Monday, October 03, 2005

"Bernie's Show" Post Mortem. (Part 3.)

Finishing the post mortem of my act at the “Bernie’s Day” magic show at the Browsers Den of Magic on Sunday September 25th.

     The deck of cards is cut into three or four piles and then I mix them up into a big mess.  While doing this I chant “Mixie, mixie, mixie.”  I decided to do this because I don’t like large gaps of nothing being said, it makes me uncomfortable, so I say this.  It also re-enforces the fact that I am, indeed, mixing the cards.
     Lesson Thirteen:  Silence is boring.

     Now I’m not going to go into detail about how the trick works.  If you have been into magic long enough then odds are you already have this effect in an old book you don’t look at any more.  I will say this, I take a paper from the young lady, and I say “You do that well” while holding the un-folded paper open for a brief shiny moment.  This eliminates the possibility of there being a gimmick in the newspaper itself.  I do this all three times I take a paper.
     Lesson Fourteen:  Eliminate the possibilities before they become possibilities.

     The cards are mixed, the paper is covering the cards so I can’t possibly see which card is where, and the paper has been showed to be un-gimmicked.  I now take the knife, tell the audience that I will stab blindly and hopefully stab one of the chosen cards, and make another funny noise.  Do you remember the noise “The Six Million Dollar Man” made when he ran?  I do that as I hold and move the knife over the paper.  Again, I hate times where there is no noise.  Fortunately this time it always gets a laugh.  Then I stab, hard, into the corkboard on the table and rip the paper from around the knife.
     I say to the first person who selected a card, “What was the name of the card you selected?”  And he replies.  I then lift up the knife that is through the card, and ask the young lady holding the papers what card I stabbed. (I do this so it doesn’t look like she was brought up just to hold papers.  It keeps her interested.)  She replies, the cards match, and there is much rejoicing.
     Lesson Fifteen:  Keep your helpers interested.

     I repeat the procedure two more times.  The third time I hit the wrong card.  I try to bluff my way out of it but to no avail.  Finally I ask what the third helper’s card was?  Oh look, there are two cards together here, if I take off the top card then that leaves us with … your card!  (Yeah!)
     Unfortunately this time I affixed the two cards together a different way than before.  Instead of affixing them in the centre I did it on two corners, which meant when I picked up the knife with the two cards it looked like two cards, as opposed to one card like it was supped to look like.  Of course the kids on the floor noticed this and kept yelling it out the whole time I was trying to act as if there was only one card.
     Lesson Sixteen:  If it works, don’t change a thing!

     The last card is revealed, the helpers are thanked, and there is applause.  Jeff comes out and thanks me.  I take my bows and remove my things from the stage area so that the next act can go on.
     Those first moments after your act is over are nice.  People are applauding; the other acts are shaking your hand and saying nice things.  You take a deep breath and thank God you didn’t knife your hand.  (It happened to a guy I know.  Really, it did, during a show at an engagement party.  Apparently there was blood everywhere.)
     After all the acts are done you come out with everyone and take another bow.  Because it’s a show in a magic shop after people can come up to you.  They all say nice things.  A couple of times some kids ask what books they should read to start in magic.  I am aghast that kids still read books and offer a few good choices.
     Finally, the audience has left.  You still hear applause and good wishes in your head.  It can make your ego rise.  I try not to think too much about the show at this point because I am too close to it.  I’ll take a few days, think about it in detail and do a “Post Mortem”  (In this case online) This is important because it helps you focus on area’s you need help.
     In my case I need help with silences.  Because no one is talking doesn’t make it bad.  Also those pesky names.  Yes, I got three out of four, but I should have remembered them all.
     This Post Mortem was for me.  Even though I hope you learned a few things about how to take apart your show and examine the flaws in it.  Also, do not forget to think about the applause and the gasp of surprise.  They are good noises and they mean you are doing something right.
     Lesson Seventeen:  Do not short change yourself.

     Next Post:  I think I can now perform a post mortem on a real body.  Sam, get me those medical type instruments STAT!!!!!


Blogger Billp said...

I think it would have taken less time to actually watch the show...

Glad it went well, Gord.

8:31 PM  

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