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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Periods & styles of Magic » » RenFaire Magic (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Motley Mage
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Off to our local (still growing) Faire tomorrow. Half hoping for a good magic act, half hoping they've not found one so I can pitch myself for next season.
Pizpor
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Seize the day! Huzzah!
Motley Mage
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Dear gods--Not to speak ill, but I could do the nickel-behind-your-ear and blow one act at least off the circuit...

Posted: Nov 3, 2012 9:10pm
Sorry. Too much mead today...
Mike Maturen
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LOL. You crack me up.
Mike Maturen
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AUTHOR OF "A NEW DAWN--Weekly Wisdom From Everyday Life"

member: International Magician's Society
Pokie-Poke
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Have another and tell us about it. Smile
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The Adventure cont...
Motley Mage
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Okay, I've finally sobered up . . .

The original post actually referred to an act that was NOT magic-related at all. In an effort not to be too much of a troll, I will try to be general enough here to talk about what my issues were with the act without discussing the particulars of the act itself.

The performer in question had an excellent backdrop, a gorgeous costume, and some incredible props. What he did not have was an act or any sense of storytelling or staging. The entire performance consisted of calling a young volunteer up on stage, dressing the child in costume, and then talking for about five minutes, occasionally taking the costume pieces off the child then putting them back on as part of a ridiculous, historically inaccurate, and garbled story. The child DID nothing. At the end of this mess, the performer set off a loud and exciting finale--the end.

I am not an expert at stage performance, but here are some things I do know along with the things I learned from watching this mess:

1. An act should tell a story or at least have a unifying theme and transitions that connect one event to the next.
2. A story (or an act) should have a clear beginning, middle, and end. (This one just had an end.)
3. The act should build interest/tension/excitement to a climax--not kill time until the climax. (zzzzz . . . BANG!)
4. There is far more to audience participation than having an audience member come on stage. For one, there needs to be a reason for the person to join you--he or she needs to serve a purpose. For another, the interaction with the audience member(s) should entertain. And finally, if the audience member can walk away with a souvenir of the event, all the better.
5. No amount of visual appeal (i.e. costumes, scenery, props) can make up for a complete lack of talent.

Again, this act was NOT a magician--in fact, there was not a magician to be found at the faire--but the observations translate across art forms, I think.

End of transmission. Let the counterpoint discussion begin!
Pizpor
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Oh thank god. I thought you were at my show.

But seriously, no counterpoint discussion. You nailed it. Thanks for your insights.
Pokie-Poke
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Counterpoint.can't make one without knowing the act, so that is my counterpoint. (pushing for more drunk posts!)
at least tell us what kind of act, you can tell us... Smile
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The Adventure cont...
Motley Mage
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Pokie, I was trying hard not to identify the individual, but let's say he might have been pirate-themed and he might have had a black beard. His entire act led up to firing off a black powder muzzle-loader (which really did make an impressive bang, much to the chagrin of the horses on the list).
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