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Topic: Manipulation act in real world - give me a break!
Message: Posted by: simchamagic (Mar 17, 2008 09:36AM)
Hello,

After thinking about the subject myself a lot, I thought I'll ask for other opinions.
Seriously, why practice and accomplish a manipulation (with cards) act - where could it be useable at all in the rea; world?!
The minimal requirements for such a act is to have the audience in front of you, some minimal space for yourself and distance from the audience - that already takes down many venues.
Let's see - birthday parties - no (children too young or conditions don't suit).
Malls - NO.
Schools etc. - One can't know in advance what type of hall he'll have to perform at.
...
The only place I could think about to be suitable for performing a manipulation act is a known to the performer theater, and even there, only to certain audiences.

Why to bother so much (practicing, rehearsing etc.) building a manipulation act when it's nearly never an act that is practicable?
Also, which type of audience appreciates such a act? Wouldn't a 3-5 fantasio product act get a much better response (and with lots less trouble)? Does such a act appeal to a regular lay audience?

I'll be happy to hear any insights on this topic,

Simcha
Message: Posted by: Ken Northridge (Mar 17, 2008 10:21AM)
Well, Jeff McBride and Lance Burton have done pretty well with this. Its hard to argue with that kind of success. Yes, I think card manipulation has appeal to a lay audience. I see your point though. You would get more bang for you buck, and by that I mean your time investment, by other things such as Fantasio products like you mentioned or doves, silk effects, linking rings, zombie, the list could go on.
Message: Posted by: Lou Hilario (Mar 17, 2008 11:11AM)
I find manipulation fun and more of a challenge to myself. It is true that you won't be able to use it in most venues. Mostly magicians appreciate your efforts on this. It is good for mental and physical coordination.
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Mar 17, 2008 11:16AM)
In general you are absolutely correct! Especially if you narrow your perception and limit your thinking to some small slice of performing in a “real world” situation, what ever that is! LOL!!

Jeff Sheridan performed a classic card manipulation act on the streets, busking, and made it work!

Doing a small manipulation act at a birthday party in someone’s living room is not out of the question, not impossible, and not all that difficult to do. Chris Chaphart does exactly that! He has his parlor show (mainly kid’s shows) but will “show-off” in the middle showing that he has the skills often associated with being a magician. The adults really like this little interlude! It gives you a bit extra in your shows.

Jeff McBride used to do strolling manipulations in bars for goodness sakes!

John Fedko does (and put out on video) a classic card manipulation act much of which can be done with people to the side.

Silvano, put out a very brief card manipulation routine that is pretty much angle proof.

So it can be done if you want to add a bit to your act.

You can frame and block the act (the manipulations) such that you can have people more than 180 degrees. It takes much more thought and probably more skill but it can be done!

In terms of cards only manipulation, an appearing fan of cards or two, a simple diminishing card routine (can be done pretty much surrounded), some scaling, and exhibition fans with the multi-colored backs, ending with Jumbo fans, gives you an interlude that looks magical, has surprises, and gives you credit (deservedly) that you have skills! And the whole thing can be done surrounded (but people standing behind you won’t see anything! LOL!!).


There are some gimmick less billiard ball manipulation routines that can be done pretty much surrounded too! Single ball and multiplication (one to four) routines abound.

Heck, I do thimble manipulations in parlors (and can be pretty much surrounded).

Is this kind of act/routine appreciated? I’d say yes (as borne out by those that add it to their existing repertories, e.g., Capehart mentioned above).

Will you get more reaction from your box of Fantiso products? I’d say that depends on you the performer. I’ve seen people die using Fantiso products and I’ve seen people get rousing response to them. Frankly, I see the same problem with the Fantiso products that you see with manipulation. If the canes and candles are too close the spiral nature of the material is obvious and the methodology can be tipped. Also, if you are too close in a small room the noise of the product is a tip-off that something is collapsing or expanding.

Still, the problems of these products can (and have) been addressed by the thoughtful performer.

Personally I prefer an act that incorporates some variety, is colorful, easy to follow, plays in many different venues, and is magical. I do like to include some form of manipulation in the act, even in a kids show!

So in general, you are right, why bother to spend years of practice on something you will have little opportunity to actually perform! I’d say don’t waste your time! Spend your time on things you will actually perform for real people in the real world.
Message: Posted by: WagsterMagic (Mar 17, 2008 12:06PM)
And for the school question just ask what kind of venue it is. If you can use it. Use it. If you can't. Don't. Simple as that. And as for distance, that is just out there don't you think. I have done my manip act for a lay audience with them 6 ft in front of me and were blown away.

It can work for many venues. Just ask.

Best advice I can give.

Best
Brandon
Message: Posted by: John Bowlin (Mar 17, 2008 12:41PM)
One can easily get 8 minutes of great entertainment of a card manipulation act. Good Luck getting 8 minutes out a few fantasio gimmicks. Cane appears...cane dances...cane disappears...two candles appear....time used...about a minute, 2 minutes with great patter.

One of the differences in the entertainment value of say...a card manipulation act, is that many performaers today don't put the time necessary into perfecting so that it does look magical and entertaining. It only takes one bad flash to kill a manip act...and it is all too common these days.
Message: Posted by: Mattillusion (Mar 17, 2008 12:53PM)
I think you have to decide on what kind of act to put together depending what market you are entering. Lance Burton put his brilliant act together knowing that someday it would be the opening of his full evening show. Until then, a good manipulation act to music is perfect for someone who wants to work around the world with no language barrier, be one of several acts in a review show or work the magic convention/competition circuit. Good examples of excellent performers who are doing just that, without a full evening show, are Christopher Hart and Danny Cole.
Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (Mar 17, 2008 01:21PM)
Sammy Patrick Smith used to perform the multiplying balls in his children's birthday shows. He had great patter and a large variety of moves.

Kent
Message: Posted by: Peter Pitchford (Mar 17, 2008 02:48PM)
I open every single show that I do with a manipulation act. I open my kids shows with a manipulation act, my adult standup shows, school shows, family shows, stage shows, etc.

Just a note about opening kids shows with it: if you do it right it plays huge. I find that parents will stick around and watch the entire show if I can impress them at the beginning. I can't tell you how many times parents have said something like, "Wow, you're the first magician we have ever seen who actually did magic" (I believe they were implying something like 'as opposed to those who play games with the kids'). I have booked adult shows because this is in my kids show. I find it far better for me than something like the Axtell microphone. And, in the trenches is where an act is sharpened. So I am always ready to perform it.

Just some thoughts.
Message: Posted by: mattmccoy (Mar 17, 2008 07:39PM)
Jeff Sheridan perfpormed card manip outside for street magic with everyone standing everywhere.

Your mind can only be limited to the the limits you put around it.

-matt
Message: Posted by: Ken Northridge (Mar 18, 2008 09:02AM)
[quote]
On 2008-03-17 13:41, John Bowlin wrote:
One can easily get 8 minutes of great entertainment of a card manipulation act. Good Luck getting 8 minutes out a few fantasio gimmicks. Cane appears...cane dances...cane disappears...two candles appear....time used...about a minute, 2 minutes with great patter.
[/quote]

John,

Good point. The master himself could only get about 4 minutes from Fantasio products. But what an awesome 4 minutes it is!

See for yourself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=schqAC8_6tY
Message: Posted by: eshdath (Mar 18, 2008 11:20AM)
I used to have a friend that worked bars,and he would do a multiplying billiard routine with the sh***,completely surrounded,and CLOSE-UP.What he would do is that he would gather a crowd and incourage them to come closer as he performed.By the time his set was comming to a close he would have people litteraly within 2-3 feet of him or closer.He would then whip out the vernet's.
He performed them at waist level so that everyone was forced to look down and directly on top of the action.The only way you could detect the sh*** was if A)you were 3 feet tall and could look under his hands or B)bend down and look under his hands.
I am writting this to demonstrate that in "real world" situations we often have a better opportunity to manipulate angles and people.It is our job as magical entertainers to direct/misdirect our audience;don't forget we are the ones that manipulate the "real world".
Message: Posted by: C Christian (Mar 18, 2008 11:41AM)
People ask me a lot what do I do for fun... and I tell the Truth. I climb Mountains and friends of mine ask me why... and I always say, "Because it's there to climb"

I agree with everyone who has posted I would just like to add... That a manipulation act is only as good as the performer and what I mean by that is Take Lance Burton, Jeff McBride and Jeff Sheridan They worked hard and I mean real heard to let their personalities show thru there Manip Act. For them that was there mode of choice to tell the world look at me I have something to show you, and many people took notice. Vernon on the other hand used a Deck of Cards Mac King Comedy.

So I say on to you... See if you cannot come up with a great and I mean great 5 min. Manipulation Act don't worry about a venue. Make it so great that people want to see it like your local magic club or what ever.... You may be shock at the response you get, and once you have that down you can tweak it to fit just about any venue I am sure.
cheers chris
Message: Posted by: jaynet (Mar 18, 2008 12:24PM)
The performer makes the magic. Not the other way around.
Buying magic even grand illusions won't make you a great magician.
A great performer can work with anything. Find your style and work to
your strengths.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Mar 18, 2008 07:35PM)
There have been some very creative ideas shared here. I think the important thing is to learn to think creatively with your manipulation and manipulative routines. Explore things that are not the norm and determine exactly who you are on stage and what it is exactly you are trying to tell the audience.

Let me post here something I wrote about on routining and creativity for the manipulative arts. it is something I wrote a while ago but I feel it has direct merit here and may really get you thinking about routining your manip acts in a whole new way. I hope it is of some help to you.

I decided to write this article out of numerous requests I have received from many magicians and manipulators on the subject of putting an act together. How do you keep it creative and different and why is it not the best to just do an act of pure skill alone. Below is my answer to these questions along with some tips on what has worked for me in regards to ways anyone can make their own acts more creative and therefore connect better with the audience and gather more response and applause along with it.

My first question to anyone putting an act together may seem a bit strange or sound like I am being too harsh, but read on and I think you will see what I am referring to. Some of these tips relate to manipulative magic, but the tips can be used for any type of an act. My big question to you is: WHY!!!!!

I told you that it may seem a bit strange, but let me go on now to tell you about what I am referring to. To a magician, we are fascinated with cards and flourishes and vanishes and anything related to manipulation. It amazes us by the technique and the method and skill involved in doing the executions of the routines. This alone keeps us striving to learn more and peaks our interest and curiosity.

However, this is often NOT the case with a lay audience. A lay audience does not see manipulative magic in the same way we do. They do not understand the techniques and skills involved and nor should they if what we are doing is supposed to be magical. With this in mind, the audience often will say to themselves... "WHY". Why is this magician doing the same thing over and over again.

Why? Because the magician knows he is doing different vanishes and each one is slightly unique. However the audience only knows that the card vanishes, the card returned and now your doing it again. This is why an act of manipulation is very hard to do well if your doing it for 7-8 mins in a normal act time. You do not want your audience ever going "Why" at any time in the routine.

So how do you work around this problem of boring your audience to tears? Well that is where research and creativity comes into the picture. It gets back to the point that in a manipulative act you must give the audience "more". It is not good enough to simply show an 8 minute act of pure skill alone doing moves that appear the same to any audience.

So how do you give your audience more? Well you can give them more through the use of themes, character, style, pacing, transition effects and emotional response to just name a few. Let me go on to talk very briefly about each of these I just mentioned. Each could be an article all in itself but I will just give you my tips on each one for now in hopes you can grasps what I am referring to.

- Themes: You can give more to your audience in any manipulative act if you simply add in a theme to the act you are doing. This can be a generalized theme in regards to the objects all relating that you are manipulating, or the act itself can be themed around a storyline. In this way you are performing a small 8 min play that just so happens to have magic in it. The audience can relate to the themed objects or the story and get more involved with your act and with you.

- Character: Every act you do should have a strong character present on stage. The audience needs to be able to connect with this character. If you can connect the audience with you, then they become more attached to you and can relate to what you are doing on stage. Ask yourself if your character is suave, comical, athletic, hip, sad, down on his luck. Each of these can become a strong character that can be conveyed in your stage movement and even your music.

- Style: With style, I mean the way you move on stage and the way you conduct and hold yourself throughout the act. It is something that must be learned over time. It is those little things that make a huge difference to an audience liking you or not. It can be the way you pause at the right moment and look at the audience and wink right before a big production. It could be the way you move and look and smile at the audience as if saying thank you without moving your mouth at all.

- Pacing: The way you pace and time your act can make a world of difference to an audience. In many manipulative acts, the audience is being barraged with too much visual input. They can not follow it all the time and so start shutting themselves down from even watching what it is you are doing. You must pace your act and place in it pauses that give the audience a chance to catch up, breathe a bit and give them a chance to applaude you before going into the next sequence.

- Transition effects: These are the simple things you can place into your act that changes it up a bit and ads so called "spice" to the act. It gives your audience something more to watch and breaks up the act from being too repetitive.

For example: You could be doing a billiard ball act. You do a few vanishes and produce the ball. The ball gets tossed up and as you catch it it turns into a white silk. You do a knots of silk effect and the not becomes the ball again. In this way the ball to silk becomes a transition effect that gives your audience something more to be interested in.

- Emotional Response: This is a HUGE one and can work so wonderful if done well. If done right it can make your audience connect with you long after you have left the stage. It is causing an emotional response in your audiences by allowing them to connect and relate to your character and the predicament presented on the stage. It can also work closely in with the theme you are presenting.

Every person in your audience has experienced something in common. What is common to us all is emotions. We have all felt fear, love, confusion and happiness. These are common to every person know matter who you are performing for. So if you can connect with them on one or more of these emotions, you can get that audience member to really relate to you because they are remembering a similar situation when they too had that exact same emotion or situation happen to them. they can relate.

For example, your manipulative act could be all about this guy at night who is just trying to reach a bus to get home. It is late and he misses his bus and the entire world seems to be passing him buy. He sits on a bench to wait for the next bus and turns on his radio. He drifts off to sleep only to awake moments later. He realizes that magic starts happening to him even though he does not know exactly why it is. Through out the act the magic that happens to him causes him to smile and to realize that life is full of wonder even if we may not always see it.

Now this is just a very vague example but you can see how the entire act could be a manipulative routine but now you are relating to them a story of a very well defined character with a well defined theme. You give them an emotional response to the act because most can relate to being in a similar situation in their own life. In this way they relate better to what you are doing on stage.

Now these ideas are not meant to be the bible for a great act by any means. They are simply some of my own understandings on what I have experienced that has really worked not only for myself but to other acts that have really "made it." They are meant only to be reviewed and given some thought to. Take even one thing from them and I think you will see your act reaching your audiences in a whole different light.

So I simply ask you to ask yourself. WHY?

Kyle
Message: Posted by: John Bowlin (Mar 19, 2008 10:33AM)
Kyle, I knew all those short recent responses were killin you! :) Seriously though, many good points made. Especially the one about emotional response.

I have watched Denny Daney do his card manip act many times and I still feel it is one of the best in the world...if not the best! He may not be the most technically skilled in the world but...the way he brings out his character and responds to his act, combined with his music selection just gets people emotionally involved. He still gets standing ovations at the magic castle just from his card manip act. It is some of the best 8 minutes of magic there is.
Message: Posted by: Mikeal (Mar 19, 2008 05:25PM)
A lot of methods for manipulation are not very workable outside of a theater, but that doesn't mean manipulation can't be done. I personally like the challenge of finding ways to accomplish things in various settings.
Message: Posted by: Christopher Moro (Mar 19, 2008 06:15PM)
Many have touched upon some of these thoughts, but...

From personal experience, a lay audience absolutely CAN respond overwhelmingly to a card manipulation routine. It depends completely on how and how well the performer sells it. The audience appreciates it on a completely different level than an audience of magicians would. I've found that finding how to present it so that the lay audience is entertained, is based on several things. One is of course, clean technique. But just as important is in trying to see the effect through their eyes. To them, technique isn't an idea in their minds - or it shouldn't be. It's got to be real magic and it's got to matter to them. You're not cleverly "holding out" or "hiding" cards -- you are reaching out into the air and plucking invisible cards out from it (or whatever the effect may be). If you can sell the idea that it is magic, and that they should care at least somewhat, it will have a tremendous response.

Why bother practicing? Well, practice and perfect it only if you feel you want to perform it. So if you don't, don't. Leave such effects out of your show. Go ahead and create a routine with Fantasio products. You can also get a great response from that kind of routine (remember, the audience shouldn't know that it takes less finger dexterity or "skill") Perhaps in such a routine there is a difference in the amount of practice needed to make those effects look good, but...the effort and attention to presentation is as much needed to get a great audience response as it would be with any manipulative routine. You can imagine seeing two acts: one card manipulation, the other with Fantasio products. If neither act has great presentation, then they will not generate a good response. Now you can imagine a card manipulation act with great presentation and a fantasio product act with mediocre presentation and the lay audience will respond better to the manip act.

On Venues: You can always qualify any venue over the phone before you accept a gig. Feel free to ask everything about it: What size the stage is, where it is located, where the audience will be sitting in relation to that stage, etc. etc. It will help you decide what material to do, or if you even want to perform there at all. If it is a high-paying gig, it's no problem to visit the venue and evaluate it beforehand.

Hope some of this helps.
Message: Posted by: cngmagic (Mar 19, 2008 09:36PM)
I think when a magician performs a manipulation act, the audience will give a certain respect to him. Well, as magicians, we do things that normal people can't do. That alone, it's enough reason for me to do a manipulation act.
I remember the first time when I saw a manipulation act, I think it was great. Maybe there're too many people doing card manipulations in the outside world, which makes it less enjoyable to the audience.

Thanks,
Chuck.
Message: Posted by: Oliver Ross (Mar 20, 2008 08:18AM)
My opinion is that we have to "touch" and interest the audience with our magic. Audience opinion polls have braught out that they like more effect, tricks, acts where they can refer to in the real world.
Concerning manipulation, the poll said that audiences preferes coin and or bill manipulations to card or thimble manipulation. Ball manipulation are popular.

Topas, the worldwide known german magician and illusionist braught out his own points to concerning the objetcs to use in manipulation acts :

"Manipulation act are interesting for an audience if the objects used are :

- hand sized
- quickly recognizable by the audience
- have some value (at least a little bit, not like used tissue paper)
- have some emotions involved

There would be some extra positif points if the objects used :

- could extend their volume or size naturally (umbrella, fans, glasses...)
- look modern
- which optical point could be raised by an accustic interest (music instruments, bells that sounds...)
- could be naturally put on or used directly (put on the hat used, the glasses, a ring on the finger).
- are generally difficult to handle (fire, ice, hedgehog...)"

In my view this is something to think of when putting together a manipulation act.
We should never forget, that we're here to make the audience dream.

Oliver.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Mar 20, 2008 01:37PM)
John: lol I had to get my fix from posting a long post. hehehe I feel SOOOOOO uch better. hehehe Emotional response is something denny told me about as well as what we refer to as a personality piece. Something in the show that allows the audience to see you as one of them to draw them inwards towards you. I use both of them in my manipulative acts as it adds so much more and a new level to what I do.

I actually perform manipulation at festivals in our show and also as a part of my strolling magic. It can be done but you must pratcice and know which moves you can do well with angles and which you need to put aside because they just will not work. But it can be done and I have a lot of success with it.

Chris is exactly right. technique should be such that the audience sees nothing. Also keep in mind that to an audience a lot of our manipulative moves look the same. card vanishes and reappears ok I get it. We tend to fall in love with our techniques cause we love the technical aspect of magic we do. The lay audience does not care so much about technique. They want to be enteratined period. We have totake a step back and find out just how we can make out manipulative routine entertaining for them besides just showing skill alone.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Paul Jester (Mar 23, 2008 04:27AM)
Thanks for the Topas quote, he truely is a genius!

Y'all forgot about cabaret venues! Best place to work in a manip act. Adult shows, for a drinking audience, one of several acts often including singers and comedians, usually pretty good angles, and you can play music. Just in case the angles are awful, pack your cups and balls!

Then when you're good, and have built up a show, any place where a lot of people holiday tends to hire entertainers and magicians.

There's definitely a career ladder to climb for the magician/manipulator, if you want to...

And learn manips because a full evening show without a manipulative section wouldn't be a complete show.

Lets not forget that when the Vaudville circuit in America declined Cardini took his act and made it performable in nightclubs (which were a little different from the modern day nightclub!).

Paul
Message: Posted by: Chipper Lowell (Mar 26, 2008 01:48PM)
Topas, the worldwide known german magician and illusionist braught out his own points to concerning the objetcs to use in manipulation acts :

"Manipulation act are interesting for an audience if the objects used are :

- hand sized
- quickly recognizable by the audience
- have some value (at least a little bit, not like used tissue paper)
- have some emotions involved

There would be some extra positif points if the objects used :

- could extend their volume or size naturally (umbrella, fans, glasses...)
- look modern
- which optical point could be raised by an accustic interest (music instruments, bells that sounds...)
- could be naturally put on or used directly (put on the hat used, the glasses, a ring on the finger).
- are generally difficult to handle (fire, ice, hedgehog...)"
________________________________________________________________

Topas is ON the MONEY with the above words of wisdom.

I would add this:

WE are the ones who decide and catagorize this subject as "Manipulation", not the audience. They are only seeing a finished piece that HAPPENS to have, say, cards vanish and appear at the performer's fingertips.

A piece of music captures the passion of a choreographer so they take it into the studio and work with it, letting it help dictate what the final dance might be. It's often AT THAT POINT that the choreographer can then safely say, "Yeah, it really turned into a modern dance piece" or "It worked better as a duet" or "The music seemed perfect as a solo piece" or whatever...

What I'm getting at is that most magicians make the mistake of FIRST making a LIST of effects or tricks, blindly throwing them into categories that ONLY magicians would clearly recognize (like "manip"), long before they find the good, logical reason, justification, and even a minimum THRU-LINE of a plot to hang the magic on. The thinking is backwards.

When it was first asked "why do manipulations because it didn't seem "practical"", the same could be said for pretty much everything, almost making the question moot. Why have a trained dog act when it could only be performed outside. Why produce a giant glass bowl of water when it will only damage the floor.

So, change the thinking....Create your ultimate act of WHAT you'd like to see in a performance -- work on it, tweak it, and then as you rehearse you'll find what actually is practical and what isn't. This way you keep the VISION and the PASSION of your art form, instead of degrading it to a point that you're simply trying to fit a show into a particular situation or surroundings.

And THINK OUTSIDE of the BOX. Maybe you don't NEED to do an ENTIRE manip act, BUT THAT'S OKAY. A simple card appearance at your fingertips coming at an unexpected point during the act (if it fits with your story-line and is justified) can be a wonderful moment.

Use the "techniques" of manipulation to BEST put over your show. But don't be a slave to simply DOING a manipulation act because that's what 1,000's of magicians do.

Wish you the best in your endeavors!

Chipper : )
Message: Posted by: Faulkner (Mar 29, 2008 02:59PM)
Hedgehog manipulation...do they have a ***ll??
Message: Posted by: WagsterMagic (Mar 29, 2008 03:30PM)
No that's for turtle manipulation!

LOL!
Message: Posted by: jasanchez (Mar 30, 2008 03:39PM)
I perform my card manipulation act in all the parties I have, I alway have a backdrop
that way I force the audience to be in front of me, if theirs no backdrop then Ill set up in a place people cant stand behind me. But card manipulation is pretty much possible any ware.
Message: Posted by: Nedim (Apr 10, 2008 04:07PM)
I think manipulation is the most magical step of magic. Because all your act is magicial. There are no boxes..etc. There are many good examples who do great manipulation all over the world.

Cards are great objects for manipulation. Also you can think about silks and balls.


magicially yours,


Nedim Guzel
Message: Posted by: Joshua Barrett (Apr 23, 2008 11:33AM)
Lots of good points, I for one think manipulation has a lot of offer. I do everything from close to some manipulation items. the fact is nothing is good in all venues.

some performers have adapted for there situation.

david stone, and john carney have both published excellt close up card manipulation routines.

stones is quite wonderful
Message: Posted by: trashmanf (Apr 23, 2008 05:34PM)
I am a big fan of Jeff McBride's DVDs on card manipulation and am working on a classic production routine.

but it is important to note (to address the original post) that many manipulations (armspread, fans, springs etc) , while not technically "magical", are still entertaining, and wholly angle-proof ;-)

so, I recommend putting together an all-flourish act if you need something that can be performed anytime, anywhere!

however, if you're not happy about practicing... don't even try... routining flourishes can be even more difficult than routining productions, and that is TOUGH as heck!
Message: Posted by: Joshua Barrett (Apr 23, 2008 06:51PM)
I think they are very technically "magical". in fact I think its more magicial then most close up card magic. this of course is only true if the performer can do it seemingly effortless. I watched many card manipulations growing up and I was always quite amazed I didn't start magic until my early 20's and before that I knew nothing of palms etc, and most people are the same
Message: Posted by: Big Daddy Cool (Oct 5, 2008 07:41PM)
Lonny Divine developed his award-winning Robot Man manip act working in the round at Opry Mills Mall in Nashville...
Message: Posted by: jimmy talksalot (Oct 6, 2008 04:02AM)
Is any one reading my posts about the street?

this is exactly why cellini and sheridan went to the street.

there is now a huge comunity of manipulators working all day long every day on the street and getting booked in the appropriate venues because of it.

many venue guys who hire watch and know if it would suit there establishment.

quite frequently I get club owners approaching me.

since I have gone to the street I have had no problem getting booked into the appropriate venues.

infact I turn them down a lot because I can't afford to do some of them with what I make on the street. I simply don't have the time in the busking season.

BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT REASON FOR THE STREET IS,

stage time and learning angle proof manips so that it doesn't matter what venue your booked in after awhile. it also teaches you how to captivate the tuffest crowd in any situation or in any place.

please read my posts on this section.

please.

I believe many magicians are trying to do their business in an out dated way.

just as houdin and some others brought us into the theater and david coperfield and blain brought us to the t.v.

shouldn't we as manipulators move where we can work?
Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Oct 6, 2008 08:54AM)
I have been performing my manipulation act for more than 30 years and still doing it now in all kind of venues. And I have been working around the Asia Pacific countries at different venues strictly with my manipulation act only.

There are many ways or techniques you can use to create good visual entertaining effects. And if the techniques helps in minimizing angle problems, I don't see why a manipulation act cannot be perform well in many places.

Here's my belief. If I am considered a magician by the lay audience, then I should be able to create miracles in the audiences' mind with my bare hands. Hence my choice in focusing in manipulation. In fact, close up is also a form of manipulation (sleight of hands effects) too.

Just my 2 cents.
Message: Posted by: Big Daddy Cool (Oct 6, 2008 09:06AM)
[quote]
On 2008-10-06 05:02, jimmy talksalot wrote:
Is any one reading my posts about the street?

this is exactly why cellini and sheridan went to the street.

there is now a huge comunity of manipulators working all day long every day on the street and getting booked in the appropriate venues because of it.

many venue guys who hire watch and know if it would suit there establishment.

quite frequently I get club owners approaching me.

since I have gone to the street I have had no problem getting booked into the appropriate venues.

infact I turn them down a lot because I can't afford to do some of them with what I make on the street. I simply don't have the time in the busking season.

BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT REASON FOR THE STREET IS,

stage time and learning angle proof manips so that it doesn't matter what venue your booked in after awhile. it also teaches you how to captivate the tuffest crowd in any situation or in any place.

please read my posts on this section.

please.

I believe many magicians are trying to do their business in an out dated way.

just as houdin and some others brought us into the theater and david coperfield and blain brought us to the t.v.

shouldn't we as manipulators move where we can work?
[/quote]

I 've been reading, and agree. That's why I mentioned Lonny developing a manip act In the Round. Cellini, Sheriden, and apparently Jimmy have been doing this for years.
Message: Posted by: jimmy talksalot (Oct 6, 2008 12:43PM)
JamesTong,

point taken.

I couldn't agree more.

in the states and some other places it is difficult to find live venues.

in europe there is a much bigger demand and it is to the best of my knowledge that asia also. I was told this from my american friends abroad in asia and other sources,blah lah, any way, I may be way off base but I was assuming that the original complaint was from a fellah in one of the counrties with little to no venues for those of us with less promotional skills.

Big Daddy Cool,

also point taken.

I'm just a little overly ethusiastic because of how the streets have changed my life and solved all these problems I myself was suffering from until cellini and my teachers had directed me this way.

thanks both of you for tolerating my outspoken ramblings.
Message: Posted by: Matt Watts (Oct 24, 2008 04:11PM)
I look at manipulation magic as a personal goal.it does appeal to lay audience.Dont bore them with it though.I have litteraly seen some one do a color fanning deck and the audience was like"what the hell is the point".I feel that manipulation magic is more amusing to magicians due to the work that we put into a single act.
Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Oct 25, 2008 12:19AM)
[quote]
On 2008-10-24 17:11, magicmatt229 wrote:
I look at manipulation magic as a personal goal.it does appeal to lay audience.Dont bore them with it though.I have litteraly seen some one do a color fanning deck and the audience was like"what the hell is the point".I feel that manipulation magic is more amusing to magicians due to the work that we put into a single act.
[/quote]

If one were to develop a manipulative act srtictly to show off their technical abilities, then it is predictable for the audience to have such reactions.

There are many techniques that bring out 'Magic Effects' that will amaze the audience including the color fanning decks. In fact I have develop a color fanning routine that brings applause and wonder every time I perform it. That is because there is magic elements in it and not just showing off the different color fans repeatedly.

One can learn and master 1,000 manipulative techniques but if they do not bring out the magic then that manipulative act will not last long in the market. It may get the support of some magicians but not the lay audiences.

The problem is not in the manipulative act but in developing a good magical and entertaining manipulative act. Many just go about learning as many techniques and then stringing them up and then call it a manipulative act.

A good manipulative act will pass the test of time. That act will continue to be seen in the market. That act will also be hot selling and most importantly will bring in good food for the family.

If a manipulative act don't sell, then it is not an act the market will want to pay for. The fault lies in the creator of the act and not "manipulative acts".
Message: Posted by: Matt Watts (Oct 25, 2008 06:30PM)
Absolutely agreed.It seems that there are a lot of people who perform bad manipulation acts and make manipulation magic look bad.I am working on my manipulation act every day.I have had numerous people come up to me and say that my manipulation act was the coolest part of my show.(not because my show blows.lol.because it doesn't.Because they enjoyed the pure beauty of slight of hand magic)
Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Oct 26, 2008 03:55AM)
Yes, manipulation routines when they are well done is a beauty to watch. There is mystery and magic in it and it is visual.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Oct 27, 2008 09:44AM)
Great stuff here. I always believe that just because you know 100 ways to vanish a card, does not mean your audience wants to see every one of them. We must remember always that the moves are our tools of the trade. Like a master painter, he/she knows just which tools to use to create the work of art. In most cases simplicity can create great things.

Whether you are on the street or on the stage doing manipulations, you still must be entertaining. A show of skill alone will only get you so far if you are not engaging the audience. Use manipulative magic as a base from which to build upon. Add elements to what you do to engage the audience in different ways.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Oct 27, 2008 10:35AM)
I agree with Kyle.

Unfortunately we still see magicians performing manipulative acts where they try to show off as many techniques as possible in each routine.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Oct 27, 2008 12:20PM)
Oh it happens all the time. Part of that is just because we are too easily influenced by what we have seen done before and we also tend to fall in love with the moves we learn.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Anatole (Oct 27, 2008 02:22PM)
Although I am not a full-time magician, I have performed my manipulation act on a few rare occasions in school auditoriums and night clubs in Va. Beach, one of the top summer tourist/vacation spots on the East Coast. There were also occasional public shows for the local IBM ring. (Although there are many school show magicians, I doubt that many of them do manipulation in their show. I did once see Andre Kole at the University of North Carolina include some manipulation in his act.)

I also performed the manip act on stages at USO clubs and the Navy YMCA in Norfolk, Virginia. Those venues were a great place to break an act in. I used to be paranoid about performing in venues where the angles weren't absolutely perfect, but I learned to adapt. Instead of doing split fans, I limited the BP sequence to a few quick single cards followed by a single fan production right at the beginning. Being at the beginning, it caught everyone by surprise so they didn't have time to work out where the cards came from. I produced maybe five single cards and then a fan of 10 to 12 cards. Then I continued with relatively angle-proof, non-backpalming effects like the Zinab deck. (At the Navy Y and USO clubs, I ended with Ed Mishell's Fanorama, which always got a big hand.)

I think I may have mentioned before on the Café that after a performance at one school, a science teacher came up to me and said, "The cards come out of your sleeve, don't they." Before I became a magician, when I saw a magician produce cards at his fingertips, I too was convinced that the cards were up the magician's sleeve and some kind of gadget like lazy tongs shot them out to the fingertips. I had actually seen once a catalog of crooked gambling devices and a holdout was advertised. I figured since magicians sometimes use marked cards, maybe they used a gambler's holdout, too.

Somewhere in the literature of magic, someone (I think it was Vernon) wrote about Cardini doing "a backpalming act without backpalming."

I remember on the Red Skelton Show back in the 50's or 60's that Red would sometimes reserve a few minutes of the show for what he called "the silent spot" to do mime. I tried to incoporate that idea into my stand-up talk performances, sort of a tribute to the days of vaudeville magic.

Going off on a tangent: On some occasions after a show I would have the opportunity to meet and greet people from the audience. More than once someone would ask, "Is there any _real_ magic?" I would sometimes paraphrase something Paul Gallico wrote (I think in _The Man Who Was Magic_) about the world being full of magic--invisible drops of clear water that make a rainbow of every color, cows that change grass into milk, and many-legged caterpillars that magically change into butterflies.

And to quote Andrew Lord: "There is a world of beauty in all that is magical, and a wealth of magic in all that is beautiful."

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Oct 27, 2008 02:31PM)
I believe the audience will be more amazed and entertained if the magician is performing the manipulation act with short sleeves. They will not have a chance to even think there is something in the sleeves. And it is possible to pull off a good manipulation act in short sleeves. Food for thoughts, guys and gals.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Oct 27, 2008 03:18PM)
I agree to an extent. If you are a manipulator who understands that what you do is entertain, then you can do so and have an audience love what you are doing short sleeves or not. Now if I am only showing an act of skill only and nothing else, then short sleeves may help in the skill and wow factor.

However, when I do manipulative magic, it is not all about skill alone. I add a lot in the manip routines I create. In this way the audience is engaged with what is happening and with my character. They stop worrying so much how I do it as hey are drawn into the experience of it.

This is not to say that performing manips in short sleeves is a bad idea. It certainly is not. I have done so on many occasions and when I perform them outside at festivals and the like. However, my wearing short sleeves is not so much just to impress.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Matt Watts (Oct 27, 2008 03:27PM)
Or you can always just pull up your sleves.
Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Oct 27, 2008 03:27PM)
Kyle:

We are having the same thoughts.

Matt:

Yes, just like Lance Burton. He pulls up his sleeves just before his card act.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Oct 27, 2008 03:39PM)
It certainly can be done. I just would hate to see someone roll up the sleeves or wear a short sleeve shirt ONLY as an act of saying.. "watch my mad skills and you will NOT know where they go." Get my point? It is all in the reasoning behind the action. =)

Kyle
Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Oct 27, 2008 03:45PM)
Agree with you fully, Kyle. The scripting of the storyline (plot) and the character role that goes with the routine is also equally important.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Oct 27, 2008 03:48PM)
Absolutely. There is more to manipulative magic routines then skill alone. Those that understand this are doing some amazing things with the art form.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Anatole (Oct 29, 2008 04:32PM)
Re: performing manipulation in long sleeves or short sleeves--In a "casual" scenario, short sleeves is fine. But in a professional venue, more professional attire is most appropriate. Ganson writes in _Routined Manipulation, Volume 1_ page 7: "The aim should be to be the best dressed person present, as befitting the position as centre of attraction." That said, I think Fantasio performed on the Ed Sullivan show in tails tailored with short sleeves.

Of course, all this advice is academic if you're playing the part of a character (e.g. Vernon's Harlequin).

One of my pipe dreams was to perform card and coin manipulation dressed as a Mississippi riverboat gambler. I even considered adding six-shooter manipulation/flourishes (i.e., twirling and juggling Colt .45s) and rope twirling a la Will Rogers. Which brings up another idea that's been percolating in my brain. We "old-timers" may remember how Will used to entertain with humor and satire while twirling a lasso. I always thought that would be an interesting variation--card manipulations to accompany humorous monologue. You could even throw in the "Deck of Cards" soliloquy (the one about how the deck of cards is a calendar (52 cards=52 weeks in a year; four suits=four seasons), almanac, and Bible (ace, king, queen, and jack=Matthew, Mark, Luke and John).

Then there was Tarbell's Garden of Eden patter with the multiplying billiard balls...

Speaking of the Bible--Anyone besides me remember the story about a magic convention way back in the 50's (I think) where one of the non-magician guest performers presented a crucifixion act? No trick--real nails, real wounds, and real blood.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
Message: Posted by: Matt Watts (Nov 1, 2008 06:46PM)
McBride performs his card act a lot of the times in short sleeves and a vest.