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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » When to put your manipulation act in your show? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Regular user
Littleton, CO
105 Posts

Profile of WalkerMagic
When do you think the best time to have a card manipulation act in your show is? I'm thinking first because I use body loads so I don't really want to have the loads on through the whole show. This would be a 45 minute show. What do you think?
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
22126 Posts

Profile of Bill Hegbli
IMO you are correct if using body loads, of course that depends on if you are using clips or pockets. If everything is secure in a pocket, then no amount of movement will dislodge them from their hiding place.

If you do not want to re-work your material for steals from boxes, tables, or some kind of container as Neil Foster and Fred Kaps did, then presenting it 1st or 2nd would be the best solution. Why I said 2nd, because you could open with a flashy opening that is not part of the manipulation routine. Such as Silk production or multiplication of silks from apparatus or not ending in a production of some animal or object.

Some reason for this is because if you have never been seen by the audience and they do not know you, the intro is an introduction of who you are and what the audience will expect to view for the remaining time. Other question such as, is this person worth watching, does he know what he is doing, and most important is do I like this person.

It is just the old introduction, all people are summed up within the 1st 10 seconds by the person they meet for the 1st time.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
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Inner circle
1791 Posts

Profile of Anatole
I think you should also consider what other effects you plan to exhibit and how everything fits into the theme and structure of the act. If, for instance, the card manipulations are part of an act that includes a linking ring routine, you may want to do the cards first because the sometimes vigorous movements in the ring routine (such as the heel link) may jar the cards loose from their clips. Also, since the card sequence is part of a fairly long act, you may want to do the card routine first because 1) production routines are generally considered to be good opening effects, and 2) if the card routine is done to music, I think it's easier to segue from a silent act to a patter act than the other way around. You say that the card routine is part of a 45 minute show. The first few minutes of the show, the audience is relaxed--not knowing what to expect, and whatever you are using for misdirection will likely be more effective at the beginning. If you wait until halfway through the act, the audience will probably be watching you more closely because you've already mystified them with other effects and they will be more "on their toes" watching for clues to how everything is done.

A perusal of the acts listed in a book like Max Holden's _Programmes of Famous Magicians_ might also be useful because you can survey what the "old-timers" used to do. I believe that most of them, like Thurston, put the card routine in the middle of the performance, partly because by the middle of the show they had established themselves as "bonafide magicians" and also the card routine was something they could do "in one" while the crew was setting up illusions behind the curtain. The card routine by definition is an "interlude"--which means it is used as a break from other parts of the whole performance.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
----- Sonny Narvaez
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Regular user
Littleton, CO
105 Posts

Profile of WalkerMagic
Thanks for the replies. I'm going to put it second after a silk production. I'll check out Max Holden's Programmes of Famous Magicians.


Heres Tony
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265 Posts

Profile of Heres Tony
Since the mid-1990'2 I have performed my card manipulation and/or salt pour at the beginning because I want to establish the magic portion very early since my act is mostly comedy. This idea was also used by Roy Benson who felt that if he "sold" them on the magic early on, then he could concentrate more on comedy later in the act.
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155 Posts

Profile of elliottmagic
When I do a Long show, I do the manip at the end, I also use body loads, so to get them on, I get an excuse to get off stage in a comedy routine, and put in the loads in.
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Los Angeles
3399 Posts

Profile of JamesinLA
I think Bill's advice about what's important is very important.

Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
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