Kids enjoy Feather Flowers

Discuss your favorite platform magic and illusions.
Dynamike
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Kids enjoy Feather Flowers

Postby Dynamike » July 23rd, 2013, 6:56 am

I am new at working on a feather flower act for kids. My act does need to be improved: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLR1Q7z37MI

I like how the kids are excited to see the flash of feather flowers.

Dynamike
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Re: Kids enjoy Feather Flowers

Postby Dynamike » January 21st, 2014, 7:46 pm

What are some good routines you prefer entertaining the kids with when using feather flowers?

Waterman
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Re: Kids enjoy Feather Flowers

Postby Waterman » March 8th, 2014, 1:29 am

Mike...listening to the reactions of the children in the audience one could say that your flower act is fine the way it is. From the watchful eye of an experienced magician it would be easy to constructively criticize several areas regarding the flow of your act.Personally I think having an assistant arrange the flowers in the background would allow your act to focus on your flower productions without you needing to take each bouquet to the display fence, or simply a more economical way for you personally to put the flowers away without needing to turn away from the audience and breaking up the flow of the productions.
The fact is that those kids couldn't have had a better intro to a magic show than what you gave them. With practice and continued performances your productions will become more polished and your already obvious stage confidence will shine even more.
Another suggestion might be to add a simple livestock production to end your intro as the stereotypical white rabbit always gets the loudest ohhhs and ahhhs from the kids (and the adults as well).Regardless where you end up going with your act, don't stop doing it...I enjoyed the opening and would have loved to seen the rest of your show.

Dynamike
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Re: Kids enjoy Feather Flowers

Postby Dynamike » March 8th, 2014, 3:43 am

Thank you for your courage of suggestions, Waterman. I appreciate your thoughts and concerns.

Having an assistant have been in my mind after a few magicians suggested the same thing to me. I am looking forward to have one in the future. At first I want to have a feather flower act locked in so it looks just as amazing. By then I will be more experienced and encouraged of what to explain to an assistant. When I get a different routine together I will surely have one.

One thing I am improving in is walking less distance away from the fence. It will shorten my timing when I turn around to put away the bouquets.

There have been several changes I have already added to the act to improve the choreography. I am working on dance moves. Those moves will also help fill in the timing when putting away the bouquets. So far that is the hardest part of my act because I am not a dancer.

I have other props and different bouquets added too since I have been working on improving it. My #1 motive of a feather flower act is to have it in a magician's contest. There has been many of changes so far.

I will have the music customized so it will go with my act. Of course I will have to have the act together so I will know it with ease with every exact move with timing.

The whole act is really in three phases. The video only shows the first phase. I have added some effects of the second phase to the first phase since the changes. I'm not sure yet, but I am thinking about changing my mind because of my adjustments. I might make each phase a whole different act now. Following is a photo of most of the whole 3 phase act:

Image

Using livestock has been traveling in my mind several times in and out. My biggest competition when using animals is traveling by airplane from state to state.

Thank you for your contribution of suggestions.

Doomo
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Re: Kids enjoy Feather Flowers

Postby Doomo » March 8th, 2014, 5:58 am

Personally I feel that TWO dove pan productions. The first of warm unwrapped caramels which are given to the kiddies,

The second consists of a bunny production. Said bunny is then passed to the children to pet along with a few tubes of glitter.

Now THAT is entertainment!
RFA Productions yeah... It is cool stuff.

www.rfaproductions.com

Waterman
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Re: Kids enjoy Feather Flowers

Postby Waterman » March 9th, 2014, 2:22 pm

Doomo wrote:Personally I feel that TWO dove pan productions. The first of warm unwrapped caramels which are given to the kiddies,

The second consists of a bunny production. Said bunny is then passed to the children to pet along with a few tubes of glitter.

Now THAT is entertainment!


Yeah...that's a pretty clever response...kind of funny. You must be the life of the party at your magic club meetings.

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Re: Kids enjoy Feather Flowers

Postby Doomo » March 9th, 2014, 5:58 pm

Waterman wrote:
Doomo wrote:Personally I feel that TWO dove pan productions. The first of warm unwrapped caramels which are given to the kiddies,

The second consists of a bunny production. Said bunny is then passed to the children to pet along with a few tubes of glitter.

Now THAT is entertainment!


Yeah...that's a pretty clever response...kind of funny. You must be the life of the party at your magic club meetings.


Oh SNAP!

Oh stop the burn!

Actually I don't go to magic club meetings... As there are too many people doing feather flower productions. That kind of high brow talent is too scary to be around!And when they start talking about the relative merits of Astro Spheres as compared to Hippity Hop rabbits I know when I am simply out of my depth!
RFA Productions yeah... It is cool stuff.



www.rfaproductions.com


Waterman
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Re: Kids enjoy Feather Flowers

Postby Waterman » March 9th, 2014, 8:56 pm

Thanks for sharing that Mike. Nicely done.

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Tom Stone
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Re: Kids enjoy Feather Flowers

Postby Tom Stone » March 9th, 2014, 11:10 pm

Dynamike wrote:I am working on dance moves. Those moves will also help fill in the timing when putting away the bouquets.

I thought it was pretty fun to watch, though I must admit it is far from what I would do myself.

My suggestion is to read page 53-56 in David Kaye's book "Seriously Silly" a few times, because that chapter deals with an important aspect of kid magic that I feel is missing in your act.

I think you can design much smarter holders for the flowers, so that you don't have spend time on aiming for small holes.

Turning your back to the audience at the fence might work once or twice, but more than that doesn't look nice. Mix it up by going around the fence, and lean over it to put the flower there, to make sure you are facing the audience.

A lot of time is spent on transporation, walking from where the production has been made to where its going to be displayed. There's three solutions, use one or several in combination.
1: Shorten the distance.
2: Move faster.
3: Add stuff to make the procedure interesting.
As an example of 3... Let's say that everytime you move towards the fence, you have duck and bob for an invisible bee. The flower is attached to the fence while you look cautiously around you... then you notice that the bee is on the flower, and with a big happy smile you move forward again... and then repeat.
Then hit them with the reverse close to the end... you move to the fence, but when you reach it you stop and look surprised around you - there was no bee that attacked you. Shrug your shoulders, attach the flower, smile and begin to move... and then the imaginary bee attack twice as viciously.

Since it is a production act, it is difficult to make those effective longer routines with a lot of byplay, but running gags might help with that - like the bee idea above.
Another idea is to use DeLage's Fastest Trick in the World from Hughes Magic. Every now and then you approach the bush, the music stops, and you attempt to say the magic formula (Hocus Pocus, abracadabra...one of those), but you accidentally say it wrong in some amusing way and nothing happens - wait a second - then start the music and continue like nothing have happened (much like Johnny Lonn's failed attempts to make the grammophone player to vanish ). Eventually the kids will try to help you to say it right. And when the time is right, you turn to them and say "Yes-yes, I know. But I have a speech impediment so I can not say Abracadabra!" Now, of course, when you don't look you say it properly and the flower just vanishes, and then you can pretend not to understand what they refer to when they try to tell you that it vanished.

You have some pretty bad steals in the video clip.
At 1:08. The one at 1:36 could easily have been stolen invisibly at 1:16 instead. Try to think less linear (pearls on a string) and more like a weave so that you use the surprise of one effect to covertly set up for the next effect. The steal at 1:39 have no cover at all, and the velocity vector of that movement is straight upwards, which is the most difficult vector to cancel out (more on this in my column in Genii November 2011 issue) - another up-vector should be added right infront of the steal - perhaps raise the other flower to your nose to smell it?

The two bar stools (?) or tables to your left looks really fishy. If they are supposed to look like tables, the design have to be looked over a bit.

The music seems out of place. And crowd control... you have to get the kids under your control, that can't be ignored. There are simple techniques you can use.

So, all in all, I thought it was fun to see it. Thanks for posting the clip!

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Q. Kumber
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Re: Kids enjoy Feather Flowers

Postby Q. Kumber » March 10th, 2014, 7:55 am

Tom, those are excellent and constructive notes on the videoclip.

Something we can all benefit from.

Dynamike
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Re: Kids enjoy Feather Flowers

Postby Dynamike » March 11th, 2014, 1:25 am

That's a good lecture you gave Tom. I am working on the improvements already. Some of them deal with what you listed. You will be one of the first I will like to show my next act to for suggestions.

I can not think of anything for improving the looks of the tables. I tried putting vines around the leg as a decoration earlier. But that is a giveaway showing the height of the table at the start and end. Anyone has any recommendations?

I have added flower buckets in the act to use as a dump holder. Instead of placing the ribbon streamer and silks on the floor, they will be dumped in the flower buckets.

Tom Moore
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Re: Kids enjoy Feather Flowers

Postby Tom Moore » March 11th, 2014, 4:11 am

I don't see any reason why they have to be that tall at all and personally would be looking to throw them out and start over again with tables that fundamentally look less suspicious in the first place.

That aside, you make things look smaller by breaking up the continuous lines. Put fake tripod legs on them that come to 1/3rd of the way up the upright http://www.wexphotographic.com/webcontent/product_images/large/71/1525161.jpg and you'll instantly make the upright look much shorter simply because you've eliminated the "long line" visual.
"Ingenious" - Ben Brantley: New York Times

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Tom Stone
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Re: Kids enjoy Feather Flowers

Postby Tom Stone » March 11th, 2014, 7:00 am

Dynamike wrote:I can not think of anything for improving the looks of the tables. I tried putting vines around the leg as a decoration earlier. But that is a giveaway showing the height of the table at the start and end. Anyone has any recommendations?

Fastest solution?
Look at 3:07 in the clip. Just by putting something that looks like a normal table cloth on them, makes them seem more like a table. If you have something on top of the table at the start might also help.
So, let them be as in 3:07 already from the start. For the effect, lift the front of the table cloth to show the table underneath - you only need to show it on one of them. Then do the double production. Saves you the time of putting cloth on the table as well.

Besides that... The table tops can be made to look flatter.
Also, the table tops currently looks like thick black pills, like the thick seat on a bar stool, so some thought need to be put into how to make it look like a thin table top with cloth hanging off the sides. Perhaps remove the bottom white rim. Replace the white top rim with a slightly wider gray rim, and see if that will look like a highlight caused by a table top edge? Attempt to make the sides look more loose? I don't know. Trial and errors will give you the anwers.
But the fastest solution, let them be as in 3:07.

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Re: Kids enjoy Feather Flowers

Postby hugmagic » March 11th, 2014, 9:42 pm

Mike,
Tom as some very good points here but as I always told you. You have decide what to use and make work for you.
I have a couple of ideas on the tables that I will try to get sent out to you in the nect day or so.
Richard
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Brad Jeffers
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Re: Kids enjoy Feather Flowers

Postby Brad Jeffers » March 12th, 2014, 10:53 am

Dynamike wrote:I can not think of anything for improving the looks of the tables. I tried putting vines around the leg as a decoration earlier. But that is a giveaway showing the height of the table at the start and end. Anyone has any recommendations?

In the book Wonderful Routines of Magic by Ellison Poland, there are instructions for constructing a table that is the same height before and after the production.

Tom Stone wrote:Since it is a production act, it is difficult to make those effective longer routines with a lot of byplay, but running gags might help

As a running gag, you might want to consider Abbott's Goofus Plant. Throughout the show you try watering the Goofus plant without success. With your personality, I can see you making a funny moment out of this. You could finish your show as usual, then as an afterthought you remember the Goofus plant. You attempt one last time at watering it and ... BAM.

Sort of an encore to your show.

The kids are really enjoying themselves. You have obviously invested a lot of time and money in your show (those feather flowers are not cheap!). Keep up the good work.

And by the way Dynamike, I checked it out ... there are 83 counties in Michigan.
You have only 80 more websites to go! ;)

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Tom Stone
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Re: Kids enjoy Feather Flowers

Postby Tom Stone » March 12th, 2014, 11:47 am

Brad Jeffers wrote:
Dynamike wrote:I can not think of anything for improving the looks of the tables. I tried putting vines around the leg as a decoration earlier. But that is a giveaway showing the height of the table at the start and end. Anyone has any recommendations?

In the book Wonderful Routines of Magic by Ellison Poland, there are instructions for constructing a table that is the same height before and after the production.

In a slower effect where the height of the table might be remembered, like in a water bowl production, it might be useful with a solution like that. But in this case there is a change blindness factor. No one will notice the difference in height
Tom Stone wrote:Since it is a production act, it is difficult to make those effective longer routines with a lot of byplay, but running gags might help

As a running gag, you might want to consider Abbott's Goofus Plant.

I can't really decipher what that is supposed to be. To my eyes it looks horrible.

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Brad Jeffers
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Re: Kids enjoy Feather Flowers

Postby Brad Jeffers » March 12th, 2014, 12:42 pm

Tom Stone wrote:I can't really decipher what that is supposed to be. To my eyes it looks horrible.

Dynamike, Maybe you should go with the imaginary bee thing.

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Re: Kids enjoy Feather Flowers

Postby Doomo » March 12th, 2014, 1:12 pm

...Or the dove pans with the unwrapped caramels and the bunny.

Just sayin!
RFA Productions yeah... It is cool stuff.



www.rfaproductions.com


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