What is a magical stand up trick and/or a closer?

Discuss your favorite platform magic and illusions.

Postby KirkG » 01/30/11 04:33 PM

OK a thread about magic.

I was thinking and then talking with a few guys at the Castle the other day and the question came up. What is a good, magical effect for stand up? The follow up question is what the would be so strong as to make a good closing effect?

This applies to parlor or stand up, not close up. We were able to think of many "wow" close up effects, but not many stand up.

It seems most of what we could think of were more comedy based rather than magic based.

So to get the ball rolling and get them out of the way, let's toss out animal/bird productions/vanishes and card manipulations.

So what have you got out there?
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/30/11 06:06 PM

My card in balloon has served as a closer for me for 30 years.
Also, Egg Bag, Linking Rings, Cups & Balls (all classics)... and the multiplying bottles.

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Postby Q. Kumber » 01/30/11 06:20 PM

Geoffrey Durham advises to close your show with juggling. Now not literal juggling but something where the audience doesn't have to think or be hugely surprised with a strong magical climax. This is where a production type routine fits perfectly - like the Multiplying Bottles.

So why not a strong magical climax? Well the classic books tell is a production will bring applause while a vanish will stun an audience into silence.

Juan Tamariz put it this way: In a film when each scene ends, the viewer is looking forward to what will happen next. OK, the hero got out of the burning building, but will he get to the car in time? Yes he did, but now will he be able to diffuse the bomb?

On the other hand, with a strong magical climax your audience does not look forward, they look backwards. It might be for just a millisecond, but usually longer. During that time they are replaying everything that happened looking for a possible solution to how the effect was achieved.

So, with a routine like the Multiplying Bottles, there is no thinking to be done at the end, just a completion of the picture, like putting the final piece into a jigsaw and this satisfies the audience's sense of finality. They are waiting to applaud and you just need give them the cue that it is now time to do so.
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Postby Russell Davis » 01/30/11 07:44 PM

I think any big production would indeed be a nice finish. You would be giving the audience some material goods (at least, to look at) to complement the mind games of the other magic effects.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 01/31/11 09:39 AM

If you recall the structure of comedy acts - the callbacks to reinforce what you did earlier are what anchor your character. So what's left is a question of whether you want to simply get the props back or do something like finish by showing (or producing) the thing you mentioned but did not actually display earlier.

Oh, there's that card. (stuck to back of your jacket or such)
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Postby Q. Kumber » 01/31/11 11:14 AM

An excellent callback was Ben Earl's "Hand Behind the Back" recently seen on The Penn and Teller Fool Us show.

Another excellent finish is multiple climaxes. Derren Brown has used this premise to generate standing ovations in his stage shows, and is based on David Berglas techniques.

Juan Tamariz has a number of excellent examples as well, though more in close-up.
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Postby Pete Biro » 02/05/11 12:00 AM

The closer for my comedy club act was a jumbo moving pip card. The wrong card was found with card in balloon, but when I did the moving pip, to correct it, it killed.

See it at www.petebiro.com scroll down on video page.
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Postby Glenn Bishop » 02/07/11 07:00 PM

In vaudeville my dad closed with the rope tie. When he performed in Banquets he opened with the rope tie and closed with the Triple Challange Escape (Abbott Canvas Covered Box) or the Bow Sawing Routine.

In night clubs he closed with the card sword.

In family shows I like to close with the Phantom tube. Comedy clubs - The burned bill routine. Close up - Cups and balls.

I hope this helps.
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Postby Necromancer » 02/08/11 01:14 AM

Jim Steinmeyer's Conjuring Anthology exists to answer this question.
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Postby SteveP » 02/08/11 10:37 AM

This is one of those questions where you ask 100 different magicians you're going to get 100 different answers. That's because there is no right answer. Looking through the website of an online magic store will probably give you as much relevance with a list of effects because it doesn't matter what other people are using, you're not them.

It's such a vague question not knowing anything about who you are as a performer. I know of some magicians who close with Silk To Egg and others who open with it. David Alexander used to close his show with a glass of water production and Dunninger used to use the same exact effect as his opener.

It's not the effect, it's what you do with the effect.
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