The 45-Minute Poster

It normally takes a few weeks to assemble the promotional materials for a show. Photos, blurbs, descriptions, poster layouts, drafts, revisions, proofreads, and other things that can take many hours each to work on. Even just a decent poster is normally a back-and-forth process with a graphic designer that can last a few weeks.

And then sometimes you have to do it in 45 minutes.

About three months ago I was speaking to Tim Ellis about doing another show at the Melbourne Magic Festival (MMF). Normally this is something I’m thoroughly in favour of; the festival has been a great experience every time I’ve been involved with it so far.

However, this year it overlaps with the World Magic Championships, which I’ll be competing at in the UK in just under two weeks. (No pressure.) Much as I would have loved to do a show at the MMF, the act I was planning for the world championships was going to be logistically complex enough that I’d need to arrive in the UK a good week or so in advance, thus completely missing the festival.

Then, long story short, it turned out that that act just wasn’t going to work out. Even longer story short, the act it’s now being replaced with is much less logistically involved. Hence I don’t have to be in the UK quite as early, which now gives me a few days’ overlap with the Melbourne Magic Festival, and the possibility of doing a few shows there. This would be particularly useful for rehearsing the act a few more times in front of a live public audience.

All this only became apparent the day before the application deadline for the festival. I called up Tim and asked if he still had any show slots free. He said he did, but would need my promo materials by the deadline. In between the other things I had happening that night, and all the other application forms, I only had about 45 minutes to crank out a poster image for the show.

Sometimes a tight time constraint can be a good source of creativity and forced simplicity, and the end result was something I actually quite like.

FISM Rehearsal Poster

I’ve always been a fan of things that “do what it says on the tin,” and this show/poster combination definitely fits that description. And since the show will indeed feature the routine that is going to represent Australia’s magic world championship hopes, it’s a small but genuine part of magic history. I’d certainly pay $20 to see that.

So, I’m going to the world championships. I need to rehearse. Come and watch.

If you’re into that kind of thing.




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