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  1. #1
    mallow81's Avatar :: Elite Member
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    EarthDay Festival Performance

    Here is my show that I had today for the Kadena Air Force EarthDay festival. I had 30 minutes of walk-around before the show, then a 30min slot on stage. However, other events were running behind schedule so I was cut off at about 20 minutes. The K9 demonstration was very adamant about beginning exactly at noon, so I had to stop a bit early. In any case, I think the show was was successful, and it was fun. (the coordinator was very upset that she had to cut me off, but was more than happy that I was being flexible.)
    I'd like to say Thanks to the witchdoctor Mr Reality1 for his help with the "WIZARD" portion of the show. That is the first time I've performed that particular routine, and I think it was fantastic. Misers Dream also went off quite well, but due to the coordinator I had to go quicker than I had planned.
    I had a problem with the change bag because the kid was on top of his game. He wasn't supposed to put the blue silk back in (as I dropped it on purpose) and it threw me off when I went to remove it. Oh well. Learning experience.

    I also noticed (after watching the video) that I was flashing the cards as I laid them down during Homing Card. That is quite disappointing, I wish I had known, but I've never done that with the table behind me before.

    I'd like to hear your thoughts on this. What did you like? What should be changed? What needs improvement? Thoughts on the performance of the effects, etc.

    "It's fun to do the impossible" -Walt Disney

  2. #2
    RealityOne's Avatar :: Moderator
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    Brandon:

    Really good job overall. OK, enough of the praise... let's get down to the critique (recognizing that I'm holding you to the highest standards -- as usual):

    OPENING

    I like the outfit and the shades. You did well using the microphone and projecting a "professional" presence.

    At the beginning, you need to introduce yourself (even if someone else introduced you before the tape started rolling). You also need to have a scripted warm up... what you did was pretty good, but I think it can be more focused on magic. "Who has ever seen a magician before raise your hands. That's great, for at least half the people here I'll be the most amazing magician they've ever seen. OK, who here is a magician? Wait, I'd better raise my hand." NOTE: It's still early and I haven't had my second cup of coffee.

    FIVE CARD OPENER / HOMING CARDS

    I know I suggested to do the five card opener as the first effect, but I don't think it worked as well for kids as I thought it would have. We need to think about this some more. On 5 card opener, you flashed the "packet" at the beginning. I would reduce the number of dis-cards to make the packet thinner. I think you need a small wire trash can slightly in front of you to put the dis-cards in. That will keep you from turning your away from the audience. Also, it looks better. There were flashes on the homing card as you mentioned. Love the "woman are trouble comment." You need to come up with a couple of other jokes that go over the head of the kids and the adults get. In homing card, don't say low number of spot cards. I think I saw a 9 in there. Also, other than magician's, nobody under age 70 will know what a spot card is. Again, the trash can would work well here to get rid of the "queens." The ending for the routine is sort of flat. A line like "maybe I should just do a pick a card trick now" after you reveal the last queen might help, but I think the ending needs some work. I'm thinking maybe some story patter that justifies the queen returning and that makes the final return seem intended.

    COLOR CHANGING SHOELACE

    Almost perfect. The only thought is that the ending needs something. What about using a yellow 260 Qualatex balloon for the shoelace in your pocket. "Oh, that, it's just a balloon." Blow it up and then twist it so it looks like a tied shoelace.

    BIGGER CARD TRICK

    I have a better handling of this for you to use. I show the bag empty at the beginning of the effect. I usually have the bag flat and open it up and ask "what's this." It never fails someone yells out that "it's empty!" I have the spectator shuffle the cards and then put three cards into the bag saying I'm going to take three guesses which card is their card. The first two cards should be the same suit but lower... like a 4 of Hearts and a 7 of Hearts. For the first one you ask if you got the suit right and then ask if it is a smaller or a bigger card. For the second one you ask them if it is a smaller card or a bigger card. At this point they yell out BIGGER on their own. Also, I would use a 9 for the Bigger Card -- I think a 10 is to high a number. I think that saying "You told me it was bigger" is better than saying " I made it bigger."

    I think you then need to do another Jumbo Card effect with the rest of the deck.

    I liked the "that was cool" from the audience.

    MISMADE FLAG

    I cracked up when the spectator stole your line by saying that his arm was in the change bag.

    You need a joke for "what is red, white and blue?" Like, "I though you were going to say a depressed candy cane." You get the idea... I still need more coffee. OK, I'm back after coffee... how about "a depressed, polar bear with sunburn." Ha! I crack myself up. To make that work, you need to do the colors in order, "blue, white and red." That also makes the question harder -- "what is blue, white and red?" and starts to set the stage for things getting confused.

    I think that the dropped silk should be the first phase of the routine. Putting all the silks in the first time conditions the audience too much and might cause the spectator to react that way. Also, I think the fact that the spectator dropped one before made him think you really didn't mean to do that!

    For the other inverted flag, have a little fun with the kid. Confuse the kid by pointing to the red scarf and telling them to put the blue scarf in. Either way they react, you will get some laughs.

    HOW TO BE A WIZARD

    Loved it. OK, so I'm biased.

    I think you need a better box. Something where there is a top and a bottom and that you can decorate with stars. Not the shipping box, but the box that the effect came it. It would look more magical. Put some crumpled up tissue paper in the box and toss it out when looking for the wand.

    I don't think you should ask for a round of applause for the "point and smile." It disrupts the flow. I think the reaction on the first multiplying wand was a little two much. Look at your wand, look at his wand, look at him, look at the audience, shrug your shoulders and then say what's next. Restart at "hand the magic paper to the assistant." I like how the jacket came out... it's perfect. For the second multiplying wand, same as first. Third multiplying wand, I think the line should be "what's going on here?" rather than "what are you doing to me?" I like the figuring out the left hand part... especially how the volunteer mimicked you.

    I think you were right, the instruction for shaking the Wabajack should refer to the Wabajack not the Wabajacks (or at least that is what my wife says and she is my go to lay person). The assistant wasn't supposed to turn around, but that worked perfectly... especially with the "you're supposed to be on one foot." You were ready to skip the last instruction.... I think it needs to be tweaked a bit.

    ~ Carefully open the crumpled ball of ripped up sheets of paper
    ~ Put the magic wizard's hat on your assistant's head
    ~ Have your assistant take a bow as the audience gives him a round of applause.

    I think that gives a little more clarity to the effect.

    MISER'S DREAM

    I realize you were rushed but the performance is good. You need some patter with this. Why is it happening?

    I think you need to have a little more control at the end. That is going to be hard, but I think you have to give clear instructions. Maybe having each child say their name before throwing the coin.

    FINAL THOUGHTS

    Really good. You dealt well with some unexpected events. Ask the children who come up on stage their names and remember them for when you say thank you and send them off the stage. At the end of the show, reintroduce yourself and thank the audience. "Thank you so much for watching, I'mBrandon Porterfield and I'm glad we were able to have some fun today."
    ~ David
    Perception of reality is a selection of reality which results in a distortion of reality.

  3. #3
    Adam Wilber's Avatar :: Creator
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    Let me start by saying this is the perfect example of why I love this forum! WOW!

    Brandon, Awesome job! I really enjoyed watching this and seeing you in action. I can clearly see the amount of work, practice, thought and effort you put into this set. All in all I would say it was a great succses.

    David, Your insight and ideas on this performance were spot on and inspirational! Again this is the perfect example of why I am so in love with what this forum has to offer!

    Ok, so what my thoughts are:
    After watching it for the first time. The thing that struck me first was the importance of asking your spectaors name and using it a few times during the effect. This is a great way to connect with the audience.
    The applause cues seemed a bit akward for me. Maybe a stronger opener and warm up would eliminate the need to keep asking for applause. I am a huge fan of asking the audience to applaud for a child as they come up or leave the stage but I have never felt right about asking for them to applaud me or one of my effects that did not involve a spectator. I did like how you asked for applause for the queen in the homing card but feel it could of used more of a story to give the queen an identity worth crapping for.
    It may have helped a lot if before the show or in the intro the children were asked to come up to the stage. I noticed in your video that the majority of the audience was in the bleachers. They were way to far away esspecially for the first few effects as those were all card tricks.
    I thought the wizzard hat was great. I agree with everything David says on this one.

    I want to thank you for sharing this video, it was awesome! David I want to thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas about the performance. This is a perfect example of how powerful the forum when used correctly can be. You both have inspired me more than you know with this post!!!
    Ellusionist Forum Director

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    Brandon: The overall show was great!
    The two effects that I had some comments on were the color changing shoelace and the homing cards.
    The homing cards performance was decent. But at first it didnt seem like they noticed anything magical was happening. I think it would have worked great with an older age group. The color changing shoe lace performance was great but again the audience seemed to have no reaction until you turned around to show the yellow one.
    Misers dream could have had some type of patter it just seemed like you were pulling coins out of the air for no reason. Im sorry to be harsh and I know you have much more expeirence than me I just felt like it would be good to give you an honest critique.
    By the way I really enjoyed the wizard routine. It could have been maybe a little shorter. I felt like some of the kids were losing attention after a while. Great Job Brandon! Keep up the good work.

  5. #5
    mallow81's Avatar :: Elite Member
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    Everyone, thank you for your thoughts. I agree with everything that was said.
    I didn't like giving the applause ques, and really want to find a way to make those ques built into the magic/effect itself. I will brainstorm on how to increase the "ending" of the effects. If there is a solid point in which the effect ends and is powerful enough the audience can't help but applaud. I need to find that balance.

    I don't know why, but I've never been able to remember to introduce myself, nor ask the assistants names. I am horrible with names, and can rarely even remember my students names (even though I teach them for years). I think that I've developed a built in neglect to names as I don't want to make the mistake of miscalling them cause I have a bad memory for such things.
    I really need to work on that. During my close up shows, I often try to get the names of the group I'm performing for, but on stage I just totally neglect it. I must work on that. Thank you all for reminding me of that.

    I have more to add, but I have to get ready for work now.
    Again, thank you all for taking the time to help me out.
    PS: Grove, never apologize for trying to give advice that you think is necessary. I will always listen, as anyone that wants to improve should.
    "It's fun to do the impossible" -Walt Disney

  6. #6
    RealityOne's Avatar :: Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by mallow81 View Post
    I am horrible with names, and can rarely even remember my students names (even though I teach them for years). I think that I've developed a built in neglect to names as I don't want to make the mistake of miscalling them cause I have a bad memory for such things.
    Barney... I mean Brendan... No, it's Brandon:

    Alex (Steerpike) has a post out there from Magic Week 2010 where he gives some suggestions in how to remember names.

    One thing that helps is repetition. Magician: "What is your name?" Volunteer "Alex." Magician (to volunteer) - "Hi Alex." Magician (to audience) "Can we give Alex a big round of applause." Magician (to volunteer) "Now Alex , I need you to help me with something...." You've said their name three times, so that will help at the end. If you remember it at the end, then use it. If not, just say "you've been a great help, let's give HIM a big round of applause."

    ~ David
    Perception of reality is a selection of reality which results in a distortion of reality.

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