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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » A mad mad world and Bizarre magic (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

VernonOnCoins
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So much of a successful Bizarre performance depends on having the full attention of one's audience. For the professionals and semi-professionals out there, Im wondering how you manage audience attention spans, throngs of party people and obnoxiously loud, dark environments?
Where and for whom do you perform your most cherished Bizarre effects? Do you work these story driven effects at paid events? What type of events are you working? Are you competing with booze and food and iPhones? If so, how are you pulling it all off?

As much as I love and support Bizarre magic, sometimes I feel the whole genre is a pipe dream better suited for quiet, after dinner demonstrations in my home. How do you perform these wonderful story-telling effects in a mad mad world?
DrTodd
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Small theatres Smile

My own take on theatrical Mentalism has been performed in various theatres and private parties around the UK. Not a pipe dream at all...very possible to craft an entertaining but deep show that brings in an audience. Stage and set dressing are important and I use PowerPoint for backdrop work as well as for particular revelations...
PROF BC
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I only work professionally and you are quite right, choosing the venue is important. Bizarre does require the audience's (or spectator's) attention, which is difficult to gain if s/he is drunk, wild, and in the midst of a raucous party atmosphere. I would not personally try to perform there.

Though I do not perform in my own home, some do so very successfully. I rather prefer going to a venue with its own atmosphere and tend to perform at old hotels, historic (defunct) train stations, museum events, on the grounds of lovely old homes (usually during fund raisers--and election years are gold, whether red or blue), at supper parties, on college campuses (especially in buildings rumored to be haunted, which are abundant with legendary (often fictitious) students hanging themselves or leaping to their deaths), and even high schools (always tapping the 'Nightmare on Elm Street' vibe). I have standing 'midnight seance' performances at a number of locations (the Grove Park Inn in North Carolina is my usual Hallowe'en site though not this year as the Wednesday booking proved too difficult for all concerned).

It is easy to stay busy and make a tidy second income along the way if you craft your show around the realities of your area, are willing to travel, and can adapt to a wide variety of physical performance situations.

BC
Phasmologist
VernonOnCoins
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Sadly, I would need to restructure my entire business strategy and begin all over again from the bottom. The fast paced markets that have been paying -and continue to pay- my bills simply will not support my interest in Bizarre presentations. Perhaps I can present a quick piece here and there but for the most part, this luxury simply does not exist
VernonOnCoins
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But perhaps like you said, I can create a second market in my area. There are certainly enough venues in NYC which would support theatrical performances
Michael_MacDonald
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1964 - 2016
Washington
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I perform as a working pro as well. private parties, people come to the restaurants where I perform weekly and book a private room just to have me entertain their friends. I do some corporate events with bizarre themed settings.

I started out as a main stream trade show magician and changed over.
start small brother. keep the main line and slowly build your rep with the bizarre and mentalism. when you get the market up enough. change.
cirrus
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On karnival of magick disc 2 (by tony chris) he talks about venues also.
Lucien Astor
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Sunken R'lyeh
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I would consider myself semi-professional, as I am paid to perform, but I in no way make a living from it. Quite often I perform on behalf of non-profit groups to assist with their fund-raising. There are three models I have used with some success; self-organized events, partnerships, and exhibitions.

I, with help from associates, have organized several events. The first are "Psychic Fair + Artist Sideshows", where numerous individuals are invited to participate and have a table/booth/tent. A space is rented, and attendees pay a small fee to get in the door (usually around $10). To have readings, or interact with performers then costs more at each table, but not exorbitantly, so people can circulate to various tables without breaking the bank. Rather than cash transactions, attendees buy plastic carnival tokens from the banker's table, and pay with those, for drinks, food and entertainment. An accounting can then be done for each table easily. There are curio tables and things to see and do that cost nothing as well. This has actually been a successful model. I have also been involved in organizing smaller versions at venues like nightclubs, on slower evening during the week. At these events, there are usually 5 performers. The prices are negotiated directly at the tables, for groups of 1-4. At these I usually do a little tarot and 'bizarre' close-up... 5 - 10 minutes per group.

I have also partnered with non-profit groups at their ticketed events, and then taking a share of the door/ticket revenue. An example being Halloween events at museums, where I will do a few 20-30 minute parlour/platform shows for groups of 15 - 20 in one of the museum's meeting rooms. This is free, on a first-come first serve basis for ticket holders. This is good model because you can successfully cross-promote (actually the organization will generally do the promotions), and having this type of entertainment can make an organization's annual event unique and interesting again.

The final method I have used is as a 'performance artist'. My bread and butter is as a visual artist, and have been exploring ways to synthesize my interest in art and magic. I have exhibited my bizarre creations in gallery exhibitions, then interacted with them at the opening reception and through the course of the exhibit. I have also performed at media/performance art festivals and events (although never at a dramatic festival or event). As a participant in these exhibitions/events, you are paid an artists fee or honorarium, which is significantly higher than as a performer, but far more infrequent.

Never having been a strolling magician, I am not sure whether anything I said will be of any help to you.

Cheers,

Lucien/Darcy
http://www.mediumarts.ca: Psychic Entertainment & Contemporary Art
VernonOnCoins
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I would love to be part of a "psychic fair" or sideshow event.

On those occasions where I know I'll have their attention, I always include a nice piece of Bizarre. Luneria and a pendulum for example can go a long way in these scenarios.
scathmadre
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Or, you could do it the other way ‘round.
Start by reading in a bar (oooo a haunted bar). Build your reputation as a reader as opposed to a magician. From there it’s easy to slide into the spooky stuff.
Established clientele will be asking about Séances (because hey – you’ve indicated that you do them on your business card.
Sheesh - just one card readings w/DDT & a BOA or WA, and you're on your way. IMO - build yourself as a spooky guy, rather than a showman...
Dougini
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My first performance of The Bizarre/Mentalism was L*n@ 1936. Ten or more people at a friend's house around his giant dining room table. I was sitting at the head of the table. It was perfect. Don't know how I'd handle a theater. My next performance of L*n@ will be in Boston at my sister's place. Her husband, my other sister and her husband and their two friends will be there.

Doug
Dougini
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It went perfectly! I still have a ways to go with 1935, but generally it went smoothly without any hitches. 1935 has some extra stuff I really want to get down. I'm still waiting for Pe@rly G@tes, and when that comes, I know I will have an extra dimension at my fingertips.

Now I am discovering new stuff...Prof BC and Dr. Todd, Tim W. are just a few brilliant thinkers who have inspired me. Also Michael MacDonald has given me a glimpse of what is possible just with L*n@ alone! I want to thank each of you. I'll be saving my money for the next mind-blower! Smile

Doug
RCP
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Quote:
On 2012-09-18 13:19, scathmadre wrote:
Or, you could do it the other way ‘round.
Start by reading in a bar (oooo a haunted bar)


There was a gentleman here about 20 years ago that began giving areola readings at a local club.....I swear this is a true story. His notoriety grew and the gals were lined up every weekend to fork over a $20.00 bill for his services. All was well till a little filly took exception with his predilections and a very large drunk cowboy end his gift.......
Michael_MacDonald
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1964 - 2016
Washington
2034 Posts

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Quote:
On 2012-10-01 17:45, Dougini wrote:
It went perfectly! I still have a ways to go with 1935, but generally it went smoothly without any hitches. 1935 has some extra stuff I really want to get down. I'm still waiting for Pe@rly G@tes, and when that comes, I know I will have an extra dimension at my fingertips.

Now I am discovering new stuff...Prof BC and Dr. Todd, Tim W. are just a few brilliant thinkers who have inspired me. Also Michael MacDonald has given me a glimpse of what is possible just with L*n@ alone! I want to thank each of you. I'll be saving my money for the next mind-blower! Smile

Doug


well thank you doug, I woulkd do well just to have 10% of the creativity of the others mentiond. but if I inspired you in some small way then I am glad of it my friend.
Michael_MacDonald
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1964 - 2016
Washington
2034 Posts

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I perform s@anctum 2 and lunari@ for normal walk around. it gives you ability to perform remote viewing, telepathy, and many other routines just from 2 simple cards. in a reading environment add the pendulum, and a few other items that will spice it up for the sitters.

I have found that you can do bizarre effects anywhere you can do normal magic. you just need to select the right effects.
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