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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Working out new Q & A routine..where can I go to be bad ? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Logan Five
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Northern California
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I'll be working with bi#### & tarot cards.

Where can I go to practise my q & a ?

I need to " work the kinks out ". I don't want to charge these local civic groups until my act is entertaining.

So, where do I go?

Rick
Self concept is destiny..
Scott Burton
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Depends. I know nothing about you, your act, or your character. Perhaps as some basic ideas to start with (1) bars / night clubs (2) senior centres (3) psychic fairs (4) public libraries (5) social gatherings with your friends. Just ask around keep your eyes open.
tacrowl
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Friends and family, groups you are a member of...
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Logan Five
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Northern California
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A co-worker of mine, is a member of the local Moose lodge..I can ask her to put in a good word for me.

Senior centers is another good idea.

Any more?
Self concept is destiny..
MRSharpe
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Your question is worded so that it begs a point. If you plan on working locally and charging in the future then try to get you chops in another locality. It wouldn't be a good idea to bee bad in what you consider to be your future market. Also, if you try working psychic fairs with Tarot, make sure you know the cards very well or our credibility might not be acceptable.
Custom Props Designer and Fabricator as well as Performer from Indiana, USA
David Thiel
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Western Canada...where all that oil is
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That's an ongoing question in mentalism, because the bottom line is that you can't really practice it without using strangers. Family members and friends don't give you the kind of reaction you'll get in the real world...and it's that real world experience you need.

You haven't indicated what system you plan on using for Q and A. There are many out there...so what follows may or may not be useful to you. The first is: "Make it as good as you possibly can in your head before showing it to another human being." Try to anticipate everything. You can't, of course -- but TRY. Script it. Write down all the variables you can possibly think of. Think through each action and, if you're using a prop like a ThoughtSc*n board (which I use)...practice each single thing -- each move -- with the prop you plan to use. (I learned all about the difficulties of when to get the bill*ts out of my pocket and onto the board...and the timing challenges...and how what I wore would affect what I could easily do.)

I had my wife and friends write up what THEY would ask at a real show. I folded up the billets and drew them at random out of a bag and practiced answering what they'd written. This helped a lot. I taped myself and this helped too.

But you still need REAL people. Here's what I do about that:

Wherever possible I try to break in something I'm considering for my stage show while I'm doing close-up. This is perfect from several perspectives: the angles and scrutiny are often much closer -- which means you can build your chops as you perform it. Second -- people are much more open to speaking their minds in a close up situation...so you can find out what they really think. Finally -- if it sucks, you can surround it with a pile of good stuff.

I have a charity I support and I do an event each year which I call "Experimentz." This is a group I know quite well, and they have a fundraising dinner where I do my show with whatever new stuff I'm working on as part of the show. They know it and I know it. I do the show as a donation and it gives me the opportunity to try some of the stuff I think is almost set to go into my "real" show.

Q and A really is one of the pinnacles of mentalism. I approached this with literal 'fear and trembling' because I suspected how hard it would be to make it both amazing AND entertaining. I was wrong, of course. Q and A turned out to be MUCH harder than I thought it would be. But it's well worth the investment of time and creativity.

I wish you the best. Let us know how it goes for you.

David
Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Except bears. Bears will kill you.


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Logan Five
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MSSharpe,

Working out of the area seems like a good idea, I didn't think about that. That is something I'll look into.

David,

I am going to be using Paul Voodini's Pure Q & A and end with an ungimmicked drawing duplacation. I used to do a graphology Q & A with the ultra thin wallet, but I kept forgeting the o##-a#### question, that was a LONG time ago. Practicing doing close-up I can use business cards and have them write out a question that is on their mind.

Your right, I have a little bit of fear going into this as it's just me answering the audience's questions.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Rick
Self concept is destiny..
Tim Friday
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I am guessing that a Q & A routine is better with at least 20 people in the audience right?

Try an open mic night. Most of the people there are singing or doing poetry so when you show up it can make a really nice contrast. Depending on what your city is like most of the people at an open mic night and not the same people who would show up at an upscale party.
Logan Five
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Northern California
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I did a search for open mike night's in my area and couldn't find any thing.

I am within driving distance to Sacramento & San Francisco, they probably have open mike nights somewhere.

Thanks!
Self concept is destiny..
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