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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The tricks are on me! » » Mentalism show (6 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

flatbatt
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Hi to all
First a bit about me
I have been studying magic for about 10 years.it went from an interest to a passion to almost obsessive drive. I am an amateur magician/ mentalist. I have done a few mental shows (I live in a small town in South Africa) and am probably the only magician in the area- Cape Town is 4ooklm away.
The shows I have done have been for corporate events and private parties. The spectator response has been good , great and really great I have studied Tarbell (not all as some of it is not applicable but the theory was important) Henry Hoy (amateur magicians hand book) Nic Einhorn, Corinda, Annemann, Bannecheck and numerous others. Penguin Live has been very helpful. I have read, watched and practiced various magic and mental effects and developed some of my own ideas and produced them to good result. I have had my audience amazed, I have had a preacher wanting to cast demons out of me after a show because he believed the only way I could have these powers is from demon possession (that was a boost to think an educated person believed I was the real deal) and many people after a show asked me to explain how I can make predictions or the read their mind etc. So I must be ok at what I do
I have now been asked to put on a charity event from cradle to grave. And although I wont get paid the audience is going to be paying.
This is where I am stuck and need help
Even with the good response from my audience, if I watch my show afterwards (after the high of performing) it seems flat. I want the charity show to be at the level of Derren Brown.
So first how many of your stage assistants can you trust with your effects if any. Do you do full dress rehearsals with all the stage and lighting people. How do I input music into the show What is the "magic" ingredient that turns a good show into a mind blowing event (I have really good effects thanks to Bob Cassidy, Doc Hilford Richard Ostelind and a few others and I practice them and the lines and movements) but I want the show to be such that when I watch the recording or anyone else does the must think F88k this guy is brilliant
Any advice will be helpful
Ed_Millis
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You might get a better response posting down in Penny for Your Thoughts.

Ed
philraso
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It you really want a "Deren Brown" show you will need the help of many people. Mainly production people like lighting, sound, back stage etc. Tricks are easy. Getting a venue and a crew, not so easy. Especially for free.
Ray Bertrand
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Quote:
On Sep 25, 2017, philraso wrote:
It you really want a "Deren Brown" show you will need the help of many people. Mainly production people like lighting, sound, back stage etc. Tricks are easy. Getting a venue and a crew, not so easy. Especially for free.


You might score the venue for free. philraso is right about the crew. Talented individuals in the areas of lighting, sound and stage are not easy to find.

Ray
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top_illusionist
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Start at your local high school. Contact the theater department. They usually have eager students wanting to lend a hand and be part of a magic show. But remember, if you want a high quality show, then you have to pay the right people to come on board. Food for thought.
hypnoman1
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It you really want a "Deren Brown" show you will need the help of many people. Mainly production people like lighting, sound, back stage etc. Tricks are easy. Getting a venue and a crew, not so easy. Especially for free.

You would also have to train in many things like hypnosis, NLP, psychology, magic etc.
For those who believe, no explanation is necessary; for those who do not believe, no explanation will suffice.
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Mr. Woolery
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Many years ago (28, I think), I was told that recorded music was bad for live music because the recordings set a standard that was too high for amateur live musicians to ever aspire to. That isn't actually true, but there's some truth to it.

When we watch Derren Brown, we only see what the show's producers want us to see. When we watch a live and local up-and-comer, we may not realize we are watching the next Derren Brown. Because we don't have the optimal performance and the optimal environment and the optimal team of professional behind-the-scenes folk making the show come out the way they believe will make the greatest impact.

Now, I like Derren very much. He's a terrific performer. But I also realize that I'm not watching Derren Brown when I watch a show with him in it. I'm watching the show.

Many of us want to be great performers. In addition to mystery arts, I am a musician. Not a pro. Never likely to be a pro. I mean, I know what the difference is between my playing and a pro's. But I have fun, I share the music, and I make people happier when they hear me. When I perform magic or mentalism, I know my intention isn't to be a professional. My intention is to share something fun.

And if my intention were to go pro, the first thing I would do is differentiate myself from the big names in a way that puts focus on what makes me different. I certainly wouldn't want to be Derren Brown. Nor Michael Weber, Bob Cassidy, Richard Osterlind, or any other big name. The thing they all have in common is that they are individual and unique. I've said before that what I would really love to see in a mentalism lecture is just 3 tricks. By 5 different people. Each doing the same tricks in ways that put their own unique presentational spins on the tricks. I don't even care about methods, really. I want to see the result of individual thinking.

-Patrick
ryanshaw9572
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I wouldn’t worry about the “level” of the show. What story do you want to tell to the audience? Who is your audience? How can they relate to your show emotionally? Why should they care? People who go to see Derren Brown are going because they know what he’s all about and want to see it. What can you give this audience that you want to tell them and that they would want to see?

As far as preparation, more is always better. Account for all discrepancies and be ready for anything.
walidosama
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I think the best way is to join an association or a theatr team they have trained assistant to take car of things like light sound for you
and you will get better training on making scripts and controlling the audience and also more gigs

that what I did am still with the theatr team and that helped me out a lot
TomB
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Quote:
from cradle to grave. And although I wont get paid the audience is going to be paying


When I was getting my MBA we learned charity's must earn a profit to stay in business. Just because it is for charity does not mean you have to do it for free. Unless this specific charity is dear and true to your heart, I would expect a payment. The goal is to raise money for the charity. They sell tickets with your performance. You should be compensated. Now, if they pay you and you donate it, that's cool too.

Now if you are doing it to boost future advertisement and this is to get your name out there, it might be a different story.

There might be people in the charity willing to be a team member. I'd reach out to them and train them what to do.
Mr. Woolery
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TomB has a really good point and this subject has been discussed several times in several places in the past.

A couple of suggestions I'd like to pass on because I thought they were really good:

Mark Lewis has said that he will take unpaid shows if he is allowed to set up a table and do palm readings for money afterward. He explains to the booker that he has to cover expenses, so this is his way of helping out and still being able to make a little money without it costing the charity anything.

Tony Chris (I'm pretty sure it was him - early issue of Vanish) talked about doing charity shows that are advertised. He makes it clear to them what his professional fees are for a similar gig, then says if he is going to provide his services for free, he needs something out of it. What he wants in those cases is guaranteed advertising. That means he provides his logo and it shows up on all the promotional material, posters, advertising, etc for the event. And if there is a TV crew, they are requested to include some of his performance in the story.

Regardless, you can make it clear to the booker that you are willing to help, but need to get enough out of it to make it worth your time. This isn't going to cost them much if they are willing to see things from your perspective and be certain of including your name and image in the advertising. If you are not enough of a draw to be worth deliberately advertising as part of the event, why are they even asking for your services, right?

I don't personally do gigs for money, only for fun, at this time. However, if I were asked to do one for free that I didn't already want to do, I'd probably adopt the Lewis approach, with a request that my performing and palm reading services be advertised as part of the event promotion. And I would certainly accept money for the palmistry.

-Patrick
Josh the Superfluous
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For the record Mark Lewis does not do a free show, in exchange for paid palm reading. He does do a combined show and reading for one price (where he will not ask a reading fee from the guests). But never a free show.
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Mr. Woolery
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Josh, you may well be right. Mark’s statements have not always accorded with one another. However, I’m morally certain that it was he who described that particular method. Regardless, it is a fairly good compromise method of getting paid when doing a “free” show. I imagine clients might think their palmistry fees also support the charity. And, inasmuch as they make it possible for the performer to be there instead of at a paid gig, that’s true.

I’m just trying to give credit to the sources I recall for different ways to make a donated show worth doing. Whether Mark ever did donate a performance, I don’t know. I’m pretty sure he described this scheme in one of the threads on the Café that vanished after his pseudonym was seen through.

Patrick
monkeycat
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I am in a position to shed light on this. He would never dream of doing a free show so he could suffer for hours on end doing palm readings. Besides it would be a ghastly scenario to be taking money from the guests at the event rather than being paid a straight fee by the booker.

This is where the confusion probably set in. He used to do psychic seminars in Ireland and charge free admission to the public. It was held in Irish hotels and he advertised in the newspapers that he was arriving in town and of course did radio interviews and supply press releases to the newspapers that he was going to put on these events. He would then set up appointments for people to come in for one hour sessions the next day and charge accordingly. However, at the end of the seminar he would do much briefer readings (say 15 minutes or so) for people that wanted them and charge accordingly. It was a profitable scenario and he went all over Ireland to do this. He didn't particularly like the high of making people laugh and gasp during the seminar which was more like a show than a seminar but then have come down to the low point of sitting down and doing reading after reading after reading. Still, money is money and he rather likes the stuff. After all one does require food to go with one's meals.

One day he went to Galway and bumped into the Lord Mayor, read his palm and was advised by his worship that the best place to do a seminar was a certain hotel which loved New Age stuff so along he went to book a seminar there later in the day and found said Lord Mayor drinking in the bar as the Irish tend to do. He was grateful to his worship who since then has now the President of Ireland no doubt as a result of Mark Lewis's prediction that he would advance far in his political career.

With regard to the show concept what he did and still does is this. Do NOT work for no money! What a horrific proposition and I feel quite faint at the very thought of it. Dearie me no. Charge a fee higher than your normally get for just doing close up walk around magic. Do one hour of walk around magic. Mark is quite superb at this--however that is not what he gets paid higher rates for. What happens is that while he is doing the walk around he tells the groups that he will later be setting up in a quiet spot to do palm readings. They will get all excited when they hear this and a line up will form out of nowhere. He will get paid more than any close up magician and in fact will be asked to stay longer so everyone can get a reading and not be disappointed. The result of this scenario is that you will go home with pots of money. Of course you have to be good at doing readings and if you are it will be the hit of the evening.

One tip. Bring a flashlight so you can see the lines on the palms since you may be seated in a dark corner. And INSIST on a quiet spot to do the readings. If you are stuck near a noisy band or music blaring you will be done for and wishing you were doing a kiddies party instead.

I must take some medicine now. I am still shaking at the thought of doing a free show. That would be the end of civilisation as we know it.
Mr. Woolery
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My apologies. It must have been someone else. Or I misremembered the actual anecdote. I still thought it was a creative solution to the free show dilemma. If I ascribed too much generosity to Mr. Lewis’ nature, you may convey to him that I’m sorry for thinking so well of him. Smile

Patrick
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