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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » The Same Basic Show, Again. I don't think so. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Inner circle
The New Orleans area
1011 Posts

Profile of wizardpa
Every year I do 2 shows a year for the children and grand-children of members of The Knights of Columbus.
One show at Easter, and one show at Christmas. Looking over my notes, I noticed that except for a few changes, the shows are mostly the same. I have Christmas and Easter related tricks that I always do. I think this year, I'm going to change it up even if it means that I do not do my Christmas related tricks.

I'm even thinking of not ending my show with my normal rabbit appearance.

What do you think about this?
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Veteran user
Pittsburgh PA
322 Posts

Profile of btedeski
This will be the 5th year for me doing my show for the children of a Men's group (church related)

I have done the same base show for them for 5 years, I just switch out a few larger effects.

I have done my normal rabbit appearance (mirror box) and disappearance (Wrabbit Wringer) all 5 years,
I think the kids would run me out of town if I don't do it.

This year, For something new to them, I am going to produce Santa's bag of toys from a Victor Cube, and do a Chair suspension.
I would take Tiny (20lb rabbit) but the Blammo box does not fit in my car, and don't want to rent a truck for this gig.
Billy The Clown

Bill Tedeski
Pittsburgh PA

Were magic is just too funny....
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Inner circle
Cleveland, OH
2077 Posts

Profile of yachanin
Hi Wizardpa,

I've been teaching for nearly 30 years and have found that I need to change my lectures to keep ME "fresh." If I do the same lecture semester-after-semester, I get complacent and my classroom delivery suffers. I think you'll find yourself more interested in your performance and, consequently, will deliver it with more energy. The audience will not know your show is different, but they will see you at your best.

Regards, Steve
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Inner circle
5006 Posts

Profile of TonyB2009
I find I get bored of tricks, so they rotate out of my act for a year or two. That keeps things fresh. But there are some things the kids insist on seeing time after time. So a mix of change and the status quo is what I go with.
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Inner circle
1038 Posts

Profile of jugglestruck
On 2011-11-28 11:41, TonyB2009 wrote:
I find I get bored of tricks, so they rotate out of my act for a year or two. That keeps things fresh. But there are some things the kids insist on seeing time after time. So a mix of change and the status quo is what I go with.

Yep, I'll go along with that.
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Veteran user
383 Posts

Profile of RJE2
There has been some spirited debate over this issue.

There are those that believe that doing the same show for the same audience is alright. They may even argue that the audience wishes to see the same show again. They will say that an audience will want to see something they like over and over (a good movie, listen to a favorite song etc....) and that their show would be the same.

I however, argue that it is more beneficial to the performer to offer to perform an entirely new show when performing for a repeat audience/client. The client then has the option of asking for the same show (unadvisable if it is for the same audience in my opinion) or to repeat perhaps one or two of the effects (the chair suspension in children's or family shows is sometimes asked to be repeated by us). This technique has grown us a long list of regular corporate (both family and adult) clients as well as resorts, theme parks and other large venues.

Here's some of the reasons.

- Many performers will become bored with something in their act and want to change it. I walked away from a successful 5 night a week
comedy magic caberet show I was performing in after 4 years because I couldn't fake it anymore. If you are faking it (get your minds out of the gutters), then there is a good chance that will be reflected in your performance and picked up on by your audience.

- I have gotten more than 1 new client because they were frustrated with (for example) their regular company Christmas party entertainer. To quote them directly, "The guy kept doing the same show year after year. The kids were bored stiff and not paying attention anymore. The kids knew his act better than he did." On an aside, I have kept more than 1 client because I tell them if they hire us back they will get an entirely new show that will be just as enjoyable.

- When I first started doing comedy one nighters as a stand up magician, the audience immediatly would yell out if they saw a prop come out that someone had already used in the club/bar/venue, even if it was months before. Unless they paid to see YOU perform a specific act that they know of, they do not want to see you do something they saw somebody else do (even if that was you and they don't remember it as you specifically).

- Many elements of a magic show are based on surprise. The "punch line" or reveal can be the highlight of the trick. If the audience already knows what is coming, then the impact is often lessened. Sucker tricks become almost useless.

- Many children's entertainers have suffered with the child that shouts out, "I've seen this one before," or, "I know this one." If you are repeating your material time after time for them, then this only increases the likelyhood that you will hear this.

So, I say change your show for repeat customers. Become good at performing as many hours of different routines as you possibly can in order to have a large repertoire to choose from when making a show order. Study as much magic as you can to glean from the past and apply to the future (many a great routine is overlooked because someone lacked the imagination to breathe life into it once again). Give your clients the option, new, mostly new or repeat.

Of course, that's the way I see it anyway.
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Inner circle
3198 Posts

Profile of seadog93
I like the idea of doing the same show for 60 or 70 years and being an absolute master of it.
Paul Potassey has been doing many of his routines that long and it shows.

...that being said.
When getting out of the internet world I have found parents, librarians and others (who actually do the hiring) asking me, if they hired me next year would I have a new show. I have also heard librarians (I work in a library and get a certain amount 'inside dope') complain about performers who never change.
I've also heard librarians complain about someone leaving out their signature routine though.

There was one magician who came to our library. The children's librarian built this guy up for WEEKS to me, so obviously I came to see the show (I usually don't come see children's shows because, ironically, I am watching my children! LOL!). Well, the show was fine. I enjoyed myself. But the librarian and myself were both disappointed that he didn't use the running gag that had "killed" so much in the past.

I think a nice combination of new and tested material is good.
UNLESS, you just really want to do a whole new show. in which case I think you should.
"Love is the magician who pulls man out of his own hat" - Ben Hecht

"Love says 'I am everything.' Wisdom says 'I am nothing'. Between the two, my life flows." -Nisargadatta Maharaj

Seadog=C-Dawg=C.ou.rtn.ey Kol.b
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Inner circle
Oakboro N.C.
7036 Posts

Profile of bowers
I switch out items in my show occasionaly.
just to keep the show fresh.and also so I don't
lose practice with other tricks.
Gerry Walkowski
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Inner circle
1424 Posts

Profile of Gerry Walkowski
I will change about 3-4 effects if I get a repeat booking for a Christmas event whereby I'm performing for the same group EVERY YEAR. I find that this tends to keep everyone happy.

That said, some groups still won't hire you every year just because they want to change things up year after year. Not only do they want to see a different act, they also want to see a different face.

That's show business!

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Eternal Order
24098 Posts

Profile of Dynamike
I am not worried because I am an addict. I am always buying so many magic tricks I do not perform. I will include some of them, but not most of them. I have a ton to use for back up if I need it.
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Inner circle
St Louis
1180 Posts

Profile of Leland
I freshen up my show by adding different acts and keeping some of my best material in. I just change the presentation a bit to make it different. It keeps me fresh and my audience entertained.
Life of Magic!
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Regular user
124 Posts

Profile of scalito
I think it's essential for us all to grow and change things up in our acts. I, like Dynamike, have loads of effects and when I rotate one or more in I have to practise it, which freshens the act up and makes me learn. Whenever I do a return show I generally present new effects.
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
11047 Posts

Profile of Al Angello
You should always be working on new routines, and have a bunch of semi retired routines to call on. Have some age appropriate routines to mix, and match with your trademark routines. Now that I've totally confused you it's all a matter of packing right the night before a show, and having a room full of unused magic props to pick from.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
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