General Instructions

I feel it is necessary to point out something from the very beginning. The enclosed sheets ask you to work. Period. They are not difficult to use or understand, but if they are not used, they must therefore be considered worthless. However, if you do dedicate yourself to following through with this method of organization and management, you will count your blessings in the years to come. They are designed for long term use and benefits.

■ i':¡ vitally important to manage and organize,the skills and knowledge which you possess.

The Custom Cue Sheets, once completed, put your entire repertoire at your fingertips. Once you decide what show you wish to perform, you can instantly have a complete script of that show.

The Show Sheets will provide long-range benefits concerning repeat bookings. Also, perhaps more important than any other point, by reviewing each show you present, you will improve, learn, and benefit from every performance. People who are anxious to succeed and improve will realize that if this constant reviewing and analyzing process doesn't help, then nothing else will.

The Project Planner is designed to teach you to become goal-oriented. Work from a three-stage point of view: (1) Set your goals; (2) Make your plans; (3) And take ACTION. You will benefit in every phase of your life if you ask yourself certain questions and apply certain principles to every problem you face.

These systems were developed for my private use, and have helped me to improve my magic and management. I hope you benefit from my viewpoints.

CUSTOM CUE SHEETS

We vv'.li begin our efforts to better organize and manage our magic by reviewing the Custom Cue Sheets. A number of factors make these sheets quite interesting. We will look at some of the benefits which these sheets provide, and then we will learn how to best use and apply them.

I have some good news, and I have some bad news. The Cue Sheets will require a one-shot n j or investment of your time. (That's the bad news.) The good news is that the time is invested wisely. Once completed, your sheets become a permanent record of your repertoire; providing you with a wonderful collection of your material, allowing you to trace and note your improvements and developments over your life in magic. Not only that, but you will see them transform into true "peace of mind" and the best time-saving device you will ever have. They allow you to comfortably expand your horizons and add professionalism to every show you perform. If that sounds like a lot to promise, then please read on and try to visualize the security that a completed set of Custom Cue Sheets would bring to your performing life.

The Cue Sheets were developed for a number of reasons, among them are: (1) New material to my performing "arsenal" without losing the polish my existing routines had developed; (2) I had forgotten one too many of my lines during a performance; (3) I was fed up with fighting to piece together the different routines into the best possible show after laying off for a month.

Each Cue Sheet is designed to record the information you would ever need concerning a routine. The headings were selected to allow you to perform that particular effect in its entirety after reviewing the sheet a couple of times.

Each routine you p^iorm should be given a title which you can easily recognize. Begin by listing these titles on the Effect line. Judge the angle problems you may face along with the props, etc., which are employed, and place a check beside the appropriate performing situations (Stages, Platform, or Gose-up),

If your routine has a particularly bad set of angles (Zombie, for example), or if it involves a specific set of performing conditions (Hippity Hop Rabbits for children), or if it requires certain important lighting or staging sequences (Dancing Cane) then these things should be detailed in Performing Conditions and Special Lighting: Staging.

Certain tricks play better with certain types of audience volunteers. The key is to decide upon the best type of person, the best age, and sex for the particular routine. It would be rude to select a distinguished elderly gentleman to place an eggbeater to his head in front of all his friends. So determine the criteria for the best possible helper and list them under Volunteer from the Audience and Age, Sex. Remember - our goal is to fill the Cue Sheets with the ideal performing information so that we can work towards standardizing our shows. It will speed up our improvements if the standard with which we measure ourselves is a high one.

To avoid unnecessary stage movement, to insure proper placing and economy of motion, you should plan your Positioning and Cues in advance. Where is the best place to put your props or to have a spectator stand? What Cues can you give your volunteer in order for the effect to flow as smoothly as possible? An example of excellent Positioning and Cues would be the Blackstone Rope Escape. Years of trial and error have polished this routine to perfection.

Often it is the little things which transform a trick into a full-fledged piece of entertainment. These Bits of Business deserve all the attention we can give them.

As your experience and repertoire expand you may find it difficult to use and remember every key line which goes with every routine. Your Key Patter Lines can literally make all the difference in the world. It's the icing on the cake which separates the amateurs from the pros in most cases.

Some routines are natural closers. On the other hand, some routines are natural openers. Most important is the fact that your particular handling of the routine is what will determine that routine's Preferred Show Position. Certain routines, due to the length of time they require, or to the number of volunteers required, may need to be sandwiched in-between two fast-paced effects. You see, you need to judge not only from the routine you are working on, but you also need to consider the general nature of every other routine which you perform.

The Props list is crucial. This section could help you avoid much heartache if you always check it before you leave for your show, and before each show begins.

As your file of Cue Sheets expands, you will find that you have some routines which may conflict with each other. You don't want an entire act of tom-n-restored effects or card tricks. One experienced performer did an entire show where things disappeared and reappeared inside of something else. It wasn't long before most of the audience anticipated the outcome of each effect. This, of course, diluted the impact of the entire show. Judge the material you have, and list the Conflicting Effects for each routine.

USE OF TH E CUE SHEETS

After your initial investment of effort you are now in the position to enjoy great benefits. This is not merely a recording system. It actually will provide you a "return" on your invested time each and every time you perform.

The next step after filling out each sheet is to have five copies made of every sheet. I have "color coded" my copies to tell me if a routine is for children, adults, or for any age group. Childrens' routines were copies on pink paper; routines for all age groups are copied on yellow; and adult routines are on blue paper.

Place the originals in a safe place for a permanent record. Then place the copies (separated in colors if you like) into a large notebook which will become your Master File. When you receive a call for your next show all you need to do is go through your Master File and remove an opening, a closing, etc... until you have removed a sheet for each routine you plan on performing. Place these into the proper order and put them into a smaller notebook or folder. Presto! Just minutes after you began you now have a complete script of the show you plan on doing. Anyone who has performed for any length of time can easily see how this could be extremely valuable as time goes by. The less time you have to throw away the more this system could benefit you. The reason for making five copies of each sheet is so you can fill out several shows at once if you like. This script will provide you endless peace of mind, and does a lot to cure pre-showjitters. Instead of pacing around waiting for the show to start you can now wisely use your time to review the show you are about to do.

The efforts here resemble a seed which matures slowly, but which produces a rich harvest. All too quickly, your years of interest in magic will grow - the key is to have your talents grow at a rate that out-paces your years. This, I believe, is the sort of thing that makes that possible.

CUSTOM CUE SHEET

EFFECT _

STAGE _ PLATFORM __CLOSE-UP

PERFORMING CONDITIONS _

SPECIAL LIGHTING: STAGING _

VOLUNTEER FROM THE AUDIENCE _ AGE/SEX .

POSITIONING AND CUES _

BITS OF BUSINESS _

KEY PATTER LINES -

PREFERRED SHOW POSITION PROPS -

CONFLICTING EFFECTS _

AMMAR

SHOW SHEETS

Performers who intend to pursue magic as a career can gain valuable benefits from a long-term, accurate record of their performances. This applies to the performer who is "in it for the long haul." One who has a serious desire to perform for several years, and also improve as quickly as possible. Everyone would like to have 30 years of experience, but who wants to take 30 years to get it?

The front page of the show sheet is designed to keep an accurate record of the person who hired you, the date of the show, the type of audience, fee, etc. These things become crucial to the performer who may eventually re-book that group. This information could be valuable for mailing lists and for keeping track of earnings.

As a sincere student of the nr;, you must want to do as polished a show as possible. By keeping an accurate record of the group and the show presented, you can more economically plan the repeat shows (especially if you use your custom cue sheets to provide you an instant script).

However, your most important benefit of the sheet will be your ability to judge, rate, and learn as much as possible from each and every show you perform. This is CRUCIAL. Can't let those clever spur of the moment jokes be forgotten. Can't continue to perfonn an effect which continually shows up in the "weakest numbers" section. If the show goes great - learn from it. If the show bombs - learn from it.

Just as with the other sheets enclosed (Custom Cue and Project Planner) The headings and titles are suggestions which the greatest number of people may be able to use. If they aren't perfect for you, or if something else would be better, then change them. If these sheets cause you to think a little deeper, or from a different viewpoint, then they have accomplished their purpose. I hope that this system proves itself to be as much of an aid to you as it has to me. Good Luck!

Contact Date

Program Date

(1) Name of organization (type of event)

(2) Address of program _

(3) Person to contact (name & phone number) Address _

City/State/Zip

(4) Time of program _ (5) Desired length

(6) Type of audience _ (7) Approximate number

(8) Facilities (a) Stage

(c) How much space is available_

(e) Dressing room off stage__

(f) Privacy for setting up _

(9) Is outside entrance close to stage

(11) Do they want biography, brochure, photograph

(12) Result of the contact _

Others

Have they recommended you to others Did I write a note following the show Did they write following the show

(13) Potential future benefits of this show

(1) Unexpected audience reactions __

(2) Effects that failed to renter as expected _

(3) Mistakes in act_

(5) Weakest numbers_

(6) New ideas, interpretations, bits of business, etc.

(7) Rearrangement cues_

(10) Other acts received better_

(11) Was final punch effective __

(12) Bow well done_(13) Exit smooth

(14) Can I strengthen audience appeal_

PROGRAM PRESENTED

Strongest Reactions

PERSONAL PROJECT PLANNER

A glance at the headings on this pad will show you this pad is almost self-explanatory. However, keep in mind that these sheets are tools for your use. If s up to you to draw as many benefits as possible from the basic format. If the headings don't fit the needs of a project, change them.

Yin;goal when using the planner should be to increase the quality of the time which you devote to your magic. This doesn't mean that a switch from practice to recordkeeping is the answer. The point is this; the instant you seriously put your project into an organized form to be developed, you have taken the biggest step towards a successful conclusion. After filling out a few of the sheets you will be delighted to see your thoughts begin to crystalize.

It is important too that you forget the "practice makes concept. Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect. Just sitting down for a general practice will do nothing to lead you to perfection. Concentrated effort towards a clear goal is what makes perfection possible.

For example, your subject may be: "1 want to develop an outstanding cups and balls routine." Under Brainstorming, you literally let your mind run free. Comment on stand-up routines, sit down routines, potential end loads, number of cups or balls to use or load, etc... after exhausting all your thought on the subject, decide on the one best method or routine to work on.

Lef s assume you decided to load a glass of liquid under each cup. Unless you are a few steps ahead of everyone else, this may pose some barriers. Work on the best strategy for overcoming any barriers and (this is important) commit yourself to reaching a potential solution. Actually give yourself an initiation date and a completion date which you believe to be reasonable.

It is not always necessary to complete each sheet. If all you know is that you want to perform the cups and balls eventually, then just fill out the "subject" and file it away for future work.

As the months and years go by you will develop the habit of looking at your routines (and daily problems as well!) from an overview perspective. You will think in terms of potential problems, best strategies, and overall benefits to yourself. Also, it is always a source of pleasure to review our past thoughts. A long range system such as this can give you valuable insight to your thinking as you pass through different stages of knowledge, skills, etc.

Become your own "task master" and commit yourself to a comprehensive program for developing your own material to a level you can truly be proud of.

PERSONAL PROJECT PLANNER

2. Brainstorming

3. Top Priority Project

4. Presentation Suggestions

BOOKING SHEET

The following two pages comprise a BOOKING SHEET for use when booking shows. They are a copy of the sheet that professional magician, STUART uses for all of his shows. Stuart, who lives in Southern California, has been very thorough in preparing these sheets. They are an invaluable tool for anyone who performs any type of show.

If you find that the Booking Sheet does not fit your needs exactly, simply modify them to meet your own personal needs.

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