Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Creating Magic (Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb)

Amongst the act of banging my head repeatedly against the wall while I try to figure out new ways to sell my show, keep my business afloat, and keep myself in a healthy state of insanity (Not sane enough to come to my senses about my life choices, but not insane enough to walk down the street wearing nothing but a coffee pot on my head singing Folsom Prison Blues), I do spend quite a bit of time trying to figure out new routines to put into my show.

Inspiration comes in so many forms, there isn't any one method that's worked above the others. There's a couple of things I'm currently working on that I hope to have ready for the Summer and they're coming from different places creatively. Maybe by showing how I get my material, maybe someone will find a way to be inspired with whatever they're doing (or maybe it'll just be an interesting read).

One of my effects is growing from a prop I used years ago. The official name of the effect is "20th Century Silks" and the general idea is that two blue silks are tied together, placed in a glass or the pocket of an audience member. Then a red silk is brought across the room, it disappears, and then reappears tied between the two blue silks. It's a pretty cool trick, and I did it in my shows a loooong time ago. But it didn't really have as much of my style and personality as my effects do now, so I'm trying to rework it to make it fit the show? Will it? I have no clue.

Another is coming from a few different poems from The Book of Irish Verse which is put together by John Montague. It's one of those books that you'd find for $6.98 in the Bargain-Priced area of Barnes & Noble (One of my favorite sections) but it's full of great poetry spanning many centuries. I'll often find myself drawn to these books (I have a few on Irish Horror in such a way) in hopes that they will spark something in my brain.

Bobby McFerrin is also sparking some serious creativity lately (Yes the Don't Worry, Be Happy guy. But has also 10 Grammys to his name and is the most amazing vocalist and vocal improvisationalist in the world). I love the idea of mixing music & magic and McFerrin's style really inspires me to find new ways to inject vocal music into magic. I have sung in my live shows in the past, but any time I've attempted to combine vocals and magic, it hasn't turned out the way I wanted. Darren Romeo is a magician who is notably fantastic at doing this (and a past counselor at Tannen's Magic Camp which is where I first met him), but it's certainly not the style I'm going for. Also I'm only looking to highlight this in one piece of magic, as opposed to a whole show.

Finally, an idea that is maybe 1 to 2 years from coming to form is adding a grand illusion to my show. The best way I can describe this is a piece of magic that usually involves another person such as sawing in half, production, suspension, levitation, etc. Unfortunately, due to the cost and the amount of effort it will take to put this into a show, it is quite a bit down the line. Especially since I usually refuse to use an illusion "as is bought" and will have to remake it to fit a theme which means rebuilding, repainting, and hoping I didn't destroy it in the process. This is on top of creating a story for the illusion, choreography, figuring out music, practicing it until perfect... all of the stuff that SHOULD be going into a magician's creation process with ANY routine (Unfortunately, as I have seen time and time again, this is nowhere near the case).

There's a little glimpse into my current creative process. My brain is a squishy place. But it's okay... they know me here.

-Much love,

1 comment:

  1. A squishy brain, eh? Well then, I'm in fine company.

    Best wishes with the flow and evolution of your creative process!