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Mike Robbins
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Anchorage, Alaska
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We've all heard the axiom "Leave them wanting more." I think this is one of the most parroted, but unpracticed, sayings in magic.

What length do you use for your shows and why?

Although I will do shorter durations, the most I will generally perform is 40 minutes. I think going beyond that you start hitting the point of diminishing returns.

I've seen other magicians who will perform for two hours straight. I've seen some who've done this and had part of the audience walking out because it was going too late.

I'd prefer them to remember that the show was strong and maybe a little short than boring because it was too long.

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.
Peter Marucci
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Kids' shows or adult shows, I do 30-35 minutes -- and that's it!
That is about the attention span of the average person, adult or child.
As Mike says, anything longer and you get into the law of diminishing returns.
Occasionally, I get a client who asks for something like a two-hour show for a child's birthday party.
I spell out for them the potential for disaster here -- pass the attention-span limit and the kids get restless, irritable, and cranky. If they still insist, I bow out as graciously as possible.
Mike is right on: We should certainly practice the axiom "leave 'em wanting more" more often.
Peter Marucci
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A good lecturer at your service!
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Yes but...

If you were doing a full evening theatre show people may feel short changed with 40 mins Smile Everything is relative.

I do aim at 40 mins for my stand up though. Aim being the operative word lol.

Paul Hallas
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Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
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for kid shows I offer 3 things

Magic show 45mins

magic show and punch & judy 1hr

games 45 mins break for food 30mins 45 mins magic total 2 Hr party.

for adult cabaret 30 or 40 min shows

Lee Marelli
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Aurora, Colorado
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Paul makes a good point about a full evening show. I and my associate's two man show, "Mental Wizardy," normally runs for a total of 90 minutes with a 10 minute intermission. Part 1 is 50 min and part 2 is 30 minutes. We perform in a theater environment and the audience in attendance are paying for a full evening's entertainment.
As to performances at private functions, I also agree with the others that 30 to 35 minutes is adequate.
"Mentalism is a state of mind." Marelli
Scott F. Guinn
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"Great Scott!" aka "Palms of Putty" & "Poof Daddy G"
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I do whatever length the client has asked and is paying me for! That can be anything from 15 to 90 minutes, or a full evening of strolling magic. I go for the agreed upon length of time, but no longer.

I think Mike's point is valid, but perhaps a bit too simplistic.
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Michael Peterson
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is where I'm trapped, because of my
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These are some excellent answers to the question I wanted to ask, thank you.

Pakar Ilusi
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I aim for a solid 40 minutes on Stage.

With strolling, I do 1 or 2 hours...
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
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