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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Just imagine you're a 15 year old illusionist... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Wolfmindreader
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...You live in quite a small country (+/- 11.000 people),
...You are dreaming of a carreer as an illusionist (own productions and performances booked by clients),
...You have quite a good concept in which you are believing and you've worked on,
...You have an amazing set of professional illusions, unique pieces of which there are only 1 or 2 in the world (in this design)
...And suddenly...A group(6 or8) of 10-12 year olds perform on national television in a contest, are hyped by the tv-channel,
they get a real flashy website and...they're concept looks exactly like yours and they are even performing the same illusions...The kids are coached by the best of the best...of the best...They have their booking agency and management (kids sell).

This is a situation someone I know is in. He is 15, has a very big dream of becoming an illusionist and he needs magic; Every moment of his life is filled with magic, reading books on illusionism, practicing with his assistant. I am 24, a mentalist and every weekend we sit together and talk about/work on his magic.

The boy is quite worried about that group of kids being hyped that much.
The problem is; He has worked on this concept for quite some time, it is something he really believes in and suddenly there is a group of kids (hyped by a television channel) in a tiny country...And they have an almost identical concept...Of course he is quite worried about this; People might think he "stole" the concept from that group of kids.

I know he will read this post eventually and I hoped some of you could give some advice to us (to him as an illusionist, to me as a good friend and his (non official Smile) "coach") What would you do in this situation? Change the concept? Just go with your dreams and keep working on the project? Would you even care about the it? Even in a tiny country?

What advice would you give this very good friend of mine? Smile
I thank you so incredibly much for your help!
magicians
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World does not owe him a living, first come first serve. He needs to be creative and develop something else more original or get a backer and do his show before the others. He could also contact the other group and join em.
In truth, this happens all the time and as frustrating as it may seem, there will be another time. He is only dreaming of being an illusionist and since he isn't, then he must keep working. IF he got everything he needed right now, it does not mean he could pull it off. It takes months or even years to perform illusions. Timing, costumes, assistants, a place to practice, lighting.
His time will come.
Oh, if he is worried about being accused of stealing, well, if the other guy came up with it first, that too happens all the time. Great minds think alike.
Illusionist, Illusionist consulting, product development, stage consultant, seasoned performer for over 35 years. Specializing in original effects. Highly opinionated, usually correct, and not afraid of jealous critics. I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pawn and a King. Free lance gynecologist.
Wolfmindreader
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Thank you so much for this very helpful reply.
A reply clearly full of experience and wisdom.
I will pass it on to him!
RVH Magic
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You are probably talking about the kids performing a dance and illusion act on Belgium got talent.
First their illusions are not new: the fire cage, sword box using neon lights, assistant revenge & spiker have been done many times before.
Their concept of a dance group performing illusions is not new either, several have done this before.
Franz Harary even consultant on a tv show and every dance group on that show did their own magic act.

The secret to make it is being original or be the best at it!
And then it doesn't matter if your country is small because you will travel the world ;-)

Just tell your friend to keep dreaming, never give up and one day his dreams will become reality!

Ps: He should take dance and acting lessons, work with directors and magic consultants and only use original and/or authorised illusions!
pradell
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For inspiration he should watch Make Believe, the documentary of the teen magic competition at the Las Vegas World Magic Seminar. The most recent winner hails from Anchorage Alaska, which is for some people a pretty remote part of the world.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1538833/

:magicrabbit:
magicbymccauley
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I've just started working with illusions after a 10 year career doing children's shows and so forth and just started doing them as well as and escapes.

Let me first say that illusions and escapes are always going to be there for you. They are usually something you want to do AFTER you become a competent magician. I'm not saying you need to wait 10 years like I did, but you do need to wait a bit so that you are an accomplished magician.

Here's a simple test: Have you done 100 shows? No? Don't do illusions or escapes yet. Can you make $50 (or fifty pounds) doing street magic. No? Then don't do escapes or illusions yet. Have you invented ten routines yourself which you use regularly with your own script and sequence of sleights? No? then don't do escapes or illusions yet.

Have you already done all that? Great. Here's my advice.

Go watch tons (I mean tons) of escapes and illusions on youtube. You don't need to know how they're done. You need to give them a star rating on how good the performance is. Save the ones that you think are the best. You should watch about 100-1000 illusions and star the best ones. There are tons of terrible illusion presentations out there. Why are so many so bad? What is good about the ones that are good? What is the music, concept choreography, script, etc.

Next, work on escapes. Ropes are cheap. Locks are cheap. Chain is cheap. Wood is cheap. Even straightjackets are inexpensive comparatively. Think about it. Two magic DVD's are $80. A straight jacket is $100. It lasts a long LONG time and many performances. Learn how to use escapes and you'll be halfway to learning illusions.

Here are the ABSOLUTE BEST and ABSOLUTE CHEAPEST resources. All of them are available on their respective websites:

Abbot's treasury of illusions.
Abbot's treasury of escapes.

These two will cost you a TOTAL of $20 ^

Dixie Dooley's Escapology series. A little expensive but SO MUCH MATERIAL AND UNDERSTANDING IS GAINED.

Mark Wilson's Illusion series. Your basic nuts and bolts of illusions. Relatively cheap.
Paul Osbourne's Black Book. Mostest illusion plans Cheapsest price.
Jim Steinmeyer's Theory and Practice. Same Deal.
Anything by Andrew Mayne (all his stuff is easy to perform and doesn't use expensive props).

Your learning procedure should be Rope--->Chain/Locks--->Handcuffs--->Mailbag--->Straight Jacket---->Wooden escapes/illusions (Slick Post, Stocks, Pillory, Guillotine, Escape Table)--->Torture/Penetrationillusion---->Production of a Person---->Vanish of a person--->Levitation.

FORGET about expensively made, gaudily painted box illusions. Cloth is light, cheap, portable and serves the same obfuscating purpose. Escapes can have as big an impact as a huge illusion. If you must build something out of wood, build a simple multipurpose base, or a black art table. Go look at EVERY ILLUSION by Andrew Mayne and how he performs them WITHOUT any expensive big boxes using cardboard fabric, simple mirrors and black art. THAT is your model for how to do things on the cheap.

An illusion or escape should take from 6-10 minutes to perform. If it takes shorter than that, you aren't using it properly, giving it a proper context, story and are wasting all the work you put into it. I know you've likely seen lots of clips where there are short illusions, but that's usually truncated because it's on TV or for a competition. Don't do that, a 2 minute illusion is a waste of all that hard work. Many pros only use a few escapes and a few illusions with audience participation stage magic in-between. If your show is 30 minutes you should need 2 illusions. If your show is an hour, you need four at the most. (some people only use 3). Don't make and build a billion illusions. Decide which ones you like after much thought and build a show around those. If you are doing Illusion shows, you can get big reactions and a big stage presence out of simply making your props bigger. Jumbo coins, Cards, Confetti, throwing cards into the audience, giant balloons, tricks with giant swords (card stab) big puppets and so forth can be big enough that they are like illusions without you having to make big boxes. Big magicians do big tricks. You can do "lady through ribbon". You need a ribbon and a knowledge of rope magic. You know what? You use big ribbon, and a big roll of it. It takes up the entire stage if you play it right and it's a full size illusion. This is what I'm trying to get at. Make your regular magic bigger. Do mentalism by throwing a huge beach ball into the audience. Call up six or seven people on stage and do an Equivoque. This is how you make your show a big illusion show.

Heck I'll even give you a great Illusion/escape show, just off the top of my head.

30 Minute Show:

1. Cutting in half with two ropes.
2. Audience participation/Humor Stage trick That plays BIG (Egg bag, Die Box, Linking Rings, Needle Thru Balloon).
3. Comedy (or serious) Handcuff Escape or Chain escape (you can do this with a Sillouette Box, cloth on small frame).
4. Sword Basket (Use Andrew Mayne's Sword Basket, it's less than $100)
5. Jumbo Card Trick
6. Equivoque of Five People (use a Giant Whiteboard for your prediction)
7. Andrew Mayne's Levitator

This is my advice! Hope it helps!






This is my advice. Take it or leave it good sir, I hope it helps.
"Tricks are about objects, Magic is about life."
-Max Maven
cougar261084
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Hmm I live in belgium, I saw the belgiums got talent show.

But last time I checked we had more than 11.000 people in our country Smile

I would like to know this country of 11000 people I think we have more in most cities Smile
Kune
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Apparently Belgium has a population of about 11 Million, so I assume some 0 were just missing from the first post?
magicians
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Please clarify: This 15 year old already has unique illusions or concepts? Has he performed illusions or just dreaming about it? What is his actual performing experience?
Illusionist, Illusionist consulting, product development, stage consultant, seasoned performer for over 35 years. Specializing in original effects. Highly opinionated, usually correct, and not afraid of jealous critics. I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pawn and a King. Free lance gynecologist.
The Drake
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You can tell your friend that this is the oldest story in the book and repeated over and over in life. If he really loves magic then he needs to stay the course and not expect some props to make him famous. If he thinks a bunch of big boxes is going to take him to the top ..... they are not. Talent and determination will however but its a hell of a tough road and why so many others give up. Is he really threatened by a group of 12 year olds?

When you are twelve .. Mommy and Daddy are paying the bills and if their parents have more money than yours it may look like they have a head start but they don't! Who will beome the better mechanic? They guy who gets a new car bought for him or the guy that has to piece one together cause he can't afford a new one?

The guy who starts off in the lead is not always the guy who finishes first. There are SO MANY factors that determine who rises to the top. I have seen this played out more times than I can count.

To put it simply..... if this 15 year old is any good and really WANTS his dream he had better stick too it, work ***ed hard, get used to others having a temporary advantage and keep developing HIS skills while worrying less about others. If he is blindsided by some temporary success of others he will never see HIS dream come true.

Best,

Tim
Wolfmindreader
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Thank you so incredibly much for all the fantastic advise.
I have discussed every one of your replies with my friend and he's both back to earth and ready to work his *$$ off.
He is really motivated and has quite some talent. I personally think he can reach the goals he wants to reach when he really works hard.
And we will have to keep the walk-run story in mind Smile

And Kune, thank you for pointing this out, I forgot some 0's indeed :-$

I would like to thank ALL of you for the insightful posts, they really helped us out a lot (all of them! We even had a great laugh at my 11.000.000 mistake Smile )

Thank you all!

:)
magicbymccauley
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No problem. Start by doing kidshows, and remember that everything is a stepping stone. Start small with a simple handcuff escape and gradually get bigger and larger. Slow and steady wins the race. Cardboard boxes and cloth illusions are a start.

Good luck!
"Tricks are about objects, Magic is about life."
-Max Maven
cc-magic
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I remember being a 15 year old illusionist with a few props built by my Dad from a great collection of books bought at the magic shop. Great Illusions of Magic had plans to look over and make some decisions on the best illusion for a young magician without a big budget and assistants.

Some solo illusions were the beginning and a few dance classes introduced me to my future magic assistants.

Study, Try, Learn, Become.
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