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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » Red light district (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

wkitwizard
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After reading several books, manuals, and personal emails, regarding the use of low wattage red lights and a thick, black velvet backdrop, does this give the performer the opportunity to work in the closest thing to pitch black environment? It seems much easier to bring your own setup, backdrop and flood lights, than tape every window and spend considerably time looking for the light leaks. I've read that the red light actually helps create a more spooky room to enter than having the sitters enter a well lighted room from twelve candles. Any thoughts?
Nothing is truer than the incomprehensible, because the sum total of our knowledge consists of the fact that we know nothing. Our reality is an illusion. Thus illusion is reality-Punx
chmara
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Tucson, AZ
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If you can dilate the viewer's pupils with light (and red does this in proper spectrums) -- and available gels -- it allows you to fool with their focus on small objects -- like thread.

Low key lighting is not needed if lights are properly aimed ---- but do not make the mistake so many people make of using low key blue to be "mysterious." It is just hard to see --period. Reds can be run pretty hot to make an audience believe they are seeing anything.

I believe the lighting guy at U of Idaho -- as I remember -- used to work with Blackstone and has a handle on this.
Gregg (C. H. Mara) Chmara

Commercial Operations, LLC

Tucson, AZ



C. H. Mara Illusion & Psychic Entertainments
wkitwizard
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Red spots have always been a mainstay with Black Art
theater, whereas the spots are actually aimed at the audience and the black drape curtain acts as a black hole from which the magic can take place. Hence, the possibilty of transfering that working setup to the seance parlor.
Nothing is truer than the incomprehensible, because the sum total of our knowledge consists of the fact that we know nothing. Our reality is an illusion. Thus illusion is reality-Punx
Caleb Strange
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From a theatrical point of view, I was once involved with a production of Dylan Thomas' play about Burke and Hare, called 'The Doctor and the Devils'.

The lighting for this was ambitious/challenging. Very little lighting directly from front of house - rather, stark white spots (on frames, in the wings) slanting across the actors, creating weird chiascuro shadows - and the deepest of eye-sucking reds, bleeding down onto the stage, from floods.

When that solid red light slammed onto the stage for the first time, there was a gasp from the audience, every night. That redness was tangible - stepping out onto the stage was like wading through clotting blood.

Regards,

Caleb Strange.
-- QCiC --
wkitwizard
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Thankyou for what I've already begun to realize from the scant reading material for seance performers and the use of red light.. The red spots, lowered with the help of light dimmers, behind the double thick black velvet drape, make for a disturbing environment to enter and wait for the events to unfold. Sure it hides the threads, but it also distorts the features of the medium and lends an unearthly atmosphere over everthing within the room. Call it dramatic, staged, whatever, it takes the audience to another place.
Nothing is truer than the incomprehensible, because the sum total of our knowledge consists of the fact that we know nothing. Our reality is an illusion. Thus illusion is reality-Punx
rickmagic1
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If I could, I'd recommend getting Tim Ellis' book on his school show. They did a very ambitious Black Art principle during their school shows and he did quite a bit of work on this very thing.
I don't think it's more than a few dollars.

http://www.magicunlimited.com/magicians_only.htm

Rick
Richard Green
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Caleb Strange
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As a side note, a few years ago I read a book about physical mediumship, written by a sincere spiritualist called Foy. He described a series of remarkable seances conducted by the young physical medium 'Lincoln', using manifestations and paraphenalia familiar, coincidentally, to those of us who use trickery (cable-ties, etc.) to effect our work.

Now, I'm not for one moment impugning Lincoln's abilities here. The fact that we can achieve similar results does not mean, necessarily, that we use the same methods; to say otherwise is, I believe, to make a leap of faith the other way. I'm merely mentioning this to report that many of Lincoln's seances, as described in the book, were conducted in dim red light.

As for 'Lincoln'? Well, unless the photograph in the book deceives me, he developed into the clairaudient medium Colin Fry. (He's one of the people you talk to/through, here in the UK, when you want to contact the dead. His TV show is called 'The 6th Sense'.)

Regards,

Caleb Strange.
-- QCiC --
wkitwizard
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If you want to do a little history research, the red light seance has been going on in selected venues for the past fifty years or so. Unfortunately, most contemporary books fail to mention it at all. There must be a truly great payoff for going in that direction, as opposed the traditional full dark seance. Anyone out there try a "red light" performance?
Nothing is truer than the incomprehensible, because the sum total of our knowledge consists of the fact that we know nothing. Our reality is an illusion. Thus illusion is reality-Punx
Bill Palmer
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There were a number of ladies arrested a couple of nights ago just off Main street in Houston. There was something about a "red light seance" or something like that. Wait, no, that's different.

Seriously, if you have the Willard the Wizard book by Bev Bergeron, you can see how he tricked the audience into believing that they were watching him do the levitation under much more light than he was actually using.

Without going into revealing more detail than needs to be presented on an open forum, I'll post something in the banquet room.

Wkitwizard, when you have a couple more posts, you will be able to get in there and read it. You should be able to come up with a couple without much difficulty.

I'll hint at it this way. Sometimes contrasting light levels are as effective as low ones or no light at all.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
wkitwizard
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Thank you for the information. In a way, it's more reassuring that control of red light is easier than taping and blacking out windows,etc. If all it takes to get the sitters in the right frame of mind, and visual preparation, is to use the dramatic effects of red light, why not?
Nothing is truer than the incomprehensible, because the sum total of our knowledge consists of the fact that we know nothing. Our reality is an illusion. Thus illusion is reality-Punx
rickmagic1
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Also, check out the Magic Castle issue of Genii magazine from January 2003. There is a whole article there on Leo Kostka, the medium for the seance at the Castle. He also does a travelling seance that he can carry with him, and I seem to remember that he talks about setting up lights for this very purpose.

Rick
Richard Green
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Seance
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I seem to recall that using red light during a seance made it easier to change your face as though you were possessed by a spirit or demon. Of course, practice must be had.

At any rate, the use of lights ( or lack of them ) should be thoughtfully considered during your presentation.
wkitwizard
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Leo Kostka wrote about his use of a black backdrop and red lights in SEANCE magazine years ago. If you have a copy, he talks about it a few times. It was he who referred to the contrast between the black drape and red lights as a "black hole" from which all light seems to be sucked into.
Nothing is truer than the incomprehensible, because the sum total of our knowledge consists of the fact that we know nothing. Our reality is an illusion. Thus illusion is reality-Punx
Almost Amazing Doug
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Quote:
On 2004-04-26 21:18, chmara wrote:

I believe the lighting guy at U of Idaho -- as I remember -- used to work with Blackstone and has a handle on this.


What?!? I've lived for over 20 years in Moscow, Idaho - home of the University of Idaho - and had no idea. And it's not a big place... Any other details? His name, etc.?

Thanks,

Doug
wkitwizard
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Stefan Dardik has written many articles about the use of a table lamp, gooseneck style with a red low wattage bulb. With this setup and a dimmer device, the light can be controlled and the effects that take place have a more dramatic impact on the audience than just candle illumination. Besides the distortion of the medium's face, other shadows and imagined forms can be seen by the sitters during the seance.
Is there anyone out there who uses this setup on a regular basis and can further "illuminate" more about
how affective the red light bulb can be?
Nothing is truer than the incomprehensible, because the sum total of our knowledge consists of the fact that we know nothing. Our reality is an illusion. Thus illusion is reality-Punx
Isper
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I have experimented with illuminating a darkened room with only a few red light bulbs in ordinary lamps to create a strange environment. This is an effective and low budget way to create a space where people will feel that the extraordinary may occur.

On a side note, I have noticed that lighting a dark room with red light tends to warp the sense of time for people including myself. This "warp" is often experienced as a sense of time slowing down. Some have even gone as far as commenting that it created a sense of timelessness.

At any rate, experiment with a few red light bulbs in your environs and see if it produces the effects you desire. It won$B!G(Bt cost that much to try and you may find something of use.
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