A discussion was going on a magicians site and I posted the following, am thinking to write more here so I thought this wouldn't be a bad way to add
My show is a little different by design, in the first routine I perform a variation of the "Floating Rose" (no dancing paper in mine) which is a very strong effect and usually elicits a good response. It appears in the opening routine along with appearing candles, water to wine, in the news (newspaper water pour). It's all part of a story about my date arriving 45 minutes ..... early and I have to magic the table together. It's performed to string quartet music, the floating, flaming then real rose makes a strong statement (I always hand the rose out to an audience member). It makes a statement about me, the show, the magic and what the audience can expect. It's an odd choice but for me it works
I close the show with my version of "Floating Butterflies" not the strongest effect ever but it is very beautiful and that's how I want the audience to remember the show (it does usually get 2 awws or gasps). Big, amazing, beautiful and colorful (plus if children are in attendance they almost always clean up the butterflies, I've seen people post pic of butterflies they kept). Worst part is I once overheard an audience member after the show saying "I expected him to produce real butterflies" I don't think the magic is that strong and it does give me an idea but .......
As for transitions, I'm always speaking with the audience into the next effect, leading them into it and there is a flow and connection throughout the show. I'm not comedy club funny and know it so I don't do straight up comedy but I can be humorous and that comes through a few times.
I have that problem with ebb and flow, it can't be a constant rise but I never want a piece that isn't strong or good enough to stand on it's own outside of the frame of the show. So the show becomes sort of layered and textured, with maybe softer spots or a change of tempo. Helps keep the mind fresh, both mine and the audience. You can't listen to the same beat (even house or rave music, which I don't understand) without loosing attention.
The only thing I wonder about Brian is if a performer has a few card tricks to group them together in the show. I guess for some it would be ok but I've seen say 3-4 card tricks bunched together in a show and the show started to lose me a little then. It also might have to do with the presentation and the effects that were chosen.
and that's the short of it from Illusions by Vick