Basic Stage Magic Ideas?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by BlackQueen, Jul 5, 2011.

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  1. So, a couple of my friends thought it would be a good idea to register me to do a 20 minute stage magic show at a local venue. The stage is pretty big, and I would say about fifty people will be there. Since I'm mainly into card magic, I'm freaking out right now. For an opener, I'm going to do mental yarn, since it's mostly just talking to the audience, and to close, I'll do invisible deck. I do own a thumb tip, so i might do a few basic productions and vanishes, but if anyone can help me come up with just 2 or 3 more basic effects, i will be good to go. I have until the 24th. I really DON'T want to cancel this. I also might head to the city this week and stop by fantasma or tannens- but it's not certain. Please, if anyone can help, send me a message or reply to this thread please. many many many many thanks :)
  2. This is crash time!!! If you have some money, buy some items that you know how to use to make magic. Not magic items, but cards, pencils, needles, a pair of glasses and stuff like that. Mentalism is always good as well. Do you perform it? If so, Do some hellstromism! I love it!!! You have so many routines you can do with it.

    Other routines I would do, metal bending, card predictions, drawing duplications, russian roulette, ring magic, stuff like that!!!

    Hope that helps!!!
  3. In a 20 minute window you should be looking to perform about 3-4 effects with great patter and interaction with the crowd.

    Something that would play big is a Signed Bill to Lemon. A comedy rope routine or something like Fiber Optics. A Book Test or a Mentalism piece as Ced mentioned would work well too depending on the type of crowd.
  4. There's tons of things you can do with a thumb tip, so if you have a silk, then definitely just make it vanish and make it reappear in your pocket, or if you're going for audience interaction, then get someone's bag or purse, and pull it out of there (note that you might want to warn them you're going to stick your hand in their bag). Believe me, this always plays well.
  5. Pete Firman used to do a comedy bit where he made a Ritz cracker disappear which I use every now and then. What angle are you going for? Comedy or serious?

  6. Thank you for the advice! I was thinking about doing bill to lemon, and now I definitely will. So far here's my lineup:

    Mental yarn
    Silk Production/vanish (any ways I can spice this up besides the purse idea?)
    Bill to lemon
    Invisible deck

    I would still like one or 2 more sOlid routines/effects.
    As far as rope magic goes, I only ever learned how to cut and restore it :( might do more research on it.
    And I'm trying for a more comedic act, but at this point I just wanna make it entertaining lol. Keep the suggestions coming please!! Thank you for all your help :))
  7. First of all, make sure that you aren't doing anything that you can't already do in your sleep! Your focus should be on effectively interacting and engaging the audience instead of focusing on what you should be doing with your hands.

    Second, your first effect should be an eye-opener. Something that really captures people's attention and is visual. This will get people thinking, "Wow, that was amazing! Let's see what else he has to offer." Then you can go into a longer effect, where they will get to know you a bit better. You want to alternate your routines short-long-short-long in order to give your audience's brains a break in between the long effects.

    Lastly, make sure that you are building to a climax. Your last piece of magic should have the strongest impact. It is the impact and the memory that you leave your audience with that will count. This is what they will walk away from the show talking about...if you have done your job right.

    In the end it really does not matter too much what effects you did as long as they have met those criteria in some way, shape, or form. It is this simple: Do what you can to be the best magician that your audience has ever seen.

    I hope that this helps you just as much or more hopefully more than a list of effects does.

    Best wishes,

  8. Getting material is important, but making sure it's good is even more important. Emagician is right about only performing things you feel confident with. Since you have some time, it's okay to look for a few more effects, but definitely leave the week before the show for practice only. 4-5 effects is certainly enough for a 20 minute stage show, especially if comedy is involved. If you're funny, it's often easier to write and remember some clever jokes than practice and perfect a new effect when your in a time crunch.

    If you do get a chance to get to the shop, however, see if they're stocking the "Out Standing Magic" DVD by Aldo Colombini. It might add an effect or two to your routine that can play big if the setting is a parlor-like stage show. His comedy napkin tear, for example, is quick to learn, and would play nicely after your silk vanish.
  9. The Magic/mathematical Square plays pretty well, even thought it isn't strictly a magic effect. Draw the square on a large dry erase board and put on an easel or prop it up against a table.
    I use the one from Joshua Jay's Complete Course in Magic book.
    Best of luck!
  10. I think you probably have enough to be honest already!

    It sounds like you have perfected the four effects, and with your introduction, interaction and the effects themselves I think you will see it coming very close to the twenty minutes.

    Remember, Quality and not Quantity.

    All the best with the show mate.
  11. Hmm. I guess I can make do with those :) any patter suggestions for the silk vanishes/productions?
  12. Like emagician said having the first effect as an eyeopener or in the style of what to come will condition the audience to what to expect from you really. Here's my opener:

    I'm really proud of it as its simple, different, and gets such an awesome reaction. I performed it the other day, and my audience gasped at the end. It was epic.

  13. @simon- your post really intrigued me, but i can't see the video! :(
  14. Firstly I must ask a very serious question; WHY IN THE HELL DID YOU ACCEPT THE GIG IF YOU DIDN'T HAVE A SHOW?

    I see this kind of post more than a few times a week and it never fails to amaze me, the lack of personal integrity let alone no seeming respect for the client, the audience or the art when novices gladly embrace such opportunities.

    Here's another question for you, DO YOU HAVE FANTASIES OF GETTING MORE WORK FROM THIS GIG?

    How would this be possible given that you do not have "an act" that, as others have already suggested, you can do in your sleep; not just "the moves" but a discourse of patter that is fun, comfortable for one and all, and that you can deliver with clarity and command vs. the slop we tend to use on the streets and during casual conversations?

    Yes, I'm putting you on the spot and I'm giving you a very hard time but only because you aren't a unique situation and you just happened to be the latest lucky chap to get "the lecture". . . take what I'm presenting to you to heart, but don't take it personal, it's actually for everyone "new" to magic to digest; starting with the fact that you NEVER take a gig that is outside the parameters for which you are ready and capable of delivering.

    STAY AWAY FROM MENTALISM. . . those suggesting such haven't a clue as to what good mentalism is about vs. doing tricks. Mentalism is probably the most performance intensive areas of magic when it comes to stage command, presence, audience management and knowing your stuff. So if you don't want to look like a putz, leave it alone for now and focus on traditional magic.

    As one poster has already pointed out, you don't have time to do a lot. 20-minutes is however, the length of the typical stage act (figure a show in 10-12 minute blocks for best results and ease of "adjusting" to holiday themes & client needs/wants). You mention the Thumb Tip. . . you can easily do 5+ minutes with it alone depending on what you do with it. I'd suggest you take the idea a step or two further and look at a piece like the Long Salt Pour or maybe some kind of comedy silk routine that uses the TT along with dye tube perhaps (Billy McComb's Half-Dyed Silk routine will give you a solid 3+ minutes; couple it with the 7-Cornered Handkerchief you you've got a very solid 5 minutes of interactive fun. But you could segue' from the hank into Rope Magic by turning your silk into a piece of rope (very easy to do) and from here do the next 5+ minutes with another combination bit that's focused on Rope tricks or even shift into a Kellar Tie & Pick-Pocket gag ala Blackstone).

    If you do cards then look at routines that play big, even with a standard sized deck, such as Cards Across or some dramatic version of the Deck Stab (if you have the $400.00 the Ted Lesley Card Stab is AWESOME!).

    Let your age and inexperience work for you. . . but you'll need a copy of the Wilson Course and a nice young lady to help you out... Make the Arabian Tent Illusion or Victory Cartons featured at the back of the book. Your presentation would be the fact that you don't have access to a real magic shop and so you had to improvise. . . you could even do a comedy bit, having an inflatable girl come up from the prop first (you are making do with what you have, after all). . . The nice thing is, you only need a couple of big Cardboard Boxes, a sharp knife and some rehearsal time. . . you can literally make either of this props for less than $25.00. . . $60.00 if you have a professional company make up the boxes for you (if that much). The action of doing this however, gives you a big illusion along with the other bits.

    Keep things very simple and LISTEN to the experienced. Track down your local IBM/SAM groups and see if there's a seasoned worker that can give you a hand.

    Once you've survived this first gig, make it a point to not accept any shows that are less than 6 weeks away (no matter how much you might want to do them) and ALWAYS have them give you at least $50.00 up-front to hold the date.

    Best of luck!
  15. @BlackQueen, it should be fine to view, I just clicked it and it was ok. If not then just type 'Simon Southerin Silent Card Trick' into youtube and it should pop up.

    @Craig Browning, I agree about the mentalism, you do need a sort of persona to pull it off and do it properly, but it all depends on the effect you do. For instance you could do a bank night routine which could work, or a comedy mindreading trick like asking someone to think of a celebrity and say you have a picture of them, and then you show the picture and its of a baby.

    Also, I do think that BlackQueen is doing something good when it comes to the stage thing. Sometimes, we need motivation to do things, and BlackQueen getting this gig has motivated them to put together a routine. Sure it probably won't be perfect, but at least he is performing it for an audience and not a camera. Having the experience in front of an audience on the stage is brilliant as it is completely different to close up.

    I think what BlackQueen is doing, although maybe a bit late when it came to finding out the date of the gig, is a good idea. We all needed to start somewhere.

  16. @ Mr. Browning-
    If I wanted to, I could refuse right now. I'm not getting paid for this, I didn't ask for money, this is purely for entertainment purposes. Hell, I could refuse the day before if i wanted to. I think I'm KEEPING my integrity by doing this. In no way is this 'a gig', and getting ones by doing this is a fact that hasn't even crossed my mind. If I ever did come across a more serious performance where money was involved, I would be more than willing to devote months of planning and practice. This is just a bit of fun for me, a good way to try something new, and start to get used to practicing in front of crowds rather than my lunch table. This is in NO WAY serious, it will in NO WAY get me contacts or give me public exposure, it's for FUN.

    Still, thank you for your advice. I already have the page bookmarked, so if i ever DO come across a decent gig, I'll keep your ideas in mind.
    Also, I don't think I need a nice young lady, seeing I am one myself d:
  17. Understand, whenever we "perform" even when showing off for some friends at the pub, other people are observing us and you haven't a clue who those others may be. An example that's quite similar to your own; an individual was just using a routine I'd shared in TOP HAT magazine long ago while in a bookstore -- a setting that's quite similar to how things were in my article. One of the people that noticed what he was doing from a distanced, happened to be a noted promoter for a top notch recording company. He asked the kid if he had a web site or card. . . an exchange was made and to the kids chagrin he not only got a gig but several gigs a year by way of this guy that seemed to be a down and out street guy, reading books in a New Age book store... appearances aren't always what they seem, nor is circumstance, so never shrug things off even when what you are doing is "just for fun" -- do your best and shine as brightly as you can in the moment.

    I fully understand what you're saying and have been there more than a few times. I've also seen amazing things come about as the result of such innocent "play"
    JefferyK likes this.
  18. How did the show go?? I know I’m like 8 years late, but I’m curious!!
  19. And the OP hasn't visited the site in 6 year....

    Please don't bring up old threads.
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