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I, Struan Wilson, have a paltry
26 Posts

Profile of Strudle_Pie
Hi guys!

I'm starting to prepare a four to five minute stage routine using cards, and I'd love some input.

As I understand it, there will be cameras and projectors, so my first trick is going to be one which essentially works because of this - it's straight out of the RRTCM, and involves (I'm sorry, the name escapes me) a chosen card being lost in the deck, then four cards being produced. Each is shown and set on the table, and none of them is the chosen card; yet when the spectator taps a card, it becomes theirs! Magic!

However, this still leaves me with two or three minutes of empty time, so I'd welcome some ideas! Ideally it will involve cards, and be in contrast to the previous effect.

One thing to note is that I have never performed magic in a setting like this before, and I have little idea of how I'll react, so hopefully nothing too sleight-intensive!

If you have any questions, either about my sleight repertoire or anything else, please don't hesitate to get in touch!

Frank Simpson
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SW Montana
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One extremely important thing to consider about cameras and projectors is the capability of the camera operator(s) and, if multiple cameras, the technical director. To get the best result you would ideally have a camera blocking rehearsal where the shots can be well chosen. Often times you'll be told, "we're pros, we know how to shoot these kinds of things." This could be true, but even under ideal circumstances it is best for them to know ahead of time exactly what you'll be doing; both where and when.

You run the risk of having key moments missed, or framed poorly, which can actually confuse an audience causing them to completely miss the effect, even if you perform it flawlessly!

As an example, see if you can find David Copperfield's performance of the Interlude illusion (a woman passing through his body) on the David Letterman show. You will notice that the camera work is nearly identical to his performance of the same illusion on his TV special. He left nothing to chance, or to the choices of Letterman's extremely qualified technical director. He insisted that the camera blocking be specific and exacting to his standards to ensure that the effect he wanted to convey on television was the effect the audience would see.

Any time you perform before a camera, the video crew, wittingly or not, becomes an integral part of the performance. If you leave any of this to chance, you can seriously damage your performance.
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New user
I, Struan Wilson, have a paltry
26 Posts

Profile of Strudle_Pie
Hi Mr Simpson,

Thanks so much for your prompt and informative reply!

You make an excellent point; I fear the cameramen won't be professional, and so I'll need to make sure I've got them on-side (as it were) during both rehearsals and performance! I was planning to ask them to keep a wide angle so that I, the table, and the volunteer can be seen clearly.

I was also wondering about following this up with a less camera-dependant trick - possibly mentalism, or one in which the physical presence of the cards is less important than the value.

Thanks again for your prompt reply!


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