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bishthemagish
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Quote:
On 2006-04-17 10:32, George Ledo wrote:
Try doing what playwrights and screenwriters do: write out the gist of your show in one sentence. Then sit back and look at it. Then expand it into a couple of sentences and see how it reads. Go from there.

I think that this is a great idea George thank you for posting this. I wish someone told me this when I was starting out and I am glad that you told it to us now.

Historically magic reminds most of Poetry. Music started as poetry back in the old days there were people that would play a small string instrument that looked like a horseshoe with strings and say or sing stories to rhyme.

In today’s world this is a guitar.

But most music is the art of telling a good story to a song. Magic is partly but not exactly like that. If it is a full evening program like Blackstone did. We were treated to a colorful story with his production of a garden. Then a short humorous story with the vanishing bird cage. Then a mysterious story with the light bulb cabinet. Each story is sort of a little play by itself. But what holds the show together is the magician and he is sort of the string that holds each little story together.

Now comes what is in each little story. Whatever they want, costumes, theater, sets acting good or bad - production vanish - produce a rubber chicken for a laugh or produce a large white rabbit like Tony Marks and get a gasp.

Now depending on the magician and the show. The show can be a comedy like the amazing Jonathan and do lots of short stories that are funny with sight gags and humor and an open conversation with the audience.

Or it can be a speech or a teacher style like Bobo or Tarbell. Here is the prop and this is the story that goes with the prop - wow look what happened. Wasn’t that fun. Here is the next story - wow wasn't that fun.

My dad would do it in satire of a magician and make the audience laugh. Then invite people up and get the laughs from the situation - and not from laughing at the spectators. The guy gets up and is locked in a set of stocks - oh look want happened the lock jammed. Opps - can I help you on with your coat.

The audience laughs at the situation of this guy being stuck in the magicians stocks - then he is maneuvered into the sawing situation - more laughs and the audience thinks - he did not volunteer for this - a lot like the situation planned comedy that Stan and Ollie would get into in the old comedy movies and then Ollie would look at Stan and say "another fine mess you got me into".

Each little routine is a story. Each story is strung together into a harmonious whole. (Theater effects added if needed).

But I will say this and some might not agree. That I have seen my Dad and Mom do this comedy bow sawing for over 40 years. On the best most equipped stages with a full band - on the bozo TV show with the full band. In night clubs with a full band.

And at a park and recreation show outside with no bands, no stage, no mike or sound system in front of an audience sitting on the lawn. Lit by the headlights of two parked cars.

The show went over just as good with the theater of the equipped stage and the extras and it went over just as well without the theater at the park show without the extras. The theater can help if it fits and is needed to fit the market but often does not IMPROVE THE CONTENT of the entertainment. To be successful you have to start with ONE GOOD STORY and then build onto that. Then string several GOOD stories together and to learn how to do this you MUST start at the shallow end as work your way toward your own personal swimming/magic goals.

I have done these kind of shows to and I call it swimming in deep water!
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Al Angello
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Jack, Laurie, and Vinny
I have to agree with all three of you knida. I feel that once I know my routine perfectly I will perform it slightly different every time in order to get the adrenelin rush that comes with not knowing what's next.
HAVE FUN
Al Angello

PS- Vinny I'm haveing lunch today with our friend from Hazleton, Pa.
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Bill Palmer
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Glenn:

Your knowledge of the history of music amazes me.
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cinemagician
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Quote:
On 2006-04-17 09:59, vinsmagic wrote:
Well well every thing I do is impromptu weather a performance a gig a show the patter is never the same I have no closer or middlde or what ever I do what comes to the top of my head.....
every time I see a show at the castle the same performer says exactly same thing almost word for word and same old effects ...... with me you never know what you will get good or bad ..
take a peek at robin Williams this is the way I like to perform my magic


Bravo to the Godfather! A step in the right direction. Audiences know subconsciously when something is canned. They still might be enjoying the act, but when the performer breaks his script and takes advantage of the situation they really appreciate it.

The simplest example may be when you mess up, say a card effect and then you recover using your wits and skill on the spur of the moment. For years I wondered why my recoveries (pulling the card from the box, having to resort to a cull and and change etc.) got the biggest reactions. It's because the audience is aware subconsciously that you screwed up, that slight moment of panic CAN'T be acted, (well not by most).

I still structure my "act" though. Even for impromtu's I take a split second to assess the situation a decide generally on the best material to present. These effects are highly structured and this is what allows me the freedom to break from the script interact with the audience.
...The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity...

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bishthemagish
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Bill - I know little about the history of music. And I don't know what many old instruments are called. What I know is only through the study of Vaudeville. And how different acts relate to a show. And how different acts started out in there raw form.

A lot of what I know is the study of both magic and hypnosis through history and that leads through a trail through many different religions. I could have looked up what instrument that horseshoe with strings was.

My Drama teacher in high school went to College with Jerry Van Dyke (Dick Van Dyke's brother) and he used to say he did a comedy act in the lunch room playing a toilet seat with strings called a git-toilet. But I do enjoy watching shows about some music and found one on Ben Franklin and music with glass bowls and glass instruments very interesting.

I can't play anything but chop sticks on a piano but I have an mp3 player plugged into a fender passport sound system and that is more than good enough for the music in my show for most rooms I play.

Vinny - what you say is great and that is partly my point of view. Once you get your routines down you can just get up there and do them - any order and in any way but people just getting into it have to start somewhere and they can't start at the top.

My thing with magicians and theater and the arts is that I think that there are magicians that talk a lot of theater and are stuck up, highbrow, nose in the air kind of people. Theater and the others stuff that can be added to a show are ONLY TOOLS to ENHANCE the entertainment. But the tools ARE NOT THE ENTERTAINMENT.

I think many run off with to much of this theater mumbo jumbo.

Television was like this. Today we have TV studio's that can do a lot of electronic special effects, wipes from one thing to another. I have software on my computer that is almost as powerful as most small TV studio's. But all this tech does not improve the content of any magic show. In fact if a lot of this eye candy is added to a show it makes the magic look fake and a studio trick.

Magic for me is best when presented basic. In the raw. If the content of the little plays, and jokes, and the entertainment pleases the audience. That is the way I like it. One of my favorite TV shows is a 1950 show on a show called Its magic with Paul Tripp. Very crude if it is compared to today's slick shows with great eye candy and electrical special effects. But the MAGIC IS GREAT!

Today we have little content and lots and lots of eye candy in most TV programming.

A good magic show can be entertaining with good content and no eye candy (mumbo jumbo). But a show can't make it with little content and lots of mumbo jumbo. Because the mumbo jumbo is only tools that should be used to ENHANCE the CONTENT not block the CONTENT or become MORE IMPROATANT than the content.

Another way of saying less is more!
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cinemagician
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Just a side note- I recently had the pleasure of working with Bill Cosby. If you have a chance to see him you should. His act is NOT hillarious. But it is funny and engaging AND clean! And Filled with material that EVERYONE can relate to. And he made 2 hours seem like 45 minutes AND left you wanting more.

From being behind the scenes a bit, I realized that Mr. Cosby's act was HIGHLY structured, but it is made to look like it is all off the top of his head. Indeed SOME of it is. And this is what gives him the freedom and ease to go off script and improvize a bit. I noticed that when he did this, the audience response was highted during these periods.
...The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity...

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Bill Palmer
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Glenn:

Why post statements as fact when, in fact, you don't know anything about the subject you are quoting? Please, stay out of music. Your history of music quote was about as accurate as the average Disney cartoon.

These kinds of things damage your credibility.
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bishthemagish
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Another side note!

Theater is nothing more and is only a form of enhancement to make entertainment look better. A play is only a story. The story can entertain and exist without theater. Theater is only the packaging of the story for a business, and tools to enhance the stories.

A playwright will write a story, then find a producer, then the enhancement begins but the story and the story-telling can entertain without the tools or the business of theater.

A theater is a big box with a stage and is nothing without the play or magic show on the stage. Without the play there is no need to enhance and no reason for the theater to open the doors to the public.

The important part of any entertainment is the ACT or the STORY (show) and then ADD the theater to ENHANCE the story. The story can exist without theater but the theater will not exist without the story! Because theater is only a tool used to enhance entertainment. But it is not the entertainment!


Posted: Apr 17, 2006 2:02pm
------------------------------------------
Quote:
On 2006-04-17 13:57, Bill Palmer wrote:
Glenn:

Why post statements as fact when, in fact, you don't know anything about the subject you are quoting? Please, stay out of music. Your history of music quote was about as accurate as the average Disney cartoon.

These kinds of things damage your credibility.

I do not care what you or others think. I think music is poetry. And I love Disney cartoons.
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tommy
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You know one the best magic acts I ever seen was just like a play:

The magician, playing Doctor Frankenstein, enters his lab. He proceeds to build the monster from body parts. He tries but fails to bring the monster to life. He then goes to his notes, turning his back to the monster in the process. At this point unbeknown to the Doctor, the monster slowly comes to life, rises and walks up behind the Doctor, who is still checking his notes. Suddenly the monster grips the Doctors head and decapitates him! He does not stop there but proceeds to tear the doctor apart. limp by limb. Then the monster turns to audience revealing he is in fact is magician! Cool or what? I tell you this was performed so well it was truly breathtaking. All without a word being spoken as I recall.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

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Quote:
On 2006-04-17 12:57, cinemagician wrote:
A step in the right direction. Audiences know subconsciously when something is canned. They still might be enjoying the act, but when the performer breaks his script and takes advantage of the situation they really appreciate it.


I don't doubt you believe that, but it is absolutely not true. It is possible for an entertainer to do so poor a job of this that the audience can tell, but that is not the goal. What the audience can tell is when something is unrefined or unpolished. They may not recognise it in those terms, but they will detect something. Every great performer I have had the pleasure to speak with on the subjct has said the same thing. "It should look spontainious, it should be rehearsed." I have never spoken with any entertainer of any note for whom this wasn't the case. More importantly, I have seen the darker side of the "improvisational performance". I have said it in a few places, even those who don't script and rehearse, script and rehearse. They do it in front of countless audiences. For that matter, even if you do properly script, it is always evolving, but if you do not start out with a proper script and rehersal, you are running the race with sand bags tied to your legs.
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I do not care what YOU or OTHERS think. I think music is poetry. And I love Disney cartoons.

:lol: That, my friends, has my nomination for post of the year!
Bravo ol' boy!
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On 2006-04-17 11:44, bishthemagish wrote:
produce a rubber chicken for a laugh or produce a large white rabbit like Tony Marks and get a gasp.


Or maybe produce a Dragon, get Smile FIRE Smile and burn the THEATRE down. Then take a leap from the high dive and cool off. I might give that a go. Smile
bishthemagish
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Speaking of dragons Blackstone used a dragon in a girl vanish and made the girl he produced out of a Chinese temple vanish and I think she appeared in a large Chinese lantern. The staging of this was very good.

This dragon was a large puppet costume often called a body puppet. It came on the stage and it was small and grew large as each costume piece (person) was added. The head was neat as it spat out smoke.

The dragon wrapped around the girl snake like a it went off stage and the girl was gone. The lantern skin (shade) dropped and there was the girl sitting on the swing of the lantern. A neat bit of staging and a neat routine that was a small play with drama - color and mystery.

All done with Chinese style music - Woops there is that "M" word and there goes more of my credibility! The music was played from a full orchestra and not one of the musicians used an upside down horseshoe with strings.
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Quote:
On 2006-04-17 14:26, JackScratch wrote:
"It should look spontainious, it should be rehearsed." I have never spoken with any entertainer of any note for whom this wasn't the case.


For an actor, this is considered being "present" in the moment. This CAN be done and IS done with material that has been rehearsed, and polished. It is a very large part of an actor's job. The performance is meant to look as if it is occurring for the first time. Be there. Smile



Siegfried and Roy have an AWESOME Dragon Smile
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That’s ok for them who see it once, I suppose. Being there twice is the problem.

So do I. She is on her way home. I will have go now to do the house work before she gets back. Smile
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
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The performer's gotta be there EVERY time, tommy. That will keep it alive and interesting for the audience as well, regardless of how many times they see the show.


Quote:
On 2006-04-17 15:29, tommy wrote:
So do I. She is on her way home. I will have go now to do the house work before she gets back. Smile


:hysteric:
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Glenn you really make some great observations. You don't have complete context for them though so they lose weight.

Your grasp of the theater as a big BOX is really as off the mark as your allusion to music.

It is somewhat akin to telling someone that the church is "just a building".

You really hold some narrow focus views.
Danny Doyle
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bishthemagish
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Your opinion Danny.

What you or others think of me - I really do not care. What I think and what I do is my business. What other people think and what they do is there business and they must find out what works for them.

None of it - church or theater exists without people. Human thought is the most powerful force in the universe. People built the theater and the church - at one time the structures started as human thought. Later the people told the stories and then wrote them down in a script - the story - then add theater to ENHANCE the story.

It doesn't matter if it is a religious story or not. Take the Bible stories. Did they start as tales told before campfire's? Then the same story told again and again?

The 10 commandments, Did that start as a bible story told at campfires later to be told in bible school, and then later a play at a church for a fund raiser and then later in the movies with added special movie effects?

The same story - but a little different each time it was told and presented at different places and for different reasons.
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Vinny stated that he just kinda improvises from the top of his head... no scripting, no plot or theme, etc...
I used to perform like that... and I used to think I was really good.
No when I look back my magic was crap... it was entertaining, but it was crap.

Glenn simply does not seem to understand what theater is. He refers to it as the "eye candy" added to performances, much like special effects in movies.
When in reality, it is the opposite. The development of character, purpose, theme, conflict etc. is theater.
My magic used to lack those elements... but it was crap... entertaining but crap.

In actuality, most of the Tricks we use are actually the eye candy (not the dancing or lighting etc). And yes, too many magicians do focus on that too much and forget about the rest. And they might be entertaining... but IMO the magic is crap.

To say we shouldn't focus on the theatrics of magic is simply wrong.
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True enough. But again those who don't understand its proper application will never understand how important it really is.
Tell Tommy Wonder theater means nothing.

Tell Juan Tamariz. They all seem to think even doing close up shows requires proper use of "theater".

To refer to theater as simply the place where the show takes place is simply wrong and misinformed. Is "film" simply the medium used to capture the action? Certianly not.

Examples abound of the proper use of "theater" in magic. Most of the people being "quoted" are pretty good examples.

Glenn you simply miss the point here. Your show could be better, no matter how good it is. It may already be great, but it could be better. These things are an "art" in and of themselvs. You seem to dismiss out of hand the usefullness of the "art". I don't know why. It really is confusing.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
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