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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Hard to come back from "magician in trouble"? (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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frankieacemagic
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Happy New Year, everybody!

I had a riotous New Years Eve show last night. The show was good--EXHAUSTING, but good--and it got me thinking: is it impossible, or just really difficult, to come back from "the magician in trouble" persona once you've established it?

Last night, I started with a "look don't see" chop cup routine, and it was wonderful. But for the rest of the show, the kids assumed that every magical moment was "accidental." Know what I mean? I do the use the MIT premise a lot in my show, and I'm wondering if any of you find it equally difficult to move between competent magician and goofy MIT?

Is it always best to begin the show with genuine, intentional, "this guys amazing" magic, even if your persona is silly, funny magician guy?
Michael Baker
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Sounds like you are confused as to your character's true persona, but your audience isn't.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
frankieacemagic
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So well put, Michael. I definitely want to be both. I want to be comedy magician in charge, and comedy magician in trouble, occasionally. And I have varying degrees of success navigating both personas depending on the audience.

Thanks for the input, Michael!
arthur stead
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Frankie,

My onstage persona is that of a clumsy wizard. Things go wrong, or the magic doesn't work, until the kids get involved. Then they help me to "make the magic happen."

But in addition, in all my shows I always throw in a few baffling tricks which require real sleight of hand. Things like the color-changing balls, or a vanishing silk which reappears in an empty container being held by a volunteer.

In this way, I retain my humorous "bumbling wizard" character, but I also establish credibility by doing some truly mind-boggling magic. However, I always make sure the kids still get the credit for "making the magic happen."

Seems to work for me.
Arthur Stead
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thomhaha
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"I want to be comedy magician in charge, and comedy magician in trouble, occasionally. And I have varying degrees of success navigating both personas depending on the audience."

You could script two versions of each routine - one in charge, one in trouble - so you could go with the appropriate personae the audience is responding to for the effect.

You could also script some routines to be in charge and others to be in trouble. An oversimplified example: And they can be combined - after chasing a silk that is always in the wrong place through several routines, use silk fountain (being awed by its beauty) to finally have the mischievous scarf cooperate by appearing at the conclusion of the fountain.
frankieacemagic
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Thanks, Arthur! That's exactly what I'm talking about! My persona really is all about the kids doing the magic and me always being surprised by it, "foiled by it," you might say. But yes, the kids always get the credit. Which I love. But then I find it hard to calm them down and do some "mystifying" magic that I'm in control of. But that may be another issue altogether. It might be partly about controlling their energy, which is a struggle depending on the kids Smile

Thanks so much Arthur! I genuinely appreciate the help!
The Great Zucchini
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You can be both, I'm sure. I always act surprised things happen, as if I'm watching my show with the audience. Just look at who you're trying to entertain. If you do a mouth coil or sponge balls, that can be pretty baffling for a kid, and facial expressions or surprise, on your part, can get laughter at the same time.
kimmo
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Here's the thing: If you do some sleight of hand in your show, the kids know you are doing skilled magic. They are just playing the game that you initiated and they are doing it because it is fun! Be very proud of that and embrace it!
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migwar
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I'm fairly new to kids magic but I routine the act as I would for adults. Not content wise but I like to build through the act, In the case of kids I'm building the excitement and fun. I actually start off with some really baffling magic and build up the silliness towards the end.

Once I'm happier and more comfortable controlling kids I would dial up the silly early on but at the moment coming back from that is hard
frankieacemagic
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Thank you all for your feedback thus far. I really appreciate it. Here's one of my recent routines, "in persona."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0exrFbPer8c

You'll see I'm constantly surprised and befuddled. The kids LOVE that, of course. But is it possible to make the magic happen "intentionally" after this character has been established? You might ask (as my wife does) "Who cares? Just keep doing that!" Well, I have been, but I feel like it's hard to control them the entire time. They're revved up the minute I look like an idiot Smile So again, this may be more about controlling the audience's energy. But I feel like I'd be more in control of their energy if I weren't playing the befuddled magician role all the time. What do you think?

Again, thank you to Michael, Arthur, Thomhaha, Zuke, Kimmo, and migwar!
arthur stead
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Frankie,

Your wife is correct. You're doing just fine with the MIT personality you're using. The kids are a having a blast, so why change things?

The only thing I would suggest is a more magical (and professional-looking) outfit. Especially less tight-fitting pants (to hide the obvious bulges made by the balls in your pockets).

Other than that, congratulations ... it's a great routine!
Arthur Stead
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Red Shadow
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I absolutly hate "Magician in trouble" tricks. They get the kids shouting at you, which means you have to shout back and it becomes a war of who is the loudest - or how soon will the magician lose his voice.

But even worse than that is that its when you lose the adults. It is these tricks that they start talking. Either they don't watch long enough to think its was part of the act (so they actually think you messed up) or they see the shouting match you have with the kids and use that as an opportunity to have a conversation with the person next to them, and you've now lost them.

The older kids don't respect these types of tricks either as they want to see Criss Angel / Dynamo level type effect, not a silly clown messing up, looking silly.

However you do these trick, its when control issues start and the adults start talking.
frankieacemagic
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Thanks Arthur! I've ordered a vest by Janet Steward from England. Can't wait to get it. It's the Tommy James look Smile But yes, you're right about the pockets. I try to find loose baggy pants, but it's not always the best fit. Hopefully the vest will help.

Thanks my friend!
frankieacemagic
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Hey Ku7uk3--

This is my dilemma. I want both 😊 Or perhaps I'm looking for an entirely new persona altogether. Comedy magic without the MIT premise. Looks like I have some experimenting to do. I have a 7 pm show tonight--Bday party with kids and adults. Maybe I'll start off competent Smile
arthur stead
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Ku7uk3, that's why I recommend combining MIT tricks with more "real" magic effects. That way, you retain the interest of older kids as well as adults.
Arthur Stead
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TommyJ
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Quote:
On Jan 2, 2015, kimmo wrote:
Here's the thing: If you do some sleight of hand in your show, the kids know you are doing skilled magic. They are just playing the game that you initiated and they are doing it because it is fun! Be very proud of that and embrace it!


Ditto, ditto, ditto.
"Keep the Kids Laughing!"
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The Great Zucchini
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I also don't think you need sleight of hand for the kids to think you're doing skilled magic. I do lots with a thumb tip and it fools lots of adults and kids, but the way you do it, can keep it silly, also, which is my sttctick of course.
kimmo
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I genuinely love the clip of the sponge ball routine, but seriously dude, you need to do something about the bulges in those pants! It looks like you have a couple of rabbits in each pocket! I got round this by wearing a jacket for the sponge balls (I use it as an opener), then taking it off for the rest of the show.
VISIT MY ONLINE STORE!: www.kimmomagicshop.com
NEW LECTURE NOTES - SHOW US YOUR TRIX NOW AVAILABLE AS AN INSTANT DIGITAL DOWNLOAD!

Kimmo DVD available Now!
Watch the promo here!
Order your copy NOW! CLICK HERE!

ENTERTAINER,MAGICIAN AND VENTRILOQUIST'S BLOG - DON'T READ THIS...
frankieacemagic
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It's funny--now I can't stop seeing that. When I watch my videos, I watch the kids reactions and my sleights. Now the bulges are all I can see. The one in my left pocket is the growing sponge ball folded up ready for use. So the thing is pretty unforgiving. My wife is like, "time to get you black pants. You're not THAT Italian."

Thanks, Kimmo Smile I think I'll use your jacket idea in the meantime!
frankieacemagic
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And Kimmo, I've been tempted to use the aponge balls as a closer because the reaction is so good. Do you do the explosion of sponge balls at the end? Like, 10 of them?
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