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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » R. Paul Wilson (Extreme Possibilities) DVD (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Steven Keyl
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Lawrence,

Of course scripts are important. My point had more to do with how one engages the spectators as opposed to a discussion of scripts, but I'll bite.

My opinion here is that a rigid and dogmatic adherence to a script will necessarily become an impediment to specatator interaction. In fact, if the goal of one's performance is to insulate one's self from the spectators then the rigid script is certainly a viable option.

For me, however, a performance (and admittedly I only do close-up work) cannot be neatly separated from the interaction with the audience. A better way to say it is that, for me, a well thought out script is the starting point rather than the finishing line. Plowing through a script with only tacit acknowledgement of the spectators effectively turns them into props for the performer.

For some that may be the goal, but it certainly doesn't work for me.
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"If you ever find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause, and reflect." --Mark Twain
Lawrence O
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There is no argument there.
A very strong script is indeed only a starting point for a proper emotional communication. It's a fact however that 90% (at least) of the magicians don't have a script at all and confuse plot and script. Can you figure out a comedian in a theater that would claim communicating with his audience without a good script and a text that they are totally familiar with? Do you seriously believe that people like Seinfeld improvise? Does it prevents them from communicating?

Since you said that you would bite, allow me to ask you a question now that you have your teeth on the steak at stake (pun intended in the script). Can you, here, pitch the script of three of your tricks? I'm willing to live up to the challenge any time for twice as many tricks as you pitch and you will see honestly if such very structured scripts (elaborated and polished up over decades) don't open to properly designed communication with a magician's audience.
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
Steven Keyl
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You're preaching to the choir here. An improvised routine can be the most painful of all performances to watch. Without good scripting there is too much dead space, too much stuttering, too many false starts and stops. It leaves the spectator with the impression that the performer needs more practice--even if their technique is flawless.

Another key for me is that the script, however well rehearsed, needs to appear extemporaneous. If it looks as though you are reciting a prerehearsed script then many spectators will become disenchanted. If you know what you are going to say at each point in the presentation then you are always free to interact with the audience as much as you like since you able to effortlessly (and undetectably) segue back to your original thought.

Oh, and as to the challenge of pitting my scripts against yours, I humbly decline for two reasons. First, my scripting is structured identically to the way I normally speak which is quite informal. Therefore, I don't think it would come across very well in print. Second, you're far more eloquent than I so any feeble attempt of mine would fall considerably short. I yield, sir.
Steven Keyl - The Human Whisperer!

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"If you ever find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause, and reflect." --Mark Twain
The Burnaby Kid
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Steven, I guess we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one.

Quote:
On 2010-01-28 10:10, Steven Keyl wrote:
Andrew,

Magician T isn't particularly relevant to the discussion since there is minimal interaction with the spectators (even if you bring up a spectator or two during the show). You simply do the show as scripted just like a play.


I'm working from this basic definition of showmanship: "a notably spectacular, dramatic, or effective performer" (from Merriam Webster). I don't think that high interaction or an adherence to script qualifies or disqualifies someone from achieving that.

Quote:
Here's where we disagree, I say magicians B and R are in exactly the same situation. Even if R is requested and sits down, you still need to assess the audience. If they are out celebrating and having a loud and fun time then you will (or should) respond differently than if they are subdued and only want to passively watch a few minutes of magic.


Again, in my mind, the fact that magician R, in the scenario I described, was asked to come to the table, he's in a position of far greater prestige and as a result can (if he likes) go with his default material and scripts.

For what it's worth, when it comes to my own style, I very much want to be an adaptive performer and use the script only as a last resort. I was made hip to the idea from Tyler Erickson of thinking of magic as a language, and that if we become fluent in that language, then we need to think about what we're going to say as much as we would if there was no magic involved and we were just making a witty point (or whatever). This sort of thing would no doubt violate much of the (excellent) advice from Ortiz (amongst others) about scripting, but it's the direction I want to go in, and when it succeeds, oh boy has it been fulfilling. That said, if we're talking showmanship, again, I don't know that it endemically points the way to success, any more than strict adherence points the way to success. I think that our audiences are as capable of being adaptive as we are.
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Steven Youell
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Quote:
On 2010-01-27 02:02, Andrew Musgrave wrote:
I'll shut up now.


Quote:
On 2010-01-28 15:56, Andrew Musgrave wrote:
Steven, I guess we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one.


SEY
The Burnaby Kid
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Sigh... I was talking to Mr. Keyl. It seemed we were back on-topic so I responded to his posts.

What's that you were accusing Bill of when it comes to not reading carefully?
A screed for scams, sorcery, and other shenanigans... Nu Way Magick Blogge

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Steven Keyl
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Andrew, I don't think we're quite as far apart as it may appear. When I speak of adapting to an audience I'm not really speaking of going off script and wandering aimlessly. I'm talking about matching the energy and emotional temperment of the audience. This is something that I don't hear people talking about so maybe it's just me that does this.

For example, when I perform for anyone the first thing I do is size them up as I start talking with them. Are they eagerly anticipating something great about happen? Are they sitting back with arms crossed and thinking "this better be good"? Are they quiet and polite? Are they hard to read at all? Are they shouting out "show me something magic man"?

Regardless of the words you use, you can mirror their energy level without straying from your script. The hardest part is creating text that doesn't look like a prerehearsed routine. I'm speaking of closeup, not theater work.
Steven Keyl - The Human Whisperer!

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"If you ever find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause, and reflect." --Mark Twain
Steven Youell
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Quote:
On 2010-01-28 16:49, Andrew Musgrave wrote:
Sigh... I was talking to Mr. Keyl. It seemed we were back on-topic so I responded to his posts.

Sorry about that. You didn't make any specifications when you wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-01-27 02:02, Andrew Musgrave wrote:
I'll shut up now.

Well again, I apologize, Andrew. I find it difficult sometimes trying to decipher your statements, and as such I rely on pointed messages in an attempt to elicit clarity. A failing on my part, I'm sure.

SEY
Ray Tupper.
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The playground seems to be full again,toys flying out the pram left right and centre.
Is this a I will have the last word contest?(yet again)
I have time for both of you!....But it wears a little thin after a time!!
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The Burnaby Kid
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Quote:
On 2010-01-28 17:33, Steven Keyl wrote:
Andrew, I don't think we're quite as far apart as it may appear.


Possibly. I can certainly see a path to success in what you describe, and I hope that in fact that one can find success going beyond it into the realm of near-improvisation, since that's where I personally want to go.

That said, I see other paths as well. Tommy Wonder (and others) have shown the benefits that can come from audience management, which is, despite being an aspect of showmanship, would be a counterforce to having the performer adapt to the crowd.

But I've blabbed on enough about my own meager opinions at this point. So I'll shut up now, on the entire subject, lest it cause any more distress.
A screed for scams, sorcery, and other shenanigans... Nu Way Magick Blogge

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wsduncan
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Quote:
On 2010-01-27 01:02, Medifro wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-01-26 23:50, Steven Youell wrote:
No thanks-- and now that I've heard of his strategy from you I'll avoid his work like the plague. It's not for me.

SEY

Its not what you think it is. I don't have Wonder's material but I extensively studied his performances on youtube and he does interacts with the audience.


This is the comment I was referring to, regarding "studying" Wonder's material. This very topic is a perfect example. He did indeed listen to his audience, but like any good public speaker, he also stays "on message" at all times. Notice his "interaction" during The Tamed Card where he responds to a spectator's joke about Janel's birthday. Acknowledgment, and then back to the script.

Watching any performer is instructive (assuming you know something about performing and can make educated guesses about the choices) but so much of what Wonder did just isn't visible. If you gained something from watching him on video, imagine how very much more you'd get out of hearing what he was thinking while creating that material.
Review King
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I like Paul Wilson's style and I think he's very funny.

Some people love Monty Python...and some don't. The ones that don't should be put in work camps.

Chris
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the saddest are, "It might have been"

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Prof. Pabodie
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I also like Scott Guinn's DVD a WHOLE lot. Not that that has anything to do with this thread. Smile
ASW
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I think Steve Youell made a good point: it depends on the criteria. Which, for me, is why I'd put Tommy Wonder in the 50 greatest magicians of the twentieth century but he wouldn't make my 10 greatest and perhaps not even the top 20.

He might make the 10 greatest inventors, however.

In any case, who cares if someone likes or dislikes someone? We all know what we like and we usually know who to take seriously on a discussion thread. Even the people who are wrong are entitled to an opinion and I think the Café is a good place for them to express it. Repeatedly.
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Scott F. Guinn
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Quote:
On 2010-01-28 23:57, Prof. Pabodie wrote:
I also like Scott Guinn's DVD a WHOLE lot. Not that that has anything to do with this thread. Smile


I've always suspected that you were a man of refined taste who knew good magic when he saw it.

For the record, I like ANYONE who says they like ANYTHING I've ever marketed! A small group, perhaps, but a close-knit one!
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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ASW
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Quote:
For the record, I like ANYONE who says they like ANYTHING I've ever marketed! A small group, perhaps, but a close-knit one!


This may seem incredible to you, Scott, but I've always felt the same about people who like my own material. What a coincidence!
Whenever I find myself gripping anything too tightly I just ask myself "How would Guy Hollingworth hold this?"

A magician on the Genii Forum

"I would respect VIPs if they respect history."

Hideo Kato
Lawrence O
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Quote:
On 2010-01-29 02:51, Scott F. Guinn wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-01-28 23:57, Prof. Pabodie wrote:
I also like Scott Guinn's DVD a WHOLE lot. Not that that has anything to do with this thread. Smile


I've always suspected that you were a man of refined taste who knew good magic when he saw it.

For the record, I like ANYONE who says they like ANYTHING I've ever marketed! A small group, perhaps, but a close-knit one!


What about ALL THE ONES who liked ALL the things that you've marketed every time, do we have to write several posts?

:)
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Medifro
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Quote:
On 2010-01-28 00:27, wsduncan wrote:
ONE: You can’t study Tommy Wonder’s work by watching YouTube videos. There is ZERO chance you will gain the smallest understanding of his work, or his thinking, by watching him perform.

You totally missed the point of my post. Frankly I have no idea where you're coming from. I learned from watching his videos, I can't imagine how someone can't learn anything from just watching Tommy perform.

You assumed that I claim knowledge of Wonder's theories, and me attacking/defending ( I honestly can't tell which one you meant ) Tommy Wonder and/or Paul Wilson ( who I loved his performances in Twist of Fate DVD, but hate in Royal Royal). I think you jumped because you thought I had some sort of argument on Wonder and basing it on merely watching his videos. If this is true, you missed the point entirely.

This not to mention that I did NOT say at any point that Wonder didn't interact with his audience, in fact I think its the opposite and my post indirectly relates to that. If not, I failed to deliver it. Also, the only direct statements about Wonder is that he had A)Balance of both above-discussed concept, I don't look at it this way but I did for the sake of discussing it with Andrew Musgrave B)That he emotionally hooks his audience. IF these two things are wrong, I'm more than happy to discuss them. Simply jumping to say that a student cant learn anything from a his video, adding to making up an argument I did NOT make, adding the tone of your post is simply ridiculous.

As for learning from videos: As a student: I watch a magician's performances, I analyze, I discuss, I apply, I experience, I Use My Head. The only reason I didn't get his material is simply because "the author lacks the money". The moment I read his material would be an awesome moment of joy that surpass having an orgasm Smile

Hope that cleared my position out. I agree with Steven Keyl's post, I have no idea why this didn't occur to me when discussing with Andrew Musgrave

With love and cookies,

~ Feras
DStachowiak
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One hallmark of Whit "Pop" Haydn's work is meticulous attention to detail in the creation of his scripts. Having seen Whit perform his famous 4 ring routine a number of times, I can assure you that he NEVER varies from the script. Watch this video and tell me it prevents him from interacting with his assistant:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4818899614798480792#
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Futureal
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Quote:
On 2010-01-26 12:06, Chamberlain wrote:
I did enjoy the dvds, though at some times had to watch them in 2x speed to hurry things up.

He probably isn't performing as much now since he stars in the real hustle, and so has lost some of his performing persona. Watch his restaurant act video to see a slightly more lively version of Paul.


Only marginally, he was pretty dead in that as well.

Some guys just aren't performers, simple as that.
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