Yesterday I did my second day of senior shows and it was a lot of fun. I think I may finally be figuring out how to make my coat hanger thru silk routine work. I just need to let the effect marinade and sit with the audience even longer. The trick is a very strong and visual trick, and I think brains just take a long time to process it.
Another thing I’m learning is how much people use their eyes to listen. When we listen we also do a lot of lip reading. When someone is masked, it’s harder to understand them because we can’t lip read. This makes a ton of sense looking into the past. For example my wife uses the captions when she watches movies on a smaller screen like her phone. It makes it easier for her to “hear”. Because of this I’m talking a lot more slowly and deliberately in my shows.
A trick that I love and that has been in my roving magic show forever is ProMystic’s MD Mini. I don’t use the trick how it comes when you order it from them, I use it inside a different shell, and recently moved it up into a Rubik’s Cube. You can read about in this blog post from a few weeks ago.
Last week I was performing in person shows at a school doing one show a day for four days for a middle school age audience. These were my first shows doing this trick in the Rubik’s Cube shell and it played great! In these shows I’m going the trick in a platform show, not close up. There was a huge surprise that happened, it got twice the response that I thought it was going to get!
I got two reactions out of the revelation. The first is when I tell the person the color they picked, they react and the audience reacts to that. THEN the person takes the lid off the box and shows the color they picked and that confirmation of the color got a response. That second response really shouldn’t have surprised me because the whole point of the box was to have that moment of showing the audience the selected color clearly.
I’m glad the Rubik’s Cube shell and box is working out, it’s really they way to do the trick for a larger audience. In the past I sold the trick (and it played well) based on the spectator from the audience’s reaction. The nice thing about doing it with the larger cube is I can do this on stage with no contact and socially distant from the person from the audience who could stand on the opposite side of the stage!
Recently I worked with an act and the airline lost his luggage, and he had to perform for two days without gear. He’s a pro, and was really flustered, I think more at how the airline handled the situation than specifically about his missing gear. His shows were great, but it got me thinking about … Continue reading “What’s Your Plan B?”
Recently I worked with an act and the airline lost his luggage, and he had to perform for two days without gear. He’s a pro, and was really flustered, I think more at how the airline handled the situation than specifically about his missing gear. His shows were great, but it got me thinking about what my backup plan is.
Sure we all can go to the Walmart and put together a show, and I hear performers say that’s their back up plan all time. That’s all good, but whatever is in your “Walmart Show” is material you really need to practice. It should be your “B” show, meaning you do it every now and then. You have jokes and bits, not just do tricks.
This made me think of what I can carry onto a plane, that’s will play big. I’m putting together a list of things so I’m prepared for when this does happen. I also want to do it on my terms, meaning, I have a plan and I’m not scrounging.
The easy starting point is to figure out what card tricks would play big on stage.
1: ACAAN 2: Card to Pocket 3: Card Memorization
These are tricks that have already been in my stage show in the past, so I have good routines for them. These also are very different in texture, they don’t feel like the same trick. Those three tricks are about 12-15 mins. Right away I’m 1/3 of the way to a 45 mins show.
Now to build upon the card tricks to fill in the show. I could add some mentalism:
1: Blindfold drawing duplication 2: Impromptu Book Test 3: Cue Card Confabulation
These three tricks also have different textures and will bring the show to about 30 mins. I can make the the cue cards with the pad of paper from the drawing duplication and I will have the coins from the blindfold, I can use them for a coin trick:
1: Coin Under Watch
I’m going to have to be careful to space out coin under watch and card to pocket as they are both “transportation” tricks. This is not a big deal, I just need to be aware of it. This is going to bring the show to about 33 mins.
There will be room for some small gimmicks, so I can add these tricks:
1: Thumb Tip with mismade bill 2: Dye Tube
Now that I’ve added these two tricks, that puts my show length at about 39 mins. That’s almost a show. Let’s add a couple of small props to the carry on bag:
1: Rubik’s Cube trick 2: Torn and Restored Newspaper
That’s going to bring the whole show to 45 mins.
This show’s carry on list would be: 1: Jumbo deck of cards 2: Regular deck of cards 3: 2 pads of paper 4: Roll of duct tape 5: 2 Coins 6: Book 7: Thumb Tip 8: Mismade bill 9: Dye Tube 10: 2 handkerchiefs 11: Newspaper 12: 2 Rubik’s Cubes
The pack list isn’t very long, and all the props when put together don’t take up much space, and would play well on a stage. All of these are things that have been in my show in the past, so I know the material and have routines for them.
Is this my dream show to do? Nope, but it’ll work in a pinch, and I think it’s a better option than buying some junk at the hardware store and trying to figure out what to do with it!