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Profile of Cardestroy
Good evening,

I would like to ask my fellow magicians for help. I'm currently in pitty situation - friend of mine is organizing a gala event "Burlesque Night", she is selling tickets and there will be a big stage with rigging points above if necessary and approx. 400 people.
She asked me as a friend to perform something there because all the other acts will be burlesque dances so this one act will be kinda like an unexpected break for the audience. I started taking lessons in aerial acrobatics half year back (i have background in ground acrobatics, freerun and parkour for approx. 15 years) and I come up with a nice act involving me doing magic while doing acrobatic on the silks.
I will not bother you with the details and beside that - I really like the act and I will definately finish it and only then I will send it here maybe for your advices and entertainment.
However for last three weeks I have problems with my foot - nothing big but big enough to know that I will be unable perform the aerial act which was crucial for the magical parts.

TL;DR - I need to come up with new, decent stage act.
Date: 16.1.2020
Duration: approx. 5-10 min

I do not have any grand illusions since I'm mostly close-up magician for corporates - this should be only for my friend who also organize this event. It can be fun, I don't mind doing something crazy. Tbh - I should wear 18,5 cm high-heels for that act since it should be CARD ON SWORD but instead on the HIGH-HELL in the middle of the acrobatic routine. I'm not even able wear the shoes now because of the condition of my feet.
It may sound crazy, but I assure you that I'm not! (But do you believe me? Smile )

I know it may be too late, but I don't wanna dissapoint her and I will be mostly alone during the Christmas holidays, so I really believe that I do have a time for practice.
I will highly appreciate any suggestions.

Thank you

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Veteran user
Michigan, USA
303 Posts

Profile of TomB
You could do some fast clothes change. Even if it's just glove changes. That would fit the show.
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Krakow, Poland
3 Posts

Profile of Maciej
Let us know what did you do. For any ideas it's too late. Good luck tomorrow! Smile
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Profile of Cardestroy

Thank you for your wishes! Smile

Now I will be completely honest although I did something I would probably judge hard when heard from other magicians. I came up with my act only 3 days prior to the show! =( And I had experienced only with one of the sleights/trick and zero experiences with performing on music. Yeah, I know.

Honestly, the communication with the organizers was rather bad and I wanted to quit the gig since it was not paid and I promised them different act. However, a week before the show one of the organizers stuff who administrated Facebook make a huge announcement about me joining the Cabaret and they marked both - my artistic facebook and my personal Facebook. I try to have them separated, on my personal Facebook I'm keeping a lot of friends from my non-magician past and I don't want to feed them with a post like this too often. Immediately I began received messages from a lot of my friends if they should show up and if it will be worthy.
What should I do? I cannot tell them, that the show isn't worthy because that just wasn't true. I also cannot tell them that I'm an unprepared idiot. So I just reply one by one that I really appreciate their interest but I do not have the tickets in charge and I have no idea if any left.

So here I was - huge announcement, possibilities of friends showing just because of me... I just cannot quit. I know it wasn't the wisest decision, but I just couldn't quit. I started to thought to myself that I should be able to put togheter act which will fit and will be decent and if not I will experience a huge burn on the stage and that will teach me hopefully for the rest of my life.

TL;DR - the 'routine' and the results:

Since it was a Fetish Burlesque Night I decidet to go with a romantic dinner table setup - I was standing on the left side of the table, one of the beautiful female asistent was sitting on the right side.
On the table was a foolowing items:
2x red romantic gift box
1x small torch (torch to rose - behind the giftboxes
1x empty vase
1x table cloth
1x red fan (behind the giftboxex, the color blend with the tablecloth)
1x snowstorm 'cookie' under the fan
1x rose candle - tall
1x flash rope (approx. 30 cm - in front on the plain view of the spectators)
1x trash bin with installed pyro mini
1x snow-globe (paperweight)
1x wine bottle
1x glass wine with poured wine (white one)

The music I choose was Dean Martin - Sway.

I approached the table and smiled at the lady on the chair. Then I grab the torch with my left hand and with my right hand I produce the lighten match - I lighted the torch with the match, toss the match away and wannabe artistically lighted the candle with the torch. Then I produced the rose from the torch, smelled the rose, smiled and put it inside the vase on the table.
Then I opened the first box and there was a huge silver armband. I gave it to her and she refused - I tossed the armband to the trash bin and fire comes out (from the pyro mini - it goes well every time - even on general rehearsal, but when performed 'for real' it failed - I'm so glad it was there only for the effect of fire and it wasn't mandatory! )
Then a went behind her and grab the snow-globe and make it snow - that grabs her interest (i needed to do that to palm the pearl necklace from one of my pockets). Then I went back, picked up the flash rope, lifted it up and lighted it from the now burning candle and produced the pearl necklace. Again, she was not happy and I tossed the necklace to the trash bin again.
She was still caught by the snow-globe, so I took the globe, took a white napkin and started polishing the globe. When I was polishing the globe it was shaken by the polishing and the snow appeared in the ball - the lady was child-like stunned. I gave her the globe, take out the fan with the hidden cookie and performed the snowstorm.


Although I do believe that for a layman people it was decent it doesn't make sense to me too much. I will definitely keep this as a solid ground, but I wanted to do the act at least 6 mins long (the only 'negative' reaction - and I do believe very reasonable - I received was something about the duration - the spectators really liked what they saw and the story, but when they think "Now we are going somewhere!" the act was over).

For the next time I wanted everything in this act to have its own purpose - I mean, why do I exactly produce lighted match to light up the torch and with the torch the candle? I can use the matches for the candle, that would make sense.
Also, I will produce the fan next time from the sleeves or similar and then make it disappear - like it was only part of the "dreaming about snowing" etc. etc.

If you are still reading, thank you for your time and I would appreciate any tips - the hardest, in the end, wasn't the slights, but the music, performing with the whole body, facial expressions, and the whole 'theatrical' part - totally different than a walk around magic and I'm very glad that I experienced it.

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Inner circle
Beverley, UK
1185 Posts

Profile of wulfiesmith
So did the event go well, Cardestroy?
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Regular user
119 Posts

Profile of scotchrocket
What a great write up Cardestroy. Bummer about the fire, that would have been a cool effect.

Like wulfiesmith, I'd love to hear overall how you feel things went. It sounded like you were dreading it before you went, but looking back... what would you rate each of: the tricks, overall show, crowd enjoyment, and fun out of 10?

I know you said the show didn't make much sense, but it sounds creative and fun, and to come together in under a month I think you should be really proud. Congrats on your show!
All about borrowed coins.
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44 Posts

Profile of Firestorm60
Could add napkins to the act If you get a chance take a look at Fay Prestos work at the dining room setting
Brent McLeod
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Inner circle
1745 Posts

Profile of Brent McLeod
Interesting a last minute rush event you seem to have an idea of what you wanted to perform with the table setting etc but sounds like a lot of work & props for
a short 5 min act you have never performed prior to & including music, reading it I thought of dramatic Copperfield 80s segments etc.. Keep the effects simple & comedy always works well.
I perform hundreds of these events as Professional corporate worker & audiences of 400 people are tough work so need a well rehearsed act.

Hope it worked as well as you hoped but in similar circumstance best not to do the gig unless you perform effects you have done thousands of times and are well audience tested for reaction
& music segments need a lot of rehearsal.Enjoyed the post keep up the great work.
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Inner circle
Memphis, Down in Dixie
1974 Posts

Profile of ringmaster
One resource for this kind of act, is Jeff Mc Brides' Commando Act' Take practice, but not a great expense. It's flexible, do anywhere act that can be used many ways.
One of the last living 10-in-one performers. I wanted to be in show business the worst way, and that was it.
gregg webb
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Inner circle
1443 Posts

Profile of gregg webb
Yes, but you don't have to pick the tricks he picks for himself. He picked those because they were favorites, and packed small and played large. You pick the tricks that you are good at and which are portable.
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