The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Studying theater (for close-up) (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page [Previous]  1~2~3~4~5~6~7 [Next]
tommy
View Profile
Eternal Order
Devil’s Island
16338 Posts

Profile of tommy
Once a famous actor told me “When I go on stage, I imagine that I am performing for the blind.” or words to that effect. I am not sure if he was serious. We were playing poker and talking about nerve.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27219 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
There's a Mamet quote about getting the lines out that probably matches the advice you heard. Smile

gyford.com
...to all the coins I've dropped here
magicalaurie
View Profile
Inner circle
Ontario, Canada
2947 Posts

Profile of magicalaurie
Smile Maybe David can tell me where to get the fairies!
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27219 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
Perhaps, though Laurie, ordinarily they come to get you, not the other way around.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
magicalaurie
View Profile
Inner circle
Ontario, Canada
2947 Posts

Profile of magicalaurie
You're not kidding.
CasualSoul
View Profile
Special user
Edmonton, Canada
542 Posts

Profile of CasualSoul
I've been abducted by fairies...it's no laughing matter. Smile
"Open their mind by performing the impossible"
Bill Palmer
View Profile
Eternal Order
Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
24287 Posts

Profile of Bill Palmer
I'm not an actor, but I played one on television. Smile

Laurie -- where you are going, you will find lots of fairies. Trust me on this.


Posted: Sep 14, 2006 5:55pm
------------------------------------------
Quote:
On 2006-09-12 12:01, karbonkid wrote:
I think that some people use the whole acting/presentational approach to magic as an excuse for bad technique. It's not all about technique, but, it's not all about acting either.

I could puke blood when I see magicians perform with their very lack luster, going through the motions, canned patter garbage. The magic looks fine, but it's insincere and robotic because of the performance.

When you ask one of these people, or suggest how they can liven it up, they say they are actors, blah, blah, blah, puke.


That is not acting. That's bad parrotting of bad lines. If a good actor is acting, you will be completely unaware of it. I find that when working with a fixed script, I have a much better chance of selling the routine properly. But it has to be a good script.

I would rather see a convincing performance of a good script than a lackluster performance of a trick that is accompanied by, "Well, er ah, this here is a, just a minnit, I had a...oh yeah, where was I? This here is a half a dollar. An' this here is a penny. Hold out yer hand. No, yer clean hand. Oh that was your clean hand. Anyway, hold onta this penny. Ooops! I was supposed to do it this way. Hold onto this penny...."

You obviously never saw Van Cleve do any of his material. Have you seen Charles Pecor or Docc Hilford do "The Ritual of the Flies?" That's funny and it's good magic. And every word and gesture is scripted.

A good actor can make the performance look spontaneous, even after he has done it a thousand times.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
magicalaurie
View Profile
Inner circle
Ontario, Canada
2947 Posts

Profile of magicalaurie
From the linked article, if I may:

"There is no character, there’s just you, and you are formed by the decisions you’ve made: roles you take, preparation you do, how you conduct business. You are your character."
Bill Palmer
View Profile
Eternal Order
Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
24287 Posts

Profile of Bill Palmer
Quote:
On 2006-09-12 21:02, tommy wrote:
Whats the difference between a showman and an actor? Many of the great magicians were said to showmen. I watched a thing today about Houdini and it seemed to me he was a bad actor.


When I think of "showmen," I think of people who "sell" what they are doing. It's a skill that is different from acting. But it incorporates elements of acting. Part of showmanship is knowing how to call attention to the ending or the moment of astonishment to get the maximum impact from it. This may or may not be a round of applause. It may be a gasp.

My father used to say that the late Roy Smeck was more of a showman than a musician. He could play a C major scale on a ukulele, and because of his showmanship, the audience would think he had just played a Mozart symphony. At least they would react like that.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
tommy
View Profile
Eternal Order
Devil’s Island
16338 Posts

Profile of tommy
Thanks Bill. That sounds better than acting to me. A more appropriate quality for a magician I mean. But I like the idea of the magician acting. I don't know. I think I like the idea of being showman better.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27219 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
Quote:
On 2006-09-14 19:27, magicalaurie wrote:
From the linked article, if I may:

"There is no character, there’s just you, and you are formed by the decisions you’ve made: roles you take, preparation you do, how you conduct business. You are your character."


Agreed, and that comes in context from an discussion about distinguishing your inner and consistent being from that of the character written by the playwright whose existence THE AUDIENCE is supposed to perceive.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
P.T. Murphy
View Profile
Loyal user
224 Posts

Profile of P.T. Murphy
This Mamet book "True and False" happens to be one of my favorites.

Being a Chicago boy I have had the pleasure of working and learning from many of Mamet's peers, as they are the generation just ahead of me and many of them still teach and perform in the city.

The subtitle of Mamet's book True and Fals is "Heresy and Common Sense for the Actor." In fact he spends most of the book shooting holes in the very ideas about acting that are tossed about in this thread.

One of my favorite quotes is from pg 112.

"You can't live your life believing every ten-penny teacher, critic, agent, etc., and then walk out onstage and be that model of probity and wisdom and strength you admire and wish to be. If you want that strength, you're going to have to work for it, and your first and most important tool is common sense."

The last line of this book is also a good one...

"It is not a sign of ignorance NOT to know the answers. But there is great merit in facing the questions."

There are MANY opinions being expressed in this thread...READ them all...and LISTEN TO NONE OF THEM! Including MINE!

And whatever you do...DON'T read a book about acting. Go out and do it!
P.T. Murphy
www.ptmurphy.com
tommy
View Profile
Eternal Order
Devil’s Island
16338 Posts

Profile of tommy
I was just looking round to see if the word "TWEEDLE" was written at the back of each collar
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
magicalaurie
View Profile
Inner circle
Ontario, Canada
2947 Posts

Profile of magicalaurie
Quote:
On 2006-09-14 23:00, Jonathan Townsend wrote:

Agreed, and that comes in context from an discussion about distinguishing your inner and consistent being from that of the character written by the playwright whose existence THE AUDIENCE is supposed to perceive.


Who is the playwright of a magician's script?
tommy
View Profile
Eternal Order
Devil’s Island
16338 Posts

Profile of tommy
The Devil.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27219 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
Quote:
On 2006-09-15 06:26, magicalaurie wrote:
Quote:
On 2006-09-14 23:00, Jonathan Townsend wrote:

Agreed, and that comes in context from an discussion about distinguishing your inner and consistent being from that of the character written by the playwright whose existence THE AUDIENCE is supposed to perceive.


Who is the playwright of a magician's script?


Being kind about it, it would seem that all too often the "playwright" seems to write as if they were an ignorant, illiterate hack with very little awareness of or genuine interest in their work's intended audience.

This is the sort of writing which takes its lead from Tchaikovsky's adventure composing the Nutcracker Suite, except rather than work from a beautiful sequence of dances, this poor writer seems to work from the secret backstage mechanics required to effect trickery.

Should this sort of "writer" be pressed for explanation of 'WHY DO YOU HAVE THE PERFORMER DOING THIS ACTION' they reply that the backstage mechanics require it, and seem to leave out any consideration of the actions interpretation by an audience.

Now how do you, gentle reader, find a suitable playwrite to help bring your magic to audiences? Perhaps a good start would be to find a good reason for someone to wish to "pick a card", or some interesting reason your assistant delights in scampering into boxes full well knowing a medical procedure involving unsterilized metal blades and no anesthetic awaits.

What's the story?

Time for a first cup of coffee here. If P.T. and others here who have found the magic behind the mechanics care to offer suggestions about making scripts from our cookbooks of deception I encourage them to offer a positive influence.

Is wooffle dust addictive?

Do magic wands get smaller the more you use them?

Does a selected card really try to follow them home later?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27219 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
Okay, a cup of coffee later and then a flash of insight.

Studying theater? Perhaps for inspiration or to learn from the examples set by others.

BUT such is no substitute for the doing.

On with the doing. Please.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
tommy
View Profile
Eternal Order
Devil’s Island
16338 Posts

Profile of tommy
As I am not a good writer so I rely on others for a script. Although I would prefer to be my own playwright, I don’t think I am capable. As a pass time, not a profession, I look at little stories that I find interesting and try to figure how to make card tricks from them.
For example here is thing I read this morning and thought this would make a neat story for a card trick:

``It's only the Red King snoring,' said Tweedledee.
`Come and look at him!' the brothers cried, and they each took one of Alice's hands, and led her up to where the King was sleeping.
`Isn't he a lovely sight?" said Tweedledum.
Alice couldn't say honestly that he was. He had a tall red night-cap on, with a tassel, and he was lying crumpled up into a sort of untidy heap, and snoring loud -- `fit to snore his head off!' as Tweedledum remarked.
`I'm afraid he'll catch cold with lying on the damp grass,' said Alice, who was a very thoughtful little girl.
`He's dreaming now,' said Tweedledee: `and what do you think he's dreaming about?'
Alice said `Nobody can guess that.'
`Why, about you!' Tweedledee exclaimed, clapping his hands triumphantly. `And if he left off dreaming about you, where do you suppose you'd be?'
`Where I am now, of course,' said Alice.
`Not you!' Tweedledee retorted contemptuously. `You'd be nowhere. Why, you're only a sort of thing in his dream!'
`If that there King was to wake,' added Tweedledum, `you'd go out -- bang! -- just like a candle!'
-Lewis Carol -

Off the cuff I would say: Use this story as patter and show a Red King, place it face down on the table, as if he is asleep. Place a queen face up to represent Alice. Turn the King as if to wake him at the same time vanish the Queen maybe with a snap deal.
I don’t think it is a great trick but I am just using that simple example to show that a magician has at his disposal an endless amount of playwrights that he or she could use.

Do you think it’s theft to use someone else’s story or words like that, to use them as your playwright so to speak?
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27219 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
IMHO Doing a dramatic reading of Alice while fussing with a deck of cards has some merit as a concept. As performance art it is perhaps better than doing the same while standing in a bucket of icewater or as people visiting the exhibit toss crumpled pages of a book at the artist.

That said, what's in this for the audience?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
tommy
View Profile
Eternal Order
Devil’s Island
16338 Posts

Profile of tommy
I don't understand the question. I mean what is in any story for the audience? If I happen to like a story I like to tell it with card magic just to amuse them. I don't think it is anything deeper than that. When I see a play I don't ask what was in it for me? I just enjoy the story and performance if it's a good story and performed well. So I guess it's enjoyment that's in it for them.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Studying theater (for close-up) (2 Likes)
 Go to page [Previous]  1~2~3~4~5~6~7 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2022 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.21 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL