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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Basic Illusion Show Layout (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

MikeJRogers
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Veteran user
Australia
354 Posts

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Hi everyone,

I was just wondering if someone could post what the average illusion show was like in order.

Eg: Performer appearance
Assistant appearance
Illusion with assistant
Etc.

Do most shows follow a basic layout? What are your shows like?

Thanks for all your help,

Mike.
Mike Rogers Illusion Design - Australia - http://www.mikerogers.com.au
"Nothings impossible, the impossible just takes longer" - Dan Brown novel
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Frank Tougas
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Inner circle
Minneapolis, MN
1712 Posts

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Ken and Roberta Griffith's book published (poorly) by Abbott's is a good place to start. Not exactly new but it talks about life on the road and has several suggestions for pacing.

The ever-popular Paul Osborne has a 4-page description on flow in his small book, Easy Build Illusions. This is specific to the amusement park show, but valuable advice nonetheless.

These are suggestions from an illusion enthusiast. There are some real pros on the Café many of whom would be delighted to point you in the right direction.

Best of luck.

Frank
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
Donald Dunphy
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Inner circle
Victoria, BC, Canada
7401 Posts

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Another place to look for an illusion show flow is in Jim Snack's ebook/course, "Success In Magic".

In the copy I have, he spends several pages telling you how to format a show that involves multiple illusions and interwoven with stage magic. He also tells you why to do it the way he recommends.

Here is the site, if you are interested in a book like this (not an illusionists book per se, more of a general growth book):

http://www.success-in-magic.com

Hope this helps.

The Gr8 DonaldD. Smile

P.S. Personally, I have an evening family show with 4 illusions interwoven into the magic (runs 60 minutes total). The order I use is: appearance of assistant, magic, magic, levitation of a child from the audience, magic, magic, guillotine with an adult (sometimes the Principal, if at a school), magic, magic (big silk production routine), finally sub trunk illusion. This flow works really well for us.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
M-Illusion
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549 Posts

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One of the greatest (and simplest) things I've learned about the structure of a show is to not let it get too "heavy" with any one particular type of illusion. In other words, you wouldn't want to do a half dozen levitations / suspensions in the same show.
Bob Sanders
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Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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Mike,

This is not an unusual problem and after years, it has not gone away to the point of no worry. I can tell how Lucy and I approach our two hour stage show.

First we divide it into two separate shows separated by an intermission. (After the first hour if you don't make one the audience will!) The intermission is our chance to change any sound, lighting, other problems that is new for the night. We also use it to pack props, change costumes and to look at the "cheat sheet" to stay on tract. (Yes! It is a busy time.)

The first trick of the first half of the show is to do whatever was advertised (vanishing a horse, a block of ice, the CEO, etc.). Immediatedly after that illusion, the MC takes care of introductions, credits, recognitions, "thank yous", etc. That gives us time to change costumes and set stage again. Then I usually do six to eight minutes alone that is comedy but real magic in front of the curtain while Lucy readies back stage. Next we do something full stage together (song and dance type with magic but a musical theme) that is not only entertaining but pretty and makes it a production.

Thus, in the first three items in the show, we delivered what the publicity promised, paid the social dues, gotten people laughing and having a good time, and moved into some more elegant magic to "hook" the adults who had planned not to get engaged in the entertainment. Then we each perform a set separately in front of the curtain and simply give each other the assistance needed. We exit stage and go behind the curtain for the "first ending" of which my favorite is a dove routine to end with a vanishing cage of doves.

The second half starts with the same music as the first half used to end. The second half opens with something major we perform together. Then we take turns working in front of the curtain separately. We close with the subtrunk. Then we have all the volunteers, officials, crew, etc. back on stage to say "thank you and good night." The MC and the music send the audience home. (Note: Sending the visitors, volunteers, etc. off stage both to the left and right, limits the success of those trying to come onto the stage. And that allows the entertainers to vanish behind stage and come back out into the lobby (after changing my coat to another just like the one they saw on stage), if that is desirable. (The crew is unbothered then and can pack up equipment and get things out of sight.) I like to end with the subtrunk because it is a quick flashy ending. (I hate slow endings. Neither ending takes six minutes for everything.)

I hope this helps. In practice we have a computer database that generates timed scripts for us, lighting, sound, the MC, orchestra, and crew personnel so we all know when to do what. It even shows pictures of where things are to be placed, the props are listed for every part, and it even includes the colors of the silks and balloons. The whole show takes a loose leaf notebook. If we are four minutes ahead or behind, we are set to skip a part or add a filler to get us back on time. It works surprisingly well with strangers working the show for the first time. For Lucy and me it saves a marriage. And we are having so much fun!

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com
MikeJRogers
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Australia
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Hi everyone,

I apologise for the late reply, I've been camping in the country for the last week. I thank everyone for their replys. AmazedWiz your show sounds great!

Thanks again,

Mike.
Mike Rogers Illusion Design - Australia - http://www.mikerogers.com.au
"Nothings impossible, the impossible just takes longer" - Dan Brown novel
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Pakar Ilusi
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Inner circle
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I'm impressed with your planning AmazedWiz. Must have taken years to get it to that level.

Good job! Bravo! Smile

Smile
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
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