Is it possible to create a stage act in 4 months?

Jun 13, 2013
237
1
Germany
Hey,

so I know this topic is critical because I don't have any stage experience. But please read this first and then judge me. And steerpike my friend: I know that you don't understand why someone would accept a stage act when they dint have any stage experience. The answer is simple for me: It is the only chance I will get to perform on a stage for every student in my class. And I want to leave a lasting memory of me, not a bad one but a good one. And many people encourage me to do a short stage act so I wanna give it a shot.
I will finish my school and we have a Final Prom and we are renting a big room. In this room is place for 450 people. The initiator would organize me a camera and a beamer so that everyone can see that. I wanted to perform there but I displaced the idea because we didn't have the idea with the camera and the beamer. The reason I'm interested again is because I performed at a small event in school on a stage and the reaction were so great that people were talking about it for a week. I am willing to put hard work into the act. The act should last 10 minutes. I already have an idea for the beginning:
Hello, are you havin a good time? We gathered here because we finally finished school. Most of us took it 12 years, others took it 13 years. After school the real question of life arise: "Where do I get breakfast at 4 o'clock in the afternoon." And do you know why you should stand up at 8:30? Because the stores close at 9 o'clock (in the evening)."
For the tricks:
I would perform Dresscode. I would change my normal shirt into the school shirt.
Another idea would be a book test with the school book or a TnR newspaper with the school journal. My focus would be on a funny presentation.
Another thing to consider is that nobody expects me to do a perfect 10 minute stage act. We are all student with their parent.
So do you think it is possible to create a 10 minute stage act in 4 months?
And do you have ideas for interactive, funny but nonetheless easy stage tricks? Where I can lay my focus on the presentation?
Cheers
Philipp
PS: I will be actively discussing in this thread so it doesn't die after 1 week.
 

Jay Adra

Elite Member
Jul 11, 2011
332
3
Australia
www.jayadra.com
Don't have much experience or knowledge to share with this sort of thing, but reading your ideas made me think that it would be better to do Dresscode the other way around. From a school shirt to a normal shirt (symbolic of leaving school etc).

Good luck though and hopefully others have knowledge to share.
 
Dec 18, 2007
1,610
13
61
Northampton, MA - USA
Why are you mixing Magic & Mentalism?

PICK ONE!

You cannot effectively serve two masters; especially when they contradict one another and my friend, Mentalism is not the same thing as magic. . . it requires a lot more work as a showman and by doing tricks you are making your job much harder.

Dresscode is a cute opener but why not use it to punctuate the fact that you're not a classic stage magician? Come out in the formal shirt and classical type music and then shift the change of both, shirt style and music. Then move into an actual act. . . I'd suggest a short manipulation routine so as to establish the fact that you ARE a magician. This could be anything from extreme card work to Billiard Balls. . . but make it jump and flow. In other words, look at classic Tux & tail type magic in a different light, with T-Shirt & Jeans perhaps.

Be a hip mage and after a solid 3-5 minute opener, all done to music, you can start with the patter and move into a street hustler type schtick. . . something that works with your character and age. It doesn't have to be a hustle, just someting magical and fun.

Have you thought about big illusions?

It's not impossible, the Mark Wilson Course has a few that could be done with no trouble at all, just some cardboard and smart thinking.

Question is, if you produce the girl what are you going to do with her? You need something a bit fantastic to go with that, right?

Don't settle on small stuff, you have a decent sized audience and the opportunity to prove that you don't just tinker around with magic, so go for it!

So to answer you question, Yes you do have some time to make things happen but NO you can't doddle around, you need to KNOW exactly the look and feel of things and you must pull it all together in a way that doesn't look like you just chose four or five random things from your drawer or off a shelf to do.

Like always, I'm more than available to walk you through some ideas so you have something "sharp" to share.
 
Jun 13, 2013
237
1
Germany
Okay. thanks craig. I had the big misconception that a book test is magic but it is the same as mentalism.
I like your idea of opening the show. I would chose a fancy type of music.
I like your idea of a manipulation routine but I never tried that area i never thought of big stage illusions because I don't like them. Imo people will always suspect something fancy. The only illusion I liked is the illusion where you go into somehing, e.g. container, and then you come out on the back of the room. I could imagine that that would be a great closer to the show.
I don't have any idea what type of manipulation I could do but I think it would be cards. Do you have a good ressource to general manipulation? Doesn't matter what it is. So what do I do when I have my opener and my manipulation routine. With which trick would you follow up?
I think I want to manipulate CDs. Do you know a ressource for that?
Like in this acts:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVHXgnYOsB4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_hrSiN0IlQ
 
Last edited by a moderator:

RealityOne

Moderator
Nov 1, 2009
3,578
3,849
New Jersey
YOU CAN'T MASTER A MANIPULATION ROUTINE IN 4 MONTHS. The videos you posted took 3 to 5 years to master. You don't have the background. Don't even try.

To do this in 4 months, you need to get simple material. Let's start with a list of books and DVDs you have. Anything you've learned off YouTube doesn't count. Then list the 4 effects you perform most. Also, post links to any videos of your performance. That will give me a sense of your ability and personality.
 
Jun 13, 2013
237
1
Germany
Okay. The list of books and DVDs I have so far:
Card College
13 Steps to Mentalism
Anthology by DM
Function 9 by CM
De'Ring

Tricks:
Standup Monte
S.W.A.K.
Invisible Deck
5for1

What do you consider easy but stageworthy material?
 
Nov 20, 2013
164
1
Dresscode.. NICE Joke. there's a song.. Alice cooper.. "Schools out for summer" And continues.. "school's out for ever." Listen to that for inspiration.
Book test.. could be dull.
Levitations.
Over the top prediction that's wrong.. with a joke about never being right on test.. when it counts.. "I'm not a good test taker"
Be playful. Your mind can surround the universe in seconds. But only when it doesn't feel like work.
 
Sep 1, 2007
3,818
15
The problem I see here is that this is 90% close-up material. There's nothing to really build a stage routine with. I don't see Mark Wilson's, Modern Coin Magic, Tarbell, any of the standards. The Invisible Deck can be adapted for stage with a little finesse, and some of the material in card college can be used well, but beyond that you don't have enough of the right type of material. This is why we encourage you get your fundamentals handled.
 
Jan 1, 2009
2,249
3
Back in Time
Is it possible to create a stage act in 4 months? Yes, but it's going to be a really crappy one. But if you really want to do one, look things like Rope magic and Silk magic.
 

RealityOne

Moderator
Nov 1, 2009
3,578
3,849
New Jersey
What do you consider easy but stageworthy material?

Invisible Deck
Sponge Balls
Cut and Restored Rope

Maybe one more effect for a 10 minute show.

Here is my recommendation - but the following:

Mark Wilson's Complete Course (book)
Wayne Dobson's WD-40 (book)
A set of 4 two inch sponge balls
10 half inch sponge balls (same color as the 2 inch)
50 feet of Magicians Rope (it's not gimmicked but it is soft and easy to cut and handle)

Mark Wilson's book will give you enough material to do a 2 hour show. It will be the best $20 you ever spend on magic. WD-40 has a number of card tricks adapted for stage. Watch Wayne's performance videos on YouTube to get a sense of how he takes small effects and makes them big (plus you get to read Wayne's fascinating biography). The sponge balls and rope are for the effects I mentioned - the handling is in Mark Wilson's book.
 

Luis Vega

Elite Member
Mar 19, 2008
1,798
197
35
Leon, Guanajuato Mexico
luisvega.com.mx
Yes it?s possible...as long as you have been performign for sometime on stage... since 4 months is enough time to put together a stage show... and by put together I mean you have some routines you have done before and have it down and you just need to put them all together for a stage show...
 
Jun 13, 2013
237
1
Germany
Okay.
So I wanna summarize the idaes that I found great and ideas that popped into my mind:
1. The idea where I open the short act with Dresscode to emphasize that I am not common stage magician is great. But I can't follow this up with a manipulation routine because I cant master that in 4 months. So i would close the show with Dresscode. Let's say I change from my school shirt to a formal outfit (because I am working) or I change the school t-shirt in a normal outfit to emphasize that I leave school.
2. Steerpikes idea of an Invisible Deck for the stage is great because I am performing the ID on a regular basis. Dan Harlan just published his JUMBO Invisible Deck so I think I will get that.
3. The TnR Rope/Gypsi Thread seems to be great. I really like this one:
http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/2620
It seems to be visible for a larger audience and not so hard.
4. I will get the Wilson's Complete Course in Magic to learn something about stage illusions.

@RealityOne
How do you wanna adapt sponge balls for a big stage?

A Professor's Nightmare routine also seems viable to me.
 
Dec 18, 2007
1,610
13
61
Northampton, MA - USA
Is it possible to create a stage act in 4 months? Yes, but it's going to be a really crappy one. But if you really want to do one, look things like Rope magic and Silk magic.

I really think that's insulting. . . I've created entire shows in far less time and only working with Tarbell and the Bill Tarr books + the Wilson Course, so it can be done and you can deliver a reasonable act; not an award winner most likely, but a decent enough act for what this kid wants.

Yes, it's a bit short to learn all the classic slights but not impossible to fake your way through. . . I assumed the OP knew the basics when asking such a question and from what I'm seeing now it would seem that he is straddling the proverbial fence when it comes to what he's studying, trying to be a Magician as well as Mentalist. . . and as I've said, he really needs to choose (HINT: You have no stage experience so you may want to avoid Mentalism).

There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing Rope, Newspaper, Silks. . . this is a part of classic magic and it can still be very entertaining.

I think, if I were the OP, I'd wait a year but use that time to pull together a tight act. . . an actual act. And yes, you can vanish from the stage and appear at the back of the theater and do it on the cheap, but it requires a working team that's rehearsed it as much as you have and on a very steady level FOR MONTHS (even if you cheat like one friend of mine does, and use twins).

Go with the classics. . . come out in that T-shirt and talk a bit about how you always imagined being a great magician on the big stage then, with a puff of smoke, do a formal version of dress code and done a vest (color changing?) and coat. . . make a silk appear and turn it into a rose for your lapel and then another that turns into a cane. . . you could even do the classic bunny from hat. . . none of it is hard, it's easy enough to block and it would be fun. . . entertaining! You could shift once the bunny is produced and interact with a little kid in the audience, performing Blackstone's Bunny to Chocolate and then return to the stage with a couple of larger scaled bits that will ultimately close out your show. Given your age and limited budget (I'll assume) you could modify the old Victory Carton bit found in Mark Wislon's course and do a Shadow Box production of your young lady and then maybe do a floating ball routine with her that blends itself into a full body levitation of the girl. . . you could either buy an Asrah gimmick or make one (they are quite easy) and let that serve as your closer. . . the young lady appearing at the back of the auditorium. . . This is a simple 15 minute act that could go commercial if you desired and most all of it could be done for under $500.00 if you have some simple building skills or about $1,500.00 if you don't.

Look at the Tarbell Course and you'll find is X Platform as well as the Triangle Platform either of which allow you to get away with some amazing effects -- large scaled vanishes, productions, transpositions that would normally cost thousands that you can do for little more than a $150.00 venture. . . because of these tables and how they work.

As I said, this is an act that would take about a year to put together and have rehearsed in a way that would make it tight. It would take at least one male and one female assistant (I always used two male assistants for sake of balance).

Think it through
 

RealityOne

Moderator
Nov 1, 2009
3,578
3,849
New Jersey
Don't bother with the Jumbo Invisible Deck. You can do a better presentation with a regular invisible deck, a beach ball and a paper bag. I can also show you a better handling of the deck for stage. I like Gypsy Baloon - it would be a good closer. As for sponge balls, watch this as an example of how to do it on stage (we can come up with a better presentation that fis your personality and the event):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAWi15MAOmo

Mark Wilson's book is more than just stage illusions, it has cards (OK, not the best part), sponge balls (just don't point), rope, billiard balls, coins, bills, mental magic, parlor and stage effects.

I would see the order as follows:

Invisible Deck
Sponge Balls
Dress Code
Gypsy Baloon

That should easily take up your 10 minutes.

As for others comments, I would agree if you are doing an hour show, but you can do a 10 minute Act in four months.
 
Jun 13, 2013
237
1
Germany
@RealityOne
I don't quite agree with the order of your tricks.
I would start off by doing the gypsy balloon. I would follow this up with the sponge balls. Then I would finish the show with the ID as the strongest effect and Dresscode is kinda the final touch that i leave school.
Sorry if Im too stupid to get it: How on earth do you want to present the spongeballs on a stage? Nobody sees them... Even with a camera. All my other probs are so big.
@Craig
I dont have a budget of 500$ and I will perform this alone. I really appreciate your idea of letting a girl appear but i honestly don't know any girl I would trust.
 

RealityOne

Moderator
Nov 1, 2009
3,578
3,849
New Jersey
@RealityOne
I don't quite agree with the order of your tricks.
I would start off by doing the gypsy balloon. I would follow this up with the sponge balls. Then I would finish the show with the ID as the strongest effect and Dresscode is kinda the final touch that i leave school.
Sorry if Im too stupid to get it: How on earth do you want to present the spongeballs on a stage? Nobody sees them... Even with a camera. All my other probs are so big.

1. Gypsy Balloon is a closer. It is the most EMOTIONALLY powerful effect. Make it about friendships. "Sometimes the connections between friends are broken when we go to different colleges, or we move to different towns or we don't see each other as much as we used to. I think that he bonds of friendship are stronger than that. In life, good friends are there when you need them. My wish for you is that those bonds of friendship will be there as we go through life (restore string) and that those friendships will always be there to carry us through life (release balloon).

2. Invisible Deck is an opener. You start with a spectator and an empty bag, you have the audience pick the color, the suite, face card or number card and the value. You have the spectator find the card in an imaginary deck and turn it over and then drop the deck into the bag. You take the deck out and reveal the card. It builds suspense, it involves the audience, it gives you a chance to show your personality.

3. Sponge balls is the second effect. Did you watch the video? You have to get past the jokes and the 5 card repeat for the sponge routine. Wayne made a single vanish and reappearance of the sponge ball into a 5 minute effect. How? Through his personality. His personality and character and presentation was LARGE, so the props didn't need to be. The effect I'm recommending has a finale of 10 balls coming out of the spectator's hands and spilling on the floor. That will be able to be seen from anywhere in the auditorium. If you want the effect to play larger, don't use a video screen but use your personality to project what is happening. If you want to use the three inch balls, they will be more visible.

4. Dresscode should be the second to last effect. It is strong and visual. You're changing what you are wearing as you change roles. This sets up the last effect perfectly.
 
Jun 13, 2013
237
1
Germany
@RealityOne
Now it all makes sense to me. But Im afraid that I am not a person with such a funny character like wayne. I think I will sit down and start to write a script which I will be posting in this thread. Thanks for your help so far.
 
Sep 1, 2007
3,818
15
@RealityOne
Now it all makes sense to me. But Im afraid that I am not a person with such a funny character like wayne. I think I will sit down and start to write a script which I will be posting in this thread. Thanks for your help so far.

Well that points out the fact that we don't know much about how you perform. Could you gives us a better description? What are your strengths? What sort of material do you do consistently well?
 
Jun 13, 2013
237
1
Germany
Just considering from my restaurants performances:
My strengths are making my audience laugh and connect to them.
My weaknesses are when spectators don't laugh about my jokes or are getting critical I am feeling uncomfortable.
I have many answers to common questions and I ignore hecklers. They can't catch me with my tricks because they are so easy.
Tricks:
Invisible Deck
Manhattan Opener
StandUP Monte
and new: The Coin Bend by Jon Allen with the same presentation but with another handling.
Thats all.
 
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