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Alan Wheeler
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Presentation may not be "everything," but it is certainly one of the most important elements of any given effect, right?

So what IS presentation? proper build-up?
appropriate style? connection to audience? good patter? interest level? just padding to the actual effect? good or bad theater?

More important, what are ways to develop presentation and presentation skills without becomming overly imitative?
I am genuinely interested in how to improve in this area and would LOVE to hear specific examples of good and bad presentation so I can get an idea.

Thanks in advance.

alleycat Smile
The views and comments expressed on this post may be mere speculation and are not necessarily the opinions, values, or beliefs of Alan Wheeler.
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Cornelius
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Why don't you get an idea of presentation styles in the WE DARE YOU section of this board? It's pretty cool.

From,
Cornelius. Smile
P T Flea
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I think a good presentation should try and put the trick you are performing in some kind of a context, even if it makes no sense if one thought about it.

For example "You all know about how the aces have special powers and affinities for other cards?"

The audience will all nod in agreement, but what you've just said makes NO sense whatsoever. It will, however, take the heat off of some of your other actions.

As David Regal once famously said regarding an excuse to allow you to gesture and place the cards in your hand onto the other cards in the other hand:

"...because BLA DE BLA DE BLOODEE BLEE"

It doesn't have to make sense, and as the audience is there to listen to you, the all knowledgeable magician, they won't question.

So, I guess the answer to your question would be to put the trick in some sort of context for the audience (give it some sort of meaning) and most importantly give them something to listen to so they don't have to instensly concentrate on your hands.

Try watching some instructional DVDS where they show the trick in a show first and then explain it. That way you can pick up the patter to go along with the trick as well as the method, as they are both equally important.

Hope this helps,

PT
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BroDavid
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Great questions!

Good Presentation is the "Package" that includes who you are, what you say, how you say it, what you do, and how you do it, what you don't say, and why you don't, what you don't show, and why you don't.

First things first now: Who you are is (in my humble opinion) the most important issue.

Knowing who you are, keeps you from being a
"Jay Sankey Clone" etc. Decide on what your performing personna is all about. That will key how you dress to perform, and how you act, etc.

I have a friend whose character is simply a buffoon. He acts silly, and as though he doesn't understand why some of his effects even work. He dresses almost clownlike and if he were a Disney Character, he would be Goofy!. Loveable, and friendly and "just happy to be here!" He has fun, and so does everyone around him. But make no mistake. He is an accomplished magician. And this character works for him.

My performing character is a lot more reserved and proffessonial. I dress with a sport coat at all times, and do some pretty serious things with fire etc. I act like everything I do is amazing, and expect them to think so also.

As a result, when we both do the same type of effect, e.g. a TT with a silk streamer vanish and appear, it is totally different due to our performance character.

Just some quick thoughts. Hope those give you some food for thought.

BroDavid
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Alan Wheeler
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Thanks for the specific examples! Some examples of poor presentation that came to my mind last night were these:

1. A close-up worker with bad breath

2. A card or coin guy with dirty fingernails

3. A boy magician whose false mustache falls into his magic milk pitcher

alleycat Smile
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BroDavid
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Good ones AlleyCat!

Oh, and another tip is, no matter how bad you do, drop the cards etc, never start apologizing for the bad job you are doing. (Assuming of course that you every mess up. Some of us do, and some dont?)

But when you start apologizing, you lower the audiences expectation and respect for you. And they may not have even noticed what happened!

I have seen people (young and old) do so much apologizing that the audience began to wonder why they bothered to come and see this performance.

But you certainly hit on an area that many take for granted; personal appearance and social graces. Bad Breath and Body Odor and other uncleanliness would certainly take a lot away from any performnace, no matter how skilled.. Good point!

BroDavid
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David Regal
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"As David Regal once famously said regarding an excuse to allow you to gesture and place the cards in your hand onto the other cards in the other hand:
'...because BLA DE BLA DE BLOODEE BLEE'"


Mr. Flea - I'm so glad someone is listening, and this wisdom is preserved. Smile
TheEntertainer
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Hey David, Hi,

If they only knew... you are in my humble opinion one of the "smoothest" most easy to watch of them all. (I never met David only bought tape #3... and was pleasently ENTERTAINED)...

1st time in my 35 years in Magic that I wanted to put in a routine of someone else's
as SOON as I saw it..

Cory

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Jewish Admiral, who said...
"Never give up the ship...... SELL IT!
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Tom Cutts
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Great to see presentation as a topic in the New To Magic section!

There is a magazine about this very topic. David Regal will be the featured interview in the next issue.

You check it out here on The Cafe at:
Here!
P T Flea
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Quote:
On 2002-05-31 10:12, David Regal wrote:
"As David Regal once famously said regarding an excuse to allow you to gesture and place the cards in your hand onto the other cards in the other hand:
'...because BLA DE BLA DE BLOODEE BLEE'"


Mr. Flea - I'm so glad someone is listening, and this wisdom is preserved. Smile


Hi David,

It is great to have you with us. You are one of the smoothest and easiest to watch. I just LOVE your material. You make me laugh and I immediately like people who can do that. I hope you find yourself at home here at the Cafe. I think you will find people most welcoming.

I await enlightenment from your future posts,

PT
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Paul
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re;
1. A close-up worker with bad breath
2. A card or coin guy with dirty fingernails

This is more bad example of personal presentation than magic presentation. Turning up clean and smelling nice and fresh should be a given.

Perhaps we can add "farts while everything has gone quiet just before the trick climax." instead of;

3. A boy magician whose false mustache falls into his magic milk pitcher

Because the latter can be cured with super glue and was simply a one off. Besides it could be good presentation for comic effect.

Presentational style is difficult to discuss because it is or should be unique. Good presentations for tricks are like gold dust.

What makes them good presentations is that they fit into or complement your style and have an emotional hook or theme which ensures interest. I would rather have one trick and a few good presentations for it than several tricks with mediocre presentatons.

Paul.
Alan Wheeler
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I really appreciate all the insight here. Thanks, friends. I wasn't really exactly sure what "presentation" really included.

Paul, while my first two points were indeed about personal presentation, in the third point about a boy with a mustache, I was trying to take a stab at what might be a presentational incongruity--a young person trying to act overly old and serious.

Your point is very well taken that if the desired tone was comedy, it would actually be a good presentation. I also appreciate your point that one effect might have many presentations (storyline, style, tone). I really hadn't thought of that. Thank you!

alleycat
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Paul
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Yes, it's a valid point, but not the best example, however I did treat it lightly hence the superglue comment.

Better examples (though it's not always children) are people using the line "When I was in China last week..." or some such. Or a child using a crazy compass routine talking about when he was working putting up roadsigns. Excuse me, you're not old enough to be working on the roads son, you're still at school, therefore that patter story is not appropriate, it jars. All he has to do is talk about someone he KNEW working on the roads, elder brother, father, etc. to make it acceptable.

Of course Alleycat, if YOU use the line,
"This is something I picked up in China.." it's quite acceptable lol.

Paul.
Alan Wheeler
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Thanks, Paul. Those are good examples.

(And I am picking up things to use when I come back from China!) Smile

alleycat Smile
The views and comments expressed on this post may be mere speculation and are not necessarily the opinions, values, or beliefs of Alan Wheeler.
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dukenotes
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Well I'm a musician as well as a magician. The points about magical presentation are related to musical presentation also. A great song is a great song for all time, just like a classic magical effect. You have varying interpretations for each.

Most people will stick with the common presentations of a song as well as a magical effect. Others will come up with something very unique. Some will jazz it up to the point that it is so far removed from the original creation that it's unrecognizable.

Anyway, someone could take something like the ball and vase and amaze people, while another person would bore them to tears, and someone could play "Three Blind Mice" on a piano and move people to tears while another person would bore them to death...etc..

Duke

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magiciandude
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Hi I couldnt have said it better than BroDavid. I can tell by his posts that this man knows what he is talking about.

Lance R. Wilson
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