I NEED AN OPENING LINE!

Struggling with an effect? Any tips (without giving too much away!) you'd like to share?

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Re: I NEED AN OPENING LINE!

Postby bmat » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:21 pm



isb wrote:
U THINK I KNOW wrote:I say "here's what I'm going to do I'll ask you sir think of a number..."


I really don't like presentations that say "what I'm going to do". If you must pre-empt actually asking for a number, please avoid the commentary-style presentation:
1. here's what I'm going to do
2. I'm going to do this
3. (do the thing)
4. so here's what I did

Maybe instead, something like
"In a moment I'm going to ask you to think of a number, but there are some important considerations. Most people when asked for a number between 1 and 10 will choose 7. Most people when asked for a number between 10 and 20 will choose 13 or 17. So let's go for a 2-digit number greater than 20. Change your mind a few times and then settle on one that you're happy with..."


U THINK I KNOW wrote:I'm just trying to work out "Welcome? thanks for having me? hi I'm U THINK I KNOW? What should be the very first word?
My attitude is a bit elegant...


"Good evening" works. Or "Ladies and Gentlemen". Or start with a "fact":
"A truly focussed human mind is capable of ... and I have made it my life's work to understand its inner workings. Ladies and Gentlemen my name is ..."

I don't equate "hi" with "elegant".

Please let us know what you decide to go with.

Ian


Read this post again and again. Well Stated.

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Re: I NEED AN OPENING LINE!

Postby mark lewis » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:42 pm

I think the main thing with opening any kind of act is to get on with the bloody thing and not babble on and on and on at the beginning. Mentalists have a VERY bad habit of doing this and it can put the audience to sleep, particularly if I am the audience. You need to get the first trick started within 30 seconds of coming on. Particularly if it is an inattentive audience or even worse a drunk one. Or an audience that is tired out because the show is running late or they have had to endure lots of boring speeches already before the show starts.

I have heard the justification for this continuous babbling as "framing the effect". No. It is "framing the boredom".

There is another silly justification used. That is that you are building rapport and letting the audience get to know you before you start. That is baloney too. You are not building rapport--you are building boredom. They have plenty of time to get to know you once you get started. If you chatter unduly with a long preamble they will certainly get to know you-----and that will be part of the problem. They won't want to know you for much longer.

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Re: I NEED AN OPENING LINE!

Postby JohnnyMac » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:38 pm

mark lewis wrote:I think the main thing with opening any kind of act is to get on with the bloody thing and not babble on and on and on at the beginning. Mentalists have a VERY bad habit of doing this and it can put the audience to sleep, particularly if I am the audience. You need to get the first trick started within 30 seconds of coming on. Particularly if it is an inattentive audience or even worse a drunk one. Or an audience that is tired out because the show is running late or they have had to endure lots of boring speeches already before the show starts.

I have heard the justification for this continuous babbling as "framing the effect". No. It is "framing the boredom".

There is another silly justification used. That is that you are building rapport and letting the audience get to know you before you start. That is baloney too. You are not building rapport--you are building boredom. They have plenty of time to get to know you once you get started. If you chatter unduly with a long preamble they will certainly get to know you-----and that will be part of the problem. They won't want to know you for much longer.


Well said!

At one end of the scale you have ENTERTAINMENT where you transport their minds to another world where they focused entirely on you, the magician. Their day-to-day lives are left behind and forgotten. At the other end of the scale is BOREDOM where they are looking at you but thinking of what they're going to be do next weekend, etc.

Get the book 'Maximum Entertainment' by Ken Weber (I've recently posted a review on this). Read it, then read it again and begin to apply the wisdom to your performance.

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Re: I NEED AN OPENING LINE!

Postby Tap » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:57 am

There is a lot to be said for the attitude of "Hey, look at this cool thing I found!" of David Blaine, at times "Fred" Kaps or Chris Ramsay. You aren't talking at or to your audience, but sharing something you yourself find interesting. Take a look at "Fred" Kaps doing the floating cork; He's not acting above what he's doing, but rather letting what he's doing take center stage. The performer is just like me & you, and just as amazed as we are-as if seeing it for the first time. Aloof, polished presentations are fine for some, but they are designed to distance the audience, not bring them in.

Now for a polished routine, a good example of a well thought out 'persona'/approach to study is that of Ray J. Teller. He uses the lack of a formula to focus on the thing, just like those in the example above do. His lack of patter eliminates the distraction, and removes the possibility of talking down to the audience with the more formulaic examples given in previous posts in this excellent thread. "Storied" acts are one thing, but what kind of act/presentation do you really have if it hinges so much on the patter?

I am less impressed with opening lines, this word or that, and the kind of scripting that stifles a performer if they forget a word-forcing them to start over. I am personally impressed with those that can express the same wonder they are trying to elicit from their audience...

That, to me, is what connecting with the audience really is.

Take a look at this video of "Fred" Kaps', and tell me which element is the real magic? :)

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Re: I NEED AN OPENING LINE!

Postby U THINK I KNOW » Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:54 pm

Ian, thanks for your ideas with trying a fact I never would have thought of that myself.

I'm going to post a cope here of my first effect I think it will clearafy my motive.

I got this effect from Josh Jay it's a math square (stunt)

I start by introducing, (Smile) "Welcome every body, (thank you all for coming). We're gonna do some mind stuff some brain work here. (pause) But before we do any of this, I'm gonna have to warm up by doing a little exercise (I start drawing the grid). Here's what I'm gonna do, I'll ask you sir,whats your name? Robert? Robert think of a number up to 100 but make it something we can work with like higher than 35, but don't say it yet! (pause) Do you have one?ok. In just a minute I'm going to ask you the number, and I'm going to write it up here in the corner. Then I'm gonna write down some numbers (indicate across the rows) that will hopefully add up to your number. And I'm gonna try to do this all in less then 30 seconds. (Dramatic pause with a smile) "So, what's the number you are thinking of?." I write down the number on the board, and I tell them "all of you start timing me out loud like this ONE TWO…" I start writing out the numbers and make it look like I'm thinking hard. As soon as I'm done I say "stop!" I relax, breathe for a second (drop the tension smile) then say "less then thirty seconds, ok let's see how we did. Here's what I tried to do I tried to get all the rows to add up to (55)." Now I start adding up the numbers out loud in the rows across and counting on the side how meany times we got to his number. After I added up the across rows I say,"we did it, but I didn't stop there I also did the columns. Even the diagonals, the corners, then the quads and finally the four in the center." When I start doing the diagonal I start adding faster and when I do the quads I don't actually add them I just say e.g. "8, 11, 2 and 34 that equals 55!" Then when I finished adding all the numbers I say "THAT'S 16 WAYS TO GET TO YOUR NUMBER, IN LESS THEN 30 SECONDS (Pause) WERE READY TO ROLE!!" And I take a pose for applause.

I can't thank you all enuph I don't have any English speaking magicians in like 5 miles from me so thanks bmat and all the others

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