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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Helping hands » » I found something worse.... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Steven Steele
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Hesperia, California USA
1904 Posts

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There have been a lot of posts throughout the years from magicians who write something along the line of 'I have a show tomorrow night and never done a show like this. What tricks should I do?' Or, 'I bought this great trick this morning, I can hardly wait to try it out in tonight's show!'

But this is something new, I haven't seen it before. On Craigslist "I need an assistant for a magic show I'm performing tomorrow night. No experience necessary. Singing and dancing a plus, but not required." Really? I've trained a couple of girls to work an easier illusion (like Zig Zag) now and then, but most of my assistants work for a couple of weeks, at least, to know the routines and really become an assistant. Maybe I'm missing something?
griffindance
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144 Posts

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Speaking as a choreographer (stage veteran of over 30yrs) I can have one day to rehearse actors/dancers for a one off performance of a short dance piece (5-8mins). It will do; it can happen. But "can do" also means "make do!" This is the very lowest level of professional responsibility. If you want a repeat performance/booking then do your best. This means having a slick, well rehearsed show that you know looks good and can be performed without a hitch.
Just a note for comparision sake; ten hours of rehearsal is generally needed for a new piece of pure dance (just dancing, not as a part of an illusion) that lasts for 20mins and has a cast of five to ten people. If you think that illusion makes things more or less complicated then adjust your rehearsal time accordingly.
jugglestruck
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Inner circle
Wales
1038 Posts

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Interesting. In two days I have a new theatre christmas show opening and in it a snowman will come to life and hold the stage for 1 or 2 minutes.. The girl who plays the costumed snowman had ten minutes rehearsal today....... That's it until the show opens!

This is obviously far from ideal and I wont bore you with the reasons behind this but it is the only option.
On the plus side, she is a great mover!

I'll report back Smile
jugglestruck
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Wales
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Ten minutes before the first show she said she wanted different music... She chose it and off we went. To my total delight she brought the house down. This snowman was something else and pretty much the best bit of the show Smile
It doesn't normally work like this and I don't recommend it but on this occaision it worked.
joesquire
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89 Posts

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We all know you can't shove someone with no experience into the limelight and hope they'll "wing it".

But that's not to say it's not just someone to help move props on and off stage, or load a pred*****n ch**t
jugglestruck
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Wales
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Quote:
On 2012-11-15 01:00, joesquire wrote:
We all know you can't shove someone with no experience into the limelight and hope they'll "wing it".



That's what we all know but it sure worked with me.
makeupguy
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There's a HUGE difference between a new assistant and someone with "no experience."

If someone is a trained dancer.. or singer/ dancer who has rehearsed other shows and has sung in public before.. it's amazing what they can pick up in a short time.

I'd never hire a sub trunk assistant to learn it in an hour.. but many illusions can be learned by a good assistant in a short time if they have some sort of aptitude.

Now.. there's also a HUGE difference between a hire hand to do some box jumping and an ASSISTANT. A REAL assistant is hard to come by.
DavidThomas
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231 Posts

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The key to being able to train an assistant quickly is to have the experience and know how to actually train them. If you don't know the illusion backward and forward, not only from the magicians point of view but more importantly from their point of view, then training becomes very difficult. Know where they stand, exactly how to get in the space, grab the cloth, bring the prop, ect.

If the person has dance training and performance skills then most illusions can be done in an intensive rehearsal. Dancers can learn a very complicated dance in a very short time. Band members can learn a new song in a very short time. The key is having the "skills" needed.

I would always be wary of not giving people time to be acclamated to "small spaces" This is normally the biggest issue with new dancers.
David Thomas
TheWorldofMagic.com
MagicalDragons
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MO
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What is the ideal time for assistant rehearsal for a basic illusion?
DavidThomas
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231 Posts

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This is hard to say depending on the illusion.....what are you thinking of?
David Thomas
TheWorldofMagic.com
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