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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Second year Christmas Presentation...thoughts (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

GreenKnight33
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Whoo hoo!

I finished my little performance for small gathering for Christmas.

A big thank you to Aus at the Café who provided some great feedback on my initial scripting/patter earlier in the year.

It consisted of three effects, all written with original patter tied to the theme of “mystery”.
Four Split - Aldo Colombini
A Tipsy Trick - RRTCM
ACR

Had a new challenge thrown in with some of the people having a different first language than english. So through the routine I needed to pepper the patter with the key words in the other language so they could follow.

What worked was the last ace product in the Four Split Routine...they were blown away.
Based on Aus recommendation, the final spreading of the cards all face up on the Tipsy Trick drew gasps, and then got a second round of ahh’s, once the card was revealed.
The second phase of ACR had people scratching their heads. This was especially wonderful since I have been practicing the DL for 10 months and this was the first public usage of it in a routine. I still have a LOOONG way to go but there were no pauses and no looking down at my hands so casual enough.

The ending of the ACR fell flat, and I’m now a believer in the very long thread elsewhere at the Magic Café in the difficulty in ending the ACR. I’m still a novice so I’ll eventually figure it out, but could definitely tell the audience wasn’t sure if the ACR routine ended, or if there was more.

I was told the Four Split dragged which was unfortunate since I chose it for it’s quickness. Will have to do less talking, and pick up the pace.

Of most interest to me was how I didn’t remember much after I finished the routine. I had practiced for 4 months, so as I delivered the patter etc., it was like I was on auto-pilot. I think in some ways that’s a good sign, but wish I could have relaxed a bit more to make sure I was really engaging with the audience.

Hats off to great magicians everywhere. In a 1.5 years of learning this art, I can say it is definitely a very challenging and harrowing artform. So far my favorite aspect has been the writing of patter, and re-writing, and more re-writing etc. so that the routine is focused.

All the best to all for a New Year!
GreenKnight
Mike Gilbert
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Great job! Sounds like you are well on your way, and it will only get better! It's good that you realize where your pitfalls were, and you are coming to the table with a solution. That puts you light years ahead IMO. If possible, try to record your performances. This way you have another point of view to go back and draw from when you are doing your critiques and tightening up you act. All in all, it sounds like you had a great first run and I know you'll just get better and better with time. Way to go! Smile
-Mike Gilbert Smile

"Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance."- Steven Pressfield
civins
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It's good that you've taken on board the criticism and using it to improve your performances.

Keep at it.
Aus
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GreenKnight33 glad you had success with your act and that it was well received. As for "four split" here are some thoughts that you could reflect on that might help assess why the trick seemed to drag.

What was your timing on the trick? Timing is the time relationship between two different things which in the case of magic can be timing in misdirection, timing in patter and timing in slight of hand. Sometime a simple thing like patter being delivered before an accompanying action or coinciding with an accompanying action can be the difference between something dragging or not. Your audience has given you valuable feedback on this which is the fastest and surest way to learn and with the combined experience and a understanding of the underlining dynamic of timing you will quickly recognize when something is a timing issue.

Another in Pacing, have you ever been at a movie that you have been so engrossed in that time seems to simply fly by? Put simply pacing is the audiences perception of the speed of the performance- their subjective perception of time during the performance. Since pacing concerns the subjective experience of time, pacing is not about talking fast or moving fast, pacing is about being interesting.

Finally consider Tempo which simply is how fast you actually work which was you initial thought in your above post. When a trick doesn't seem to go over well try speeding it up or slowing it down and see if it improves the affect is has.

Before you venture into all that I'v said above, take a moment and consider the feedback, was it from one person in the group or from many people in the group?

If it was from only one person then I would say perform the trick for a few other people as you do at the moment and see if the same feeling in your audience presents itself. Another point is you can't always please everybody no matter how hard you try, but if after a number of performances with different people the same sentiment arises you might need to address it by looking at some of the things I'v suggested above.

As for the ACR routine I have ideas for that I'll PM you later about.

Also don't be concerned about not remembering much during the performance, all that means is that you learned what you had to at the highest level you could. They say there are four levels of learning anything:

1) Unconscious incompetence
2) Conscious incompetence
3) Conscious competence
4) Unconscious competence

Hitting unconscious competence is to be commended, great work.

I'm glad my suggestion on the tipsy trick played out, I thought it would, just proves the devil is always in the detail.

Magically

Aus
GreenKnight33
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Thank you all your your comments and encouragement.

A got a bit more feedback from someone on the last phase of the ACR routine that fell flat and thought it was interesting.

The last phase was where I cut off a small portion of the pack (bottom half), put the card in that half, and then without success bringing it to the top (in my routine, the card is a criminal and is escaping from jail), I realize it escapes to the top of the top part of the deck (which I had put aside to my right), and so reach over to the top portion to reveal the card.

The feedback I got was that, because I had put the 'top' half of the deck very far to the right and off the black card mat, the person assumed it was no longer part of the effect. So even when I turned it over to reveal the card, they were shocked, but also confused. Taking the deck so far off the mat actually had the viewer remove it from their mind as part of the effect.

Going forward I'm going to tweak things, and casually ask someone to hold the top half of the deck in their hands, and then when I 'realize' why the card isn't escaping, have the viewer lift the top card from the deck in their hands.

Also need to emphasize better "Look, the criminal has escaped from jail and is on TOP of the Deck, ALWAYS on the TOP of the deck."

Maybe even say "Here, hold the top part for me."

I don't think I'm at 4) Unconscious competence, since I've performed it so little in front of others....but I'll take semi-unconscious competence and a pinch of good luck.

Thanks again...planning for next years already.

Happy New Years to All,
GreenKnight
jimhlou
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Congrats GreenKnight:

I've been performing half my life, and many times I'm still on autopilot.

jim
Aus
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Going over your script you sent me and considering your feedback I think what your spectator is essentially saying is you need a stronger sense of progression in the ACR routine. I find that ACR routines are not only hard to find a climax for but also making each phase more dramatic and exciting to be a challenge as well.

There a few ways you can help develop progression, one of which is through strengthening conditions. The most common and most versatile way is to build progression by performing each phase under increasingly impossible conditions. I think that was what you tried to do by what you indicated in your script but it might have not been enough in light of your feedback.

Another is expanding the scope. Rather then just a card repeatedly coming to the top where else could the card go?

Here is an idea that could illustrate that using your theme as an example:

After the first phase of the card coming to the top you say the whole jail went into lock down and with those words introduce a lock and lock the deck (see "lock deck" from your dealer or punch a hole through one corner of the deck). Alternatively simply wrap a ribbon or rope around it to signify the same intention then have the card rise to the top again.

Third phase could be your final phase that you quoted above by saying that after two attempts they moved him to a more secure block of the prison. Proceed with the cutting of the deck in half and proceed as you did before realizing that he escaped back to his original block (the discarded top half).

Fourth phase could be an increase in overall security by placing four aces around the deck face down (representing prison guards) and have a spectator place his hand on top of the deck to secure it. After an apparent success of incarcerating the card (since it didn't rise to the top) you quickly find that he has impersonated a guard (revealing that one of the aces is the ambitious card).

The final phase ending with the card finally succeeding by having it find its way into the empty card box (the get away car).

Magically

Aus
GreenKnight33
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Thank you Aus (as always) for the helpful feedback.

Agree with the above. I think the issues with the ACR also came down to not enough practice. I was trying to get three effects together, and thought I had them in early March. However, on further analysis, they didn't flow. ACR seemed to link from the second effect to the third well, but it was still a new effect for me. So had to switch things around and then had just 6 months to rewrite patter, rehearse, etc. Time is hard to come by as well, so couldn't spend hours a day on it.

Given another 6-8 months, I can probably get the ACR more up to speed, but may have to tweak my patter as well since the routine was Christmas-based.

This year I'm really trying to go back through the RRTCM and keep practising my simple shuffles as well as practice for a year on the Zarrow. I got the Gary Plants DVD for starters and love it! Much work to be done! I have more than enough tricks from at least 4 books, but want to really get the basics down. I good !@#$* shuffle can go a really long way to lending credibility to the effect.

All the best to you and this great group of fellow magicians in 2015!

If others are interested, I would love to know if there's an effect or two you're staying focused on for 2015? For me it's "The Trick that Never Happened" (Cummins, Walton) and hopefully "Jazz Aces" (Kane),(although I may not have some of the !@#$* displays down yet to make it effective).

Take care,
GreenKnight
Aus
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Quote:
On Jan 3, 2015, GreenKnight33 wrote:

If others are interested, I would love to know if there's an effect or two you're staying focused on for 2015? For me it's "The Trick that Never Happened" (Cummins, Walton) and hopefully "Jazz Aces" (Kane),(although I may not have some of the !@#$* displays down yet to make it effective).

Take care,
GreenKnight


For the new year I'm looking into two areas of magic I unashamedly know very little to nothing about, and they are street busking and comedy magic. They seem to be two things that complement each other well, so I'm looking forward to studying each discipline over the next 12 months. For the trick side of things for a busking street act I'm looking at Whit Haydn's comedy linking rings routine, Echo by Wayne Dobson and Fiber Optics by Richard Sanders. They say when starting out to learn three good tricks by heart then slowly build your act over time refocusing on the various nuances elements slowly such as building an edge, holding a crowed, making them pay etc.

Magically

Aus
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