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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » First time presentation of my manipulation act (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Lavey
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Luxembourg
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Hello,

OK, 2 weeks ago I presented for the first time my manipulation act in Germany. Here is the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6ndHnjkhhs
Some things gone wrong, I found some weak points watching the video but what is your opinion? I try to improve it so every comment is welcome!

Thanks
Christian Lavey
Magician from Luxembourg https://lavey.lu
Magicien de Luxembourg https://lavey.lu
Zauberer aus Luxemburg https://lavey.lu
Michael Baker
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Near a river in the Midwest
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It is obvious that you have worked hard on your technique. Congratulations! Your technical problems will eventually work themselves out with consistent practice. performing any act in front of a live audience changes the dynamics of rehearsing at home. It simply takes a bit of repetition to adjust to the new performing "climate".

A few points that I would consider...

Try very hard for precision with your foot placement, and minimize the swaying and wandering. Movement on stage is of course a necessity, but it should always be with a distinct purpose. Extra movements can be distracting. Precision will display as being very graceful, even if the character is not.

Re-think the use of the case. It seems overly "large" in regard to what was placed into it. With the lid open, it looks considerably larger, too. It also was very close to becoming an unwanted screen during a few of your card productions. It probably was to a portion of the audience.

There seemed to be an inconsistency in which cards were tossed into the case, and which tossed to the floor. If you consider Cardini's act, he begins by tossing things into a receptacle held by his assistant... until these items became more unmanageable and irritating to him, at which point he simply discarded them in disgust and frustration. The act of how these items were discarded was motivated.

Perhaps, periodically look at the audience, so they know who is the "star". No one will fault you for holding your head high. Smile

There also seemed to be a bit of redundancy in beginning with cards, then moving to silks, etc, but then back to cards again. Perhaps consider using the giant fan production as a climax to the initial card segment, and then change to the new items, finally finishing with a different effect for the climax of the show.

Just my opinion. Smile

~michael
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Bill Hegbli
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Fort Wayne, Indiana
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I pm'd you some thoughts on your act. Michael Baker and I are on agreement of some of your act and appearance.
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Lavey
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Luxembourg
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Thank you for the comments and your advice. This is very helpful for me and very appreciated.

Christian
Christian Lavey
Magician from Luxembourg https://lavey.lu
Magicien de Luxembourg https://lavey.lu
Zauberer aus Luxemburg https://lavey.lu
JamesRaymond
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Elkhart, IN (USA)
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Christian, I am impressed with what you have going on here. The swaying back and forth was a little distracting. I seen some moments when it looks like things did not go as planed but you handled them nicely.

I really do believe that I should be the last person to "judge" someone on their performance because I am still afraid of performing. I liked most of all that you went out and did a show. Wish I could be as brave.

Good job and keep up the nice work.
Are you watching closely?
dove-boy
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Joe Yu (Stage Name)
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There is one MAJOR point that will prevent anyone from continue to watch the act.. EYE CONTACT & SMILE Smile

Yes, you need to have that at least 70-80%...or AS much as much as you can....after watching the act for 1 mins, I turn off off to type this message...build on this FIRST before you continue for other areas, hope this helps Smile
Lavey
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Luxembourg
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Thank you James & Dove-boy!
Christian Lavey
Magician from Luxembourg https://lavey.lu
Magicien de Luxembourg https://lavey.lu
Zauberer aus Luxemburg https://lavey.lu
allesmand
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Relly nice performance I relly liked. Keep it up. I'm still afraid of performing Smile.
London
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THe major thing I noticed right away is eye contact. And applause cues. There is no pause for applause except the one time right before the silk stuff and even then the audience didn't seem to know it was time for applause. And look at the audience more. You are looking at your hands way too much. This is something that is probably a result of a bad habit during learning and practice. Not sure how you practice but its just a guess. If you don't use a mirror , you should. If you are watching yourself in the mirror rather than turning you head looking directly at your hands , it will be easier to break that bad habit when on stage. The technical aspects are ok and will get better with practice and performance however there are continuity problems that could use some attention.I recommend reading "Magic and Showmanship" by Henning Nelms. But overall you are on the right path . So stick to it and practice practice practice.
THOUGHTfully,

LONDON
George Ledo
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I agree with most of the comments above, especially the part about wandering and eye contact, and also the size of the open case. That fence, or whatever it was, behind you, didn't help, but I suspect you had no choice in the matter.

I think my biggest comment would be about visual scale. You were in a large space doing manipulation with very small objects, and they tended to get lost in all that real estate. Cardini and Pollock both presented their card productions such that the cards were confined to a relatively small space: they created their own focus and kept the audience's eyes "right there." This made the cards "look bigger," and they also made sure there was plenty of contrast between the cards and the background. There's no need to use up the entire stage if you're doing manipulation; keep it focused to a defined space and the effect will be much better.

For a great example of creating focus in the middle of a stage, check out Jeff Dunham's work. After he gets a bit into the act, there's nowhere else to look.

Keep at it, and best of luck!
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Lavey
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Luxembourg
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Thousand thanks for all the comments. Your advices are very important to me!
Christian Lavey
Magician from Luxembourg https://lavey.lu
Magicien de Luxembourg https://lavey.lu
Zauberer aus Luxemburg https://lavey.lu
Jim Sparx
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Liked it when you opened with a story and made the audience laugh.
If you watch Cardini and Pollock you will notice something right away. Every once in a while they will look at the audience and you. If you watch them carefully you will see that, when they look at you, your eyes will meet their eyes. After they look at you they will look at what they are doing. This is a perfect form of misdirection. We are always looking for eye contact, when we get it, we cannot help but look at the other persons eyes. While we are looking at the magicians eyes he will do something we do not notice, like make a steal from a dropper.
Another example, if you are watching another person and they look off stage, your eyes will automatically look where they are looking. One of the best forms of misdirection is having your lovely assistant enter from the wings. What happens? The audience will look at the beautiful lady. While the audience is looking at her, you could vanish an elephant. Not really, but you get the idea. The audience will always look where you are looking,or where something else more interesting occurs. If you are constantly looking at your hands producing cards, that is where the audiences eyes will be, and it will be difficult for your other hand to make a steal.
If you watch a Cardini video you will notice how hard it is to follow what is going on. For one thing, he is dropping cards into a hat held by a pretty assistant. Where are your eyes? Not on his other hand, that's for sure. You are looking at the cards being dropped and the lady.
One example of misdirection is having something going on elsewhere that will make the audience look there. Another example, your eyes, because people will always follow where you are looking, and if you are looking at them, that is where there eyes will be.
Dynamike
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That was good for a start. Work more on making the steals in a smoother manner.
Benjamagic
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At some points, try to angle your body to the audience because your back should NEVER be to the audience. Otherwise, great act!!! Congrats!
illusions & reality
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I would also encourage you to slow down after you make a production. Acknowledge what has happened, which will help your audience know when to applaud. When the fans traveled from one hand to the next, slow down a moment. Nerves will cause you to rush. Just breathe slowly and force yourself to pause more.

I would fully agree with the comments regarding eye contact & smiling. Unless your stage persona is dark or aloof, let your audience know that you are enjoying them and the magic that is happening in your hands.

Keep up the good work!

Lou
absoulute
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Hey Christian
First of all, I think most would agree that your skill is very good! I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Baker that the kinks will be worked out in time. I have seen Michael perform and he knows his stuff! Manipulation, especially with cards on stage is very, very difficult. When I used to perform professionally I screwed up so many times that I really had to psych myself up to go out and try it again. Your biggest obstacle has been overcome. You performed your first manipulation show!

I was about as nervous doing it the first time as I was climbing the 110 foot ladder for firefighter training (I am INSANELY afraid of heights). I don't think you will ever be fully free of the anxiety, but you get used to it just like anything else.

My major critique (and an easily adjusted one) was with the angles. I see that you lowered your hand down below the very edge of the briefcase lid during some of your discards. It looked ok from the carema's point of view, but it might have been obscured as your audience was seated a bit below you, but maybe you could place on object on the floor to discard into. I see that you made some steals from the briefcase so obviously where your routining and staging are concerned this might not be possible, but at least raise your hand slightly so the audience can see the discards clearly. One last thing and this was something I learned performing. When an audience is seated below you, really check your angles on the backpalm. I had my wife sit in the audience during one of my shows where I was elevated to the extent that the tops of the spectators heads were lower than my feet. I got a lot of hushed whispers from the crowd during the performance, and before my wife could come up and tell me I was flashing on the bottom part of my hand when I was backpalming, I already knew. Just an angle thing though. I tilted my hand forward about 20 degrees during the next show and the whispers weren't heard again.

Honestly I don't have anything else to add. Like others have said, limit your body movement a bit so the audience doesn't have any extra 'work' to do when tracking your hands to where the magic is taking place.

Really just a fine performance though and I am quite fortunate that you shared it with me. If you can, please keep us updated. I truly enjoy watching other magicians perform more than I do performing myself. Great work Christian, keep honing that craft. Like I said, the hardest part is truly already behind you!
Since we can never hope to understand why we are here, if there's anything to understand, the individual should choose a goal and pursue it wholeheartedly, despite the certainty of death and the meaninglessness of action. - Martin Heidegger
Herr Brian Tabor
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I am learning German, so this was interesting on two levels for me Smile Very well done, and I agree, work on the swaying and eye contact, and smile! You're show is great, be proud to smile about it!
Rabinak
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Czech Republic
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Build better connection with your audience (at the end of your act stay longer for applause) and sometimes you have really unnatural position of your hands.
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