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Pakar Ilusi
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Quote:
On 2010-11-22 15:27, mastermindreader wrote:
Pakar-

I agree with you. But, then again, what you say is is the rule I follow for ALL of my performances. If you don't engage them in the first 30 seconds the rest of the show is going to be an uphill climb.

Good thoughts,

Bob


As it should be. For all performances. Smile

Thanks Bob.
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
david12345
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POINT 1 - Grab attention in first 30 seconds - ABSOLUTELY
POINT 2 - Plan for audience, be ready to adapt and adjust - YES

Still the question resonates - what is the perfect presentation for the 18-35 age group. What is the appropriate length of show and how quickly should an individual effect progress?
Seems to be mixed reactions. Wravyn brings up an interesting correlation with the length of commercials changing.

David
funsway
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"engage in 30 seconds" "grab attention" -- this sounds like having to do something spectacular or shocking -- and I disagree. You can engage an audience or a single person with total silence, by presence alone. In all communiation is is "who you are" rather than "what you do" that will establish trust, engender rapport and awaken magic in the spectator's soul.

Try it. The next time you perform, walk out and just stand there -- do absolutely nothing until there is complete silence and rapt attention. It could take 20 second and it could take five minutes. When you finally own the stage, begin ...

I doubt many here will agree -- only those who have done it or seen it done.

of course, you performance had better be good.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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Pakar Ilusi
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On 2010-11-22 14:34, Pakar Ilusi wrote:
Make sure you get their attention in the first 30 seconds with something engaging.

It can be visual or just an idea spoken, but it must engage them to want to know what's about to happen.

Of course then back it up with something strong, or you'll lose them again.

My opinion on it... Smile


Funsway, I mean exactly what you just said. Engaging.

Silence (or rather "Presence") can be engaging.

Engaging does not always mean "flash bang"... Smile
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
Bill Palmer
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On 2010-11-22 09:54, Eshla wrote:
The attention span of older people can be a problem, I did some work in a very posh retirement home recently... I had more than one problem with dementia and such; a few seemed to think they're thoughts could be heard aloud anyway. Poor souls, but still it was fun.

I perform mostly to 18-35 and there's never been a problem with attention spans for me. Maybe that's because I myself am young and I just naturally fit into peoples "timing" a bit better. For me, someone like Osterlind speaks frustratingly slow and I sit there watching his DVD's at 120% speed so he will talk at te rate I want him too.

Derren Brown and Banachek both speak considerably faster, and perhaps this is because they are both younger and (I think) play to younger audiences.


Most retirement homes of this type are "attended living facilities," which house old people who have various kinds of mental problems such as dementia. These are NOT your typical older person. My mother-in-law is 88 years old and is still in full commend of her faculties. She just drove 350 miles from her home in Abilene to our home in Houston in order to be at the hospital with my wife, who had surgery this morning.

Don't judge older people by the people in these places, which are often nothing more than velvet lined snake pits.

If you judge older audiences by what you see in nursing homes, you are in for some really rude surprises. You will find similar numbers of people with dementia if you work in other types of mental hospitals for younger patients. I know this first-hand. Do a show sometime in one of these facilities where rich people store their misbehaving teenagers. There are some real "beauts" in those places.

Never let your "ageist" prejudices show to your audiences.

I don't think you can give me an accurate assessment of the age of either Banacheck or Derren Brown.
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funsway
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Last week, my 90 year old Dad was shopping with me (and has severe dimentia). I found him staring at an extrememly obese woman. I complimented him on not saying anything -- somthing he has unkindly done before. He replied,

"I just didn't have big enough words!"

No matter how people act, we have little knowledge of what is going on inside of their heads -- perhaps an appreciation of magic far beyond the typical audience.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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mastermindreader
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Quote:
funsway wrote:

"engage in 30 seconds" "grab attention" -- this sounds like having to do something spectacular or shocking -- and I disagree.


The 30 Second Rule, which I have discussed at length in my books and lectures, has nothing to do with doing anything spectacular or shocking. Rather, it simply refers to the fact that your audience with make a judgment about you in the first 30 seconds. That's entirely consistent with your observation that sometimes all you have to do is stand there. In that case it would be all about HOW you stand there.

Best-

Bob
Wravyn
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David,
Let me bounce these questions back to you. What is the venue?
~Are you doing walk around?
~Are you doing an evening show?
~Are you a part of a multi act show as one would see at a convention?
~Have you been hired as entertainment for a private party?

Each of these areas will provide different types of audience members and demand different managment and scripting. The contract should have the amount of time (15 min, 45 min, etc.) spelled out. In agreeing to the contract you can/should must find out who your target audience is. The person or group that is bringing you to the stage should already know what you do, unless they are just going through the yellow pages and poking their finger at an ad, then it is your responsibility to tell(sell?) them your show. If you are selling yourself, then target the venues that you know/understand the audiences likes and dislikes (fast paced or slow).

Though your question... "Still the question resonates - what is the perfect presentation for the 18-35 age group. What is the appropriate length of show and how quickly should an individual effect progress?" is redundant because what may be perfect for me will not be perfect for you. This is part of growing and becoming YOU on stage.
tmoca
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I don't feel that attention spans are really an issue IF you have an entertaining performance. If it's good they will watch.

Now...with that said....I have to say that in general I feel ALL attention spans have shortened over time, not just kids. It's ALL of us. 8 to 80, dumb, crippled and crazy...every single one of us.

The advertising industry recognizes this and so should we.
Rebecca_Harris
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I just can't help think about someone like Derren Brown. His audience is primarily 20-35 and he seems to get away with some quite drawn out performances. I really think that it's unfair to put the blame on an audience and age has even less to do with it. I must admit that I've never come across a volunteer with ADHD, but it something goes badly in a performance of mine, it's all ways me that I'll look at when I go over it the next day. Because at the end of the day, I'm being paid to entertain, if I'm not doing that then it's me that's not doing my job.

Spin a good, interesting story around what you're doing and you'll keep people entertained. As soon as things start to drag on, that's when you'll loose them.

Young people can have a long attention span, they'll happily sit in the cinema for 3 hours in front of Harry Potter. We just have to keep them entertained.
funsway
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"We just have to keep them entertained"

Oh, for the days when people could entertain themselves -- which is perhaps what people with long attention spans are doing.

Could be that the attention span of those people seeking to be entertained is dwindling, and that decline has nothing to do with age. In the same vein -- what if many people actually are psychic but feel no need to go to a mentalist show? An evaluation of people paying to see a mentalist hardly represents a fair sampling of our cuture, with those ghaing either a too long or too short attention span satying home.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2010-11-23 10:10, Rebecca_Harris wrote:
I just can't help think about someone like Derren Brown. His audience is primarily 20-35 and he seems to get away with some quite drawn out performances. I really think that it's unfair to put the blame on an audience and age has even less to do with it. I must admit that I've never come across a volunteer with ADHD, but it something goes badly in a performance of mine, it's all ways me that I'll look at when I go over it the next day. Because at the end of the day, I'm being paid to entertain, if I'm not doing that then it's me that's not doing my job.

Spin a good, interesting story around what you're doing and you'll keep people entertained. As soon as things start to drag on, that's when you'll loose them.

Young people can have a long attention span, they'll happily sit in the cinema for 3 hours in front of Harry Potter. We just have to keep them entertained.


The reasons for young people sitting in a Harry Potter movie or any other movie that is heavily laden with special effects and an excellent sound track speaks more to the writing abilities of J.K. Rowling and the directorial abilities of the DOY than anything else.

If you are a full-time mentalist your competition is not other mentalists. It's the World Series, the playoffs, the current movies and all of the other things that YOU need to be bigger than in order to hold the attention of your audience.

Do you know any mentalist who has a list of fans who hold season tickets?
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RenzIII
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Well consider this, I have seen public speakers hold the attention of many different age groups for hours, without losing them, and there are not performing anything. Food for thought.
Merlin C
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On 2010-11-22 19:33, funsway wrote:
Try it. The next time you perform, walk out and just stand there -- do absolutely nothing until there is complete silence and rapt attention. It could take 20 second and it could take five minutes. When you finally own the stage, begin ...
This has suggested a show opening to me talking about attention itself, about which there's much to say and demonstrate.

Web-searching for research on attention spans, I found this quotation with its use of the s-word:
Quote:
Attention spans decrease as people become spectators
A legitimate criticism of too much television is that it diminishes opportunities for individuals to develop the internal controls necessary to focus attention. The message for teachers is to design learning activities that require involvement, interaction and problem solving. Also important is ensuring that each class session makes use of a variety of different skills. Even if people are involved in “hands-on” work, they feel like spectators if they lack the skills and understanding to participate.
david12345
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I am not saying its not possible, I'm thinking that(IMO)that there is a different approach and presentation style necessary.
As Bill Palmer pointed out

The reasons for young people sitting in a Harry Potter movie or any other movie that is heavily laden with special effects and an excellent sound track speaks more to the writing abilities of J.K. Rowling and the directorial abilities of the DOY than anything else.

If you are a full-time mentalist your competition is not other mentalists. It's the World Series, the playoffs, the current movies and all of the other things that YOU need to be bigger than in order to hold the attention of your audience.

Do you know any mentalist who has a list of fans who hold season tickets?
[/quote]

There are naturally dead or slower moving spots in a mentalism performance in which we still need to hold attentions.
david12345
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I guess I don't know the proper technique of quoting. I welcome a PM to explain how to use the quote feature
mastermindreader
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You need to open the quote with [quote]. You closed it properly.
RenzIII
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Bob's 30 second rule, is a great point!!
Steve Suss
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Both my wife and daughter are school teachers and I've performed many times for their classes as well as for my children as they were growing up. I recently performed an all mentalism show for my daughters school and the reaction was overwhelming. After the show I went up to my daughters 6th grade class and they were all waiting for me as though I was a celebrity.

One of the things I recommend highly is asking the teachers beforehand what students would be best for certain effects. Try to get everyone involved, including the teachers. Kids love to see the reactions of their teachers.

Audience management is critical with children and I always set the ground rules at the beginning. I ask teachers to tell me who the most well behaved kids are during the show and those are the kids I will choose to help me. With the teachers help there is never any behavior problems.

While my goal is to make the show as much fun as possible I will throw in a little bit of education if it relates to the show. For example it doesn't hurt to define some of the words that we use for certain effects. Rather than simplify my language I prefer to define it. I think kids appreciate it when they feel like you're treating them as adults and they tend to act accordingly.

Of course the above advice works in schools and anywhere else where there is adult supervision. Without adult supervision it is more difficult but certainly achievable and can be very rewarding.

Steve
ernie guderjahn
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I find it interesting in the whole discussion that the intrusion of technology has not been mentioned - oh BtW I am of the camp that knows that it can be the audiences fault for loss of the golden thread and not the performers - being an audience member is a skill, not a given (but that is another of my gripes... on to the point at hand). The tech intrusion began to be felt in my niche in the '80's. I remember how the other magicians and variety performers would stop in the middle of the act to loudly exclaim "No taping!" Completely sacrificing the integrity of act with the concern someone was going to steal their material (they wish) Then it became the battle of the cell phones, I can remember stopping a routine more than once to be the polite one and not interrupt the audience members call. Time marches on and now we can add "Texting" and phones with cameras to the mix... and you want to tell me that if the audience member get fuzzy minded and drifts away way I am the one to blame...... not where I work 12 shows a day 18 days in a row. happy thanksgiving.
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