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Discussion in 'Magic Forum' started by azrealmagic, Jan 28, 2019.
Hey guys, let me know your thoughts on this 2 min act.
Very interesting act though some dead time could have been removed for sure. Really nice but the buildup wasn't as exciting as the climaxes and I think some climaxes or extra stuff in there could totally make it better. Otherwise very nice job!
Very well done. My critiques are designed to push really good into perfect. Most of my critiques are related to making unnecessary gestures and slowing down the tempo when you are making certain moves to match the tempo throughout the rest of the routine. For the gestures, you are running when you are not being chased. You don't need to prove your hands empty so frequently. For the tempo, think of the routine as telling a story of something important (which it is) and visualize an old story teller telling the story slowly with a sense of significance.
The initial transformation of the map to the coins is great. Don't show your hands empty twice at :06. Try to reduce the time your hands are together at :07 or to make it seem reduced based on slowing how quickly your hands come together. The snap of your fingers at :09 is unnecessary. The gestures showing the empty hand at :13 and :14 is unnecessary.
There is a small gesture with your right hand at :16 which is too quick and too small. Instead, bring the cards out, slowly move the right hand away around four inches away and at the same time slowly open the left hand by uncurling your fingers and slightly move it to the left. This conveys a relaxed openness and treats the cards as something significant. Slow down the display of the cards and keep the slower tempo consistent for all of the cards. The slower tempo will better disguise what you need to do. Remember, quick hands draws the audience to thinking you are using sleight of hand (i.e. the hand is quicker than the eye).
It is clear you are doing something at :25. That is made much more obvious by the focus of the camera. In a live performance you could do what you do while raising your hands and talking (thus drawing attention up to your face and eyes) and then move your hands back down. The bruising dust off at :27 is unnecessary. You are over proving that you don't have a card in your hand and it just looks like a fly landed on your mat and distracts the audience. The five moves of your hand starting at :30 are unnecessary and look out of place. You just laid the cards down very slowly and deliberately and then make five rapid moves with your hands. I'd replace that with your hands slowly going from the outside of the spread, crossing over each other and then returning to their original position. It mirrors the laying down of the cards and gives the feel that the magic happens slowly.
The gesture at :39 is unnecessary. You are turning the cards face down too quickly... it looks rushed. The hand turning up at :44 is unnecessary. The brushing the table at :54 is unnecessary. Instead, move the cards further above the table and replace them. I would also rotate the cards by turning my palm up and rotating it back and gently placing the cards down. The bigger gesture and larger distance away from the table makes it look more open. Also, the spectators will remember that they saw both sides of the card (almost like a paddle move) due to the rotation. The brushing the table at :56 is unnecessary. Here you should again use the same bigger gesture turning your hand palm up. Try to handle all the cards in the same manner when you lift them up.
The palms up gestures at :59 and 1:01 feel like an "I don't know" gesture. The brushing of the mat at 1:02 and gesture with your right hand at 1:30 are unnecessary. Instead, before the reveal of the first card and before the reveal of the last three cards do the same gesture: start with your hands palm down, centered close to you body (in the middle of the bottom two cards). Move your elbows out around three inches, move your hands in a semi-circle arc until they are over the front corners of the mat, slowly turn your hands palm up and angle your finger tips toward the mat slightly as you bring them back to you on a diagonal line to the middle of your body. Those gestures should look like you are bestowing a blessing and then gesturing for the audience to look a the cards.
When you turn over the rest of the cards, do it slowly. Tilt up the bottom two cards (so you could see underneath, but don't look) , pause and then turn them over. This provides some drama. Put the face up cards on the table right above the coins. Tilt the top card up (so that the audience can see the coin underneath) and then turn it over and place it on the table. Giving the audience the chance to see the coin there before you do is strong. This is a magical moment, treat it that way. Then stack up the cards in the middle slowly, one at a time. Then make the same gesture with your hands directing them to look at the cards and the coins.
When you move the coins beginning at 1:08, place you finger on one coin at a time and push it to the corner. The coins should not be obscured by your hand (obscuring them convey's that you are hiding something).
At 1:13, I would put the cards toward the bottom left corner of the mat. The gestures at 1:15 are unnecessary. At 1:19, I would bring the lighter our and hold it up before placing in the center and then place the cards centered under the lighter and then the coins centered above the lighter. At 1:27, pick up the coins more slowly, one at a time and slow down the transfer of coins from one hand to the other. At 1:41, I would put the left hand above the cards and open it simultaneous with the lighting of the fire (make sure don't get burned by being too close). That avoids the awkward hand position at 1:41. The second palm up gesture at 1:44 is unnecessary. At 1:48, your handling seems too much. I think you are clean at that point and you can just deal the cards to the table.
The snap at 1:53 is unnecessary. Rather than the palms up gesture at 1:53, I would clasp my hands (not with hands parallel like praying but with the hands turned 90 degrees and perpendicular) and pause for a beat. This signals that something important is about to happen. Avoid fidgeting with the lighter and straightening the cards. Pause a beat between turning the cards over and spreading them out.
For the last card, pick it up, look at it and then place it in front of and in line with the other card, turning it over for the audience to see right before it hits the table.
Again, well done. My comments are designed to make this something spectacular.