Putting together an act

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by MagicShadow9, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. #1 MagicShadow9, Jul 21, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2010
    Hello Theory11,

    I havent been on this site for over a year. Not sure if any of you remember me at all. I took a break from online magic communities to focus more on my own magic and my busy life.

    But now i'm back to ask for some suggestions. However, it's on a subject that i dont think many of you know too well: stage magic. So please dont reply unless you have knowledge of what you're talking about

    I'm looking to put together a solid stage act for a talent show happening in 5 months. I want something that appeals to an audience of high schoolers, and something that's rather affordable (no grand illusions).

    Also, i'm sorry to say that i am not adept at card manipulation, billiard balls, or anything of that sort, and i dont believe 5 months is enough to master any form of manipulation.

    So any effects, tricks, props that you might suggest to me for this situation, please post in a reply.

  2. I think you need Andrew Mayne's Illusion EFX. I have it and use a lot of it in my show now. I adapted the shadow box to my needs and that alone took me only 4 hours to make. It took about a day to get the whole think together (because I painted some things. I also have Darwin's inexpensive illusions. It's ok and might help you get thinking to make your own illusions. Very easy to build from both dvd's and great effects in Illusion EFX. Need any questions don't hesitate to ask.
  3. what about card routine and close-up routines? any ideas to build an awesome and not boring routine?
    could anyone list them suggestion too? Thank YOu
  4. You can't just snap your fingers and have an act. Tricks are one thing. You have to buy the right ones you connect with and that flow together. If you are starting from the ground up, it's not going to be cheap. You also need to script, routine, get a character of some sort, make sure you don't waste you're money on crap, etc. No one can recommend effects for you period. You have to look around and see what you like. Don't tell us your style and say that's what i am into. Go out and take a look! It's fun! I promise. I think its a lot more work than you are bargaining for though. I have been working on my show for 8-9 months and it's about 20 mins. That's with help. Don't take this lightly, or you'll look like crap. Take you time, and don't buy the wrong things.

    - Zac
  5. Start with a theme.

    Routines that fail are consistently proven to be, amongst other things, those that are simply a collection of effects.

    Routines that are successful have at their core an idea that they develop, perhaps a line, an image, an idea...
  6. Well since it is a small act right? I would suggest picking up some Rudy Coby notes, "How to become a World Famous Magician"

    Basically though if you have a strong hitting closeup trick like a good cards across or something like that, which involves two or more spectators can be played up and lengthen the act as well. Some things acts that seem to play up well are the danger acts. Smash and stabs, staple gun roulette, etc etc etc They are also fairly easy to master technique wise and most of the tension is built right into the effect, just add a bit more of your own and viola you got yourself a hard hitting stage act. *Act not a show*
  7. It all depends on what type of performer you are.

    What are your usual effects?

    Also it's pretty pointless to actually learn new stuff for that. You need audience tested stuff. If you have some place to really adapt the effect to your liking then a new set of effects is acceptable. If not then the current arsenal should fit.

    Is it a stage show?
    If so, take a paper and mark on it every stage appropriate effect you know. Then choose a theme according to your act's longevity. If it's 10 minutes it's not really much so a theme is not needed.(i'd fill it up with 2 effects max btw, so think about that)

    If it's longer think of a good theme and not how to save the animals in Peru but more like the way you got to magic(make up a bizarre yet intimate story). There really a lot to work with.

    After youve done that. Take your effects and see what click with the theme. If you like something that does not fit it very well, change it up a bit.

    Mainly what you want to do is have effects that work.

  8. Sounds like a lot of work.. but i have seen acts and it is WELL worth it!
  9. Thank you for all the feedback you guys

    It is a 5 minute show and my preference is to be able to do a silent act set to music.

    I have spent quite a while researching almost all the little stage props i can possibly use. Canes, silks, and other random things

    I do have a basic outline of what i want to do but i'm always open to new suggestions. I posted this in hopes of hearing suggestions of things that i might not know of, that i might like
  10. Well if it's only a five minute show, then there isn't a lot you can do... Maybe 2 good effects. At the most 3... Of course, I'm talking about big strong effects. Since you're doing it with music, then it probably would be quick but flashy effects... I would suggest appearing canes and silk tricks. Maybe D'Lites, depending on how big the stage is... Do you do dove magic? I don't have experience in that field, but I'm pretty sure that would work great. If you have some nice thick rope, that would work nicely...

    Seeing that it is only 5 minutes, I don't think you would particularly have too much time with volunteers from the audience...

    One thing that I think that would be good with music is chinese linking rings... If you kind of choreograph it like a dance, that would be good.

    That's just my thoughts...
  11. I agree with the Dlites and I recommend using Illusion EFX and build a shadow box and make yourself appear or someone else if you'd like. They both have to be in the dim light NOT DARK and NOT LIGHT but dim. The shadow box is only gonna cost you around 60 dollars. Also I might add Vanishing Ketchup bottle kills. Now those are just tricks like people have said. You could easily put the first to effects (Dlites and Shadow box) into a routine. Routining can help the show tremendously.
  12. Don't know what your style is but I would already have a dinner table with candle light sitting on the stage. Walk out and immediately produce a dove or throw coils from your hands, walk over to one of the candles, grab it, light it, and vanish. Do the same with the other and then take a torch to rose and light and place it in the vase. You could then do something with a floating wine bottle or production.

    What I'm saying is you are going to need a theme and everything should go together. For 5 minutes you are going to need fast, visual material that flows together from one thing to the next. You don't even have to talk, let it flow to the music.

    If this classical style doesn't fit you, that is fine, I was just giving you a quick example. Create something that fits you.
  13. Heh, it is. I would not be surprised if it was inspired by Mac's routine.
  14. Sorry, what the bloody f*ck?

    5 minutes and 2-3 effects?
    Thats like saying Chuck Norris read to infinity....twice.
    A decent effect will take up a bit more time than that.

    Anyway, you want 5 minutes of music and such. Okay, could you drop me a PM. I'd be happy to guide you through the process.

  15. some fair and interesting comments, most of which are sound but, if you have The Mark Wilson Course and/or Tarbell you have more than you'll ever need for building up an act of this sort. My questions are a bit basic though...

    1.) What kind of act are you envisioning? Comedy, Big Illusions, Mentalism, Escapes?

    2.) What are your strengths? We all have weaknesses but we also have those areas we've invested more time into study as well as practice. More than anything this is going to an important guide to what you end up with. As was said, pulling "an act" together involves much more than picking out a group of tricks.

    3.) What kind of setting will you be working? Is this a stage with wings and some depth? Does it have a front curtain that will allow you to preset things without tipping your hand? What kind of lighting & sound does it have available... what kind of Mic (if you're planning on speaking) is available?

    4.) Will you be using members of the audience? If so, does the performance area offer SAFE and easy access?

    These are just a few of the very important points you should be weighing as you begin this process. The other is "What is YOUR goal?" What do you plan on doing with this "act" once you've taken the time to create it? Is it viable to use in your area as part of a program... something your can book out for functions?

    The last and possibly most important question here is this..."How much time and effort are you willing to invest into this act?"

    With such a short lead-time and your inexperience, you are going to have to put in a significant number of hours each week in order to get it all right. Not just smoothing the patter and blocking your actions but LISTENING to those you trust when it comes to polishing the act; you should find a couple of old crotchety magicians that will not tell you what you want to hear but rather, grind you into the ground when it comes to perfecting the act. Get yourself a good stage director that can help you block things and even cultivate a solid script. All of this is the part of magic 99% of enthusiast (including a handful of "Professionals") never think of. They can spout the adage that "We're but actors playing a part" but the forget to live up to the role of being THE ACTOR; actors learn stage craft long before they learn the refinements of their craft. That's what we need to learn how to do if we are to become "Magicians" rather than tricksters.;)

    Feel free to PM me if you'd like to chat about things.
  16. Exactly what I was thinking. It's a good routine but for Mac only.

    To the original poster: I hope all goes well.

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