Closing Effect

Discuss your favorite platform magic and illusions.

Postby Rick Schulz » 02/09/05 07:11 PM

I am in the process of crafting a stand-up act that is designed for families, corporate events, picnics, banquets, etc. I open with a bottle production from silks (not the Bob Reed method); in the middle I feature 6 Card Repeat & McCombical Prediction. I am looking for ideas for a strong closer. In the past I have closed with the "Vanishing Bandana" but I would now rather close with a strong magical effect rather than with a comedy piece.

**An additional thought: I would prefer to avoid the use of livestock - too much trouble, and I already have enough pets. :rolleyes:

What would you suggest, and why? :help:

Thanks in advance for your help! :)
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Postby Guest » 02/10/05 07:20 AM

Productions work well as closers.

If you close with a variation of your opening, the act will feel more complete because of the reincorporation of the same idea. So...
Either close with a more spectacular version of the bottle production or open with something less spectacular and use your current opener as a closer.

Postby Guest » 02/10/05 09:39 AM

6 card repeat? How do you present this?

M Pete

Postby Robert McDaniel » 02/10/05 11:01 AM

How about Scott Alexander's "Shattered"? Too intense for picnics and family affairs??

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Postby Randy » 02/10/05 11:24 AM

You can always go to an oldie but goodie..........Snowstorm in China.
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Postby Rick Schulz » 02/10/05 01:01 PM

"Shattered" is probably too intense for me, much less family audiences. :eek: I tend to avoid fire and sharp objects, with the excception of scissors in my C&R rope routine. As Charlie Weaver used to say "Back at the home, I'm not allowed to have sharp objects..."

But thanks for the idea!
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Postby Guest » 02/10/05 02:00 PM

Currently my favorite is the Gumball Machine (mine is from Collector's Workshop). It isn't cheap, but it packs up nicely and it plays very well. There is some comedy involved (the first two gumballs don't contain the participant's ring--the third one does--this allows for lots of good natured humor) but the ending is strong (an impossible transposition).

Postby Johnny Mystic » 02/14/05 08:33 PM

I second the Snowstorm In China, messy but very if ya make your own, packs small and plays very big.

I've used it for 11 yrs., kids at birthday parties usually go nuts tryin'ta catch some snow.

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Postby Guest » 03/09/05 07:03 PM

For picnics, I would recommend Paul Harris's "Fizz Master" - especially if you could fetch the Coke cans out of the cooler.


Postby Guest » 03/10/05 10:14 AM

For Kid shows I always close with the Chinese Sticks. For 45 minute mentalism shows I close with Q & A and for 90+ minute ones I close with my hypnosis work. When I was doing stand-up I closed with a straight jacket routine.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
AB Stagecraft
Where mentalists shop for unique materials

Postby Guest » 03/10/05 03:59 PM

The top three effects I use for closers are

Sword Through Neck
Linking Rings
A Card Stab routine

Postby Bill Palmer » 03/11/05 03:31 PM

I usually like to end my children's shows with something inspirational

1) skewer through cheek
2) swallowing razor blades and having them show up on a piece of thread -- it's just too hard to see those needles in a living room light

or my all time favorite -- Fire eating.

Just kidding!
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Postby Guest » 03/12/05 05:58 AM

Originally posted by Bill Palmer:
I usually like to end my children's shows with something inspirational

1) skewer through cheek
2) swallowing razor blades and having them show up on a piece of thread -- it's just too hard to see those needles in a living room light

or my all time favorite -- Fire eating.

Just kidding!
Remember to tell the kids to try that at home :)

Postby Brad A._dup1 » 03/13/05 02:19 PM

I think some of the suggestions here for closers just don't work for what you're looking for, Rick.

Most of the ideas spat our here are silly. They don't have the power that your closer needs. Linking Rings are too weak. A production can be great, but are better to jump-start an act.

"Reincorporation of the same idea," Rafael Vila said. This is a good approach, but depends on your style.

But remember that your closer just needs to be one hell of an effect. A novel idea is to have a closer followed by a "kicker." Using a mentalist act as an example:
The final effect is an amazing prediction. To top, though, the mentalist can take bits and pieces from all his earlier effects to prove how correct his prediction was. This way, it appears as though the whole act was one big bang all coming together in the end.

People have trouble with closers. Go the Parlor at the Castle, most of the time you can see what not to do with a closer.

An idea would be take a closer that might be cliche---but something you know works. Like "bill in lemon." Take the way it beats and try to apply that to a new effect. Riff from it, but don't do the "bill in lemon." Chris Kenner talked about this approach for creativity in his lecture at MAGICLive! last summer.

Find a formula that works and tinker, tinker. Somehow Chris took a vanishing bottle trick and turned into a hilarious "Texas Trick."

Sometimes just because something is really amazing and surprising does not mean it is a good closer. I'm working on an act right now: I realized that my closer was in the middle of my show, I didn't think the trick was that great, so now it's at the end of my show.

I also recommend reading up on creativity. The book A Whack on the Side of the Head is a great resource for any magician, creative thinker.

Naturally, I advice all of you to not listen to me and stop worrying and just go work and perform---that's where you find out what's good and what's crap.
Former Vonnegut Character
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Postby John Pezzullo » 03/14/05 02:29 AM

Study the manner in which Max Maven closes his 'THINKING IN PERSON' [see the February 2005 issue of GENII and the Janaury 2005 issue of MAGIC] and you'll gain some insight into how an experienced and creative performer has approached the 'problem' of closing an act.
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Postby Guest » 03/14/05 05:55 AM

Years ago I was doing magic in Galveston, Texas. I was so green you could have planted me in your front yard and called me Grass.
Any way I had been to a couple of different festivals and seen a few shows around the Houston/Galveston area and started trying to book myself out and stuff.
Now I had no idea that magic as a profession had ethics or intellectual property or stuff like that. To make a short story longer I started doing this local magical celebrities opening number. Move for move, line for line.
He found out and then I found out that he found out and I got scared and dropped out of the magic scene.
Years Later I emailed this guy and mentioned the situation and he remembered me and I apologized and he gave me some great advice that I still use today.
He said first develop the character and the tricks will fall into place. He was right.
My point in this self indulgent diatribe is this:
You can close with what ever you want as long as your character can justify the effect.
No matter what Illusion you choose it will be fine as long as the character and script give the audience a sense of completion and satisfaction. So make sure that you have a good idea of who your character is and what it is you are trying to do.
Once you have that down you can do what ever you want as long as it fits the character
So now it's just a matter of deciding what trick you wanna do right? Well what trick do you like?
Do what you like.

Postby Guest » 03/19/05 10:20 AM

I use THE INVISIBLE COW by Charles Pecor to close all of my corporate shows.cordially,Howard Vanderbeck

Postby Pete Biro » 03/19/05 11:09 AM

First of all, go over all the tricks you know how to do well.

What one has the greatest impact?

You might also want to find the books "Programmes of Famous Magicians" there you will see a lot of material that was used by real pro's.

I close with the card in balloon for smaller venues and the multiplying bottles for stage shows.

I have opened and closed with linking rings and a few times closed with the Malini Egg bag. Not too good as you have spectator's helping you onstage, but in certain less formal settings that is OK.

Let us know what you decide.
Stay tooned.
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Postby Guest » 03/19/05 12:34 PM

I once heard you should never do a vanish as your closing effect, however... so this might not be exactly what you are looking for but it might spark an idea if you've ever seen a good comedian you'll notice many of them use running gags, or jokes, often they will close with a joke that reminds everyone of the first joke, or a running joke, with this in mind, consider an effect where you could somehow vanish the bottle you produced in your opening. Then as you turn around as if you are looking for the bottle, the audience could see the back of your shirt having been screen printed with the same card as was used during your McComical deck, just some ideas, to work with...

I have an effect called " Anywhere Bill " out and with it you could do a running gag type act, one of the effects in Anywhere Bill 2 mentions doing a bill in playing card, to make this a running gag, you begin by having a card selected, that card is then found inside your wallet, in fact it is the only thing inside your wallet next you borrow a one dollar bill tearing a corner from it, or tearing it in half you give them part of the bill ( no switch they get the part of the bill you tore from the bill, and the remainder of that bill is destroyed or vanished I prefer to stay away from the too perfect syndrome so recommend a vanished bill over a burned bill in most cases not all cases, just most one other important thing about the tear, I make it a point to have them watch closely, even assign members to watch each half, "you sir watch this half and you watch this half" that way they know you didnt switch out either of the halves after the bill was torn ) at any rate after getting rid of your portion of the torn bill, you offer to do the impossible as you just did with the card you will make the bill reappear in your wallet you could joke by explaining that this is in fact more impossible than the card in your was to get into wallet, as your wallet has never actually held real money, for the young kids in the audience thats what happens when you get married going on you point out that the wallet has been sitting their in full view since we started, have someone pick up the wallet and look inside all they see is the card from the earlier effect, you act surprised, ask them to look closer, still just the card from here you attempt to explain, sometimes, not all the times but sometimes, the card will not just go to the center of the wallet, but to the center of whatever is in the wallet, now having them remove the card from the wallet and hold it to the light, they will see inside the card is the missing corner/half of their bill. the Bill can then be torn apart to reveal the bill's serail numbers match and the tear lines line up.

Just some ideas hopefully something will be of use or spark an idea for you, if you have any questions email me, I'll help out where I can

Take Care


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