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harris
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Harris Deutsch
8746 Posts

Profile of harris
Name: Harris, AKA The Nearly Normal Magician
Hailsssssssssssszzzzzzzzzzzzzzz from Peculiar, Missouri.
3rd of 2 children
Religion Cashew....cross between Catholic and Jewish.

In college I explored Buddhism, so I guess I was a Jewbuuuuuuuuuuuuu!

My mission to bring laughter to the world one group at a time.
I took to heart, he who has the most toys when he passes through has the most fun!
We are all wieners......
I take my comedy and magic sewiously, but myself lightly.

Yes I went to college, and majored in human development and psych. (never waste a college degree) My wife's undergrad degree was in speech and theatre.She is very helpful in keeping some consistency and meaning behind my madness.

An example I was in a Karoke Store looking for Dream Songs. In the middle of the conversation with the clerk, I walked over to look at microphones. My wife said he's not rude just a bit A.D.H.D. (she calls it adult deficit husband disorder)

This scattered mind is carried over to my character on stage.

I always wanted to be more of a leading man, but my character and looks are more like Jason Alexander's George on Seinfield.

The props are also nearly normal. My coins sometimes are washers. (I call them brain washers...)

I like to walk in the rain, without pina colada's. Guess I would drink but I have winter plans.

Speaking of brain washers, a friend went to the double A. After the meeting he asked if this was brain washing. The speaker said, no it is more like Dry Cleaning....but I digress.

Actually we get a lot of rain around Peculiar, this time of year. That is why I wear my windshield wiper sunglasses, when I go to Hyvee at midnight. For Boston Creme Pie of course...doesn't everyone.



I look at the lighter side of serious issues in many of my programs. This morning's Laughology Audience was kids in a Battered Women's Shelter. Tomorrows is at a Veteran's based Substance Abuse Treatment/Residential Program.

I am a sock, shoe, sock shoe kind of guy. Left sock,left shoe, right sock, right shoe..shoe, shoe....cue the harmonica...

Comedy as one M.C. quipped as I walked off stage, is much cheaper than psychotherapy.

If anyone would like a character development work sheet write me at my school address.

Harris.deutsch@leesummit.k12.mo.us

I got it off a ventriloquist group on Yahoo. (World Vents to be exact)

Be safe, well and creative.

Harris
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
frater_dionisio
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Patrick Differ,

I have greatly enjoyed and related to the posts you have posted which Ive so far found.... as well as this thread. I suspect it will prove very useful indeed.

Your character posts really resonate with how mine is developing... I am glad to see those who base their character on themselves.... I suspect everyone does to some extent.

I also resonate with your travels and education.... we must have gone to the same school..... and how 'bout that scottish grandfather?

Jaz has a very nice vibe too.

I have gained from everyones yet resonate with you guyses.

I hope to flesh out my personalty here.... if I intend to put it here it may actualy happen... you know like a formal exercise of sorts.
:.
Patrick Differ
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1540 Posts

Profile of Patrick Differ
Add Big Daddy Cool's thirteen steps to the process, and then add saxmangeoff's exercises he's included with his links. Their contributions have been DYNAMITE here on this topic and will really help one build their character. When you get your work, please post it here.

Come to think of it, everyone's contributions have been superb. Keep them coming.

I can't wait for saxmangeoff's next question!

And thank you for the kind words. Keep them coming, too. Smile
Will you walk into my parlour? said the Spider to the Fly,
Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to show when you are there.

Oh no, no, said the little Fly, to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair
-can ne'er come down again.
Scott Cram
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2678 Posts

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One true anecdote that has gone right into my character's arsenal is how my interest in memory work really developed.
saxmangeoff
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Moscow, ID, USA
353 Posts

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The next question's coming soon. Sorry, I've been busy for a few days with real life, and away from the Café.

Geoff
"You must practice your material until it becomes boring, then practice it until it becomes beautiful." -- Bill Palmer
Scott Cram
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Here are some more questions on character/persona development to use as food for thought.
KerryJK
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Northampton UK
621 Posts

Profile of KerryJK
Time I finally filled this in, so here goes;


1) Who Are You?

When doing magic and escapes in character, Helen Held, The Girl No Man Can Hold. The rest of the time, I’m Mike “Quicksand Kerry” Jackson, a musician, singing teacher and general extrovert from Leeds UK.


2) What is your history?
Where does your character come from?
Initially I wanted to do in the field of escapes what Adrian Street did to pro-wrestling in the 1970s. When he started, all the wrestlers were (or at least acted) hard, testosterone fuelled men’s men. Then one day by accident he found himself getting cat calls from the audience, and tried playing up to it. He found it connected, setting him apart from other wrestlers and went all out to do the gimmick as well as possible; as he puts it in the autobiography section of his website, “that’s how the butchest of the butch became a transvestite”. His character has been imitated countless times since, but for me the best part of the character is that he wasn’t an effeminate coward (as many of his lesser imitators were) but a vicious, assertive transvestite. He’d come to the ring in magnificent make-up and costume, get everyone in the building looking his way, and then he would demolish his opponent.
Escape artists by and large are also a fairly machismo driven bunch. The spirit of Houdini, the heroic figure struggling against death has given rise to a fairly butch stereotype, and I saw an opening for an escape artist that went against that expected image. This wouldn’t necessarily have led to a full drag act except that I came up with the name and tag line, “Helen Held, The Girl No Man Can Hold”. This had a great ring to it and caught on at once, making it out of the question for me to play this role except in a femme persona.
I will add though that even in full drag, I don’t do sissy. The reason for this is simple; neither do most women. I’m more interested in the strong qualities I admire in women, not patronising them with supposed weak or submissive stereotypes. I don't see any truth in that angle anyway; women have just spent the last century challenging every social restriction placed upon them, winning more and more strength and freedom in the process, and I applaud them for it. Meanwhile men are most pressured to conform through fear of immasculation, the idea that to do or wear anything outside of the accepted macho image (however that is presented) will make them lesser men.

3. What is your personality?
Helen is a perilous melodramatic heroine in the mould of that played by Pearl White in the “Perils Of Pauline” serials of the 1920s. Pearl White is the perfect influence for Helen’s character; she was one of the few classic screen heroines who was proactive in finding her own adventures instead of just being a screaming love interest, she did her own stunts and had the perfect combination of beauty, assertive heroism and dramatic vulnerability.
Initially I had two versions of the act for different settings, a retro acoustic cabaret set with a retro melodrama styling and a more punk rock orientated stage show. Now I concentrate entirely on the acoustic cabaret side, combining magic and escapes with old style songs (either genuinely old songs or more recent songs re-arranged in a classic burlesque style). When I decided to emphasise the old time melodrama aspect and began to research the genre, the more I found out about Pearl White the more I knew I’d found my perfect model.

4. What do you want?
I want to entertain people and have fun doing it. I’m a pathological misfit, I find no satisfaction in doing things that others are already doing better, I’m at my best when I can create something that wouldn’t have been there otherwise to produce something that people will remember, and to make it as good as possible.
Patrick Differ
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Helen, I'm glad you have contributed to this topic. I have been curious about your character since I found out you do a transvestite act. I see now that you've thought out your character very well and have also included reasons regarding your purpose and, perhaps, what you hope to achieve. You have answered the why part.
Will you walk into my parlour? said the Spider to the Fly,
Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to show when you are there.

Oh no, no, said the little Fly, to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair
-can ne'er come down again.
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