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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Hero's Journey in Magic Scripts (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

deanpickles
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Has anyone written about using the Hero's Journey to map out a routine? I feel like this should have been touched on in Magic & Meaning -- I remember either Berger or Neale discussing Jane Yolen's writings around myth, which treads similar waters -- but I don't think it really was. I'm sure Berger talks about it briefly in Strange Ceremonies. Someone must have discussed it deeper, though. I'd love to read some thoughts of magicians better than I....
tommy
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I am only an amateur. I think the difference between a play and magic is that there is no denouement after the climax in magic: conflicts are not resolved; the audience is left in a dilemma. Thus, the structures for drama do not fit the bill for our magic. Our magic also is not set in the context of a fantasy world but in the context of the real world: it is magic because it cannot be here and now. The Hero's Journey is better suited for film and plays, perhaps.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On May 13, 2019, deanpickles wrote:
Has anyone written about using the Hero's Journey to map out a routine? ...
Is the Dai Vernon presentation of the Triumph effect close enough? Our craft brings story to the audience in terms of effect - the story they tell others about what they saw happen.

Fables (stories) have frames. A guy named Propp did some interesting work on stories and culture that you might find useful when designing routines.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Pop Haydn
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Don't tell stories about the Trickster. Be the Trickster. People should be telling stories about you. "I saw this guy and he..."
deanpickles
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Ah, but Pop -- even with your dollar bill to raw egg, there's storytelling, and narrative, and plot. It's not just a trick. It's a trick with a story defining it. The advice is solid -- "Don't tell a tale" -- but I'm considering how the basic Joseph Campbell plot structure could be used to help direct the plot within the trick, and drive it further and deeper...
Jonathan Townsend
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Getting a volunteer up to be the star of a routine ... like in a kids show?

Call to adventure. Discovery of seemingly impossible challenge. A few false starts. Some initiation/instruction. It worked! Take a bow. Return to audience as a hero.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Pop Haydn
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On Jun 11, 2019, deanpickles wrote:
Ah, but Pop -- even with your dollar bill to raw egg, there's storytelling, and narrative, and plot. It's not just a trick. It's a trick with a story defining it. The advice is solid -- "Don't tell a tale" -- but I'm considering how the basic Joseph Campbell plot structure could be used to help direct the plot within the trick, and drive it further and deeper...


It may be that you will be forcing a form on the trick instead of discovering what is actually within needing to be told. Why slather meaning onto the trick before discovering what meaning is already there?

I am not saying you would do that, just warning that it is something to beware of...
The_Mediocre_Gatsby
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The Hero Cycle would make fine presentation frame if you were going to do a series of routines for a particular spectator over the course of a year or so. If I was going to do something like this, I would probably start with an idea like the one Andy outlines here: http://www.thejerx.com/blog/2016/6/12/a-......tle-idea

If I was going to do this, I would choose someone who I've recently had a conversation with about my interest in magic. A young person getting interested in magic would be perfect for this frame. Imagine if a mysterious package appeared at their door one day with some basic instructions and a short note from some enigmatic man halfway across the globe. The instructions would reference their recent interest in magic and explain to bring the package to you in order to experience it together. And off you go.
tommy
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“Derren Brown plans on creating a scenario where his subject, Phil, a man who believes that America has an ‘immigration problem’, will willingly sacrifice his own life for a stranger he wouldn’t identify with, specifically an illegal immigrant.”

https://www.unilad.co.uk/film-and-tv/der......ts-life/


Escape artists tend to save themselves whereas heroes tend to save others.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
deanpickles
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Yeah, Derren Brown and Andy J are definitely primo users of the technique. I should go re-read Amateur at the Kitchen Table...
Jonathan Townsend
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On Jun 11, 2019, deanpickles wrote:
...and drive it further and deeper...


That's a different kind of issue. First they have to give you permission to affect them at all. Awkward procedures and obviously specious magical cues don't help.

Jerry Deutsch has been sharing fine short routines which leave room for your character to be seen or perhaps change as your act goes along.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Jonathan Townsend
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Getting back to myth: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/why-i-sel......_6739046
His may well be a more useful approach for us. Smile
...to all the coins I've dropped here
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