Creating an intro for your act

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ArmanMagic, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. Hey guys,

    What's a proper way of opening your act? Like what kind of trick do you use, what type of patter do you use, etc. Do you use music, how would you incorporate it? I'd really appreciate some tips thanks guys.
  2. I think an opener should always be funny (unless you are really going for a serious approach) because comedy and laughter breaks down the barriers the audience has and gets them to like you and have fun right away. It should involve a trick that is fast and visual. A slow trick can be seen as boring especially when right at the beginning. They, and therefor you, want to get into the magic right away with something interesting. As far as patter goes, whatever floats your boat. Again, I would recommend comedy, but really whatever it is about is up to you. Just make sure it makes sense and flows with the theme of the rest of your routine. If you use music it should be music for a comedy routine. It is not very often that music is involved in a comedy trick, so I would just stay away from music in the opener.

    As I was writing this I remembered a very good source on structuring a magic show. It is called More Than Meets the Eye by Dan Harlan. It goes over what types of tricks to put where in a magic show and for what reasons. It is not all that expensive so you should definitely look into it. It goes through all the steps of putting together a show in a very well organized manner.

    It can be purchased here:
  3. All rules can be broken. Rick Maue opens his Fate show with a monologue, a coin toss, and a straight razor.

    I think the most relevant question to be asked here is, "What kind of show are you trying to do?"
  4. An opener (in my opinion) should be something that gets the audience listening to you. The opener is your first chance to connect with the audience. A lot of working professionals like to do manipulation acts or something to music before they reach the interactive segment of their show.

    For close-up / walk-around I perform something a color-monte-esque routine with scripted patter. The ending is nice and it establishes myself as a professional. But you will need to test out different things that work for you. I don't like to open with things that are TOO big I like to progress my show :)
  5. It's all a personal choice, but I think with an opening effect it shouldn't be something that has the undertone of look how good I am you can't catch me. If you do that from then on your audience will feel its you against them which is obviously not a good thing. In my opinion an opening effect should be something where you are challenging yourself rather than the audience, I believe this helps get them on your side, so they will sit back and enjoy your magic, rather than sitting there seeing your act as a challenge for them. Hope that makes some sort of sense.

    Darwin Ortiz has a great chapter in his book Strong Magic discussing act's and how to build them.
  6. I have a lot of thoughts to this, but I also have a pinched nerve in my neck right now so my response probably won't be as thorough as I'd like.

    Personally, I think the only rule that matter is this: Be interesting.

    Think about what you want to do with your opener. As Steerpike said, what kind of show do you want? If you're doing a really classic style act, then yes a manipulation act or something like that can be a good opener. Show you have skill, establish yourself as an expert. Show them your character right away.

    Personally, the only thing I do is avoid audience participation in the first bit. This is because to my audiences I am an unknown and they have no reason to trust me not to embarrass them yet. I tend to start my shows visually, but not quickly. I like to use something that will create a slightly eery, weird feeling because that's more what my shows have.
  7. Looks like we are all on the same page!
  8. I do agree on some extent, but then how do you open a mentalism act? There has to be SOME participation from the audience, even if it's only from their own seat.
  9. I agree that audience participation is bad in an opener. They must like you and be on your side before they want to come up on stage to help. Being interesting is really all it comes down to, as previously said. Comedy is interesting and gets everybody on your side and having a good time. That is why I think comedy is the way to go. Of course, this is assuming that a bit of comedy here and there fits your style and character as a performer. I do see where others are coming from when they say do a classic, skillful piece to music first, however I follow Dan Harlan's guide for the most part, and those type of effects come much later on according to that. I do, however, like the idea of doing a comedy piece to music prior to introducing yourself. I can think of quite a few jokes to incorporate into my intro that way. I guess what it comes down to is that there are so many different possibilities that it really is up to your own personal preference. I think you should just try out different things and see what works best for you.
  10. Well, I have it on good authority that Rick Maue opens his Fate show with a monologue, a coin toss, and a straight razor.

    How about this - what says you have to open with an effect?
  11. How about a under the chair prediction?...quick, nice and gets everyone´s atention...
  12. Well yes, that's what I'm talking about, it still needs audience participation (they need to name a prediction somehow), even if it's from their own seat.

    Christopher, I agree with you, it doesn't have to be an effect at the beginning of the show, but still the first effect you do is gonna be an opener in a way. My friend opens his show by showing a 2 minute video on the screen, so by the time he gets up on the stage, everybody know a lot about him. But I still believe that the first effect he does, is his opener. Meh, technical terms anyways.
  13. A good opening effect should set the tone for the show and what they can expect. It can be silent or not but should convey something about you and/or the show.

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