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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Glenn Bishop's 11 min. Close Up Act » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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magicalaurie
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Quote:
On 2006-04-08 10:29, bishthemagish wrote:
with only 4 posts.


Keeping score are we? Interesting game, this. Smile
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Keeping score are we...............


that's the Laurie I know.......................
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The One
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On 2006-04-08 10:47, magicalaurie wrote:
Quote:
On 2006-04-08 09:00, bishthemagish wrote:
once they have SEEN your show people in general don't have a NEED to see a magic show twice.


I don't agree, Glenn. If a magician is entertaining and I like him/her, I NEED to see that show again. And again. Again, even. Big name or not. I think much of the general public feels the same.


I agree with Laurie... I'm goin to see Steve Cohen again... but not Copperfield.
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bishthemagish
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On 2006-04-08 10:47, magicalaurie wrote:
I don't agree, Glenn. If a magician is entertaining and I like him/her, I NEED to see that show again. And again. Again, even. Big name or not. I think much of the general public feels the same.

That is OK that you do not agree. But also you are a magician interested in magic and some magicians like to go to see every magician they can. The public doesn't generally get a chance to see a magic show in fact there is public that doesn't even like magic. And often they are not interested and have the NEED to spend there money else-where.

Magic and the people that don't like magic and there are a lot of them. Don't like magic because it makes them feel stupid. There is a secret a challenge. Often doing magic brings out the angry child inside them. And I have met people that don't like magic for religious reasons.

Having done fund raising with a fair sized illusion show and a hypnotic show I have spent real money in advertising and have tried to put people into empty seats. Some people do not like magic. In fact my Dad often said that the people will not go out to see a magician unless they or a family member or friend is into magic. His point of view was that people will go to see a show and if there was a magician there they would be entertained. But the magic did not bring them there unless they were into magic.

Being a magician that he was - who performed in such clubs as Billy Roses Diamond Horseshoe and many other top spots of his day I took his word for it. Mr. Electric said something like it on his video tape. The fact that magic is only the star attraction for a magic convention, or the magic castle etc.

In most of the worlds markets magic from Mr. Electrics point of view that magic was a SUPPORTING ACT for the STAR.

Now the world is changing again as most of the STARS are passing on to the next world. But the situation has not changed that much. Magic is popular with magicians and not so popular with the public. Many say that it is children's entertainment. Many say that the reason it is not a great theater art is because magicians doing magic are bad magicians.

I think it is the reason is that besides things like busking and a few other public markets magic really doesn't have a place in the world other than what we make for ourselves. Magic will only get an audience on the world stage when it DESERVES IT!

...............

And yes I often do keep score to remind myself of the credibility of who and why people post. What they post etc. It is interesting from my experience with dyslexia is that I often find it true in magic. People judge people and acts BEFORE THEY GET THE WHOLE STORY! It is easy to write of people with Dyslexia as being stupid by someone that does not have it - and is quick to judge. Because I have lived with that all my life being judged by teachers, parents, uncles and other family. And Doctors, vision and eye experts and a whole bunch of educated people with more education than I have. But out of all that negativity my Phoenix continues to rise again to new success and new heights in spite of it all.

As I said I consider my dyslexia as an advantage and one of the great advantages was having a Dad that DID not teach me magic and he made me READ it and learn it on my own! As I said I have success in life in spite of my personal problems - what is your excuse?

Posted: Apr 8, 2006 12:55pm
Quote:
On 2006-04-08 10:48, tommy wrote:
Good topic Glen, that is, the structure of an act. It is something I would like to learn more about as it is something I have never really understood. Shame it's drifted of that point. Thanks for the help.

Tommy

Thanks Tommy you and Vinny are a few of the real friends I have in here. I keep trying to get this thread back on track in spite of the silliness. There are a few good ideas on structure of an act in here. Magicians do not like being told that they are to quick to judge and over think and are over critical.

I had a person send me an e-mail saying that my cups and balls routine sucked. According to his point of view there was no magic wand. No motivation etc. This was a routine that used to be longer and performed for thousands of audiences and I took out what the audience did not like and I do as in most routines just the highlights.

Magicians do not look at magic the same way the public does. They are not in love with magic like a magician. In fact they tolerate magic for the most part. Doing magic that they like is very different than doing magic for personal enjoyment.

It is almost a joke and I know a lot of magicians won't like this or agree with it. That is - if you want to be a success in magic do magic for the public - take out what they do not like and continue. Add and take out over lots and lots of shows.

Then the acid test. Do it for a magician and if they HATE it then that is the stamp of success and the act will be a money maker. Just ask people like Chris Angle, David Blane, David Copperfield and many working pro's.
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Chris Becker
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I tend to agree with Glenn.

1) I think it is indeed one of the fundamental problems of magic that for laypeople a show is only interesting the first time they see it. That's very different from any other art form except, maybe, comedy. Laurie: I think you are - just like 20.000 other members of the Café - a nerd; that's why you enjoy watching the same show over and over again. Smile

2) My question: what does this tell us about the way and the extent to which we can learn from other artists. Does it make sense to look at a musician or a juggler and the way they structure their shows? What about comedians? Or is the fact that magic shows are really interesting only once irrelevant for the structure of one single show?

-Christof
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<BR>Cards don't cheat people. People cheat people.
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Christof now you and I are on the same page . it is what we learn from others that makes us improve.How deos one become a better Jazz improviser . easy by listing to what others do ..
I do not think laurie is a nerd.. She I belive is an excellent magician, we are all constantly learning rhis is how we improve and do not get stale I have gone to see other magivcians more than once because I was amazed at what they did and how they presented their material
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magicalaurie
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On 2006-04-08 12:38, bishthemagish wrote:

That is OK that you do not agree. But also you are a magician interested in magic

[/quote]


Before I was a magician, even, I'm afraid. Went to see a guy's show ELEVEN times. Smile
Like I said, I think much of the general public feels the same. If they like a magician and his/her show, they WILL go back.

Regarding the post count score- just because someone is new to the Café doesn't necessarily mean s/he's new to the WORLD, Glenn.

Posted: Apr 8, 2006 10:17pm
Quote:
On 2006-04-08 13:20, Christof wrote:
Laurie: I think you are - just like 20.000 other members of the Café - a nerd; that's why you enjoy watching the same show over and over again.

And I think you, like Glenn, don't know me, Christof. Sorry. A good show is worth catching twice. Or three times. Or eleven.
bishthemagish
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On 2006-04-08 22:02, magicalaurie wrote:
Before I was a magician, even, I'm afraid. Went to see a guy's show ELEVEN times. Smile
Like I said, I think much of the general public feels the same. If they like a magician and his/her show, they WILL go back.

I went to see Star Wars 47 times (first run in the 70's). The shows we go to are what we like to see. Lets say a venue has 350 seating. That would fill one seat in a 350 venue so the take for the night was 349. Now if you got people to go with you a little more. Lets say you had 349 friends and the house was full for one night.

Andre Kole and Stan Kramien only do a show once in a venue and they are sponsored dates. They also would not often come back to the same location for 2-3 years. The reason is there would be less people.

Willard the Wizard who had a tent show in Texas and the south used to have 3 different full evening shows. That is because after he did a week in one place everyone in town saw the show. He then would change it and then feature another illusion. This was so he did not have to make the jump to the next town for 3 weeks.

Magicians often have to change the show to keep the same clients. Bobo who did school shows talked about how hard it was to let the schools know that he had a different show each year.

People that like magic are the exceptions they will go to see a magic show but others that do not like magic and don't care about it. Often just tolerate it. They really don't care. I am not much of a sports fan. My Dad played semi pro baseball, My grandfather was a registered spit ball pitcher of the older teams before the national league. For me to buy a ticket to a base ball game and take the family to see a pro team would be a very rare thing. Because I could not care a-less about it. But my Dad would go at the drop of a hat.

The audience I feel is the same way they will only buy a ticket to something that they care about. Or something that they are interested in. Sports and Jazz are the big St. Louis Draws as far as ticket sales. The arts and entertainment are not that far up the list.
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Dave V
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Glenn,
I think you're actually confirming Magiclaurie's statement. People who like magic buy tickets to magic shows. People who don't, don't. Not even one, unless they're dragged along by a spouse or relatives, or friends of the performer. The ones who like the shows will indeed return. Those are the ones we need to play to.

It sort of matches up with Gazzo's opinion of the people who hang around behind him while he performs. *** them, they don't tip anyway. It's a harsh assessment, but it's true. You have to play to the paying audience; the ones who are eager to see you time and time again.

Here in Las Vegas, Lance Burton pretty much does the same show year after year, as he knows his audience is typically made up of one time visitors to Las Vegas. He'll add an illusion here and there over the years for those who have seen his show before, but again most people don't return to Las Vegas annually.

David Copperfield travels to different venues each year. His fan base in each city insists on seeing new things each time.

Different requirement, different reasons for change.

People, especially fans, will come back and that's why you need to mix it up. Why else would you ever change your show if you only expect to do it once per person?
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bishthemagish
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On 2006-04-09 12:27, Dave VanVranken wrote:
Glenn,
I think you're actually confirming Magiclaurie's statement. People who like magic buy tickets to magic shows. People who don't, don't. Not even one, unless they're dragged along by a spouse or relatives, or friends of the performer. The ones who like the shows will indeed return. Those are the ones we need to play to.

Yes, Dave I agree. But I might add people that like magic will go to see a magic show. If you look at that group as a market the group is not that large. The people that don't like magic will still go to see a magic show at times and are entertained by the entertainment - the humor - the audience participation - the fun that can happen in a magic show that is not magic. And the magic perhaps would entertain them to if they just relax.

But magic is not that big of a draw by itself.

Magiclaurie likes Sigfired and Roy but as magicians the draw was the novelty of exotic tigers and birds and other animals. The magic they did was invented by others and another part of the draw was things like the waterfall. They also got into the big time as an act and at a time they were buying acts. Before Las Vegas became a place where they sell rooms or space like state fairs do.

Now the rent rooms for the shows and you have to be a producer or have a producer higher you.

In fact as far as magic goes Blackstone Sr., and John Calvert are great magicians. Being able to do close up magic. Good technical magic as well as being great at advertising. In fact these people are the kind of people that do a show and compete with all of show business. Without an outside producer or a guy funding there show.

There is an old Yiddish saying in theater, "That the star of the show is the owner of the theater". Or the money person.
Quote:
On 2006-04-09 12:27, Dave VanVranken wrote:
Here in Las Vegas, Lance Burton pretty much does the same show year after year, as he knows his audience is typically made up of one time visitors to Las Vegas. He'll add an illusion here and there over the years for those who have seen his show before, but again most people don't return to Las Vegas annually.

That is what is called a destination show and in a destination city. People vacation in Las Vegas have a spending budget. Then they spend so much at the card table. So much for seeing shows. Or whatever. Part of some of the tickets can be group tickets for convention people and also tickets with the hotel rooms. Lance doesn't have to change his show because the audience will change as you said.
Quote:
On 2006-04-09 12:27, Dave VanVranken wrote:
David Copperfield travels to different venues each year. His fan base in each city insists on seeing new things each time.

Different requirement, different reasons for change.

People, especially fans, will come back and that's why you need to mix it up. Why else would you ever change your show if you only expect to do it once per person?


Yes but everyone mentioned has a pullstar rating that has a following from working TV and doing other promotion. They HAVE magic fans and then there are people that will go to a show just because they heard it was good. And they do a lot to help make magic popular with today’s audience.

But there are VERY few like this on the world stage.

Magic is not that popular with the ticket buying public But a magician can have a following if the magician is KNOWN. But I also wonder about the money side. Because competing in that market and that is the big leagues. It is very expensive to compete. Advertising a year in the big leagues can cost several times more than the cost of the whole show.

By the way Kellar told Carter - "Don't ever change your show just give it a new coat of paint every year".

And the "real magic world" Magic has more brick and mortar magicians out there working in places where theater conditions are non existent. And the show structure depends on the audience and the venue.
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Dave V
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Glenn,
For once we're in total agreement.

See? Miracles do happen!

;)
David
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It is nice that sometimes people in magic agree Dave. I try to write from practical experience. And often what I have heard from others. I also do not write from and artistic point of view but I write from a practical business point of view. Knowing that art is often connected to business.

I do not consider what I do as an art. I do not consider myself an artist. I am at best a showman. I have taken acting in my past but do not consider myself an actor. I consider myself a magician.

From my point of view magicians do magic. I have spent the greater part of my life learning magic and then learning how to do it in front of an audience BY DOING IT in front of an audience. If I were an actor I would be in a theater company not doing magic shows.

I think that the misquote of Robert-Houdin (the magician is an actor playing the part of a magician) is one very strange thing because most of the most successful magicians in magic history did not have any theater training except what they learned by doing it. Okito learned from Papa Bamberg and Fu Manchu learned from Okito. Each being a kid that grew up in a magic family and around it.

Houdini had no theater training, Robert-Houdin had no training, Blackstone Sr., Jack Gwynne, Leon, Thurston had no theater training. If they had any training in theater it was the religious training to be a minister. Interesting they went into magic after that. Blackstone Jr. and Doug Henning were the only big show magicians that I know that had theater training in college. There may be more but not out of the golden age of magic.

In fact one of the best things that I have read is about show structure is in Greater Magic. And it is the section that Fu Manchu wrote about showmanship and how he put together a big show. In fact I think his book Illusion show is a must read.

Getting back to the structure of an act. The act should flow but the humor can be used as a string like I said when an act was like stringing a handful of beads. The string is what the conversational magicians say. And what the audience says back.

I am very much like my Dad when I perform. In fact I have some lines but the big laughs come from the impromptu talk that I get from the audience. If it is a quiet audience the act is just an act. But if the audience is into it they respond more the act becomes funny because of the situations. In fact I call my dads act almost a situation comedy that is done differently each night. That is to get laughs and fun from the situation the audience or audience helpers are in. And I do the magic (different magic) as a situation comedy.

This is what makes a magic act important. The LIVE - UNEXPECTED LAUGHS - that come from the situation of having a dollar bill burned and restored. ETC.

This and other things in a magic act is what makes magic different than acting - theater - dance - music etc.

At least it keeps me working.
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Laughs is what makes magic important?!... Interesting
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magicalaurie
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On 2006-04-09 13:28, bishthemagish wrote:
Magiclaurie likes Sigfired and Roy but as magicians the draw was the novelty of exotic tigers and birds and other animals.


I say, with Siegfried and Roy, at the end of the day, the draw is also- and in no small part- SIEGFRIED and ROY. Smile They have said themselves that many people have returned to see their show. The same show, even. Many times. And I would, too- changes or no.Though, we're talking live performances here- no two shows can ever be exactly the same. And that is very interesting to a returning patron, as well. Like I said earlier, a good show worth seeing more than once. And if it ain't broke, it ain't necessary to "fix" it. Smile
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Carter the great said in his book "Magic and Magicians" published in 1903 , "Magicians should strive to make the spectators laugh, for when they laughed you are sure they are pleased".

I have no idea if you have ever done a magic show "The One" or done 200 shows or what your personal performing experience is. But having done quite a few magic shows I have found that laughter and humor, situation comedy, work well in a magic show and give audience entertainment as part of the entertainment package.

Magic may be what a magician does but it is the entertainment market that magicians perform in - a money show or not. Often people will laugh after being fooled from a magic effect. And laughter born of magic effect is a tell tale sign that you did fool them.

I like to do both make them laugh with the humor and also fool them.

That is why I think that the structure and texture of a show is something that magicians should look at. That is humor, then something that is serious that fools them, then perhaps a poker deal then back to humor.

Then Close strong depending on the show!
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magicalaurie
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Quote:
On 2006-04-09 13:28, bishthemagish wrote:
Yes but everyone mentioned has a pullstar rating that has a following from working TV and doing other promotion.


Not so, Glenn. The show I referred to earlier- the one I went to see ELEVEN Smile times- SAME show- was not performed by someone with a "pullstar rating", though he deserves one, for sure. Brilliant entertainer, brilliant show, returning audience. Smile
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On 2006-04-09 19:43, magicalaurie wrote:
I say, with Siegfried and Roy, at the end of the day, the draw is also- and in no small part- SIEGFRIED and ROY. Smile They have said themselves that many people have returned to see their show. The same show, even. Many times. And I would, too- changes or no.Though, we're talking live performances here- no two shows can ever be exactly the same. And that is very interesting to a returning patron, as well. Like I said earlier, a good show worth seeing more than once. And if it ain't broke, it ain't necessary to "fix" it. Smile

I would say on the world stage that this WAS the EXCEPTION rather than the RULE. Just as it is with David Copperfield, Lance Burton, and a few others like Pen and Teller. It took a long time and BIG money in advertising and a LOT OF WORK to build that audience.

I thought that Copperfield's best trick was filling the Chicago theater to a standing only audience when I saw his show years ago.

If you think that magic is so popular and that people in general love magic I suggest that you rent a theater and see if you could fill it. I do not think that people will come to see a show just based on magic with no headliner. Magic as an entertainment is not as popular as sports, not as popular as a music band or a rock and roll show, not as popular as dinner theater plays.

I have no idea if it is more popular than the circus because Las Vegas seems to be going in the direction of the circus as we speak as the NEW ENTERTAINMENT DRAW for the city.
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magicalaurie
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On 2006-04-09 20:02, bishthemagish wrote:
I would say on the world stage that this WAS the EXCEPTION rather than the RULE.


I would say that we should take a LESSON, maybe. Smile
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On 2006-04-09 20:05, magicalaurie wrote:
I would say that we should take a LESSON, maybe. Smile

If the lesson is get a producer I would say yes. Because they HAD money behind them in fact from what I understand the same backers were backing the Ringling Brothers Barnum And Bailey Circus.

They started on cruse ships then were booked to do an act in Las Vegas then they got backing for a larger show and over years and hard work the show grew. Now it is over and Las Vegas and the circus looks like it has moved into town.

Now I have no idea of your own personal experience in magic as to you doing a magic show. But magic is a business and part of the business is making a show meet the demands of the business. From your past posting I have no idea if you have ever done a magic show. Or ever structured a magic act or performed a public show in a night club or a bar. Or any other public venue. Do you have any useful information on how to structure an act or a show from your own personal experience?
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magicalaurie
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They didn't start with money, Glenn. Not at all. Let's consider where they came from. That shouldn't be ignored.
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