With our official announcement of our 2015 The Magic of Jack Daniels - The Journey - An interactive experience illusion show that was made public last month, the 28th of August a lot has happened so far.
For the past 3 years we have been secretly working on this show.
From day one we knew it should be called "The Journey" as its all about taking the audience into my journey. A journey that had began when I was 14 years of age till present. So being our first proper scale production in over 13 years there was no questions about what to call the show. That was the easy part.
Then came the very difficult choice of deciding what illusions to add into the show.
We have a total of 10 illusions in this show with each illusion costing anywhere from $2,000.00 to well over $6,000.00. Its a crazy total when you think about this: Each illusion although there will be many smaller pieces of magic in between throughout the show, but each grand illusion after spending so much time, money and energy will only be on stage for no longer then 3 minutes.
The illusions had to fit the theme of the show. We didn't want to add just any illusion. Everything was thought of very carefully. Were the illusions going to suit our style of magic? Had they been seen by the public? Was it going to be easy to transport? Would we be able to pay for it and most importantly was it going to fit on the stage and in storage. Some of the many questions that had been asked over and over again.
After almost a year of just deciding what illusions we would like to be in the show we finally came to an agreement and placed an order for the building to begin. Each illusion taking well over 4 months to complete and in most cases coming from overseas. Even though we built 2 of the smaller illusions ourselves to save costs, most of the big and new ones where professionally built. All but 2 illusions are still waiting on completion. One of them has taken no joke 3 years to build and still not finished yet. I wish I was exaggerating about the time frame of this one illusion but unfortunately that's the reality of it. When it arrives from the states this will be the last illusion to complete the series of illusions. This is what people dont understand about this line of work. Yes it does take that much time and money just for one illusion. Its not something you order and receive in a months time. There is so much to think about. The size of each illusion, the design, the art work on it, how to transport it, mock ups etc etc etc...
With the illusions out of the way, next came the music for the show. Mind you we already had a list of possible music to use when we were deciding on what illusions to buy. This made things much easier as in most cases we already had the music ready and waiting for the illusion. Normally in some cases you would buy a magic effect or grand illusion and then you start to search for music. Since we were working off a brand new slate, it was much easier for us to have some idea of the music we would like and the final decision on what illusions to add came very easily. All we are doing now is editing the music slightly to fit the choreography of each illusion. This method has saved us a lot of time down the track as almost everything that you normally would do when talking about grand illusions we had already done during the building processes. Now that the illusions (all but 2) are here we can rehears without waiting.
So we have the illusions, we have the music our next step was to choreograph. Once again most of this was thought of during the time of music searching. Music is a very powerful tool especially in my line of work. It can help tell a story, it can move you, its magic! My strongest side other then performing is my ear to music. I know what I'm going for and I know how I can use that to really touch and move my audience. I am a story teller after all...
The choreography for the show is still happening as we speak. I wrote out the style, the look, the feel I'm going for and now with the help of our head assistant, dancer and part choreographer April Twigger (more on her in later blogs ;) )
Together we are creating something incredible for you all!
The next step for the moment is costuming. Once again this has take so much time and energy. At this stage the show has about 8 costume changes mostly for our dancer with me having only 2-3 changes...
Just like the illusions and music the costume has to fit in with what you are doing. Again this opens up so many questions as you see so many that you would love to add into the show/illusion but then you try and visualize everything in your mind. Is it going to be easy for the girl to get in and out of? Will it create a hazard while she is going in or out of an illusion? Does it fit the style of the illusion, the music...
The list goes on and on. You have to see in your mind EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING before it even happens.
This is what I love about my job! People look at it differently though as its not your usual 9-5 job, however most of the people in my industry or any entertainment industry for that matter work harder and longer then your everyday person. Most people come home after they finish work and that's it for them. They may get a few late night emails etc.
Us on the other hand, we are working while you are sleeping, we are working while we are watching a movie, we are working while we are traveling to a destination, we are working while we are out with family... The mind never stops. NEVER STOPS!
And I LOVE IT! As the saying goes "If it was easy, everyone would be doing it"
With 11 months to go and lots of rehearsals under way we hope you enjoy THE JOURNEY!
Below pic: Our production folder. Yes EVERY page is full! All this for a 1.5hr illusion show. Not including the script...
Australia's Premier Illusionist