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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Start your show with a strong or weak effect? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Tony Razzano
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Quote:
On 2011-08-03 21:59, Stuart Cumberland wrote:
My mentor once told me to start strong and end strong. In the middle, put strong stuff.

The 13 Steps to Mentalism has a very strong effect that grabs attention in the first chapter. It takes about 30-seconds to present.

Go from there.


Yup!!!
Best regards,
<BR>Tony Razzano, Past President, PEA
Winner of the PEA"s Bascom Jones and Bob Haines Awards
DrTodd
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My shows are constructed to explore themes and have a logic to them that take the audience on a journey, so the question is not strong, weak, plausible or implausible for me, but how do the demonstrations fit the larger narrative of the show?

In act II of Evening of Enchantment, we travel to Mongolia, China, and then through the Fool's Journey and back to my childhood in rural Pennsylvania...there are 'effects' along the way but they sit within a narrative that relates to my own personal experiences...

http://www.todd-landman.com/?page_id=343

Best wishes

Dr Todd
Sean Giles
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Your show sounds great Dr Todd. I'd love to see it sometime.
Kevin Cook
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I always open with a very very weak effect.

I then perform progressively weaker and weaker effects throughout the evening. This means that upon leaving my show the audience think back to my opening effect and realise that perhaps it wasn't quite as bad as they initially thought.

If anyone can point me in the direction of any corporate work I'd be much obliged. I'll be totally honest with you guys, I'm struggling to book shows right now.

Thankyou
Pakar Ilusi
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Quote:
On 2011-08-04 04:53, Kevin Cook wrote:
I always open with a very very weak effect.

I then perform progressively weaker and weaker effects throughout the evening. This means that upon leaving my show the audience think back to my opening effect and realise that perhaps it wasn't quite as bad as they initially thought.

If anyone can point me in the direction of any corporate work I'd be much obliged. I'll be totally honest with you guys, I'm struggling to book shows right now.

Thankyou


Smile Smile
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
Shrubsole
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Well if I think I have a weak effect, then it doesn't go in the show.

So I don't think the terms strong or weak are the ones we are looking for.

I really do play all sorts of places from the grand upper class formal functions where people are waiting to see YOU - to dives where you are not even introduced and just expected to start cold.

At the 'cold start' gigs, what you are doing is the least important thing, whilst letting people know you have started and get them and keep them is everything. Doing the best effect you have ever done whilst no one is paying attention is a waste of everyone's time.

Even when formally introduced with a big build up, it is of major importance to establish yourself, for as soon as the introduction ends, you are on your own.

So as the start is all about establishing yourself, it's best to find something (of equal strength) that does that and signals the start. So something short, interesting and relevant to what you do. If you can find something that everyone can do (or at least think about) whilst sitting in their seats, then that's good. Starting off with a delay in getting several people to the stage before you even start is not a good idea and you will lose them before you have started.
Winner of the Dumbringer Award for total incompetence. (All years)
parmenion
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You bought all limited offer and "first class" material but you don't have any idea how make a show.
It happens when you want to know everything but don't take the time to study the basis carefully.
For example the concept of Macro effect explain by Cassidy ( I know you're not interested by cassidy's work it's not a limited offer and not "fashion".
“I love talking about nothing. It is the only thing I know anything about.”
<BR>Oscar Wilde experimentaliste <br>
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<BR>
<BR>Looking for the best book test in French? send me a PM!
Christian & Katalina
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Todd, I like the structure of your show and that you are taking them somewhere. Looks like a show I would enjoy seeing.

Shrubsole, You make an interesting point in that, structure can depend on the venue/audience. I totally agree. A theater audience will allow you a much greater range of options than a corporate audience or as you state, the "dives". The show and its structure will depend greatly on where you are playing and to what kind of audience.
Milbourne Christopher Award for Mentalism 2011
The Annemann Award for Menatalism 2016
Author of "Protoplasm" Close-up Mentalism
magic.mind
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Weak effect? If you have weak effects, you are a poor magician.
Anansi
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I like Christian's ideas about theatre.
Perhaps try using Freytag's pyramid- a basic plot line of Exposition, Rising action, Climax, Falling action and Denouement.
An example of a story might be someone attempting to blackmail another (exposition)unscrupulously by claiming to have original information (rising action) which they will share unless their demands are met. Many heated comments and a moment of action follow (climax), the blackmailer is caught (falling action) and order restored (Denouement) as the miscreant goes on an enforced holiday.
An effect might follow this line too, or indeed a whole show.

How you 'curate' the audience's experience can be a great place to start, looking at metaphors for the theatrical journey and interesting narratives like non-linear and cyclical narratives.
I like Christian's ideas about theatre.


Ian.
ars est celare artem
bevbevvybev
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There are short effects, long effects, punchy effects, spooky effects, etc

Not sure about weak ones. Ones that perform different functions for sure.
Mindpro
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I agree with Christian's view about theater. Way too many times the focus shifts to the effect or how to perform the effect losing sight that it should be about the entertainment. Any any true performer will understand and recognize the importance of the performance, theater and stagecraft. As I've said many times, it's not about the effect, it about the performers and their presentation. The effect is just the means of delivering you and your presentation.

As I've also said before, as an entertainer you should be able to go out and comfortably perform a 45, 60 or 75 minute show with nothing but yourself - your personna, character and personality. No effects, no props, nothing. If you can't, you're relying on your effects and props too much. I was once at an event of 175 people. The power went out, only the emergency/security lights were on. No other acts could perform - bands, DJ, etc. I went on with nothing and did a 65 minute show ending with a standing ovation, in the dark, in the heat (no air conditioning either). I did none of my planned performance or material. I later received a thanks, a great referral letter and a $200.00 tip. That's entertainment.
parmenion
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Don't tell me you didn't have minimum with you, you trusted friend Mr NW? Smile
“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!
dmkraig
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I think this discussion goes back to the discussion of mentalism vs. mental magic.

If you are doing mental magic (by which I mean you're a magician doing effects that are mental in nature), the focus should be on what I call "intensity." If you're running, running, running, you're going to become exhausted. I would contend that it's better to lead your audience on an emotional trip, giving them ups and downs so they can process what they're seeing. The traditional way of doing this is to follow the format of a 3-act play. Begin with a bang that gets focus and attention, lessen the action and build to a climax followed by a denouement.

So I would not use the expression "strong" or "weak" when it comes to choosing your effects. Rather, I would suggest "emotionally intense" vs. "emotionally mild." For example, I would say that a magic square or knights journey, if presented well, are strong effects. But they are emotionally mild. A Russian Roulette type of effect, even if presented poorly, can be emotionally intense.

If you are doing mentalism (by which I mean you are presenting yourself as trained or special--rather than as a magician doing tricks--even if you do make a disclaimer), I would suggest focusing on your persona and what you are attempting to demonstrate. They should determine the effects you are presenting and the structure of your show. As an example, Uri Geller presented himself as someone special, therefore his show falls under my definition of mentalism. Rather than follow a typical 3-act play format, he followed what I call a see-saw format. He would build up to an effect, increasing the intensity, at the peak point do the effect, then wind down the intensity. Then he would build up to the next effect repeating these format. Thus he would go up and down in intensity repeatedly, like a see-saw. This worked perfectly with his persona and what he was trying to demonstrate.
Lior
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Start with the strongest effect you know, then go stronger and stronger
:) In hebrew it calls Grandmother operation.

There are few good mentalism acts out there. Tey to analaize what they do
and try to understand their pattern.

Lior
Talk To The Screen. The best effect for professionals
http://www.theliortouch.com

The Invisble touches , spoon bending, PK combinations
8 loops from Yigal Mesika http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/8161

Penguin Live lecture http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/7645
PEA Dave Lederman Award 2009
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innercirclewannabe
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A late Famous Mentalist had the saying "Don't copy me because you will fail at trying to be me, and I won't try to be you"!
Tá sé ach cleas má dhéanann tú sé cuma mhaith ar cheann.
parmenion
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Quote:
On 2011-08-04 16:12, innercirclewannabe wrote:
A late Famous Mentalist had the saying "Don't copy me because you will fail at trying to be me, and I won't try to be you"!


It was before the invention of the TV right ? Smile
“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!
innercirclewannabe
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It was well before P & T Fool Us Parmenion! ; )
Tá sé ach cleas má dhéanann tú sé cuma mhaith ar cheann.
The great Gumbini
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"You only have one chance to make a first impression" Believe it.


Good magic to all,


Eric
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