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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Believe it or not... » » Any Advice? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

dpe666
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I have been learning and practicing the sideshow arts, mostly the classic stunts for a little over 5 years now. I am doing my first real show in a couple of weeks. Is there any advice that any of you veterans can give me? Smile
Harley Newman
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I've noticed that good advice comes from a working relationship. Without knowing you, what you do, your level of expertise, and your performance style, it's difficult to say anything meaningful.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

www.bladewalker.com
rossmacrae
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If you can do the stunt your avatar is doing, your career will be amazing!

For sure, get not only performance advice but practical stunt advice from people who actually perform. Really ... these folks are all very forthcoming, and have advice that is not only valuable but really essential, but they're not gonna come to you. Post what feats you plan to do, and surely someone here will offer some help.

Also, listen to my PODCAST , you'll hear general advice from a lot of working professionals.
dpe666
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Ok. Fair enough. I do fire-eating, glass-eating, cinderblock over the head, hand in animal trap, blockhead, cig on tongue, and popcorn kernal from the eye. I do all that along with stage magic. Smile
Rick West
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When combining the two...how do you keep people from not thinking
the sideshow stunts are magic or illusion?
"Never let the truth stand in the way of a good jackpot"

"You say things sometimes, you don't know what the hell you mean. But you're sincere when you say it." Bob Dylan
Todd Robbins
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It really is very simple. But simple does not mean easy.

First off, get a pad of paper (or open a document on the computer). Make a page for each stunt you do. Write down what appeals to you about that stunt. Note how you learned about it and how you learned to do it. Write down what you want the audience to understand about it and what they need to know. Don't try to make it anything but a rambling list of things about the stunt. Write down EVERYTHING you can think about that stunt. And don't forget to write down why thing someone should want to watch it.

When you have a ton of stuff written down, go over the list. Some things will start to jump out and these are the thing that you must put into your routine. They are the essence of why you do what you do. Convey this to an audience and it will make it meaningful for them. And it doesn't matter whether you are performing onstage at a hard core rock and roll club or on the platform of the Big Circus Sideshow. Talk to the audience (and never at them) and tell them why this stuff is important to you. They will understand. And if you do it write, it will be important to them too.
BostonBlackie
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Well said Todd.
It wasn't the brightest thing I've ever done in my life. Sadly though, it was far from the dumbest.
-- Zachary Nixon Johnson
dpe666
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Todd, thank you very much! That is some of the best advice I have ever been given on the Café. Smile
Todd Robbins
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My pleasure, but I really did nothing. The hard (but rewarding) work is up to you.
Todd Robbins
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And another thing...

Keep it close to you. What I mean by that is that many performers try to be something they are not. I have no problem with someone playing a role (afterall, in life we have all created who we want to be and are working on playing that role convincingly.) But pulling off something that is different than who you are is really difficult in a performance situation. In theater, where the lines are all set and your only interaction is with another actor, the results are for the most part the same every show. But in performance, where the essence is the spontaneous and honest interaction with the public, you never know exactly what is coming next.

We are all fairly good at improvisation when it comes to real life because we have our whole life experience to draw from. When playing a character, all you have is the research and whatever creative work you have done. And if there is not a great depth to this work, the results ring hollow and are unbelievable.

And in doing sideshow sideshow material, believability is the key to successful performance. If people don't believe in who you are and what you are presenting, then they will feel cheated,that they have wasted their time invested in watching you and your performance will fail.

But I could be wrong.
critter
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Fantastic advice, but what if someone has multiple personalities anyway?
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
Todd Robbins
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Quote:
On 2009-07-14 10:26, critter wrote:
Fantastic advice, but what if someone has multiple personalities anyway?


Ask for double the salary.
Todd Robbins
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And now, if you'll excuse me, I am off to a meeting the results of which might provide employment for a number of you.
gsidhe
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A number of us?
I pick 7.
I hope I win...
Harley Newman
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The average number, for multiple personalities, is 38 (if I recall correctly). And they rarely communicate with each other, without extensive therapy. Pay 1/38th the salary, and you can have many guest performers!
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

www.bladewalker.com
thegreatnippulini
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We all talk to ourselves, this is an inevitable result of boredom. Now when you begin to ARGUE with yourself, then you should worry.

"No they shouldn't"

Shut up!

"No, YOU shut up!"
The Great Nippulini: body piercer, Guinness World Record holder, blacksmith and man with The World's Strongest Nipples! Does the WORLD care? We shall see...
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The Curator of the Unusual
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Harley...John Str#3g has at least 2...One that makes money...and One that doesn't.......
You come to a point in your life when you really don't care what people think about you, you just care what you think about yourself.
Evel Knievel

contact: curatoroftheunusual@hotmail.com
critter
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I talk to myself all the time. Of course, I also count tiles when I walk in the mall and only step on the white ones. Hey, if it keeps me from doing anything inappropriately sexual or violent in public... Sometimes I share too much.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
Rotten
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Well said Todd. Harley once told me to make people care about what you are doing. I think that is solid advice.

I strongly agree with the need for improv skills. I was caught last night with my pants down by a heckler. I love new shows but I hate new shows. I love hecklers, when I'm prepared. I got a jab in but I was not expecting it so I just moved on when it could have been a wonderful moment. So memorize what ever you write so if you get thrown off, and you will, you know where to land. And write; You never know what might happen. Just like life. I didn't expect our driver in Jamaica yesterday to pull over and pick up a hitch hiker with a parrot. And write. Video your shows so you can direct yourself when your not on stage and can notice more. At least an audio recording so that you can listen to hear the reaction and pace. Do you have a feel for what kind of a reaction you will receive? Do you know your audience? There are some people that can not handle watching at least one of the stunts you mention. What do you do?
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