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Dennis Michael
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Why is the Fantasy Magician so powerful in a show?

This is an analytical question for you.

This routine is so powerful that it practically sells your show. Here on the Café, there has already been discussion on how to properly perform this routine and discussion on who to use etc. Anyone who uses the Fantasy Magician in their show ends up loving how the audience reacts to it.

What has not been discussed is "Why and What is it that makes this such a powerful routine?" Keep this topic focused on this. We can all learn from this.

Here is a start:

The Fantasy Magician is visually a funny routine using the routine that comes with it.

Music Choice: Music has that emotional appeal and the choice, the "mini-dance" section is funny coming from the assistant. The music is very appealing and make you laugh when combined by a "visual action."

Assistant: The choice is someone who is willing to go along with the skit and the audience knows that person. A male teenager is a good assistant. Even a Dad!.

Costume: Just putting a costume on a person is Funny.

Comedy: Having the assistant do something that they normally wouldn't do is funny when it is not embarrasing.


There are some of my observations... Why do you think the Fantasy Magician is such a powerful routine in a show?
Dennis Michael
magic4u02
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Ok not to go in a different direction, but you all know I usually do with my answers. lol =)

The answer is simply " It isn't." It is not powerful in a show. Like anything The Fantasy Magician or Instant Magician is simply a prop. Nothing more and nothing less. The prop alone does not make this great or lousy. The prop is just a tool and means in which to be creative.

However, YOU are the one that makes this a great routine. YOU are the one that makes this fun and entertaining to an audience. The prop itself does nothing.

Even the standard routine does nothing for you unless you are creative enough to develop a routine that fits who you are and fits your show and personality. Like any effect, it can bomb or play great. The choice is based on what you decide to do with it. In the right hands, the Fantasy Magician is a great routine that plays wonderfully. However, it does not fit everyone.

I also would hate to feel that anyone would simply do the routine that comes with it. I would hate to see anyone just mimic or copy what they have seen someone else do. This does nothing for creativity and certainly does not allow the routine to fit who your character is and your personal style. Like any tool, learn to take this tool and apply your own creativity to it. Make it your own.

So yes this can be a great routine. However it is only great when it is in the hands of someone willing to spend the time to create something that is fun and unique to themselves.

Kyle
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magicgeorge
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It's not really just a prop though is it?

It's an old vaudeville idea adapted for the kids show market via a prop. To say that it is all the performer doesn't really credit all the original thinkers behind the concept.

I agree you should make the routine your own but I think it's quite often the volunteer you use and the concept of the effect that makes it funny.

Someone could probably do a fairly poor rendition of this effect and it would go down quite well. Going by the uplifting "it's all you" line of thought might make some poor performers think they are a lot better than they actually are.

I've no idea why the routine is "powerful".

One of the main reasons it is funny is that it is clever visual comedy and you don't see much of that nowadays. ALso having the volunteer as such an integral part of the routine makes it different and fresh each performance.
Dennis Michael
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I am not in disagreement with Kyle. It is taken for granted one makes a routine their own.

The purpose of this thread is to focus on "Why this Routine is so successful." Very few routines done exactly like the video, gives the same results just about every time.

The magician is out of the picture! Whether it is Ken Scott, or YOU, done exactly like the video, the results are the same. Kyle is off topic, just like he said he was going to be, and I fully understand the direction he is referring to, however, that is not what this thread is about.

What I am asking is to view this routine for it's value and why is is a great routine. Magic George gave excellent examples of what this tread is trying to bring forth:

"It's an old vaudeville idea adapted for the kids show market via a prop." AND
"One of the main reasons it is funny is that it is clever visual comedy and you don't see much of that nowadays." AND
"I think it's quite often the volunteer you use and the concept of the effect that makes it funny." AND
"Also having the volunteer as such an integral part of the routine makes it different and fresh each performance."

These are excellent points and this is what this thread is about.

Also one could say, the music is modernized, or just nostalgic enough to be recognized by most (Macramea)
Dennis Michael
Sam Sandler
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Lets be h onest here - most routines that "kill" involve audience volunteers.

so first why does this instant magician work so well - it uses a volunteer.
2nd if you use a kid and make them the star of the show and parents love that so there is another reason it works so well
third- its a classic idea (as mentioned) as in the thought and concept has been worked out long before we "kid" magicians got it. its been tried and tested and worked out to be what it is.

and lastly I feel it works so well as any time you can take some one out of the norm and have them doing things that are unpredictable this is comedy

Comedy is not a science, it's art. Therefore there are no rules and it can be very subjective. What one person finds funny another might cringe at.

One thing worth noting is that when analysing comedy and what is funny, it is almost like it is only visible out of the corner of your eye. As soon as you try and look directly at it and analyse it too much... all of the funniness disappears...

"What is comedy? Comedy is the art of making people laugh without making them puke."
Steve Martin


so this routine is more like a little Improv or satire of a magician. there are many aspects to this routine that make it funny.

I myself have been working on the routine having my own custome props made and trying to move away from the standard routine. However with that being said I have decided to start with the basic routine and only adding in one or two of my own ideas to get the feel for this. in just playing with it and as mentioned before just putting on the jacket maked the audience laugh.

I look forward to introducing this to my show this summer.

sam
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magic4u02
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I’m actually not off topic at all when you really look at it. I am actually dead on topic. I am just choosing to state something many folks are not willing to state or want to think about. That is all. =)

You are assuming this “routine” is always successful performed by whomever performs it. That simply is not the case. I have seen this effect done exactly with the routine on the video/DVD countless times. I will tell you flat out there are many who BOMB with this. It stunk and stunk bad. Simply did not play at all even though they tried to do it exactly as they saw it done.

So the question should not be just “why does this routine play so well ALL the time?” In many cases, it CAN play well but it is not a given that it does. This routine performed exactly as is, does not always guarantee you a huge applause.

There are many things one needs to do in the routine to make it “play”. So if we are going to evaluate a routine, it would only be fair to also explain what needs to happen to ensure it plays well? What is it you have to do to make it play?

The basic concept behind the routine, is a funny one. There is a lot going on that can potentially play great. You have someone dressed up that looks funny. It is your arms that are being used which makes for a funny physical laughter. Because you can do things with the combination of the hands and their facial expressions..that is also very funny.

The fact that every time you do the routine, you are going to have times to adlib and improvise also makes it very funny. I think the nature of the fact that no 2 routines of this (even performed by the same magician) will ever be the same, is one of the strong points.

Every single time you do it, the helper is going to react differently based on how they want to interpret what you are doing. This by nature means each routine is different slightly from the others. If one is GOOD at adapting and improvising off of these situations, then the routine can play huge for laughs every time.

Perhaps this element of being able to adapt and improvise is a key in what makes it a success for some and not for others.

Just food for thought.

Kyle
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magic4u02
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Aww Sam keys in on a BIG point I am trying to make.

“so this routine is more like a little Improv or satire of a magician.”

Exactly correct. Now I know for a fact that Sam can pull this off. He has a knack for comedy and for being able to adlib and improvise on the fly. This alone is a huge ingredient in what makes it hilariously funny because I know he could handle the situations perfectly which simply generates bigger and better laughter and reactions.

Kyle
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MaxfieldsMagic
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The routine is also one of the few you can do that introduces a completely "new" performer into your act. Yeah, everyone knows that the arms are yours, but they still are left with the impression that for a few minutes at least, they were watching another performer entirely, albeit one with rather strange body proportions. As such, the routine offers a break in the show (or, if a closer, a nice change-up for the finale), and cleanses the audience's palette in a fun way.
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Sam Sandler
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Kyle-- thanks for the kind words. that is exactly right and that is why it is taking longer to get it into the show as I am trying to put ME into it and all the little things that will make it a stand out performace when completed.

Max- its not so muc a "new" performer as back to what I originally said that having a volunteer up front with you is a major plus its those routines that usually "kill" in the show.

there are so many things that you can do with this routine and I hope to pull off some really cool things with it.

I'm a dreamer, Baby!!

sam
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MaxfieldsMagic
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It's a very liberating routine for the magician, as well, because you have the opportunity to go outside of your normal character during the routine to try on a different persona, sort of like on Halloween. In that sense, it is like introducing a "new" character for the duration of the routine, allowing you to try out things you wouldn't do otherwise. For instance, this routine is the only one where I'll try out some fancy cuts, fans and a card production or two (to leaven the goofy stuff) - it doesn't look like you're showing off, but rather you're making the volunteer look good.
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Starrpower
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Quote:
On 2011-04-18 07:41, magicgeorge wrote:
It's an old vaudeville idea adapted for the kids show market via a prop.


Exactly! We all used to do this as kids: one kids stood behind another and stuck their arms out. And Doug Henning did is with Tom Bosley on a TV show.

I think that the premise of this thread is flawed to start with. Who SAYS it's such a killer routine? The guy who sells it?

I'm with Kyle on this one ... the performer makes the trick, not the other way around.
kenscott
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Hey Mark

I make it, the "prop" Fantasy magician but I did not start the the thread.

Someone mentioned performing it on kids. I do but 80% of the time I use an adult. Is is a killer routine? No doubt! really it is . I agree some guys have bought mine and done the routine exactly as I do mine and they don't have the same success.
Dennis Michael
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Many magicians love being similar in that their whole show is a fun and exciting show. "Comedy for Kids" does sell very well! Those who are a little unsure, a uniquely different character, not a comedy show, would probably have more of a difficult time pulling it off.

Ken did not say "Who SAYS it's such a killer routine? The guy who sells it?" Yes, he sells it, however, I said it is because I have seen it performed so many times by others that it does "Kill" in humor, I have yet to see it flop. (probability because if it did it was pulled from that show) I have also saw other perform it differently and it still works very well, hence this topic.

Granted, a performer can find other stuff, do other things, etc. Change the music, change the costume, etc, and still it has that unique humor that has been picked stated within this thread.

This is an analytical thread, not a "I like it" or, "I don't like it" or , "Do it this way", or "Put yourself into the routine" thread. Its a thinking thread on why, when you see it performed is it so good on the audience, that it practically sell the whole show. It is to look at the routine that exist and comment on what or why it IS a Success.

If you don't like it or ever have seen it performed, well, then this thread is not for you. It is to open the mind in looking at the routine and picking apart it's success factors.

Already below are some examples of exactly what I was asking:

"Music Choice: Music has that emotional appeal and the choice, the "mini-dance" section is funny coming from the assistant. The music is very appealing and make you laugh when combined by a "visual action"."
"Assistant: The choice is someone who is willing to go along with the skit and the audience knows that person. A male teenager is a good assistant. Even a Dad!."
"Costume: Just putting a costume on a person is Funny."
"Comedy: Having the assistant do something that they normally wouldn't do is funny when it is not embarrassing."
"It's an old vaudeville idea adapted for the kids show market via a prop." AND
"One of the main reasons it is funny is that it is clever visual comedy and you don't see much of that nowadays." AND
"I think it's quite often the volunteer you use and the concept of the effect that makes it funny." AND
"Also having the volunteer as such an integral part of the routine makes it different and fresh each performance."
"This routine is more like a little Improv or satire of a magician."
"Most routines that "kill" involve audience volunteers."
"a kid and make them the star of the show and parents love that"
"Its a classic idea"
"It works so well as any time you can take some one out of the norm and have them doing things that are unpredictable this is comedy"
"What makes it hilariously funny because..." if one does comedy one "could handle the situations perfectly which simply generates bigger and better laughter and reactions."
"The Basic concept behind the routine, is a funny one"
"There is a lot going on that can potentially play great."
"You have someone dressed up that looks funny."
"Your arms that are being used which makes for a funny physical laughter."
"Because you can do things with the combination of the hands and their facial expressions..that is also very funny."
"Every time you do the routine, you are going to have times to adlib and improvise also makes it very funny."
"If one is GOOD at adapting and improvising off of these situations, then the routine can play huge for laughs every time."

The above comments is exactly what I was trying to pull from this thread.
Now do you have any more to add?
Dennis Michael
knick23
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Similar to the experiments where subjects are asked to stroke a fake hand in place of their own and apparently still feel 'phantom' sensations, we are amused to see how effective an illusion 'Fantasy' is and yet we can clearly see the mechanics behind it.
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I think where it's placed in the show has a lot to do with how well it plays. In the right spot,
it is a break from the magic. It gives the audience an opportunity to sit back, watch, and enjoy
something without the "me against you" thing running through the head.

I think the stronger the rest of the act is, the better something like this plays.
I'm not sure it would play nearly as well as a standalone act, or in an all around weak act.

Placed right and in the right show, this can be like the juggling act at a magic convention. The hit of the show.

Tom
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Dennis Michael
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A very nice analysis Tom.
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kenscott
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I agree Tom totally. I have my routine at the end of the show which is why I don't think I have any problems doing the routine on a kid if I choose to use one. But again I would rather do the routine with an adult and the big reason it gives me a chance to do the watch steal.

Ken
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Dennis, my remarks were not intended to sound rude.

Lest I be misunderstood, I was not implying that it's a bad effect or a bad prop. And my comment about "the guy who sells it" was not aimed at Ken at all, but rather just a general commentary that a prop or is only as good as the performer using it. I believe a prop -- ANY prop, not just this one -- depends a great deal on a skilled performer.

I have never met Ken, nor have I ever seen him perform. I assume he is a very good performer based on his reputation. In the case of this prop, due to the physical closeness of the performer to his onstage guest, I think that a performer's skill at making the child feel comfortable with what might be an awkward situation should not be underestimated. Those that are fortunate to have charisma, or charm, or whatever, can pull off "packaged" tricks far easier. That is likely one of the reasons Ken is very successful with it. Others may not be so lucky.

You asked a question and I gave my answer -- I think it's a killer trick because good entertainers perform it.
Sam Sandler
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Ok so let me throw this out. and this is not meant to hijack the thread or raise an eyebrow or am I claiming anything has been done wrong just a simple question dealing with the the effect yet slightly off the topic

so doing a small research on the trick I know that kevin james many many moons ago came out with the instant magician (back in the days of VHS tapes) and yes I know the idea predates his release.

then Ken I guess recently a year or 2 ago I am guessing comes out with the "fantasy" magician

so the question is whats the difference?? are these not the same thing just different names and is this a public domain item that any one can make and sell.

I only ask out of curiosity, I know that both kevin and Ken are up right guys in magic and in no way accusing any one of anything just seeking information as to what is the big difference.

thanks

sam
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kenscott
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Well sam thank you but your facts are wrong. Certainly your research would have caught this?? I starting making mine the same time he made his. In fact if you have his and you have his VHS you will see me on his tape doing my routine. I made my first one to sell in 1998.

Difference? Mine is a real tux where his is more of costume material. But his is able to turn into a bag before and turns into the coat.

Ken
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