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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Putting it all together for a show (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Magicjosh1725
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I have been in Magic now for almost 2 years. I got into right after 9/11. I am a firefighter, and an EMT and after that happened I figured I needed a safe hobby. Magic was the key and now I LOVE it. I think it saved me so to speak. Now I want to try and do shows.

Any suggestions on how to put a show together? I know how to do lots of different effects, but how do I put them together and make a show of it. Also if it helps, I do mostly Cards, coins, a little silk, a few mind reading, invisible thread, and thumb tip stuff. Thanks for any help.

Josh Smile Smile
Peter Marucci
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Josh,
I assume you are talking about a close-up show.

Much of that would depend on where you want to do this -- table-hopping, for friends, etc.

However, even without that information, I can offer a couple of bits of advice:

Don't go on too long. For relative newcomers, there is a tendency to "show off everything all at once." By doing that, you risk boring your audience; always leave 'em wanting more.

When routining a show, don't make it so tight that there is no place for audience reaction between one trick and the next. Have some built-in space for applause or gasps of appreciation.

Have fun. (That's probably the most important factor; if you are having fun, then you audience will be having fun, and that's 3/4 of the battle!)

cheers,
Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com
Daniel J. Ferrara Jr.
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Whenever I am trying to put together a new show, this is usually what I do. I will make a list of all the effects that I want to put into the show. Then I try to find an order that "makes sense". In other words, if you do a trick that ends with you finding the four aces, and then you do a trick that requires four aces, it only makes sense to do them in that order. You want to have some sort of flow to your act.

Once I have the actual trick line up out of the way, I will work on the patter. I like to tell a story that links each trick into the next, but that is just my style. You need to decide if you want your act to be funny or mistifying or both.

Once I have all of that planned out then I practice it over and over. You should know your routine so well that you don't have to think about what is coming next.
Alan Wheeler
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I enjoy using a clipboard as I develop the "show list" of effects. The first page is a blank sheet of scatch paper. Behind that sheet is a "trick list" of effects sorted by type--cards, coins, bills, silks, and so on. Behind that sheet is a page of "set lists." Each "set list" is just a modular group of two or three routines that blend well together (for example, the idea above of an ace assembly effect blending into "Dr. Daley's Last Trick" using the four aces). Behind that sheet is a page of "show lists," which is a record of past shows. All of this is just to help me think.

Some of the advice I have heard about planning shows includes: (1)Open with something fast and flashy to get attention (2) Do something early that connects you with the audience, sets the tone, and displays your style and personality (3) In the beginning, perform something very strong, leaving no doubt a good show is in store. (4) Have UNITY through recurring motifs, an over-reaching theme, or other prestentation angles (5) build to increasing dramatic peaks with relaxation and rising drama between them (6) Have VARIETY. For example, some have said don't do five coin tricks in a row or don't do three "sucker tricks" in a row (7) Include audience participation but end with the focus on you (8) Save the best for last (and have an encore built in?) (9)always leave the audience wanting more, and (10) break all rules if you can justify it artistically or in view of your style

Much of this advice is still a mystery to me. I would love to hear how others build acts.

One more suggestion from me is to walk through the show with props in their places DURING the design stage to see what will really work using your pockets and your performing environment. This way you can get a good synergy of the abstract and the concrete.

hope this helps

alleycat Smile
The views and comments expressed on this post may be mere speculation and are not necessarily the opinions, values, or beliefs of Alan Wheeler.
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Chout
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It really depends on the occasion, the number of audience members, and their age group.
But generally start off with a very appealing trick to get them hooked. Then drop down to some simpler stuff, and work your way up to your finale. But like someone already said, never do too many tricks. If you can tell they are getting bored, jump straight to your big finish.
Alan Wheeler
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Does anyone else have some good advice for designing a magic show?

alleycat Smile
The views and comments expressed on this post may be mere speculation and are not necessarily the opinions, values, or beliefs of Alan Wheeler.
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Rob Johnston
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Since you are an expert with fire...there are some great fire effects. Very visual but it isn't for anyone. You could always use your experience for that.
"Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable." - Margot Fonteyn
GlenD
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I pretty much do it the same way, written out effects that are to be considered with time estimates and any applicable comments.
Keeping in mind concepts that have already been mentioned, such as powerful and hard hitting openers etc., I weed out or eliminate effects on my list and begin working out an order. I like this part, the planning and everything. But once you gain more experience and come up with a routine or 2 or 3 that works you can use it or variations of it and work more on presentation variations or things of that nature.

Know your performance time and when you get something close on paper the next step is to go through the entire routine and time it.
Don't worry too much about little distractions that may happen (and usually do) when running through it. I find that reasonably short distractions about equal the time that gets used up during an act for appaloosas or unexpected occurrences.
But you got to practice and know each effect well and practice the entire routine multiple times and be happy (very happy) when something goes wrong during practicing.

GlenD
"A miracle is something that seems impossible but happens anyway" - Griffin

"Any future where you succeed, is one where you tell the truth." - Griffin (Griffin rocks!)
what
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Lehi, UT, USA
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I recently put together my show. I spent $15 and bought Dan Harlans Show planning system when he lectured here. I really liked it. It walks you step by step through planning a show and he gives understandable reasons to plan the way you do. It really got me going.
I think the most important thing is to just do it. Plan your show with the effects and routines that you ALREADY KNOW. Spend some time with the costume, setting and staging.

Enjoy the journey,

Mike
Magic is fun!!!
Dan Monroe
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For me this is the hardest part but this is how I do it. First I make a list of my tricks. Then I try to put them in a logical order so everything flows well. Next I run through the whole act in a rehearsal. If something feels wrong I go back to the list and make changes. Keep doing this until you get it right. Sometimes when performing I find an effect that is stronger or weaker than I thought it would be. So back to the list I go. It’s not easy but well worth the time and thought. Smile
The power is within us all...I'm just a little more full of it.
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