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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » How would you rate this rate this act theoreticly? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

okamis
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Just an act I thought up but never used. Some help, or some effects that would work in would be appreciated, Im asking for how the act is well built, so don't bring in those variables on weather and how good the magician is in acting and so forth.

So there are 2 magicians in this act, one card and one mentalism, got this idea from Theory11. They hate each other and tries to be better than the other and that's what this act is built upon.

It somehow started with that they got the same pitch, really close to each other, and when they both tries to attract a crowd,
cardguy says "Come folk a really good show here"
Mentalism: "Come folk a better show here"
Cardguy looks at mentalism funny: Shouts" THe best show over here"

Mentalism starts with Svengali: Says, say your birthday and when he counts down its their card, does that a few times.
Cardguy: that's easy I can do it and says someone to pick a card, (he palms it and holds the hand to his forehead without exposing, he than says, focus on your card and ill find it, but the mentalism guy sees that he has a palmed card and goes to him and turns his hand 180 Degrees exposing his card in a funny way.

Mentalism feeling superior does the effect Think of a Nr between 1-100 and I will predict this by writing it down on this note. He gets it right
Cardguy: No problem I can do it too, say a Nr between 1-1000 instead, He does Michael Finneys "NO" effect I think its called. Its a joke on mentalism act so he should win the attention of the crowd.

Cardguy: Goes for a triumph but when he turns around for the spec to shuffle the mentalism rushes forward and starts to shuffle to ruin the effect by mixing upside down. wish is no problem for the Cardguy.

Thinking of putting in "do as I do" the mentalism starts finding the card
Cardguy doing the same thing but he finishes bigger.

I was thinking of doing: Mentalism doing booktest and cardguy doing Numero Uno.

than end the show with Toss out Deck for the mentalism
and the cardguy does a card stab with his finger, it goes like spectator picks a card and returns it to the deck, the mentalism gets angry grabs the card and starts to spring them to the cardguy who manages to stab one card with his finger. But I decided not to go with those effects becoz I don't want to pick up those card fallen and that "toss out deck" is not something I want to spend money on when I have not been performing so regularly.

Anyway any ideas on effect that could work that maybe both mentalism and cardguy can do and Maybe another ending?

The truth is that I was going to do this act with a newly found friend that had been doing magic a few years but he got cold feet and decided to skip it but I think this is a good act so I want to improve it and maybe get another friend who can do it with me.

I can say where I stand professionally, Im a cardguy, about 100% pure, been practicing at my home for 5 years, done 3 birthday shows for children and 2 shows at my library which didn't exactly involved card. I have been reading this section in Café for a while and gotten quite inspired to learn cups and balls and many other none card effects because of all the advice I have heard that cards flies away easily, I just want go out and do magic. This act will probably not be the one Im doing in the street but hopefully someday ^^

I hope you guys enjoy the read
The Great Zoobini
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I think the concept of competition as a routine is sound...just not sure these are the tricks to do...Keep thinking about it and you're bound to come up with ideas that are better and better
Meet you in Busker Alley Smile
Pizpor
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Just for clarity, is this a street show?

Magic as theater can be great, I do a two man show routinely. I'd suggest that there should be a contrast between the characters, that is, both shouldn't be great magicians trying to out do each other. For example, in the premise you describe instead of them both hating each other, one of them could hate the other because of their skills, but the could be oblivious to this fact . They should almost have opposite traits, or at least contrasting ones. If you can find a good theatrical premise between the characters, than the show idea can move forward. Also try to define if you want it to be comedy, drama, whatever.

Work on the character traits, theatrical premise, and resolution of the plot and you'll be on your way. Be original - it's a lot of fun. Just my 2 cents worth.
Bill Palmer
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This act reads like a magic catalogue. Forget about marketed effects and work on the characters. Then work on a script and figure out what material will fit into the script.

Pizpor has really hit the nail on the head. If you want to do "duo comedy," which seems to be your goal, take a look at the better duos and see how they worked.

Compare Abbott to Costello, Martin to Lewis, Laurel to Hardy. Compare some of the more modern acts as well. Then figure out your characters and what will make them work.

Obviously, this will take some work. But it will be better if you do the work now than if you have to do it later.

BTW, the NO gag isn't Michael Finney's. It goes back a long way before him. Watch Johnny Thompson do it, and you will see the best version of it there is.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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ed rhodes
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This sounds a lot like the "Harry Anderson meets Doug Henning" sketch on Saturday Night Live...and you see how THAT one ended up!
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
Pizpor
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Those are great examples. I was also thinking of duo's Penn and Teller and The Great Thomsoni and Company as other examples of acts that incorporate contrasting characters.

Bill mentioned Abbott and Costello - here's one of my favorite magic bits that they did:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxEi6hs2Fa4

Clearly, the routine places lesser emphasis on the magic, and has more to do with the character interactions and the slapstick comedy. But Lou pulls it off in the end. Lots of fun.
okamis
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Hello people in magic Café!

Quote:
On 2010-06-15 16:04, Pizpor wrote:
Just for clarity, is this a street show?

Magic as theater can be great, I do a two man show routinely. I'd suggest that there should be a contrast between the characters, that is, both shouldn't be great magicians trying to out do each other. For example, in the premise you describe instead of them both hating each other, one of them could hate the other because of their skills, but the could be oblivious to this fact . They should almost have opposite traits, or at least contrasting ones. If you can find a good theatrical premise between the characters, than the show idea can move forward. Also try to define if you want it to be comedy, drama, whatever.

Work on the character traits, theatrical premise, and resolution of the plot and you'll be on your way. Be original - it's a lot of fun. Just my 2 cents worth.


Yes this is a street show.

The contrast, I thought One would be a mentalism and another a card magician, but you are saying that contrast is not strong enough, no? Just asking because you didn't mention it so I just want to clarify so you have'nt missed it.

The premise - One should dislike the other for his skills, I like your idea however how should the show move forward in this case? In my show they are trying to beat the other and that is how the show moves forwards to a hopefully good end.

Opposite traits - Let me think a little about this one

Comedy or drama - I was thinking of Comedy but that's because I have a clear picture of what comedy is, I have no experience in a dramatical act, what would the key points be in a drama?

Ill stop here, there is a fly here that has been bugging me for an hour now and I just cant slap it

Oh just a quick idea that hit my head when I read my first post. One is a magician and another with lack of word a "goofer". You see everything the magician do the goofer somewhat makes a joke of. Like the prediction of a number.

Or maybe one is a beginner that somewhat fails with his effect, most things go right except the ending for e.g. and the other guy which is his mentor helps him out when In need. But I want this beginner to have the last word so the last effect will succed.

Heard someone else doing the same ending that he fails his effects but the last attempt he actually succeds and says, how did that happen while does some advance card cuts.
Pizpor
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First, let me apologize - somehow my dyslexia turned the the word 'theoretically' into 'theatrically.' I'm realizing that now. And please, don't let me or anyone else dissuade you - you've got a great idea, run with it.

Actually with the element of one being goofier than the other or more experienced, that's the kind of contrast I was referring too. I didn't really think that card guy versus mentalist was enough definition for the audience's sake. To them, you're both magicians. Whatever you come up with, the characters should have some sort of personality hook to them that you can capitalize on for the comedy. Brainstorm ideas and then try them out. That's the great thing about a street act - if the crowd is sticking around, it's working.

About 10 years ago a buddy of mine and I did a dueling magician sort of sidewalk show. One magician was pompous and the other couldn't tie his shoes. Somehow the doofus would manage to interfer with the other guys act and screw him up. We'd have someone from the audience pick a trick out of a bag and each magician would have to do their version of what came out of the bag. For example, a rope trick. We would have the audience cheer for whoever they thought did a better trick (an early version of America's Got Talent). One of our goals was for the audience to not like the pompous magician and get them to let the inept one win each phase of the competition. The other goal was to have as much audience involvement as possible - we didn't want passive watchers. They loved it. There's was lots of booing, hissing, cheering - you name it. It all ended with a one guy tieing up the other which ended in an escape climax.

We actually turned that act into a murder mystery dinner theater act where one of the magicians ends up dead. There are several other actors in the show (lovely assistants and such) and the audiences job is to figure out who the killer is. It's a really fun show during the holiday season for corporate parties. And it all started as a street act.

My only point is - go for it. Try it. Have fun.
okamis
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NICE!!

the only problem is that I don't have a partner....

But Im going to meet a magician not far from me for the first time and I will offer him to work with me.

Btw Bill, those people, they are not magicians right?
Dave V
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No they're not. In your case the two magicians need to be more than just "magicians" and be ACTORS.

I don't think this scenario would ever work on the strength of the tricks alone. It's not what they do, it's how they interact with each other and with the audience. To do that, they need to be actors and comedians first and foremost.

Check out the duo Barry and Stuart. They incorporate magic into some of their comedy routines, but the main focus is on them, not what they do.
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Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2010-06-18 14:50, okamis wrote:
NICE!!

the only problem is that I don't have a partner....

But Im going to meet a magician not far from me for the first time and I will offer him to work with me.

Btw Bill, those people, they are not magicians right?


Actually, in the case of Laurel and Hardy, Laurel was a part time magician, and, in fact, may have been the inventor of "Smoking the Thumb." But Dave is really right. They were, first and foremost, actors.

So here's a premise for you. What you are setting up is not "just a magic show." It's a playlet. When you have two people who are bouncing material off each other, it doesn't matter whether they are doing magic tricks, juggling, reading minds or telling jokes. They are actors.

What is it about magic or mentalism that makes you think that a skilled actor couldn't do the piddly-a$$ things we hold to be so sacred just as well as we do? Or even BETTER than most of us do?

Have you ever seen Jason Alexander do his mental act?

Misdirection is really a specialized form of acting.

If you are going to do an act like the one that you have proposed, it's going to take more than a string of tricks. You are going to have to figure out which character is the "straight man" and which man is going to deliver the punch lines. You will need to pick out the material to fit your premise. Then you will need to write a script.

So, let's get back to your question again.

Quote:
Btw Bill, those people, they are not magicians right?


You state in your initial post:
Quote:
I can say where I stand professionally, Im a cardguy, about 100% pure, been practicing at my home for 5 years, done 3 birthday shows for children and 2 shows at my library which didn't exactly involved card.


Does doing five shows make you a professional magician?

Just asking for some clarification here.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
okamis
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English is not my mother language what I meant was how far I have gotten on my road to hopefully get professional, card is what I do and than I inform you how long I have trained and than I count my gigs which is not a lot but what Im proud of ^^

Quote:
Have you ever seen Jason Alexander do his mental act?


Hey, just looked it up, isn't he an actor, didn't know he was a magician.

Quote:
What is it about magic or mentalism that makes you think that a skilled actor couldn't do the piddly-a$$ things we hold to be so sacred just as well as we do? Or even BETTER than most of us do?


Actually in my act that person wouldn't need any experience in magic, because, a Svengali deck can probably anyone use, and the triumph effect is quite much acting only for him as I would do the few sleights that involves and he would take all credits. The only thing I would be afraid if would be that the actor forgets for e.g. if he used a Svengali deck, should I reveal the long card or the short. Or that because he hasnt held a deck as much as me, if an effect demended of him to do a sleight for e.g. a double lift he does it very clumsy. But now that I think about it actors must learn to remember lines so maybe he wouldn't have any problem with the Svengali deck. Was this what you meant Bill?
Because when you wrote "A-piddly thing we hold dear" I wasn't sure what you meant.

Btw I don't know any actors either except one girl but we are the opposite from friends.

Quote:
I don't think this scenario would ever work on the strength of the tricks alone. It's not what they do, it's how they interact with each other and with the audience. To do that, they need to be actors and comedians first and foremost.

That's a pretty rocksolid advice. What I understand is that if you are being an actor with a great interaction you can enhance the show by saying it's a magic show and do some effects but the focus is on you. I get the Barry and Stuart simile. Im going to do a little more brainstorming on the show.
Bill Palmer
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Maybe I can simplify my comment for you, then. I do understand the problem with working in a language that is not your native tongue.

It's not the tricks in ANY act that makes the act look magical. It's the way the tricks are delivered. That is, it's the acting that surrounds the trick.

For example, if you take a trick such as the Balducci levitation, and you perform it without any of the acting that makes it look like you are lifting yourself somehow, it looks like exactly what it is. On the other hand, if you perform it the way Balducci originally performed it, it appears that you are actually lifting yourself by your trousers.

Forget about the mechanics of the show and work on the show, itself.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
okamis
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Ahh, I see, I think it came across. You are telling me to work on the patter, manus on the whole act, how I present the effect and an effect after another. Thanks for the advice you are quite a rutined performer.
Bill Palmer
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That's basically it. Think of it as a play. There are two characters. They are antagonistic towards one another.

My friend and mentor, Van Cleve, was a playwright. He was also a very good magician. He did a number of shows that involved two characters. He learned very quickly that the real "formula", if there is one, was to have one character who was "normal" or quick-witted, and a second character who was, perhaps, a bit slow-witted, but whose perceptions "worked" in a rather peculiar way.

Think again of Oliver Hardy vs. Stan Laurel. Both of them were a bit out of sync with the rest of society, but Hardy was basically normal while Laurel was just a bit "off." However, in the end, Laurel's perceptions worked out.

The audience will almost always cheer for the underdog.

And you are more than welcome for the advice.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
dmoses
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This is very much like the Barker Brothers, who busk on the streets of Vancouver do their act. It's brain vs. brawn, mind vs. muscle.

Wes, the younger one does all the flashy sleight of hand, and escape stuff while the older one does mind-reading and memory work.

They fight and argue all the time and this apparent acrimony allows them to get away with all kinds of stuff.
"You're a comedian. You wanna do mankind a service, tell funnier jokes."
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