Friday, April 18, 2014

How to actually get things done PART III

After having one 3rd of the 90 minutes show being cards I had to add way more non card material. For years I have done a certain rope routine that heavily borrows from Francis Tabary and George Sands. I also had this Ring and Rope routine. It was a nice match up. I knew both would be my opener. But I realized that it may got to the magic too quickly. This is strong stuff after all. I needed some luring in. And then I was reminded of my old days of me doing ball manipulation. A quick one ball routine would do it I guessed. So I got me some bounce no bounce balls and went for it. A ball bounces then doesn't. Then the ball gets tossed in the air a few times and then vanishes. A quick sequence of the ball being placed in the pocket and then coming back a few times followed by a color change. After that the rope act and then cards already?

It still felt too rushed to get to the cards. So was thinking.... this was the perfect time to include a running gag that may get resolved at the end of the first part of the show. Then it struck me. Money! If I would borrow a 5-Euro bill and then transform it into a 10-Euro bill and then give that 10-Euro bill back to the spectator that would keep things a bit unresolved. Why would the magician give out money? I liked that. As I could go back to that and then borrow the 10-Euro bill again and turn it into a 20, then a 50 perhaps.... and always giving it back to the spectator. That would indeed be a magical running gag. So that is what I went for.

And it plays great. "Does anybody have a 5-Euro bill for me. I'm gonna do a trick that makes sense for a change." then I would do the transformation "If that was real magic, you would be allowed to keep it" after a brief moment of hesitant wait I would give it to the spectator "Keep it, it's yours!" suddenly there was a emotional reaction that was worth exploring. "Yeah and all of you others... now you wish you had given me the 5-Euro bill I asked for!" That got such a great laugh so I kept it in the act.

And now I would transition into the card bit with the Chicago Opener and the kings.

Then coins! I have a rather lengthy 3 coin routine, that I split up and part of it made it into the act. It ends with the three coins going under the playing card that was remaining from the last bit. Then I would tear up the card and three quarters of the card would turn into three more coins. With the six coins I would do my coin thief routine, which ends in a transposition of a coin in the spectators hand.

So far the show has been non stop magic. I felt it was too much in a way. The audience needed a break. Then I turned back to my initial idea pool. The history of magic... Wouldn't a magic story give the audience some time to recover? I thought so, so I tell the story of Mary Toft and how she gave supposed birth to 17 rabbits, leading eventually to the rabbit from the hat trick. Then I would explain why I wouldn't do the trick, as rabbits are way too big to fit in a hat and that people believe anyway that magicians do that trick all the time. So there is no need to do it. As some sort of compensation I would do another little bit that deals with birth, death and animals, and the best part people can do this at home. What follows is the famous towel chicken. But mine would lay an egg in the end.

The story had one problem: People still expected me to produce a rabbit now. And then it struck me! What if I would keep that thread loose. And only tie it back together at the very end of the show. And then a few more ideas followed leading into the actual ending I have now.

It's a bit hard to explain. So hear me out. During the entire show I have some bits that feel unresolved and then I drop them. For instance: I tell the audience that there is one specific type of spectator that is the worst. The person not wanting to know how the trick works. No even in the slightest. For those spectators you could do the bit with the fingers jumping from hand to hand and they would enjoy that: "And doing finger magic is the lowest form of entertainment. Whoever enjoys that must really be out of his mind!" This line is important.

In the end, after the last trick I would announce the fact that the show has now come to the end. The scream for an encore always happens. Then I roll my eyes saying "Alright, we'll do it, we do the rabbit from the hat." You cannot believe how things fall into place after the line.

Then I do my routine with my fingers representing a rabbit that would do all sorts of tricks... It's not magic but it ties up all the loose ends. And "whoever enjoys that must really be out of his mind!"

So what about the money thing? Will the spectator get to keep it?

Feels unresolved doesn't it?

More in Part IV

Thursday, April 17, 2014

How to actually get things done PART II

Before I go on: Big thanks to my girlfriend as she is actually the one who pushed me into doing the theater thing. It was a long dream of mine and she forced me to do it. If there was one thing hindering me from doing it the most it would be the initial steps. Finding a location, planning, getting the inventory like tables and chairs, registering the business at the public authorities and so on. She did all of that, so I could concentrate on the magic shows itself. Otherwise it would have taken a lot longer. Back to the magic...

So I deceided to do a comedy magic show and the show about the perception and deception. I knew that the later would take way more effort to put together so I kept the first one very light.

The first show basically was my close up/stage set that I did for years. Rope, cups and balls, sponge balls some card tricks, some coin tricks, something with a finger ring and so one. The first thing I did was to put the stuff in order. From weakest to stongest. Then I ran into the first problem. I have been doing table hopping for so long, that I realized that even my card tricks were to darn strong. There was no proper build up. And that is totally great for table hopping where you don't have a lot of time to establish anything. But for a theater show.... The tricks got to the point to quickly. I needed to milk time. All the card tricks I had were FASDIU. Then it struck me. It doesn't have to be. It's a controlled situation. I could do an elaborated card set with deck switches and gimmicks and all of that.

And what a Pandora's box I opened with this. The card act now consists of 6 deck switches and is gimmicked to the max. Why? Because I can!

I was asking myself how many card tricks I could put in the 90 minutes show. And I think it was Tim Ellis telling me that 30 minutes split up into three 10 minute sets would be okay. That helped alot.

The first card act as follows: The deck is examined, Chicago Opener, a production of the four kings. A card is selected and turns into the four kings, then turn back into the selection. The selection is signed, and again turns into the four kings. The selection is pull from the inside pocket and then is lost in the pack. The four kings turn into the selection one by one, then revert back to being the kings. As I go for the pocket to reveal that the selection has gone back into the pocket the opposite happens and I pull the four kings from the pocket and in place of the kings in now the selection. Then I repeat the Chicago Opener but this time not the card changes color, but the deck.

It's a lot of stuff happening and keeps people alert.

The second card act: The deck is examined, then I do a slip slop shuffle to mix the cards face up and face down. I claim to righten the deck using the magic tool of misdirection. I pull out a jumbo card and ask a spectator to name any card. Basically I do the 52 card gag. Leaving the jumbo card on the table. Then I show that the deck is now all cards facing in one direction. What follows is a multiple card selection routine. 5 people each stop at a card and remember it. I claim to find all of the cards using different ways. Skill, Magic, Luck, Misdirection and Planning. The first one flies out of the deck, the same card then turns into the second spectator's card. The next one is found reversed in the deck and the next one is under the card case. But then the deck vanishes. I look confused and look at the fifth specator.... then I grab the jumbo card again asking him to tell me his card. The jumbo card is now his selection. The it is revealed where the deck has gone, in the card case of course. Then offer to do that trick again where I shuffled the cards face up and face down, this time without misdirection. And then it's the most clean Triumph I could find. And with clean I mean gimmicked to the max.

Again a lot of stuff happens. The third card set happens after the break. And is basically hands off. I won't go into detail here, as it is not my routine, except for the gags.

After I decided on those big blocks, the rest was just filling.

More in Part III

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

How to actually get things done PART I



I run a little theater for well over a year now. A close up theater. I do 3-4 shows a week in addition to the regular bookings. When the project was still in making I knew I had to come up with new material. As the close up material that I had was about 40 minutes. 60 if you you really milked it for time. But I had to come up with two 90 minute shows, that are different from one another in both feel and choice of tricks. So I made a list of possible themes for a close up show. Here are some:

Magic from a Notions Box... tricks with needles, yarn, thimbles, buttons and so on. It was clear very early on that that would not fill 90 minutes.

The History of Magic... tales of magicians of the past and some of their tricks. While I liked the concept and I still do, I knew that this would be a show that is very little magic and a whole lot of talking. It might be interesting to some but a letdown for those expecting a magic show full of magic.

Just a magic comedy show... No running theme, just tricks after tricks and the only thing tying it together was my personality and some running gags. Eventually the show would lead up to a point that has been hinted at the whole time giving the audience a feeling of having seen a whole show instead of just bits strung together.

A show about the Perception and Deception... I would do a trick and then perhaps explain the principle behind it. Not the trick, but how our brain operates and gets fooled. Then in the end I would reveal that everything was a deception from the very beginning, and that people may have come to learn something, but they have not learned anything. It would be revealed that all explanations were fake but then I would have a closing trick to redeem myself for that lie where I would be honest all the way.

I decided on the last two show. That was in early fall of 2012.

More in PART II


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Is it just me,

or is Chris the guy from Magic Geek getting more and more mature? Becoming less and less of a goto reason why magic is bad and taking more and more steps towards being a fully functional human being?

If so: Congrats!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Heritage



So just in case you see this and don't get it:

Gamblers cop the missing Three of Club and then add them to the four other cards you showed to your audience. So it is on the bottom. An indifferent card is dealt by the spectator on the magicians hand. Then a bottom as the whole thing is wrist killed.

Then another bottom and the indifferent card is lost in the pack. Then the whole thing is repeated shouting SWITCH instead of magic.

Why am I spoiling this? BECAUSE DANIEL WANTS ME TO. HE DEMANDS IT!

"The intricacies of deception can only be fully appreciated through exposure."

Aside from that. Is that thing worth an entire 7 dollar download? If so, I got a nifty little trick that uses just one double lift. It's about a lie and a snitch. It uses a joker and has a nice two step reveal and a twist and a kicker. I think you can get more out of my routine, than this piece of lame shit that Madison decided to rehash. If I remember that thing has been out in 2010 already.