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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Whit (Pop) Haydn and Character Development (17 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Pop Haydn
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I think a magician starts with the magic. You begin by examining what the needs of the effect are--what points do you have to get across to prove the argument. First all the magic must be made as strong as possible, Then you start working on how to present it.

Character and story are all secondary to the argument of the trick. That comes in after you know how to kill the heads of the audience. Then you work on making it fun.
funsway
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Quote:
On 2012-03-26 21:28, WhoDeanie wrote:
Pop,

I probably could have asked tons more questions but was trying to be respectful of your time...I was so greatful of the time you gave me. Besides, it gave me lots to think about.

For instance, one, your back story. Did you have like a Eureka! moment or was it slowly developed as well?



Whit has a wonderful set of effects for sale that he sometimes bundles as a package at a great price. It includes stories of his development as a magicain and of his Pop character. Better than snippets of information and great effects to perform.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



ShareBooks at www.eversway.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
Pop Haydn
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Thank you, Ken. I have four pdf files available--The Mongolian Pop-Knot, Chicago Surprise, Intricate Web of Distraction, and Street Magic. All four are available for $35. Anyone interested should message me.

Whodeanie, please don't worry about asking me questions. I love to talk about this stuff. Ask anyone on the Magic Café... Smile
WhoDeanie
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Hi Pop,

Will be gone for a week or so but may peek in here and there and will probably order something from you when I get back, maybe those things just mentioned, but have been particularly interested in your Teleportation Device for some time. I've been experimenting with several bill in lemon routines, but yours seems to fit my purposes the most. As I've sort of mentioned, I enjoy pulling on characters from my past. One of the characters, most of us kids called "The Robot Man" because he lived on the outside of town and he had constructed a large robot (20 ft tall) that would light his eyes up and turn his head and move his arms. He could do this via remote control and had a closed circuit camera so he could make it move when he saw people watching. Of course, this caused quite the stir for teenagers, we would ride out there, park the cars, and sit and wait for that robot to do something, then we would get the heck out of there and cause the legend of the Robot Man to grow at school. Anyway, the old guy was actually a retired college professor and he just liked to weld different art together and of course he had a fondness for electronics etc. I sorta thought that the time I spent with that cooky old professor might be some sort of lead-in to the Teleportation Device. I just sort of want to get my premise, etc sufficiently away from outright theft, as we spoke. Also, one other concern, I have also been working on a Zone Zero routine in which I claim that the professor had been working on a time machine or teleportation device and that this one piece of board, a door off his machine, was pretty much the last I had seen or heard of the professor after a loud explosion and he had vanished and I would demonstrate some odd properties that it still seems to contain. Both in the same act may be too much reference to the professor, however. So I'll think it thru a bit more. Hopefully, if I do decide to order performance rights to the Teleportation Device it won't be too difficult to construct. (Any advice about the above is appreciated)

Hopefully, I will have made my way through "Our Magic" during the week and may have some questions along those lines as well. Have a great week!
Magically yours,

Dean Burgess
WhoDeanie
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Pop,

BTW, I'm sure all the folks up for nomination of Stage Magician of the Year are great in their own right, but I will be pulling for you. So good luck and break a leg (but try to wait till after).<g>
Magically yours,

Dean Burgess
Pop Haydn
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Quote:
I sorta thought that the time I spent with that cooky old professor might be some sort of lead-in to the Teleportation Device. I just sort of want to get my premise, etc sufficiently away from outright theft, as we spoke. Also, one other concern, I have also been working on a Zone Zero routine in which I claim that the professor had been working on a time machine or teleportation device and that this one piece of board, a door off his machine, was pretty much the last I had seen or heard of the professor after a loud explosion and he had vanished and I would demonstrate some odd properties that it still seems to contain.


Why not be the professor? Why tell them an old story of yours, instead of giving them a new one all their own?
Stonewick
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On 2012-03-09 18:18, Pop Haydn wrote:
As you become comfortable with your magic and presentation in front of a group, then I would start working more on character.


This is the stuff that brings me back to the Café. I have a very definite character I've been working on. (Including a good deal of back-story and motivation). I've been happily studying "An Actor Prepares" and "Creating a Character" both by Stanislavsky. After reading this thread I realize I have been stressing over the character too much rather than getting comfy-cozy with the performance.

Quote:
On 2012-03-15 12:58, Pop Haydn wrote:

I would not get over-involved in working on character until you already have a strong magic act that is entertaining.... Create a back-story for your character that brings him onto THIS stage in front of THIS audience. Don't tell them the story, but let the story shine behind the performance.


Wow.
I am encouraged by these words to just have fun with the performance and let the back-story percolate through: when and where it pleases.
Thanks Pop!

I must also add...Lexington Style Pig Baby!
Pop Haydn
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Having fun is the important thing.
WhoDeanie
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On 2012-03-30 16:53, Pop Haydn wrote:
Having fun is the important thing.
.

I agree. The best shows are where I wonder if I am going to be aable to hold it together from laughing. But you spoke earlier about cutting their heads off. One of the most baffling things to me is that you can perform a routine nine times and at that moment you see the mouths fly open and maybe even an audible gasp as the try to replay in their minds what they just witnessed...then the applause. But on the tenth time uou perform perform just applause. And I replay it over and over again in my head to think what I may have done differently...baffling.

Watching one of those mid afternoon florida thunderstorms nnow...
Magically yours,

Dean Burgess
Pop Haydn
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BTW, I will be appearing at the World Steam Expo May 26-28, 2012 in Dearborn, Michigan, along with Sophie Evans as Tesla Girl.

Image


This show is going to be a lot of fun...
WhoDeanie
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Hi Pop,

You know, I have seen the old medieval tools the dentists used to extract teeth...don't make me use those to extract the results of the envelope....
Magically yours,

Dean Burgess
Brad Burt
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The image above in lower right corner is just classic!
Brad Burt
Pop Haydn
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The Academy of Magicial Arts (Magic Castle) Awards show was held at the Saban Theatre tonight.

Congratulations to all the winners!

I am a huge fan of every one of them...

And the winners are:

Stage Magician of the Year: Rob Zabrecky
Close-Up Magician of the Year: Derek DelGaudio
Parlor Magician of the Year: Helder Guimaraes
Lecturer of the Year: Howard Hamburg

Magician of the Year: Lu Chen
tommy
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I love Derek DelGaudio’s Truffle Shuffle.

Facinating thread by the way, thanks.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
WhoDeanie
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Congrats to all the winners and to all those nominated...both are great achievements.
Magically yours,

Dean Burgess
WhoDeanie
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Hi Pop

You know, I was thinking last night and woke up this morning thinking about the relationship and importance of the character to the magic. I know you said to start of with the magic, make it strong. But I am thinking about the magic that I have seen that I really enjoy. I'm not so sure that that interaction between the magician and the audience isn't at least as important. You sorta feel like they are taking you on an adventure, a wild ride with them. And I don't seem to enjoy the large stage illusions nearly as much as standup or something just a little more intimate at least. I am wondering if that's simply because there isn't as strong of an interaction between magician and audience. I think even about Davic Copperfield, certainly very accomplished, but his more intimate stuff just seems more enjoyable and strong. I guess it could be a matter of personal taste as to why I don't like the large stage illusions as much. Now, I guess that it may be an inherent difficulty in large stage illusions that you don't have intimacy with your audience. Or maybe it has simply been a matter of magicians rely so much on that illusion that they fail to try to develop that intimatcy. I guess I could be chasing up the wrong tree here altogether, and its just two separate things. But if not, how do we go about developing that intimacy, what do we think about, and how should we structure to achieve that. Or maybe we just do strong magic and go along for the ride ourselves and let our personality and character come through as we make our way with the audience.
Magically yours,

Dean Burgess
Pop Haydn
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Follow your instincts about what magic appeals to you. Learn that. Find out how to do it so your audience begins to share some of your enthusiasm and love for the effect. As you learn to share what you love about the magic, you will learn more about it, your character, and your audiences. You will have more to share.

Don't try to do everything from the head. That will only get you so far...let the performance of magic teach you.

Enjoy your work. Think about it as you do it, and afterwards. Always be looking for ways to improve it. Always be trying to define what it is that fascinates and draws you to it. Help the audience to find the same things in it.

Always look for what is surprising and unexpected...does the magician need to hide his powers? Is he embarrassed by them? Bored?

It is that which is most eccentric and unique that is most believably real and also the most interesting. Your character should not be what the audience expects from a magician, but what is surprising and provocative. The character should be someone who people want to spend time with, and want to get to know more about...A magician should be liberating and thought-provoking--someone who makes you wonder, imagine, and contemplate the possibilities of this life.

The real art of magic is to share your love for magic with the audience, so that they can understand, and hopefully even to some extent share your passion.

What do you have to say about magic?

The more you perform it, study your performance, and let the audience inform you, the more you will have to share.

Just do it. Don't be afraid to be bad. Don't look at your accent, personality or looks as problems, let them become assets. Make them part of the surprising uniqueness of your magical character. They are God-given tools for you.

Remember, YOU are the Coyote, the Trickster, the Raven, the Rabbit--the embodiment of those who survive by their wits, wiles, knowledge and cleverness instead of by brute strength.

You don't tell stories about the Coyote; You ARE the Coyote. People tell stories about you...

You become a magician because you are drawn not just to Magic, but to the Trickster.

Something within you resonates with that ancient Archetype.

Find out what that is, and you will understand magic and yourself much better.
Pop Haydn
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The real job of the magician is to fascinate and hold the attention of the audience with Our Magic, and thereby make them lovers of Our Magic.

A magician uses deceit and chicanery to celebrate deceit and chicanery.
Devious
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Quote:
On 2012-03-31 18:32, Pop Haydn wrote:
BTW, I will be appearing at the World Steam Expo May 26-28, 2012 in Dearborn, Michigan, along with Sophie Evans as Tesla Girl.

Image


This show is going to be a lot of fun...


Gorgeous work by your graphics guru! It was very nice to meet him as well Brother.
See ya' soon and break a leg at the steam expo!
Devious Deceptions
"Gadol Elohai!"
L'Chaim!
WhoDeanie
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Well, I really like the simple classics of magic. After all this time there really is nothing more magical or enjoyable to me than a well-done rope routine, etc. You know, over the past year I've put a great deal of time trying to perfect my stuff technically, then turning my attention to interaction with the audience. And I've been thinking a great deal about the things you've said in this thread. After reading what you just wrote I was in a self-evaluation mode last night. You know, I think spending so much time on the technical aspects, I believe when I am performing I'm not thinking about how trully magical and wonderful magic is to me. I think, really, I've stopped putting the magical aspects of what I am doing first. I'm not really sure that isn't the greatest sin a magician could commit...:-(

***Enjoying reading "Our Magic"***
Magically yours,

Dean Burgess
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