Ideas for the dreaded stage performance.

Discussion in 'Magic Forum' started by Lord_Magic, Nov 24, 2018.

  1. Yes. It is dreaded. Because I'm a close-up magician. Now that you know that, let's continue.

    Event:- Farewell.

    Target audience:- Classes tens and twelves (ages 16 to 18). Teachers will be present too, so nothing too ''inappropriate''.

    Venue:- School Hall. Large sized hall but cannot be provided with screens. So, I have only a mic, and a trusted voice. Everything else's visibility depends upon the size, unfortunately.

    Audience no.- About 200

    Skill level:- Close-up.

    Limitations:- Book test or anything too-mentalismy...(altho I have a feeling only mentalism can save me here) not because I don't like it, but because I've already performed a book test in front of the whole school once (my first thread here, aah the nostalgia! :D )

    Notable books in my possession:- RRTCM, Bobo's, ECT, Practical Mental Magic, Mark Wilson's.

    Time:- 5 minutes.

    No. of tricks:- 2. One EXTREMELY short one as an opener. Another good, hard-hitting, worth-remembering-for-life one.

    Date:- 1st Feb, although I have to be sure of what I'm performing at least by 31st November, end of this month. I should be sure, rather. Which means a lot, lot time to practice, but not much time to decide...

    Intensity of desire to receive help from you guys?:- More than the largest infinity.

  2. Hey mate, first of all, I understand it can be nerve wrecking I have been there myself. The first thing to understand is that you are not limited to only mentalism. That is a common misconception. While it is easier to get the audience involved in mentalism effect, they're plenty of gambling routines and card trick that you can perform on stage. In general, you have two ways to approach this. You can either perform something for the entire audience and with no close up spectators. It can be sleigh of demonstration or a visual card routine. Or alternatively, you can have a selected number of audience members around you as selected sample spectators. So in other words they are representative of your entire audience. In this case the presentation is the key. You need to get the attention of everyone. If you have a camera to project your hand on a screen then it become a lot easier to perform. In general, I think your presentation in such situations is the most important thing. Get your audience involved and don't get too focused on the trick that you forget about the audience. So good showmanship and a strong stage presence is the most important thing in this situation.
    Mr_ARPY likes this.
  3. but they don't grant visibility, do they?
    Avendsin likes this.
  4. Get a Genii Subscription and check out Jim Steinmeyer's effects in his Conjuring Column over the last several years (can find the columns by searching by author here: With access to the archives, you can easily find something that works for state even if it isn't something from Steinmeyer, there is some great stuff there from others such as Max Maven that work well for stage.

    Absent that, take an effect and come up with a good presentation. Invisible Deck. Card to impossible location (my favorite is signed card to rubber chicken because rubber chickens are always funny). Cards Across. Do as I Do.

    Also check out Kranzo's Easy Canasta (available as a download at E), Eric Ross's Election (available as a download from Penguin). Those can play very well on stage provided that you come up with a theme and present the effect so that the audience knows what is going on.

    From the books you have, the best effect is Mark Wilson's Tic Tac Toe prediction.

    My choice would be Tamariz's Paradise Recovered (in Genii and in his book Verbal Magic). You could bring 10 people up on stage for that effect. If you want, I can send you a link of a performance I did for that. It would be very appropriate for a "farewell" theme with the spectators tossing away the cards that represent what they want to leave behind and ending up with the one card where they drew a picture of something they want to take with them.
  5. Is a genii subscription free? If so...a link would help a lot!
  6. It is not free. It is $35 for a one year digital subscription, $55 for two and $85 for three:

    With every subscription, you get unlimited access to over 75 years of back issues. So for $35 dollars, you get access to more magic than you could ever learn in a year.
  7. Well it'd be ideal if you could have a camera and projector. If not, then get creative with the presentation and what you've got. For example, if the entire thing is only 5 mins, then you can get those massive cards and create a rough and smooth concept using large cards to perform whatever effect you want. If you're making it into and invisible deck, then you can use the audience, a volunteer picks the colour, another one picks the suit, and so on until a card is selected. Then ask them to imagine it face down among all other face up cards and then reveal that it is indeed the only face down cards. That's just an idea, but you see what I mean with getting creative you can also do a card to an impossible location trick. They are always fun and easy to follow. You can get it under someone's chair or inside a fruit. Up to you :)
  8. Lord Magic, I can completely relate to your apprehension. The first time I did a stage show was after years of performing exclusively close-up magic, primarily at special events and restaurants in a strolling format. I was freaked out by the prospect of going into a format that was out of my comfort and experience zone. But once I got a taste of doing magic on a stage, I loved it and have been doing it ever since.

    I would highly recommend the Magician's Insurance Policy. I let them know in the beginning that the trick I'm about to attempt is so difficult and that I have failed so many times that I actually had to purchase insurance. I show the people the policy which says"Magician's Insurance Policy" on the outside cover. I hand it to one of the spectator volunteers that I have asked to come up on stage to be my lovely assistant and ask her to hold it "just in case" it might be needed. I always choose a female for this. I also have a second female assistant up on stage to "choose" the card. It is good to have people up on the stage with you - more interesting and entertaining for the audience, and you can have some funny interaction with them if you like. But I always at least ask their names and ask the audience to give them a nice round of applause.

    The trick is easy to do (a f _ r _ e is the only move), but you can milk it for a lot of fun and it gets a great reaction. For example, I fail at least 3 times - once by pretending to read a spectator's mind, once by flipping a card up in the air or doing the hot shot move, once by pulling the wrong card out of my shoe. People love the "magician in trouble" plot. Then when you open up and unfold the insurance policy, that GIANT colorful picture of a red king plays really big and is plainly visible to all, which is very important for a crowd the size of what you've described.

    RealityOne likes this.
  9. I was in the same boat as you. I am a closeup magician but have started booking larger venues 200-300 people on average. I took things I already know and learned to make them play big. Here are a few examples:

    -Linking Rings: I think right now most people know me as "the linking ring guy." Issue is performing the closeup rings for 300 people is very hard to do. So I went ahead and invested in a set of 10" rings and retrained myself using them. I can now do a 6 minute ring segment in my stage show. I use a modified version of Pop Hayden's "Comedy 4 Ring Routine."

    -Sonic Mindreading: I use a sonic screwdriver from Doctor Who to read minds. It is silly but a ton of fun and you can use any method of your choice. I typically force a card, then use a book test to force a word. I draw a picture of each thought of word on a giant drawing pad as the reveal.

    -Cups and Balls: I got some white 1 1/8 inch balls and some large copper cups and perform a version of Vernon's classic sups and balls. It plays big enough that an audience of 300 can see it and follow along.

    -Bill to lemon: Borrow a bill and use your favorite method to get it into a lemon or some other impossible location

    -Rope Magic: Go back and forth between professor's nightmare and cut and restored depending on my mood.

    -Prop magic: You may not eat to spend much money, but perhaps investing in some small props may be worth it. You can take a 30 second trick and turn it into a 5-6 minute performance if scripted properly.
  10. Lord_Magic,

    I have done something exactly like this infront of the 7th, 8th, and 9th grade at my school. I started by saying that all magician have to warm up, and invited everyone to warm up with me. I did the quick trick where the magician can twist his hands in a way that the audience cannot(I cannot remember where I learned this, but it is pretty well known). Then I asked for a volunteer, and preformed a version of David Blaine's trick, where two signed cards switch places in the spectator's hand (also very well known, but I tore the duplicate card before putting it in the spectator's hand so it was even cooler, and harder to tell that the signature was false). This is close up magic, but if you do the shake change vertically, everyone will be able to see the color change. It worked really well. I hope this helps.
  11. I just realised...

    31st November shall never come.

    #face_palm to the power of infinity.
  12. A good trick that works close up or for large audiences is Lit by Dan White and Dan Hauss. I really recommend it gives a great effect with a surprise finish!! Good luck on your show. Practice in front of friends and family prior to the show. Once you get on the stage you will feel better and it will go smoothly. If you know how to do card to wallet (I don't) it will be a good finish for a show. Good luck. Check those tricks out and decide whats best for you.

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