Putting together a stage act

Discuss your favorite platform magic and illusions.

Postby Guest » 01/10/04 11:18 AM

Hello everyone,

I'm new to this forum but not by any means new to magic. I have a reasonable amount of knowledge behind all things magical but I'm not an encyclopedia. Erm, I guess what I mean is, I am quite experienced but am not a pro yet and will probably ask a few questions.

Anyway, down to the question. I have a specific interest in mentalism, illusions, bizzare magick, and presenting these in a theatrical and dramatic way. I like to present my bigger effects in such a way, thus making the performance important rather than just showing some magic...get me? With mentalism, yes I like to drmatise it slightly but hey it's kinda meant to be.

So, I have material but how do I incorporate this all into an act?


Oliver :)

Postby Guest » 01/11/04 05:45 AM

I don't know anything about illusions or bizarre magic. Rick Maue published a popular book on bizarre magic, so you may find some help there.

However, re. mentalism: my array of mentalism tricks gelled into a full 45-minute act in 2003, so I can give you the point of view from having recently constructed it.

With mentalism, you first have to decide on an approach. Do you present yourself as real? Are you ambiguous in proclaiming what you do? What premise do you give the audience up front? My premise consists of just two sentences up front. You can perform an act without such a proclamation, but I believe that audiences want something to grasp onto in mentalism.

Once you have that nailed down, you'll find that a few things fall into place.

Finding some logical order to the trix is important. Finding a knockout final trick--something that's totally reliable to knock audiences out--is essential. And a good, quick first effect is important, too.

Once the order of tricks is chosen, the mature show starts interweaving the tricks with callbacks and interactions between the tricks. Also, the best shows have a through line, a kind of plot that makes the audience have to watch until the very end. It's different in every show, of course.

Figuring out music can be difficult, esp if you don't have a music tech at each show that you do. Music should enhance, never dominate.

Finding a place to practice your show is the toughest thing. There are things you can learn about a show only by performing it in venues where you don't have to be great.

Postby Dennis Kyriakos » 01/14/04 01:28 PM

Originally posted by David Groves:
Also, the best shows have a through line, a kind of plot that makes the audience have to watch until the very end. It's different in every show, of course.

THROUGH LINE: What you want the object of your behavior (in this case the audience) to understand about you.

Hope that helps a bit, too.

Dennis Kyriakos
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Postby Bizzaro » 01/14/04 03:56 PM

Everyone needs to learn a bit of psychology to do stage magic.

Always start strong, visual, flashy, etc. However you also want your opening to define your character and what you and your show is about. Then from there you build up to the end which is the bigger, better of all of them.

It is also a good idea to have rises and falls in a show. Much like a roller coaster (But without all of the physics involved.) you need points of high energy and plateus of rest. Sometimes the audience needs to watch. Sometimes they need to think.

Write down all of the effects and then place them ina set list order. taking into careful consideration the flow, effects, participation, and energy level as well as the size of the trick.. not just physically but presentationally.

Hope any of this inane rambling helps.
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