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 Post subject: Are you ready for paid gigs?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 1:41 pm 
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When to take on real, paid gigs:
This goes for kids shows, corporate events, stage shows of any kind, parlor shows, walk around:
Basically if your getting paid for your service…

First we will cover free gigs- i.e.; library shows, free b-day parties, etc.

These are great learning moments. You can gain a lot of experience and knowledge out of them.
Many of you new comers, old and young, seem really dead set on performing kids shows and what not, right away. But that just isn’t going to happen, it shouldn’t.

You must first get experience. Places like the library and close friends parties are great places to begin.
But only take these on after some amount of studying and a lot of practicing. Practice not only your tricks, but also your patter, presentation and A ROUTINE. Once you have a routine down, then you can go perform the free shows. Get a few under your belt. These will allow you to test your material, get to see how kids act, what they like and hate, how you react with them, what can be changed for the better.
That’s what these are for. You don’t want to do this for paying people. (Granted every show, you usually see and find things that can be changed, you don’t want to do that right away for paid people).

Ex: When a company builds new item, they create prototypes. Many times they give these to random people; to see how it works, what the people like and dislike, etc. The creators don’t charge these testers, just so the creators can find the bugs. After many tests and re-makes, its finally ready to be sold.

This is like you and your act. You’re the creator and the act if the item and prototype. You build an act/routine, you test it out numerous times on the audiences, make the needed changes, until its ready for the real world.

--Kids shows are one of the hardest to attempt in my mind. So I wont go into too much detail- because I haven’t done a lot of shows. I have worked at camps, so I am basing a lot off that knowledge. {If people like Paddy, Sluggo, Kristen, and Kyle would like to tackle this and add some.. it would be very appreciated.}

Kids are hard- they have short attention spans, they like shiny and color full objects, they love comedy, they like to be hands on, and participate.
You cant just go in an perform a show with cards and a few mouth coils. Its not going to fly.
You have to do research, you have to get into a child mind. There are plenty of books on this.


--Routines

Routines are a very big part of magic. They give sense to the chaos that we create. They allow us to perform multiple tricks with very simple ease.
That’s why they take time and lots of effort. They must flow in some fashion- effects into effects or by patter. (There are other ways, but those are the most common).

A routine is not like your homework, that can be thrown together the night before. You need to understand that.

Before you can even make the routine though, you have to get to know the effects you own, find your style, and presentation. You have to find how can I link these two tricks, so that I can move from one to another smoothly and effortlessly.

I originally thought I could do with out a routine, but I learned after a few shows, that’s not going to fly. You need some kinds of structure, some kind of sense to make of it. It makes life so much easier once you have accomplished it. Its also nice to have more than one.

Study the masters videos… see how they flow throughout the show. They aren’t jagged.

When picking tricks, think: how could I use this? Would I use it? Does it fit me?
Those are just a few questions to ask.

This also goes for restaurant and walking gigs. Even if your going from table to table, the tricks should flow. Pick your tricks wisely. Don’t pick them because they are “hotâ€


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 6:43 pm 
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That will help clarify some of the question asked on this forum.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 1:51 pm 
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Quote:
When picking tricks, think: how could I use this? Would I use it? Does it fit me?
Those are just a few questions to ask.


That is one of the best things to do when routining. Here's what I do, taken straight from the essay I posted from the Cafe:

1. Learn the mechanics of the trick first.
2. Find a reason why that routine should be of interest to your audience.
3. List several additional tricks that can used with it. (Milk Pitcher: Comedy Funnel, Disappearing Glass of Milk, Comedy Ice pick, etc.)
4. List potential props that could be used with the trick.
5. Research, find, and list the potential comedy bits of business that fit the trick(s). View others on VHS tapes on how have done it, making notes on what you like and dislike and how it fits your personality or theme of trick.
6. Find the music, Listen to it, imaging your act with it. Daydream, Brainstorm.
7. Write it down then try it, practice it.

I have done this for every effect in my kid's show, and it's helped a lot. :wink:

-PJHMarine 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 3:21 pm 
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PJHMarine wrote:
Quote:
When picking tricks, think: how could I use this? Would I use it? Does it fit me?
Those are just a few questions to ask.


That is one of the best things to do when routining. Here's what I do, taken straight from the essay I posted from the Cafe:

1. Learn the mechanics of the trick first.
2. Find a reason why that routine should be of interest to your audience.
3. List several additional tricks that can used with it. (Milk Pitcher: Comedy Funnel, Disappearing Glass of Milk, Comedy Ice pick, etc.)
4. List potential props that could be used with the trick.
5. Research, find, and list the potential comedy bits of business that fit the trick(s). View others on VHS tapes on how have done it, making notes on what you like and dislike and how it fits your personality or theme of trick.
6. Find the music, Listen to it, imaging your act with it. Daydream, Brainstorm.
7. Write it down then try it, practice it.

I have done this for every effect in my kid's show, and it's helped a lot. :wink:

-PJHMarine 8)


Very nice advice and addition. 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 2:22 pm 
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Before you can even make the routine though, you have to get to know the effects you own, find your style, and presentation.



In order to find a presentational style though, you need to perform to people outside your family and friends, which requires you to do shows or go on the walk-about.

The problem here is you're saying you can't perform without routines, but to create routines you need a presentational style - something that cannot be formed in your bedroom.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 6:07 pm 
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AtticusFinch wrote:
Quote:
Before you can even make the routine though, you have to get to know the effects you own, find your style, and presentation.



In order to find a presentational style though, you need to perform to people outside your family and friends, which requires you to do shows or go on the walk-about.

The problem here is you're saying you can't perform without routines, but to create routines you need a presentational style - something that cannot be formed in your bedroom.


You need to re-read it. :) You didnt fully undertand.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 6:54 pm 
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What I'm seeing you saying is a performance won't fly without routines and to construct routines you need a presentational style.

You need to perform to find a presentational style, and you're implying it's not wise to perform without a presentational style. Catch 22.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 10:09 pm 
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AtticusFinch wrote:
What I'm seeing you saying is a performance won't fly without routines and to construct routines you need a presentational style.

You need to perform to find a presentational style, and you're implying it's not wise to perform without a presentational style. Catch 22.


Not exactly, if I'm reading it correctly it's more of an emphasis to thoroughly practice. Like going through individual tricks, probably better by videotaping yourself and critiquing, or with a mirror to go more old school.

By doing each part of each trick, trick itself, and story or sounds that would go with it. By watching yourself, you can get more of a sense of how you do things and get something original, creative, something that flows.

At least that's how I interpret it, I can see how you'd think that its a catch 22, but I could be wrong too.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 8:58 am 
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I see. I suppose the performance style you use in the beginning, like the routines, is a prototype. That makes sense.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 12:05 am 
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AtticusFinch wrote:
What I'm seeing you saying is a performance won't fly without routines and to construct routines you need a presentational style.

You need to perform to find a presentational style, and you're implying it's not wise to perform without a presentational style. Catch 22.


A PAID PERFORMANCE. Paid is the key word. You need to find all that- presentation, performance style, routine, etc... all for a paid routine.

I didnt say performance in general.


But it is a must for a paid performance. Thats what I am trying to get across.
You can use the free gigs, just performing for friends, family and strangers= to make, create, and perfect your routines, style and presentation.

Its a mix of live performances and self performances; to make a real routine work. You cant just practice your effects for live people. And you should work on your patter by your self, then try it out on live people.

I suppose I need to be even more specific. :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:50 am 
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OK, dear, calm down. No need to patronize - I get it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 11:38 am 
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David, this is a beautiful essay because it doesn't just say that someone shouldn't take these paid gigs, it tells them WHY. Awesome writing.

AtticusFinch wrote:
OK, dear, calm down. No need to patronize - I get it.


He wasn't patronizing, just clarifying. I think you're both on the same page.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 12:03 pm 
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there is one huge flaw with this essay......it is in the essay section. The people who this section is trying to help are the people who are never going to come into the essay section.

Other then that it's a great essay.

Ben Winter


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