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DekEl
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I've decided to pull together a solid routine in the event that I decide to seriously consider mentalism professionally. I'm curious; how many effects is too many? Let's say that I'm trying to fill a time block of either half an hour or an hour.

Thanks.
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Jim-Callahan
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I do one presentation in a half hour.
(Or to use your term effect).

Posted an edited bit of that presentation here just today.


Jim

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IAIN
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I would recommend reading, studying and thinking a lot after reading these two:

Complete One Man Mental and Psychic Routine, and
JINX Mental Club Act by Annemann

but before putting together an act - have you thought through your character and performance-framework?
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DekEl
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Not extensively (professionally that is), but I've always had a general feel for what I'd like to present myself as, and the general feel for my presentation (it verges on scientific). I have read the resource you quoted.
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Thomas Cooper
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I'd say six to eight effects is about right. That is just my personal preference however. I find that anything less than six and you run the risk of running out if you are entertaining for a long time. But some effects can be dragged out for a good long time and still be highly entertaining. I can make my walkaround ACAAN last eight minutes or so if I so please.
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Lord Of The Horses
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5
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DekEl
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Essentially I want to keep a nice flow, and have a nice collection of (purely mind reading) effects, presented in my usual stepping stone manner with a loop back to one of the early effects at the end, but at the same time I don't want to keep them going so fast that my audience doesn't know what to make of it. Previously, the majority of my work has been close up, which allows me to perform very different effects then onstage.

EDIT: And thank you, LOTH, for your long-winded addition. It seems like a nice number to me as well.
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The great Gumbini
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I have found generally speaking my effects run from 5-15 min. depending on what I'm performing. Book Tests compared to my Scorpion effect can take longer. It just all depends on "what" effect you are performing. I do a lot of audience participation and you would be surprised on the amount of time you go through just being polite with them. So I would test run my routine if I were you and time it and see how it looks. I'd also pull one effect and use it only if you have the time. What I mean is lets say you do 5 effects in an hour on your test run. Pull one and keep it ready and use it IF you have time. Actual performance times can (and most often do) run over time. Now of course this is just what works for me and I hope it helps. But one thing to remember: in mentalism don't rush it. It takes some time to let that "magic" sink in.


Good magic to all,


Eric
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Quote:
On 2011-07-16 20:50, DekEl wrote:
Not extensively (professionally that is), but I've always had a general feel for what I'd like to present myself as, and the general feel for my presentation (it verges on scientific). I have read the resource you quoted.


I can only offer what has worked for me, in that you let your character/personality drive the speed/tempo of how quickly you perform, and therefore will indicate how many presentations you include...and to feel settled within your own definitions of who you are whilst performing...it doesn't have to be some kind of half hour monologue obviously, but to be sure of "yourself" whilst performing has always helped me...having the backstory/process running through the back of your mind helps keep everything on an even keel and organic...

I've found that working on that before anything else has helped me a great deal...i personally write a short third person story - helps me map out the details and see things from a different angle...then I slowly reduce it all down to bullet points...that way I have something quick and easy to refer to when building up different presenations..

and then, all this drives what you present best to share what you do with others...thats how I approach it anyway...
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Lord Of The Horses
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No problem, Bill.

I need not to bore you with not useful details about why and why not I think 5 is a good number, since everything is debatable.
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quicknotist
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Funnily enough, I like the number 5 too.
It works nicely from a structurally theatrical point of view:
A presentation needs a beginning, a middle and an end (that's 3.)
If you further divide the middle section into 3 parts, you get 5 in total.
:)
Dreadnought
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I have 30 effects to choose from. Twenty that I can readily go to and ten in reserve that I can rotate in and out. The effects are grouped to theme, audience size and time, individual and party of two or three, house party/private party (Parlor) and stage. Some effects I can perform a whole show around, for instance, any seance or one that incorporates the L*** tests and cold readings can be performed on their own, these are usually for 30-45 minute shows. If I am performing a stage show, which is usually an hour, I use 4-5 effects depending on the effects used. Most of the effects are five to ten minutes in length, the Human Lie Detector is usually 2-3 minutes of performance time (my fastest in terms of performance time) and has 3-5 minutes of intro.
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Doc_Z
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Quote:
On 2011-07-16 21:20, quicknotist wrote:
Funnily enough, I like the number 5 too.
It works nicely from a structurally theatrical point of view:


5-act structure was common for plays in the Elizabethan era, and I believe in France and Spain, too. Modern screenplays and television programs are generally divided into 3 acts. Two-act plays are most common on stage today.

Audiences are tuned into structured performances--if only subconsciously, we expect a structure as an audience member, and we quickly key into what that is. So I think it's helpful to think of a routine the same way. After all, you really are performing a one-man show (for some of us, the play has a larger cast than one Smile )

I'm definitely not saying everything should be cookie-cutter. There are a million ways to structure a performance, as long as you give it the proper thought.
Ustaad
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How many is too many?

As I understand, Many is Many & Too many is Too many - As simple as that! Smile

No Smile

OK, don't bother.

Smile
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*Mark Lewis*
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I think with most mentalists one is too bloody many.
Shrubsole
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I don't see as to how anyone can say how many things to do in 30 mins. as it depends totally and utterly on WHAT you are doing.

It's no use drawing out a routine to the point of boring people to death just to make it fit a slot or to rush through something else to squeeze it in.

So work out what you want to do / can do, and then shuffle them around to both naturally fit the time slot and that actually work and flow together. Remember, if you have good stuff left over, you can form a second act with that for a return visit or save them for your 1 hour show.
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StuartNolan
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Purely a personal experience but I've generally found that the first number I think is just right tends to be a couple too many.

Thinking in terms of 5 act, 3 act, or 2 act structures can be useful I agree but we have to also be careful not to equate an effect to an act. Three sequential effects doesn't necessarily equal a 3 act structure. In fact I think it hardly ever does. Often its "just one d*mn thing after another."

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Pakar Ilusi
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Quote:
On 2011-07-17 03:00, Shrubsole wrote:
I don't see as to how anyone can say how many things to do in 30 mins. as it depends totally and utterly on WHAT you are doing.

It's no use drawing out a routine to the point of boring people to death just to make it fit a slot or to rush through something else to squeeze it in.

So work out what you want to do / can do, and then shuffle them around to both naturally fit the time slot and that actually work and flow together. Remember, if you have good stuff left over, you can form a second act with that for a return visit or save them for your 1 hour show.


Best answer so far. Smile
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quicknotist
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Agreed.

Quote:
On 2011-07-17 04:40, StuartNolan wrote:
we have to also be careful not to equate an effect to an act. Three sequential effects doesn't necessarily equal a 3 act structure. In fact I think it hardly ever does. Often its "just one d*mn thing after another."
DekEl
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Well, thank you mates, I've begun work on my stage act. I include 4 presentations (as Jim calls them, a term that's more fitting for an act then effects), and combined they fill approximately half an hour when I've performed them in practice runs. I'm going to be on the look out for another one that seems to fit amidst them. I have a gradual start, some background, and a finish that I'm quite proud of. I've developed my persona a bit more, and included some humor that seemed to naturally fit in with the rest of my routine.

Again, thanks for your help; I'm quite pleased with my act.
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