We Remember The Magic Café We Remember
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » How to theme an act (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2~3 [Next]
-The Scot-
View Profile
Special user
726 Posts

Profile of -The Scot-
... I'm sure someone can spark up some ideas.

How can we theme our card productions, and acts in general? I can't see a purpose in real life for producing a fan of cards... I can see the purpose of producing coins, or cigarettes but cards?

I think this topic will spark a lot of conversation, so lets get this idea rolling... Smile
DJ Trix
View Profile
Inner circle
1068 Posts

Profile of DJ Trix
I don't see a need to have a reason.

It is just magic. Are you looking for a reason like needing cards for a trick or something?

Produce a couple fans in each hand and then do some flourishes, that could be a reason for producing them in the first place.
david walsh
View Profile
Regular user
Bonnie Scotland
183 Posts

Profile of david walsh
I think what Kevin means is if you could do magic for real and not as a performance art, producing money would be pretty handy and producing cigarettes would be cool for smokers who have ran out of cigs. (or magicaly produced money to buy them). Producing a deck however would only be handy if you wanted to play cards.

To put these points in a stage audiences mind. Everyone can relate to the appearing money. They know you are doing it for the same reasons they would if they could. The smokers relate to the cigarettes and the non-smokers see you as a smoker that is getting some free smokes, especially if you have the odd pleasurable puff on them. When it comes to the cards, you just produced them, if you sat down and had a game of solitare on the stage they would then see why you produced them. It would however make for a pretty boring show.

I recon that is what Kevin is asking. How can you let them see why you produced the cards without making the show boring?

I recon that magicians have been connected with cards for so long that it has become self justified, "he produced cards because he is a magician and that's what magicians do!".

I do recon if you could get a reason for producing these cards that everyone could relate to it would make for a stronger show.

This just popped into my head as I finished typing the last sentence. Does any one print manipulation cards that look like credit cards? It would make for a card and coin routine that kept it's theme. This could be a pickpoket producing his days take (cash, credit cards, wallets, watches etc. Or an expensive taste misers dream routine.
David.
wikiro
View Profile
Elite user
NY
435 Posts

Profile of wikiro
That is a funny question because if I knew real magic, I would be living on a floating island.
Also to put it into perspective, look at what the cards were originally. That's why they are related to magic.
Smile
If you punch a wall so hard your knee hurts your goal has been accomplished.

Never Panic!

Wikiro Smile
david walsh
View Profile
Regular user
Bonnie Scotland
183 Posts

Profile of david walsh
Exactly Wikiro. If you walked onto a stage, had a rather disapointed look around before snaping your fingers turning the stage into a tropical island the audience could relate to why.

If you walked onto the stage and turned it into an office/class room, sat down at a computer and done a bit of clock watching for eight hours you would need some pretty good justification.
David.
Covernton
View Profile
Regular user
Vancouver
124 Posts

Profile of Covernton
I've found it works to try to communicate a story, or an idea through your magic. This kind of thinking can bring a manipulation act beyond a series of pretty visuals into something really meaningful. Consider the difference between your regular everyday circus and Cirque du Soleil. Cirque takes the same tools and communicates with them.
So think of an emotion or an idea that you want to convey and follow it through in your act.

hope this helps!

-Covernton
yosef_dov
View Profile
Loyal user
NYC area
242 Posts

Profile of yosef_dov
Whenever I've watched a pro perform, I've never thought to myself "I wonder why he made that dove appear", or "why did he put the lady in that box and jam swords into it"... I think we must remember that the typical person who chooses to view a magic show doesn't really care why a magician does whatever is done...as long as whatever is done is entertaining...

I've heard over the years lots of magician's talk about "justification" for something- "oh, why should I burn up the card and make it reappear in a lemon...that doesn't make sense! If I want the card back, why would I burn it in the first place"... but this kind of thinking misses the point of doing a show!

Joe

Getting back to the main topic of this thread-- theming an act. I don't know if we need to always theme acts like a whole motif thing (a tropical setting for the whole show, or a circus setting for the whole show,etc). I prefer a persona that flows through the act along with routines that go together...not just pulling things out of a bag or from a table and saying "for my next trick". If you start out a show like a bumbling magician, that "theme" should carry through. If you start out comical, you should be able to carry that aspect for the whole show, etc...
I often lean towards the "magic is happening all around me" rather than the "I'm doing the magic". I walk in carrying a cane (to go with formal wear), and trip-- the cane flies out of my hand, but doesn't fall...it takes off "running". I chase it, grab it, then BAM it turns into a candle or silks. I look bewildered....like "what the???", and follow through the whole show like this. Stuff just happens...

Joe
Carron
View Profile
Special user
UK
958 Posts

Profile of Carron
Magic to me is Magic ! It needs no reason. If it needed a reason, it would no longer be magical! Smile
Marcus Taylor
View Profile
New user
70 Posts

Profile of Marcus Taylor
I agree with Tom. Magic is illogical therefore there is no reason needed. It is not meant to make sense Smile
Magically Yours,

Marcus Taylor

marcus-magic@hotmail.com
Magique Hands
View Profile
Loyal user
Lincoln, NE.
247 Posts

Profile of Magique Hands
Very interesting topic here...

I must take the approach (because it works well for me and my style), that Theming is crucial in any silent manipulation act. My main reason for adhering to this advice, is because we don't necessarily have the use of our voices to help carry our message(s) to the audience.

In order for audiences to be able to enjoy the magic they are seeing, they must first UNDERSTAND what they are seeing. The WHATS, WHYS, and REASONS we are up there trying to entertain and amaze them.

It must make some kind of sense to them from the beginning and throughout the manipulation routine. My card manipulation routine isn't at all like Cardini's, or McBrides, or even Lance Burton's. I'm not standing on stage making cards, coins, etc... appear at my fingertips. I do however, produce cards, coins, and billiard balls at my fingertips... but there is a 'themed' reason why.

My card manipulation act is a sit-down close up routine, set to music that helps establish why I'm making the cards and coins appear, change places, etc... I establish a theme, in which the cards and coins are mysterious. That it's the cards and coins that are doing the magic... not me or my hands. The music certainly helps establish a theme, and truly helps the audience begin to understand why and what they are witnessing. The close-up aspect of my card manipulation routine, really gets them in on the intimacy of the magic taking place (I'm not just standing on stage in a shower of cards and coins, etc...

Much of my show is themed around my life as a magician, and invites the audience members to go on a magical journey with me (foundational theme). Comedy, romance, drama, and tragedy are all part of this journey (secondary themes.


- - Troy
"If you go around sprinkling Woofle Dust on everything... people will think 'My... What an odd character." www.magicmafia.com
magic4u02
View Profile
Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

Profile of magic4u02
Troy:
Very well said and to the point. However, Cardini did have a theme going in his act that really worked well for him and gave him a sort of semi-reason for being there. His drunken character made the audience relate better to him and made the endless productions the cards seem that much more entertaining.

I completely agree with you that a well developed character as well as theme for a manipulation act can only help to make your act stronger and play better.

Audiences tend to get bored quickly when there is too much repitition on stage from either dancing canes going to long or rings that link and unlink numerous times.

A good theme for a card manipulation can add impact and interest to the act. It can keep the audience involved in the act and give a better reason for why things are happening.

As far as ideas for why to produce cards on stage? Well that is where creativity comes into play. Think of any act as a small play with a beginning, middle and an end. If you think creatively you can do most anything.
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

Entertainers Product Site

http://kpmagicproducts.com

Join Our Facebook Fan Page at

http://facebook.com/perondesign
Magique Hands
View Profile
Loyal user
Lincoln, NE.
247 Posts

Profile of Magique Hands
Magic4u02;

I'm so glad you mentioned Cardini's character. Even though my style of card manipulations does not resemble his, by watching him over and over, I noticed his 'timing' when the items where produced. It was his 'tipsy gentleman character' that helped me re-valuate my whole manipulation act... especially in theming.

I love the fact that he themed everything around his performance character. WHY the cards were appearing from his fingertips helped the audience enjoy the magic better and be able to relate to this 'english gentleman' on a more personal level.

When I decide to add something new to the show, it takes many months (and sometimes over a year or two), because I 'stage' it from the perspective of a certain theme.

Very well said Magic4u02.


- - Troy
"If you go around sprinkling Woofle Dust on everything... people will think 'My... What an odd character." www.magicmafia.com
magic4u02
View Profile
Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

Profile of magic4u02
Troy:
Why thank you kind sir. I appreciate the kind words.

Cardini was amazing not only in his pure skill alone, but his presentation and character made a "cool" act into an Incredible act.

I think part of the reason was because, as you said, people to relate better to this english drunken character. Because of this character and the use of that theme, audiences were brought into seeing a magical play and not just a guy trying to impress them with pure skill alone.

The audience would buy into this character and in some ways, they would even feel sorry for the poor guy as he attempts to rid himself of this never-ending battle of cards.

I think too many magicians neglect the idea of a strong character or theme because, for one, it takes a long time to develop it correctly. But, in my opinion, I would much rather spend the time and produce an act people can really relate to, then to rush an act and get a ho-hum response. To me the effort put into it really does reap it's own rewards further down the road.
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

Entertainers Product Site

http://kpmagicproducts.com

Join Our Facebook Fan Page at

http://facebook.com/perondesign
Magique Hands
View Profile
Loyal user
Lincoln, NE.
247 Posts

Profile of Magique Hands
Here's a challenge for us all: When watching Peter Marvey (no particular reason why I chose him) entertain with his manipulation routine... does he have a theme? If not, then what are your reasons for thinking so? If so, then what do you think his foundational theme(s) is?

It'll be quite interesting to hear what we all have to say.


- - Troy

Here's how I came up with the decision to theme my manipulation sequence in my stand-up and stage show:

Over the last 10 years or so, I noticed that the number one question people would ask me was something like, "How did you become a magician?" I noticed that people asked this because they were interested in knowing the answer. I would answer them the usual way... started when I was a kid, etc...

Then it hit me! Why not answer the question before they ask it? And, why not answer it by SHOWING them, instead of just verbally answering them? So, I set out and developed a theme around this 'Question', and my routine was birthed. My close-up card manipulation routine is now one of the best highlights of the show... thanks to all the spectators that took the time to find out a little about me as the magician. My card routine answers that perverbial question in such a magical way... the way a magician would answer it.


Just some food for thought,
- - Troy Smile
"If you go around sprinkling Woofle Dust on everything... people will think 'My... What an odd character." www.magicmafia.com
magic4u02
View Profile
Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

Profile of magic4u02
Troy:
That is wonderful a story. It is fascinating that you said that, as I to came to a similar realization in my own shows.

I remember Denny Haney saying once that a good show always needs at least one personality piece. A piece in your show where you touch the audience and they touch you and you become a person down on their level. In this way you connect with the audience on a more perosonal level.

My personality piece comes from the same question... How did I get started in magic? I go on by sitting down on a stool next to a table with a toy chest on it. It represents my room as a child. I tell a 3 min simple heart-felt story that is all true. The audience sees no magic yet but they really become involved in the story and I feel I connect with them at this point.

The story ends by me looking in this toy box for something and only finding a simple ball. While holding this ball... I say something like..."and I will never forget what that old magician once told all us kids back in that class room years ago. He said magic is not about fooling anyone.. it's about entertaining them and that you do not need expensive props to work good magic.. all you really need is a simple prop and your imagination."

At this point I simple just do a 3 min single billard ball manip. act with a silk involved to the song "It's a Wonderful World."

It is such a simple routine but man the first time I performed it I really felt a connection I never had before with an audience. From that moment on in the show, they were with me more as a personal friend and it made the show that much better.

Themed personality pieces do not always work for everyone, but it certainly has worked for me and I use it whenever I can.
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

Entertainers Product Site

http://kpmagicproducts.com

Join Our Facebook Fan Page at

http://facebook.com/perondesign
zombieboy
View Profile
Special user
Connecticut, USA
889 Posts

Profile of zombieboy
Simple routines that connect with the audience are much better than complicated routines with no connection at all.
I remember seeing a wonderful magician named Arian Black, and she performed a marvelous ring routine with only two rings. However, it was personal, and had a theme to it, and at the end she said to us magicians: You don't need eight. I found this incredible. It is by far the best ring routine I have seen to date.

Just goes to show you.
magic4u02
View Profile
Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

Profile of magic4u02
Zombie:
You're right. It goes to show you it is not always how much magic you can do, but rather what you do with the magic. I would much rather watch a very creative and thought out routine then a 10 min act of nothing but skill.
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

Entertainers Product Site

http://kpmagicproducts.com

Join Our Facebook Fan Page at

http://facebook.com/perondesign
Budihaha
View Profile
Veteran user
Bandung - Indonesia
328 Posts

Profile of Budihaha
Well, this is a good thread! Well said Troy and Kyle!!

Storytellers use magic tricks to make their stories more acceptable to the audience.

So why don't magicians use stories to make their magic more acceptable?
And these need a lot of creativity.

Regards,

Budi Ha Ha
Budi H. Hadiwarsito
Bandung - Indonesia
www.budihaha.com
Craig Krisulevicz
View Profile
Special user
Philadelphia, PA
647 Posts

Profile of Craig Krisulevicz
I agree, this is a great thread. Thanks for all then info everyone.
Who is John Galt?
magic4u02
View Profile
Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

Profile of magic4u02
The idea is to not come across to your audience as "here I am to simply fool you." They deserve much more then that. After all magic is supposed to be entertainment.

Use creativity and think outside of the box. Open your minds to new ideas and not simply redoing something you already saw another magician doing.
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

Entertainers Product Site

http://kpmagicproducts.com

Join Our Facebook Fan Page at

http://facebook.com/perondesign
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » How to theme an act (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2~3 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.2 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL