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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » Getting epic (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Covernton
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I'm asking this out of curiosity to see if anyone's ever accomplished something like this or given thought towards taking bizarrism to this level.

Has anyone ever made their magic epic?

By this I mean... well most Bizarre performances have sort of a distinct Victorian darkness to them. Which is beautiful. Sort of reflecting the urbanization of society at the time when the dark corners where magic could dwell were shrinking.

But does anybody go farther back than that?

I'm very enamoured with fantasy and the way magic can work in fantasy. And it can be very big.

So, how, as performers, can we make magic on that scale? How do we become Merlin, Raistlin, Melkor or Saruman?

Magic in this context is the sun rising, the fire burning and the water flowing. It's all the big stuff. Do you think we can go that far?

I go back to certain images I like. Melkor casting down the Lamps, Merlin moving the plinths of Stone Henge, Gandalf hurling lightning in the goblin caves. Dragons. Ragnarok.

How can we become these myths? Is the only route through storytelling and demonstrations of representative feats on a smaller scale? Or is there another way?

Can we make it epic?

Can you become a legend?

I'm curious to hear thoughts on the subject.

-Covernton
Reg Rozee
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I've been working on approaching this sort of magic myself for some time, especially through my research on alchemy and magical societies. There are a few great story arcs I have read where the epic heroes of yore are reborn in our time to continue the eternal struggle, unknown to the people around them.

For example, the reincarnation of Merlin might be among us, suddenly aware of his previous identity. Arthur might be meeting Guinevere for the first time again. Roger Bacon may be doing research in the warehouse down the street. Vast magical, epic conflicts may be occurring around us, mostly hidden from our view, with only the occasional manifestation of them puzzling everyone with some bizarre occurrence on the evening news.

I've been thinking about telling this sort of story and accompanying it with appropriate effects. I suppose I'm taking the lesser route, although I would love to hear of attempts at the other. I think the suspension of disbelief is easier to achieve the way I've chosen.

The story would have to be epic, and the effects small unless I discover a way to pull off a truly epic size illusion. But the suggestion would be that you are somehow involved in this struggle, and wanted to make others aware of it without passing on too much "inside information".

-Reg {*}
Reality is what doesn't go away when you stop believing in it. -Phillip K. Dick



Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes? -Chico Marx
chmara
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Search the net for sacred legends and epic tales -- I cannot give you the URL at this moment -- maybe Paul Alberstat can.
Smile
Gregg (C. H. Mara) Chmara

Commercial Operations, LLC

Tucson, AZ



C. H. Mara Illusion & Psychic Entertainments
Covernton
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Oh I'm fairly well versed in myth and legend.
In fact this isn't even really something I'm investigating for any show-related purpose. It's just a thought that crossed my mind and I wanted to see if I could spark an interesting discussion along the theme.

-Covernton
kaytracy
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Good thread Covernton

As to the manifestations of those ancient and powerful ones, one need look no farther than the National Enquirer, or the The Sun publication, for I am certain that hidden in the many pages of plausable denial are the truths of our day! (at least we use them in the Call of Cthulu games!)

As to the Epics, do not discount the smaller manifestations! Did not the seers and oracles perform many small seeming miracles that were none the less important!

Consider Moses and his rod/stick, turning it into a snake, or the striking of the stone to have water flow forth, are these not do-able?

When the Oracle speaks with the gods, does not the flame rise and move in answer? When a mage desired to have the moon swallow the sun, did they not "read" the portents and foretell of this feat? (even with the smoke making, arm waving word chanting to go with it?!)

Good showmanship is never in bad taste!
Give me that mini vac in reverse with a hose, and I can move a plinth (okay so I need somewhat smooth and level ground!)
The first step is in remembering "who" we are! Smile
Kay and Tory
www.Bizarremagick.com
Caleb Strange
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Covernton, this is a very interesting thread. I, too, have ambitious dreams, and I think we can work on that scale. I've posted a couple of epic/unfeasible (depending on your viewpoint) routines here at the Café, and they were kindly received.

As for scale, again that's an interesting question. With 'Mrs Jones Daughter', I tried to do something 'big' (changing world history) on an intimate parlour-scale.

As for really big... well, I'll make a teasing and shameless plug for the Jermay and Strange booklet. A couple of routines in there on the Merlin scale...

As for the suspension of disbelief, well, I think atmosphere and setting can help to convince people that wonders have occurred. It's important, also, I believe, that we do such things with purpose - that the magic is invested with meaning. And that the audience is personally involved.

For example, making the Statue of Liberty disappear is impressive, but, for me, not magic on an epic scale. What's the meaning, beyond 'Copperfield kinda fooled me'?

But a village wiseman or woman, in the midst of a blistering drought, letting the last drops of his/her water trickle into the dusty earth to mingle with the tribe's bitter tears, THAT has meaning. The body shakes, the hoarse voice cries out for rain, and the lips crack and bleed. And, maybe, just maybe, the dry trees stiffen in the wind, and the fat drops fall, and burst like blossom on the ground. That, for me, is epic magic. It has a thematic wholeness and logic to it. And, of course, the 'audience' is desperate for the magic to happen.

Regards,

Caleb Strange.

For some genuine epic bizarre, check out:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......14&1

Regards,

Caleb Strange.
-- QCiC --
Mark Rough
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Caleb,

Is the book mentioned in the thread the same as Temple's "Netherworld"? It sounds quite similar. I actually had it sent over from your part of the world after a friend was telling me about it. He was quite taken with the ideas found within (I was too).

For those interested, it's about the location of &#)) on Earth (literally). I had to order it from Amazon U.K. since it hasn't been released here yet.

Mark
What would Wavy do?
Covernton
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Vancouver
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This reminds me of a charming effect that I saw in a movie. It was that made-for-TV NBC movie Merlin starring Sam Neil. There was a moment I remember where Merlin reaches into the sky and removes the coin-sized moon and does a coin roll with it before replacing it in the sky.

Caleb: I can't believe I missed that post! Thanks for drawing my attention to it! Very interesting.

-Covernton
Caleb Strange
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Mark, the book I mentioned was Robert K.G. Temple's 'Conversations with Eternity' (Richter & Co., London, 1984). Clearly by the same chap as 'Netherworld', and possibly the same book re-titled.

It's a great book for bizarrists, and I heartily recommend it. As well as the Hadal descent, there are fascinating sections on classical oracles. Apparently they used homing pigeons to secretly ferry news quickly between temples, to aid accurate predictions. And a visceral hands-on account of extispicy, or entrail-reading. Temple got friendly with a butcher, and explored the subject in depth Smile. And a good section on the I Ching, but using the laborious authentic method of casting yarrow sticks.

Covernton, that Merlin lunar coin-roll is lovely. Thanks for sharing.

Regards,

Caleb Strange.
-- QCiC --
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