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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The August 2012 entrée: Shawn Farquhar » » Putting together a Show » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of yin_howe
Dear Shawn,

Do you have any thoughts on putting together a magic show.
I, and I suspect many amateur magicians & hobbyist, have many effects that they have purchased but when actually asked to do a show, have trouble putting one together (just like some women with a closet full of clothes but still can't find anything to wear).
When putting together your full evening show, what are the things you consider when putting the effects together?
"Talent without passion is talent wasted.."
Shawn Farquhar
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Profile of Shawn Farquhar
Yin Howe,

You have awesome questions.

To me a full evening show must have texture. It can't be one stunning effect after the other if you want the audience to enjoy themselves. Think of it like a roller coaster ride. If the whole ride was just a series of spinning and dips and not moment in between to catch your breath it would be less fun. Johnny Carson, the famous comic and late night host, spoke often of the rule of three. Johnny Ace Palmer had a set of lecture notes discussing this too. I believe any great show can be broken down into basically three acts. Each act has three parts, etc. Every great play engages the audience quickly and lays out the plot. The second act is where we learn about the characters. In the final act they tie it al together. Same can be said of a magic show.

In my average full evening show I start with a series of fast paced illusions. I then take some time to introduce myself and establish a connection with the audience using interactive magic. I usually return to the large format illusions for a brief time and close the show with something small and soft. No, not some grand epic illusion as would be expected. Something small like Shape of my Heart, Unwritten or Thread of Life. I want people to remember me, not the box..

I only select effects that fit my character.
I have garages filled with magic I was unable to use due to the fact my personality/character wouldn't ever dream of doing what they required.

This formulas has served me well for several decades. I have a new theatrical experience I am producing called Keeper of Secrets,
I have only mounted the show a few times in the past year but all those have been artistically and financially successful.
My goal is to take the show across Canada in 2015. Until then I will just drop the show into small 700 - 1000 seat theatres when I have spare time.

Ray Bertrand
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Ottawa, Ontario
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Spare time! You have spare time???

Mentalism in Ontario.
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