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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » What do you do on a regular basis to make your show better? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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TheAmbitiousCard
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Eternal Order
Northern California
13396 Posts

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Buy better tricks?
Learn/practice a musical instrument to add to your act?
Push ups?
Dancing lessons?
Add corny jokes because we know everybody loves a good corny joke?

What do you to do improve your act?
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
Theodore Lawton
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Inner circle
1685 Posts

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Since I'm just starting out:

Practice
Write scripts
Ask you guys lots of questions
Steal your jokes
Think about ways to link effects into routines
Review and think about my performances and try to eliminate dead space and increase audience involvement
Practice
MichaelCGM
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Inner circle
Oklahoma City
2284 Posts

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Add bits based on input from audiences - not limited to just jokes. Things one audience does makes the show better for other audiences. Does that make sense?
Magically Yours,

Magical Michael

MagicalMichael.com Smile Laus Deo!
danfreed
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Inner circle
West Chester PA
1178 Posts

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Yeah Michael, that does make sense for sure. I try to pay attention to what works and doesn't for each show so I know what to keep or drop. I read this forum for ideas and inspiration. No dance lessons for me! I try to add new tricks because I keep running into kids that have seen me at almost every gig.
Mary Mowder
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Sacramento / Elk Grove, CA
3649 Posts

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I've added some new material in the last few months, which of course involves writing, prop. management and more.

I've made some changes to my table and prop arrangement to make things easier to get to (still a work in progress).

I've asked my mentor and some friends for suggestions to make my performance stronger.

I've tried to make my booking interactions with clients more professional and reassuring.
I think the clients impression of me before I arrive has a lot to do with how they frame the show (or more how I frame the show).

I've tried to streamline my set up and teardown because I've been feeling that I look a bit scattered.

I'm smiling more (after seeing some frowning video).

-Mary Mowder
jay leslie
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V.I.P.
Southern California
9495 Posts

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It's not a matter of what I like. I'm being paid by the audience.

Many years ago, (The statute of limitations has long gone by) when we first started doing illusion shows, I hid a tape recorder in the rear of the venue. On the way back from every show the L&S man drove our truck and the other assistants sat in the van with me. We listened to the comments the paying public said - and that's how we decided what to keep and not keep.
TonyB2009
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5006 Posts

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I find that the more stories I add, the stronger my show becomes. So turning every routine into a story is what works for me. No story, no place in the show.
kimmo
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Sheffield
1193 Posts

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I do the opposite of Jay and never ever try to 'give the audience what they want'. I believe that it's my job to put myself and my personality up on stage and show people what I believe to be funny. I trust that the audience will come along for the ride. I'm not suggesting Jay's approach is wrong though, there are many ways to skin a cat.
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harris
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Harris Deutsch
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1. Listen more...both on and off stage
2. Watch good entertainers that are not magicians
3. Balance solid routines with true improv
4. Make solid lines seem like true improv
5. Put more me into my programs
6. Use other characters...with or without hats, wigs, glasses, accents...


Though not directly related...
1. Yes I am currently taking dancing lessons(Ballroom...my wife wants to learn 2 step next...)
2. Signed up and use a gym/health club
3. Jam with professional and other musicians
4. Listen to feedback from those I trust
5. Read books other than magic
(currently reading The Book Thief)
6. Pushups...used to do them on a regular basis...(up to 90 in a row..these days every once in a while...40-60)..more likely to do situps and jump rope...though I am not doing 1500-2000 reps anymore....

Harris
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
TommyJ
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Foxboro, MA
1750 Posts

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I keep trying to add comedy to my performances. I'm never satisfied. I want as many laughs per minute as I can get. Along with strong routines. Smooth transitions from routine to routine. That is what I strive for.
"Keep the Kids Laughing!"
https://www.tommyjamesmagic.com/store
harris
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Harris Deutsch
8694 Posts

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A performer I like commented about my LPM.

Though I do love comedy, I am not afraid to go for other emotions during my program.

I call my self a Laughologist these days.(and not a comedian...because it is not all funny)

Harris
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
Leland
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Inner circle
St Louis
1180 Posts

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Whenever I can I have someone in the audience video my performance and I review it. Sometimes I'm happy with what I see and sometimes I have to force myself through it. But I always find something that I can change to make it better.

After the first few times I reviewed my show I had no idea how often I gave my back to the audience, so I knew that placement of my props had to be re-arranged. It's the little things that make the difference.
Life of Magic!
The Mighty Fool
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Inner circle
I feel like a big-top tent having
2120 Posts

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Quote:
On 2012-08-26 23:55, jay leslie wrote:
I hid a tape recorder in the rear of the venue. We listened to the comments the paying public said - and that's how we decided what to keep and not keep.


Sneeeeeaky!!!! I LIKE!

As for moi, recently I've tried to add more visual "ooh & aah" effects like the snowstorm, throw-streamers, gypsy-balloon (with a cool pyro-climax) and a bubblestorm, all to music. These increase my cost, because they have to be refilled, but the increased reactions I've gotten are worth it I'd say. I just wish I'd heard about Jay's recorder-trick earlier so I could compare!
Everybody wants to beleive.....we just help them along.
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
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I am always working on new stuff, and experimenting with the old stuff. There is nothing in my show that I do exactly like I did it 5 years ago.

Frank
Is this a trick question?
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
TheAmbitiousCard
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Eternal Order
Northern California
13396 Posts

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Nope. Not a trick question.

I do a lot of the things listed above.

I've even gone as far as swapping out the containers that hold my props for certain specific reasons.
The audience never knows the difference but if it reduces how much I have to think about props and placement and how to get them in and out of my act, my show will benefit.

Like Jay, I'm very interested in feedback (tho I've never used a recorder) but like Kimmo, I trust my instincts and create a show that's "all me" and what I think is funny/entertaining, and I just hope the audiences (as Kimmo says) "come along for the ride". I've found this to be the most influential thing I've done in terms of improving my show.
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
TonyB2009
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Inner circle
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I must say Kimmo's approach is the top in my book! Confidence - it shows.
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
11047 Posts

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Tony
I'm with Kimmo too the audience has no idea what they are talking about, and I know what works by listening to the laughs, and the applause night after night. I have had many audience members compliment me for doing tricks I have never done.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
MichaelDouglas
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Special user
Portland, Oregon
767 Posts

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This likely happens to all of us, but there are generally a few kids hovering around me as I repack my gear after a show. 1) I've developed the habit of asking them what they liked best about the show. Sometimes the things that I don't give much thought to are mentioned as a favorite.

2) Frank mentioned swapping out prop containers. I've been tinkering with containers and prop stands/cases for the last 3 years. I've gone through about 5 variations on my prop stand/table/case. I've finally settled on a setup that works very well for me. I've still a little more tinkering to do with my banner on the front of my table/case. Economy of size and weight, plus ease of access during my show are the objectives.

3) I used to video all of my shows and send a feedback form after every show. I only do that now when I've changed something in the show or want feedback, aka a quote or soundbyte, from an influential client.

4) I've been working on adding sound to my show.....like forever. That's just waaaaay hard for me. I forget to press the button on my remote at the right time, or whatever. I just need to rehearse that a bit more for an even more professional presentation.
ColinDymond
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Special user
Gloucestershire, England
675 Posts

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I wonder how well skinning a cat goes down in a kids show?
Tamariz
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New user
45 Posts

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Perform, reflect, imagine and try some new ideas with old routines, take theatre workshops, perform some more, perform in different environments, seek professional feedback, perform more, rest and repeat.
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