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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » 1 Hour Parlour Show (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

SpringBizkit
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Hello!


I've been a close-up performing for 12 years, dealing mainly with walk-arounds and intimate dinner settings.
However over the years I've wanted to put together a formal show. 60 people max in a parlour setting and I've been looking for effects that would work well.

The theme and ambiance is Victorian theme'd as the hotel is already set up this way. I'm putting together a 1 hour show of good effects, presentations, and humor, however as a close-up worker this gets a bit bigger than my usual items.

I was wondering if there were any suggestions on effects that would fit the bill? 1 hour show. 4 month run.
I'm looking at metal etching/writing, the teapot that pours any drink called for, sympathetic cards at the moment and could use a few other suggestions on pieces the audience would not normally see but be quite magical.

Thank you in advance.

S.
George Ledo
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You're probably going to get several lists of effects here, but if you want to pull off what you described, here are a few tips, in no specific order:

1. Research the heck out of the Victorian period, especially the sub-period you're doing. The Victorian period went from 1837 to 1901, and there were a lot of changes in fashion, art, architecture, furniture, and other stuff. Some late-Victorian styles even carried over into the Edwardian period (1901-1914). If your venue is already set up in a specific sub-period, you can start there.

2. Research the fashion styles of your sub-period so you can find something appropriate to wear. Not clear from your post whether you're male or female, so I can't be more specific than this.

3. Figure out who you are up on that stage. Who is the audience going to see up there? Why is he doing this? You mentioned comedy. Why does he want to do comedy? How was comedy done in that part of the Victorian era?

4. Decide who you want your audience to be, assuming you have a choice. Adults? Families? Kids?

5. Look through some Victorian-era magic books (Hoffman et al) for the type of effects that were performed back then. There's stuff dating back to the mid 1840's available. This will give some ideas as to material.

6. Seriously consider getting help form a theatrical director, preferably one who is not a magician.

You may have already done some of this (we don't know from your post), but this is the type of pre-work that most people in the Café who ask about doing their first stand-up show miss. And, in the end, it makes a heckuva difference.
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Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
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The theme is that your theme, or you think the hotel wants you to be "in character".

For early magic, you have to look at books like Robert Houdin and others. you mentioned Sympathetic, but playing cards of Victorian period were very different. Larger, more artistic. A deck today would not fit the theme. It depends how true to character you expect to be.

You may have to hire a consultant for this that is versed in magician from years past.

I don't believe magicians of this that era did much if any comedy. IT was all about the magic, miracle makers sort of.

Usually an undertaking of this nature would take a year or two to put together, simply because the tricks of that nature are not available any longer. Magic apparatus was made of metal back then, not plastic.
thomasR
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Conjuring Anthology by Jim Steinmeyer would be a great resource.

I would recommend having a look at Pop Haydn's routines as well... www.PopsMagic.com - if nothing else they will give you a great idea of how to work a character into a parlor size performance.
tommy
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Well I think Pop Haydn and friends would fit the bill or rather characters to study, as they are from the past and have some cool stuff.
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Michael Baker
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Get any of the books by Professor Hoffmann (Modern Magic, More Magic, Later Magic, etc.). Practically everything in the books was from the Victorian Era.
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tommy
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Steve Cohen springs to mind also.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

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Bill Hegbli
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Steve Cohen dose not sell any information to my knowledge, or how he has successfully created his business.

Before the television David Copperfield, there was another who did a period magic show, he used he name David Copperfield, as that was the character he portrayed. I can only suggest looking back in the old magic magazines in Genii and Linking Ring and following from there your research.
tommy
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Steve Cohen can be seen and explains his ideas at his site and so on. There is short documentary on him. He his classy and traditional. However I like Pops idea of science invention and it a time when exciting things were happening. Pops act his very evocative of all that.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

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Pop Haydn
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Bill Hegbli said:

"I don't believe magicians of this that era did much if any comedy. IT was all about the magic, miracle makers sort of."

Image


Victorian Magic was full of comedy. Even the Davenport's spirit cabinet was a "laugh riot." LeRoy, Talma and Bosco were the "Comedians de Mephisto." I don't think there were many Victorian performers who didn't do magic in a spirit of fun and play and wry humor. Their audiences were aware of the preposterousness of their claims.

Here is a Victorian Magic effect:

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