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bishthemagish
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On 2006-04-19 11:22, JackScratch wrote:
Glenn, that's the thing. Even if you didn't mean to put down theatre, what you wrote reads like you did. That may not be the worst of all crimes, but these forums are where people come to learn.

Hey Jack you said something very important here I think that we should take time to reflect. I do not consider using the word mumbo jumbo is putting down theater because I respect my art that I make a living doing.

You may and I am not say that you do - better still others may think that me using the words mumbo jumbo to describe theater is a put down. And some may think that it is "the worst of all crimes". And I am not saying that you do feel this way.

We live in a world that "takes offence" often at things that are not even mentioned. I have met bookers and clients that LOOK for a reason not to book an act. Just because they have a stack of video's that it is "THERE JOB" to watch them and choose a magician for there next party.

They may not even like magic and are very sick and tired of watching a stack of video's that they do not even want to watch.

If people or the audience is in the mood to "take offence" and "find something wrong" THEY WILL. People do not like to watch magic when "they are not in the mood" and magicians in general - I am not sure if the like other magicians. I have done lectures and the audience of magicians - the mood is an angry - "Ok impress me". Or OK try to impress me". Like a cobra coiled and ready to strike.

Part of what art is - is excepting the art for what it is - even when we don't like it and there is an audience that does. Vernon once said at a lecture I was at that it is to bad that more magicians do not study art (painting art).

The great painters KNEW when to stop painting and look at the canvas and say that is art - I am done.

Magicians according to Vernon - did not know how to do this. They add to much. In the writings of Dai Vernon he talks about this many times as saying to much art. We talked about this as to many notes. Or to much theater - or as I said that people had a problem with to much mumbo jumbo.

I am a big Tarzan fan and when they came out with a movie about the original Tarzan of the apes book I was very excited. I thought that the original story of Tarzan with pirates and survival was finally going to be told.

Then the movie came out and they took to much time trying to prove that the actors and the apes were real and they could raise the white ape Tarzan. The movie came off more like a National Geographic special than an adventure story - that Edger Rice Burroughs wrote. In movies - this over theater or to much mumbo happens all the time. In entertainment - the STORY MUST MOVE - it must have a pace.

My 11 minute magic act my not be art or make sense to magicians. But each trick is a little plot and a story and have a climax. And the effect is magic in the mind of the audience with each magic trick I do. The single tricks are held together by me the performer - the magician is the thread and the MOST important part.

Because I stop performing at any time the show stops.

The magician makes the magic happen and the pace moves from beginning to the end. What is the plot of the whole play. Only that there is a magician doing magic. The magician comes on - does magic - the audience likes it - and it is over.

Yes there could be more acts, more theater, more effects, more ticks, but not at this show, things to add and things to take away. But not at this show. At this show this was the painting I showed to the audience and they liked it. At another show I have another painting. It may have more theater more effects and more art. or it may not. When I show my paintings it is my call - when you show your paintings it is your call.

The person that has no paintings and try’s to tell the world how others should paint? They often say they have an opinion and the right to say it.

I suppose I should stop here.

Posted: Apr 19, 2006 2:22pm
Quote:

On 2006-04-19 12:54, The One wrote:
Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Here's MY opinion (it might be a little harsh). I once mentioned to David Blaine that I performed the linking rings. He looked at me and he said "drop it"...

The biggest problem with magic today is caused by exactly what Glenn is suggesting.

Modern audiences don't connect with magic as much as they once did because of all the performers over the past century who have just "done it". Without thinking about it.
Because of that, what was once a modern effect that emotionally hooked and disturbed an audience (i.e. miser's dream), is only now "a trick."

Magicians who examine what works and WHY it works will realize that, in the past, a miser's dream could simply be done without any presentation or build up and it would apply to the audience. That is no longer the case.

Of course it is still being done by performers who simply "do it" (sometimes for 40 years}.

(Glenn, I also found that to be the problem with your "11 minute act" forum. The clip seemed like a bunch of tricks (or as many call them: "classics of magic")grabbed off a shelf an performed in an entertaining manner. No offense, but it is my belief that any clown with sleight of hand skills could do that. Apparently others thought the same thing also, because after watching the clip and reading your arrogant style of writing found that there was not much to learn from you.)

Now I don't think that classics don't have a place in magic... but if I were to perform something that has been past down for centuries to me, I would give it its space in my show (and not simply say "here's a classic of magic"). I would build it up, tell it's history, and maybe then, perform it. That would no longer make it "just a trick".

Of course, the proccess Of thinking about if I should (character) and how to present a classic of magic (script), is theater. It's not Mumbo jumbo.

So in order to routine an act, don't just do it. Think about who you are, what you want your magic to look and feel like, and why you're doin it. And work from there.

The One

I have been trying to keep my posting under 3000 words for each post and I find it a hard thing to do. Your right "the one" everyone is entitled to have an opinion.

The thing is that there are lots of magicians in the world. And lots of artists doing magic. Art is for the mass audience not just magicians. The mass audience likes magic done in ANY WAY as long as it is entertaining. Your friend David Blane doesn't like the linking rings and says drop them.

That is great for David Blane and David Blane is an artist painting his own picture and he chooses not to do the rings.

I have done the linking rings for 40 years and the Misers Dream for longer and they have never failed to be enjoyed by the crowd or an audience. Because in the mass audience of people - some people think that THE MAGICIAN IS the guy with the TOP HAT and IS IN TAILS. This look may not be the painting that YOU PAINT. But it IS a painting that others paint and there IS an audience that will PAY to see it.

Some broke this mold like Doug Henning. Then David Copperfield went his direction and has gone through many DIFFERENT LOOKS over the years.

But magic when it is performed in the raw doesn't need a look (added theater or mumbo jumbo) because what makes it entertainment is that it IS A HAPPENING AT THE MOMENT. Think about that for a moment. MAGIC IS A HAPPENING AT THE MOMENT IN THE MIND OF THE SPECTATOR.

THE "EFFECT" - THE "EFFECT".

The trick and the play happen on the stage but the EFFECT happens in the MIND of the audience IN THE AUDIENCE!

So what Magicians say about the magic? Is the magic the painting used to get the effect of magic? Is the that painting important or the effect? Isn't the painting only a tool used to GET THE EFFECT of magic?

Try to think that the painting is a tool to register the emotion in the mind of the audience of a magical effect - in the mind of the spectator. You may not like the painting but I love the "magic effect" it has on the audience!
Glenn Bishop Cardician

Producer of the DVD Punch Deal Pro

Publisher of Glenn Bishop's Ace Cutting And Block Transfer Triumphs
tommy
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Hi Glen. There are some description here from guys who have done it. They touch on some of the same points you raised.

http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~roy/magictalk-wi......act.html
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

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magicalaurie
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Quote:
On 2006-04-19 10:35, bishthemagish wrote:
Now my slang for whatever is added to the story is the theater and I often use the word mumbo jumbo because I look at art and the way stuck up people look at art as to be very funny. Because the art world is full of art people that have their nose up in the air and have this attitude like the way they understand art is "the way" and that makes them special.


This is where you offend, Glenn. It is true that there are such people in the arts- ANYWHERE, in fact- but theatre people are also OFTEN very grounded. Rooted is a theatre term, in fact, and that which it represents is foundational Smile to the actor's work.
kregg
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[quote]On 2006-04-19 12:54, The One wrote:
I once mentioned to David Blaine that I performed the linking rings. He looked at me and he said "drop it"...

I would have told him to drop cards and lighten up with the angst.

Kregg
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bishthemagish
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On 2006-04-19 15:55, magicalaurie wrote:

On 2006-04-19 10:35, bishthemagish wrote:
Now my slang for whatever is added to the story is the theater and I often use the word mumbo jumbo because I look at art and the way stuck up people look at art as to be very funny. Because the art world is full of art people that have their nose up in the air and have this attitude like the way they understand art is "the way" and that makes them special.
On 2006-04-19 15:55, magicalaurie wrote:

This is where you offend, Glenn. It is true that there are such people in the arts- ANYWHERE, in fact- but theatre people are also OFTEN very grounded. Rooted is a theatre term, in fact, and that which it represents is foundational Smile to the actor's work.

Thank you very much for pointing this out magicalaurie - that is very good that you posted this - my thanks - let me try to say this. The way that I post and write I know I often - in fact almost always come off as one of these people that have their nose up in the air. Magicians think that I am stuck up. Magicians think that I have a big ego.

I know this to be true that magicians here in the Café think this. This is one of the reason's my posting goes under the attack so often. And as a person I have been criticized often.

But on the other side of the coin I know theater people that are very fun to be with and talk about theater the same way I do. Sort of like what Spenser Tracy said about acting - show up on time, know your lines and don't bump into the furniture. I think that people in theater have a really nice attitude and a humor that they see toward their work and their profession. And if fact the fact that theater people FIND humor in what they do is a wonderful thing.

It is what I was saying in a post above - people get offended. Do magicians get offended if a lay audience member calls a trick that they are doing a joke? I have seen a few that do. I know that magician at the club got offended when I called magic a "trick" and he said we don't call them "tricks" we call them "effects".

Partly it has to do with age. Younger people learning the arts any art tend to take the learning stage very seriously. While older people often take a few steps back and are less serious about the art. Why would everyone in theater have to be serious about theater? Why would everyone in magic have to be so serious about magic that we cant take a few steps back and have humor about the art and ourselves?

I accept that there are people in theater and theater enhances magic. I accept that there are a lot of different magicians in this world. I accept that each one has a point of view. I accept and think that it is OK if a magician uses what he owns to have fun. I said in another thread that magicians often over think, are over critical, and are often over judgmental of others in magic. I accept this to but often laugh at it because I find human nature silly. But why anyone would get so angry and offended at such things to me is a waist of energy.

I think at times magicians should just accept the painting they see as what it is. Learn from it and then go out and do their best to paint their own painting - and that is my best advice I can give to improve our art of magic.
Glenn Bishop Cardician

Producer of the DVD Punch Deal Pro

Publisher of Glenn Bishop's Ace Cutting And Block Transfer Triumphs
kregg
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One reason why so many magicians have trouble putting it all together is - they get hung up on one little thing like the use of "mumbo jumbo."
If you teared up and rolled up into a ball over that, you have other problems. Grow up.

Now back to the original topic.
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tommy
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Mombo Jumbo is a language that is unnecessarily difficult to understand. That's probably why magicians use it.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Jonathan Townsend
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Mumbo Jumbo... probably a corruption of sombody else's language... not a good idea to spout spells you don't know.

And why do folks disparage theatrical basics? What some call the effect is more properly a crude synopsis of the story. The procedure is very close to the
blocking and the patter is what they call the lines.

Lots to learn if you go exploring.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
magicalaurie
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On 2006-04-19 21:09, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
not a good idea to spout spells you don't know.


Indeed. Could land you in the DEEP end in Smile HOT Smile water. Smile
tommy
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A play can be one act but more often it is act 1, 2, 3 etc. I don't get this idea of a routine is like a play! I can understand it in the context of one trick which are indeed like short plays. I have read a little on routines now and this idea that the whole routine should like a play is not mentioned in what I have read. Also I have looked at a couple of top magic shows looking to see if I see a story that is supposed to connect the tricks together like a story in play and I can't see it for life of me. All I can see is series unconnected tricks. Yes they have an opener a middle and a closer. Who was it that said your routine is like story in a play?
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
magicalaurie
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I wouldn't necessarily say a routine is strictly like a play , myself either, tommy. I don't think it applies that often, except in the basic ways- character, script, blocking, props, costume, beginning, middle, end, climax. You could consider beginning, middle, end to represent acts 1, 2, 3.

In themed show like Siegfried and Roy's, however, where good triumphs over evil, it is more specifically applicable, I'd say.
tommy
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Laurie thanks. So why are people saying things here like oh that's just a series of unconnected effects as if that is a bad thing?
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
magicalaurie
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Leading question. Smile

I think it will help the flow of the show if the effects are united in some way. Tie one to another, segue. Keep it moving. Rather than repeatedly disconnecting and starting again with something unrelated to what has gone before. It needs a through line, it needs to be going somewhere, in a direction that makes SENSE to the audience. That's my take, for now Smile, at least.

As you stated earlier, scale varies.
rannie
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On 2006-04-19 22:23, magicalaurie wrote:
I think it will help the flow of the show if the effects are united in some way. Tie one to another, segue. Keep it moving. Rather than repeatedly disconnecting and starting again with something unrelated to what has gone before. It needs a through line, it needs to be going somewhere, in a direction that makes SENSE to the audience. That's my take, for now Smile, at least.


I totally agree Laurie! There must be a line. "The truth is the whole"
I do not want to intellectualize, but allow me to quote the great philosopher, Hegel.

Take a flower for instance....

It begins as a seed, from a seed it becomes a seedling, then a bud....then.........a rose. The Truth is really the whole. The rose could not have been with out being a bud etc...

As a director, I believe that invisibly or obviously, there must be a line. Wavey, zig zag or what not. An effective act is not just a hodge podge of tricks.

Personally, I enjoy any trick, hodge podge acts to streamlined and concept acts, but having the end users in mind, THE AUDIENCE, I feel obligated to structire things that would make sense and appeal to the paying audience.

Humbly,

Rannie
"If you can't teach an old dog new tricks, trick the old dog to learn."

-Rannie Raymundo-
aka The Boss
aka The Manila Enforcer

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JackScratch
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On 2006-04-19 22:05, tommy wrote:
A play can be one act but more often it is act 1, 2, 3 etc. I don't get this idea of a routine is like a play! I can understand it in the context of one trick which are indeed like short plays. I have read a little on routines now and this idea that the whole routine should like a play is not mentioned in what I have read. Also I have looked at a couple of top magic shows looking to see if I see a story that is supposed to connect the tricks together like a story in play and I can't see it for life of me. All I can see is series unconnected tricks. Yes they have an opener a middle and a closer. Who was it that said your routine is like story in a play?


No no no. A routine is like a play in production methods and techniques. They have similarities, but they aren't the same. Just back up a step, you're there, don't get carried away. Magic, when done well, can use a lot of techniques that have been devised to make for good theatre. It can use all of them, but of course does not have to. The biggest difference between a play and a magic performance is that the magic performance need not (but may) be as plot intensive. It is perfectly acceptable for a magic performances parts to have absolutely not conection with the rest of its parts. It is my belief, and I think many others share it, that something extra is added if you can theme your performances. Cahin the various parts together, but if you had to do that, there would be no "Worlds Greatest Magic I-VI".

I still say that anyone who does not script, edit, block, and rehearse their performances is cheating their audiences.
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Quote:
On 2006-04-19 22:23, magicalaurie wrote:

I think it will help the flow of the show if the effects are united in some way. Tie one to another, segue. Keep it moving. Rather than repeatedly disconnecting and starting again with something unrelated to what has gone before. It needs a through line, it needs to be going somewhere, in a direction that makes SENSE to the audience. That's my take, for now Smile, at least.

As you stated earlier, scale varies.


Very good, Laurie!

What seems hard for some to grasp is that almost any series of seemingly disjointed effects can be tied together with even the finest of threads!

~michael
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Dannydoyle
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OK let me help here some.

Firt off Glenn you are attacked so much because you say things like "mumbo jumbo" and then take 5 pages to defend yourself in over 400 word posts and then finally realise "perhaps I used slang I shouldn't have". Lets keep it straight.

Second off they locked the 11 minute act for some reason and I feel all critique of such a thing should be left there. Not on topic here.

Now to the topic, lets clear up another word. THEATER. THIS IS NOT A BUILDING!!!

Can we all agree to this? It does not have to do with stricktly a PLAY!!! Do you people get it? Stop putting words you half understand in boxes like this.

"theater" is a LOT of things to do with performance. Comedy to drama to music and scenery. Writing, scripting, blocking, lighting and a thousand things.(which reiterates my first post by the way).

One of the most important things "theater" can teach us is the building and releasing of tension. Doing this properly can be a powerfull form of misdirection in a CLOSE UP show! ANY show actually. Even a music performance. (why do you think Lynord Skynard closes with Freebird?)

Hitchcock was an absolute MASTER at it. (that way Glenn has a dead guy master he can feel comfortable learning from) But HOW to build the tension, when to release it and how high to build it is "theater" or mumbo jumbo depending on how you look at it.

So if we can please stop talking about "theater" as if it was only a building or only tech stuff we can start getting to the heart of what it really is.

Now the tech stuff of theater is important as well. Lighting and sound and set design and prop selection and costuming and on and on really matter. Even your flyers, posters, pictures, and promo stuff qualify as the "theater" part of what we do. If it is done properly.

THAT is why I was offended. To dismiss something that has such far reaching implications as "mumbo jumbo" is disrespectfull. Which you can be weather you realise it or not. It is also flat out wrong. There are things in this world that are flat out right and wrong no matter what. To suggest as it was that theater is completly unnecesary to "go out have fun and start making money" is reprehensible and in my OPINION very detrimental to our art.

It is somewhat akin to putting on some white face, and going out and BOOM your a mime in a box. Well it has happened like that for a long time now, and look how much respect those guys get. If we want to stay above them in the eyes of the public I think it is time to take our "art" and all it implies a little more seriously than "take some props off the shelf and go make some money".

It contributes to BAD MAGIC, and that hurts us more than 100 "masked magicians" ever could hope to.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
tommy
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My dear friends Mr Jean Hugard and Mr Frederick Braue

We thank you for your book “The Royal Road to Card Magic”. In particular we thank you for the chapter on the “Routining of Card Tricks”, which we found was expertly explained with the clarity of crystal. We pity those who are trying to understand the subject from the Mumbo Jumbo language used in other places. Thank you most kindly sirs for all your help.

Best regards

Tommy

:)
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2006-04-19 22:05, tommy wrote:
A play can be one act but more often it is act 1, 2, 3 etc. I don't get this idea of a routine is like a play! ...


Begin with the easy stuff

Who is the performer?
What is their (performer's) intent as regards the situation and audience?
Why should the audience care?
What is offered to the audience?
Does the character of the performer obtain anything useful?
Does the audience get to see any sort of story they can relate to?
What does the performer walk away with?
What does the audience walk away with?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
kregg
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Quote:
On 2006-04-20 07:37, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Begin with the easy stuff

Who is the performer?
What is their (performer's) intent as regards the situation and audience?
Why should the audience care?
What is offered to the audience?
Does the character of the performer obtain anything useful?
Does the audience get to see any sort of story they can relate to?
What does the performer walk away with?
What does the audience walk away with?


What relationship does the performer have with the props?
Is there a fourth wall?
Can they hear me in the back row?
Am I in my light?
POOF!
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