Sign up Latest Topics Chat
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
Gareth

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 873
Reply with quote  #1 
Eugene Burger once wrote;

“Instill importance in your magic, if you do not, then who will?”

If any of you doubt the inherent importance to society, of magic and magicians, consider this line from Christopher Hitchens’ essay on the Pulitzer Prize winning, Nobel Laureate, Saul Bellows.

“...the author who came up with such graphic expressions for vulgarity and thuggery and stupidity - the debased currency of those too brutalised to retain the capacity of wonder.”

I’d argue it follows then, that those who’s mission it is to conserve, revive and nurture the ‘capacity of wonder’ stand on the front line in the fight against that currency.

That’s how important you are.

Gareth

0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,156
Reply with quote  #2 
Interesting.  Mr. Burger said it very well.  Can't really add much to his admonition.


0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,156
Reply with quote  #3 
"The reason I can give wonder is that I feel wonder about the world: the stars, a tree, my body - everything."
Doug Henning

"Now there was no wonder in the Statue of Liberty illusion because he, Copperfield, attempted to do something so large that it stretched the credibility of the audience to the point where most people didn't believe any of it anymore."
Doug Henning

The first quote corresponds a bit to Mr. Burger's comment.  If you feel a sense of wonder you can share that wonder with your audience.  In Henning's case it was infectious enthusiasm for what he was doing.

The second quote is provocative.  I agree with Henning, but it is something to chew on.  If you accept the premise, how would that inform the choices you make in your own magic.  The "Too Perfect Theory" comes to mind.  
0
Anthony Vinson

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member - Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 2,359
Reply with quote  #4 
Magic is in the mind.

I am a storyteller, and I incorporate elements of storytelling into my magic, and also elements of magic into my storytelling. I think what Eugene is talking about is connection, specifically the importance of a performer's connection to his or her audience. While I am not certain I understand the Hitch quote out of context, it seems that he is discussing the same thing.

We humans are story machines; our brains operate on narrative. We create narrative to describe our interactions with the world, and those narratives are our stories. When we are able to align our stories with those of others, we can create meaningful connections. Magic without context is mind candy. It is mystery without meaning. It exists in a vacuum, of sorts. It lacks meaning and as such it fails to create connections. Wrapping our magic in narrative helps.

I can apply this to the second Henning quote that Ray cited. From my perspective there was no story, no narrative, to support the vanish of Lady Liberty. It was a stunt, and nothing more. Copperfield's Flying, on the other hand, was pure narrative, and the story supported the magic even better than the cables supported David. In fact, most of Copperfield's illusions were crafted by narrative, and that's part of what made him successful.

Av   
0
RayJ

Avatar / Picture

Honored Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,156
Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Vinson
Magic is in the mind.

I am a storyteller, and I incorporate elements of storytelling into my magic, and also elements of magic into my storytelling. I think what Eugene is talking about is connection, specifically the importance of a performer's connection to his or her audience. While I am not certain I understand the Hitch quote out of context, it seems that he is discussing the same thing.

We humans are story machines; our brains operate on narrative. We create narrative to describe our interactions with the world, and those narratives are our stories. When we are able to align our stories with those of others, we can create meaningful connections. Magic without context is mind candy. It is mystery without meaning. It exists in a vacuum, of sorts. It lacks meaning and as such it fails to create connections. Wrapping our magic in narrative helps.

I can apply this to the second Henning quote that Ray cited. From my perspective there was no story, no narrative, to support the vanish of Lady Liberty. It was a stunt, and nothing more. Copperfield's Flying, on the other hand, was pure narrative, and the story supported the magic even better than the cables supported David. In fact, most of Copperfield's illusions were crafted by narrative, and that's part of what made him successful.

Av   


AV, magic is truly in the mind.  And as such different people experience magic differently.  That is why some make better spectators.  Many people refuse to admit they don't know how something is done.  Some even get belligerent about it, i.e. hecklers.

So it is our job to present the magic in such a way as to amplify the wonder, to embellish and overstate the conditions and/or difficulty of a feat.  In the end, if we've done our job, the audience may truly believe we have superhuman powers. 
0
Gareth

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 873
Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony Vinson
Magic is in the mind.

 ...While I am not certain I understand the Hitch quote out of context, it seems that he is discussing the same thing.


I am taking the quote out of context and perhaps bending things a little. Hitch's assertion was that, vulgarity, thuggery and stupidity were a consequence of, or are to a certain extent, characteristic of individuals who lack an ability to retain a capacity for wonder.

I'd jumped to the corollary that those who's intention is to nurture the capacity of wonder, are a force in the world that diminishes those characteristics. A noble endeavour. 
0
MagickDon

Avatar / Picture

Inner Circle
Registered:
Posts: 91
Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayJ


So it is our job to present the magic in such a way as to amplify the wonder, to embellish and overstate the conditions and/or difficulty of a feat.  In the end, if we've done our job, the audience may truly believe we have superhuman powers. 


Which is what Eugene Burger was talking about in the original message. To further expand on the quote by Eugene (pretty closely) he has said: 'Why is magic in such a low form? It's because magicians treat it that way. If you want it to have value, give it value. YOU have to give it value.......It's your job to make magic memorable'.
For some reason, that has always stuck with me. I can still hear his gravely voice sternly echoing those words.

__________________
Don

"Astonishment is our natural state of mind" (Paul Harris)
 
0
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.