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Carron
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I am currently building a routine around me being sat at a table in a restaurant. I have a basic range of effects such as vanishing candle, and various topit work using a small side plate but I was looking for some more unusual effects perhaps using knives forks and spoons, glasses, plates, food, anything will be great please help!

Tom McCarron
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maylor
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Did you see or hear about that act at FISM where 2 people were sitting at a table, but it was on the wall?

Not a restaurant setting but still some very interesting stuff happened. It was based around a gambling scenario.
Harry Murphy
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Tom, some things to consider would include:

A running gag with a “lotto” (make wine bottle lotto), multiplying bottles, Passé Passé bottle/glass, production of a full glass of wine, floating glass of wine (as you pour the wine, production of a meal on a plate from a flaming pan (dove pan), knife through napkin, torn and restored napkin, production of the entire meal from the menu (a la Grant’s Temple Screen).

A slightly bigger effect (and gag) would be to have you sitting to one side of the table with your leg crossed and reading your Menu and have the waiter accidentally pull your chair out from under you only to have you “suspended” in place, uncross and re-cross your legs (the other leg) and the chair is put back with you seemingly not noticing anything amiss (a simple Super-X suspension like gizmo will work here). You could then float the table from your side to your front and then you face the audience.

I could go on and on but I think you get the idea. Others will post some of their ideas too!

By the way, if you are sitting down, you don’t need to use a Topit a simple lap servante will suffice.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Carron
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Thanks harry, some of the early productions are whislt I stand by my table so I am using the topit then, I have had a sevante put in the table cloth on the side pointing away from the audience and one near me aswell, also made some colour changing dinner knives from ordinary dinner knives and gold foil, thinking of some nice transpositions etc. with these at the moment
magic4u02
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Ok let me ask you a few questions just to see where you stand and what you have thought out on this.

- What is your character like on stage?

- Why is he at the table and what is his purpose while there? Is he a waiter? a patron?

- Why is the magic happening and is the magic happening to him or is he doing the magic?

- What is the basic story plot for the act and what do you want people to feel from the act?

I ask because you have a very defined theme and it can be a very clever act. Just that too many magicians do not go into the acts deep enough and this causes audiences to be confused when viewing the act on stage.

Love to hear your thoughts and answers to these questions. I look forward to reading them.
Kyle Peron

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Carron
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Hi there Kyle
My stage persona is a classic magician of the gloden age of magic, top hat, cane, tails, he is quite a quirky and humorous character, but still at times very serious. I find that this suits me best and gets the audience to warm to me, but then also watch me like a hawk!
Whilst I am at the table, I am waiting for a date, who never shows, so it is basically me killing time waiting for my date.
The magic is happening to the man and he is not expecting it and seems just as surprised as the audience (a la Cardini)
People are meant to see that extraordinary things happen everyday and things are not always the work of a conjuror, but instead true beauty such as flowers or a dove. They begin to pity the man when the date does not turn up, but once the magi has come to terms with the no show, they see that he is capable of getting by with his funny, quirky attitude and amazing happenings that they happen to be witnessing.

Thanks again Kyle
Tom
magic4u02
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Tom not a bad idea and you have given this some thought. I am just confused a bit because it seems like you have two different plots going on together and I am not sure the audience will be able to follow them both.

On one hand you have a magician who is waiting for a date in a restaurant. That does make perfect sense to me. But the magic should not happen to him and him be shocked and suprised by it.

If he was a magician and a good one, the magic would either 1) simply happen because he is good at it and he just does it naturally... or 2) the magic happens because he is trying to impress someone.

Cardini's surprised reactions worked because he was playing a sort of drunken magician. In the drunken state, the magic happened because he did not realize it. There was a reason for the surprised reaction.

I think you are on to something here and you have a good idea. I would just reevaluate the theme and fine tune it more. Do not have the magic happen out of suprise, but have it happen for one of the reason's stated above.

Let me know your thoughts on this. Be glad to help you out.
Kyle Peron

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teddymagic
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You cannot forget to pull the tablecloth from the table with glasses and plates on it...a good finish, as you can pull the table cloth out and then vanish everything from the table.

would look neat.

Good luck
Magically Yours,

Teddy Mahy
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With some work, you could (out of shear anger) pull the table cloth from the table, leaving all the plates and glasses undisturbed, then when you drop the table cloth your date is standing there.

I'm thinking 'mirrors' and she would have to be under the table the whole time, though.

Just a suggestion
magic4u02
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What teddy mentioned would look neat but only if there is a reason in the act for the character to even do that. If there is no reason, then it does not make any sense.

Now Kevin just mentioned a great idea. He has the right direction on this. By taking a general effect and placing it back into the context of the central theme. Now it makes sense and it becomes more then just a magician showing skill. Now it becomes a magical moment in a well defined plot.

It would also be a very good ending with power and emotional impact for the audience. maybe what happens is your at this restaurant and your waiting for your date to show up. A waiter comes in with a phone saying message for you.

You pick it up and the audience hears that your date is not sure of things and needs time to rethink your relationship. Her last words to you are... " your a great guy... take time to reflect back at all the Magical moments we shared together." Then the music starts to play.

The magic that happens at that point can all be him reflecting upon the magical fun times they shared together. Him pondering about things. Maybe he takes out a picture of her and in frustration tears it up and tosses it on the table. Maybe he picks up a rose and the rose changes to a black one that crumbles to the floor.

Maybe he then realizes that he should not dwell on bad thoughts that they had great times together. He picks up a napkin and folds it into a rose. It dances in his hand before becomign a real rose in a burst of flame. heplaces this into a vase.

Other things can happen but maybe at the end he produces her. She says she was all wrong... and then he lifts the picture frame only to show her picture is back restored inside.

Now we are starting totake a concept and giving it so much more. Allowing the audience to connect with the performance as well.
Kyle Peron

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Carron
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Very impressive Kyle you never cease to amaze me!
magic4u02
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Why thank you Tom. Being an artist, I have learned to think differently then most when it comes to putting ideas together to create what I call theatrical magic.

I try not to allow the magic to be the only thing the audience gets from the act. There is so much more you can put into any magic act you do, that allows the audience to enjoy it much more then just a show of skill alone.

I enjoy being creative all the time and I work each week at creating new ideas for my own show as well as the many SYM kids I teach magic to. It keeps me fresh and helps me to constantly flex my creative juices.

Please feel free to use any or all idea I discussed above. They are yours for the taking. If you, or anyone else wants or would like to brainstorm further on your act, please feel free to PM me at any time. I like helping and consulting with my magical brethern.

I do have a technique or a few techniques I use to help me when it comes to brainstorming ideas. I used to use it in my art, but found it works wonders for magic as well. If anyone is intersted in this method, let me know.
Kyle Peron

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maylor
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Yeah, I'm interested for sure. Doesn't involve meditation does it??
magic4u02
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Maylor:
No meditation needed or sitting in weird yoga positions. hehe Actually it is a technique I used when doing my art and graphic design work. It is a way to instantly generate ideas and brainstorm two or more completely different topics or ideas and merge them together. It works wonders to get the creative juices flowing cause it forces you to stay focused in your thinking.

Say you want to come up with a magic act themed around art. If this is the case, here is what you do. You get out a piece of paper and on the left side at the toop you write the word ART and on the right side of paper you write the word MAGIC.

You start with the art word and under it you write down every single word you can think of that relates to the word art. For example you may have, paint brush, colors, paint, easle, frame etc.

You do the same for the word magic. This case you may have the words, magic, vanish, transpose, grow, shrink, levitate etc.

You only write down the words and are NOT writing down concepts or ideas. Just simple words that relate to the word at the top.

Once you have these two lists generated, the fun really begins. Now you start to cross-reference the words in the two lists. This cross-referencing allows you to start to come up with some interesting ideas easily and without much thought.

For example you take the word paintbrush from one column and you take the word vanish from the other and suddenly you have the idea of a vanishing paintbrush.

I think you will get the idea of how this works and where it can lead to.

It is a great method to use for any creative endeavor and works wonders for act and routines for magic. I use it all the time. Try it out and see if it works for you.
Kyle Peron

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maylor
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Many thanks Kyle, much appreciated. I'll give it a go for sure. I can see how this would work and is brilliant in it's simplicity. It looks at the act at its absolute root components. Something which I think can sometimes be overlooked by the desire to create the entire act/theme in one thought.

Again, many thanks for sharing this for us Kyle. I'm sure others will find it useful too! Smile
magic4u02
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Maylor:

Your most welcome and I hope others decide to give it a try as well. What tends to happen is that we get overwhlmed with ideas and thoughts when it comes to thinking creatively with an act or routine.

This process mentioned above, allows you to funnel it down to the most absolute root thoughts. It allows you to stay focused and generate ideas in a clear cut manner. By channeling your ideas in this way, you are not overwhelmed as much and the ideas that can be generated are foten ideas you may not have come up with otherwise.

It has really worked great for me in so many ways. It can even serve as an exercise for the mind even if it is not for an actual act.

You will find that the more times you use this method, the easier it becomes and soon you will see you are much more tuned in to your own creativity.

What do others think? Have any of you use similar processes?
Kyle Peron

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rcad
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Hello Kyle,

As always your posts are to the point and very interesting. I have never used this method but I think it must be a very powerful one. I can share a couple of others since there are many techniques. Mine are more "intuitive" though.

I will listen to music and it will inspire me. Say I want to create a ghost story. I will play scary movie music that fits the mood I want and let the images come. Then all those images turn into scenes and finaly, I see how the scenes will fit together...

The other one resembles automatic writing but there are no spirits at work, just your imagination guided by your subconcious. That is the reason most writers will tell you they loose control over their characters at some point. It's like being in a self-induced hypnosis kind of state if that makes any sense... If someone or something really comes to disturb you in that state, you feel as if you had to wake up. Anyways, I start to write the story or the scene that I vaguely have in mind and first thing I know, I have trouble to keep up writing at the speed ideas are coming.

And the greatest feeling is to become the first spectator of whatever you've just created... Does anyone work like this? I think it's only the second time in my life I have shared this because usually, people don't understand what I'm talking about. I'm sure though that with all the creative minds here, this will ring a bell to more than a few.

I'd love to hear what you all do to be creative...

Richard
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious." Albert Einstein
DJ Trix
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Listen to the oldies. I have thought up some very crazy, new, fun routines from that kind of music. and I do understand my friend as well as others do.

DJ
magic4u02
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Richard:
Thanks so much for the kind words. It is always nice to know that not only do people read my posts but they actually get something out of them hehe. Thanks.

That is a method of creative thinking that I have used many time in my art and design business. It just works really well when you carry it over into magic. I have used it many times, and each time I do, I grow more creative with it.

It really helps you to focus your thoughts and you can come up with some ideas you may never have thought of otherwise.

I also listen to a lot of music and have a vast collection. Music certainly can inspire an act or routine and can be the basis for an entire segment in my show.

I totally know what your referring to when you mention getting into a certain state of mind. I do that a lot in my fine art. where hours slip on by and it seems like my pen is working by itself. It is a great meditation for me.

I totally understand where you are coming from and what you have stated is not foreign to me at all. I just do not think people really know how to be creative and how to stretch it out. It certainly would make for a great lecture. Learning to expand your own creativity and imagination.

Being an artist, I always say the only difference between an artist and anyone else is the fact that I have learned to SEE. People shake their heads and do not often understand what I mean by that.

Learning to see is far more then just looking and saying I understand what I am looking at. For example: a person is told to draw a tree. They do not look at the tree or understand the tree at all. Their brains are programed that a tree looks a certain way and so they draw what their minds have register a tree is supposed to look like. BUT, they are not really seeing it at all.

You come to realize that every tree is different from the other. The texture is different, the branches and color, how the aptmosphere interacts with it and so on and so forth. So learning to see is all about opening up your mind to really study something and to look past the obvious.

This way of thinking and seeing is how I tend to view everything now. It has helped me to always observe and to be open to any thoughts and ideas for my own magic.

I get ideas for my magic from anywhere and everything. I do not get my ideas for magic from magic. That sounds funny but it is so true. I find that my ideas come from nature, culture, music and just about anything. Even a cool shape of furniture can spark an idea or generate a thought.

When you learn to open yourself up in this manner, you will find that your mind is more free to truely create something new and different.

Too many of us tend to look at the wrong things for inspiration. We are so used to going to our magic videos or books or acts we have seen in the past. This is fine to get yourself excited about the project, but it tends to force you in a certain direction of copying or mimicking what you see. It limits you greatly.

The best suggestion to thinking creatively is to not go to the magic books or the videos just yet. Step away from it totally. Open yourself up to exploring the idea or object yourself and you will be amazed at what ideas you can generate.

I hope this has helped give you some ideas and what has worked for me in the past.
Kyle Peron

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FranD,Amico
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Tom, Is your act to music? For stage I will assume? Comedy? Plastic knives and forks, can of silver or better yet Chrome paint. If you got some floating silverware you could do magic with breadsticks applying cigarrette sleights. It would be quite comical if you were trying to eat and you silverware floated away, your food was dissapearing every time you tried to eat. Breadstick dissappears, comes out your ear or nose, go to bite it, decide it's better to throw that one away. Your water glass empties itself before you can drink it.
After all this time nothing to eating, they give you the bill, make it dissappear. For some reason I see a snooty French sidewalk Café.
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