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Caleb Strange
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Hi everybody.

We have a thread in the Bizarre forum called 'Presenting the "Stars of Magic"' in which, about once a month, we take one of the routines from that book, and try to develop alternative presentations for it. Often this will involve weaving a different story around the magic; occasionally, we take the liberty to tweak the routine.

Now I was wondering whether, in this forum, we could approach this from another angle, in other words, we suggest effects/ideas to go with established stories?

We would need to agree on the story for each month, and then we'd get busy and see what we find. To keep things accessible, maybe we could use a classic collection (such as the Brothers Grimm) as a starting point? Or perhaps, once a month, one of us would tell a classic story, and then we could all work from that?

Any thoughts?

Regards,

Caleb Strange.
-- QCiC --
Traveler
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NOW... This is a great idea. Count me in !
ptbeast
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I love the idea. A suggestion though... use works that are collected online. Many from Grimm to Poe are, and that would alow wider participation for those who don't have the books on hand. Just an idea...

Dave
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Great idea!
Traveler
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Yes, ptbeast, you're right. That's what prevented me from taking part in the "stars..." sessions also..
sinnead zenun
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I'm in too Smile
I also agree to ptbeast suggestion...
Caleb Strange
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Great suggestion, Dave. Shall we say then, in honour of Kay's lovely and inpired re-telling of 'Rapunzel' to be found elsewhere on this forum that we explore the tales collected by the Brothers Grimm?

There is a decent collection here:

http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~wbarker/fairies/grimm/

And how about we start with 'Little Briar-Rose', tale fifty, which is more commonly known as 'The Sleeping Beauty'?

Regards,

Caleb Strange.
-- QCiC --
Jaz
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Link to story: http://www.ucs.mun.ca/~wbarker/fairies/grimm/050.html

Briar Rose w/ a deck of cards.

"A long time ago there were a King and Queen ...etc"
Turn the top card, a KS. Use it to flip a QS face up. Take the K&Q in one hand and turn them face down. Lay deck aside.

"..and the Queen had a little girl.."
Seperate the cards an a QH (Briar Rose) falls to the table. Lay the K&Q down.

"..when she felt the prick, she fell down upon the bed that stood there, and lay in a deep sleep........"
Turn the three cards face down.

"..round about the castle there began to grow a hedge of thorns.."
Spread the deck (or half), backs up, in a half circle around the three cards.

Talk about the Kings son and remove a card from the spread. It's a JH.
(Or have someone touch a card and do a Heavy Mexican Turnover while continuing the patter below.)

"When the King's son came near to the thorn-hedge, it was nothing but large and beautiful flowers, which parted from each other of their own accord,"
Using the JH flip the spread face up and square te deck.

OK, here's where I'm having problems with an ending.

"......And when he entered the house,...etc...as soon as he kissed her, Briar-rose opened her eyes and awoke, and looked at him quite sweetly....."

I was considering ways to somehow return the three sleepers to the deck(house/castle). Have the JH touch one card in (possibly) fan and have Briar Rose appear to instantly turn face up.
Another thought was to have the Briar Rose card rise face up from a face down deck.
Well that's it. I'm lost at this point. DOHHH!
sinnead zenun
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The okito voodoo doll can be turned to an image of a lovely princess doll...
and you'd actually prick your hands ouch Smile

we can start with the doll on a decorated coffin... not the scary one but much more like a coffin of a royal blood with some rose petals as beddings... when the part where she prick her fingers... you push a pin on the doll and it bleeds or push a pin in your finger and wipe the blood on the doll? then on the kissing part maybe a volunteer can blow a flying kiss to the doll... and the doll wake up...
Necromancer
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Hi gang,

To me, the story breaks down into a handful of key elements:
1. Cursed Princess pricks herself on spinning wheel's spindle and falls into a deathly sleep.
2. Prince magically gets through the bramble wall to reach her and break the curse.
3. The Princess' curse is subsequently lifted.
4. The two royals marry.

Ideally, the same props are used for all of it to give the story unity. (1) and (3) feel to me like a rending and restoration of the "Princess"; (2) is a penetration of the "Prince" through the "wall"; (4) may be a unification of Princess and Prince (via "marriage").

In other words, it's a natural for rubber band magic.

Three rubber bands are tossed to the table. One is picked up as the Princess is introduced -- "a bouncing baby, um, girl." When she pricks herself on the spindle, the band is cut/broken, and placed into a participant's hands to sleep and await her Prince. (1)

The two other bands are picked up -- one a Wall Of Brambles, the other the Prince. Participant holds one, performer holds the other, and the Prince magically passes through the wall (ala Crazy Man's Handcuffs). (2)

When he reaches the Princess, the curse is lifted: the participant opens her hand and the Princess band is restored. (3)

The Prince and Princess rubber bands are then linked in marriage (4), and the story is done.

Best,
Neil
Creator of The Xpert (20 PAGES of reviews!) and the Hands-Off Multiple ESP System ("Quality and design far exceed any ESP cards on the market"-Genii), both at Penguin.
kaytracy
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And you could even use one of the heart shaped rubber bands.....
;)
Kay
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Caleb Strange
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This has got me thinking about magic and story: what in the story do we find important, and what in the story do we choose to emphasise/express through magic?

Speaking for myself, I have an (unfortunate) tendency when encountering a story to hone in on those elements that I can squash into the boxes of my current pre-occupations. So with 'Sleeping Beauty', I focused on the hedge of cruel thorns and the Prince's penetration thereof. (By the way, how DOES the Prince get through? Smile Is it all in the timing/location, or does he bring something to this barrier that the other failed suitors lack?)

Now, to express this element of the story in Jaz's presentation, maybe you place the Prince onto the table, covering it with your hand; move this card towards the half-circle of cards, then some way over them, to reveal the Prince has gone as he passes through; then you show the Prince is now in the centre with the Princess?

Or is it more desirable to strive to provide magical expression for every important element of the story, as Neil has very neatly and engagingly done? For me, a strong point of this approach is that it reminds us that the elements of the story are part of a whole, and that they are, very much, part of the same 'stuff'. (For instance, Neil's use of rubber bands to symbolise the princess, the prince AND the dividing boundary draws one's attention to a relationship/connection between these elements, which is there, I would argue, in the story, though not explicitly so.)

Yet we may also find inspiration in those details (some of which seem peripheral to the general story) that are strange and magical of themselves. For example, my mouth has been watering over that roast meat that leaves off frizzling for a hundred years, yet I assume, is tastily crackling in its fat again, the moment the kiss is made.

As I say, this has got me thinking...

Regards,

Caleb Strange.
-- QCiC --
Jaz
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Caleb?
Did you miss this line.

"When the King's son came near to the thorn-hedge, it was nothing but large and beautiful flowers, which parted from each other of their own accord,"

My view is that the prince's (Jack of Hearts) very presence causes the change from thorns to flowers and allows him to pass.
The turning over of the face down cards to face up represents that change from thorny hedge to colorful flowers (all the face up cards).

Another idea that came to me was that in the story Briar Rose is in a different part of the castle than her sleeping parents.
By having a small portion which represents the tower, or even a couple of cards, of the deck gimmicked for a rising card effect (Kundalini ?) would be nice finale for her awakening. I just haven't thought deep enough to solve this.
Necromancer
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Quote:
On 2005-11-08 18:24, Caleb Strange wrote:
This has got me thinking about magic and story: what in the story do we find important, and what in the story do we choose to emphasise/express through magic?... Speaking for myself, I have an (unfortunate) tendency when encountering a story to hone in on those elements that I can squash into the boxes of my current pre-occupations. So with 'Sleeping Beauty', I focused on the hedge of cruel thorns and the Prince's penetration thereof....Or is it more desirable to strive to provide magical expression for every important element of the story, as Neil has very neatly and engagingly done?...Yet we may also find inspiration in those details (some of which seem peripheral to the general story) that are strange and magical of themselves. For example, my mouth has been watering over that roast meat that leaves off frizzling for a hundred years, yet I assume, is tastily crackling in its fat again, the moment the kiss is made.



My feelings are that some stories are so simple, only one pivotal plot point may seem worth illuminating through magic; indeed, most stories probably fall within this category. But there are a few (such as the one above) that are sufficiently complex to suggest a routine of related effects (at least, to me).

I wouldn't say that one approach is necessarily more desirable than another. It all depends on the specific story and what you, as a performer, consider the most effective performance of it.

One caveat: simplicity in performance is, for me, a constant goal. On the rare occasion that a multi-phase routine does come to mind to dramatize a story (as in the above example), I make an effort to maintain a certain economy in props and handling. In my opinion, dramatic clarity cannot come from cluttered magic.

Best,
Neil
Creator of The Xpert (20 PAGES of reviews!) and the Hands-Off Multiple ESP System ("Quality and design far exceed any ESP cards on the market"-Genii), both at Penguin.
Necromancer
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Nine days later, and this thread appears to have died. Is anybody else up to the challenge, or shall we try a different story?

Best,
Neil
Creator of The Xpert (20 PAGES of reviews!) and the Hands-Off Multiple ESP System ("Quality and design far exceed any ESP cards on the market"-Genii), both at Penguin.
Traveler
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I plead guilty. There were no ideas for this story...
The awful thing is that there isn't much movement in this forum in general. So... I propose that we go for the Grimm tales in general, without limiting us to one story. This could open various threads and spark many ideas.
At the same time we could go for world mythology as well...
Just a proposal to liven things up a little bit around here...
ptbeast
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I kind of think that more will be gained by sticking to a single story.
I have to admit that I too found myself stymied on this one. Nothing
would come. Time to move on to another story?

Dave
Jaz
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Necromancer
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Great! Pick one and go with it!
Best,
Neil
Creator of The Xpert (20 PAGES of reviews!) and the Hands-Off Multiple ESP System ("Quality and design far exceed any ESP cards on the market"-Genii), both at Penguin.
Jaz
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OK. I'll only post relative parts.
"The Little Folks' Presents"

"....He pointed with his finger to a heap of coals which lay at one side, and signified to the travellers by his gestures that they were to fill their pockets with them....."
Rather than pockets, a bag, napkin or hanky could be used.

"....... They felt in the pockets, and could not believe their eyes when they saw that they were not filled with coals, but with pure gold; happily, too, the hair of their heads and beards was there again as thick as ever."
The gold is discovered by both and returned to their pockets.

"When he opened his eyes, he got up in haste to examine his pockets,
A second pouch, cloth, etc, could be used.
but how amazed he was when he drew nothing out of them but black coals, and that howsoever often he put his hands in them. 'The gold I got the night before is still there for me,' thought he, and went and brought it out, but how shocked he was when he saw that it likewise had again turned into coal."

That's basically my take on it. One special item would be needed along with pockets(?)some coal and gold chunks.
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