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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » Amazing those who've seen it all. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

vanitywilde
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Hello Everyone.

I am not sure if this is the correct area to post this but I thought I would give it a shot.

Every year, I have a large Halloween event for people in the alternative lifestyles community. This years theme is "SpookShow" 10/30/10. It will be a take of the old sideshow/freakshow carnivals but with a scary flavor. These people attend fetish exhibitions and have seen all that stuff so hook suspentions, fire walking, eatting glass or sword swallowing wont go over well and would be ignored. They have seen all that on a regular night.

Do any of you have ideas for a few minutes on stage or for exhibitions?

ThanX in Advance~

Vanity Wilde
The Curator
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Yep: booking a professional to help you.
markthorold
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Dan Baines , Dolly Darko.........
E.O.I
PROF BC
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Hook suspentions, fire walking, eating glass and sword swallowing are all about the physical. Your Spook Show should be about the otherworldly and psychological. In a spook show the question is not what can the body do or withstand but rather what exists beyond the body. You want to get into your audience's minds and work on their darkest inward fears.

The Curator is right. You might want to investigate booking in some acts that can (or can appear to) call forth demons, spirits, and the like, someone who does a Ouija show, seance presentation, perhaps, or even an old-fashioned Spook Show (ghosts appearing on stage: a show that can be presented earnestly or camp). Perhaps a card reader (Tarot or especially Konxari) to contact the realm of the unknown. The bizarre magic community (we) are experts at creating creeping terror through the use of the well-told tale combined with effects that seem to underscore the reality of the unseen world.

If you wish to put together performances of your own without hiring outside pros, markthorold is pointing you in the right direction. Go to Lebanon Circle Magic
http://www.lebanoncircle.co.uk/
(that's the Dan Baines to whom he refers, he's in the UK)
and also Outlaw Effects
http://www.outlaw-effects.com/store/
(in the US); they are two excellent boutique magic art houses that specialize in the sort of equipment and routines that you are looking for. Part of your Halloween theme can be witchcraft: Outlaw Effects sells a series of books (the Witches Almanac and Ipswich that will surely give you the few minutes on stage that you want). For ghosts, have a look at their offering called Phantoms (a shameless plug because it is my own, but still if you are looking to do the performing yourself, this might be the direction you wish to take). Nevertheless, this is only the beginning. Be certain to navigate both of those sites fully as there is a wealth of goods to be found on each. Both are guaranteed to stimulate your creative juices in the direction you desire.

For additional inspiration, visit the Curator's own remarkable web page at http://www.surnateum.org/English/index.html

And don't neglect the work of Doug Higley. http://grindshow.com/

I could go on, and I am confident that more posts with similar suggestions will appear shortly.

For such performers and performance experts, you have surely asked your question in the right place by posting here.

In any event, sounds like you are putting together a splendid Halloween festival. The very best of luck to you.
Phasmologist
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Where are you located? You have very little time to put together a do it yourself production. The above links are all first rate but most require some prior performance skills.
vanitywilde
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Wow! I log on and not only do I have replies; they are really good ones! I half expected to go a while before even receiving one given the numerous other threads throughout the site.

ThanX so much for all of your replies.

Prof BC* I really wanted to thank you for taking the time to post such a well thought out message. What you are talking about is exactly the atmosphere I want to engage people in. I will follow the links and hopefully come up with something.

RCP* I thought about that exactly. Times a wastin'! I don't fool myself into thinking that I will deliver a top knotch performance given my experience or rather, lack there of but as long as I can give them a nice taste, that will be good. I live in Houston TX.

Markthorold* I am not familiar with those individuals but will become accuainted really quick.

The Curator* I have thought about hiring a pro who can do this without a hitch but all I am finding in my area are those who specialize in cards and other magic tricks that are great but wont have the effect that I am looking for given the event.

During my events, there is just the regular party festivities with dancing, drinking, socializing and the sort. I block off about 1 hour for performances and usually have about 6 individual performers who will entertain the audience according to the nights theme be it by singing, dancing etc. Due to the SpookShow theme, performers like the ones I just stated just wont do. Since I am the hostess, I have to hit the stage and entertain my guests myself.

I read Tarot and bellydance with fire and swords. Since I will be busy playing hostess in a dark ring master inspired costume, I wont be doing any of that. My sister will read Tarot instead. I am building a Zoltar like fortune telling booth that she will be in. My mother is a curandera (Mexican faith healer) and will perform in a small setting off to the side as this will not read well on stage.

All of this sounds like such small potatos from the threads that I have read here but I have to start somewhere and hopefully build something good out of that.

Vanity Wilde
Harley Newman
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I think you should talk with Todd Robbins...
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

www.bladewalker.com
Paul Prater
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I seem to remember a Jamie Salinas who has posted on this board who does seance work. I also seem to remember that he is in Houston. I know that isn't a lot of help, but maybe someone here can confirm that and get you in contact with him.
vanitywilde
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One of my concerns is that it seems as if most spooky type performances are for smaller, closer groups/settings and not really for a larger stage. Am I wrong in thingking this? Should I be thinking something else for this type of event?

ThanX Harley and Pauly.

Vanity Wilde
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Traditional mid-twentieth-century spook shows used to be performed in theatres for crowds numbering in the hundreds.

Modern bizarrists perform in front of audiences ranging from one to hundreds (if not thousands). There are plenty of effects to suit any performance situation. With bizarre, however, the focus is always on the performance, the story. The effect is secondary. This is one of the distinguishing marks of bizarre performance.

Most of us would not object at all to being described as 'storytellers.' The magic is there, but unlike most magicians, it takes a back seat to atmosphere.

Why not post another thread here on Spooky with a subject line something like Looking for a Houston Bizarrist. That would, I think, be the quickest way to find a pro in your area . . . and you really ought to at least investigate having a pro entertain for you. It is a fascinating art form to witness, but I am quite naturally biased.

If you haven't already, read some of the supernatural works by such authors as M.R. James (my particular favorite), Algernon Blackwood, and H.P. Lovecraft. These will give you a ready look into the atmosphere we try to create for our audiences.

The very best of luck to you. If I still lived in Austin, I'd ask for an invitation. Sounds like real Halloween fun. Hope it works out for you.
Phasmologist
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Vanity Wilde, the perfect effect for this is Luna 1936.
http://www.outlaw-effects.com/store/inde......temid=53
It's the simplest of the three to learn, buy the performance manual by Prof BC at the same time.
http://www.outlaw-effects.com/store/inde......emid=153
Since you have some experience with tarot reading you should be able to pull it off.
Luna is designed to be both terrifying and provide a since of empathy amongst the participants. Colney Hatch was a mental institution with thousands of permanent residents, assigned there for being poor, held under lock and key, and subject to a prolonged regime.
This is a dark emotion filled ride into the life and minds of some unfortunate people. You or I could have found a similar fate back then. It won't be hard for each of your guest to imagine how society would have treated them if their alternate desires had been known. Much like the witch trials of earlier times, innocent people were accused of things that were not true. What makes the presentation so strong and "emotional", is that many of these people should not have been at Colney Hatch at all.
Good luck, lets us know how it goes.
PROF BC
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Yes, RCP is so right on this. Luna is dynamite.

Here's the best advice I know if you really want a genuine party piece with very little effort. Buy a deck of Konxari cards; here's the link:
http://www.konxari.com/
They are less than $20, and they are not a magic trick. They are a little like Tarot but require no knowledge of the cards as Tarot does. They are specifically for communicating with the dead. (disclaimer: I am in no way connected with the Konxari people.)

You deal out the cards in a prescribed order (the deck comes with easy and easy-to-follow directions for doing this). As the cards are turned one by one you will be hard pressed not to get the chills.

For a party piece, get several decks, hand them out and give a two minute lesson on how to use them (very easy). Then let your guests form groups like ghastly games of poker and contact the dead. Cheap, engaging, novel, very creepy, and everyone gets involved. Might be nice with drinks after the formal entertainment is over and the atmosphere is charged with departed spirits.
Phasmologist
RCP
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That is a good suggestion Prof BC. Vanity you might also email Rick at Outlaw and see if he knows of a Luna performer in Houston. I am unfortunately still a number of months away from introducing my version to the public. It would be perfect for this.......
vanitywilde
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I have been on Outlaws site for most of the day. What a beautiful site! There are a few items there that I have to get. Luna 1936 sounds really good. Is there a Luna for Dummies? Seriously~It sounds great but really complicating to me. Is this a good thing to get for someone who doesn't want to do any "book lernin' " I am not good at spending hours upon hours with memorizing things. I feel so inspired by Spiritus Magnus and The Departed. Scorpion looks cool but I wonder if there is a longer act or several acts that can be done with that. Do any of you know if there is a wallet that is more appropriate for women performers?

ThanX to all of you for your suggestions. If you think of anything else, please let me know.

Vanity Wilde
vanitywilde
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Prof BC*

I don't mean to sound like a dork but growing up with a mother who was a Mexican faith healer and having to endure my early years as a Catholic ( I have since moved away from that) I still hold allot of superstitious residue when it come to using Ouija boards and making actual contact with the supernatural. Even though I am very drawn to it, I have drawn an imaginary line that I cannot cross. Konxari cards sound too creepy!

Vanity Wilde
PROF BC
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Konxari cards are creepy. Understand entirely.

Luna is easy as pie. The memory work is extremely simple. It is a marvelous piece, and you should consider it seriously.

BTW, though I wrote the performance manual for Luna I am not otherwise connected with it, so my recommendation is sincere.

If you also want to buy the performance manual, it is listed under the 'ebooks' on the Outlaw site--because I wrote it I shall refrain from suggesting its worth, only its availability.
Phasmologist
vanitywilde
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I will be getting Luna and the manual. I have perused the site and have heard such great things about Luna and the manual.

I stayed up till 4am this morning looking for stuff. Found lots of interesting things that have made me feel as if I can put on a bit of a show- nothing to show professionals but perhaps something that regular spectators/guest will be ammused by. I will have to see if the Spiritus Magnus is available.

I cannot get that *** Dolly Darko out of my mind: that story, the look and what it does. Even though dolls hanging around are too creepy for me, I want this so bad (along with lots of others people from what I read) Looks like getting it by October 30, 2010 is out of the question..... *sigh. I looked for other "Spirit Cabinet" type items and it appears that nothing comes close. I will have to keep looking for something in that realm then put myself on the list for Dolly Darko in the future. Do you have any leads on similar effects that are not as big as what I have seen out there? Everything I see has this big bathroom size curtained enclosure.

Vanity Wilde
Van Helmont
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Just keep in mind that the prop won't do all the work for you.
You will need to be extra convincing in your storytelling and since your audience has clearly been around and seen it all, they probably know a lot about the subject.
So first decide what your message will be, then study the subject in depth and then you can freewheel into the shops mentioned above which, I cannot stress this enough, most probably sell the best there is currently available on the market.
If you are adventurous and creative, why not construct your own hauntique or integrate a prop within your own stuff. The Curator's publications are what you need in that case.
Good luck!
The Epiphany Before Christmas: this day (12/23/13) I leave the Café for good!
vanitywilde
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Van,

I know exactly what you mean. It is nice to see or read the works of the creators themselves so that you can see how they perform them. That can be very inspirational and can ingnite many possibilities.

The reason that I said that these people have seen it all was because I didn't want to have any fire walkers, hook suspensions and other exhibitions of that sort. There people are in the alternative lifestyles community and many are fetishist who wont even bat an eye at exhibitions of that kind. Bizzare magic will take my event theme into another dimention. That possibility make it most exciting for me.

With my background in the occult/Santeria, my artistic background in model construction, painting and storytelling; add to that the valuable help that I have received here, I am confident that I can come up with something that I can be proud to present. I don't think that I could have been so sure when I first posted. This forum with its incredibly talented people has given me the confidence and some of the tools that I needed.

I will look into The Curators publications. I will look at his profile for a website or perhaps you know here I can attain some.

ThanX for taking the time to post.

Vanity Wilde
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