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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » How Can I Develop Showmanship ? (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Blackington
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I'm also at a starting point in my attempt to begin to put a show together, kid show entertainment, I mean.
I'll follow up on what George Ledo has said... I'll offer this >> There's another book called "Stage Performance" by Livingston Taylor, who teaches STAGE PERFORMANCE at Berklee, in Boston. (Berklee in Boston is the #1 rated music-performance College in USA).

The book is much like the class itself, but it's written instead of spoken. Often a performer can be caught thinking that they are the most important person in the room- but that's not really so. The audience is most important. Taylor teaches performance at a music college. He teaches a course on "how to care for and please your audience". All performers have to learn by trying and improving upon their error or failures, because the nature of the business dictates that in many ways we'll be making it up as we go along.

This particular book covers some absolute topics on how to engage your audience so that you/we can develop a performance that's shaped by what one's vision of what a magic show should, and can, be.

In addition to all of the books of magic and performance.. read anything that's inspirational for you, in a meditative sense too. Personally speaking, the excitement of encountering a new idea, or new angles of thought about the old ideas, can be like re-finding (inventing) the starting point all over again. Truly, that becomes a breath of fresh air! I think that that new burst of creative adrenaline is great. And, it's definitely worth reading about.
-Chris
FrankFindley
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One suggestion which has helped me is to include an act in my show which relies primarily on delivery for its impact rather than misdirection and other magic skills. There are some really great ones.

Ron London taught me a jumbo card version of diamond jack similar to this one: https://youtu.be/CnBSiHrnWNQ.

Gene Anderson's paper hats routine is a classic as is Harry Anderson's chapeaugraphy routine: https://youtu.be/RbNT7MFK0so

Jeff McBride has so many strong ones it is unbelievable. My favorite though is his warm up using rattles and fans: https://youtu.be/SqWggEqvLqk

Recently I received Dick Oslund's Road Scholar DVD. On it he has an incredible oration using simple optical illusions or a What's Next card.

The key thing is just to find an act such as this which forces one to concentrate on delivery. No difficult moves or flashy apparatus, just holding audience interest with simple items and the words, motions, facial expressions, etc that are in tune with one's style. As this routine gets better and better it will spill over onto the other routines eventually reaching the point of "unconscious competence" where one is able to hold their attention no matter what is being presented.
MSaber
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@MagicalFreak3 - If I were you, I'd think to myself, "How would I act if I actually had supernatural "abilities". Like if I really had magical powers." And then go with that. Otherwise you end up with a cheesy presentation, in my opinion. Also, recording yourself performing is definitely helpful for fine tuning.
Scott Alexander
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I put together a course on six DVD's to help folks with stuff like this. Here is a link if you think it might help you.

http://scottalexander.bigcartel.com/prod......dvds-1-6
-Scott




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Dougini
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In short, LOVE YOUR AUDIENCE! Your audience knows whether you love them or not. It's simple! If you LOVE them? They will LOVE you back! Smile

Doug
kidnapped1853
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Great advice Dougini! It's what Thurston used to do. "Audley Dunham met Howard Thurston and in his youthful enthusiasm, asked Thurston,

"When the curtain rises and the music stops and you raise your arms halfway—you say not a word and you look up at the gallery, then the balcony, then the main floor and you look like you're going to say something, but you don't till you start the show."

Thurston interrupted Dunham and said,

"Oh my boy, I DO say something. From the gallery to the main floor I am saying across the footlights,

'I love you. I love you. I love you.'
I am sending my love across the footlights each and every show I do."

Excerpt from Conjurors and Cornfields: Magic on the Indianapolis Stage By Thomas A. Ewing
Bill Hegbli
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Found this slide show PowerPoint presentation by Bruce Chadwick, magician, illusion builder, and illusionist in Texas.

You will see all the factors that make up Showmanship of a performer.

It is a download, and you need a PowerPoint player, or Word Perfect Office with the Presentation player. Or some app that will play or convert PowerPoint files.

http://web.archive.org/web/2013022600481......ship.ppt
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Jonathan Pendragon
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Good list up front, that's a great start. Now just go out and perform as much as you can in the arenas mentioned or anywhere else you can. Only experience can teach showmanship. Be fearless, you will make mistakes, you will make a fool of yourself, but that's the only way you learn. You need to build confidence even when you are falling on your face and you do that by learning from those mistakes. That didn't work, this needs work, wow that got a great reaction, learn about yourself onstage and don't give up. Belief in self is essential, maybe the most essential element of all.

When you don't have an audience, pretend you do. it's a little like shadow boxing, there is no opponent (that's a simile, a metaphor, never think of your audience as an opponent but rather as your friends, they don't want to see you fail, thy just want to be entertained) but you have to believe there is. On our estate in Vermont we have chickens and everyday I go out and perform for them, speeches mostly. I do a lot of Shakespeare which has inspired my wife, West, to call it Chickspear in the Park. If they stay and stare at me I feel I am doing well. It's my way of keeping in vocally in shape. We have a studio room with a mirror and bar (ballet not alcohol) where I warm up and stretch. That is very important, without stretching and vocal practice you just won't be at your best. Finally, strive to light a fire inside you, a passion that fuels your performance. Without it you won't glow and neither will your performance.
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