibition fans (multi colored card backs giving different patterns when fanned). It could be seen and appreciated by every spectator.

After an intermission the performer stood in front of the curtain and did a thimble routine with colored thimbles (Mogar’s thimbles to be exact, not the large Fakini numbers) in a pin spot. Again it played to the back of the house. He also did a cups and balls routine and didn’t use the jumbo cups you see favored by street magicians today. He was using a set of Bertram style cups (maybe Tom Frank’s Phoenix cups) using maybe one-inch balls and lemons for final loads. It played to the back of the house.

Over 40 years ago I watched the great Jack Gwynn did a simple two glass suspension (you know the one, it used to be in all the kids' magic trick sets and sold by Adams on their novelty racks in toy stores) on stage. He suspended the two glasses from his wallet. He stood center stage, in a pin spot, and sold what was basically a close-up trick! There were maybe 1200 in the audience.

Irv Winer and Billy McComb both had sponge ball routines for the stage that played to large houses. Heck, Martin Lewis does the Cigarette Paper Torn and Restored as a stage number and has framed it to be seen in the largest auditorium!

Heck, the misers dream uses coins yet plays to huge audiences.

It has been said above that color enhances visibility of the small object. Let me add that proper staging, pacing, lighting, and sound all emphasize a small object.

Most if not all objects that are manipulated are small-ish yet manipulation acts have been around for decades! Back in the day of live theater (Vaudeville and Music Halls) audiences were huge and yet the acts played. They knew how to stage, pace, and present their acts. It was/is an art.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
eshdath
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Shalom,I think that this response I wrote for another topic will aply here,so here you go.


Quote:
On 2008-01-30 20:14, eshdath wrote:
Hi Nedim,a rainbow routine can be very visible from stage,all you have to do is a little colour management.For example,never change a white ball to a yellow,a green to a blue,a red to an orange or some purples,and never use black.You should also stick to primary colours(red,blue,yellow).When they're held between the fingers you should always have the lighter coloured ball between the darker coloured balls for contrast like red,yellow,blue,and than white or some off coloured ball at the end like neon pink.You should never mix your primaries with your secondaries(orange,green,purple)but it can be done with proper colour management.
Arthur Trace's act Post Modern Art is a good example of proper colour managment,and he even mixes primaries with secondaries.For one,he colour changes one white ball individualy at a time,and when the balls are presented between the fingers they are in the order of green,orange,blue,white.The green,orange,blue balls are then set aside and the white ball is changed to a red one,after which the red ball is never put with the rest of the other balls.
If you use wooden balls make sure to have a flat finish on them not a glossy finish.A glossy finish will reflect and refract light,but a flat finish will absorb the light into the colour and accent it more than a glossy finish would.The same applies to white,a white ball looks big,but a flat finish white ball looks bigger.



Another thing I'd like to add ,is that if your colour changing with cards/card fans;you might want to use solid coloured cards with no print.Almost anything though can be seen with proper lighting and colour management.Also your movements should be a little more over the top than they would be for a parlour show.
Zion speaks......are you listening?
Levent
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Vennom:

Almost all of my performances are in large theaters (about 1350 seats). My hour long show is a combination of comedy and sleight of hand and I only use small handheld props.

What I do is no different than what was done by the vaudeville performers such as T. Nelson Downs, Thurston (during his old card act), Emil Jarrow or by the act Gali Gali during his career in Las Vegas.

The key is that your personality should be big enough to fill the stage and hold the attention of the audience. If you can do that, then you can focus their attention into a concentrated area, such as your face and hands. Also, a darkened stage and a follow spot can really help to draw the audience into what you are doing.

On a big stage you must not do any confusing tricks, in other words your effects must be very clear and easy to understand.

Tricks with a long and complicated build up should be avoided. In a big theater, simple direct magic is usually your best bet.

Also, having variety helps hold a crowd. A very long card manipulation routine can win a magic contest, but in a big theater in front of lay people, all those different card moves can blur into what seems like a single long and boring card. So do a nice visual mixture of magic tricks. For example, a two minute card routine, followed by two minutes of balls, then two minutes of silks, etc.

Finally, don't forget to include many pauses in the routines for audience applause. People like to interact with the performer and the applauding wakes them up and keeps them attentive.

Follow my suggestions and I think you will be ok!

Best regards,
Levent
TheAmbitiousCard
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Quote:
On 2008-03-13 00:37, Levent wrote:
Finally, don't forget to include many pauses in the routines for audience applause. People like to interact with the performer and the applauding wakes them up and keeps them attentive.


That's a great and simple quote to remember.
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Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
Paul Jester
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Just because it can be done doesn't mean it's easy or automatic. Studying how the old masters, (such as Houdini and his Needle trick, and Gali Gali and his coins across,) made their small effects register to a large audience is a real course in showmanship. Also you'll need to study lighting, and timing (especially speed of movements and displays). Balls, Thimbles, and even cards can carry to the back, if done correctly. The most common mistake I see is white gloves and white cards, they're hard to see from a distance, and throwing more lighting at it only creates glare and makes them even harder to see.
Good luck!
Paul
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