My Material and a Shocking Revelation

September 28, 2010

As the deadline for finalizing my set list draws closer, I thought it would be good to talk about my material.  I’ve narrowed it down to six effects for my stand-up show.  I plan on doing some walk-around to drum up an audience between shows also, but that’s another story.  The six effects are:

  • “Ping-pong Ball, Fruit, & Flute” which was described in Harry Anderson’s book, “Wise Guy.”  Great for getting attention.  Balancing a ball on your nose while eating fruit is no problem.  The real problem is fining a song you can play on a recorder with one hand (with your nose).
  • Mouth coil.  Pretty standard here, you seem to be doing some sort of torn and restored paper effect when you stick the pieces in your mouth and pull out 25 ft. of colorful paper streamers.  Very festive and feels very time appropriate.
  • Multi-Phase cut and restored rope routine.  Nothing fancy here.  I don’t have time to learn Tabaray’s wonderful routine (although I wish I did, it has a lot of advantages like no scissors, and the same rope used over and over again.) so I’m just sticking with stuff I know on this one.
  • Silk to Egg with the comedy (sort of sucker) explanation, because, without that, it’s just not as good.
  • Linking Rings.  Something I’ve loved and been practicing for years.  I just bought some larger rings and it looks ever better.
  • Finally, John Carney’s wonderful “Fruit Cup” cup and ball routine.  A classic to be sure and very fitting for the venue.  In fact, I discovered during my research that most magicians during the Renaissance mainly did cups and balls work and nothing else.  It’s just that good of a tick.

Well, that’s the show.  As of right now, I’m pretty sure that’s the order I’m going to go with too.  As for the walk around stuff, I’m probably going to stick to simple card tricks as I found a great 16th century replica deck of cards.  Very cool.  This brings me around to my shocking revelation.  As a practice this stuff, it’s really taking me back to my very early days of learning magic as this was the kind of stuff I was exposed to first: the more parlor style magic.  As I got older, I left it on the shelf and devoted all of my magic time to close-up magic, card work mainly.  So here I stand, with a set of steel rings in my hand where just a few weeks ago I would be sitting with a deck of cards in that same hand.  While I do love close-up magic, I’m discovering that it doesn’t fill me with the same sense of fun and enthusiasm as what I’m doing now.  Maybe I’m not a close-up magician.  Maybe I’m a stage magician.  That may not sound like a big deal to non-magicians but it would be like thinking you’re an Everly Brother only to find out that you’re Alice Cooper.  Maybe I’ve been headed down the wrong path all this time.  Maybe that’s something else that’s been holding me back. Whatever it means in the long run, I’ve got to keep practicing, because I have to focus on the task at hand and not go off daydreaming into the future. I’ve already learned so much from preparing for the show, just think how much I will learn from doing it.

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