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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Getting into stage? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Head Case
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I'm interested in getting into stage, I really want to do a dove act, and also leveitations. I mean like real levitations, not make a dollar bill float with some spider thread, but actual human levitation.

I have done close-up for years now, but never looked into stage, or how it works.

So if anyone would have some tips, or could at least point me in the right direction to start learning dove and levitation for stage. Any and all help would be nice.

Thanks a ton.
-Derek
Jethro Magic
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DCMagicEnt, getting into stage magic especially doing illusions is not cheap. So be ready to break all your savings in the bank. Just something to think about.
Head Case
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I guess the new saying is.

It takes money... To make a nice stage act. haha.

I'm ok with that.
makeupguy
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Doves? Buy everything that Tony Clark has made.. and look at some of the OLD books.. Kirk Kirkham, Gen Grant.. and others.

I think that Dove magic has passed it's prime.

Remember that doves are living creatures and though gentle and not high maintenance like a parrot, they do make a lovely cooing sound. Often at 3am. It can cause nerves in your house and your neighbor if they live close by.

As far as other stage magic, that's a big sub-section to bite off. Can you be a bit more specific?
Head Case
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I just want to stay as far away from the comedy, coloring book, cut and restore act, and rope acts and things like that.

Listen to this song. and just imagine a nice dove, or levitation act, http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=HOUb-MPQ4L4

that's pretty much where I'm at, at this point, don't really know what to do, where to find it, or what is out there. don't even know where to look.

I just have an idea, and I figured doves, and levitation was a good starting point, I'm sure ill run into other things along the way of the research.
Matthew W
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Start small. Come up with an act to music, an audience participation routine with a volunteer and a strong closer.

A 15-20 minute act. Get used to being on a stage. It is very different from birthday parties and strolling magic. Everything is on YOU. Take this act to some talent shows, so that you can see what it is like to perform on a stage and in front of a large group of people.

Rope is very good for stage. So is comedy. Not all magic has to be serious.

Don't forget levitations need assistants to levitate.

Here are some ideas

Manipulation Act
Straitjacket Escape
Vanishing Bandanna
Sword through neck
Linking rings
Rope routine

These all pack small and play big. Even with these 6 items, you can fill almost an entire hour! There are people that can get over an hour with all this.

If you need any more info, just ask.
-Matt
Sam Sandler
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Hi derek,

I have been performing stage shows for over 2 decades and I only mention that to let you know I have some experience on the matter.

the advice given so far is good.
let me say a few things. if you are looking to build an illusion show yes it can cost a small fortune. I carry my own curtains, sound, lighting, not to mention the illusions, doves and other animals then there are the back ups to almost everything.

that being said here is how I would play it.

you mention levitations however unless you have an assitant and a big budget I would hold off for right now on that.

start by trying to build a 30- 40 minute stage show.

focus on 2 stage illusions. for a small budget look on magic aution both the known name and the NOT known name. find something that interest you and then ask about it. find a production like a blammo box or a shadow box illusion. then look at something like a modern art -its a vertical sawing in half.

if you have a bigger budget look at something like a spiker illusion or something else that you can form a routine around. that is the key to build a routine around the ilusion.

you have 2 illusions now add 2 or 3 smaller effects such as walking knot, straight jacket, a routine for with a volunteer. like a card stab (kevin james has a unique version with an umbrella.

I will mention a Creative magic has some unique things th at pack small very small and play well and are not that expensive. however I look at them as more of something y ou would add to the show down the road but worth a look.

now I will tackle the opening routine. you mentioned a dove act. yes they have been done (alot) but I still get great reactions everytime I perform them. I just added two more. keep in mind you do not own them they own you! refering to the care you will have to do to keep them alive. I still think it is worth it.

makeupguy mentioned Tony Clark DVD's (behind the seams) I will second that as well as shimada, and andy amyx. the idea here is to broaden your horizons and get ideas from multiple places to pull from to create your own take on the productions.

I will highly recommend silks during your routine and you can get some great silks and silk DVD's from my good friend Duane laflin just go to

http://www.lockfamilymagic.com/public/in......a57a49ca

your show shoudl be like a roller coaster in that it takes them on a ride with high points and low points. big ilusions and intamate magic, ausience participation, and story telling.

and lastly I would highly recommend watching as many performers as you can google/youtube- jeff McBride, tony clark, dan speary, rick thomas, feel free to check me out to there are some videos on youtube and my website. there is plenty out there to watch and extract ideas from.
also watch the new masters of illusion speacial starting January 5th 2009.

well I have said a lot and I hope it helps.
do not hesitate to ask me questions and I will do what I can to help you succeed!

magically

sam
sam sandler- America's only full-time DEAF Illusionist
http://www.samsandler.com
http://www.deafinitelymagic.com
Alan Munro
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The bigger the show, the more effort it will take to book it. There are too many guys who spend a mint on a big show, but the bookings just don't come in. It's work!

I recommend starting small and build the show as you can afford to. There are already many threads on the expenses of a large show. Even when the show is in storage, there is still a great deal of overhead.
Sam Sandler
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I too should have mentioned that the idea of a 30-40 minute show with out a levitation is due to the fact that you need it to play anywhere. levitations have a limited number of places that they work.

I would also ask who is your target market/

that will decide a lot for you.
sam sandler- America's only full-time DEAF Illusionist
http://www.samsandler.com
http://www.deafinitelymagic.com
Matthew W
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I wouldn't even go for anything that needs an assistant just yet. It is too soon for someone just starting on a stage.

Here are some small one person illusions/illusionettes that would be great, and are not all that expensive:

Chair Suspension
Sword through neck
Lester lake guillotine
Andrew Maynes RazorWire
Floating table
Arm chopper

You need to be able to pull a good amount of time from each piece. I get at least 8-10 minutes from my Lester Lake Guillotine.

The straitjacket is another great piece that makes a great closer. Do that with an "in and out" type of escape and you have 15 minutes!

Also, to be completely honest, comedy routines for smaller effects get much better reactions than doing seriously to music.
-Matt
Bob Sanders
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Derek,

My experience has apparently been very different from many of the others above. I have fifty years in the professional entertainment industry and forty-seven of those are in magic. At age 63, I still work hard. This is January 2, 2009, and I am booked through September. Also agents are working on a European tour for the next year.

Like most, I started with cards and close-up and loved it. But I could not make enough money. The switch to stage and livestock simply made economic sense. It still does. Head-count translates into dollars and dollars translate into talent buyer budgets for entertainers.

It is certainly a much greater investment. You will actually have to have a real polished show (act) as opposed to a different show every day. (And yes! Repeat audiences return to see the same show again and expect to see it!) This is the entertainment business. The delivery of the classics here count much more for presentation than uniqueness. You will need to build a portfolio of "Greatest Hits" and leave the latest item in the magic magazines for the hobbyists. Paying audiences are quite different from the guys in the magic club. The goals are simply different.

Frankly, it has little in common with close-up magic except that you don't tell all you know. You'll either love it or hate it.

The good news is that if it isn't for you, there is nothing to keep you from returning exclusively to close-up magic. They are not mutually exclusive. You can enjoy both!

Good Luck!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com
Head Case
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Thanks so much for all the great input, Obviously I have extensive research to do on this topic. I think that I am going to start off by figuring out what I can afford to build/buy and then coming up with an act. playing with it and perfecting it. then maybe I will look into marketing it and trying to make money off of it. too me, its not so much about getting gigs. I do it because I like to. But of course, If I pulled gigs, that's always a plus Smile

Thanks again guys

I am going to start posting close-up stuff on youtube and when I start developing a stage act ill get that up too. Ill be sure to post up videos on here when I get them filmed and edited. Smile
chrusa
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One think I have learned is stage does not always mean big. DC did a cut and restored rope routine as well as Jay Sankey's card through balloon, mislead, etc. You can take an effect that might not be construed as stage and routine it to make it "Big" Andrew Mayne puts out some phenomenal products as well.

Also with the really low cost of Video Cameras and projectors these days compared to what they were years ago you can invest in something like a projector and video camera and do a close up effect on stage and the video equipment gives you that "big" feeling. Depends on what kind of show I wouldn't do this for a 5 year olds birthday for example.


Mathew you do sword through neck as well right? How does that play for you? Also you have a routine with boxer shorts as well on yourself., That is something if routined right can be a stage effect for this gentleman and he might get some time out of it.
Thanks,
<BR>
<BR>Chris Hrusa
Matthew W
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The sword through neck is for family shows. I use the Lester Lake guillotine for stage shows, and repeat customers booking the family show again. I do it as a comedy piece and get around 7-10 minutes from it. It gets great reactions. There is a video clip of me doing it when I first added it to my act 2 years ago, I tested it out on a local talent show.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7219807078629843315

The underwear trick is the 20th century undies, routined to be the 'new' way to saw someone in half, without all of the bulky props and equipment. However, in the end it goes wrong, pulling out my underwear. The routine is quite simple, and lasts only about 4-5 minutes, but works great.

Matt
-Matt
Michael Taggert
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DC Magic ent
Fist I would seriously ask your self whatyou know about Stage craft. Bigs shows area a theatrical presentation. If you are not savvy with producing a big show you will get burned. (warehouse full of dusty props) as for doves They are still a hall mark of our trade. Not my choice mind you but bravo to the guys who can live and work with them. I would caution you with some words That I have heard echoed from amny of the sage performers in our business. That if everyone on ethe bill does doves and you do a vanishing bananna Then they will all go away saying the magic show was great did you see the guy that did that thing with the bannana? The morale here is that while the big boxes look great and we all want to fly concntrate on a Great stand up act that represents your personality. every competition I go to and every year when Im booking acts for Magi-whirl I get countless 15 minute dove acts that end with a snow storm!
for whatit is worth I do own a very nice levitation I performed it about a dozen times last year.nice routine that gets me stnding ovations. But It took me 25 years to write the routine. This year it is replaced with a chair suspension. don't rush into stage do your homework and seek help from others. Most of all have fun.
Mike Taggert
chairman Magi-whirl
http://www.magi-whirl.com
Believe you then that I do strange things
Pakar Ilusi
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Easiest way getting into stage?

A trapdoor. Smile

But seriously, I would advise you to just come up with ONE THREE MINUTE STAGE ACT first.

A Solo Act, easier to put together now.

Whatever you like. Newspaper Tear. Floating Rose. Big Envelope Prediction. Rope Tie Gag.

Make it a Routine, not just tricks. 3 Minutes.

The important thing is that you get yourself onstage FIRST. See if you like it. If you do, then build from there.


All the very best.

Smile
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
Dr. Reneau
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Get involved with community theater and learn basic stagecraft. The best illusion in the world will not do you any good if you don't know how to present yourself on stage.
Eric Jamborsky

Dr. Reneau,
Headmaster,
Hogwash School of Really Weird Stuff
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