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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The May 2009 entrée: Jeff McBride » » Show Flow » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Hi Jeff

I'm amazed at how your show flows so well. Every piece of magic seems to flow right into the next...your patter, show order, ect. Are there any tricks that I can use so I don't have to do extreme set up for every act? you place the acts that need this kind of set up as the opening to you there a reason why you place your acts in such an order? Are there any tricks that you can give me so my show can flow better?

You're the best!

Joe Babcock
Jeff McBride
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Greetings Joe, and all...

Thank you for the kind words about my show flow. At our School, I teach a lecture on how to construct an effective show. The name of the lecture is called The Seven Stages of Show Flow. One of the keys in constructing a good show is effectively setting up each piece with a segue.

According the dictionary, a segue: Pronounced SEG-way, is “a transition made from one thing to another smoothly and without interruption, or an uninterrupted transition made between one musical section or composition and another, or any smooth, uninterrupted transition from one thing to another.” By creating segues you can avoid phrases like, ”And now for my next trick!”

Segues do not have to be long to be effective, but they must move the action along, and give a context to the next piece. Here is another students example, that creates a “linking thought” from the end of an audience participation ring routine with a young boy, to the next effect in her show; a Professor’s Nightmare rope routine. “And, a round of applause for Billy! I remember when I was Billy’s age, I saw my first magic show. The magician took three pieces of rope… and I’ll always remember exactly what he did…”

The venue you are performing in will often determine what you say, how much to say and if the storyline is appropriate for the audience. Nightclub audiences often have short attention spans, and may have been drinking. They are often not interested in listening to involved storylines, but just want to be dazzled and mystified. On the other hand, a theater audience is often more open to journeying deeper into the person behind the magic. I advise my students to carefully consider where they will do their performances, and to have alternative , shorter scripts, depending upon the venue.

Many full length magic shows are a series of individual pieces, rather than a “book show.” A “book show” is a full length story, from beginning to end. Some examples would be Doug Henning’s The Magic Show, Lawrence Khong’s The Magic of Love, or the recent Las Vegas production of Hans Klok’s The Beauty of Magic. All of these shows had storylines that threaded the show together. In Hans Klok’s case, he had three interweaving storylines; one about his ambition to travel the world, a story about his relationship with his father, and another thread about his relationship with pop star Pamela Anderson. David Copperfield’s technique was to segue in and out of his classic “theatrical vignettes. “He placed them in-between large-scale illusions and more intimate audience participation routines. His technique of weaving together of different styles of magic created a new pattern, a pattern that has become a standard that many have copied.

In contrast, Mac King introduces a series of individual effects that do not seem to be connected, until a series of “call-backs” toward the end of the show weaves his homespun yarns into a seamless plaid fabric that tickles us when it touches us. Mac leaves us in stitches.

I have worked with magicians in many styles of shows: nightclub shows, theater shows, and competition acts. Many students have favorite effects and illusions they love to do, some of which have nothing to do with the storyline. One choice is to cut these effects from the show because they do not meet the requirements of moving the plot along, or enhancing the characters in the show. Another option is to create a theatrical motivation for the magic effect. The challenge is to meet the needs both of the magician’s love for a “favorite magic effect” and to serve the storyline as a whole. Often a creative segue, can serve to unite effect and story.

I try to reduce my scripts to a minimum amount of words. Over the years, I have streamlined many of my routines so that they can be fit together in just about any order I want, depending on the size or duration of the show.

I hope that some of this information helps you weave your words, action, and magic into a more effectively flowing show.

Your friend in the art of show-flow,

Let's keep in touch! I would love to send you my free, inspirational MUSE-LETTER. SIgn up here:
<BR>Creator of [url=]The McBride Magic and Mystery
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Thanks for the incredible amount of detail! Hope to attend one of your master classes in Las Vegas!

The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The May 2009 entrée: Jeff McBride » » Show Flow » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes)
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