Magic Castle Audition Guidance

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by mittenpanda, Apr 6, 2016.

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  1. Hello! I am 16 years old, and I have been practicing magic on and off ever since I was a kid. It has always captured my attention, and I just absolutely love magic. I've been back at it again for the past two or three years. I feel like it's just about time for me to audition for Magic Castle but I'm not entirely sure just how difficult or elaborate the tricks have to be. Due to financial problems, I have been practicing card tricks again for the past four or five months. I'm reaching a point where I feel that I need an extra hand or push to help me further my oractice before September. I prefer stage tricks, but I ironically own mostly close-up tricks. Any tips, help, or guidance will be highly appreciated! Thank you!
    Kristelle :)
    Gabriel Z. likes this.
  2. I have been at Card Magic for about 3-4 years now still a hobbyist. All I can say is Sheesh!! The Magic Castle. That is where the best of the best flock to. Good Luck! I mean the fact that Dai Vernon lived out his last years there is about all I have to say to intimidate even the most competent of cardmen.
  3. I'm really just auditioning for Magic Castle Junior. I was half awak when I posted so I forgot to add that minor but very important detail
    Gabriel Z. likes this.
  4. Mittenpanda:

    What is important (from what I understand -- I'm not a member... yet), is creativity, presentation and personality. It really is a matter of what the performance says about how you feel about magic. You want to stand out in what you do. Don't do whatever everyone else is doing. Find some older material, make it yours. Find something that demonstrates your skill and your personality.

    I'd be glad to help you in any way I can... recommending material, working on variations, developing presentations and critiquing performances. Your goal should be to make this our signature piece.
  5. Thank you I would really appreciate the help!
  6. OK, to do this right, we need to know something about you -- because the routine has to reflect who you are, your skills and your interest in magic. So, a couple of questions:

    1. What three effects do you perform the most for people?

    2. What is your favorite TV show, favorite movie, favorite musician and favorite (no-magic) book?

    3. If you were to be a character from a book or movie, who would you be?

    4. Who are your three favorite magicians?

    5. What do you have for books, DVDs and videos? List all of them.

    6. What props (invisible deck, sponge balls, cups & balls, ninja rings, etc.) do you have? List them all.

    If you dont want to post the answers in the open forum, send me a PM with the answers.
    Brett Hurley and DominusDolorum like this.
  7. Hey,

    I've been a junior member for a little over a year. Last month's meeting were new member tryouts so I have a lot of thoughts fresh in mind.

    1. Stage or close up is totally personal preference. Very few people do stage (when I auditioned 41 people did close up, 3 did stage) and even fewer do stage well. I think this is because stage is much harder to practice, either way, make sure to practice a lot.

    2. Tricks don't necessarily have to be elaborate or difficult. More than anything they're looking for competency. For example, If you were to audition with card magic I'd recommend doing something that involves sleight of hand more than gimmicks. They want to see you have some skill.

    3. Presentation, for the love of god presentation. Last months auditions were really small, something like 12 people. Out of those 12 only 3 came out with a smile, introduced themselves, and thanked the audience when they were finished. I remember hearing that they sometimes decide who gets in within the first five seconds. So make sure to greet the audience and smile.

    4. 5 minute rule. I didn't know this before I got to my audition but if you go over 5 minutes you're disqualified. They don't warn you or tell you when your time is up. I had no idea how long my little act was so I ended up cutting a trick last second. When you get an act together make sure to time it before hand.

    5. They say material doesn't matter as long as you perform it well, but please don't do ambitious card or matrix. Understand that the judges have already seen it ten times in a row. The same can be said with most card tricks (pick a card, shuffle, impossibly find the card). It's totally fine to have card tricks but if you can do something with coins or a ring or really anything else, you might wanna work that in as well.

    Let me know if you have any other questions!
    Mind_Over_Magic likes this.
  8. Hi!
    I just auditioned for the Castle and am now a member, so here is my advice...

    Number 1, do not do any flourishes. In my opinion, there is a high chance of messing up, especially in the environment you will be auditioning in. Also keep in mind if it does not add to anything, then it subtracts. In the audition, you are trying to impress the judges with your presentation, composer/confidence and magic; Coming from watching a few people using flourishes in their acts last month, they either dropped the cards or looked like a complete fool.
    (I apologize, I am very blunt at times)

    Number 2, if you are doing close-up, do not act showy. You should act cool, calm, collected and confident. Close-up magic is an art-form and should be presented as such. Furthermore, acting showy may give the impression to the judges that your are more cocky then confident.

    A few more tips:
    Construct your performance around you and who you are as a person/magician. For example if you love to skateboard or play basketball, find some one to work that into your act, setting you apart from everyone else, showing just how creative you can be. Along the same line as setting yourself apart, you may not like what I am about to tell you...DO NOT DO COINS OR CARD TRICKS! I truly mean this. Just this past audition, I did a cups and balls routine while the other 30 or so people did card tricks. From the judges perspective, after the first 5 card tricks, they start to blend together and look the same. So if you really want to set yourself apart, do cups and balls, rope magic, etc...

    I would show up at around 11:30, park and you will most likely be directed to wait in the Inner Circle. You will then be taken to a side entrance where you will be asked to fill out an application. This in in my opinion is very important time to be alert and on your feet. Try to be first in line and turn in your application first since since sitting around waiting for 2 hours to go is not the best on the nerves. They are dead serious on the 5 minute rule so make sure you do not go over, even 1 second.

    If you get called back for an interview, do not take this as a good or bad sign. I know people who were not called back for and interview and got in while people, including myself, got called back for and interview during my first audition and did not get in.

    I think the most important thing is if you do not get in, but the criticism in your letter is very minimal or if they makes comments along the line of "your magic is strong, but you need to clean up your act a little", do not get down on yourself. In speaking with a judge, this is your final test per say. They are basically telling you that you are right there, but want to see if you are able to deal with rejection, stay committed for six more months and come back showing improvement.

    I hope this helps, best of luck!
  9. The Jr. Program is (or was as of the time I auditioned for the castle) pretty tough to get thru on your first go. They are (or were) intentionally harder on teen performers which I think was their way of weeding out those who were in it for the magic, and those who were just into it as a passing phase.

    Having said that they want to see skill. And they prefer the nostalgic value offered in classic effects. Linking Rings, Cups and Balls, Etc. Do not run gimmicks! They hate gimmicks.

    Just go in there, do your best, shoot for the moon and hope you hit the stars.
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