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Topic: Help with comedy magic show
Message: Posted by: Greg.O (Aug 15, 2012 08:51AM)
Hey everybody! I have been doing magic here and there for about 9 years now. I have about a 45 min show worked out that I have perfomed for a couple of kids birthdays and a family reunion. I start with sponge balls to a couple of card routines (triumph and a couple of others). I do cups and balls at the end and finish with kind of a comedy music routine with lots of audiance participation.

Now I would say that my show is pretty light harted and there are some funny moments but I would really like to work out a routine that is almost like a stand-up comedy magic show. Something like The Amazing Johnathan. Mabey not that kind of comedy but sort of that kind of show where the focus is more on comedy than magic. I love to hear any comments, ideas, suggestions, critiques, or anything else that might be helpful.

Greg O.
Message: Posted by: harris (Aug 15, 2012 12:10PM)
The first is to be a first rate Greg O rather than 2nd Rate Johnathan.

If you play an instrument I would start there. I use both my harmonicas and ukulele in my comedy programs.

If you read music or tabs, you can do opening notes of songs. Match the song to the age/venue/time of year. (or for contrast do a New Years song in July)

I find making fun of myself works better than my early days of picking on volunteers.

Recently posted that I combine self workers with killer sleight based routines with stories about my life that audience members can relate to.

Best way to create one is to start writing. You might try 3 pages every day....
and of course re-writing.

Having a place to try out new material is helpful. If not try new stuff in the middle of your paid shows or at the end..with the honest intro..would you like to see something I am working on.

still 2 old to know it all
Message: Posted by: Greg.O (Aug 15, 2012 04:04PM)
I kinda had the idea of maybe doing like a "nervous magician". Where it looks like I don't know what I'm doing but ends up being really amazing. Maybe act kinda clumsy knocking over things and such. Just some thoughts I had today.
Message: Posted by: Jim Mullen (Aug 15, 2012 05:50PM)
I endorse the idea of writing a script. This is essential for comedy because timing must be perfect.

Record your shows and note the laughs you get. If they do not laugh at a joke, get rid of it and try a new one.

Keep repeating the above.

Do not forget to ham it up.
Message: Posted by: harris (Aug 16, 2012 07:19AM)
Good sharing.

Haming up is great...(very Kosher)...understatement and looks can also work wonders.

Saturday night, I got a huge laugh in the middle of my spring fox routine, where I least expected one. I paused looked down at me..Bob looked up at me ..I said quietely, something like I don't get it! ..and got an even bigger laugh. I asked someone after the show about it...and all I could gather was the incongruity of the puppet "looking so alive" and the fact that laughter begats more laughter....

still 2 old to know it all
Message: Posted by: Greg.O (Aug 16, 2012 11:06PM)
Thanks for all the advice you guys...keep it coming!. Been watching a lot of comedy magic on youtube. I love Michael Finney's stuff...he is so hilarous. Watching for insperation not to copy. I'm sure the real test will be from just doing it and crash and burn a few times. That for me is the nerve racking part.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hoffman (Aug 17, 2012 02:03AM)
When the comedy happens run with it.


Now what you don't see, I always pick a middle aged woman and a lot of times can get the glasses issue to arise. It goes great from there.

When the guy gives me one, I use the flicking me off joke. It looks spontanious but is well thought out.
Message: Posted by: Herr Brian Tabor (Aug 17, 2012 11:18AM)
Bill Hoffman, that was great stuff!
Message: Posted by: Bill Hoffman (Aug 17, 2012 11:08PM)

The more shows you will do the more things you will pick up.

Lance Burton has a part in his show where he sits on the edge of the stage and just talks with the audience and it looks totally off the cuff.

But really he has done so many shows that he has lines or quips for every situation that may be brough up.

A simple how are you and what brings you to vegas? is all he needs.

he can talk ato newly weds, aniversarys, birthdays, someone from detroit, LA, Florida ect ect ect. and have something for all of them and everytime it looks like the first time.

Now my twist:

When these things happen on their own the 1st time (thats how you get the) WRITE IT DOWN!
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Aug 20, 2012 03:34PM)
On 2012-08-15 17:04, Greg.O wrote:
I kinda had the idea of maybe doing like a "nervous magician". Where it looks like I don't know what I'm doing but ends up being really amazing. Maybe act kinda clumsy knocking over things and such. Just some thoughts I had today.

That's a great idea. Having the skills to act out "clumsy knocking over thing" is quite difficult to have it seem natural.

I suggest taking your current act and test out adding one little "bit" here and there to see how it goes over.

You can even try having a running gag where you knock the same thing over several times during your act.
Message: Posted by: harris (Aug 23, 2012 07:19AM)
Along those lines by accident, when I put something on a table it fell off.
The kids started laughing.

These days I include this as an improv, even though I have been doing it for quite awhile.
The item has changed, but the looks(double take, shoulder shrug, eyes) still build.

Sometimes the item falls 1,2 or 3 more times depending on the reaction of the crowd.

A friend of mine gets hired as a comedy waiter, who illustrates the idea of the nervous magician in another profession.

Oh what fun it is to give and receive.

Message: Posted by: Sealegs (Oct 22, 2012 06:22AM)
Go out and perform and discover where your comedy strengths are by trying stuff out.

Finding somewhere to be bad and still be able to go back and try again is one of the hardest things to do in developing an act.