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Shane Wiker
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Hi everyone. Recently I posted about possibly doing a competition. Now I found a magic show that is auditioning. There are 3 shows per day, one show every day. I don't know how many magicians there are, or if they do that many shows, but I have been working on a stand-up routine. I have some good effects, but they don't link together in any way. I don't have a lot of stand-up material (I mainly do close-up, but am trying to get into parlour/stage), and therefore, anything I buy to do a routine would have to be fairly cheap.
I saw the show, and there will be about 50-100 people each show. I'm almost sure I want to open with Glass of Water Production to the music of Tequila (Actually, I don't know if I can. I think the laws are you can't use more than a few seconds of copyrighted music in a show. I also have a magic royalty free CD). I was also planning on doing a Marked Coin in Bottle, a card routine that involved a stacked deck (Even though it's cards, it's a routine that everyone would be able to see), and a Card to Orange routine I learned in Tarbell.
Do you think that a routine has to link together, or can I do effects that don't have a lot in common? Thanks for all your help.

Shane Wiker
Jim Wilder
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What volume of Tarbell is the Card to Orange in?
Shane Wiker
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Volume 1. It's a great routine.

Shane Wiker
Jim Snack
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First a few important questions

How long do you get to do? If this is an audition for a paying spot, I would suggest keeping it to a 15 minute set. Anything else is more than an audition.

Now, if it is an "open mike" night, than that's a bit different. Still, I would keep it to a short set, perhaps three routines.

Open with something that gets their attention and makes them like you. The glass production could work well.

Follow the glass production with something that quickly establishes your personalty and skill. Avoid any long drawn out routine that involves getting someone from the audience onstage. They haven't even decided if they like you yet. The Coin in the Bottle might work here, but keep it moving quickly. Something like a quick rope routine (ala Mac King) or a Gene Anderson newspaper tear (always a winner) would also work in this spot.

Then go into one of your longer routines that can close the show, the Card in Orange, for example.

I would think twice about the stacked deck routine for 50-100 people, unless you use a lot of comedy. Try it out in place of the Coin in Bottle in one set and see how it works.

Put your energy into the closing routine and keep it fun. Rememer, in a club type situation, humor is very important. Get them laughing and keep them laughing and you will do very well.

Good luck.
Jim Snack

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Jim Wilder
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Quote:
On 2004-08-12 20:00, Shane Wiker wrote:
Volume 1. It's a great routine.

Shane Wiker


Thanks Shane. I have read the books more times than any other magic source. I just have somehow skipped over it.

Just a suggestion... I could be way off in my understanding of your performance setting, style, and other factors, however, maybe do a Benson Bowl Routine with the orange as a final load. Then, well... I think you see where it is going. It may be too cliche for some, but possibly a working idea.
Jeff Jenson
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One rountine that I've used gets a great reaction is in Tarbell's Vol. 5, Page 78. "Popping corn in hat"
The only problem with this effect is that the book says to borrow a hat, don't do this because I found that in the past when I started doing this effect that popcorn crumbs were left in their hat and it made a mess! So use a top hat and let someone inspect it brfore the efffect and also put some kind of liner inside of the hat to keep the hat clean and to keep fuzz off the popcorn. The liner should be some kind of plastic that can be taken out if needed, you might be able to get a liner from a party store that sells plastic top hats, just cut the brim of the plastic hat and your ready to go!
One more thing the box should be abls to fit into your hand well, don't get a box to big for your hands, I personally use a medium sized macarroni box.
If you have any questions P.M. me!
Jeff Jenson
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Partizan
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Don't fill all of the time with tricks and stunts, give a chance for your personality to shine through.
Your biggest obstacle at the moment is you have no routine. No start, middle or finish.
Once you work out the tricks you will use, work on the order that makes most sense. Then work on idle chit-chat to place between your tricks.
For a 15 min spot I would look to open with a few fast attention grabbers for the first minutes. Talk a bit into a bigger effect. Then a simple joke type trick to lighten the mood after the last one is sinking in and to give you some more chat space.
Then go for a build into your finale with a string of 3 inter-related ticks getting better and better.

I know so many magi who can do 100's of tricks but have not 1 routine.
"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus."
- Mark Twain
Shane Wiker
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Thanks everyone, and any more advice is appreciated.

The show is called Mostly Magic Matinee, and is in a casino. I'm guessing the audition routine would be the same routine I'd use in the show.
The actual routine I'm supposed to do should be about 10 minutes long. I'm sure it's ok if it's a minute or two off, but about 10 minutes.

Jim, thanks for the advice. However, I'm hesitant about using the marked coin in bottle, because there will be so many people. I was thinking about getting two people on stage, having each mark one side of the coin, and putting the coin in the bottle. But you said not to use routines that get people on stage for the second effect? Then how would I have them mark the coin?

I was planning on doing three routines, but my parents and one of my friends (A magician) says that 3 routines aren't enough for a 10 minutes show. I'm thinking that the three routines I mentioned would be about 8 minutes, and that I'd need one more, but my parents think I need 5 routines, and I think that's way too many.

Also, how would a card to wallet work for the next to last routine? I could do glass of water production followed by marked coin in bottle. I could then do signed (folded) card to wallet (I think that would work ok in the setting I mentioned), then have another spectator select a card (The Tarbell routine can't use a signed card), and do card to orange. I think that would be about 10-11 minutes.

Thanks again,
Shane Wiker
Partizan
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3 routines will be fine for content. But please use your personality to fill the spare minutes. Padding is not just to fill time. it gives you a chance to pitch yourself to the viewers.
If one routine is 2 min to execute, then use 1 min of chat to introduce the effect and bond with the people. Pad the routine out a touch from here using a spec to chat to.
You could just take 1 routine and streach it for 10 min if you have the personality.
"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus."
- Mark Twain
sethb
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I think having one marked or signed card/coin trick is probably OK, because you will have a little audience participation, which is always good. You can also have some byplay with your helpers, too, which not only takes up some time, it can also get the audience to relax and get to know you.

But I'm leery about using more than one effect like that in a 10-12 minute show. I'd be afraid it would slow the pace of the show too much, by taking too long to get the people up on stage, mark the cards, etc. If you can keep things moving, it might be OK; you'll have to experiment and see.

One more thought -- if you can do a Miser's Dream, that would make a good opener or closer. It's snappy, fast, very visual, and doesn't need a lot of explaining. Good Luck! SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
magic4u02
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A lot of you are talking about effects and that is fine and dandy, but I am not hearing about the most critical part of any act or routine and that is the presentation factor or entertainment value.

We magicians tend to talk like magicians. We keep figuring ou effects and double lifts and secret moves. Our audiences do not know about all of this stuff and really do not care.

If you're a magician, it should just come naturally. What they remember of you is your character and your presentation and if they had fun with you.

With this in mind, let me hear some of your thoughts on the routining of your effects. What are you saying? What are you doing? Is it funny? Does it ellicit an emotional response? What are you giving to your audiences and what do you want them to walk away feeling and thinking?

Kyle
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shamanking1991
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Hey Shane, it's brendan, hope rehearsels going well. I'll cya at the show man, good luck!
The Shaman

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magic4u02
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Shane and Brandan,

I would love to hear about your ideas for your presentations. What type of presentation are you doing? What type of ideas for patter or comedy are you thinking about? Fill us in and perhaps we can help more and offer some more insight.

Kyle
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yanyak5
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How much time do you have to prepare for the act?
Shane Wiker
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Kyle,

I have decided that my routine will probably be:

Glass of Water Production (Silent, to the music of Tequila, timed to end at the point where, "Tequila!" is sung. Probably wouldn't be a good idea for a 14-year-old to produce a real tequila, so I'll use water. Smile)

Marked Coin in Bottle (This is where I introduce myself and invite two people up on stage. I have them each mark one side of a quarter, and show clearly that it is impossible for the quarter to penetrate the bottle, then continue with the effect.)

Card to Orange (To the music of...I can't remember the name of the song right now, but it's on a magic music cd I have. It's a kind of up-beat jazz music. I realized that I could do Card to Orange using only body language, as while there is audience participation, it's all things like taking a card, or holding an object.)

I really don't use a lot of comedy in my magic. I realize that I probably should, but my style is more serious. As for patter, the only effect that requires patter is Marked Coin in Bottle, and even that doesn't require too much. I'm probably best going with a silent act, except the second routine, as I already explained. Any advice (Such as the advice already given) is very helpful and appreciated.

Thanks again,
Shane Wiker

Yanyack, I don't have a set time limit, as the auditions are constant. However, the longer I wait, the less chances of there being an opening for me. I'm shooting for about a month. I have my routine worked out, now I'm probably going to be spending about 6-8 hours per day practicing. I like to practice a lot until I feel 100% comfortable that I won't mess up. I want to be able to do the effect 10-15 times without making a mistake before I feel comfortable performing it.

Shane Wiker
magic4u02
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Shane:

Let me elaborate and give my feedback and thoughts on your routines. I hope you take them as just my opinion and hope they may help you out.

First the tequilla idea is fine in regards to producing a glass of liquid. What I do not like is the idea of a 14 yr. old producing what the audience will think is alcohol. Regardless if you know it is water only, the idea of the song with the production may leave a bad taste in some people's mouths. (no pun intended.)

Marked coin in bottle is also very strong visual effect when done well.

My overall feelings is that your act is just a mere act of individual tricks thrown together with no meaning or real purpose. Now I do not mean for this to sound as harsh as it may seem.

My point is it seems like just trick after trick after trick and a bow and thank you much. There is nothing you are truly giving to your audience for them to grab ahold of or to even like you.

You always want to leave your audience remembering YOU first and what you do much later on. Make them say, "man I had fun with that Shane guy he was real awesome." You do that through giving and adding layers to your routines that you do.

You need to take a step back and NOT think like a magician for a minute. Focus your thoughts on what an audience would like to see and what an audience would like to experience. Remember that they are there to be entertained. They are not there simply to be "fooled" or amazed at just skill. Skill alone is not entertaining. It is what you do WITH this skill that makes people remember you and makes you unique.

Think of creativity in magic as a pizza. A plain pizza is good and is ok but certainly not fantastic. The things you put on the pizza are the other elements of creativity. If you add pepperoni or onions or other ingredients, this pizza starts to have character and you give more for the person to enjoy.

This is much similar to building an act. A trick just as a trick can be just like that bland pizza. If you add a character or a theme or transition effects or an emotional response your adding layers to your act and giving the audience so much more to enjoy.

Now you said your not much into comedy cause it does not fit you. That is fine and you certainly do not want to do a character or a theme that is a total departure from who you really are.

But lets take the idea of you being serious and quiet and doing most of your act to music. This can work out fine. BUT, let's try and add character and layers to your presentation that will draw the audience in and enjoy it so much more.

I see one of your common threads with each of the effects you are choosing has to deal with food related items. Perhaps this can work in your favor and be an area that can tie your show together as wel as give great transitions from item to item.

How about this as a general idea. Your a teen and so let us use that to your advantage. Say your main idea is that you WANT to act cool in every way and your trying really hard to throughout your entire routine.

You go on stage wearing a cool jacket and BAM produce some shades to put on. The music is upbeat and your style of music. You play Tequila and do so on PURPOSE.. but just as you are about to produce it.. BAM.. you produce a cell phone and hear it ring.

It breaks up your coolness so you pantomime to audience to wait a second. You answer it and it is your crazy MOM on the end (this would be on the sound track). She says hey um Shane it's mom... you say MOM geesh I am trying to do a show here... she says make sure you get the groceries on your way home from the show... and whatever you do.... stay away from bad influences. Love ya mom.

You shake your hand and bam produce the food store list written on a silk or maybe a newspaper page. From the silk or page you produce a bottle of soda or Gatoraid etc.

The paper may work better cause after you get each item, you tear the sheet up a bit. (you will see where I go with this later) This tearing shows that yeah ok mom I got that item done.

The main thing now is that you have established a perfect character.. have added comedy without really doing anything, do not have to speak and have a perfect way to transition into each effect.

The phone rings as a running gag throughout the routines.

Now that you have the bottle.. you run and transition perfectly into coin in bottle cause you already have it. You pretend to quench your thrist by drinking from the bottle and then the phone rings... It's mom again he he She says hey Shane do NOT forget the change. Just then you produce some money or coins in whatever style you like. The coins go right into acting cool again by doing coin into the bottle.

Your done with the bottle and the change so you pick up the paper and tear it again as if saying yep ok mom I got that done.

You go back into being cool again and ask for a card to be signed.. you guessed it .. it is mom again.... oh Shane get some oranges while your at it. Yes mom anything you say mom... You produce the orange but now have to figure out a way to include the orange into the magic your doing. You do your routine..

Now here is the killer ending to this.. you tear the last peice of the paper.. and the phone rings again.. wait could it be mom .. yeap it is..

She says um Shane whatever you do do NOT tear the food list it has my weeks to do list on the back.. You look at paper look at audience and BAM restore the entire paper again as you say in the phone..... NO PROBLEM MOM I GOT IT ALL TAKEN CARE OF.

You wink at audience and walk off cool again.

Now this is just off the top of my head and it may not fit you at all. BUT, my point here is to show you how to think creative with what you already have. How you can add the layers to make your effects so much more enjoyable.

Please let me know what you think. If you do like this idea.. GO FOR IT.. it is yours and run with it.

Let me hear your thoughts and let's go out there and think outside of the box.

Kyle
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Shane Wiker
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Wow! Thanks so much Kyle. That's a great idea. I am going to print that out, and change it around a bit. That's an amazing routine, thanks again.

I truly believe that you are one of the, if not THE most helpful person on The Magic Café. Smile

Shane Wiker
magic4u02
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Shane,

You are most welcome. Take this idea but PLEASE promise me you will work on it and add to it and make it your own. I did this to get you to really open your eyes up and to start seeing routines and acts and shows in a different light. Think outside the box in all that you do and give your audiences something more to have fun with.

Thanks for the compliment. I am always here to help anyone willing enough to ask for it and to work at it. Magic has been so much fun for me and I always strive to give back to magic what it has given to me.

Let me know how it is going and please seek my help as you work on this. I want to know how it truns out for you and the response you receive.

I can almost guarantee that if you do an act that has this style of creativity to it, they will be enjoying it a lot more and will certainly remember the name Shane.

Now go out there and have fun, work and be creative. =)

Kyle
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Partizan
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Magic4u02 - Kyle.

THANKYOU!!! For picking up the batton. I don't think what I was saying was getting through.
Your first few posts covered the main points I was forwarding in beautiful detail.

I hope you guys read all of his posts and take note. You have now been given good advice, go and think about what has been said and rethink your routine with some planning of patter and smalltalk. structure and charisma.
"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus."
- Mark Twain
magic4u02
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Partizan,

Thanks for the compliments. I appreciate it. I just have a deep appreciation for creativity and adding creativity back into magic.

Too many magicians look at magic from the wrong side...they look at it as a magician and not as a lay person. We always need to be reminded of just who we are doing the magic for. Are we entertaining ourselves or are we entertaining others as we are supposed to do.

It is often very hard to get others to understand these concepts because they are so new and foreign to them. I guess it is getting easier for me since I have been teaching magic to children in my SYM group for over 10 years now.

I have learned that I must give them examples and show them how it all works, before they finally "see the light" and come to understand that there is more to magic the the newest and latest method for a double lift.

They certainly do not have to run with my idea. I just made that up as I was typing and created a way to bring the routine together and make it more entertaining for an audience. BUT, I hope they at least take the main concepts and learn to perform there magic with entertainment value.

Kyle
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