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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » How does the audience know what are wedoing? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

limhanchung
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Malaysia
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Hello
I was wondering how do you make the audience know what you are actually doing on stage especially for those sitting at the back of the house where they cannot actually see the item being produced. For instance, if we produce a card in our hands, what would make the audience think that it is a playing card instead of pieces of paper.
I really would like to hear your thoughts on this.

Thanks.
Bill Hegbli
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Fort Wayne, Indiana
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You sell this through your acting, mannerisms, reactions to what you are doing. I suggest you take a course in acting or stage work. You will find many ways to get what you are doing across to your audience.

Go to the library and read about the acting craft.

It really sounds like you have never seen a stage show. How will they see, by stage lighting. The bigger the auditorum the more and brighter lights you need on you.

That is why spot lights are used, in additiion to stage lighting. As a performer, you will see, you cannot see your audience, when all the lights are on you. They blind your vision.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
limhanchung
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Malaysia
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Are there any good books you can recommend for acting craft?
Bill Hegbli
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Fort Wayne, Indiana
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I am suggesting books from the library or book store, they have nothing to do with magic.

James Tong is from your country, he is a member on the Café. Why not contact him, he can suggest something in your country.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/bb_pr......er=23716
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
EsnRedshirt
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Newark, CA
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Limhanchung, you've said the exact reason I don't do card tricks on stage- they're too small to see. Tricks for the stage tend to be bigger than close-up and parlor tricks. That's not to say you can't do them at all- just make sure your props are built for visibility. I use bright red 2" balls for the multiplying billiard balls- some magicians use even bigger ones. Linking rings come in all sizes, I've seen 15" ones out there. Think big and visible, and your audience can see what you're doing.
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* = Take any advice from this person with a grain of salt.
Bill Hegbli
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The late Jack Pyle from Chicago did regular card trick for audiences of thousands. In his lectures he use to explain how to perform tricks for large audiences, using regular size cards.

He was a full time working pro. So you can do, but it takes the "know how".

But, being this is in the manipulation section, I take the original question as card productions or fans or color changes, not close-up magic being performed on stage.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
magic4u02
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Philadelphia, PA
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The art of pantomime can be a wonderful tool for any magician and I would reccomend any student of magic to learn and study it. I never once thought that my years of doing costume character work would evever have any real purpose later on with my magic, but it has been very valuable to me.

The art of pantomime is the ability to tell or express emotion or a story through the actions and body language of the performer. There is no spoken word but only music if that. Red Skelton (amongst others) was a genious of this artform and literally could not only tell wonderful stories without word, but his audiences new every single thing being expressed.

They loved the characters he came up with and they felt sadness and emotional responses just through the body language red was giving to them. Although spoken word was never used, props, expressions of the face and body language were. In many cases these are the exact same things a magician uses and can find him or herself with as well.

There has been a lot I have learned over the years through the study of pantomime. It started when I was doing costume work and I came across it by accident. Basically I was never allowed to talk while in costume or while in "character". So I naturally had children wanting to know what I was doing and I wanted to express things to them like hunger, excitement, happy, sad, and laughter.

I had no idea how to do this but started to try different things. I realized that if I could not talk, I must express my intentions through body language and movement. I soon realized just how much could be expressed without saying anything at all.

There was an exercise that I used to do to train myself into creative thinking with pantomime. With any artform we use for our magic, you only get better at it if you study and practice it. This exercise really has helped me to express my intentions while on stage. It may help you.

The basic idea is to write down single words that you think may need to be expressed while on the stage or in your act or show. These words may be such things as: sadness, confusion, happiness etc. Tare literally thousands of words and ideas you may want expressed, but I am sure you get the idea. Now you start to figure out one word at a time. This focuses your mind and keeps you on track. Do not get so overwhelmed by trying to say or tell too much at once. break it down to its simplest parts.

Take a single word on your list and and video tape yourself doing something in your show that expresses that word or idea. I know this sounds weird but trust me here for a second. Perform the idea and section onto video. Then watch it on TV with one very big exception. Turn The Volume Off!

Watch what you are doing and really study your movement. In many cases you will start to realize that the body reacts and moves in certain ways naturally to what you are saying and doing. Study those movements. These movements are the things that the body does in subtle ways to express certain ideas. The idea now is to realize how the body reacts when it is happy, sad, or confused.

The problem then lies in the fact that the body knows that people use many parts to convey an idea or feeling. Voice works along side of sight and body movement to easily convey ideas to people. The problem then lies in what happens when you take some of those "helpers" away.

What you end up realizing is that you can take the subtle movements you studied, by watching yourself on video, and learn that by amplifying those moves they can be expressed even without voice.

For example:
When you are confused, watch what your face and body does. In most cases the head may tilt slightly, the eyes and eyebrows may squint and you may hunch a bit in posture. If you amplify this, then you can exagerate these common traits and learn to add tell tale signs to them to send the right singles to the audience.

In this case you would exagerate the above signs but may add to them. You might bring your hand up to your chin and rub it in the state of pondering. You may switch your stance and do it with the other hand as well. All of this adds up to expressing an idea or emotion without voice.

So how does this apply to magic? Well it can be used to tell the audience your intentions on stage and send those intentions to the person even in the farthest seat in the back.

If you are doing diminishing cards, without word you can take a card and use your index finger and thumb and start off far apart and as you make them get closer, you hunch a bit and you show a bit of expression of force. Just this simple sign can be seen by the audience to say you are going to make them smaller before anything else is even done.

I hope this is of help to some and may get folks talking about other ways in which you can tell your audience what you are doing. If anyone would like me to gover over some other methods that I mentioned above, just let me know. It would be my pleasure.

Because I am also partially deaf, I have realized even more the importance of being able to convey my magic to anyone at any time. It has helped my magic a lot and allowed me to share it with many others.

Kyle
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