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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Connecting with your audience (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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RicHeka
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The analogy of the likeable teacher is so meaningful.With my restaurant performances,I try to use a similar formula on a smaller scale...and I believe the main reason my tablside performance has vastly improved in recent years is because of applying the wonderful teaching in the "Osterlind Trilogy",Ken Webers "Maximum Entertainment",Darwin Ortiz's "Strong Magic",and Pete McCabes "Scripting Magic".[and other's]

I have found that when I have the technical aspects of my work down cold,I am able to afford my guest's and myself the opportunity for a relaxed and fun experience.That is the big difference.

I kid around with friends and family by saying,"I don't go to work..I go 'to play'".However,it is true.

I remember the years where I just got by...doing effects just for the sake of doing effects.Yikes,how did I ever last.

Thanks to all the aforementioned.

Rich
xersekis
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Quote:
On 2008-06-03 12:56, Brane wrote:
The above posts make this forum SOOOooo worthwhile! In reference to Ken Weber's book, I have a quote from it pasted on my mirror. Speaking of your audiences, post show: "If you haven't made them FEEL something, then what you've done is a lecture."
THANK YOU, Richard for starting this!
brane


Sadly this quote is inadequate but the meaning is apparent. Because the goal of any good lecturer or great speaker is first and foremost to make the listener feel something. See something - listen and perhaps act on the information presented. Sure there are lectures to merely inform (as often happens in schools with inadequately trained professors and teachers who present material in a boring fashion - the meaning in Ken's quote perhaps...

but a great lecturer and a great lecture is a thing of beauty - and feelings are part of it. SO you should always strive to make them feel - the question is what do you want them to feel - what is the sequence of feelings you go for - like a roller-coaster highs and lows, thrills ...a good speech does this, a good movie, a good performance...

so the key is what do you want them to feel - then how you do that - what magic carpet ride you take them on
and how you leave them feeling when you leave

feeling about their experience, our presentation, you and themselves - all important to consider.

and to do that you have to first consider your audience and their needs and wants - their desire. To many presenters, lecturers, entertainers, magicians think I will give them this - instead of finding out what they first want.

Well usually you can't ask - so you have to try to put yourself in their shows - why are the there, what do they want etc and then deliver on that.

For example a resort would do well to ask - why would a person vacation, what do they hope to occur, what do they want, what might their different wants be - stimulation, relaxation - what do they want to experience while here, and remember when traveling home etc. etc.

the more you can craft questions like this for your audience the better you can connect with them. ANd to connect with them is to have rapport than can endure.
Mik
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Thanks Richard and everyone, great advice and stuff to think on.
From the mind of Mik
chichi711
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This is one of the best threads I have seen on the Café in a long time. Thanks Richard!
Al Straker
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As always when Richard offers up advice, we would all do best to listen carefully!

I can't remember where I read the following but it has stayed with me: "...ask yourself - if you had no magic in your show, would it still be entertaining?"

Cheers,
Al
Al Straker
Resident Mystery Entertainer at Multiple Venues
Music & Mentalism Specialty Act 'Completely Mental'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyGhApqnG7I

(Old clip, show has changed quite a bit since then!)

Jazz & Contemporary Musician/Composer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnN3JNmeKns

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sU_zfOvpneA
Malchat
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This is a thread that's going to be referenced and linked to for a long time to come - rocksolid advice from Richard and others.

My small tip is to make sure that your opener and closer consists of material that you know inside and out, stuff you can do with your eyes closed. You have some room for experimentation in-between but you need to open and close strong - and 'strong' does not mean the most incredible effect ever invented, it means something that plays strong for you.

Posting here and asking for the best mindreading/prediction/blindfold etc. effect so you can drop it straight into your freshly booked gig is not a good strategy and a recipe for failure.

Presenting material that you're comfortable with always plays stronger than effects that are supposedly 'killer' but unfamiliar and untested in your act. Trust me, audiences can sense whether or not you know what you're doing, and they relate better to genuine confidence.
“You are what you pretend to be.”
cfrye
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Thanks, Richard! You just re-upped your V.I.P. designation for another year.



Curt
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Great advice. It is always important to be reflective on your own work and progress. This can definately help create a better show. Thanks
bobser
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Quote:
On 2008-06-03 18:38, neal austin wrote:

I had a conversation at the last Blackpool Convention with another entertainer that went along the lines that the new up-and-coming bunch, in be it in mentalism or close up or whatever, without doubt seemed to have a better grasp of the physical mechanics of the craft than 'we' did at their length of time of involvement with the craft. But what was noticeable was that hardly anyone of them, if any one at all, was even half way interesting to watch do anything. There were no 'characters'.... only effects or sometimes only moves.... performed almost as if in a vacuum.
Neal

When I started out it was harder to learn. Y'know, all we had were books and pamphlets to read with,in some cases, poorly written diagrams which took weeks to learn, and still not be sure I was doing it correctly. In doing the actual effect I almost had to make up a story or a joke or even pull a funny face or make a squeaky noise because my actual skill in doing the ***ed thing was still being honed, slowly but surely. The thing is now of course, even if I do something exquisitely well, I still keep in the story lines, which make 'em laugh.
Today it's not the case. The newbie can by the DVD which shows in 4 different angles, and to soft, haunting, beautiful, emotional music ********* exactly how to complete the whole thing by teatime! So, it's 6.00.p.m. Who needs honed talent, stories, brush strokes and skills? Sheesh, I sound so old and bitter, sorry.
Y'see what you've started Rich (we're very close)?

bobser
Bob Burns is the creator of The Swan.
Brane
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Xersekis: Sorry, old chap, if I've stepped on your toes. No offense intended for lecturers, per se - I do quite a bit of it myself! I am sure the 'lecturer' quote - at least in my pea-sized brain - refers to that dullest of the dull fact reciters that one might stereotypically imagine.
I think the thrust of it is that 'facts alone are not sufficient for good entertainment.' ?? Facts are - one hopes - informative, but in an entertainment setting are not enough. There are other ingredients that are required. Some 'revealing of self,' some novelty, some eye contact, perhaps humor . . . and some EMOTION evoked.
I suspect that quote rings a bell with me, as I can tend to be a 'fact reciter!' HA!
brane
xersekis
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Yes I believe that was the intent of the original quote and the spirit in which the quote was utilized so no offense taken. I did want to point out that oratory art we are a part of should be exciting in all its forms (and while sadly that is not the case) lecture, mentalism, magic you name it.

And I heartily agree with your further explanation below - that information (facts) is not enough. Anything can be presented in a boring manner - one can take the most thrilling info and dull it down - or take the dullest info and make it shine brightly - it isn't the info, it isn't the effects. it is the dressing, what you do with them.

Who you are speaks loudly by your actions and how you use your words. Behaviors over info.

NOW there are some people who just like facts and info - but for the rest of us we want it to be appealing, relevant, thrilling,

and we do that by being human, revealing ourself (personality - the "who: we are)

so yes you are indeed accurate in your explanation And Ricahrd was wise to start this thread - if one can mesmerize a roup of people with no tricks or effects - then one can certainly do it with thricks and effects.

We should strive to do the former - captivate first - then add effects - because the effects don't matter.

And if you captivate first - when you build your presentation you will wisely choose the best ones for yourself. If you seek effects first you negate the most vital part of your presentation - YOU!!!!

YOU are the act - not the tricks you do. How come so few realize this....

because most magical thinking is the reverse. Not because it is accurate - just because it is a cheap habit and easy road for most. Thinking the tricks make the person

like the old saying

clothes don't make the person (updated for today's pc era) YOU not the dressing. YOU YOU YOU

Either you are compelling to be aorund, to listen to and to watch or you are not.

If you are - the select effects.

If you are not - work on SELF first to become a dynamic presenter.

Learn rapport skills, how to connect, tell a story, engage, work with people, interact, PEOPLE SKILLS are more important than magical mentalist skills...

but you already knew this....

enjoy and thanks



Quote:
On 2008-06-04 10:33, Brane wrote:
Xersekis: Sorry, old chap, if I've stepped on your toes. No offense intended for lecturers, per se - I do quite a bit of it myself! I am sure the 'lecturer' quote - at least in my pea-sized brain - refers to that dullest of the dull fact reciters that one might stereotypically imagine.
I think the thrust of it is that 'facts alone are not sufficient for good entertainment.' ?? Facts are - one hopes - informative, but in an entertainment setting are not enough. There are other ingredients that are required. Some 'revealing of self,' some novelty, some eye contact, perhaps humor . . . and some EMOTION evoked.
I suspect that quote rings a bell with me, as I can tend to be a 'fact reciter!' HA!
brane
Decomposed
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Thanks RIchard and all. I referred a strolling gig a few weeks ago to a local magician. Later he emailed me and said he doesn't do strolling gigs because he feels too much like a street beggar. I gave this some thought and since I perform primarily strolling mentalism, I felt that mentalism gave me an edge or more ways to "break the ice" to the clients. Perhaps it is more then that. On stage, maybe it is easier to be a bit more impersonal then coming up to someone you do not know and start showing them a "trick." My primary goal is to always get the audience on my side. Most time it works but not for every audience.
Al Straker
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For a good example: Just look at Jason Alexander, highly successful & naturally entertaining actor and now also achieving great success as a mentalist. The recent snippet of his work on Reel Magic quarterly was excellent - Jason applied a very entertaining and personal premise to Charles Gaucci's "Eye to Eye" and has really demonstrated exactly what Richard is talking about.

Cheers,
Al
Al Straker
Resident Mystery Entertainer at Multiple Venues
Music & Mentalism Specialty Act 'Completely Mental'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyGhApqnG7I

(Old clip, show has changed quite a bit since then!)

Jazz & Contemporary Musician/Composer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnN3JNmeKns

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sU_zfOvpneA
Blackwood
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So many great posts here that I won't belabor it, but for folks who really want to fill out their programs with some variety, I recommend trolling some of the less-visited resources right on this board. I've picked up small gems from the Scams and Cons forums, the Mind Bogglers forums and the Science of Magic topic.

I also look to the variety performers of the turn of the last century who fascinated audiences with off-beat talents like chalk-talks, paper-tearing, etc. You can find great old books on Lybrary and elsewhere for a song (or for bird-calls, if that's your act!)
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