Examples wanted ... Cutting edge / fresh approach to magic

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Postby CraigMitchell » 08/05/13 05:08 PM

Hi all

We're looking for examples of what you believe to be the cutting edge of magic ... what does the performance of magic look like to you in 2013 and beyond - fresh, contemporary and relevant.

Pls share Youtube links below of performances that have made you sit-up and take notice of late ... what has stood out for you ?

Thanks

Craig
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Postby jason156 » 08/05/13 08:58 PM

Trolling for ideas for your next download? How about cups and balls done with your pants around your knees? Not only can you call it something clever like "cups and thugs", but the pants around the knees form a natural servant for your loads.

Performance rights reserved........
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 08/05/13 11:04 PM

Dude, what is your problem?
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 08/06/13 12:31 AM

Hmmmm ... let's see, Craig works with very underprivileged kids teaching them magic (not to mention life lessons--I have never in my life met a more polite and well-behaved group of kids when I met them at his convention a few years ago) ... He works hard to make FISM a better organization ... Yep, there must be an ulterior and/or self-centered motive behind his post.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 08/06/13 01:03 AM

Now to try and answer your question Craig: I have strongly believed for a long time that the best magic is character driven and I don’t think that’s different for 2013 and beyond. It doesn’t matter if someone is doing “old” tricks as long as the character is someone the audience finds interesting, wants to see, and/or can relate to on some level. That is what makes them fresh and relevant.

When I say “character,” I am not necessarily talking about a Rob Zabrecky “Odd Man” or a Chipper Lowell “Manic Man” type of thing (though those two are excellent examples). A “character” can also be an apparently “normal” personality. Whether that means adapting to current trends and pop culture or an older performer being more nostalgic and relating with his/her contemporaries or whatever is an individual thing. They just need to be interesting otherwise it’s just a geek doing tricks.

This is not to say that the magic doesn’t matter. Strong magic that is well done helps an individual make his character more interesting. But what’s key is that magic needs to be supportive of whatever that character is trying to convey to his audience. More often than not, that’s not found on the latest DVD or download.

I do think that this message is finally becoming better understood among some younger magicians. I’ve seen it. So the future of good magic will be more character driven performers that modern audiences like and can relate to. The trick is for each individual is to find what that is for that individual. And that’s when magic crosses into the realm of “art.”

Of course, that’s just my opinion: I could be wrong.
(Thank you Dennis Miller.)

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Postby Matthew Field » 08/06/13 05:21 AM

John van der Put's Piff the Magic Dragon.

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Postby Anthony Vinson » 08/06/13 08:47 AM

I agree with Dustin, but my analysis differs. Performers will increasingly find the need to be more character-driven not only more important, but also necessary. With the ease of access to methods thanks to the Internet, magicians must work harder to become more accessible and likeable to the general public. Gone are the days of the heavy-handed sorcerer and keeper of secrets. Say bye-bye to the geek-boys with their awkward social skills and Sybil cuts. (This is not to imply that skill won’t continue to be critical, or that we [former] geeks won’t continue to be drawn to magic. Just that it’s no longer enough to simply show off or hide behind a cool trick.) The magician of the near future must not only accept, but acknowledge the influence of the Web with a wink and a nod. And overcoming those shoddy videos filled with lousily executed moves and unscripted, unrehearsed patter won’t be easy. With the focus on character, the spectator’s urge to whip out a phone or tablet, hook up to the nearest Wi-Fi connection and find out “how’d you do that?” will be diminished. At least to a degree. And that degree will be commensurate with the performer’s ability to stay true to his or her character, whatever that character might turn out to be.
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Postby erdnasephile » 08/06/13 09:19 AM

Very interesting discussion.

I have a slightly different take: I still believe that classic plots will continue to thrive (and please audiences) as they have for years. Just some of the methods and presentations will be brought up to date.

Being a close up guy, out of the newer current magicians, the ones who have impressed me most are Lu Chen and Dani DaOrtiz.

Here's an example of Lu Chen performing a classic plot with a contemporary feel.


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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 08/07/13 01:01 PM

As themes:
Modern principles of accountancy that may surprise you ;)
The filibuster done properly ala Robert-Houdin's Portfolio and Carrot Top's act.
Laws of nature subject to review/revision as demonstrations don't quite work.
TV from alternate universes - or ones that are slightly in our future...

Trying for a specific example: taking a large collection of words on slips of paper, from which some are chosen randomly, and adding in three blank slips to be filled in by things that people suggest - and making a madlib out of them via Confabulation by way of the Gene Anderson Paper tear.
Mundus vult decipi
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Postby CraigMitchell » 08/08/13 08:34 AM

Thanks for all the input - some interesting perspectives!
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Postby P.T. Murphy » 08/09/13 09:30 AM

I have always said that the BEST character a magician could create was a real live human being with a FULL RANGE of emotions. Cutting edge? I think so.
"Those who do not believe in magic
will never find it. " -Roald Dahl
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Postby Edward Pungot » 08/09/13 10:06 AM

Jesus Christ Superstar
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 08/09/13 11:01 AM

The production design of the show?
The use of a second tier character to drive the conflict of a drama (about like designing a magic show around some hecklers)
? the emotional completeness/fluidity discussion of the Jesus mythos?

The hecklers idea is promising - wasn't there an example of this deceiving magicians in context of a stageplay where the most skeptical character on stage was the guy doing the dirty work? (citation please)
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Postby Edward Pungot » 08/09/13 04:05 PM

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 08/09/13 06:11 PM

Edward Pungot wrote:Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead

What about that play?
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Postby Edward Pungot » 08/09/13 11:24 PM

"Well, we'll know better next time. Now you see me, now you –"
--Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Tom Stoppard
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 08/09/13 11:59 PM

? presuming the audience is sufficiently familiar with a known fiction to find the "the tale as told by" meta-fiction used to do a manipulation act (of theatrical conventions in Stoppard's case) - implicitly asking the audience to hold and keep separate three worlds ( the tale, the humanity of its characters and the writer/reader as active in experience of a tale) rather than address our common world to make sure there is some sense of possible/impossible... asking a lot there.

Can the guy who understudies Hamlet also understudy Rosencrantz/Guildenstern even when there's a flu going around?
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Postby Bill Mullins » 08/10/13 12:30 AM

Jonathan Townsend wrote:? presuming the audience is sufficiently familiar with a known fiction ... asking a lot there.


Said the guy who alludes to Chomsky, Borges, and Eco . . . .
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Postby Edward Pungot » 08/10/13 10:39 AM

“The colours red, blue and green are real.
The colour yellow is a mystical experience shared by everybody.”
--Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Tom Stoppard
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Postby Riversky » 08/10/13 02:10 PM

Magician Christian Cagigal performs mix of Magic and Theatre.
Hey remember newspapers?
Here's a little story involving one of them...
[url]Christian Cagigal, Magician, 2004- a tiny vignette[/url]
www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCZ3mFxQteI
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