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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » How long is your act? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Rocketeer
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Westchester, NY
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A search didn't help me find what I'm looking for.

How long is your act in minutes?

In what kind of venues do you most commonly perform it?

What is the median size of your audience?

I'm not interested in what you charge, just how long the typical(?) act lasts.

Thank you,

Rocky
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IAIN
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Eternal Order
england
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I suppose my first question is....why do you want to know?
Rocketeer
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Just curiosity and help in planning my own act Iain. I have yet to see a live mentalist show although I'm going to see Sam Eaton's show in the next month or two.

The other two questions are to help me make sense of the answers I get to question number one.
I'm selling my hardcover autographed limited edition copy of Jerome Finley's "Thought Veil"

PM me for info.
parmenion
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So, Rocketeer have you ever perform as magician/mentalist ?
It looks not.

It depends of the venue :
The Derren Brown show's two and half hour long.
Usually theater show is between 1h and 2h.
If you work for corporate it's between 15mn and 1h30 ( sometimes more).

So, the rule here is there is no rules
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Rocketeer
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Parmenion,

No, I've never done a full show, as you surmised. Thank you for your answer.

Rocky
I'm selling my hardcover autographed limited edition copy of Jerome Finley's "Thought Veil"

PM me for info.
pete
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Finland
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About 45 minutes. Here in Finland I mostly work in corporate events. Median size of my audience... Hmm... Maybe 100 people.

Pete
Domino Magic
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I typically do a 30-40 minute show or a 45-60 minute show. The length of the show depends on what the client wants and the audience.

My average audience is a corporate audience, usually banquet setting in a hotel banquet room or private room in an upscale restaurant. Average audience size is 50 - 300 people.
IAIN
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I agree with parmenion - you'll get as many answers as you will people...

mines anything from a one on one thing for ten-fifteen or so minutes for bar/pub work...to 6-15 people for 30-50...and effects wise, depends on the amount of people what you can/cannot do, for me at least...

I did two presenations for a lady at her birthday the other week, but it took ten or so minutes just cos we were chatting and discussing certain things...

it all depends on presenational style and so on...
mrmagic0
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Ron Frank
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Generally 30-40 minutes is good but that will depend on the client. The best rule though is leave hem wanting more. The best compliment is, "Gee the time went so fast". Or "Gee your act was so enjoyable I hated to see it end". I see so many magicians who don't know when to quit. Granted these are not pros.

Ron
Mindpro
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I understand you asking this question. This is the type of question that may get many responses offering you all sorts of related information but never actually answering your initial question. This seems to happen often here, partially I think because some feel protective revealling this type of information, especially to a newbie or newcomer to this area of the art. Answers seem much more forthcoming in magic than with mentalism. You might be better off asking for PM answers?

As others have stated, many surrounding factors are needed, but to simply answer your question, since I work several different markets from corporate events, banquets, schools, trade shows and theaters or feature performances, I have several different acts and length acts, beginning from a short 20-30 show which is good as a transition, showcase or lineup act, a 45, 60 and 75 minute show, and a full 90 minute performance. I also have performances that are mentalism only, stage hypnosis only or the full combined performance.

I hope this helps you, best of luck and keep us posted.
Dick Christian
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The problem with all questions of this sort -- like "what's the best this or that," "how many acts do you have," "what do you charge," etc., etc. -- and there seems to be no shortage of them on the Café, is that it is almost impossible to offer any meaningful answers. I could certainly tell someone what works for me, the audiences I typically perform for, my own skills and experience, etc., but none of that is necessarily relevant the persona, skill/experience level, audience of a person about whom I know absolutely nothing other than that they are asking the question. Accordingly, it is highly unlikely that any advice I -- or anyone who hasn't actually observed them in action -- might offer will be of any value and, in fact, it is quite likely that it might be the worst possible advice they could receive.

I realize that this doesn't begin to answer your question, but it's the truth. The best advice anyone can offer is that given above by mrmagic0; i.e., the ideal performance is the one that ends five minutes before the audience wants it to and the worst is the one that lasts one minute longer than they wish it had.
Dick Christian
robwar0100
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Following up on what Dick said, I can tell you that all of my shows, no matter if a mentalist/mindreading/mental magic, birthday, all-purpose, etc., have nine effects and last around 40-45 minutes.

However, why do they last that long is another question. It wasn't very long ago I was performing shows of the "dealer demo" variety. Basically, hey look at this. it's cool. Now, let me show you another.

It was a long and slow process learning how to put an act together, and I am still learning and tweaking. I like to think that I am getting a better sense of what I am trying to accomplish in my acts and who is trying to accomplish them.

Bobby
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Jonathan
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Derren Brown talked about this on this very board a few years ago. He advised a 45 minute act because it's a lot easier to book than a 60 minute one.
gboss
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I do presentations for small groups. One story and 5-6 effects as illustrations. Max. 35-40 minutes. It is enough.
Dick Christian
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What is an appropriate length for a performance in one situation, may not be in another just as what is best for one performer may be different for others. In many cases, it is the person hiring the performer, not the performer himself, that will dictate the duration of the performance. It is then up to the performer to determine if the duration specified is one that can be accommodated within the structure and style of his program(s). There is simply no such thing as a "one size fits all" program. Many different factors, such as the age and size of the audience, the venue, the wishes of the client (e.g., time allotted and budget available for entertainment), the capability of the performer, etc., may dictate how long a performance should be.

That is what makes specific answers to a very general non-specific question meaningless.
Dick Christian
Domino Magic
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Quote:
On 2009-09-06 17:08, Jonathan wrote:
Derren Brown talked about this on this very board a few years ago. He advised a 45 minute act because it's a lot easier to book than a 60 minute one.


Derren isn't booking shows in the USA, so he really has no experience to base that comment on as it may pertain to us in the states. While I enjoy Derren as a performer, I wouldn't take his every word as gospel.

I have about 90 minutes of material that I can choose from. I give my client the option of how long they want me to perform. I have a show this Friday night, they only want 30 minutes. I just booked another show and they want 60 minutes. I don't care what Derren Brown says - 45 minutes isn't the magic number for making a show easier to book.
kinesis
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Stage show 2 x 40 mins
Cabaret 40 mins
concert 10 - 15 min spot
round the tables - 6 to 8 mins
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drezmagic
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I usually perform for about 40 min depending on the venue.
cc
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Burger, in his lectures, has commented if a client asks him to do a longer show, he'll listen to their reasoning and then suggest "What you want is a good 20 minutes." He said it doesn't always work, but when it does, it's the perfect amount of magic for today audiences and does leave them wanting more. This works for Eugene, but it may not work for everyone. David Ben in his TRICKS book also offers some great advice on routining and show lengths.
Jamie D
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For me it's 40 - 60 min. and for a walk around gig usualy 8 min per table, depending on the amount of tabels tho.

Daren
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