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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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Here is my most recent performance of the Teleportation Device, from last week in the Palace of Mystery at the Magic Castle:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0r6zXjAx......pp_video
WhoDeanie
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On 2012-04-05 16:29, Pop Haydn wrote:
Here is my most recent performance of the Teleportation Device, from last week in the Palace of Mystery at the Magic Castle:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0r6zXjAx......pp_video


Wow! No way!
Magically yours,

Dean Burgess
Pop Haydn
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Way.

;)
BarryFernelius
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This is the thread I was hoping to read a few years ago. Thanks, Pop!

I have a question: Do you have some words of wisdom about costuming a character?
"To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time."

-Leonard Bernstein
WhoDeanie
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Hi Pop,

What all comes with the performance rights to the teleportation device? Does it come with a script, methods, etc? And where would one order that from?
Magically yours,

Dean Burgess
Pop Haydn
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It comes with a DVD with a live performance, complete patter, a complete description of the props and handling, and performance tips. Along with that comes a CD with photos of several different devices inside and out and a crude wiring diagram. Any modestly skilled electronics hobbyist would be able to build one with less than $50 worth of parts.

Ownership of the DVD gives you all performance rights.

The DVD/CD and performance rights are $50 to pop@pophaydn.com at PayPal.
WhoDeanie
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On 2012-04-06 19:45, Pop Haydn wrote:
It comes with a DVD with a live performance, complete patter, a complete description of the props and handling, and performance tips. Along with that comes a CD with photos of several different devices inside and out and a crude wiring diagram. Any modestly skilled electronics hobbyist would be able to build one with less than $50 worth of parts.

Ownership of the DVD gives you all performance rights.

The DVD/CD and performance rights are $50 to pop@pophaydn.com at PayPal.


Is that all? Shut up!
Magically yours,

Dean Burgess
WhoDeanie
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Will order when I get back home. Thanks
Magically yours,

Dean Burgess
Pop Haydn
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You shut up... Smile

Barry: The main secret to costuming is to look for the surprising and the different. It is so easy to pick a name like Doc, a Gambler's hat and a handful of card tricks and think you have a character. That is just a costume. You are "telling" the audience who the character is...

It is better to have a costume that reflects the individuality of the character, and you should think about what he would choose to wear from what was available.

I was very careful to choose a hat (a Hamburg) that looked right for the period, but was not the derby or top hat that people tend to go for...

I had jewelry made for Pop that reflected his experiences at sea and in the Gold Rush. I wanted a tie that looked more modern, but had a distinct 19th century flavor. I used a modern man's tie, but with a big knot and a stickpin through the knot. I first saw this on of photo of Soapy Smith. At first I used fancy gambler's vests, but since I have used a plain black frock with matching vest. It is more "businessman" looking.

The little things, the details, are very important. They give the costume uniqueness and character. A necklace under my shirt carries a Fairy Stone cross from Virginia and a piece of scrimshaw on walrus ivory from 19th Century Alaska. No one sees these, but they help me remain in character. They are totems from my back story.
Jim Sparx
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Interesting I should be reading this now. I'm developing a character and spending more on costuming than I am on the magic used in the performance. Difficult for someone on SS who's goal is free performances in the USO wounded warrior project and children's hospitals.
I will be 74 next month and consider this one of the most important projects I have ever done.
Pop Haydn
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How wonderful! Good luck with your project!
tommy
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How do you go about telling your audience the story of your jewelry for example?
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Pop Haydn
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I don't. It isn't there to be discussed. It is part of who I am. The video above shows the extent of story-telling in the act. It gets more of the story through than the teaching act.

The medicine show reveals more of Pop's story, but in the same, indirect way. It isn't about that story, Pop's history--it is about the story of Pop meeting this particular audience on Thursday night, March 29th.

The history of Pop is not really the point, is it? It is the backstory. It is what makes Pop "real" and three-dimensional.

The "point" is the story that the members of the audience will tell later... WHAT and WHO did THEY experience?
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On 2012-04-07 13:04, Pop Haydn wrote:
I don't. It isn't there to be discussed. It is part of who I am. The video above shows the extent of story-telling in the act. It gets more of the story through than the teaching act.

The medicine show reveals more of Pop's story, but in the same, indirect way. It isn't about that story, Pop's history--it is about the story of Pop meeting this particular audience on Thursday night, March 29th.

The history of Pop is not really the point, is it? It is the backstory. It is what makes Pop "real" and three-dimensional.

The "point" is the story that the members of the audience will tell later... WHAT and WHO did THEY experience?


It still seems a fight though...there is an urge to lay it out there and put it right up front, instead of sort of letting the back story be once removed from what is happening at the moment. I wouldn't say its a difficult concept. I think you are there for the magic and you want to keep that first, but there is just a lot of temptation to bring the backstory out front. Its a fascinating use of character though, where you only reveal little bits of the backstory but remain focused on the moment.

I've been trying to imagine sort of a "typical" magician in a nice shirt and sportscoat that could possibly have nearly as much depth of character...
Magically yours,

Dean Burgess
WhoDeanie
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Also, what is it that makes Pop a character, instead of becoming a caricature that we often see when folks put on a custume? Is there a line you feel that you walk? I'm wondering if a full-on revelation of the backstory in the performance would lead to turning Pop into a caricature? I love it...we just get hints...Tesla, 21st century, electronics, etc...but it never actually takes you off the moment.
Magically yours,

Dean Burgess
WhoDeanie
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Here's one: Does "Pop" consider himself a magician?
Magically yours,

Dean Burgess
Jim Sparx
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On 2012-04-07 13:51, WhoDeanie wrote:
Here's one: Does "Pop" consider himself a magician?


I watched his video from the MC and I bought into the idea he was a character from the past.
I've always thought of myself as an actor playing a magician. I remember seeing Ballentine a dozen times, and always thought of him as an actor playing a bad magician. And he did it with with such inept grace and character building, a guy in a tux with a sign that misspelled magician to start off his act that let everyone know, things were going to go wrong.
Jim Sparx
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Quote:
On 2012-04-07 13:44, WhoDeanie wrote:
Also, what is it that makes Pop a character, instead of becoming a caricature that we often see when folks put on a custume? Is there a line you feel that you walk? I'm wondering if a full-on revelation of the backstory in the performance would lead to turning Pop into a caricature? I love it...we just get hints...Tesla, 21st century, electronics, etc...but it never actually takes you off the moment.


I don't know if the general population is famliar with Telsa, considering what they are taught in school. I'm familiar with him because I've subscribed to the Borderland Sciences for the last 40 years. I think more people relate to the movie, Back To the Future than to Telsa. When I was a kid I had Flash Gordon and the Frakenstein movies with all those electrical props.

I'll shut up now
Pop Haydn
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What would the general population's familiarity with Tesla have to do with things, spartacus?

What makes Pop a character instead of a caricature?

Layered character, Acting ability, emotional honesty, costuming, and backstory.

Does Pop consider himself a magician?

Of course! Why else would he be doing 100 year old magic tricks in front of a 21st Century audience?

Pop considers himself a wonderful stage magician as well as a talented card magician, an actor, comedian, dancer, singer and all-around vaudevillian. He was at one time a sailor, a cowboy, a gambler, and a con man. He is now a man of medicine and science in the 21st Century, trying to pay his bills selling medicine and doing his show business with his fellow expatriates from 1910.
tommy
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Thanks Whit I got it now. I just thought when said “I had jewellery made for Pop that reflected his experiences at sea and in the Gold Rush.” that you were using Symbolism as in the practice of investing things with a meaning or character. For example one takes a piece of jewlery and while showing it to a fellow one tells a story about it, from thereon the piece becomes an instrument of knowledge as it evokes or reminds the fellow about the it whenever the piece is shown to the fellow in the future.

Fans for exmple might be told once about the story of the stick pin, it might have been aquired in some adventure or other, and when they come to see it again when they come to see you it means something to them by just by seeing it again.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
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