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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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The Great Zucchini
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Frankie, I just had a chance to watch video. First of all, the kids seem to be having a blast with you. pal.
Also, you have a like ability that comes across very well.
I would make one suggestion that really does help keep control. Have the kids sit criss cross on the floor. Why? It's a harder position to spring up from. They won't be creeping up on you, like they would if they were all watching from their knees. Have your whole audience in unity, watching the same way. I don't let 30 kids sit on the floor and then 2 on the couch for instance( it would become contagious). They all sit on the floor, sitting on bottoms, etc. This is control 101 my friend. I think it will help you tons.
frankieacemagic
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Thanks Eric! I do have them criss cross. My joke throughout the show is "Everybody sit on your bottoms criss cross apple pie." They scream "Apple sauce!" I tell them I don't want any Apple sauce. And on and on it goes. But I may not do a good enough job reminding them, stopping the show to resituate them.

Thanks for the reminder Eric!
The Great Zucchini
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Yep, I throw in all the time, 'who's sitting criss cross apple sauce'. Also, if one even gets on knees, I nip it, so it won't become contagious.
arthur stead
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As soon as one of them gets on knees or stands up, I say, "Could you sit down so the people behind you can see?" Usually they do.
Arthur Stead
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frankieacemagic
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I gotta say how much I love this forum. Last nights show was outstanding!!! I needed that. The kids were energetic but not out of control, and I really did make more of a conscious effort to speak directly to every child who came up to his/her knees. I also wore black pants and used my 1.5 inch super soft sponges rather than my 2 inch regular sponges. Talk about less bulky! Smile

Thank you, Arthur and Eric, for the reminder! It also helped that ALL the adults stayed to watch the show and were very vigilant of their own children. Talk about the ideal audience.

Ok. 3 more today. We'll see if I can extend my streak.

Thanks again, gentlemen!
A Show By Joe
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I think that was a great performance. You can go the jacket route. It would mean you would have to have it on till that part of the show, unless you open with it. The smaller size balls would help as well. I was able to find a pair of satin tuxedo pants that wear baggy around the leg area. Also, you can get a tailor to make extra pockets around the thigh so you can get to some smaller loads quicker.

Again, I thought it was great!
frankieacemagic
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Thanks so much, Joe! It's great to hear a compliment from a fellow worker Smile The easy clothing solution was just going back to my 1.5 inch super soft Goshmans. Wet em and they're EASILY visible for stage or stand up. And they pack (or pocket) flat. I'm so glad Arthur and Kimmo mentioned that.

So back to the magician in trouble debate...that New Year's show really was more about the audience, I think. You know those shows where you arrive to find (what seems like) thousands of kids after a Pixie Stix dinner? 75% of the kids had seen me many times because the show was in my hometown, so I was like Uncle Frankie. In other words, there was no "stranger barrier" that kept the kids back. I use blue painter's tape and reminders about staying seated if they want to be volunteers, but these kids were REVVED UP. And the room was pretty small. I performed as I always perform, surprised and delighted by the kids' magical abilities. And after this past weekends' shows, I realize that's just my persona. When I capture the child's bday breath and it rises out of the box (Abbot's The Thing), I lose control of it because the bday child is so powerful. I could never play it straight. The child breaks all of my wands before finally coloring the magic painting and surprises me and the audience with Duke's Dye. Even when the bday child isn't onstage, the ends pop off the rope unexpectedly, they slide back on unintentionally, and the rope is restored to my surprise. I often clap along with the kids.

So I guess the answer to my own question is...I'll never know if it's possible, because I'll never "come back" from MIT Smile
Sam Sandler
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Frankie- as I watched the video I have several thoughts for you.

1-you do have a likeability that the kids can see.
2-the routine was done well
if I may be so bold to offer some thoughts and suggestions

1-absolutely agree about your outfit or the lack there of.
you need to find some sort of distinguishable outfit that sets you apart from the run of the mill dad at the parties.
i would never know you're the entertainer from your khakis and polo!
and a jacket will solve many of your pocket management problems
2-invest in a back drop - it will help establish your area vs the kids area as well as help the audience focus on you.
plus give you back stage area to store cases or props or what ever you need.
3-dont move around so much. I don't mean don't be energetic what I mean is try to stay centered unless it is absolutely necessary for the routine.
when you did the wand to snake I felt you should have stayed in the center area and not wander off to the side.

4- why not add some color sponge balls to the final load. that would make the kids go even crazier
5-i did not like holding the bowl up the girls face. could have pretended it was a hat and put it on her head
and if that bowl is glass GET RID OF IT! get a clear plastic bowl. dollar tree has some.

6-good job using the girl in the wheel chair for the finale. shows your paying attention and aware of your audience good job

7-stop bending over. learn to get down on their level kneel down on one knee. bending over here and there is fine but you were bent over the whole routine. it looks odd.

over all I thought you did a good job. now I am deaf so I have no idea what you said or how much the kids were laughing but clearly could see that they were having fun.


now to answer your question about MIT. thru out my show I cant say I use that plot the way you are or others do but here is my suggestion.
i start my show with my manipulation routine consisting of fire, silks, canes, umbrellas, doves and more. (you don't need to do all that.) this is just how I start my shows. the point is I start with some thing that clearly establishes me as the MAGICIAN. from there I can go any where I want and at any time I can come back from it. I already put it out there that I am indeed a magician.
now most of my routines are surrounded by comedy but at the same time I also have some eye popping magic. ( I close with my original snow storm illusion)

the key is to spread the MIT routines out. try this

magic open
MIT
fun magic routine
magic routine with no volunteer (such as hip hop rabbits) or fraidy cat rabbit
MIT such as your sponge ball routine ( I would keep this some where in the middle of the show.
maybe another fun magic routine
MIT
close with some thing strong like
producing several silks from props (such as square circle)then a silk fountain with a final load that says THE END or HAPPY BIRTHDAY etc etc
maybe even throw in a flag staff as a kicker ending to all of that. (add some confetti to the flag staff so when you produce it you will have even more of a magical ending. kids love confetti

point is you have given a clear moment of magic and an exciting visual end that clearly tells the show is over.

hope this info is helpful
good luck with your shows and keep up the great work.

sam
sam sandler- America's only full-time DEAF Illusionist
http://www.samsandler.com
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frankieacemagic
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Wow, Sam. Thank you so much for the feedback. I really appreciate your taking the time to offer suggestions!

I'm waiting on the vest, which will definitely signal that I'm the entertainer. It's taking forever to arrive Smile But it's worth waiting for!

As far as the backdrop, I'm had mixed feelings. I'm a part time entertainer; I teach high school English. That being said, I just have my little Nissan Altima--nothing fancy like a van or any large vehicle. I guess I'm wondering how much space a backdrop takes up when it's folded. My trunk is already filled with my ATA case and a large duffle bag. Packed. The backseat, in addition to 2 child seats, has my luggage rack, Happie Amp, and my close up case. I can't believe how d**m small that car is! Would a backdrop even fit?

And thanks for the tip about bending down. I remember hearing that advice from Danny Orleans; I have to remember to do that.

The bowl is glass, unfortunately. Try as I might, I CANNOT find a plastic bowl that is completely clear and that size. I've tried amazon, all the dollar stores around me. I've found gigantic plastic ones and plastic ones that aren't completely clear. I'd love some help with that! For example, this is too large, right?

http://www.partycity.com/product/clear+p......t=110315

Anyway, your feedback helps a lot, Sam. And I also appreciate the routining suggestions. That list is awesome!
Sam Sandler
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Your quite welcome

As for the bowl yea you want to keep it on the small size as it makes it better visual with the
Sponge balls then looking bigger.

Did you also know that if you soak the super soft sponge balls in water and ring them out good they will almost
Double in size. Plus they will even be that much softer.

Have fun and if I can ever be of help just let me know.
Sam
sam sandler- America's only full-time DEAF Illusionist
http://www.samsandler.com
http://www.deafinitelymagic.com
cwbny
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Frankie, I love your routine and your entire persona.

Here's my suggestion. Bizzarro sells a color-changing sponge ball. You poke it into your fist and it changes from red to green. Cgange your patter to be about changing the balls to green instead of blue. Then do the routine exactly as you have it leading up to the large production.

Finally try one last time. This time you get quiet. Hardly say a word and whisper if you need to. Poke the red ball into your fist. Have each helper quietly blow on your hand. Look at the audience and place a finger over your mouth to indicate "be quiet" (do this silently). Then point to your eye and then into your fist indicating to watch. Slowly open your hand to reveal the green ball. Big amazed smile on your face but silent. Maybe add a quiet, whispered..."whoa!" Then you can pop back into normal volume to ask for applause for your two helpers.

This is how I manage to control the audience throughout my show. I create the wild crazy, loud moments but I always follow them up whenever possible with a quiet mystifying finale.

You mentioned Bill Abbott's The Thing. I perform it just like you (the floating ball out of control). Then I tell the kids to shout the phrase "into the box." The ball floats toward the box but then zooms up out of control again. Finally I tell them they have to whisper. We whisper "into the box" a few times as the ball slowly descends into the box. Then in silence I whisk the cloth away while my hand covers the top. Then I whisper to the birthday child to close the lid. I pull my hand away and instruct the child to secure the latch. Then in silence I take the child's hand and bow before asking for everyone to clap.

Again we had our wild fun, but the routine culminates in a quieter, meaningful moment.

Just a thought. Also the plus of adding a color changing ball to your routine is that it makes it dramatically satisfying. You start saying you'll change the colors to green. And you finally accomplish what you set out to do before all the chaos.

Hope that helps!

Christopher
frankieacemagic
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And THIS is exactly why you wrote your book and deserve the magic fame you're getting Smile Thank you Chris!

And I remember reading in your book about the whispering at the end, and I swear I've used it for my routine. Not consistently because my memory sucks, but when I have used it, it does quiet them down, which makes the final applause so much more gratifying for the child. Thanks for the reminder. (I've also used your idea of flicking the cloth and having the breath/ball sail over the kids' heads Smile )

So do you think I should do the large multiple ball production, then END with the color change? Because it ends less chaotically? I will DEFINITELY try that. Do you always bring your crazy hyper routines down at the end? Or only sometimes?

I'm hopping online to get the color changing sponge ball. Thanks again, Chris!
frankieacemagic
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And thank you again, Sam. I used to ONLY use 1.5 sponge balls and wet them for stand up. Better in my pocket and easier for the child to hold 10 of them. But I got sick of having to wet them before a show and began using 2 inch sponge balls without water...hence, the Frankie Ace pant bulge that people pointed out. The past 2 weekends I'm back to the 1.5 wet and there's no bulging pockets.

I hope you don't mind me pm-ing you from time to time. You and Chris have been a big help. (and everyone else who has offered suggestions) I'll try not to become pest-y Smile I've only been back in the magic game for about 2ish years after a LONG hiatus, and I'm still working out lots of kinks Smile

Thanks guys!
cwbny
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I don't always, but I'd say a majority of the routines do. Like my Magic Drawing Board comes to life and goes crazy. I can't really end that on a quiet note. But in that case I'll generally start the next routine on a whisper. So I'll put the board away and whisper "You guys want to hear a secret? I've been working on a brand new Magic trick. Would you like to see it?" OR whatever the opening line for the next routine is.

But this way I know that before/after every loud routine there is a quiet moment to calm things down a bit.

And no you don't have to end with the color change after the big production, but it would tie the whole thing up with a nice little bow. It's really all about you and your character.

Christopher

P.S. - thrilled you liked the book!!!
frankieacemagic
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Chris and Café--

I'd like to post this video that exists mostly because of Chris's book (and the ubiquitous influence of Tommy James).

http://youtu.be/-MxB_wQmkOQ

It's Bill Abbot's The Thing with a bday breath plot. The routine is pretty long (9 minutes!) because I include Tommy James's Ker Plunk want (with fluffy pom pom), multiplying bananas, silver scepter (I missed my face twice in this video, btw. Ow), mouth coils, and (I'm almost positive) Tim Hannig's final line about Fruit Loops...which is the funniest line I've ever heard to end the mouth coils Smile But other than that, this routine is all Christopher T Magician inspired. I can't recommend his book enough!

(btw, this was last summer and the temp was, I think, 97 degrees...hence the shorts. I rarely wear shorts to a show. But Chicago gets brutal in the summer lately. Of course, that's still no excuse for no vest. The vest is coming!)

Thank you again, Christopher and other inspiring artists Smile
lt
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Great idea, cwbny.
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