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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » How long should a seance last? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Yannou
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There's this restaurant who sells dinner + entertainment (either after or during dinner). They've asked me if I can do an after dinner seance for them. People will have dinner first and then walk 5 minutes to a house where the seance should take place. It's in the very first stage, but if I do this, it will probably be with 3 people: host, medium and hidden assistant. We're having discussions now on how long the whole show should be. Effects are plenty in the bizarre literature, but not much on this subject. People have already spent time at the dinner table, so it should not be hours long, but if it's only a half hour show, they may feel cheated. What are your thoughts?
And what about other situations:
- a seance at a private party
- a seance at your (your own or rented) place

I don´t have that much experience doing seances, but with what I have done so far I kept the actual seance at about 20 minutes. For the introduction I do a few effects, pseudo psychometry as one of them, which gives me plenty of room to play it by feel. If people seem restless I can cut it short, if they are enjoying themselves I go on a little longer. I have also done Tarot readings afterwards, for those who want it, while people who don´t can get back to the party.

What are your thoughts?
Damon Reinbold
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Have performed The Departed for almost a year some time ago with me as the medium, a host and hidden assistrant. It ran for about 1 hour 40 minutes and used appromixately 19 effects. WE fourwalled it an a theatre behind a magic shop and it was quite successful. Will be following it shortly with The Possessed. I performed The Haunting solo for years at the Theatre of Magic in Hot Springs AR... also quite successful. I wish you all the best in this venture. You'll have plenty of stories.

regards,

Damon
Damon Reinbold
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dennper
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Yannou - PM'd you
Philemon Vanderbeck
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I would suspect that given the circumstances, a 45-60 minute time length would be ideal.
Professor Philemon Vanderbeck
That Creepy Magician
"I use my sixth sense to create the illusion of possessing the other five."
Vic Nadata
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Agreed 45 to 60 is perfect
Marqus
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At a length of 45-60 minutes, what would be a fair price range to charge?
chmara
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Length depends upoin how long it takes to scare yourself with accuracy/reality -- and to involve/impress the sitters. 45-90 minutes with NO intermission ---so warn everyone to take a WC break.
Gregg (C. H. Mara) Chmara

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Tucson, AZ



C. H. Mara Illusion & Psychic Entertainments
Philemon Vanderbeck
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Quote:
On 2010-07-30 14:23, Marqus wrote:
At a length of 45-60 minutes, what would be a fair price range to charge?


As much as you can get away with.

Seriously though, you would need to research average ticket prices in your area compared to similar types of live entertainment offered.
Professor Philemon Vanderbeck
That Creepy Magician
"I use my sixth sense to create the illusion of possessing the other five."
dennfox
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A seance should last as long as it takes for one of the participants to die and replace the Ghost you contacted!
Clifford the Red
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47 minutes, exactly.
"The universe is full of magical things, waiting for our wits to grow sharper." Eden Philpotts
Robin DeWitt
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Quote:
On 2010-07-31 00:09, Clifford the Red wrote:
47 minutes, exactly.


Is that Pacific standard Time? Should there be an adjustment for daylight saving time?
I am the fakir, you....
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tiptophat
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The ones we do run about 55 min at the table, and about 30 min before in a sitting area waiting for all to arrive and setting the mood.
Bill Ligon
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I suggest you make the seance just long enough to run from beginning to end, but no longer.
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Dr Spektor
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Hmm.. whatever you do, don't put in a death by choking on the food.

Also, time it between courses....

And DO NOT DELAY DESSERT.
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
Bill Fienning
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As I recall, the seance at the Magic Castle runs about one hour. This seemed just about the right length.
Bill Fienning

"It's More than Tricks"
ufo
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45 is pretty nice for a lot of reasons. Go too long on this and the mood and suspense will start to drop rapidly. It may be better to do two shorter programs at a slightly lesser admission to get your goal $ than making it longer to get more $ on each set.
"What's your drug?" she asked. "Hope" he said, "The most addicting one of all."
Dr Spektor
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Humble opinion - it lasts as long as it takes to achieve the goals of the seance... and if the audience is lost along the way, its too long... you want to leave them wanting more.

Educational fact - change modality of delivery e.g. didactic versus interactive X etc. every 20 minutes at the max - and you can keep going for hours. However, lose the points of what you set out to do - bzzt.

So, the reality is - this question needs context, the elements within the seance, blocking... and who the audience is...

Otherwise, I like the answer Clifford gave.

(Personal experiences - I'm run spirit/seance style routines/acts lasting from 20 minutes to 75 minutes no problem).
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
Mind_Magic
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45 minutes is OK and 15 minutes for Q&A during Seance pitching.
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