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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » Asian Manipulation Act (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

zombieboy
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Connecticut, USA
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I am going out to vegas for McBride's masterclass, and would like to put together an Asian style manipulation act. I have a very long time to put the act together, so I'm not rushing anything. Any suggestions would be great.
magic4u02
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Philadelphia, PA
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Well, let's start off with some obvious questions I like to ask anyone developing an act. We can then go from there. To best help offer advice to you, it helps to get as much information from you as possible.

- When you say asian style manipulation act, what exactly do you mean? Asian style can mean many different things to many different people.

- What type of effects do you want to perform in this act?

- What style music are you thinking about?

- What kind of a character do you want to play while on stage and what is this characters motivation?

- What is the pace for this act? fast, slow and methodical, flowing and rythmic?

- Will this act have a well defined central theme or be more visual in nature?

There are other questions I could ask of you, but let's start with these and go from there. I look forward to reading your answers and responses.
Kyle Peron

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zombieboy
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When I say asian, I mean Chinese/Japanese theme, music and objects that could be manipulated.
The Music is going to be from the band I-Ching, a new-age sort of band from China.
The character that I am envisioning is sort of a Chinese merchant, and he is producing various items he is going to sell.
It is going to be a some what fast paced act, but I want it to flow.

Hope these thing help.
-The Scot-
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I think anything with oriental fans would look nice, maybe snowtorm in china with the money (a note) you get from one product you sell?

Just a suggestion, keep us up to date though.
magic4u02
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I think if you want the act to reflect this Oriental merchant character, then you are really going to need to develop the storyline a lot before you work out the magical sequences. it will be important that the audience knows who you are and what it is your trying to convey to them during the act. Work all this out first before spending time on the magic. If you do it this way, then every magic effect will relate beter to your character and theme and will make better sense to your audience.
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boltt223
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Maybe instead of being the merchant, you could be a the buyer and make magical things happen with your purchases. Smile
magic4u02
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Nice idea but I think the merchant character offers much more possibilities in terms of the audience connecting with the character. The merchant could be down on his luck because no one is buying anything. He could then start to use magic as a way to get people over.. but still that is not working.. finally, when he is the most depressed, the magic starts happening to him and the story becomes how the magic can happen to anyone if you open up to receive it. It could really make for a strong central theme.
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Leo B. Domapias
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I agree with Kyle. The merchant character offers great magical possibilities. You can start with an empty stage and end the performance with the stage filled with the merchant’s wares. The magic will be more of the production type.

The production sequence will be something like this:

Produce a large streamer emblazoned with the name of your store…in Chinese character, if you wish.

Produce a fish bowl filled with live fish and place it on a pedestal (which you also produce beforehand). Produce two more fish bowls, with the last one the largest of the three.

Perform a silk production sequence interspersed with silk juggling. The juggling part looks progressively difficult every time another silk is produced.

Use the silk to produce six to eight umbrellas (parasols, if you wish), culminating with the production of a giant, beach umbrella.

Produce swords, knives, spears, and fighting sticks, as I imagine martial arts weapons are usual merchandise that a Chinese merchant would hawk in the market place.

You can then go to livestock production---small birds, then parrots---that culminates in a large animal production, such as a goat or a sheep. I read somewhere in one of the older text books of magic about a magician (playing the part of a Chinese performer) who produced a live goat in his stage act using a large shawl as cover.

The storyline of the act is that you are filling the stage (your market place) with your merchandise. To inject variation to your act, you segue from one production to another by performing a vanish of smaller objects, color changes, transposition, etc.

That’s a big project. I wish you all the luck.

Ben Benjay
Manila, Philippines
Pete Biro
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I would WAIT and discuss it with McBride. None here see you or know you or your look, style, potential, etc.

However, when you work with Jeff he can better help you after you spend some time with him.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Nick Alexander
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I agree with Pete, McBride's the man and the reason he is holding the masterclasses is to help people to not only master their routine but also help them to create one.
I suggest work on a few effects that work well with your style and personality and then show Jeff and see if he can give you some ideas and tips on creating your show.

TMM
-The Scot-
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Good idea, he is experienced in that sort of work. Speak with the pro first then think more about the act.
magic4u02
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I am sure that Jeff will have some great ideas and some wonderful advice. He is a great man who really cares about our art.
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Deck01
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You could incorporate the dragon fanning deck in your act too. I'm not doing this but that will fit the Chinese act very well. Smile Smile
I cryied when I had no shoes, until I saw a boy without his feet.
altoni
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Zombieboy, I’m a little curious, are you of Asian descent?
magic4u02
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I would suggest really studying your character you are presenting as well as coming up with the central storyline you want the act to convey to the audience. This is so important because everything in the act must relate back to the character and the storyline.

There are several ways you could go with the merchant theme. Both allow greta magic but tell a different story and give the audience a different emotional repsonse. I will try and explain 2 of these concepts for you.

1) The merchant has had a bad day at the market and it is getting late. You hear sounds of people leaving the markets and the sounds die down. Light music plays and the merchant is seen sad and distraught. Nothing in his life seems very magical at all. He drifts off to sleep when the magic of the night starts to happen to him. He then realizes by the end of the act that life is very magical indeed and you just have to open yourself up to receiving it.

2) The merchant is trying desperately to get people to buy his wares to no avail. People just are not intersted. everything he does goes unnoticed and unseen. He begins to do a little bit of magic thinking that may draw a crowd. It starts to work. by the end of the act, he realizes it is not the things he is selling that the people want after all... it is his entertainment that they were after all along. You then see the sign on his cart magically change from Chan the merchant.. to Chan the Magic Man. this then ends the act.

Both of these can work but each one has the same character but a different storyline being told. each can work but each offers soemthing different to the audience to connect and relate to.

Let me know your thoughts on these concepts.
Kyle Peron

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-The Scot-
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I like the sound of storyline 1, I have strong images of an act like this succeeding!
magic4u02
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I am also leaning more towards a storyline of number 1. I think people could really relate well to this character and the plot allows for some really nice magic and emotional moments to take place.
Kyle Peron

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Bill Hegbli
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Zombie boy,

Stick to the classics in magic, re-dress the equipment to fit your theme. You do realize that most acts from Japan do american style acts.

If you can set a theme then lead your audience along with you. Example: the show "third rock from the sun" was aliens that came to earth. Did they look like aliens, no. The jokes worked because they sent the theme and plot. So the jokes worked because you thought of them as aliens.

If you do not work on this every day you will come up short. Do not wait til the last minute.

Get away from the computer and start creating.

Bill Smile
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