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magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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Doug:

Thanks so much for the kind words again. I do appreciate it. I am in the process of setting up my new system to be able to handle video and DVD conversion and editing.

As you may know, I am a graphic designer and illustrator by trade and I do a lot of logo and art design for magicians like yourself etc. I hope that this new system will allow me to help others in regards to video production, but also I may finally be able to put out my own DVD or promotional video.

I have been wanting to do this for some time now as I tape most every performance I do.

As for my billard ball act, it really is more of an act of simplicity. There really is not much to it. What wows the audience the most is just the great emotional feeling they get from it when it is over.

It is not your typical billard ball act at all, and that was really what I was after when I created it. I wanted something different then a show of skill.

I wanted a "personality" piece in the show that helped me to connect with the audience early on. This act has worked well for me in that regards and I have received many good comments and a few rewards for it along the way.

What is funny is that the actual billard ball sequences are pretty simple. I know so many moves, but I really had to force myself not to put them all in. That they were not needed to tell and convey the story I was trying to get across.

If you would like to possibly see this act, I may be able to make a video copy of it from one of my performances. Just PM me and maybe I can see about putting something together for anyone who may like to view it.

Also, if anyone has any art or design needs in regards to business cards, logos etc., please PM me and I would be happy to talk to you about them and how you might be able to make them work better for you.

Once again, thanks for the kind words.
Kyle Peron

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altoni
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It really depends on the routine. How well you put it together, the choreography, and the music, if you use it. A lot goes into a good card manipulation routine, pacing, timing, connecting with your audience and expressing who you are. You have to breathe life into it— yours.

Be yourself and express yourself,

Al
magic4u02
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AL:
I agree with you. A manipulation act should be much more then JUST a show of technique and skill. You have to breathe life into the act and make it a magical moment for the people watching it.

Give the audience a character to admire and like. Give them a theme for which they can relate to. Add in great transitions that change the pace of the act around and keeps it very visusal and different.

Most of all, do not do the act to impress yourself or other magicians. Do the act to entertain your audiences the best way that you can.

Kyle
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Pete Biro
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1933 - 2018
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Remember friends, if you want to do an ACT... think of it as AN ACT... not just a bunch of tricks thrown together... style, wardrobe, attitude, character, skill, music, etc. etc. make an act... the tricks are almost the least important.

A great example are my friends Goldfinger and Dove. Great act, simple, standard magic.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
magic4u02
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Pete:
I agree with you in that an act needs to be much more then just a series of effects one after the other. You need to have character, storyline, themes and create an emotional response in the minds of the audiences watching.

Stop from trying to rely soley on a show of skill and technique and give your audiences more to walk away with. Everything is important in the act and everything must relay back to the character you are portraying.

With this in mind, I have to disagree with your example of Goldfinger and Dove. Do not get me wrong, I like what they do and I appreciate and respect them.

However, I do not feel strongly that they have really met the above criteria of going above and beyond to create an act that is so unique and gives back to the audience much more then what they come to think of magicians for.

Goldfingers act is really more or less a series of effects back to back. This is fine if you have nice routines and such but it really is more old school.

What I do not like about their act is that they are not giving the audience something more. There is really no centralized theme in the act nor is there any really defined character or an emotional response given.

Each of thewir routines by themsleves are not bad and are pretty dtrong by themselves. It is this combining of the routines into a longer act that just does not do it for me. The characters seem to change way too much and tends to confuse the audience.

I hope I do not upset anyone by this, but I am always 100% honest and always will state my own humble opinion.

An example of an act that for me goes above and beyond is McBrides water bowls routine. This is an absolute perfect marriage of a well defined character, persoanlity and telling of a magical story that is not only entertaining, but an audience can relate to.

Kyle
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xxxRoyxxx
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Kyle,
I like that you are honest...Could you give more examples of magicians/acts that include all or most of the aspects you speak of (ie. character, theme etc..)?
9 out of 10 of the acts I've seen, both live and tv(most tv), do not include many of the aspects you speak of, rather, they do not adhere to them so much. Perhaps they do but are really difficult to define/find...For example: Frewins' act(a world champion) His act is entertaining but what is his character? His theme I can guess.. He's also so repetitive with the birds...Yet, once again, it's still so much fun to watch him (I am a fan)! McBride, I mean the guy is a master, but there are some grey areas in his card routine; as far as theme, character etc...His character is some mask/shaman guy right?. Yet, what is he doing with the feather that turns into a modern looking cane? What about the playing cards? How do those fit in with masks/shamans? I never knew shamans wore top hats? Topas,(By the way, my favorite magician; also a champion!!!) how do the bells fit with sunglasses? I know he's playing some guy in the eighties, I believe).
By the way, if anyone can answer these questions, do so...Also, all the magicians I've named above, I am great fans of, so I don't want anyone to complain as I am only stating my opinion of what I see with a critical eye...Once again, these are some of my favorite magicians that I look up to. I'm only trying to prove my point....

The point I'm getting at is I hate the thought of sticking to so many rules. For so long, I've been stuck in the development in my act because I had a similiar thinking that you do, OR SEEM TO, Kyle. I thought to myself...I must adhere to my character, my theme..I just couldn't go off track, yet, that binded/limited me so much! I think a character/theme helps clear things up when one is BEGINNING to develope an act but do not think one needs to adhere to them so strictly! I think it's okay to stray away from them a bit. Although, it is possible as it has been proven before to adhere strictly to 1 theme, character etc... but I think it can be limiting...Cardini is one, I think, that stuck STRICTLY to his character AND THEME.
Burton, from what I read, began his act without thnking of theme/character. He said in some interview that he was doing the birds, candles, and a zomebie. I imagine that his character/theme didn't come until later, prior to competing in FISM....(THIS IS SOMETHING I READ, AND A CONCLUSION I CAME TO FROM MY READING)
Rather than trying to invent some other character, in developing my act, I simply decided to be ME. Roy Ortiz! I am the best character to play since I know everything about him! All my likes etc can be found in my (still developing) act. In essence, I'm portraying myself to my audiences. that's why I feel so free and good about my act because I'm doing me, and anything my character likes, wants, does, that is my theme...
I mean, I've never heard an audience member walk away from a great magicshow/routine saying, "wow, that was a great character he played up there!" They just want to be entertained, which is what must be concentrated on; character and theme are helpful in this but don't think you just HAVE to stick to them al the time...Do what you want, have fun, cuz "they" probably will if you are....Thanks....Roy Ortiz....
zombieboy
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Very well said, Roy!
Bill Hegbli
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Roy,

There are 2 Japanese magicians doing 20 minute card acts currently. They have appeared on SAM and IBM magic conventions in the past. I cannot remember their names but they have put articles in a magazine and book. Years ago Harry Lorayne published a card production between the fingers by one of these japanese magicians.

The Magic Christian in Europe has presented a full card act at FISM for years. He has not won in the articles that I have read because of his always trying something very difficult that has failed for him.

Ususlly, if you introduce another trick it is to use the opportunity to seal something ahead for the next sequence in the act. It is inserted more out of necessity than to very the act.

Lastly, magic presentation can cause your audience to not respond because of their amazement. They do like it but it has shocked them, so not immediate response. That is why you must pause sometimes for the effect register with your audience.

If you can very your card act enough, to include surprise you will do okay. Try card castles, jumbo cards, card fountains, hats, canes, etc.

Repeation can be used to your advantage also for a surprise finish.

It is alot of work, but I have seen good acts at many a convention.

Bill Smile
Fitz
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Phoenix, AZ
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2 min tops!

my opinion
Fitz
I have a daily web show all about magic at http://FitzMagic.info
magic4u02
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Philadelphia, PA
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Roy:
Thanks for your e-mail and I will try and highlight some of your concerns and some of my issues as well in the process.

I guess my biggest comment is that too many magicians give no thought at all to the acts and to what makes their act entertaining to an audience. They go straight for the wow factor without giving the audience more.

In this sort of way it is like a plain pizza. It is still a good pizza but it could certainly be even better if it had more to it... more to offer.

I consider an act of amazement only to be like this plain pizza. It can work and it is good but it does not last and your not giving the person as much as you could be giving.

Through the use of character, theme, storyline, emtoional impact... all of these are the extras on this pizza that allows you to give the audience even more to remember.

Does a magician have to use these all of the time? No he/she does not. But the magician should try to utilize these in such a way throughout the show to make the show flow well and to give the audiences periods of emotional response, wow factor and other responses.

It just adds up to a better entertainment experience to those who come and watch your performance.

Roy:
Being you IS a character. It sometimes is the best character you have. The hard part is that it makes you vulnerable and not many magicians tend to want to be themselves because of this.

But whether you are being yourself or becoming a different personna, you should try and remain consistent and true to that character during your performance.
Kyle Peron

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maylor
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You're the best 'You' that there is. Don't expect to be liked by everybody though.
magic4u02
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That is very true, but sometimes using your own personna as your stage character may not work. If you are constantly not connecting with the audience and they just are not relating to you, then it may mean that they are not comfortable with the character you presenting on stage. Be prepared because they may not like the character you present and this means sitting back and evaluating yourself.

I point this out because the way WE see ourselves may be totally different from the way our friends and everyone else sees us. Often times there is a big difference between the two.

It is important, if you are going to use the charater of yourself, to be able to ask people who are your friends and who you can trust. Ask them what words they would use to describe you and your personality. You may just be very surprised by what you find out.
Kyle Peron

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maylor
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Good point. A personality/character questionnaire is good for ths. Get people that know you to fill one in then examine it for reoccuring themes/patterns. This should hilight your main strenghts/weaknesses and will enable you to develop your character/stage presence appropriately.
magic4u02
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Good idea and smart as well. It is just important that people realize that there is often a difference between how we see ourslef and how others see us. Find out the traits that people honestly like about you and work the character around that.
Kyle Peron

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Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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This old marketing professor just returned from a large university today, that is very concerned about the declining interest in homecoming activities by the current students. It is doing some image surveying. The questionnaire I was given to examine had one major defect. It asked if the information provided was sufficient to help the students make their plans. All agreed it did. It never asked if the individuals had any interest or plans to attend. Since 70% of the students did not attend, any level of information would be sufficient for them. They didn't care to know! Details about the events would not change their plans. For 70%, the plan was to not go.

Image surveys in particular are subject to errors resulting from asking the wrong questions. Ask Coca-Cola about New Coke. Which product is gone and which one is back? People liked New Coke but not in place of Original Coke. Coca-Cola was buying 1/3 of all the vanilla in the world. New Coke changed that. Instead, what you will see now, is that Coke has introduced Vanilla Coke and Diet Vanilla Coke. That original research simply told the company whom to fire.

If you do this type of research, hire a real pro. They make big mistakes too! But nothing like the others routinely do on image studies. Media specialists rarely have the skills to do these studies well. They are good sales people.

There is another area called "attribute surveying" that I would recommend first for a magician. It will tell you more about who the public(s) think you are independent of the rest of the world. Then ask how they feel about that attribute. You may be very shocked.

Audiences are very forgiving of some very bad attributes and totally unforgiving of others. You only want to work on the ones that matter to your audience. (The others won't be watching your show.) As my mentor told me well over thirty years ago: People will hate you for virtues and love you for your vices. Oil of Olay would not benefit Willie Nelson professionally. He is smart enough to know that.

As for the university, I think the best advice is to shop for another audience or scale it down.

I'm a firm believer in good marketing research and good medical care. I don't want an amateur doing either one for me. Second chances don’t always exist.

Inquiring minds want to know, but be very careful who you ask.
Bob Sanders

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