From Street to Parlor/Cabaret

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by mattjones, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. Hey guys,
    I've been doing pure street magic (all close-up) for about 2 and a half years and I want to move toward building a routine best suited for small audiences. I'm embarrassed to say that I don't own ANY spongeballs, silks, or any cabaret-type effects. I'm considering starting with an appearing cane or a dancing cane and slowly building a parlor routine from there. I'm also interested in David Stone's The Real Secrets of Magic (both volumes). I haven't made any purchases yet, other than W:H's Thread (I'm waiting for it to arrive).
    Does anyone have any experience performing cabaret, or any suggestions on how to get started?
  2. I own Real Secrets of Magic Volume I. Definitely purchase that. I'm sure the second volume is great too. Not only are there some nice effects, but he has great tips. It all mainly deals with a restaurant/walkaround setting, but you can use the ideas to expand into some other things.

    Other than that, I can't add much to this... Like you, I would like to know more because I've been slowly becoming more and more interested in Parlor magic.
  3. I'm starting to lean toward David Stone's The Real Secrets of Magic now... I saw a routine of his in which he produced several drinks (complete with ice and straws) using only a napkin and his coat. The only thing about performing cabaret effects is once you pull out the spongeballs, silks, and magic wands (props that obviously scream, "Magic!") most laypeople think, "It's gimmicked." I've just got to find a way through that barrier.
    So far, the previews for David Stone's The Real Secrets of Magic have impressed me the most.
    Any other comments/suggestions are welcome.
  4. That was a big selling point for me! The few times that I have performed that, it gets amazing reactions. It is just really cool.
  5. People will think what you want them to, it all depends on your presentation.

    Take misdirection for an example. If you french drop a coin and stare at the other hand, the audience will follow suit. But if you stare at the hand that holds the coin, the audience will catch you.

    Same applies to your performance. Communicate who you are and give them a reason to care about what it is you are doing. The rest will follow suit.

    I've seen magician Doc Eason perform his Stan Kate and Edith (origionally Channing Polleks) rutine for a room full of magicians. Not only did they genuinely laugh, but they were entertained! Magicians... entertained by an affect that by trade alone everyone of them should be able to figure out let alone do. They didn't care about how it was done or if they could do it better because Doc entertained them.

    So I wouldn't worry about the props. Actually the only time I would worry is if the prop didn't fit the persona. IE: If you perform as a gothic looking necrolord of the damned then it probably wouldn't go well to use a silver studded glittery vegas show style sub trunk. ...unless there was a good reason behind it. A coffin would almost be a better selection.
    Speaking of that, this gives me ideas. Later!
  6. First, Stan, Kate, and Edith is not an effect by Channing Pollock, it is by KERRY Pollock.

    Now that's out of the way:

    First, you don't need to use "magic props" to be a succesful parlour magician. If you ever saw Carney, Cervon, Vernon, White, Nelson, (the list goes on) you would see gorgeous, jaw dropping, entertaining magic that was classy (without a feather flower in sight). Sure, Linking Rings, Balls and Cones, are magic props - but the artistry transcended to prop.

    You could do no better than to study (I mean study) the Benson book. There is more good magic taught in incredible detail in that book than you will be able to use in a lifetime. Closeup stuff too. If it doesn't open your eyes wide, you are blind or silly.

    (Extra credit points if you get the reference.)

    Carney's Secrets has some amazing stand up material. As does the Geoffrey Durham book. You must read both Our Magic and Nelms. You don't have to agree with them, but you must be able to defend why you disagree.

    Steinmeyer's Conjuring has more modern workable material in any one place than I can think of. And the real secret books are by Houdin and Devant.

    I won't give you the titles though.

    Somethings should require a little effort.

    Brad Henderson

    p.s. One of the most important secrets to learn in order to present stage magic effectively is hidden in this post. Most will overlook it . . . Good.
  7. I'm not sure I caught every reference you put in there, as I'm still relatively new to magic, but you've definitely got me interested. Performance is everything, and I can see how DVDs and downloads can hinder your performance or interpretation of an effect, whereas books can help you to be more creative in the presentation. In the technology-rich world we live in today, few people learn magic from books anymore... Looks like I've got some research to do. Thanks for the insightful post, Brad!
  8. The reason there are more books listed is simply because none of this material is available on DVD - nor will it ever be.

    Good luck on your research.

  9. Was it Kerry? Thanks for the correction.
  10. Go buy the Tarbell Course in Magic.

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