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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Do You Have A Personal Illusion Time Limit? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Whacky Neighbor
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I was reading Jeff McBride’s November 2008 article (The Show Doctor, Grand Delusions) in Magic Magazine, where he gives sort of a formula for creating a small show – what type of illusion to start, middle and end with, which is fantastic! But unless I’m missing it, there wasn’t really any kind of time frame in there. I was curious if anyone has a personal time limit to everything they do. I realize that each illusion has different kinds of timing, but for me, I do 3 illusions, the entire show not lasting more than 20 minutes. This gives me about 5 - 6 minutes for each of my 3 pieces. I’ll certainly allow it to go less than 20, but never more with 3 things. I’ve found that I clock in 15-20 minutes for everything when all is said and done. Anyone else?
Kyle^Ravin
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I think the performance of the illusion should be no more than 5 minutes. Frankly speaking, I'm not a big fan of illusions that take just 5 seconds to perform but is presented with loads of dancing that makes you impatient to watch the magic. My basic illusion show consists of two grand illusions and two other magic routines. Its a half hour show but is put together to have enough time for each illusion to be presented correctly. Lets be honest, some illusions need more explaining, like the subtrunk, if you get the audience to inspect the truck. Others, like sawing a lady in half is more direct. It really depends BUT, I'd stick to 5 mins.
David Garrity
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That's a good question.

I think you are right that it depends upon each illusion as to how long it could or should run. As an example, a levitation is going to take longer to perform and can be it's own routine, where a blammo box or fire cage production is going to have to be rolled into a larger routine as it might be difficult to make a quick illusion like that play longer without it seeming like you are stretching.

Another option is to use the illusion as an audience participation routine and utilize a volunteer from the audience. This actually makes the illusion stronger in many cases as you can have the volunteer examine parts of the prop and create some byplay and comedy. Illusions that work for this type of presentation are Zig Zag, Wakeling Sawing or Chair Suspension. This is a great way to maximize time with an illusion.

Sincerely,
David
Flying Magus
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Quote:
On 2008-11-24 01:15, David Garrity wrote:
<snip>
Another option is to use the illusion as an audience participation routine and utilize a volunteer from the audience. This actually makes the illusion stronger in many cases as you can have the volunteer examine parts of the prop and create some byplay and comedy. Illusions that work for this type of presentation are Zig Zag, Wakeling Sawing or Chair Suspension. This is a great way to maximize time with an illusion.
<snip>


Robert Harbin was a great one for this. Although I sometimes feel he turned them into puzzles by this presentation, they were very strong and ran longer.
Magically yours,

Michel Fouché
Believe in the Impossible
AmazingEARL
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Audience volunteers can be a great addition to many illusions. I do it with my own Sawing in Half. The big advantages are that it helps set your character, makes the audience feel involved in the show (if only by poxy)...and it doesn't require the Magician to dance. <shudder>

There are other ways to make an illusion play longer, too. I had a client come to me recently who always wanted to do a Phantom Cargo Cage, presenting it backwards as a production, but hated that it only took 30 seconds onstage. (He KNEW he was no dancer.)

Due to the method, that illusion doesn't lend itself well to having volunteers onstage poking around. Instead, I developed a sort of Crystal Casket/Cargo Cage hybrid. The framework is shown, the sides built to form a BA-friendly enclosure, and then a Spirit-Cabinet-type comedy routine which builds to a dramatic and amazing climax when the assistant finally appears.

The whole thing runs about 8 minutes and absolutely kills.

I guess my opinion is that as long as the presentation is entertaining, makes sense and DOES NOT DRAG, there's really no time limit in my mind.

Dan/EARL
Smoky Mountain Magic
http://www.SmokyMtMagic.com
"We build AMAZING things"
SpellbinderEntertainment
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I don’t feel it’s the length of time by the clock.
It is the perceived amount of time in the audience’s mind.

If a presentation is empty-- two-minutes can feel like hours.
If a presentation is exciting-- six-minutes can feel like seconds.

Maybe this is why Jeff did not give specifics of time?

Plot, story, movement, music, if done well build anticipation,
and create an emotionally-fulfilling sequence and time “stops”.

On the other hand, an unstructured / unrehearsed illusion,
can make time tick on and on and on and on….

Magically,
Walt
Donal Chayce
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What Walt said...
:nod:
Illucifer
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Walt is correct. There is no right or wrong amount of time. Ever seen a 90-minute movie that felt like 3 hours? I have. Likewise, I've seen 3-hour movies that flew by.

Is the audience's intellect being engaged, or are they merely being asked to vegetate whilst you prance about your shiny things? If you aren't saying something with your magic, if you've no point of view to express and aren't giving your audiences something to wrap their minds around, then you are wasting your time and, more importantly, theirs.

Case in point: one of my routines clocks in at 16-17 minutes and the audience is with me every step of the way.
It's all in the reflexes.
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