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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » A tangled web we weave... » » Material, DVD or Book, to help develop an act? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of tvirelli

I'm wondering if anyone can recommend a resource, book, dvd or other to help with developing an act. I am mostly interested in walk around and close up. One resource I found, but haven't bought yet is Scripting Magic by Pete McCabe. Not sure if it is what I am looking for or not. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Scott Cram
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There's Darwin Ortiz' book "Strong Magic", for developing proper and effective showmanship. Here are the types of questions this book will have you considering:

As mentioned in magicpedia ( ), Dan Harlan's "Pack Small, Play Big" DVDs center around a very useful show structure that scales well.

If you subscribe to Genii, you have access to the Genii archives, and can go back to the December 2004 issue of Genii and read Jon Armstrong's "Superhero Theory". He uses the analogy of superhero stories to discuss how to create an effective act, and includes 4 main points:

• Superheroes are defined by their powers, to the extent that they're often named after them (e.g., Spiderman, the Flash).

• Audiences are familiar with what a particular superhero is capable of, so the heroes have certain expectations (without being made predictable), and they're made more memorable.

• Superheroes are limited by their powers (e.g., Batman doesn't have X-ray vision, Spiderman can't talk to sea creatures), creating focus, as well as opportunities for challenge.

• Speaking of limitations, many superheroes also have a weakness. How they deal with this weakness can be as engaging as how they use their superpowers.

In terms of resources not specifically focused on magic, I also recommend the book "Made To Stick", by Chip and Dan Heath. It's all about effective ways to make anything memorable. It's an easy read, and will change the way you think about your magic.
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The Triple-Trilogy show structure I used for my Pack Small, Play Big series is more fully explained in my "More Than Meets the Eye" notes which are included in Tarbell 34: Routining Your Show... That should help.
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