The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » How to get stage experience (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Munskin
View Profile
Loyal user
Cheshire, UK
297 Posts

Profile of Munskin
Hi all,

I was just wondering what the advice would be for someone like me who has worked close up for many years, but is now looking to do more stage/cabaret style work? I realise that it is a long path, and have lots ot learn, but I also realise that stage time is key to this learning curve, so am keen to rack up as much as possible? However, I'm unsure as to the best way to get stage experience. Does anybody have any advice on the best way to get stage time please?

Thanks,

John
Stanyon
View Profile
Inner circle
Landrum, S.C. by way of Chicago
3412 Posts

Profile of Stanyon
Coffee houses and Cafés that offer "Open Mic" nights would be a reasonable place to start. It doesn't cost them anything and would be an alternative to listening to, well you know!

Cheers! Smile
Stanyon

aka Steve Taylor

"Every move a move!"

"If you've enjoyed my performance half as much as I've enjoyed performing for you, then you've enjoyed it twice as much as me!"
frankvomit
View Profile
Elite user
485 Posts

Profile of frankvomit
Yeah what Stan said and its also a good way to figure out what works and what doesn't .
Dick Oslund
View Profile
Inner circle
8361 Posts

Profile of Dick Oslund
Glad that you realize that it take time to "break in" to a different performing situation.

Before you even consider PERFORMING, check out your repertoire. You may have some material that would be usable in a stand up, cabaret type show. (It may be simply a matter of using slightly larger props. --A 12" silk, looks "dinky" from across a room. So, go to 18" or even 24" .

Table top layout card or coin tricks, won't work too well. In fact, avoid any props that must "sit" on a table when working. (Sight lines! --People seated on chairs, with YOU performing on the floor!

No more than one prop table--preferably the props are out of sight, in a prop case of some sort. which "sits" on the table.

Avoid the suitcase table! (Unless you are desirous of acquiring a hernia!)

Mostly, it's common sense. I WOULD STRONGLY URGE YOU TO READ KENNETH WEBER'S "MAXIMUM ENTERTAINMENT"

Audience participation in a stand up situation, is much different than a seated table group.

What is your 'target' audience? Family? Kids? Adults? --young or elderly? (or, "all of the above"?

New York plays usually "break in" out of town~ ("How will it play in Peoria?")

That should be enough questions to get you thinking!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
krowboom
View Profile
Elite user
Chicago area
417 Posts

Profile of krowboom
You might also try fraternal groups, vfw halls, senior centers, charity events, places like that. Offer to do a free show to get experience and see how the material plays. Along with what Stanyon suggested this should give you enough opportunities and experience to go to the next level (paying gigs).
Dick Oslund
View Profile
Inner circle
8361 Posts

Profile of Dick Oslund
I would like to AMEND friend krowboom's last sentence.

"Along with what Stanyon suggested, this MIGHT give you enough opportunities and experience to go to the next level..." (It depends, also, on your talent!)

Mark Leddy, Jay Marshall's agent, (Mark was also the "talent buyer" for the Ed Sullivan TV Show.) once said, "There's no place left to be lousy in!" (Not true!!! I was lousy in three places, just last week!)

What Mark meant was that there were no more theaters or clubs left to "break in".

So, when you have an act "put together" offer it to places like nursing homes, veterans' hospitals, etc. Do these "pro bono".

Since you have experience working close up, perhaps you can use that as a "stepping stone". Do some close up table hopping or strolling. This will "introduce" you to the group. Then, do a short stand up. The close up stuff wil, hopefully, get "them" on "your side", so when you stand up, they will already be your "friends"

There "aint no" shallow end in this pool! You want to be able, at least, to "dog paddle" before you jump in.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Munskin
View Profile
Loyal user
Cheshire, UK
297 Posts

Profile of Munskin
Thanks guys so much for typing those repsonses; it's given me lots to think about. Yes, I'm well aware that this isn;t something that you just do off the cuff, so am preparing a small show to use as a foundation to help develop character and such. Hopefully, I can build on that to bigger shows!

Thanks again guys!
Dick Oslund
View Profile
Inner circle
8361 Posts

Profile of Dick Oslund
Yes! Start "small" Use whatever tricks that you have already been doing, that can be adapted to atandup performances.

My first mentor, Stuart Ross, had been associated with Tarbell, in the '20s. Stuart did the same tricks for adult club dates, as he did for school assemblies for kids. He used the same basic presentation with different patter. (Stuart was definitely a "patter" magician--very funny!)

He did a C&R rope, Ten Cards Across, fancy card flourishes, and shuffles, Misers Dream, Sucker Silk to Egg, etc. All of those bits could be done surrounded, and needed little or no set up. They also packed small and light!

I've used those same tricks (for the last 60 years!) and they play well. The classics are classics for a reason! Keep always in mind that "the performer is more important than the props"!

Sell "YOU" to the audience. The tricks are merely creative tools. A paint brush can be used to paint a fence, OR a Mona Lisa!

Unless you're planning on a theater in London, you're wise to develop a show/act that can play almost anywhere for almost anyone! One prop case,that fits under a plane seat, angle proof tricks, visual effects, visible props (rope is a prop and is visible!--you don't need any boxes, tubes, pans, cans, or red velvet bags on a stick!) Use props/tricks that are versatile (play to any audience). It helps to do stuff that does not need a table!

Books! Ken Weber's "Maximum Entertainment" (no tricks, but "almost everything else needed to make a show work"!)

"Rome wasn't built in a day!!!!!"
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
frankvomit
View Profile
Elite user
485 Posts

Profile of frankvomit
Perform perform I drive a school bus so lots of times on my down time (when I'm not moving) I'll just test stuff on students and believe me they tell me if they think something is lame but that's what I do. Just perform any chance you get and you'll get ur chops up in no time. Also hit lots of open mics in comedy clubs it's a good way to fine tune your patter.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » How to get stage experience (0 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.11 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL