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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » Seance performance dilemma (advice requested) (10 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Snoogans
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Many of the books I have warn about people wanting this to happen. I'll tell them up front it's something I won't even discuss and advise them to find a Spiritualist church.
Lucien Astor
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...the handful of seances I have hosted usually start with me talking about the unusual history of whatever building I happen to be in (office, gallery, studio, museum) that I managed to uncover with the assistance of the local historical society of wherever I happen to be. All fictitious, or borderline fictitious, of course. Those are the spirits we will be contacting during the seance, and it precludes people asking to contact relatives.
Slim King
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Quote:
On Jun 4, 2015, EVILDAN wrote:
Exactly and you don't want people expecting to contact a dead relative and finding out that's not going to happen.

If you can't contact a dead relative at a Seance then why would you go? AND can it really be called a Seance at all?
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
EVILDAN
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Quote:
On Jun 5, 2015, Slim King wrote:
If you can't contact a dead relative at a Seance then why would you go? AND can it really be called a Seance at all?


I think people want to go out of curiosity and to answer some questions: What happens at a séance? What will I experience at a séance? And perhaps they DON'T want to contact dead relatives because they didn't like them, or as my mom says, "Leave your grandmother and grandfather alone." My wife even refuses to call the spirits of dead relatives into the séance circle.


As to the second part of the question, I give you: The Houdini Séance, The Jack the Ripper Séance, The Lizzie Borden Séance.
by EVILDAN....
"The Coin Board Book" - moves and routines with the coin panel board. - http://www.lybrary.com/the-coin-board-book-p-827955.html
"SLASHER - A Horror Whodunnit" - a bizarre close-up routine based on Bob Neale's "Sole Survivor."
PM me for more info.
"Zombie Town" - a packet effect about how a small town turned into zombies. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nzJhcoJtyOM
Slim King
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That's my point.
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
EVILDAN
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Se·ance /ˈsāˌäns/
noun: seance; plural noun: seances; noun: séance; plural noun: séances

a meeting at which people attempt to make contact with the dead, especially through the agency of a medium.

Not sure what your point is.
by EVILDAN....
"The Coin Board Book" - moves and routines with the coin panel board. - http://www.lybrary.com/the-coin-board-book-p-827955.html
"SLASHER - A Horror Whodunnit" - a bizarre close-up routine based on Bob Neale's "Sole Survivor."
PM me for more info.
"Zombie Town" - a packet effect about how a small town turned into zombies. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nzJhcoJtyOM
Snoogans
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Let's not get off topic, gang. To each his own. If you want to contact relatives, that's your thing. If not, that's fine, too. Neither preference is wrong.
reese
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Quote:
On Jun 5, 2015, Snoogans wrote:
Let's not get off topic, gang. To each his own. If you want to contact relatives, that's your thing. If not, that's fine, too. Neither preference is wrong.
Not sure whether your statement "Neither preference is wrong" is right or wrong. Depends on the context I guess. Within the context of the Café ( a place for entertainers to interact to discuss entertainment ) For an entertainer to attempt to contact someone's recently deceased loved one is....deeply wrong. Criminal? Odious at the very least.
MentalistCreationLab
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First, if it was me and its coming from me. I would realize that when the attendees whom so ever they shall be when attending a séance have already induced a psychological preception of what the event is without knowing a thing about what the actual event is. It is this psychological preception that the performer can influence during the séance.

What this means essentially is that regardless of where you are performing this type of work the psychological preception of the attendees has already been formed long before the event and those who are not in to this type of thing will not attend.

Granted it may be a lot easier to do this sort of work at Camp Chesterfield, Lily Dale or Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp for example or a small shack in Ohio. However regardless of the venue or venues location the psychological preception of the attendees has already been influenced previously by the preconceived notions of others regardless of any factual content to these notations.

That said. It does not really matter what effects one does in the séance as long as the psychological preception of the attendees is meet without the performer destroying the core of this preception with his or her own preconceived notions. Now depending on the type of séance one is doing will determine if the séance is opened with rapid fire gunshots from muskets followed by strange music in the presents of total darkness to summons the spirits. All of this is prior to total darkness in the shack. This is what I would call a real séance circa 1850 which would have most of you running for the one who keeps you safe. The later slightly more theatrical seances started to appear about a decade later.

Also remember that most seances were considered a type of parlor game held for entertainment. Many seances where also held in the parlor which had only two uses one was for entertainment and the other was for viewing of the dead before burial.

If it was me I would hold nothing back. And did not the last time I worked a seance in the deep south. But then again I lost my magicians guilt long ago. I also understand that from the inception the seance is a form of parlor entertainment that is and has always been perceived as real just like many other parlor games. However this parlor game may have a dark side with a bit of corruption which in my opinion makes it even more interesting.

Yes I attended and held real seances some of the places that these events were held are listed above. In fact I prefer these types of seances to the magical variety as nothing needs to occur do to the psychological preception formed by the minds of the participants previously to the event.

Think of it this way have you ever gone to a haunted house during Halloween? Yet you know its all fake. So why did you scream when that thing popped out at you? This is one of the types of psychological preception I am speaking of. But just one. Actually there are a lot more of these perception's at play as well. Which is one reason that makes a seance a very interesting thing. Yes I have released a few works on the subject of the seance but I do not think or have any plans to release anymore on the subject as I would rater keep these secrets for myself than see them turned into the next great seance sponge ball trick buy someone who thinks seance work is not psychologically based and see it more as a vanishing sponge ball than what it really is about. Which by the way would take a minimum of a 1000 pages to begin to explain.

The only other recommendation I can make about this subject is read works by Andrew Jackson Davis and Hudson Tuttle and other like these two and stay as far away from any of the Houdini style of works as possible unless it coming from the point of view of guys like Brother Shadow in his Have Seance Will Travel. Which would be a great format for working in the bible belt come to think of it. Or you could just go for it and let the cards fall where they fall.
Slim King
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Quote:
On Jun 5, 2015, EVILDAN wrote:
Se·ance /ˈsāˌäns/
noun: seance; plural noun: seances; noun: séance; plural noun: séances

a meeting at which people attempt to make contact with the dead, especially through the agency of a medium.

Not sure what your point is.

That's my point.

Spiritualists often sang songs and prayed before a seance. They always used a Medium and he or she almost always had a Spirit guide. Just like a baseball game has a pitcher and a catcher. Without a pitcher and a catcher you could call it baseball, but it really isn't is it?

That's my main point. If you are calling it a seance, you need the ingredients that make up a seance. Smile
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
EVILDAN
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Seances have evolved in the public eye. People believe Hollywood and don't care about history. I'm pretty sure most couldn't even tell you what a Spiritualist Church is.

That's why vampires sparkle and zombies are a result of chemical warfare gone bad instead of part of Voodou lore.
by EVILDAN....
"The Coin Board Book" - moves and routines with the coin panel board. - http://www.lybrary.com/the-coin-board-book-p-827955.html
"SLASHER - A Horror Whodunnit" - a bizarre close-up routine based on Bob Neale's "Sole Survivor."
PM me for more info.
"Zombie Town" - a packet effect about how a small town turned into zombies. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nzJhcoJtyOM
Slim King
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Vampires don't sparkle no matter how Hollywood portrays them ... Smile Smile Smile
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
reese
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Your opinion is your own Dave. We get to say "It ain't so". In other words... (you ain't right)
Snoogans
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It appears that some comments are coming from true believers and skeptics. The believers seem to take offense to the idea that a seance is for entertainment, and the believers seem to be insistent that a seance be conducted only in the manner to which they themselves prescribe, and anyone who thinks differently is wrong.

This sounds too much like a religion debate to me.

The bottom line for me is, perform the seance any way you want. If you're a believer, great. If not, that's great, too. I'm not going to worry about who doesn't like how I'm doing things. If I'm hosting the seance, it's my way or the highway. They always know where the door is.
Godzilla
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Quote:
On Jun 7, 2015, Snoogans wrote:


The bottom line for me is, perform the seance any way you want. If you're a believer, great. If not, that's great, too. I'm not going to worry about who doesn't like how I'm doing things. If I'm hosting the seance, it's my way or the highway. They always know where the door is.


You had the answer to your own question, before you started this thread ! Smile
"If you watch Godzilla backwards, it's about a big ass lizard who helps rebuild a half burnt-down city, then moonwalks back into the ocean"
Snoogans
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Quote:
On Jun 7, 2015, Godzilla wrote:
Quote:
On Jun 7, 2015, Snoogans wrote:


The bottom line for me is, perform the seance any way you want. If you're a believer, great. If not, that's great, too. I'm not going to worry about who doesn't like how I'm doing things. If I'm hosting the seance, it's my way or the highway. They always know where the door is.


You had the answer to your own question, before you started this thread ! Smile


Yep! I just needed you guys to shine the light on it for me.
Slim King
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Quote:
On Jun 7, 2015, reese wrote:
Your opinion is your own Dave. We get to say "It ain't so". In other words... (you ain't right)

I'm just giving the factual evidence of what a seance is. If you want to make up your own definition for the word seance ... have at it!!!!!
I'm not stopping you ... I'm just INFORMING you as to what a real seance is.

I'm not a Spiritualist. Almost the opposite!!!! Smile Smile
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
reese
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Entertainment isn't reality. It's for fun & thrills. I know what a real seance is. I've attended more than a few. Many actually. I don't need you preaching to me about non theatrical seances. A discussion of a "real" seance isn't appropriate in a magic forum (in my opinion) unless you're aiming to recreate one theatrically. There's so-called "shut-eye" forums where you can post about real seances. A theatrical seance for entertainment is very different from a genuine seance. Theatrical seances don't attempt to contact someone's recently deceased daughter for example. To do so would be fraud. Again, the Magic Café is a site for entertainers to dialog about theatrical entertainment. What is your problem?
Mr Timothy Gray
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Quote:
On Jun 7, 2015, Slim King wrote:
I'm just giving the factual evidence of what a seance is.


No, darling boy, you aren't giving 'factual' evidence. And as someone who has sat through hundreds of "REAL" seances - not a single one has conformed to any one particular definition.
Yr. Obdt. Svt.,
Mr Timothy Gray

Specializing in the Occult Arts of Fortune Telling, Magic & Mediumship; Est. 1986
chmara
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Interesting, very interesting -- but to me, much ado about very little.

1. Not one person here has given any credit to the audience (sitter) for having any intelligence. The term "Theatrical Seance" means THEATER. If you have theatrical trappings, lighting and sound effects, it is all a part of good theater. If an individual or group is offended by the theatrical presentation updated from a past era, that is there problem and their ignorance to deal with.

A group of people picketing a seance -- great potential for publicity. Since Houdini's time (and few of us here were alive or cognoscente of him in that era when he made headlines by debunking spiritualists) when people choose to be superstitious or believe in ghosts -- that is a flaw in their thinking.. If they choose to be entertained my the mystery of communicating with the dead it is their choice -- at least in this country (I write in the USA.) It is not up to us as entertainers to assuage their fears, cow-tow to their religious beliefs, discuss the philosophy of afterlife and religion or superstition with them -- it is our job to entertain them in a style of theater of our choice and their purchase.

If we tip toe around the idea that some people will believe, or get upset, we miss the main point of magic. WE ARE LEGITIMATE CHARLATANS, whether magical hobbyist or professional presenter. We use our "magic" to entertain and often make a point. Magic is no more real than the talking animals in Aesop's fables. If we touch emotions we have done our job -- and how we handle those emotions often shows our professionalism and human caring. A crook or consciousness charlatan does not care about emotions and how to handle them and works for profit or self aggrandizement only.

In professional theater a play that does not hit the theatrical notes that resonate with the audience -- is usually a flop. Theater audiences need no disclaimer that the play they are about to watch is fiction and/or not real -- OR has been watered down in content to save the the delicate ears or iontents of someone who disagrees. Actors, writers and directors know that their craft will not strike all as worthwhile -- or even mildly effective.

But, as magicians who wish to recreate seance magic as entertainment -- I feel we strain too much to sooth the credulous at the expense of the intelligent audience who knows it is all tricks of the emotions and wishful thinking found in the human mind.

And remember - seances are as valid as tarot reading and buying lottery tickets on a hunch and really expecting to win.

Smile
Gregg (C. H. Mara) Chmara

Commercial Operations, LLC

Tucson, AZ



C. H. Mara Illusion & Psychic Entertainments
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