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HenryleTregetour
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Yes, this is my third post in about a thirty minute span(I am just having fun).

Patrick,

I think your comments illustrate one of the problems--captivity to the local group (which I guess is pretty endemic to Alaska--few groups spread way apart). The solution to this (a lot easier said than done) is to travel outside the group.

I really think some of the best venues for the performance of magic are the large wars--Pennsic, Gulf Wars, Estrella, Great Western War, Lilies, etc. These are environments which actually have "streets" where street performers can perform, or they have stages. Of course, again, it's a pretty far drive from Alaska to Gulf Port, Mississippi!

By the way, my biggest claim to fame is my embroidery. It has been the cornerstone of what recognition I have received (GOA level arts award). But no offense taken--I completely understand (I think) what you are saying. The truth is where I live the tendency is to pigeon hole people. You do good X and you become someone who does X. When you do something besides X, some people get confused.

Oh well, I guess I will have my fun anyway.

HLT, who will go back to work!
HenryleTregetour
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I had a chance to do a cup and ball routine this morning.

I have posted details in Ever So Sleightly--Never forget the fourth ball!

HLT
medievalmagician
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Back when I was fighting multiple times a week, my main focus was fighting...my hands we're usually banged up and caloused plus my mundane job was of being a copier technician so my hands usually were dirty and cut as well.
I'm not fighting nearly as much anymore, I was recognized as a Knight about 18 years ago and have been Prince of a Principality 4 times now. I was also recognized as a Pelican a couple years ago, not something I was trying to accomplish, an indirect result of some projects I had been involved in over the years.

Now I want to bring magic in, more for my entertainment. I'm am not too concerned about historical accuracy, most of my friends would say 'Burn him, he's a witch' as far as being accurate goes. Most of the circle I am around would not be criticizing about authenticity unless I was entering some Bardic or A&S competition.
Habbrock
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I am in Artemesia and have been doing magic here for 6 years or so. I have a Golden Maple Leaf (one step above AA) for my magic and a few other awards. I am the only performing magician in the Kingdom. Happy to connect with other magicians.
HenryleTregetour
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Nice to meet you as well.

I have been lurking around for a few years, so I have read some of your previous posts.

Congratulations and keep up the good work. Maybe someday you will be a laurel, and then you can get some apprentices to spread the "gospel"!

HLT
Mr. Woolery
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Before we had kids, my wife and I did travel. The next closest group was 360 miles away. To get anything else, I have to leave the state, so either take a plane or drive through a foreign country. Not worth it to me.

I love good embroidery I don't enjoy doing it, but do appreciate skill and visual balance. However, for a group that claims all sorts of crafts, skills, and activities, the events are remarkably dull, being an embroidery session, a feast, and a tourney. Not worth the time and money for me. I gave up on changing the local group about 12 years ago. Long, sad story.

One of my personal daydreams is still to put together an entire act from Hocus Pocus Jr. Just for fun. But I don't have a venue, so I have never done the work.

In another five years or so I should be able to leave Alaska so things may be very different wherever I end up.

Patrick
malaki
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Ah, yes - I too remember the old "carpet beast" with the freon helm and hockey pads. Those were the days when the SCA was a cheep weekend away from the world of mundanity and the 20th century! I have been doing this since 1977, at the third annual Medieval Fair inNorman, OK. Your posts have inspired me to respond - please excuse the space taken.

Here in Ansteorra, magicians face the trials you folks have listed as well, but add into that bible belt and you really have to watch what you say and how you perform. I had volunteered to teach a class, "Magic 101, a history of early magical performances" at a king's college. Afterword I was informed that the kingdom had caught wind of my class and sent an observer to make sure I wasn't teaching witchcraft! <some people's children...>

My persona was born in 1261, in Swansea, Wales. My persona's father was a merchant who traveled with the Polo family, to China. I, as a youngster, came along. I spent 20 years in service to Kubilai Kahn, as one of his court magicians, and traveled across the kingdom to verify reports of magical performances/incidents, bringing the knowledge back to the capitol, to serve the Great Kahn.

This persona has given me direction, for costuming, the type of magic, and even the look of my camp. Researching the subject lead to my writing and publishing the Timeline of Magic (the Laurels did not seem too interested in my documentation, so to not waste the time I had spent, I published it - the Oklahoma City library said that they saw it as a landmark publication on the subject). When I started writing it, I quickly realized that the further back in time you go, the harder it is to distinguish between illusion, science and religion/belief systems, so I took a holistic approach. If I could find a date associated with it from a decent source, it was assimilated into the book, which has about 20 pages of sources listed.

The first several years of playing in the SCA consisted of trying to look "mostly harmless". I found that the way to acquire people's trust was to become acquainted with the minister of children and offer your services - you would be surprised how many "big kids" show up! Feasts are an excellent venue, but the angles are an issue. I find that to perform specifically for the Head Table gives you a captive audience and will earn a reputation for you amongst the Royal Family. The Chinese garb that I wear acts as a backdrop, shielding slights from people at bad angles (other tables). Bardic circles are not the best venue, unless they are looking for some variety as a break. Don't try to compete against the bards. The best success I have had performing in the SCA is going from camp fire to camp fire after dark. Do not rely on anything that requires recognition of color, but using a bright color & dark for contrast works well. Effects such as the linking rings (c 100 BCE) are beautiful in the firelight! The best show that I have ever done was by request at a coronation. It was here that I presented my working Sword in the Stone. At that performance I also managed to peg a flashpot with a flashpaper comet from about 25' away, setting it off when the glowplug failed. The most theatrical coronation I have ever seen (I do have plans for presenting the Sword of State, rising from the water of a lake. Casting a spell would allow the Prince to walk on the surface of the water to retrieve it! A bit more of an investment than the Sword in the Stone, but for a summer coronation, it would be great!

When I finally decided against trying to get awards, and that I was there to have a good time and to share it with other's as well, I have had a much better time going to events. I make most of my effects so that they look period, but I do not only do period effects. Cutting off one's nose or finger dies not really pass as entertainment today. Even though they are acting as though it is the Middle Ages, they still have the temperament of today's viewer.

In the immortal words of Arthur C. Clarke,
"Any science sufficiently advanced is indistinguishable from magic".

This is now my philosophy for magic in the SCA. If they do not know how it is done, and you are not showing them something that is blatantly NOT period, the question becomes:
"Did it look period, and was the audience entertained?"

BTW, to sound more period in your speech, seek out a recording called "Speaking Forsoothly". <sp> This is a recording made to help people who work Medieval & Renaissance fairs, so they sound more the part. It really helped when I took a creative writing class and wrote of the SCA in persona.

One last thing - I am one of the founding members of the Household of Wizard's Keep. We are a collection of personas who practice and art or craft which, in the Middle Ages, would be considered as magical or mystical in nature. I would be happy to post our charter if you are interested in joining or creating one of your own. I really didn't think I had this much to say...
Steve_Mollett
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I've done drawing room shows, busking/mountebank shows, cups and balls demos/classes and fire eating.
Author of: GARROTE ESCAPES
The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
- Albert Camus
HenryleTregetour
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Malaki,

Wonderful post.

Thank you so much!

Henry
Moderncelt
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Dr Henry Best is out of the Midrealm, has his Laurel in performance magic, is at Gulf Wars and Pensic yearly teaching and performing. I believe he is taking this summer for his bucket list and busking in Europe.
HenryleTregetour
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Quote:
On Apr 3, 2017, Moderncelt wrote:
Dr Henry Best is out of the Midrealm, has his Laurel in performance magic, is at Gulf Wars and Pensic yearly teaching and performing. I believe he is taking this summer for his bucket list and busking in Europe.


I am glad to hear this.

Getting to "foreign wars" has been difficult for me for the past 15 years, but knowing there is someone actively teaching performance magic at such venues is great news.

Thanks.

HLT
HenryleTregetour
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Quote:
On Apr 2, 2017, Steve_Mollett wrote:
I've done drawing room shows, busking/mountebank shows, cups and balls demos/classes and fire eating.


So how long have you been doing this, SCA and otherwise?

HLT
HenryleTregetour
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Patrick,

I am sorry about the delay in getting back to you.

From previous posts I knew you lived in Alaska. Traveling 360 miles for an event is a bit much, unless it lasts several days. Actually, I have done that before. My family is from West Texas (not the town), about halfway between Lubbock and Abilene. Think very rural, isolated, arid--lots of rattlesnakes, stickers, cactus, "horny toads," tumbleweeds, etc. It is paradise!

A friend of mine who makes a living as a merchant was going there, so I caught a ride. It was a good event, well attended, with TRM in attendance. I thought it was cool to attend an event (it was just west of Abilene) where I had spent so much time as a kid, especially given it was in the middle of nowhere.

I hope you can relocate sooner than later. Being in a shire that just doesn't fit you, especially given the options, must really s--k.

Henry
Mr. Woolery
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I am back in school at my mid-40s age to get qualified to get out. SCA is not a priority at the moment. However, I would enjoy involvement if I can get it when I move outside.

My sister in law lives in Fort Worth. I grew up Outside, so I agree that cactus, tumbleweed, horn toads, and sand are lovely. That said, I want to live somewhere in between. Idaho has more of the climate I enjoy. I don't want 6 months of winter or 6 months of summer. I also need certain amenities wherever I settle. Tribal Belly Dance actually comes ahead of SCA on my list.

Back on topic, how many folks here are used to seeing live entertainment at events? Not just the participatory activities, which includes dancing, but performances meant to be viewed by an audience? Due to isolation, I recognize that my local group is not typical, so it is impossible to generalize, but there is no local performance culture to speak of. I once was at an event where a couple of men were playing live music and the autocrat (I have always hated this term, but what are you gonna do?) started playing music on a boom box to drown them out. Not because she meant to be rude, as far as I am aware, but because she just did not understand the whole etiquette of performers and audiences. I just wonder how well other places embrace live entertainment.

Patrick
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