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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Close Up Competition (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Tony Thomas
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What type of affects in your opinions would make a good choice for a close up competition. The time parameter is 7 minutes. What advice would you give. Here is what I think at this moment...

1 - Go for skill with slight of hand, very visual
2 - Originality in the routine
3 - An emotional connect with the routine, i.e. some reason to care. Either through your patter, or possibly through music, create an emotional connection.
4 - A routine that plays well to a parlar audience. It must be a routine that you can do close up, but I think the most effective affects for competition will play equally well to the larger audience as it does to the table.

Do y'all agree with these? Are there other things that are important that should be mentioned? Are there examples of particular types of effects that you have seen that were particularly memorable in competitions?

One example of a memorable routine - I saw a dvd of Boris Wild doing his Kiss Routine at a close up competition. He won. His routine started by him showing a picture of his wife to the audience. He dedicated the routine to her. He played music in the background and without words went through the routine. It was romantic and certainly had an emotional connection and a reason to care. It played to the entire room. There was music, and it was certainly original.
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Pete Biro
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So, do you have the kind of magic that will do this in your repertoire?
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Tony Thomas
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Ouch... I guess the short answer it no. Certainly, Not of the Boris Wild caliber. I'm considering entering a competition and thinking through my repertoire now (both stage and close up). I think I have some options that would receive good marks on points 1 & 4. I think they would score less on 2 & 3. So, basically I am pondering changes for a potential competition in 2010. Part of the reason for the post is to see if I am considering the pertinent issues. I also wonder how original is original enough to be competition worthy?
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Leeman
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I competed in a close up contest and did the cups and balls. It was the only thing that I did and it lasted about 7 minutes or so. I won because the crowd liked it the best, meaning they found my routine the most entertaining. I think that is the way to go unless you are planning on going to the really big magic competitions. At the larger contests I think the emphasis is more on creativity, but at the local clubs and things I think it is more on entertainment.
Bill Palmer
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See if you can find what Johnny Ace Palmer said about this. Creativity is important. So is connection with the audience. The main thing is to please the judges.
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rannie
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In my experience, magic competitions can vary per club or what not. The judging system, the kind of judges etc. The best would be to strike a balance. Bill's post sums it up. Bear in mind that some judges base their decision from audience response as well. Strike a balance. I have joined several competitions in the past. A good 60 percent of my winnings were via the cups and balls. The problem I see in most Cups and balls routine in competition is the fact they they do a poor copy of someone else's routine. In most cases ... even down to the patter and gestures. In a magic club who has seen the routines...this is an automatic thumbs down.

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Pete Biro
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If it is your first attempt. Just do what you do best and try to be personable, relaxed and entertaining. Less is more. Don't go over time.
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Bill Palmer
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I would strongly recommend that you watch several prize-winning close-up acts. See if you can figure out why they won.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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Tony Thomas
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Thanks for your comments. I think it is a good idea to see other videos of winning routines. I have seen a thread somewhere with lots of award winning vidoes links to youtube. I have done several searches to find it and can't seem to locate it. If anyone knows where to find that thread, give us a link please.

I think the comments related to the entertainment value of a routine is right on. Like was mentioned, a primary goal is to entertain and not bore the judges.
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Bill Palmer
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Have you ever considered doing a search on YouTube for award winning close-up magic acts? Instead of wading through all the posts here, you can find things on YouTube.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Tony Thomas
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Thanks Bill - Do y'all think the three ball routine would be appropriate for a close up competition?
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Rpascual
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Quote:
On 2009-08-08 13:41, Tony Thomas wrote:
Thanks Bill - Do y'all think the three ball routine would be appropriate for a close up competition?


If their is enough originiality and you make it fun then go ahead:D. Remember you don't have to reach the seven minutes. That is just a limit they set on you. I have a friend who competed in a close-up competition just with cups and balls and he won!

Ricky
Bill Palmer
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It is very rare for anyone who competes in a close-up contest with just one routine to win it. The cups and balls may be the most often used single routine for this purpose.

Some win, more lose. Why? I think a lot of judges find that most cups and balls routines become rather dull after the first five minutes or so.

While you don't HAVE to fill the entire time you are allotted, there are some contests that specify a minimum time as well as a maximum time. The more you can do in your competition piece, the better you will fare. So if the time limit is 7 minutes, do a strong 6 minutes and 30 seconds.

Be sure that if you do not perform to music (which will basically force you to be precise on your time) you allow for audience response, such as laughter and applause.

Posted: Aug 13, 2009 2:47am
I was checking out a few things at the Murphy's web site. There is a DVD set by Johnny Ace Palmer that has his whole philosophy of how to win a contest. It's worth having.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Donnie Buckley
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Bill is right on about the Johnny Ace Palmer DVDs. Johnny outlines several practice techniques, including practicing for competitions. His theories and experiences on competitive performances are invaluable.
Learn the form, but seek the formless. Learn it all, then forget it all. Learn the way, then find your own way. Rings-N-Things
Tony Thomas
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Great advise. Thanks everyone. And Bill, I especailly thank you for the DVD lead.
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Kent Wong
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The criteria for judging and the weight placed on the various criteria can change from competition to competition. In some cases, they are willing to announce the criteria and the weight in advance so as to allow the participants to create the strongest acts possible. Generally, it sounds like you're on track. In addition to the resources suggested, you may also want to read the essays on magic competitions contained in Michael Ammar's excellent book. Have Fun!

Kent
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Bill Palmer
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One of the best comments I have ever read about competitions came from bluegrass banjo player Sonny Osborne.

He was really ticked off because he was arguably one of the best bluegrass banjo players around, but he wasn't allowed to compete, because he had an electric pickup installed in his banjo. He wasn't even allowed to compete acoustically.

At the time, bluegrass competitions were usually judged by non-musicians. Sometimes, there would be a D.J. who knew a little about the music.

He said (I'm paraphrasing now), "Why should I let a group of judges that consist of a postman, a fireman and a chief of police who have a bunch of cousins or brothers in the contest tell me what to play and how to play it? It's a loss no matter what I do. If I win, they think I have cheated somehow, and if I lose, they think I'm no good.

"I play more notes on my banjo in a week than most of those guys play in a year. Once I found out I could get paid for this, I spent a long time working on it. I know where things are on this instrument that most players have never even imagined."
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
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