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Jonathan
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Oklahoma
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When I structure my show I always try to make sure there are no awkward moments or silence. I hate when you have to just sit there and wait for someone else to fill something out that takes a little bit or perform a task in the set up to an effect. The problem is that no matter what I do to fill in that time, the people watch me and won't do what they are supposed to be doing until I stop.

I'm very clear that they should be doing X "while" I'm talking. Most of the time I even say "while you are doing that, let me...". They'll usually start out doing it but then turn their attention to me because they don't want to miss anything. Even if what I'm doing isn't interesting, like when I'll do a set up for something else later on (like find someone to hold onto a prediction box) or explaining what I need the rest of the audience to be doing.

Usually I just tell a funny story or comment on something there, maybe even have the event planner stand up and have people give her a hand, etc. They still won't do what they are supposed to until I stop.

Any ideas?
markthorold
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Shrunken heads atop
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Engage them in conversation making sure you ask open questions and keep prompting them to complete the task .
Mark
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Dr Spektor
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Honest answer: take time to learn blocking techniques, theatrical tricks, and realize that you need to script you and the participant and guide the action.

It isn't easy - but remember the meta-technique of the presentation... it is the key.
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
Jon Hackett
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Dr Spektor is dead on, in fact it is a superb answer, but one I think(?) from your informed post you already know.

One very powerful tool taught to me in terms of misdirection, (same thing no? don't look at the boring stuff over there, look at me!) is to upstage the person doing the task, it is almost that simple, have a think about how people can and cant see you, and how that may affect their attention. Specifically of course the one doing something.

However, the biggest tip I can give from my own studies of the same thing, make what the spectator needs to do, traditionally called 'down time' a really exciting part of the effect. Think about how their actions can be made more challenging, interesting fun and contemporary. We have allot of ways to record information now. Writing with boxing gloves on, is funny, difficult, and focus's the subconscious mind don't you know Smile

And also, I have often tried to make myself the one who needs to go to 'down time'.

What I mean by that is have a spec with the help of all the audience generate whatever is required for the effect. Whilst you dance to some music that someone has chosen for you so you cant hear.

Jon Hackett
It is not the brains that matter most, but that which guides them -- the character, the heart, generous qualities and progressive ideas. Doystoyevsky
kinesis
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Scotland, surrounded by
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Jonathan, after instructing the person to complete a task, finish your statement with. "...let me know when you are done..." You can then talk to your audience, leaving the occasional little gap for the person to interrupt to tell you they're done.
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein






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parmenion
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Hire a director

It looks you have lot of problem with you stage show, I think it will be the best for you.
“I love talking about nothing. It is the only thing I know anything about.”
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Sealegs
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Here's a strategy that might help.

Acknowleging your assisting spectator's involvement with comments such as, "How are you doing with that?" or, "Are you nearly done with that?" etc, before you need the assisting spectator to have finished doing whatever it is they are doing will act as prompts for them to continue with their appointed task.

By asking them these questions before you need them to have finished doing whatever it is they are doing for you you push them along with their part of the procedure.

If/when they reply that they have completed doing whatever it is you wanted them to do you acknowledge it, "That's great I'll get to that in a moment" or "Brilliant, hold onto that and I'll get right to you," "Wow, that's fastest anyone's ever done that, hang on to that and I'll catch up to you in a second." and then utilise whatever it is they've done for you at the point in the routine that you need it.
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
Stephen Young
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That seems like a big leap from;
"The audience member won't concentrate on what he's been asked to do" (paraphrasing somewhat)
to
"It looks you have lot of problem with your stage show."

Steve
parmenion
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Quote:
On 2010-06-17 08:49, steveline wrote:
That seems like a big leap from;
"The audience member won't concentrate on what he's been asked to do" (paraphrasing somewhat)
to
"It looks you have lot of problem with your stage show."

Steve


read some of Johnathan post, you'll see why I advice him to hire a director.
To understand the present read the past.
Anyway it's not bad, all stage artist should hire a director.
“I love talking about nothing. It is the only thing I know anything about.”
<BR>Oscar Wilde experimentaliste <br>
<BR>Artist pickpocket Professional
<BR>
<BR>Looking for the best book test in French? send me a PM!
Stephen Young
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I agree, good directors are a great investment.


Steve
powerwords
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A while ago, I had the same problem. In my case, I couldn't hire any qualified stage director coz there weren't any. Well, there were... But very expensive.

So, I decided to take an acting class and I discussed my problem with the instructor, I also took public speaking lessons.

I spent months and months to learn audience management and blocking.

That seemed to work for me.

Also, I always take a fellow magician to my shows and we review the video together just to see and discuss what was wrong with my performance.

Regards
BE GOOD, if you can't then BE CAREFUL, if it's hard then BE BAD!!!
Lord Of The Horses
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Quote:
On 2010-06-17 09:10, parmenion wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-06-17 08:49, steveline wrote:
That seems like a big leap from;
"The audience member won't concentrate on what he's been asked to do" (paraphrasing somewhat)
to
"It looks you have lot of problem with your stage show."

Steve


read some of Johnathan post, you'll see why I advice him to hire a director.
To understand the present read the past.
Anyway it's not bad, all stage artist should hire a director.
Agreed in toto with Parmenion.
Then you'll rise right before my eyes, on wings that fill the sky, like a phoenix rising!
Dr Spektor
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Toto too?

Wizards.
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
Lord Of The Horses
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And Dorothy too...

OZ... ZY Osbourne is invited?
Then you'll rise right before my eyes, on wings that fill the sky, like a phoenix rising!
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