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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Common theme? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

briansmagic
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I have not seen all that many illusion shows, but have seen a ton of illusion acts: short performances. Don’t get me wrong, I have seen a decent number of illusion shows, just not a ton. When an illusion show has a title, is there a common theme, thread, or storyline that somehow relates to the title that runs all throughout the show? Or is the name used as just a device to make the show sound a lot more interesting than some unknown magician's name and able to sell better? Please let me know what you think. Can you give any specific real examples?
Dennis Michael
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Quote:
On 2004-09-30 00:15, briansmagic wrote:
When an illusion show has a title, is there a common theme, thread, or storyline that somehow relates to the title that runs all throughout the show?

Or is the name used as just a device to make the show sound a lot more interesting than some unknown magician's name?

...and able to sell better?

Please let me know what you think. Can you give any specific real examples?

David Copperfield themed his vinyettes with little stories. The audiecnce can relate to this. Doug Henning added twists to his illusions and was the best in entertaining magicians.

One doesn't want to advertise "See Lady Dogface Suspended in Mid Air" This indicates a suspension. (They just may come just to see the dog faced lady though.) Floating is a better word because people "kind-da" want to go to a show which the advertising acts as a draw.

Naming an act is critical in business. This is what made circus sideshows famous.

As for a common theme, well, we are back to "are we doing an illusion show with magical effects" or "are we doing a cohesive, united Story line such as "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Benares" One is a hodge-podge of magical effects and another is a series of short related stories related an Artifact Treasure Hunter.

The second appears to be more interesting.

What sells is word of mouth, and a good show. PG Disney shows still top the list of family shows.

Just my random thoughts on this topic.
Dennis Michael
spkrosky
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If you are a magician doing a hodgepodge of illusions without some common thread or story, I don't believe you have anything to offer an audience. They might as well go look up a video clip of a dealer demo. What makes an illusion magical is the reason for doing it. Whether it be "something you dreamed about" or an ancient fable brought to life, that is what makes it more entertaining than "hey let's stick a bunch of swords through this girl for the heck of it".
George Ledo
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There's a good thread on this topic right in this section, titled "How to make illusions more magical." You may want to check it out.
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tommy k
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I find that by giving a show a "theme" it makes it more interesting and much easier to understand. Too often, magicians just string tricks together and call it a show. It's really not a show, it's a demonstration. It might be very entertaining but it might not make sense!

By giving meaning to your show it forces you to build a better storyline which is better entertainment. How many plays or movies have you seen that are just a series of scenes or images?

This is just my humble opinion.
Bob Sanders
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We often overlook the importance of a storyline. The storyline itself is a very effective way of entertainig some in the audience. (Notice that we use it in TV commercials too! It will hold the attention of many who can be easily redirected. This is part of a search for meaningful attention. It helps people remember!)

Scheme!

Bob
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Pakar Ilusi
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You could do it without a script/storyline...

It just wouldn't be as entertaining, that's all...

Remember, Magic isn't about doing tricks, it's about entertaining people...

Even Blaine had a loose "theme" for his persona and his Specials...

Just my thoughts...

Smile
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
Bob Sanders
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I'm not one who believes that you need to stick to a theme for a whole two-hour show. However, I do find that everything between the curtain going up and closing each time during the two-hour show should show some theme and reason for the steps taken. I like for each effect to feed the next effect. By that, I mean that if the next effect will need a silk, the trick before leaves me with a silk the right size and color in my hand. It goes beyond theme.

Bob
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tommy k
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Well said Bob!
PaxMentis
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Over the years in providing personal management to magicians, some who are now very well-known, the hardest obstacle we had to face was having them listen to constructive criticism. It's reminds me of a boxer. He hires a trainer and the other people to help him further his career and when he returns to the corner after each round, he's instructed by his trainer what he needs to do. Jab, jab, jab. Does he always do it. NO! He has a mind of his own and he thinks he knows best. When he loses, he sits back in total bewonderment, trying to figure out why he lost, and of course he wants to blame the people in his camp.

A very famous act we represented who was performing the Sword Suspension would not believe that his assistant showed signs of walking onstage in an unnatural manner as if she had something wrong with her right arm. You all know what I'm talking about. It wasn't until the magician gave in to the repeated concerns of our management team that he agreed to look at a video with the team of the illusion being performed. He was totally embarrassed. Need I say more. I would strong suggest that every magician who is putting together a "show", sit down with lots of creative people and some lay folks and critique the show. You will end up with a win-win situation.

One of the best theme shows I've seen was the Foster production of SPELLBOUND. Has anyone else seen that version of it when it first opened in Philadelphia, PA?
Do not go where the path may lead, but go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
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