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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » What to include in a personal introduction at a show? (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

spcarlson
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Minneapolis MN
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I would like to get a few thoughts and ideas from some of our seasoned performers.

In writing your intro for a magic performance. Is it appropriate to include a few additional non magic related items. For example, maybe the performer is also an award winning author as well as an Olympic athlete?


Or is it best to keep the intro strictly magic related?

Thanks for your thoughts and ideas.
Legendary Creations

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Dannydoyle
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Think about what the goal of the introduction actually is. This is not evasive, it is serious.

What do YOU wish to accomplish with your introduction?

Think about the first thing you intend to do. Think about how you come out on stage. Think about it as a whole, not as just part that needs to be filled. Even think about how you leave the show as you might want to "bookend" it with the opening.

All of this stuff CAN be considered, and I would argue SHOULD, but again it is possible to do the opposite as most do. It is not wrong to be minimalist with it.

So what are you trying to accomplish personally? That is where you start.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mary Mowder
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I don't do many stage shows but I've seen what does not work.

Take into account who will be introducing you. If it is a pre-recorded one you can make sure it comes off right. Unless you have a good MC for an event, keep it simple. Even the other Magicians in a Magic club will bungle/mangle an intro. LOL not to mention the usual stressed chairman of an event.

If you reference any of your other interests as patter in your show, that is a stronger case for mentioning it in your intro. Are these interests part of your Character?

-Mary Mowder
Mindpro
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Some good thoughts so far, but I'll add a couple of elements. It depends on the market(s) you are serving. Your introduction should be congruent with the markets you are serving. Also if it is a consumer market I would approach differently than a professional market. For a professional market, you could use market-specific credentials other than just magic as it is relative.

As Mary said, unless there is a reason or purpose related to or as part of your show, I would leave out personal things, again unless a specific purpose or reason (i.e. a callback, later reference, running bit, etc.

Also the more you include to an intro to be read live, the more room there is for someone to mess up. One of the problems with a written intro is you (the performer) write it with a tone in mind. It is usually a tone that is not present or transferred when read by someone else. For these reasons keep it as specific or direct as possible.

Now with that said, I am a big proponent that your first impression as a performer begins with the appearance of your stage (even before you take the stage to begin) followed closely by the tone and perception created within your intro. It is for this reason I always prefer and recommend a prerecorded into. It will be said consistently as you want it to be with the proper tone inflection and without screw-ups each and every time (unless your playback source breaks down).

If you are a silly and comedic performer, this can be parlayed in your intro as well. Your intro is an extension of you. If you are a serious or mysterious persona or performer, that too can be created and established in your intro.

Same for any beds, production music or traveling music, it should all be congruent with your greater picture, tone and positioning. Hope this helps.
spcarlson
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Dannydoyle, Mary Mowder & Mindpro:

Thank for taking the time to share your excellent thoughts and ideas, they are very valuable and it is much appreciated!

All my best,
Steven
Legendary Creations

from Merlin to Marilyn

www.MagicalArtCreations.com

www.StevenPaulCarlson.com
Dannydoyle
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Happy to help. If you need more or something pops up just ask. Your introduction is your first impression and you just never get a second chance to make it.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Ray Pierce
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There is so much great insight here. As they have mentioned above the real delineator for me is the capabilities of the person doing the intro. If it is anything other than a professional MC, write out something short that sets up your personality and character with your name at the end. It is NOT a bio, it is the first scene of your show that sets up your entrance. I have MC'd hundreds of shows and I typically work in professional settings with pro MC's as well so I will give them 3 appropriate credits and the tag and let them bring it to life in their own way. That is exactly what I ask for when I'm MC'ing a show ass well. 3 credits and the tag. Also if you're dealing with a non-pro MC, don't write it conversationally as they typically can't pull that off believably. Again, make sure they save your name for last.
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
Neznarf
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NY then AZ now
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Fiverr.com will make you any kind of announcement you want.

Check it out.

Also you can announce yourself just before you walk out.

Practice what your are going to say so you don't trip over any words.

Good Luck
"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...it's about learning how to dance in the rain."
Christian & Katalina
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Although Danny and Mindpro have made outstanding posts...I will add my 2 cents.

I always approach the intro as...what do I want my introduction to accomplish?

If I use a pre-recorded or written introduction, it will most likely be to give context to my performance within the event or audience. Other than that, I have little use for introductions. I would rather get on the stage and either introduce myself or show them who I am.

I was sitting in an audience recently and listened to the 3 minute...yes 3 minute introduction of a speaker. At some point during the introduction when my mind fogged over, I thought, if this guy isn't any good, this will just be embarrassing. It was 3 minutes of how amazing this guy was...the reality...his 45 minute keynote was very dry punctuated with a couple of moments of interest. He did not match up to the intro.

I sometimes wonder what magicians think they are accomplishing in their intro by listing things like:

Award winning magician...won Blah blah award and some other blah blah award.
Has traveled the world.
Been in front of thousands of audiences.
Been on the blah blah television show.
Fooled Penn and Teller.
They are called (some alternate name for magician) to prove they are the new face of magic because all other magicians are old, stuffy, and suck.

The question to ask is . . . what does the audience care about? The only thing they care about is...will you be good and entertain us.

I would say based on a lot of feedback ...the most interesting thing in someone's intro are usually the more personal things. Hey, he's from Denver Colorado, he was in the Navy.

Most everything else is just for the ego of the performer. Because everything will be proved or . . not proved . . . during your show.
Milbourne Christopher Award for Mentalism 2011
The Annemann Award for Menatalism 2016
Author of "Protoplasm" Close-up Mentalism
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