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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Time after time » » Looking for direction on.... stage presence, actions, delivery, etc... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

DougRoy
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Hi!
Im a 'late-bloomer' in terms of magic performance, and I'm looking for direction on where to go to obtain training on stage delivery, presentation, voice, etc... elements that cover the "a magician is an actor" part of performing magic. Looking for suggestions on... online courses, video training, or ocal help such as acting instructors at local schools.
Looking for ANY type of suggestion or direction. Smile
Thanks in advance!
Doug
"Bringing magic to life."

www.DougRoyMagic.com
DougRoy
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Oops, missed the typo! .... "local help" Smile
"Bringing magic to life."

www.DougRoyMagic.com
WitchDocChris
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If you're looking for local help, it's generally a good idea to define what "Local" is to you. That way if someone's in the area they may have resources that aren't easy to find online.

"Maximum Entertainment" by Ken Weber and "Scripting Magic Vol 1 & 2" by Pete McCabe are two excellent resources for one who wants to learn about creating good performances. "Strong Magic" by Darwin Ortiz is another good one, but I liked Maximum Entertainment a lot more.

Depending on where you are located, local colleges often have acting classes. If you've got comedy clubs in your area, there's probably an improv group that teaches improv comedy as well. Also, some magic conventions will hold workshops. I did an all day "Acting for the Magician" workshop run by Prof BC at ECSS last year and it was excellent.
Christopher
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Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
Boffo eBook: https://tinyurl.com/387sxkcd
thatmichaelguy
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I agree with Chris that looking into acting classes at a local college could be valuable. Not only will they teach you about the technical aspects of being a performer, but you'll also dive into the nature of stories a bit too, which I think is helpful.

Something else to consider that can't be readily taught is working on your ability to self-critique. It's an invaluable skill in any art form. Being able to look at your performance and put into concrete terms what you do and do not like about it will do so much to improve the quality. You can't address aspects for improvement in your art until you can identify them. And once you can identify them, get specific about what ways you would like to see them change. "I want to speak better" is not as helpful as "I stammer when doing mental calculations." One of those you can take specific action to remedy, the other is too nebulous to do that. In the end self-critique is a valuable skill as a performer and as an artist and just as important a part of you work to develop as any other technical aspect of what we do.
WitchDocChris
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Excellent points, I agree wholeheartedly.

Another valuable thing is a selection of folks who's opinions you can trust regarding your work. Hint: If someone always says everything you do is good, those are not the people you're looking for. You want people who are knowledgeable enough to know what they are talking about, and honest enough to tell you if something sucks (Which, inevitably, some things will - no one creates gold 24/7).

But to be properly back on topic - I think proper acting lessons have been among the most valuable experiences I've ever had in regards to my performance. I haven't had a lot of chances to do them, but every time has created notable and immediate improvements.
Christopher
Witch Doctor

Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
Boffo eBook: https://tinyurl.com/387sxkcd
Dick Oslund
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Chris and Michael have said it WELLL.

Re BOOKS. I would start with Ken Weber's excellent book, and, then go to Pete McCabe.......
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
DougRoy
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Thanks fir the awesome input!! Smile I have Webers book, SM vol 1 should be artivng any day, and I'll be ordering vol 2 shortly. I plan to also contact a local drama teacher regarding some tutoring.

Does anyone know of any online drama/acting courses?

Thanks again for the previous suggestions!

-Doug
"Bringing magic to life."

www.DougRoyMagic.com
WitchDocChris
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Yep. MasterClass - https://www.masterclass.com/classes/hele......s-acting - https://www.masterclass.com/classes/samu......s-acting

Note - I haven't bought any of these courses and I don't know specifically how good they are. I have friends who say they enjoy them and found them worthwhile/useful, though, and I trust their opinions.
Christopher
Witch Doctor

Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
Boffo eBook: https://tinyurl.com/387sxkcd
DougRoy
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Looks great! Thanks Christopher!!
"Bringing magic to life."

www.DougRoyMagic.com
paulalpha
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Another good book to try is Magic and Showmanship: A Handbook for Conjurers (Dover Magic Books) by Henning Nelms. Also audition for acting roles, and festivals. My local renaissance fair has a school for village people that helps them with improv acting, voice work, character development etc. Working as a strolling magician last year at the Renaissance Fair was the best training I've had for being a part time professional magician.
kidnapped1853
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Paulalpha so glad you mentioned Magic & Showmanship by Henning Nelms. It was foundational for me when I first started in magic many years ago.
Brent McLeod
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One of the best things is stage time,regardless of your level,doing numerous spots at open nights and any opportunity to
appear before a live audience is key, Books can only tell you so much,

The comedy scene has all the newer comics doing every open mic night and appearance at any gig 3-4 times a week so by the time they do a few club nights at a comedy club
they have 50 or more open nights under their belt..get out on stage as often as possible in front of an audience and you will solve all your problems to be prepared as much as you can be..
gregg webb
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First, I think, is to pick the effects that you feel you do well. Then write out what you think would be good to say along with each effect. Tape record these and listen to them often with the ear towards how to improve these "scripts". Try not to copy anyone. Be a great version of yourself. You can practice the patter with just pantomime of the props, and later work into speaking along with the actual props. Just do this every day, not once a month.
Another thing...avoid practicing into a mirror. But, practicing with video running is just the opposite, very good for you.
Learn as much as you can about lighting. Learn how to pack your props for transporting them. Practice setting up your show. Practice tearing it down. Put serious thought into music that might help you.
When you get a show...if at all try to go and see the space you'll work. Take measurements, etc. When you get home, measure out the space and either with tape on the floor or chairs to represent the corners, do a run through - even just in mime, in that space. This trick alone will help you be more at ease in the real show. A final note...many people run their words together, especially when nervous. Enunciate. There are very simple voice exercises, easier than what singers do if they are serious, but you must look them up and do them every day. Get into it and start living it. Don't just think it.
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