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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » I'm a real boy! » » How Do You Structure Your Shows? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Mr. Pitts
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David Pitts
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My older act was kind of a clown act, built on a circus theme, that I developed over many years. But when I decided to create an act that was substantially ventriloquism with a bit of magic, I followed Mark Wade's basic structure, as outlined in his book "Kidshow Ventriloquism.

1. Intro/greeting
2. First vent puppet
3. Vent specialty
4. Magic/Variety with Audience Participation
5. Second Vent Puppet
6. Closing With Quiet Dismissal

Over time I have tweaked this format to fit the theme and storyline of my show, but have, for the most part, kept the basic structure for school and library shows. Birthdays too really, but without the quiet dismissal. At birthday parties I usually have the kids form two lines (one for boys, one for girls) for balloon sculptures. I also include at least one more opportunity for the birthday child to help me with something.

Do you have a specific show structure that works for you? And Mark, if you read this, many thanks for that book, it was my 'boy scout handbook' for getting started in this as a full timer, absolutely essential reading. Have you made any changes to this basic structure since writing the book?
David Pitts
The Astonishing Mr. Pitts
Comedy Magician and Ventriloquist
http://www.mrpitts.com
goochelaarpresto
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BRUSSELS - Belgium
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Hi,

I love your thoughts on this. Especially ending with a quiet classy ending is a concept I have learned over the years from other acts.

The only thing I could possibly add is a 5B, a heavy piece with loud volume and a crescendo of laughter, like the explosions at the end of a James Bond movie,
sort of the climax in humor and well as in agitation.

The bigger the contrast with the following Quiet and sober ending, the higher the impact.

Just my 2 cents ;-)
TonyB2009
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Mr Pitts, thanks for a very useful post. Tony
Mr. Pitts
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David Pitts
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Thanks guys. I have heard that Mark Wade is still in transition from his move, but has some exciting new things in the works. I'm looking forward to hearing more about it all.
David Pitts
The Astonishing Mr. Pitts
Comedy Magician and Ventriloquist
http://www.mrpitts.com
puppetgirl
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What is a Quiet Dismissal?

I structure my adult shows like a comedy club as if I am the host. I open, bring out the first act, bring out the headliner and then close the show (usually with a short audience participation bit).
Mr. Pitts
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David Pitts
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I like the simplicity of that approach puppetgirl. It's something that people would be familiar with, especially in a comedy club. Plus, there's a lot of flexibility and room to switch gears from character to character.

A 'quiet dismissal' is something that works well specifically for elementary school shows. We come in, we hit the content points, we make them laugh, get them excited, but then... if you want to be talked about in a positive way by the teachers (and you definitely do) you need to transition the kids gently but quickly back into classroom mode before releasing them back to their teachers.

I tell the kids that we're going to do one more amazing thing, their teachers are going to be amazed, the people in the classes as they return to their rooms are going to be amazed, and the trick is called the 'quiet trick'. Basically, I tell them to look to their teachers for the signal to stand and leave in single file, and I challenge them to do it more quietly than the other classes as they exit the room. The teachers appreciate more manageable kids and it makes you kook like you have a lot of control of your audience, which teachers and administrators expect from a professional school show presenter.
David Pitts
The Astonishing Mr. Pitts
Comedy Magician and Ventriloquist
http://www.mrpitts.com
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