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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricks & Effects » » Harpacrown 2!! Mark Chandaue (31 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Mark_Chandaue
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Based on the lack of interest I have decided to drop those 2 chapters from the book. It seems that the market for those topics isn’t there. I may add some other content in their place or I may just make it a smaller book.

Mark
Mark Chandaue A.I.M.C.
Harpacrown is available from
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk
Harpacrown Too is available from
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk/?product=harpacrown-too
Ophiuchus is available from
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk/?product=ophiuchus
Totally Free Will is available from
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk/?product=totally-free-will
puggo
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I think that you should reconsider.. Smile
Sean Mann
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Yeah definitely reconsider Mark, I would have loved to read the chapter but feel I’m not experienced enough to give any decent feedback, but can’t wait to give it a read when you’re done.
Doric
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Reconsider.

Now!

:)
Mark_Chandaue
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There were over 200 views of the thread and only two people interested in the chapters. If I can’t give them away for free that doesn’t bode well for a premium priced book. One review copy has gone out, lets see what comes back from that.

Mark
Mark Chandaue A.I.M.C.
Harpacrown is available from
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk
Harpacrown Too is available from
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk/?product=harpacrown-too
Ophiuchus is available from
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk/?product=ophiuchus
Totally Free Will is available from
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk/?product=totally-free-will
kissdadookie
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Quote:
On Jun 22, 2020, Mark_Chandaue wrote:
There were over 200 views of the thread and only two people interested in the chapters. If I can’t give them away for free that doesn’t bode well for a premium priced book. One review copy has gone out, lets see what comes back from that.

Mark


Hi Mark! I will be more than glad to read and review these chapters in depth for you Smile
no2ss
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Quote:
On Jun 22, 2020, Mark_Chandaue wrote:
There were over 200 views of the thread and only two people interested in the chapters. If I can’t give them away for free that doesn’t bode well for a premium priced book. One review copy has gone out, lets see what comes back from that.

Mark


The issue from my end was (like others suggested above), I'm not sure I have the requisite experience to review such a chapter (I'm not a professional, I'm not doing stage shows). I'm sure it would be an interesting read, but my initial impression was that since you were looking for people to give thorough reviews of such essays/chapters, I would be a poor choice, and didn't want to clutter your inbox. I'm still interested in what you wrote -- I just didn't think I could do a review justice (or would feel like something of a poseur in trying to write one).
Psy
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Mark, you should definately include that chapter because its a subject missing in most mentalism material. People can't find something to be valuable if they don't get to know it first. It seems like people might not have shown interest now but it could also become the best chapter from the book once people buy-read the whole book.
Bob_Hummer
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Can I review the chapters?

I am currently researching this area - so my mind is primed in this direction.

Cheers!

Joe Mckay
Woolfie
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Like a couple of others on here, I’ve been lucky enough to preview a few chapters of the upcoming Harpacrown 2 and can already attest to how great it’s going to be. The latest chapter Building An Act has only solidified my confidence even more. More than just a guideline into creating a show, the essay explains in depth how to approach each step, what considerations to take along the way and the thinking behind each and very piece of advise. The chapter creates an understanding of the individual parts to an act and how to use them to create something that as a whole becomes bigger than the sum of its parts. And all of this is written with Mark’s signature humour and clarity.
puggo
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Harpacrown 2 Chapter review: Building an Act

Review disclaimer: a copy was provided at no cost and despite living in London (with Mark being in the next county) we have never met. I have no experience of Mark's previous work.

I asked if I could review this chapter as it is an area that I am interested in, as I would like to do more around act development/building. As a part time magician with over 15 years of experience performing 95%+ close up, over the years, I have seen the value in developing and building an act. I have performed some stand up, but still have much to learn (I also have a growing interest in mentalism). I have read/watched other material on developing an act and/or transitioning to stand up, including Ian Kendall (Taking the Step), Scott Alexander (Standing up on stage), various lectures plus a few books that discuss acts (e.g. Morgan & West).

This chapter is about 14 pages and despite Mark's warning about the need for further proof reading, I found it very easy to read with no obvious typos. The writing style conveys experience, a lack of overt ego and a dash of welcome humour that does not detract from the points being made. The challenge I have is in describing this chapter, while not exposing the detail of what it contains. Mark does use some stage terminology, but helpfully provides explanations for those who don't know. For anyone expecting a silver bullet that will solve all their act building issues, they are missing the point about the need for actual experience and listening to the audience.

As a magician, I enjoy mentalism but am not sure about 'mind reading as real' presentations. However, the elements of Mark's humour that are apparent throughout the work, put me at ease. He also discusses believability (and references one of Cassidy's theories on 'more ability' vs 'believability') which has (in my opinion) parallels in magic, particularly with regards to building the relationship with your audience and maintaining/building interest.

Initial points are scored as Mark talks what sort of act you want to build and how it links into what sort of work you would like to do (something not commonly discussed). He then talks about the reality of performing and how the act must be adaptable (which most close up performers will vouch for). Unless you are so successful that your rider demands that the bowl of M&Ms has all the blue ones removed, along with fresh Yak's milk in your dressing room, the advice Mark gives really does seem to have a healthy dose of reality, hard won from significant experience. Mark recruits another Mark, well a Marc Paul actually, to discuss some of the differences when performing an act on a cruise ship. This adds some texture and additional value without breaking the flow.

Mark then looks at the structure of the act, its backbone and what he wants each element to achieve. Not in massive detail, but with enough content to get you thinking. For example, his thoughts on a closer and a closing statement certainly made me stop and reflect. Mark talks about likeability and (loosely) references some academic work, which added some further depth to the conversation and seemed to demonstrate either emotional intelligence or perhaps life experience, particularly when talking about likeability in the presence of a**holes.

Transitions and 'nested effects' are discussed as are call backs and Mark provides an overview of his own closer as a way of illustrating his points. Being blunt, his closer's structure and build really impressed me. It had a 'The Usual suspects' type finish (sorry for the film reference!), in the way that elements of the show would all come together for a surprising climax. In some ways, it was almost Jerx-ian in terms of how I thought the audience/participants would be engaged (readers of the Jerx/Andy's 'Thinking Of You: the Decision Artist' might particularly appreciate this). Other topics including dead time and rhythm are touched upon, as are call backs and kickers. While talking about humour, Mark shares a tip on 'learning by osmosis' which really made sense for performers of all types (again, I would like to say more, but its Mark's to share).

Constructive cons: 14 pages covers quite a lot, but as Harpacrown 2 is not all about building an act, the chapter is out of necessity, fairly brief in a few areas. While this is not a negative, Mark does make it very clear at the beginning and end of the chapter that building an act will still require thinking and a lot of hard work - some people may be hoping for a easy, surefire route map to success, but I doubt that any such thing exists.

Pros: although this review is about 'just' one chapter in a book, Mark shares a breath of knowledge that has clearly been gained through experience, which is conveyed via a well written and occasionally amusing style. While it's not an exhaustive treatment of act building (such as Scott Alexander's 6+ DVDs on the subject), it is very accessible, thought provoking and a good use of your time. This is not just for those wanting to build an act, as based on some of the shows I've seen, I suspect that it may also be a very useful reference for those who are willing to assess and reflect on their current act. Close up workers - it may also make you think about your 'world' as well. The chapter finishes with some suggested reading with a few notes on why he recommends it which is another nice touch.

Summary: Its one chapter from a book, but I enjoyed it and will go back to it as it contains a broad spread of good advice and some real 'nuggets'. For a person I don't know, after 14 pages I have come to suspect that Mark's a genuine, very knowledgeable person who is willing to share and cares very much about his art.

Charlie
Mark_Chandaue
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Thanks for those great reviews. I just want to point out that the building an act chapter is currently 14 pages of A4 so it will likely be 20 or more pages in the book as the book is smaller than A4.

Also based on the fact that the lack of responses were because people didn’t feel qualified rather than a lack of interest I think that these chapters definitely need to be in the book.

Mark
Mark Chandaue A.I.M.C.
Harpacrown is available from
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk
Harpacrown Too is available from
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk/?product=harpacrown-too
Ophiuchus is available from
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk/?product=ophiuchus
Totally Free Will is available from
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk/?product=totally-free-will
Gaz Lawrence
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I absolutely love Marks books and already have both Harpacrown and Totally Free Will .
I am eagerly anticipating the release of Harpacrown 2 and I can’t wait to read every single one of its
chapters .
Marks contributions always show his massive passion for the art , his experience from working this stuff out there in the real world trenches and also his warm charm that always brings a smile to my face when I read them .
I highly recommend both his earlier releases and I am certain Harpacrown 2 will be a great success too .
Good magic to all Gaz 🙂
Judah Vee
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Hey Mark,

Hope you are well.....

Just a thought, but I would add a lil footnote to the lottery thing, stating to buy TWO of the same tickets, one to give away and one to keep, you know, just in case it hits. Stole that idea from David Penn.... lol!!

Plus I am bored at work and just found this thread somehow..... Very much looking forward to this

Take care,

-J-
I don't care how fast or slow you are.... As long as I am faster.. -J-
Mark_Chandaue
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Haha It was me that gave the idea to David. I’m pretty sure I posted it in the CUPP owners group a few years back.

Mark
Mark Chandaue A.I.M.C.
Harpacrown is available from
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk
Harpacrown Too is available from
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk/?product=harpacrown-too
Ophiuchus is available from
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk/?product=ophiuchus
Totally Free Will is available from
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk/?product=totally-free-will
Judah Vee
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NICE!!!! lol....

that's why your amazing my man!!
I don't care how fast or slow you are.... As long as I am faster.. -J-
kissdadookie
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So, as I had promised Mark, I've read and digested the two chapters he had sent over promptly Smile Without further ado, here is my impressions of the material contained in the two chapters.

The first chapter is his chapter on building an act. This chapter tackles a subject that is actually very dense (seeing how we have entire full length books on this very topic which has been published throughout the years, the most prominent title dealing with this topic of course being Ken Weber's Maximum Entertainment, which is now available in a expanded 2.0 version). One may wonder how Mark Chandau was able to condense a topic which takes entire full length books to explore it in a measly ~20 pages. The answer to that question is that he doesn't. The essay was clearly written to give the reader the main bullet points as well as defining certain things such as the importance of knowing your market, your venue, and how best to present your material as well as the structure of your material in the context of your show as a whole. Again, these are mainly bullet points with some very good ideas being tipped along the way which he has picked up either himself or from others. This was a great chapter to get ones mental gears turning as well as acting as a lead for further exploration of the performers and material mentioned in the essay.

What would I like to have seen more in the first chapter I was sent? More personal anecdotes to use for illustrative purposes for the points discussed!

The second chapter I was sent is on scripting and routining. As if Mark was able to preemptively discern my impression of the previous chapter, he's added a fair amount of anecdotes to illustrate his point here! In fact, he gives you pretty much his full scripts for some of his material along with why he had constructed his scripts and routining the way he has. This includes the full details such as scripting for what your physical actions should be. This chapter is a very interesting chapter and needless to say, Mark generously shares his scripting for some of his material here not so that others can regurgitate his scripts verbatim but instead to help readers analyze the process and leave away with ideas and seeds of how to apply some of his process into their own material. This was quite an excellent chapter in my opinion. My criticism here of course would be that I wish more personal examples were used in the prior chapter like they were used in the scripting chapter, so that readers can have better insight into some of the things Mark has tweaked in his career as well as problems he has encountered in order for the reader to be better equipped with troubleshooting their own attempts at building their own acts. Understandably, this would probably blow that chapter up in length but alas, wishful thinking Smile
Mark_Chandaue
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I can understand you wanting more but my goal in this chapter was to give away just enough to allow the reader to forge their own path. As you can see in that particular chapter I give away one of my closers and one of my bookends. when combined with the scripting chapter you also get a centrepiece routine. Then of course throughout the book you get several of my signature routines that I still use to this day including Eskimos and Berglas and the Medallion reviewed above. Many of the examples you are looking for are peppered throughout the book. Whilst the building an act essay brings a lot of the points together in one place, the concepts discussed are visible throughout the structure of the routines in the book.

The focus of Harpacrown was on the why. Harpacrown 2 shifts the focus onto the how. How to structure routines, how to present them, how to make them entertaining, how to change the props and presentation to make a completely different effect. At one point I take a card trick and show how to present it as a prediction, synchronicity, a straight mind read and a multiple participant mind read. Then I turn the same effect into a book test and finally into a magic square.

In some cases I take things you already know and demonstrate how to use them in a different way to squeeze more out of them. Whilst the two books can happily stand alone, they combine to provide a good grounding in both the how and the why. My intent with the effects in both books is not to simply provide audience tested practical routines but rather to provide routines that illustrate the how and why concepts discussed in the essays and give the reader the tools to become more creative.

I did consider writing an essay on the creative process but when I analysed it my creative process comes down to two key questions. What are the problems I need to solve? How do I make this entertaining? The detail behind that can be found in the essays across the two books, particularly ‘Making Sense of it All’ and ‘WWPTD’ in Harpacrown and ‘Routining and Scripting’ and ‘Building an Act’ in Harpacrown 2.

Mark
Mark Chandaue A.I.M.C.
Harpacrown is available from
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk
Harpacrown Too is available from
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk/?product=harpacrown-too
Ophiuchus is available from
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk/?product=ophiuchus
Totally Free Will is available from
http://www.harpacrown.co.uk/?product=totally-free-will
kissdadookie
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Quote:
On Jun 24, 2020, Mark_Chandaue wrote:
I can understand you wanting more but my goal in this chapter was to give away just enough to allow the reader to forge their own path. As you can see in that particular chapter I give away one of my closers and one of my bookends. when combined with the scripting chapter you also get a centrepiece routine. Then of course throughout the book you get several of my signature routines that I still use to this day including Eskimos and Berglas and the Medallion reviewed above. Many of the examples you are looking for are peppered throughout the book. Whilst the building an act essay brings a lot of the points together in one place, the concepts discussed are visible throughout the structure of the routines in the book.

The focus of Harpacrown was on the why. Harpacrown 2 shifts the focus onto the how. How to structure routines, how to present them, how to make them entertaining, how to change the props and presentation to make a completely different effect. At one point I take a card trick and show how to present it as a prediction, synchronicity, a straight mind read and a multiple participant mind read. Then I turn the same effect into a book test and finally into a magic square.

In some cases I take things you already know and demonstrate how to use them in a different way to squeeze more out of them. Whilst the two books can happily stand alone, they combine to provide a good grounding in both the how and the why. My intent with the effects in both books is not to simply provide audience tested practical routines but rather to provide routines that illustrate the how and why concepts discussed in the essays and give the reader the tools to become more creative.

I did consider writing an essay on the creative process but when I analysed it my creative process comes down to two key questions. What are the problems I need to solve? How do I make this entertaining? The detail behind that can be found in the essays across the two books, particularly ‘Making Sense of it All’ and ‘WWPTD’ in Harpacrown and ‘Routining and Scripting’ and ‘Building an Act’ in Harpacrown 2.

Mark


I figured that that may have been what you were going for (structuring and process of creating may have been covered elsewhere), but I was giving my impression based on just the chapter provided Smile Like I had mentioned, I had felt that the chapter was more of a bulletpoint type ordeal meant to give ideas to lead one off on further independent study. Alas, I will have to wait for the full book to be released which I am of course anticipating as I'm a proud owner of the collector's edition of the original Harpacrown.
corindaman
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Any release date yet? (Hope you are fully recovered Mark)
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