Alchemy Moon
Welcome to Alchemy Moon.
From Negrado; the Great Work.

?
 
HomeRegisterLog in
They are always with us.......

Share | 
 

 Horror / Bizarre performances.

Go down 
Go to page : 1, 2  Next
AuthorMessage
Freddie Valentine
200 Posts
200 Posts


Location : Ye Olde Berkshire
Registration date : 2008-03-17

PostSubject: Horror / Bizarre performances.   Thu Jan 28, 2010 9:21 am

I wanted to start an interesting discussion more than anything else on the subject of content that relates to real events.

As you know, when performing psychic / bizarre (or whatever you wish to call it) magick, some of the strongest frames, presentation wise, are those built upon real events or at the very least, myths.

There are numerous routines relating to Jack the Ripper (let us not forget - a serial killer), one I have seen using the Titanics, Aleister Crowley and of course, Colney Hatch Mental Asylum.

The reality of these subjects make the emotional connection stronger, as, if it's something the spectator already has knowledge of, then the, if you like, "anchor" is already there and built up on preconceptions.


All of the above mentioned subjects are deemed acceptable due to the passing of time. Many of these events were horrific (as were the Witch Trials which also feature in some routines) but what is deemed acceptable and what isn't?


Although the performances are deemed entertainment, would a bizarre routine using a prop that was allegedly salvaged from a Second World War concentration camp be deemed in too poor taste? Or a Peter Sutcliffe themed storyline?

How do we guage what is ok to use and what isn't?

Something where there are no surviving relatives?

In 100 years from now would bizarrists and mentalists be perfectly justified basing effects around Auszwitcz or 9/11?
Back to top Go down
http://www.lybrary.com/tarot-readers-black-book-p-77423.html
Evie Harris
200 Posts
200 Posts
avatar

Age : 118
Location : In the shaddows
Registration date : 2009-09-08

PostSubject: Re: Horror / Bizarre performances.   Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:01 am

Fantastic thread Freddie ...

I think its to do with sympathy and empathy.

to be sympathetic is to have a true understanding of something, so in this case have been around at the time of these events and remember and at times feel the horror etc that was around us.

Empathy is to imagine what it would have been like. Our brain is a very clever thing in that itself will not harm itself, it would not create something in our own minds so terrible that we would not be able to cope with the thoughts that accompany it.

An example perhaps of this was a demonstration performed to a room of forty mentalists around the theme of Lockerbie.
Now I have no knowledge of this, other than it happened and lots of people suffered. Those who were a bit older than me, were far more moved emotionally and some were even outraged that such a topic be used. I thought is was an amazing theme and very clever personally.

E x
Back to top Go down
http://www.magicnights.co.uk
reverend tristan
Neophyte
Neophyte


Location : Nottinghamshire, England
Registration date : 2009-12-30

PostSubject: Re: Horror / Bizarre performances.   Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:23 am

Very good thread.
Back to top Go down
Christopher J Gould
Administrator
avatar

Registration date : 2008-03-17

PostSubject: Re: Horror / Bizarre performances.   Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:24 pm

Agreed, a very good thread and one that is overdue.
Personally and morally, I will not create entertainment out of other's suffering. I remember being as fascinated as the next person about the romanticism of the 'Jack the Ripper', the police whistle in the misty night streets, the dark figure escaping into the shadows, the unsolved enigma - etc. Then I saw the photographs of the actual murder victims and the horrific mutilations that were done to real people. I was shocked and the romanticism fell from the whole thing pretty sharpish. This is why I have not bought the (otherwise VERY desirable) routine based on this horrific series of events put out by Lebanon Circle. I would not feel at all comfortable with it. And yet, I perform 'White Line' (based on the Titanic) regularly and do not feel and moral dissonance. So, are these dual standards? Do I need to see photos of the bloated and frozen corpses fished out of the frozen water (if there are any)?
I am damn sure that if we took the latest serial killer or tragic event as a premise for entertainment, we would feel morally sickened and we would be booed off stage. There is a parallel argument in the world of stand up comedy, where comedians have been getting themselves into trouble this side of the pond in regard to making jokes out of subjects that are beyond the limits of most people's moral values. Somehow, having been involved in comedy, and having personally known many comedians. I have more sympathy, as the comedian, as jester, has a role to play to say things about the king that the commoners cannot say. Humour has two premises, or mechanisms; the predictable (we laugh from the comfort of knowing what is to come; i.e. the 'catchphrase') and the unpredictable; we laugh at what we do not expect to come. For example, any surreal humour would fall into this category. As laughter is close to fear, as a response- i.e. fear of the unknown contents of the collective unconscious in the previous example, humour that transcends moral boundaries can have a therapeutic effect. But what when the vile Jim Davidson make a racist joke? I remember, when I was a school, a young girl was brutally raped and murdered. Her corpse was left decomposing and hanging from a light-bulb. I remember being highly distressed by the 'joke' that was doing the rounds that started with 'What is black and hangs from a light-bulb?'. Such things are clearly morally indefensible in a coherent society. However, things are more complex, and we should not jump to ready made conclusions. Whilst it is clear that making 'jokes' about such subjects is morally wrong. There is the mechanism I mentioned above at work. The unconscious is trying to process and come to terms with events that are outside it's frame of reference.
So, where is all this going?
Personally, I think that magic, like humour, can serve many useful functions - it can expand and challenge our preconception, by showing us the possibilities of what lies beyond those limiting beliefs. It can help us come to terms with events and emotions that lie beyond our experience. To give a specific example, 'Bizarre Magic' (hate that term), can help us come to terms with death and integrate the impossible to imagine into our ever-developing mind-set. I have a routine based on medieval attitudes to torture, demonic possession and other such tasty things. When researching into the subject (including the horrific event of the witch-trails mentioned), I became very uncomfortable. In my conception of time (which is, that time does not exist, as we believe it to) these events can be very close. Certainly, the concepts of torture and the vilification of a scapegoat are social phenomena that we have failed to leave behind in our distant past. Yet, a magical routine can remind us of how close such things are to the surface of our own psyche and the 'race psyche'. What I mean is, it can have a positive function, even though it is dealing with negative issues.
Maybe we do need to think about this more, and the broader issue of what potential of what we could do in this area of 'entertainment'?
Back to top Go down
Freddie Valentine
200 Posts
200 Posts


Location : Ye Olde Berkshire
Registration date : 2008-03-17

PostSubject: Re: Horror / Bizarre performances.   Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:03 am

The social awareness button in my brain is not one that is very functional, so I wouldn't have qualms about some subjects, but it would be interesting to push the boundaries a bit and see what the response is.

Using a real and horrific/controversial subject matter, will not create a 'positive' reponse but it would create a strong emotional response.

Which brings me to the subject of "the horrific as entertainment".

A lot of tv drama shows are set in hospitals, focus on murder etc and are sometimes quite graphic, yet, despite the gloom inducing subject matter, these shows are watched (I dare say 'enjoyed') by millions.

I know the stories in these shows aren't real, but the subject matter could be.

Also, people lap up dramas,, books and documentaies about real life serial killers. As soon as the Shipman and Fritzl cases ended there were books about it in your local WH Smith.


So, concluding, horrific real life events have seemed to become a form of entertainment.


Now here's a little challenge.......


Let's see who can take a real life event and change the presentation of an effect to fit it. You don't have to detail the workings, just the effect itself...
Back to top Go down
http://www.lybrary.com/tarot-readers-black-book-p-77423.html
The Curator
Neophyte
Neophyte
avatar

Age : 61
Location : Island of Bruoxélia
Registration date : 2010-01-28

PostSubject: Re: Horror / Bizarre performances.   Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:03 am

First, I believe that you can handle any theme. Including the most horrific.
But, one needs to be an artist with serious talent to do so. Our primary goal is entertainment and horror movies are a form of entertainment too.
When I created a routine based on Jack the Ripper, my main prop was a four pence coin dating from 1888. And not a razor sharp knife, blood and guts or photos of the victims.
The horror was primarly in the situation of a woman who didn't have 4 pence to pay for a night asylum.
One of my most performed bizarre routine is Oracle, the theme is the destruction of the Hindenburg LZ 129. No one ever complained against that story.
But once again, the story is told as a mystery play and the "real" effect is about Karma.
911 can be a theme. Thing about this: a person goes to a tarot reader, for fun... He/She doesn't believe in readings, but wanna try. The reading becomes incredibely precise and ends with only one tarot card and an advice. The tarot card is the Tower and the advice is, "don't go to work tomorrow"...

Back to top Go down
http://www.surnateum.org
Freddie Valentine
200 Posts
200 Posts


Location : Ye Olde Berkshire
Registration date : 2008-03-17

PostSubject: Re: Horror / Bizarre performances.   Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:30 am

Nice thinking Christian.

I agree that practically anything can be made entertaining or engaging depending on:

1) The presentation and how the subject matter is handled

2) That the events have relevance to the story told and that the subject matter is not used to either be just plain outrageous or gratuitious.

3) That the reason why the subject is chosen in the first place is that it is something that spectators can easily relate to as they have some prior knowledge of it and can empaphise or invest more emotion in the routine as it has some curious interest.


Jack the Ripper has a fair degree of romantic mystique involved due to the otherworldliness of the fog drenched location of Victorian London and the dapper dress code that many of that era adopted.

However, if it was a subject matter closer to home, as in it could be something that could happen in THEIR street, would they be more intrgued by it or would it just leave them with a disturbing feeling?

With, for want of a better word, "mentalism" performances, it is often advised to make the performance as realistic as possilble. Although sceptical spectators can momentarily flirt with entertaining the idea you can read minds, etc (the same way that reality is suspended when watching a film) is part of the appeal that the mind can go back to a safe place, assuring themselves it was a 'clever trick'?
Back to top Go down
http://www.lybrary.com/tarot-readers-black-book-p-77423.html
The Curator
Neophyte
Neophyte
avatar

Age : 61
Location : Island of Bruoxélia
Registration date : 2010-01-28

PostSubject: Re: Horror / Bizarre performances.   Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:03 am

My position as a Curator of one of the most incredible collection of strange artifacts is, apparently, a neutral one.
This character has a very high level of potential in suspension of disbelieve: after all, the Hauntiques are "real", the stories can be traced etc.
But the Surnateum is only the tip of my gigantic iceberg. People are free to be only entertained by the performances or intrigued by what's behind my universe.
Why do a "Collector" collects those strange artefacts ? Where does he find the funds ? What does he believe ? Why isn't the Surnateum an open-to-the-public museum ? What secrets are hidden behind this universe ? Who are the Sensitives ? What is the relation between pure legerdemain and real magic ?..
I don't show a vampire but a vampire killing kit. I don't claim any particular "power", but I can demonstrate a perfect tarot card reading (I don't need to claim anything, I just show it. I create a distance between me and the phenomenon.
I've created very strange concepts like the X-Mentalism, the Dhampire and werewolf mentalism (and now I'm working on Tulku mentalism).
My universe emerges from movies and fantastic litterature, prestidigitation is only a tool.
I don't claim to be a magician, people will do that for me...

And yes, I can handle a deck of cards...



Last edited by The Curator on Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
http://www.surnateum.org
ALEXANDRE
Administrator
avatar

Age : 52
Location : South Florida
Registration date : 2008-03-14

PostSubject: Re: Horror / Bizarre performances.   Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:15 am

Sweet mucks, Christian!

For many years I've performed a Jack the Ripper routine/seance of sorts with cards utilizing an English Penny from 1885, one that could've actually been handled by Jack himself.

I also have not purchased Lebanon Circle's Jack the Ripper effect due to the pictures. Personally, it's a bit over the top and it turns some spectators off.

Another "bizarre" routine I perform regularly is White Star by Jim Critchlow, but the pictures are not gruesome, just regular old photos on card stock.

In my Black School book I had quite a few bizarre routines (soft stuff, nothing hardcore), but the only one that ever got any objection was a card routine called "Stalker" where a card freely selected ends up next to the a card being represented by a "Stalker". A good friend of mine had been stalked and the routine brought her unpleasant memories.
Back to top Go down
http://www.EyesandMinds.com
The Curator
Neophyte
Neophyte
avatar

Age : 61
Location : Island of Bruoxélia
Registration date : 2010-01-28

PostSubject: Re: Horror / Bizarre performances.   Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:46 pm

The video about Mucks represents only a minuscule fraction of what it's possible to do.
I give you just ONE idea I'm currently using in a routine called "the Coney Island Witch" (story is on the green forum). During the story, the spectator is given an original 1908 edition of the Gypsy Witch Deck. He shuffles it toroughly and selects three cards. The cards are slowly and gently put aside. They match a "prediction". You just have one of the best card force in existence that can be totally surrounded. You can get rid from the criss force forever Twisted Evil
Think about why I originally put this video on the spooky section of the green board.
Obviously, the way mucks are handled are not really classic.
And it's only a single example. Imagine what you can do in mentalism...
Back to top Go down
http://www.surnateum.org
Freddie Valentine
200 Posts
200 Posts


Location : Ye Olde Berkshire
Registration date : 2008-03-17

PostSubject: Re: Horror / Bizarre performances.   Mon Feb 01, 2010 7:41 am

Great thinking, the original Gypsy Witch deck must look pretty spooky with all that genuine aging...

WItchcraft is still a powerful and popular subject with occult themed magic.
Aleister Crowley is also someone that is used frequently.

How would an audience respond to a similar effect if Charles Manson or David Koresh were used?
Back to top Go down
http://www.lybrary.com/tarot-readers-black-book-p-77423.html
phillsmiff
Neophyte
Neophyte


Registration date : 2010-01-30

PostSubject: Re: Horror / Bizarre performances.   Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:36 am

The Curator wrote:
First, I believe that you can handle any theme. Including the most horrific.
...
The tarot card is the Tower and the advice is, "don't go to work tomorrow"...


That's about as black as it gets I guess, too dark for me for sure. I agree that art should be able to handle anything, but the further from the shipping routes you get the better need to be at navigating around the rocks.

I feel the real question is not whether mentalism can shoulder these heavy subjects but why you would want to invoke them in your work? If you are using a subject that is close-to-the-bone simply because it is guaranteed to ellicit a powerful reaction then, in my opinion (and this is purely an aesthetic judgement, not anything more) you should probably think about not doing it. If your art communicates something new or valuable about whatever terrible event, then you at least have a reason, but if your only comment is 'wasn't it awful, look I've made a card trick about it' then you are a mile from the mark.

Of course all just my opinion, your mileage may vary!

Phill
Back to top Go down
Christopher J Gould
Administrator
avatar

Registration date : 2008-03-17

PostSubject: Re: Horror / Bizarre performances.   Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:07 am

I agree, look to the motivation.
Back to top Go down
Freddie Valentine
200 Posts
200 Posts


Location : Ye Olde Berkshire
Registration date : 2008-03-17

PostSubject: Re: Horror / Bizarre performances.   Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:42 am

I am speaking in the sense of performances that are not perceived as 'magic' but more as something real. In the sense that, if you were hosting a seance night, anything too "magiciany" would take away the believability of the situation and make it all into one big 'trick' or demonstration of cleverness.

When creating an atmosphere of believability, many real lift events are used to add to the authenticity of the performance. Using figures such as Crowley and Jack the Ripper etc takes the performance from the realm of make believe and into the real world.

For example, I have been researching somone who lived near to me and headed a witchcraft cult in the 1950's and 1960's. On Summer Solstice night in 1966 he drank a chalice of poisoned wine, essentially offering himself as a human sacrifice and subsequently died.

Now this event happened in some spooky woodland near to where I live and I was considering a 'paranoramal' event starting at a very old pub near the woods and then heading the group to the spot where this happened for a midnight seance.

Obviously, getting permission is the first obstacle, but the other thing that concerns me is that as he died just over 40 years ago, this is a fairly recent event in comparison to the aforementioned ones. Ethically, could this offend surviving friends and relatives? Or due to the nature of the man's life work (running a black magic coven and writing on the subject) is he a fair enough subject?
Back to top Go down
http://www.lybrary.com/tarot-readers-black-book-p-77423.html
ALEXANDRE
Administrator
avatar

Age : 52
Location : South Florida
Registration date : 2008-03-14

PostSubject: Re: Horror / Bizarre performances.   Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:25 am

I see what you mean, Freddie.

Though he certainly could be seen as a fair enough subject, personally I would feel uncomfortable doing it precisely because this could offend surviving friends and relatives.

You could find out about surviving family and friends and speak with them about what you want to do. They may like the idea, you never know.
Back to top Go down
http://www.EyesandMinds.com
Freddie Valentine
200 Posts
200 Posts


Location : Ye Olde Berkshire
Registration date : 2008-03-17

PostSubject: Re: Horror / Bizarre performances.   Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:40 am

Hopefully it will add to his mystique!

Good advice Alexandre, I am trying to track them down and have only come to dead ends.
Back to top Go down
http://www.lybrary.com/tarot-readers-black-book-p-77423.html
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Horror / Bizarre performances.   Tue Feb 02, 2010 10:36 am

I feel there is already so much suffering and negativity in the world, that I choose to dwell exclusively in the light.


Julia Like a Star @ heaven
Back to top Go down
The Curator
Neophyte
Neophyte
avatar

Age : 61
Location : Island of Bruoxélia
Registration date : 2010-01-28

PostSubject: Re: Horror / Bizarre performances.   Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:45 pm

There's another thing you must be aware if you use classical theme like Jack the Ripper, Vampires...
Do you have something original to tell about the subject ?
I'll give you an example both from my own site and from Hauntiques:
The example is interesting for various reasons, one is that's an effect but you don't need any trick.
You should read it with a chessboard and move the chess pieces...

http://www.surnateum.org/English/surnateum/collection/particulieres/after%20sunset.htm
Back to top Go down
http://www.surnateum.org
Christopher J Gould
Administrator
avatar

Registration date : 2008-03-17

PostSubject: Re: Horror / Bizarre performances.   Tue Feb 02, 2010 3:16 pm

Amazing stuff!
What a fascinating read.
I am in total agreement with where you are going on this. I have put something up for Evie's challenge that explores similar ideas - 'an effect that does not need a trick'. I really feel that is where the more progressive ideas are going, towards intimate pieces of theater and story telling - we will know when we get there when we leave our 'tricks' (mechanics) at home.
The site is just brimming with this philosophy........
Unfortunately, this will now take a good month from my life reading through the whole thing...... I had planned to go on holiday too!
Back to top Go down
Freddie Valentine
200 Posts
200 Posts


Location : Ye Olde Berkshire
Registration date : 2008-03-17

PostSubject: Re: Horror / Bizarre performances.   Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:06 am

Great thinking Christian and a good story!

Storytelling is an important part of the whole experience, which is why the current fad for silent performances (I suppose that's mostly the you tube crowd though) leaves me cold.

Even the old-style 'patter' that magicians used engaged someone in what was happening and created that emotional envolvement rather than just a 'dead' object like a deck of cards.

There's nothing more engaging than a good story told well and with bizarre/horror magic, the spookier the better. It suprises me though, that there haven't been any routines where the story is based around either the trenches in World War I or anything to do with WWII, considering that these events are both something that have been in the public psyche for decades via films, novels etc.
Back to top Go down
http://www.lybrary.com/tarot-readers-black-book-p-77423.html
The Curator
Neophyte
Neophyte
avatar

Age : 61
Location : Island of Bruoxélia
Registration date : 2010-01-28

PostSubject: Re: Horror / Bizarre performances.   Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:16 am

Freddie Valentine wrote:


There's nothing more engaging than a good story told well and with bizarre/horror magic, the spookier the better. It suprises me though, that there haven't been any routines where the story is based around either the trenches in World War I or anything to do with WWII, considering that these events are both something that have been in the public psyche for decades via films, novels etc.

Oh yes, there are. My universe revolves around WWI and WWII. (The Surnateum has a pre-history from 1750 - the European Vampire craze - to 1875), then the story of the Collectors starts. Rhesus is a serie of stories (and effects) around the theme of vampires and nazis. Rhesus was published in French as a separate book with great Belgian illustrator Yves Swolfs. It was also the first magic routine that became a comic book.




For more about Rhesus, check the Surnateum site.
I create stories first, then, if there's a need for, I create the effects. As I told you before, illusionnisme is only a tool for me.
Back to top Go down
http://www.surnateum.org
The Curator
Neophyte
Neophyte
avatar

Age : 61
Location : Island of Bruoxélia
Registration date : 2010-01-28

PostSubject: Re: Horror / Bizarre performances.   Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:20 am

Freddie Valentine wrote:
Great thinking, the original Gypsy Witch deck must look pretty spooky with all that genuine aging...



Back to top Go down
http://www.surnateum.org
Dr Jae
Neophyte
Neophyte
avatar

Location : UK
Registration date : 2010-01-09

PostSubject: Re: Horror / Bizarre performances.   Tue Feb 09, 2010 6:30 pm

Distance, emotional or physical is key here. Something about the Saddleworth Moors Murders may work Stateside but in the UK I doubt anyone would be able to do anything along that theme for a very long time. People alive and about who were connected, if only by distant association as well as the barbaric nature of what happened.

Similarly with war related material. Can you imagine the furore if there were an "entertainment" made out of dying soldiers now. Yet there were many war movies made during the war and soon after including some comedies. It's the underlaying message and the distance to or from the brutal truth which become important considerations.

Within bizarre (I also dislike the term - those who don't know start immediately assuming it's about laying on beds of nails or gory effects) I am struck by the need for many to aim at the horror or fright spectrum. I enjoy these very much but there are other emotions we can pluck too.

If anyone has suggestions for an effect which may induce weeping but resolves with something loving I'd be interested. I think I've spent too long near madgicians and it's blocking my emotional side. No, I don't want anything about abused children... (although I do have an outline idea I may discuss with a couple of you elsewhere) ...or anything too slushy.

Bottom line is that we are out to entertain. That is usually light and frothy but if we are to present theatre maybe it's the theatre that should be looked at. Wink
Back to top Go down
The Curator
Neophyte
Neophyte
avatar

Age : 61
Location : Island of Bruoxélia
Registration date : 2010-01-28

PostSubject: Re: Horror / Bizarre performances.   Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:30 pm

As I told before, my main source of inspiration are movies and litterature.
What can be done in a movie, can be done in magic. You just need the talent of doing it well ... or not.
Back to top Go down
http://www.surnateum.org
Wishmaster
Neophyte
Neophyte


Location : Halifax, Yorkshire
Registration date : 2010-07-05

PostSubject: Re: Horror / Bizarre performances.   Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:03 am

We all have subjects we’d rather not think about or discuss and that would offend or upset us if presented as some form of entertainment. I find it hard to accept the notion that with the right skill as a performer, anyone could bypass these limits or self imposed boundaries. The obvious question is: if you don’t know what these boundaries are, how can you be sure you aren’t overstepping them?

For example, I know a lady who would enjoy a show around the Tarot, but would be offended if a performer used any bad language. How do you judge audience expectations? Is that even possible?

Let’s say you’re performing a dark themed show for an intimate group. During the show, you realise you have deeply upset or offended an audience member. What do you do? How do you deal with that? Would you use the effect again, or would it depend on how many people were offended versus how many seemed unperturbed? Would the show go on or would you stop briefly and move on to something else?
Back to top Go down
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Horror / Bizarre performances.   

Back to top Go down
 
Horror / Bizarre performances.
Back to top 
Page 1 of 2Go to page : 1, 2  Next
 Similar topics
-
» Motility Issues and Gastroparesis
» Gen Chat XLI: Horror Blind Bags!
» End Of The World 'Prophet' Predicts HORROR Earthquake To Hit America In TWO DAYS
» FATHER'S HORROR AS DAUGHTER, 7, RECEIVES PERSONAL LETTERS FROM TEACHER CALLING THE GIRL PET NAMES LIKE 'STINKY BUTT' AND CONTAINING PHOTOS OF THE MAN STICKING HIS TONGUE OUT
» TRUTH NEVER SLEEPS - THE NEON DEMON OFFICIAL TRAILER #1 - ELLE FANNING, HORROR MOVIE HD EXPOSED!

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Alchemy Moon :: Archive :: The Old Moon :: RIBINO :: Debate-
Jump to: