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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The September 2003 entrée: Whit Haydn » » Bizarre Magic » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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ASW
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Quote:
On 2003-09-05 18:08, Payne wrote:
Most magicians dislike Bizarre Magic because there isn't enough magic in it for their unrefined taste.


Wow, so what do you really think of magicians?

Quote:
Bizarre magic's roots are more akin to the truly ancient art of storytelling than they are to modern prestidigitation.


I would define storytelling as a craft or oral history tradition - folk art is closer to the mark - though, since the earliest stories were cosmological, the tellers and recipients interpreted them as fact, that is, history, rather than an art.

Shakespeare is a tale told as art. Relaying the story of the guy with the hook who escaped from the asylum one rainy night is a good campfire yarn, but it isn't art. Just as Kafka is great literature and H.P.Lovecraft is not, though they both share a bizarre bent.

Quote:
Therefore the Bizzarest with his seemingly pointless presentations


Since most audiences have been immersed in the craft (or art, or craft or... etc) of story telling most of their lives through having books read to them, hearing jokes in bars, seeing TV, movies, theatre and stand up comedy - don't you think they have the right to decide whether what they see is pointless or seemingly pointless? If most people judge bizarre magic/storytelling as pointless (read: boring) then it probably is.

If you don't respect (or at least consider) the opinion of your audience - why do you perform.

Quote:
holds little interest to your typical move monkey who is desperately seeking his next magic fix.


This is quite a partisan view! What a different perspective we have. You think the typical magician is a move monkey, while my experience is that the typical magician loathes sleights and would crawl over broken glass for the perfect self-working effect.

Quote:
Granted bizarre magic is not for everyone as the skill set required to properly present it is beyond the scope of your average finger flinger.


You could also reformulate the above sentence in the following way: "Traditional sleight of hand is not for everyone, as many lack the skill set required to execute a sleight smoothly and deceptively while cloaking the effect in an entertaining presentation. Those who lack this ability are often drawn to bizarre magic..."

I'm just funning with ya... Smile

Quote:
While many of my Brethren lean towards the dark side, preferring to venture into Lovecraftian realms, choosing the splendor of the Grand Guignol over that of yet another mindless variation on 3 Fly (unless of course the flies all meet a tragic and gruesome end) it does not have to reside there.


I can tell by this that you really enjoy what you're doing. That's cool (apart from the value-judgement regarding coin trick variations, but I won't get into that).

You should try explaining what's good about your chosen genre, rather than sending broadsides in the direction of other genres. Yes, I know Scott's first post was a bit of a troll (and he clearly has his own bias) but he did it in a reasonable manner.

Best
Andrew

PS. Although it isn't my cup of tea (it often IS boring and self-serving) I do know it can be done in an entertaining manner. Mark Lindenmeyer had a nightclub in Melbourne a few years back in which he did his act complete with cat's eye contacts and extended canines. It was pretty good, actually.
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
Lee Darrow
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Quote:
On 2003-09-05 23:58, whithaydn wrote:
A room full of suplicants...


LOL!

Anyone who had seen the Maestro, Tony Andruzzi, perform, would understand that a good story AND brevity are not necessarily incompatible! I count myself very lucky to have known him and learned so much FROM him.

Mix that with my time with heba Haba Al at the New Yoir Lounge and you get a VERY strange mix, indeed!

Tony was a genius in scaring the life out of someone, yet still being able to end on a laugh when necessary.

And his presentations were often much shorter than others in the same venue.

His Coffin Nail routine, where an antique nail, supposedly from a vampire's coffin, would suddenly emit a streamer of smoke, was a brilliant method and a short presentation.

He almost took bizarre magick and added to it an almost David Blaine brevity in certain instances as he "just wanted you to see something I picked up in my travels. It's a bit... weird..."

OTOH, I also agree that TOO much story DESTROYS an otherwise good effect, Bill Pamler's (Hi Bill!) Gypsey Tarot 6 Card repeat shows that - but so do many of the more "revered" storyteller magi.

"All talk and no action" is NOT something a magician should be about. Magic is a PERFROMING art - and that means action, even if it is as small a thing as a coin turning over in someone else's hand, a ping pong ball rolling about on a table by itself (David Hoy's method for this is quite fun) or dross metal being turned into gold dust (Athanor, by Andruzzi).

Tony understood, as does Doc Shiels, that the story must AUGMENT, aid and abett the ACTION.

Anything else is probably pretty boring - unless you have a master storyteller, of course.

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
Whit Haydn
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I'm really sorry, guys. I just can't seem to get past the picture in my head of a little wine, a candle lit room, and a small circle of supplicants...

That kicks the stuffings out of any performing situation I ever had.

Payne: Are they sky clad or in long flowing robes?

I think I want to be a bizarrist. Smile
Payne
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Whit,
To paraphrase Rita Rudner

They supplicants are sky clad underneath their robes.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Anabelle
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I guess I consider myself a bizarrist/mentalist/whatever, (labels, labels, labels) but not in the blood and gore sense and not in the long-winded story sense either. The effetcs I like to do are pretty simple and I do tell a (short) story with them, everyone that has seen it around here seems to like what I've been doing, besides, I enjoy it a lot. I think the stories need to be interesting not only to us but to the spectators as well, and I hope I'm accomplishing that.

Anabelle Smile
cmwalden
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A few have mentioned venue here. The story about the strolling bizarrist in a restaurant was truly freaky!

In order to be appreciated, story magic and bizarre magic must be presented in the right place at the right time to people who want to see that sort of thing. I don't think that a performer can create this atmosphere just anywhere at any time. Someone who wants to perform or watch this sort of thing, need to seek out the right venue. I don't know that I've seen much information about how to accomplish this.
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

- William Shakespeare
montz
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Hear hear... venue is everything.

Put Eugene Burger in a candle lit room, and he'll convince you of magick...

Stick a card man in a candle illuminated, incense filled room, and they'll bomb. And of course, Vice Versa.

Liam.
ASW
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Quote:
On 2003-09-07 19:12, montz wrote:

Hear hear... venue is everything.

Put Eugene Burger in a candle lit room, and he'll convince you of magick...

Stick a card man in a candle illuminated, incense filled room, and they'll bomb. And of course, Vice Versa.

Liam.


I disagree. There are a lot of good cardmen who could adapt their style and effect choice and pull this stuff off convincingly. They just wouldn't bother.

You can diss on cardmen all you want (even though it grows wearisome). The difference is that card magic is commercially successful, popular and entertaining. Most bizarre magic isn't.

Hope this helps,

Andrew
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
Payne
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Card magic may appear to some to be more commercial, popular and entertaining yet I've actually seen more bad cardmen than bizzarests. But then that's because card trick guys out numbet bizzarests a hundred to one.
This of course doesn't mean that one is better than the other. Each field has its brilliant practioners its flegling wannabees and all those of varying skills inbetween.
A great performer, wheither they use playing cards or Tarot decks, knows how to tune their presentation to their audience and surroundings.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
ASW
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Quote:
On 2003-09-07 22:55, Payne wrote:
Card magic may appear to some to be more commercial, popular and entertaining yet I've actually seen more bad cardmen than bizzarests. But then that's because card trick guys out numbet bizzarests a hundred to one.


So even though it APPEARS to be more commercial, popular and entertaining, you are denying that it IS all of those things because you've seen more bad cardmen than bizarrists? I would call that living in denial. (I agree there are infinitely greater numbers of bad cardmen than bad bizarrists, but that is a question of economies of scale. It's a side effect of the fact that card magic is more appealing and therefore more popular).

Look: I'm sure that there are very good bizarrists out there. However, the fact remains that card magic (and a lot of other genres) are exponentially more popular. It's an observable fact. It doesn't appear that way - it actually is that way.

Quote:

This of course doesn't mean that one is better than the other. Each field has its brilliant practioners its flegling wannabees and all those of varying skills inbetween.
A great performer, wheither they use playing cards or Tarot decks, knows how to tune their presentation to their audience and surroundings.



I agree with everything you wrote in the above quote. What I disagree with is the view, res ipsa loquitor, that a cardman (or any other magician for that matter) is incapable of performing a bizarre act. That was a view I was responding to.

cheers
Andrew
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
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