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dschmunis

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I've recently started they study of close up magic, and like Obi Wan would say: "You've taken your first step into a larger world".

This is such an amazing, wondrous world with some much to learn and to discover that I'm looking forward to spending the rest of my life immerse in it.

I'm finding books, videos and lectures great resources to learn moves and tricks but the problem is that they are all presented as individual moments/routines and I'd like to start learning how you go about stringing various tricks/routines into a longer show that has some sort of logical progression instead of finishing a trick, putting the props away, getting a new prop and starting a new trick


Any resources, info, advice on this subject?

Best,
D

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Kenneth Lee

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Reply with quote  #2 
Roberto Giobbi's essay on structuring routines is called "Construction," and he originally published it in Card College 2. In it, he talks about creating routines and shows, but he also talks about what makes for good construction in a single effect. A worthy read indeed, and it's included for free in the 500+ page eBook from Vanishing, Inc. called Magic in Mind. The other essays in this tome are all thought provoking and important as well. 

Download it here:
https://www.vanishingincmagic.com/ebooks/magic-in-mind/

Kenn
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dschmunis

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Reply with quote  #3 
Hi Kenn,

Thanks for the lead. I have Card College. I'll pull vol 2 out and read the essay!

Best,
D

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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dschmunis
I've recently started they study of close up magic, and like Obi Wan would say: "You've taken your first step into a larger world".

This is such an amazing, wondrous world with some much to learn and to discover that I'm looking forward to spending the rest of my life immerse in it.

I'm finding books, videos and lectures great resources to learn moves and tricks but the problem is that they are all presented as individual moments/routines and I'd like to start learning how you go about stringing various tricks/routines into a longer show that has some sort of logical progression instead of finishing a trick, putting the props away, getting a new prop and starting a new trick


Any resources, info, advice on this subject?

Best,
D


First, let me begin by congratulating you for realizing the need to think it out.  Routining can make a huge difference in how an act if perceived.  A well-routined performance flows and it impresses the audience, whether they realize it or not.  

Did you happen to catch Rafael Benatar's lecture?  If not, he talked about a card set he does.  Within the set are chunks of card magic organized by theme.  For example, one group of tricks deal with gambling.  Then another group uses only 8 cards, but he uses those 8 cards to do multiple effects.  That is one way to organize.

But if you are using more than just cards, then you might consider transitions that help one trick flow into another.

Say you do Matrix.  Perhaps you do a card trick and then suddenly 4 half dollars appear underneath the cards.  You then flow right into Matrix.  Or whatever coin assembly you do.  Or maybe you put the cards aside and do a coins across, the point is you connected the two.  Just consider it a seque.

Just as important as the sequence of effects is your patter.  Be prepared to use your patter to set up the next effect.  You can link effects verbally if not tangibly.

One way to begin organizing your effects into a routine is to write the effects you do down onto pieces of paper such as Post-It Notes.  Look at them and think about how they might fit best together.  Sometimes a logical progression becomes more obvious when you have concrete items to look at and focus on.  If you just sit and think, you're bound to forget things.  Also, put the approximate performance time of each trick on the notes.

I also encourage you to observe some working pros sets.  There are a ton of magicians who's entire performances can be found on youtube.  Performances at The Magic Castle are common.  Observe the various ways they organize their sets.  Did they have an obvious progression?  Did the effects dictate the flow or did their patter link them?

What I try to do is to begin with a basic pattern and then flesh it out.  For example, a quick, very fooling opener, then several effects where I can connect with the audience and finally a strong closer.

Sometimes I work backwards.  I envision where I want to end and work towards the beginning.  Do you have a time constraint?  Or at least an approximate goal in mind?
That is why it is helpful to jot down the performance time of the various tricks.  That way you can mix-and-match by time as well as type of effect.

Some performances may look very different simply because of the time allotment.

Let us know how you are progressing with this.  I hope some of my thoughts are helpful or at least get some wheels turning.
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Robin Dawes

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Reply with quote  #5 
Michael Close has a training video on how to construct a three-trick set: https://www.michaelclose.com/products/how-to-design-a-three-trick-set
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dschmunis

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Dawes
Michael Close has a training video on how to construct a three-trick set: https://www.michaelclose.com/products/how-to-design-a-three-trick-set


Thanks for this resource Robin. Will take a look

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dschmunis

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ


First, let me begin by congratulating you for realizing the need to think it out.  Routining can make a huge difference in how an act if perceived.  A well-routined performance flows and it impresses the audience, whether they realize it or not.  

Did you happen to catch Rafael Benatar's lecture?  If not, he talked about a card set he does.  Within the set are chunks of card magic organized by theme.  For example, one group of tricks deal with gambling.  Then another group uses only 8 cards, but he uses those 8 cards to do multiple effects.  That is one way to organize.

But if you are using more than just cards, then you might consider transitions that help one trick flow into another.

Say you do Matrix.  Perhaps you do a card trick and then suddenly 4 half dollars appear underneath the cards.  You then flow right into Matrix.  Or whatever coin assembly you do.  Or maybe you put the cards aside and do a coins across, the point is you connected the two.  Just consider it a seque.

Just as important as the sequence of effects is your patter.  Be prepared to use your patter to set up the next effect.  You can link effects verbally if not tangibly.

One way to begin organizing your effects into a routine is to write the effects you do down onto pieces of paper such as Post-It Notes.  Look at them and think about how they might fit best together.  Sometimes a logical progression becomes more obvious when you have concrete items to look at and focus on.  If you just sit and think, you're bound to forget things.  Also, put the approximate performance time of each trick on the notes.

I also encourage you to observe some working pros sets.  There are a ton of magicians who's entire performances can be found on youtube.  Performances at The Magic Castle are common.  Observe the various ways they organize their sets.  Did they have an obvious progression?  Did the effects dictate the flow or did their patter link them?

What I try to do is to begin with a basic pattern and then flesh it out.  For example, a quick, very fooling opener, then several effects where I can connect with the audience and finally a strong closer.

Sometimes I work backwards.  I envision where I want to end and work towards the beginning.  Do you have a time constraint?  Or at least an approximate goal in mind?
That is why it is helpful to jot down the performance time of the various tricks.  That way you can mix-and-match by time as well as type of effect.

Some performances may look very different simply because of the time allotment.

Let us know how you are progressing with this.  I hope some of my thoughts are helpful or at least get some wheels turning.


Ray, lots of great advice here. thank you so much for taking the time to share it with me.

I guess I'll have to re-watch all of the Castle's performances that I've been enjoying so far as I've been purely watching them from a spectator's perspective but will start watching them more from a performance and how to combine and flow various effects together.

And I really like the idea of finding effects that combine various different props (e.g. matrix) as that seems to offer a more natural branch to go into different directions w/o making it feel like you are randomly introducing props and jumping from one effect to another. I supposed that also being able to string the effects across an overarching theme is another way to bring some commonality.

Been thinking about constructing an act/theme around the movie Inception and how our realities can be twisted and manipulated...

Stay safe and stay healthy!




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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dschmunis


Ray, lots of great advice here. thank you so much for taking the time to share it with me.

I guess I'll have to re-watch all of the Castle's performances that I've been enjoying so far as I've been purely watching them from a spectator's perspective but will start watching them more from a performance and how to combine and flow various effects together.

And I really like the idea of finding effects that combine various different props (e.g. matrix) as that seems to offer a more natural branch to go into different directions w/o making it feel like you are randomly introducing props and jumping from one effect to another. I supposed that also being able to string the effects across an overarching theme is another way to bring some commonality.

Been thinking about constructing an act/theme around the movie Inception and how our realities can be twisted and manipulated...

Stay safe and stay healthy!





Anymore I watch pretty much everything except the tricks when I watch a video.  I've seen plenty of tricks, what I enjoy more is watching the body language, observing the audience management, misdirection, etc.  

For example, there was a performance video from Ryan Hayashi posted here at the forum recently.  I pretty much ignored what was going on with the coins and focused on all of the "offbeat" work.  Not the way to watch the video in order to appreciate the effect.

But in the process I was able to learn a lot about his structure, use of misdirection, loading techniques, etc.  That all goes into my mental storage bank to draw upon in my own work.
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dschmunis

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ


Anymore I watch pretty much everything except the tricks when I watch a video.  I've seen plenty of tricks, what I enjoy more is watching the body language, observing the audience management, misdirection, etc.  

For example, there was a performance video from Ryan Hayashi posted here at the forum recently.  I pretty much ignored what was going on with the coins and focused on all of the "offbeat" work.  Not the way to watch the video in order to appreciate the effect.

But in the process I was able to learn a lot about his structure, use of misdirection, loading techniques, etc.  That all goes into my mental storage bank to draw upon in my own work.


Yes, that's one adjustment that I need to start making when watching this sort of videos. Perhaps watch it at least twice (and take copious notes). Once from the spectator perspective and then one or more times from a performance perspective to focus on presentation, misdirection, loads, etc.

This is one of the things that I'm finding makes me love magic so much: the effect is just but the tip of a very large unseen iceberg. there're all these intricate and subtle details that add so much texture and layers that you can just about grab any basic effect and spend years just looking for that next improvement that it may seem invisible to the spectator yet adds to the totality of the presentation

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“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” - Arthur C. Clarke
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