Passion, Emotion, and Magic

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Passion, Emotion, and Magic

Postby Guest » August 10th, 2005, 12:37 pm

Be warned! The following is nothing more than my ramblings based on something I saw this weekend...

I've been a magician for nearly 15 years now, and I'll be 40 years old in two months. I keep asking myself why I still do this thing called magic after feeling like my magic has become stale...like I'm getting bored with it. I don't know why, I have just felt like I wasn't seeing myself doing what I had in my heart to do. The problem was that I wasn't sure what was actually in my heart...

Monday evening, while cleaning the dinner dishes from the table, I began changing channels on the TV to see what was playing. As I came across PBS, there was a concert of classical music with a Dutch violinist by the name of Andre Rieu. I stopped what I was doing and watched the show. If you haven't seen it, check your local PBS station for when it comes on, it is fantastic.

Anyway, while watching this performance of Rieu and his orchestra, I saw something amazing...comedy, drama, passion, emotion, laughter, tears...the whole gambit of emotions was expressed. One minute he had the audience laughing at the antics of a 3 year old violinist who had asked Mr Rieu if he could perform with his orchestra (he allowed him to do so...the kid wasn't that bad!). Later, as he's getting the entire crowd to sing along to the music of Habanera (from Carmen), he stops the crowd of 20,000 plus in the middle of the song and says, "Who's singing flat?", which gets a riotous laughter from the audience. He does this a second time, then on the third time, brings out one of the best female singers I've ever heard to "show them how it's done".
Then he introduced a classical piece from Japan and told the story of the piece. As he started playing, the camera panned the audience and a Japanese lady in the audience was weeping...moved to tears by the emotional music she was hearing that spoke of her native land.

When the show was all said and done, I sat there speechless. My wife looked at me and asked if there was anything wrong. All I could say was, "That's it!". "What's it?", she asked.

"That's what I want my magic to do to people"...

And so now the work begins...

Rick

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Pete Biro
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Re: Passion, Emotion, and Magic

Postby Pete Biro » August 10th, 2005, 1:23 pm

Great. Now quit thinking about the TRICKS... think about you... and your audience... and how to have FUN with them... it isn't you doing a show... it's you and your audience sharing a magical journey... it can change from one emotion to the other and back...

JUST DO IT :genii:
Stay tooned.

Guest

Re: Passion, Emotion, and Magic

Postby Guest » August 10th, 2005, 1:56 pm

I don't know when I have been so moved by anything in magic. Your post makes worthwhile the time I have wasted pouring through much of the material on this site. Rem acu tetigisti. I congratulate you on having achieved such wisdom so young. Thank you.
Tonga

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Re: Passion, Emotion, and Magic

Postby Guest » August 10th, 2005, 2:04 pm

Pete,
You hit it! That's exactly what I'm doing now, getting to the heart of who I am and how to present that to an audience...

I heard someone once say that there is a difference between hearing a middle school orchestra perform a piece of music, and hearing Yo Yo Ma perform the same piece.

I guess I've graduated and now want to show the world something deeper, something more of myself through the medium of magic.

Rick

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Pete Biro
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Re: Passion, Emotion, and Magic

Postby Pete Biro » August 11th, 2005, 10:12 am

This reminds me of something I noted many moons ago.

We used to have a great place to work in San Francisco, called the MAGIC CELLAR. A number of well-known performers cut their teeth there, notably Harry Anderson and Martin Lewis.

We used to have both close up and small stage shows, and being a cellar, it was downstairs in the same building (connected) to Earthquake McGoons, home of Turk Murphy's Jazz Band.

You could go up the stairs and listen to the music, and I used to tell some of the performers, "Now that is getting the audience (when they played "When the Saints Come Marching In" the place went nutz) -- if one could ONLY GET THAT KIND OF REACTION with your magic!"
Stay tooned.

Brian Marks
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Re: Passion, Emotion, and Magic

Postby Brian Marks » August 11th, 2005, 2:10 pm

Congrats Pete for hitting 4444 on your posts. Mazel Tov!

Yes I agree its about the performer. You should bring the audience into your world, what interests you. My 2 cents.

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Re: Passion, Emotion, and Magic

Postby Terrence » August 11th, 2005, 2:20 pm

One of my favorite DVD performances is Ute Lemper sings Kurt Weil.

Virtuoso voice control, beauty, theatricality, and total audience captivation, in three languages!

If any of us could do with our magic what she does with singing, we'd rule the magical world.

Check it out.

Guest

Re: Passion, Emotion, and Magic

Postby Guest » August 18th, 2005, 3:42 pm

Why do most magicians fall short when trying to make a true emotional connection to the audience?

Why isn't an audience at a magic show moved to tears when the magician is impaled on a sword?

Why do we cry/ laugh/ get mad/ get nervous at a Broadway show, when we know that they are just actors?

Really think about the quote by Robert Houdin, "A magician is an actor playing the part of a magician."

If the spectators can separate the magician from the character, in their mind, does it change the stakes?


-Adam Grace
http://www.adamgracemagic.com

Michel Huot
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Re: Passion, Emotion, and Magic

Postby Michel Huot » August 19th, 2005, 5:19 am

I totally agree with Pete

In fact, it is weird that magicians always practice the techniques and tries to find new trick. I wrote in the CAM (Canadian assosciation of Magicians journal called Northern Peaks that for me techniques count for 5% of a succesful performance, the tricks, 10% and that 85% is the relationship built between you and your audience.

In that relationship, a lot is built in the first minute.

If something positive is built, then the audience will be moved by the magician.

Of course the tricks and techniques must be flawless. If after a performance the audience says: wow what a great magician' I consider that I failed. If on the other hand they say 'what a great man, he was fun to be with' Then, it goes beyond the tricks.

When after a performance I talk to some people they oten tell me that what I do (not only tricks) is incredible. I reply: when you look at me, you see illusions, when I look at you, I see MAGIC'

Imagine how they feel...

Tricks aren't important, people are!

Just my 2 canadian cents!

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Re: Passion, Emotion, and Magic

Postby Jonathan Townsend » August 19th, 2005, 6:15 am

Originally posted by Rick Green:
..."That's what I want my magic to do to people"...
Can we go with "for" instead of "to" ?
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

Jeff Eline
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Re: Passion, Emotion, and Magic

Postby Jeff Eline » August 20th, 2005, 5:55 am

Mr. Racherbaumer has a very good column on this topic in the current issue of Antinomy.

The Artful Ledger: Over time, however, cardmen eventually catch on that lay people don't care about the 'inner workings' (of card tricks) and the rest. As Ken Weber points out, audiences care about themselves and want to have fun. They desire meaningful experiences. Therefore, sooner or later cardmen, if they want to be successful entertainers, begin shifting their focus from modalities to creating dramatic magic. In other words, they cease doing tricks and begin concentrating on creating illusions.

Guest

Re: Passion, Emotion, and Magic

Postby Guest » August 26th, 2005, 9:34 am

Originally posted by Jeff Eline:
Mr. Racherbaumer has a very good column on this topic in the current issue of Antinomy.

The Artful Ledger: [b]Over time, however, cardmen eventually catch on that lay people don't care about the 'inner workings' (of card tricks) and the rest. As Ken Weber points out, audiences care about themselves and want to have fun. They desire meaningful experiences. Therefore, sooner or later cardmen, if they want to be successful entertainers, begin shifting their focus from modalities to creating dramatic magic. In other words, they cease doing tricks and begin concentrating on creating illusions.
[/b]
Beautiful! That's it exactly. Someone mentioned the impaled illusion. I think the audience doesn't "care" because we don't give them a reason to do so. If the point of the performance is "watch me do this", then it's going to be just that. If, however, the point of the performance is deeper (I'm thinking right now of Max Howard's wonderful portrayal of Gus Rich in which I've seen grown men cry during parts of his act), then there has to be more given from the performer.
I remember seeing Hal Holbrook perform his Mark Twain show. After about 2 minutes, it was no longer Hal Holbrook on the stage...Mark Twain had travelled through time and was speaking to an audience that evening...one of the most powerful things I've ever seen in my life.

Rick


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