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 Post subject: My Ideas on Finding a Style
PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2005 10:04 am 
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born to perform.

Joined: 27 Aug 2004
Posts: 874
Location: England
How do you find your own style? This is a very difficult question to answer and I have been trying hard to find this answer. However from what I have read in books or seen in pieces of writing or from what people have said I come across the same advice over and over and over again. The advice I speak of is “be yourself”. The great Dai Vernon himself gave this advice and it is good advice. The only thing wrong is the way people take it. What the majority of magicians think it means is to just perform the tricks and narrate what you are doing. This is how I have seen people take this advice and it could be completely different in someone else’s experience but not in mine.

I said above that the advice was good but another problem you could say it has is its simplicity. It is too simple. So simple it does not prove to be much of a help and people who hear still struggle to find that much needed original style and we all need originality to make magic an art. So to expand I would say that it would help to discover and analyse your own personality traits and incorporate them into your scripted performances.

Are you a happy person? A pessimist? An optimist? Find your traits and use them. However it is possible to use them too much. By this I mean if you took your pessimistic side and used it in all of your tricks it would get annoying and possibly depressing for the audience. If you combined too many similar traits together you would again run into problems. For example if you combined your bouncy side, your happy side and your excited side together you would become so annoyingly happy your audience would want to literally wipe your smile off your face with sand paper.

Countering these problems is quite simple. I will use myself as an example here. I am a pessimist but at the same time I am quite a happy person. Therefore if I combine these two traits I come out with a happy and satisfied performer who doesn’t necessarily think he’s great. I have tried this style before and I have to admit that it worked. My audience was pleased and I was pleased.

In conclusion, to find your own unique style, write down all your personality traits while being realistic. Never make any up. If you’re not sure of one then write it down anyway and you will discover if it is right when you use it in performance. Once you have completed this pick two or three from the selection you have written down by make sure at least one of the contrasts slightly with the rest. Merge this new mix of traits with your scripted effects and audience test it. If it is not to your satisfaction then try it again with a different selection of traits.

That is all I have to write and I apologise if my ideas have already been shared by someone else or if you think they’re just plain silly.

Thanks

Alex


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 6:11 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 13 Feb 2005
Posts: 591
Location: Antartica
I have been wrestling with this idea for many months now. I have to say that I am very happy with my progress in magic technickly (been doing it intencely recently for 3 years now after a good 6-7 year break.) The problem that I hit, was when I encountered other magicians, or started reading these forums. The problem was that the majority of the people on here, no offence to the ones who are not and you know who you are, are cookie cutter magicians. Magicians that are simply going throught the motions of the efffect and doing the patter that goes along with it and nothing more.

In a previous post I wrote how I saw a magician at Navy Pier doing the Linking Rings, and I swear it was the most boring thing I have ever seen. Repetative, mondaite and monotonius are the best words to describe it. The magician only went thorugh the actions of linking the rings, and then unlinked them and expected the place to erupt. I could not stand it because he did not put himself into the effect.

I think when a magician is looking for style, they should look internally (agreeing with your post.) What got you, the magician, into magic? What was the effect that left you awestruck and made you remember it? Its part the effect and part the magician. In my mind magic is a fairytale with illustrations. Its an absurd story with proof right in front of peoples faces. That is why magicians are able to pretty much repeat effects (meaning diffrent magicians do the same effects) because the person who is telling the story is diffrent. So if the story isnt there, the effect dosent make that much sence.

Some background on me: I have been in theatre all my life but I have been in trouble for saying one too many "blue" comments at wrong times. I write sketch comedy and I too bring in my "blue" humour to the table there (one sketch is about Ann Frank being on Nick's Guts.) I do stand up comedy and again I bring my style there. So getting back on track, I have found out what my style is going to be. I have been putting it into my routines for years now but never realized it untill now. I am a rude, comedic magician that will do anything for a reaction. A reaction of shock to a reaction of wanting to throw up. I know that sounds weird, but in my mind I exstatic for this realization.

I can stop doing the effects that do not fit my style, and I can focus on the ones that do. I can gear one effect right into another where they dont seem like I am trying to be a magician, I simply am.

By the way I do mentalism, metal bending, and shock effects or geek effects. If you know me, this fits my style to a T. No more card effects that go on forever, but enter everyday objects that I will use to amaze (I still use cards dont get me wrong but not all the time where people get sick of them.) It just looks like I do not perform any slight of and in any of my effects anymore, so it make my audience think that I might just have these weird powers I talk of. Osterlind, Bizzaro, Tomas, Banacheck are who I look to for my routines, and then I add my style which leads to my patter.

I know this post is long and hard to read. A bottle of Robotussin in one day can have that effect on you (I am extreemly sick right now,) but I liked this post a whole lot and wanted to add my 2 cents.

Ok, Im going to go watch Battle Royale and pass out.

Peace out, and I hope you dont get the bug that I got...it sucks more than the cheap prom date my mom had to buy me senior year.

-Craig

PS- sorry my spell check has the HIV on this computer so my bad on the spelling...my bad.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 9:33 pm 
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Penguin

Joined: 03 Dec 2005
Posts: 456
Location: new mexico
i need find my self in magic.
but first i have to find myself.

Great essay.


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