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Alexei Kee
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Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain)
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Profile of Alexei Kee
Hi, people!

It's been a long, long time since the last I wrote in the Café. Well, life happened...

Anyway, I'd like your advice. I have always performed talked acts in the past and I want to start the new year with a challenge, which is doing a musical act. Just music and magic. I've designed an act with a theatrical story accompanied by music, no words, of about 7 minutes already.

The problem I'm finding Is the rehearsal part as I find myself a bit overwhelmed and lost. The music I have chosen has places that accentuate the magic and, although all the thinking put in, I have a fear of not being able to get right on time to those, get lost in the music, etc.

I'd like to know if there's a process published anywhere that could make the rehearsal more efficient in the particular case of musical acts like this one. I've got The Ostrich Factor and it's a wonderful book but don't remember having read about this kind of acts there

I know the secret of magic is hard work and repetition, just wanted to hear some different points of view appart from mine.

Thanks a lot!!!

AK Smile
People waste 50% of their mind power. I'm a genius, I waste 100%.
Brent McLeod
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Inner circle
1764 Posts

Profile of Brent McLeod
I having been using Music in my Professional shows for over 20 years, I change some music every few years as it keeps your act fresh.
During rehearsal I have 2 or 3 key points in the song that I should be doing a particular move etc and this is what keeps me on track during performance.
You must play this music over and over and listen as you go through the will in time finish the routine exactly on the last beat.

I now edit a lot of my music with intros, fades etc and create a final MP3 file so the sound tech guys have no work to do at larger venues etc, hit start and away you go, I can run my whole show from my phone on stage, so easy now...years ago I had cd players, discs etc, tapes and I recorded to tape as a kid from a record on the stereo...hilarious

I always open a show with 25 seconds of intro music then go straight into my opener effect to different music, it focuses the audience on you the performer on stage.
Some shows I have 4 music items and a majority of shows Its my opener & closing effects to music only, I have a very expensive PA system, mics & mixer I use as if you don't have sound you don't have a show. Its a lot of fun adding music to your show and certainly adds a few dollars to your fee for being Professional.
I use everything from Swing music to The Prodigy to Seal, modern fast catchy beats, that always get comments later.

You mention hard work & repetition...that is the key, good luck have fun
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Profile of Anatole
When I decided to enter the IBM Gold Medal contest in New Orleans way back in 1982, I worked out a method of rehearsal for my silent manipulation act with background music. After deciding on what tricks/routines to include, I selected music that I thought fit the act. At home, I set the act up for a full dress rehearsal--and audiotaped the act complete with the background music--and narrated what was happening so that the tape recorded the music, my voice, and any accompanying audio--like the sound of cards cascading into a bucket, the sound of rings linking and unlinking etc.

I then used the audio tape for kind of subliminal rehearsals. I would hear myself say things like "AS RIGHT HAND REPRODUCES THE VANISHED BALL, THE LEFT HAND STEALS BALL FROM DROPPER" during specific spots of the background music.

My friends drove from Virginia Beach to New Orleans, and while others were driving, I would listen to the audio tape over and over. Between the "real" dress rehearsals back in my apartment and the virtual dress rehearsals on the audio tape, I had the timing of the act and the music down perfectly. I must have had a dozen or more virtual rehearsals thanks to that audio tape. BTW, I listened to the audio tape with earphones during the two-day drive to New Orleans so that my virtual rehearsals wouldn't bother the other people in the car.

The result: My act was one of the few in the contest that ended on time and also met the strict time limits of the contest rules. I'm sure of that because a New Orleans magician had gotten permission to videotape all the stage contestants who signed a release form. All of the contestants signed the release form except one. The video camera was turned off when he did his act.

When I returned to Virginia Beach, I was able to watch every single act that was on the videotape. Some were good, but most were mediocre. And quite a few of the acts went over the time limit set by the contest rules, which of course disqualified them.

Although I didn't place in the finals, I got great comments from some of the other contestants. I won't drop any names, but some of those other contestants went on to become award-winning magicians on the national and International levels.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
----- Sonny Narvaez
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Profile of Gerald
So happy that you liked The Ostrich Factor. I hope you found some helpful ideas.
Best regards,
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