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 Making it personal - Stronger impact ?

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Evie Harris
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PostSubject: Making it personal - Stronger impact ?   Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:09 pm

Ok so this maybe newbie thinking, it maybe girly thinking, hell it maybe a newbie girly thinking lol...

Do you think that making performance personal makes it stronger ?

Now id ont mean the audience, obviously it needs to be personal to them in some way otherwise there is little point.

What what about your emotion.

Do you think using genuine emotional ties adds to a performance.

An example of this is anything along the haunted line.

Why do people not use their own passed on relatives ?

I know personally if one of mine made contact (yes in a pseudo way) my face would genuinely light up, even though i know its not, it would invoke a reaction inside that would look genuine thereby maybe enhancing the performance.

im toying (haha) with a new premise idea and part of that takes in a lot of me, who I am and im not sure if attaching genuine emotion to certain effects would enhance things or make them complicated or whatever

is this making sense or do I need to go into more detail in the inner sections ?

E x
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Christopher J Gould
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PostSubject: Re: Making it personal - Stronger impact ?   Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:41 pm

Glad someone is still alive!

Emotion is the cornerstone of any art, in my opinion. Think about it, any great art has emotional content - and this is especially true of the performing arts. I feel that if something is performed without (genuine) emotional content, it has only transient value.
The manner of achieving this emotional contagion is through the performer communicating his/her own emotional engagement. I do not feel that the subject matter needs to be real (although; the idea of my ancestors coming back would engender a wonderful feeling of dread and horror for the bizzarist performer!). I think that if you are performing then you can take on what ever role, and experience the emotions as if it were true. Now, no one wants to see a performer blubbing and sinking into depression - but the conveying of an emotional state to an audience is the most potent thing we can do - again, in my opinion.
So, this is an interesting point and one worth considering. Somehow, i feel it is an important thread in the future of our art.
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Evie Harris
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PostSubject: Re: Making it personal - Stronger impact ?   Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:45 pm

This kinda comes from something I read or saw from Bob Cassidy.

Ya know about when using a crib etc and using the time when you are 'reading' minds to do the math so to speak. So it looks real in that you actually are 'thinking' why fake it if you can be real.

This is kinda my thinking,

im not talking blubbing, wailing, but more subtle things.

Im not explaining this well am I lol..

E x
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The Curator
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PostSubject: Re: Making it personal - Stronger impact ?   Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:14 am

Why are some movies better than others ? Is this a question of quality of emotion generate by the film ?
What is talent ? Why are some performers more attractive than others ? How can you concentrate "Quality" in a routine or show ?
Find the answers to these questions and apply it to your magic.
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Freddie Valentine
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PostSubject: Re: Making it personal - Stronger impact ?   Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:06 am

As with a decent film, people are emotionally involved via the believability of the actors. If a performance seems contrived then people sense this and fail to connect emtionally as they feel as if they are being 'conned' and investing in something emotionally which would prove to be fake.

Emotional connection is the one thing that elevates, for want of a better word 'magic', from being a clever trick into an artform and experience which can move somebody. That's probably the reason why many of us are drawn to storytelling.

I can compare it to a painting at an art gallery. If you just look at the picture itself, of course you can admire it and the skill involved, but sometimes, when you have some knowledge of the artists life and what inspired the artwork, it can have a stronger emotional resonance.

Getting people to relate to you is one of the most underated and powerful skills there is in all of entertainment. Getting one person involved emotionally is one thing, but a whole room??

When working in the comedy world, I have seen many performers use their performance as a demonstration of their intellect, which may bring forth chuckles of recognition from those who believe they are in the know, but this can also alienate a huge chunk of the audience. I believe in directness and clarity and finding a common ground which people can relate to.

A strong example of how personal interest outwieghs admiring someone's skill is if a magician walks into a party or some other social gathering and performs some highly impressive tricks of a great quality and then goes on to produce a tarot deck and offer readings. I know these things don't really gel together, but, no matter how impressive the magic is, people will not state they don;t want a reading and would prefer the magic continues. The readings are directed at them personally and by their very nature, they have already opened up to investing their emotion.

Regarding performance in front of a crowd, a performer asking questions to the audience as a whole and getting them to think triggers their emotions. "I would like you all to think of a time you felt like this." "Every one has had some kind of psychic experience, I am sure if you think hard enough, something will come to mind you couldn't quite explain."

These are not the greatest examples, but by encouraging people to connect with their emotions, you can chnage their mood dramatically, whether it's happy emotion, or a sense of 'oddness'.
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The Curator
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PostSubject: Re: Making it personal - Stronger impact ?   Fri Feb 19, 2010 2:28 am

Freddie Valentine wrote:
As with a decent film, people are emotionally involved via the believability of the actors.

I agree. This leads us to suspension of disbelieve... and the way to make it work.
Spectators will become part of your stories, actors.
Think about how much money has been spend for the 3-D settings of Avatar. Visual effects are impressive, but the story...
As magicians, we can create worlds like those but... for real. We can offer mystery, adventure, awe... for real.
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Freddie Valentine
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PostSubject: Re: Making it personal - Stronger impact ?   Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:52 am

You are bang on there Mr Curator, sir.

I always consider magic to be "real life special effects".


When people come across something that is out of their usual reality, enveloping into a make believe, story telling framework gives more sense and perspective to it rather than just "something weird" happening.

One reason why I despise those you tube videos performed in complete silence, with some horrendous pseudo-rebellious rock band's song being played across the top is because there is no emotional connection. It's just showing off. That's also the reason why juggling fails to inspire me other than thinking "he's a clever chap".

The more involved with something you are doing they are, the more is taken away from it.
In that the spectator takes more away from it.
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rufio
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PostSubject: Re: Making it personal - Stronger impact ?   Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:21 am

Evie talks about an emotional hook, and I feel magic / mentalism CAN have an emotional hook (Derren Brown and Paul Brook talk about this a lot in Absolute Magic and The Alchemical Tools), although, as seen in the comedy film The Magicians with David Mitchell and Robert Webb of Peep Show fame, sometimes it can backfire, where Webb's character owns up to being an absolute sham.

Rather than a straight-out-of-the-packet-style-patter, however, I do find that where possible an emotional hook - or, rather, a premise - makes someone relate to an effect rather than effectively the magi stating "check this out!" (a la the many hordes of Youtube magicians who relish in recreating packet effects), which is why a lot of mentalism, I find, resonates more, and is certainly more lasting in impact. Thus, there are peek wallet effects I do that essentially have a lot of padding, although I ask the spectator to think of their favourite teacher and imagine them writing a word on the blackboard, etc... this often evokes a fond memory and leads to a more personal effect with true spectator participation (other than selecting a card). Similarly, I've found that my personal fave has to be Coinvexed, as whilst magical, there is so much scope to play with an emotional hook (e.g. "think of a time in your life where you felt like you had superhuman strength")

As to emotional resonance, to this day, I am still unsure if my friend humoured me or was genuinely affected, but at a small gathering of friends I tried Paul Harris' Deep Astonishment 2. Some of the members here may look down on such an effect, as I'd imagine compared to more bona fide tarot effects this could be seen as relatively Mickey Mouse in its cartooinishness. It took a while to build up, but I utilised a few things learnt from the Ian Rowland book, Full Facts Book of Cold Reading.


I then tried it later on for another friend, who sadly had discovered his grandfather had died that evening, so felt guilty amongst that it was the revelation, but I aspired to do the effect in such a way that my friend was able to think of his grandfather in a privately introspective manner. Whether or not it was poignant or inappropriate I remain unclear about, but in the impromptu / makeshift parlour setting, this effect is perfect. So like Webb's character I felt like a fraud, but whether in a small way this effect was a cathartic experience, it does show that an emotional premise, or at least something that resonates more personally, does have a strong impact.
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rufio
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PostSubject: Re: Making it personal - Stronger impact ?   Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:24 am

I also agree that the more involved with something you are doing the spectator is, the more is taken away from it, as Freddie says.
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