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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » Preserving voice (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Scott Burton
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Inner circle
1131 Posts

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Walk-around isn't my normal thing but I do add it in to many of my corporate Christmas gigs to sweeten the deal. I work as a speaker or corporate entertainer (focus on mentalism) primarily but do enjoy walk-around for the most part when I do it.

A challenge I have sometimes is preserving my voice for my later show when the cocktail hour is in a very loud environment (music or simply the amount of people and talking). Last night I had a loud group stuffed into a small room and I had to practically yell so that the groups of 10+ that would gather could hear me. How do you manage your voice in a loud situation like this so as to continue for a long period or save yourself for a later show? I'm all about mentalism (that's my character and presentational theme) so I don't have much visual effects right now. Is it about training my voice more adequately for this senario, trying for more non-speaking effects, or managing expectations and performance environment with the client?

In the end, I don't consider this my core product. A potential solution is to simply not offer it anymore to avoid the core product.

I am interested in hearing from you!

Thank you!
AndyLuka
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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
440 Posts

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It's a vocal strength thing. It's like working out, the more you do it the better it is. Try to keep your throat and mouth wet, drink water.
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Scott Burton
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Could be. I've worked hard to relax my voice for the stage environment and now use the microphone for power rather than forcing it unnaturally. Here I find myself unassisted. There could very well be a technique or strength issue here.
bostonzero
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Boston, Ma
101 Posts

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Hmm, interesting dilemma. So you don't amplify often? I have a small amplifier I use with a lapel mic and it works great. this way, if only some of the people are gathering for me while others are off talking or listening to music they can hear me just fine and it doesn't really bother anyone else.

My wife got me the ION blockrocker battery charged amp last year for my birthday and it's great. Has an IPod dock, AM/FM radio channels and 2 inputs for mics or a mic and something else. I use it for my smaller shows and street shows. It's not too heave and has a handle that exptend and two wheels in the rear, super portable. It was only like 100.00.

I bring no matter what/where the show is, just in case I may need to amplify. As far as techniques, sorry I don't know anything for that. But as Andy mentioned, just keep drinking water (small sips) through the night to keep from getting dried out. The other option I suppose is to get everyone to watch you at once, then no talking over people ; )
Good luck!

EDIT: Sorry I think I had your question wrong, so it's the walk around part that you have to deal with people talking around you, not the stand up part? My bad, I had that backwards..
Dimitri Mystery Artist
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Israel/Ukraine
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Hey Scott
we had discussed it recently, check the thread
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......rum=5&27
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
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You're in the perfect situation to learn a very valuable lesson in performing magic... most magicians don't know when (or how) to shut up and let the action speak for itself. Of course you have to say what is necessary to make everything clear to the audience, but that should be about all that you need to say.

You can very often communicate with facial expressions and gestures. I learned this once having to do close-up with a voice that was totally gone.

There is also a technique of drawing your spectators in closer by lowering your voice and tightening the framework of your performance area. It suggests intimacy and is appropriate to a lot of close-up anyway. It has the effect of bringing them into your performing space, instead of you invading their cocktail party space. Subtle, but huge difference.

As you mentioned, this is not your core product. It is quite common to see close-up guys have difficulty transitioning to the stage, so it stands to reason that a stage guy may have difficulty backing off that "stage" personna for close-up work. I'm not saying that's your issue, but thought it worthy of inclusion here.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Scott Burton
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Thanks all. I did see that voice thread but wasn't sure if it was an exact fit to what I am looking for but admittingly it is part of the equation.

Great points about communicating non-verbally (not a normally used skill for me), "backing off" my stage "persona", and drawing people closer. These are issues from being a primarily stage guy no doubt.

So no one instructs the client on setting up a situation that is best for the service? For stage, I can certainly dictate my requirements.
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
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Quote:
On 2012-12-09 13:59, Scott Burton wrote:


So no one instructs the client on setting up a situation that is best for the service? For stage, I can certainly dictate my requirements.


Close-up is undoubtedly the most fluid of performing environments. A client can easily envision requirements for a stage performance. But, walking around during a cocktail party performing close-up magic is viewed (and rightfully so) as a very simple proceedure. Just be someone who would be welcome at the party whether they were doing magic or not.

In the past, I have experimented with more "staged" close-up techniques. It seems to be ok when that's the main "show" of the night. But if you are just adding this as a preliminary feature to the main event, usually strolling and working small groups when and where you find them is going to uncomplicate your evening tremendously. Think of it this way... you are breaking the ice so that you hit the stage later with an elevated status before you even begin to perform. It's like a meet and greet before the show.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Daz Buckley
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Elite user
Australia
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I actually worked as a singer when I was younger, and most magicians would do well to take voice lessons. Even if it means you still can't be heard as well in these environments, it places less stress on a well trained voice. Mary's advice to drink water is a sound one, and some performers would suggest a drink like honey and lemon between the close up and stage acts to help lubricate a potentially tired or stressed voice.
Alan Munro
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Kentwood, Michigan, USA
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Quote:
On 2012-12-09 13:08, Michael Baker wrote:
You can very often communicate with facial expressions and gestures. I learned this once having to do close-up with a voice that was totally gone.


Having performed in night clubs, I have to agree. Trying to speak over loud music, and a room of people who yell to be heard, is an exercise in futility. Voice lessons can help in most cases, but still won't be enough in some environments.
MagicJuggler
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Anchorage, AK
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Find some visual stuff that can be performed silently if need be for those loud environments. Effects that speak for themselves. Voice lessons are a good tool but if you're in a situation where you have to practically yell to be heard it's better to have stuff that translates well whether they can hear you or not.
Matthew Olsen

www.mattolsenmagic.com




I heard from a friend that anecdotal evidence is actually quite reliable.
Granger
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Sometimes I believe that husky loss of voice may make you seem you have put in extra-effort. Which could be a good thing too sometimes.
Lefebure
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Loyal user
Lille, France
202 Posts

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A good idea of exercice for pronounciation is to put a potatoe in your mouth and try to speak as clearly as possible. NO JOKE !!! The muscles of your cheeks, tongue and jaw will work in a different way. I taught it from a TV speaker years ago, I was a bit skeptic at the beginning, but I can tell you it really helps !
Otherwise, before and after such hard performances, raw lemon juice can help to protect and/or recover your voice.

Regards
/Jeremy
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