Continuity in performance and discontinuity as plot

Discussions of new films, books, television shows, and media indirectly related to magic and magicians. For example, there may be a book on mnemonics or theatrical technique we should know or at least know about.
Jonathan Townsend
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Continuity in performance and discontinuity as plot

Postby Jonathan Townsend » May 3rd, 2010, 9:35 am

There's been some discussion online about two instances of a character being in action at the same time near the same place.

Okay, what if you could try out all the possible options, do a reset, then proceed with the one you liked the best?

At first consideration such a script writing process might seem a Douglas Adams meets John Cleese chore. But need that be the case? What cues can we use to let audiences in on this use of the many worlds approach to making some tricks work?

Flesh and Stone and lots of luck there - as remember, there's no such thing as a distance formula to compute the distance between things or events in alternate universes.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: Continuity in performance and discontinuity as plot

Postby Seuss » May 6th, 2010, 7:14 pm

mind = blown
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Re: Continuity in performance and discontinuity as plot

Postby Jim Maloney » May 6th, 2010, 8:16 pm

Kinda like "Sure Thing" by David Ives?
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Re: Continuity in performance and discontinuity as plot

Postby Jonathan Townsend » May 6th, 2010, 9:57 pm

That's behind the scenes. Let's go with Groundhog Day from her perspective. Now what if the Bill Murray character's day permitted him to watch his other day selves (or interact)?

They don't need to know that there are plenty of other alternatives which did not work out so well.

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Michael Kamen
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Re: Continuity in performance and discontinuity as plot

Postby Michael Kamen » May 6th, 2010, 10:33 pm

The good news is the alternate universes are not really so far apart. We can talk plot, claim, or character. Whats your pleasure?
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Re: Continuity in performance and discontinuity as plot

Postby Jonathan Townsend » May 6th, 2010, 10:55 pm

I'm thinking "implied claim" - IMHO there's no need to tell them what they can see or that we have read some modern fiction (or physics).
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Michael Kamen
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Re: Continuity in performance and discontinuity as plot

Postby Michael Kamen » May 6th, 2010, 11:38 pm

When I start thinking about this, I start recollecting how plausible a claim it is for quite a few people I have known over the years. Always stops me from pursuing such themes, as fun as they are to play out.

How to establish the intended irony?
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Re: Continuity in performance and discontinuity as plot

Postby Jonathan Townsend » May 7th, 2010, 7:46 am

Michael Kamen wrote:...How to establish the intended irony?


That can be tough. Someone had to tell me the good luck kitty at the Japanese restaurant was not a gum ball machine or Schroedinger's cat.

I was thinking just noticeable differences - like the deck (and case) changing color behind the dealdown of the your card at some number type revelation. With a nod to Richard Hatch for showing me that foreground background observational phenomenon. :)

No idea what to say of folks who consider the "many worlds" or "you in the future sent you that package" storyline plausible outside of fiction. Any chance Planck's constant is different in their neck of the woods?

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Re: Continuity in performance and discontinuity as plot

Postby Michael Kamen » May 7th, 2010, 1:14 pm

The nice thing about hypothetical physics as a theme, is that it is tough enough to stand up to playful mockery and laugh at itself. New age thinking is another matter.
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Re: Continuity in performance and discontinuity as plot

Postby Jonathan Townsend » May 7th, 2010, 1:30 pm

Agreed. What I'm suggesting is essentially doing tricks in the background to the (almost) standard fare which lead the attentive members of the audience toward absurd explanations right out of the storybooks. An extended prank where the intent is they get the joke and laugh along with it.

Here's a trivial example from the "He has an imp" approach. You do the triumph trick but reach up to your jacket to get your hank to cover the pack with a hank after the face up/face down display bit. As you talk you quietly reach into your jacket pocket and come out again as if holding something real small, and slip that under the hank - all the while talking about sensitive fingers and years of training... and eyes up on the audience. Put your hands under the hank for a moment and pretend to do something, perhaps that half deck action that the Vernon handling requires. Then as you announce your accomplishment, eyes back up to the audience, you do the glorpy thing with several little and a few big bumps. Continuing to talk you pull away the hank, pretending that the's also something small in there which you let slip out and pocket as you put the hank away using your other hand. You then reveal the pack all straightened out. Oops you missed one, you pretend to hear if they don't say out loud. You look surprised then steal an annoyed glance down at your pocket (as if about to grouse at your imp?) but catch yourself.

Stepping back from this acting exercise to explore... you've established a pattern of behavior which can then be used in actual methodology later as they think you are really either just messing with them or "have an imp that you take out to do your dirty work".

Or as some here like to write - I'm off my meds today.


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