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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » America's Got Talent (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Mystic Sleights
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Michigan
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Hello everyone!
My name is Zachary and I need your help. This September I auditioned for America's Got Talent. I am 14 years old and performed the straight jacket escape. They said they will contact me in March or April to tell me if I need to audition again. The problem is that I don't have any stage magic besides that! I need your ideas, help, and thoughts on this, what are some amazing stage illusions I can do without costing me a fortune? Thank you for all your help, it means a lot!

God Bless

Zachary
makeupguy
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The whole process of America's got talent is designed to find an ACT.. who they can ulitmately send to Vegas for a run in a show.. or somethign similar.

1: A first question you won't like. Why audition for a show when you only have ONE TRICK?

2: Remember that anything else you do has to be done in 90 seconds.. and probably SHOULDN'T be something you can buy in a store.

That leaves your options somewhat limited..


I'm going to let some people who auditions for these guys add some more advice for you.. there have been several on the Café who have gone through the sometimes horrifying process of AGT.
Mystic Sleights
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Hey, I didn't explain myself that well, I just want better stage magic, like more bigger effects. And they called me to audition. I have gimmiked handcuffs and other stage props but I'm used to smaller stage performances. Also, what would you recommend for a smoke machine, like for cover for an escape, is there any certain brand?
Mystic Sleights
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Thank you for that stuff tho, good things to think over
magicians
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What makes you different or worthy of being on that stage. Guts and young age won't get it done. It will be a fun experience but you will have to bring more than stock tricks to the plate. If you can buy it, don't do it.
Illusionist, Illusionist consulting, product development, stage consultant, seasoned performer for over 35 years. Specializing in original effects. Highly opinionated, usually correct, and not afraid of jealous critics. I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pawn and a King. Free lance gynecologist.
HarbinJr.
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Zach,

It's great that you are looking for ways to get your name out there it really is but AGT is not really a magician's friend. You can talk to the ones that have done it before and they are always start out with their signature effects and then start scrambling to try to have something new built or to rent just to have a "BIG" effect. AGT doesn't really care about the routine per se' as they just want in their definition of bigger and better and that doesn't always make good magic. If you don't have 12 weeks of rock solid acts that can completely blow people away already established then I would bow out and wait till you do!

Probably not the words you want to hear! Sorry!

Will Baffle
Dave Scribner
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Zachary, there are several members on the Café that have participated in AGT. My suggestion before proceeding would be to contact one of them via PM for some advise. Here is a link to one of those members

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/bb_pr......er=41071
Where the magic begins
Bill Hegbli
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Zachary, in your terms it will cost you a fortune. No matter if you rent illusions or buy them ready made. Most Illusion Builders do not have illusions ready to ship, sometimes it takes months to build an illusion. They are much like the home builders, plumbers, electrictions, etc. They have many projects in the fire at once and do not just work on one at a time. Even if you had a fortune.

As far as smoke, AGT can provide that, they do for most of the other acts. That is a different idea, smoke as cover for an escape instead of a curtain.
SpellbinderEntertainment
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Zachary, I'm glad you have the drive and guts to audition and go for the gold, any audition is good experience.

And it's great that at 14 years old you want to do well and make an impact.

The truth is that the talent team for AGT calls dozens, maybe hundreds, of magicians in any area,
they just Google for names and make it sound more enticing that it is.

Big name, very experienced, and very good magic acts with tons of stage illusions participate.
Many of those big names are paid to perform and just pretend to "audition" sad but true.
I know a few good guys who were made to look like idiots because the producers manipulate the shows and edits.

It takes years, not months, to put together a strong stage show, and one with original ideas takes even longer.

At this point in your career, and at your age with school and all, this is just not the perfect time for you.

There's always next year, and the year after that if this is the dream you decide you want to tackle. Then you can work on your style, effects, personality, illusions, presentations, and budget with no rush.

Hope these seemingly negative posts don't upset you, you're doing great, just start smaller and work up to big OK?

Magically,
Walt
dahih beik
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My experience with the arab gt is not a good one , I promise you there is a lot of staging all the audience in beirout were staged that means paid to attend and manipulated by the producer , the judges have got no experience and doesn't appreciate magic that means a winning magic act or an act aprecciated by the audience might not be aprecciatted by the judges .if you like to pass through the experience you must know you are giving them the rights to show every thing the way they like be careful and good luck .
Lothar
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AGT loads its show with professionals and presents them to the audience as amateurs. (Nathan Burton, the Pendragons, Kevin James...) So be prepared to beat highly professional, experienced , world famous magicians .
Illucifer
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It's a double-edged sword. I'm sure Kevin James would tell you that he's gotten a ton of work from the exposure on a national network, despite not winning. Even acts that get cut after their first or second performance have been able to use it to book gigs. Now, of course, what one wouldn't want is to be made a fool of on the show and then get bookings based on the fact that someone wants to see a train wreck live and in person.

All that aside, best of luck to you! I think it's great that you're willing to go for it. Just be creative and wise. Yes, they tend to think bigger is better on that show, but that doesn't mean you can't change their minds!
It's all in the reflexes.
Bob1Dog
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I'll add one more twist to the thread. I was once very close to being called for an audition on a yet to be named reality show about dreams. I applied for fun, sent a short video of myself for the theme they wanted, and actually got called by an ABC producer. They wanted me to fly out to California from the east coast. When I indicated an interest they sent me a contract of about 50 pages of legalese, which I had my lawyer look at. I basically had to sign my life away to permit producers to manipulate my images on camera however they please and to own the rights to anything I would do. In short, they owned anything to do with my participation. I never signed the contract and never tried such foolishness again. Hollywood is a cutthroat place for the uninitiated. You've gotten some terrific advice here Zachary, you have a whole lifetime ahead of you. You'll be great. Just take it slow. And enjoy yourself! Good luck and best regards, Bob
What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about? Smile

My neighbor rang my doorbell at 2:30 a.m. this morning, can you believe that, 2:30 a.m.!? Lucky for him I was still up playing my drums.
ProdigyMagic
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Hey Zach,
I'm also 14 years old and was going to audition for AGT, but I knew I wasn't ready so I'm waiting a year or so. If all you got is a striaght jacket and a couple other smaller props you won't make it any where. If you would make it, each your tricks have to be better and bigger. I also agree with Walt he makes a very good point and that's why I myself is waiting a couple years.

Goodluck,
Dan
w_s_anderson
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Thanks for the PM Zach! Along with the advice I gave you.....this stuff is real good too.
dahih beik
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palestine
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Can the same participent audition for a second season .in agt
scottds80
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Keep developing your act with groups of people you can trust will appreciate your show. The more you do this, the more confidence you will get. One day, as you SLOWLY build your show over the years, you might become a pro who will blow the nation & world away on TV.

The best thing you have got is enthusiasm, never lose that!
"Great Scott the Magician", Gippsland
Chad Sanborn
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Well it all depends on what you want to have happen. Do you want to win AGT? Well then you need at least 15 GREAT acts all under 90 seconds that you can do right now. Do you have that? Probably not. Hell I have been doing magic for, well a long time, and I don't have 15, 90 second acts. Its tough to create great magic in that limited amount of time. Which is probably why, no magician has or will ever win AGT.

So knowing that your odds of winning are zero, ask yourself what else AGT can do for you. You can get some on air footage for a reel and some great publicity. OK. So use that to your advantage going in. If you have 3 great 90 second routines, then you will get 3-4 weeks of air time on tv! That translates into hundreds of thousands of dollars in free publicity. Use them for it, cause they are gonna use you.

The contracts you have to sign, will have you signing all of that material over to them as stated above. The contracts even say they can take a percentage of every show you do in the future even if its not connected to AGT! (Nathan Burton can verify that!) Because in effect they will become your contractual agent/manager. But its unlikely they will ever come after you for any monies after the show is over as its not worth it to sue someone for a few hundred dollars.

So I guess my best advice is to be prepared to use them for everything you can squeeze out of the airtime you get. As that's all its really good for.
Bill Hegbli
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Piers Morgan is no longer on AGT, so the big illusion thing may not be a requirement, as he was the one always talking bigger and bigger illusions.

I really don't get where all magicians have to be a David Copperfield to be a stage magician. I know that is their diffination, but as stated having those 90 second acts, just may be the key, who knows.

Remember the Carl Ballentine type of act, he had no more material to offer. If he had he may have gone further. Howie seen him as a comedian, making fun of magicians, the guy thought he was Carl Ballentine. Different views but what the guy did not get is he should have hand one killer trick that actually worked.

All have given excellent advice in the above posts.
videoman
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Michael Grasso made it further than any other magician thus far and he didn't have ten 90 second acts ready to go. Very few people do. AGT is basically asking you do 8 to 10 closers, every week a closer. Almost no one has that ready to go at their disposal, that they've been doing for years. And if you did you wouldn't need or want to go on AGT anyway. So while that may sound like good advice at first glance, it is actually not very realistic. If you wait for that, that day may never come.

What is probably more important is to have a crew or at least one person on your team you can trust and who can act as your consultant/director. Then establish the connections and network of people from whom you can beg, borrow, or rent any necessary props from. At 14 you may very well not have enough performing experience and connections to pull something like this off. But then again, as others have stated, the likelihood of a magician winning is slim to none anyway. So then it really comes down to what kind fo an experience do you hope to have on the show. While it is true that AGT has made some magicians look like buffoons, they are far less likely to do this with someone your age. But you never know.
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