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Topic: Magic Then Bizzare?
Message: Posted by: MisterE21 (Jan 9, 2003 01:25AM)
Do the esteemed minds that frequent this board feel it's necessary to have studied long and hard at the art of "straight" magic before sauntering full-throttle down the bizarre path?

I'm not exactly sure what I mean by this, but I hope some of you are! lol...

I suppose I mean do you think one would be better suited studing straight magic and then learning to apply bizzare aspects to it or, if someone realizes they want to pursue the bizarre side of things, just devote their study to it and the skills that go along with it?

I think the more I write, the less I understand about this post...so I will just post it.

Thanks!
Message: Posted by: Slim Price (Jan 9, 2003 01:43AM)
[quote]
On 2003-01-09 02:25, MisterE21 wrote:
Do the esteemed minds that frequent this board feel it's necessary to have studied long and hard at the art of "straight" magic before sauntering full-throttle down the bizarre path?

I'm not exactly sure what I mean by this, but I hope some of you are! lol...

I suppose I mean do you think one would be better suited studing straight magic and then learning to apply bizzare aspects to it or, if someone realizes they want to pursue the bizarre side of things, just devote their study to it and the skills that go along with it?

I think the more I write, the less I understand about this post...so I will just post it.

Thanks!
[/quote]
It depends a lot on how you present yourself. Find a style that fits you.
If by bizzare you mean the sideshow type presentations. they are all dangerous to some extent, may take years to learn, and should be taught by a professional.
Slim & Krista Price
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Jan 9, 2003 04:46AM)
Going straight into bizarre without learning anything else is a bit like taking a college English Lit course without having learned to read!
Pretty much everything we do is based on something else; and it is essential to know the fundamentals before specializing.
Some basics have multiple applications and, without learning them, you shortchange yourself in finding out how they work in other scenarios.
You can't really decide that you want to get into bizarre magic, rather than one of the other branches, unless you know at least something about the other branches.
Once you've "made your bones" (as the black-suit crowd would say), you can then specialize.
Message: Posted by: Doug Byrd (Jan 9, 2003 09:12AM)
Can you perform a black out seance without learning straight magic? Yes.

But you have to turn the lights on sometime and it would be a shame if you had no powers in the light.

Plus you would be missing out on some really good performing opportunities.

Doug
Message: Posted by: ptbeast (Jan 9, 2003 09:44AM)
I am going to disagree with Peter and Doug, but only slightly. The methods between bizarre and straight magic are generally the same. It is the presentation that really makes the difference. I gave up magic for many years, because I didn't find it fulfilling. I returned to the fold when I discovered the bizarre.

I think that if you have a love for storytelling and things bizarre it is possible to start out using bizarre presentations. In fact, I see no reason why one would need to begin with a "I tricked you!" kind of attitude, when you can start out doing things that are truly magical and touching peoples emotions.

Okay, that said, there are several caveats.

First, bizarre magic, though the methods are often simple, requires a great deal of practice. Because everything rides on presentation, much rehearsal is required. Don't view bizarre magic as a shortcut.

Second, as I said above, the methods are generally the same. For that reason, don't limit your thinking or your studying. Read the classics of straight magic. Watch all kinds of magicians. Hang out at your local magic store. Take a few lessons if you can. You can take all the principles that you learn and apply a bizarre presentation to them and be a much better magician.

Lastly, for a great education in bizarre magic, stay right here. There are some great minds who post regularly in this forum (two of whom I began this post by disagreeing with) and you can learn a lot by just reading the posts here.

Okay, I was about to say that that was my two cents worth, but I rambled on so long it is probably worth about a buck two ninety eight, but only if you pay by the pound. Its real value is up to you.

Good luck, however you decide to pursue the magical arts. And welcome.

Dave
Message: Posted by: Bill Fienning (Jan 9, 2003 09:55AM)
As one who did straight magic for decades before joining the bizarre movement, I believe that my background helped a lot.

Many of the sources of bizarre magic do not describe the methods or techniques in detail. They will say things like "do a double lift" or "use Buddha papers." If you do not have a straight magic background, these things will be incomprehensible, and you will become discouraged.

For example, Christian Chelman has an excellent book, Capricornian Tales. He presents some interesting stories, but his explanations are sometimes minimal.

Beyond the technical information that you need for bizarre magic, there is the psychological aspects that it shares with straight magic. These are things that you need to understand well (or have a strong intuition) if you are to be a successful bizarrist.
Message: Posted by: thiago (Jan 9, 2003 01:01PM)
I'll have to say that you must learn magic first and then go into bizarre. Afterall, bizarre is a performance style of long known magic techniques.
Message: Posted by: David de Leon (Jan 9, 2003 01:08PM)
For me, the question asked by MisterE21 is extremely pertinent: I am just starting out in magic, havenít yet mastered the basics, but canít help but go in the bizarre direction. Although there are very good reasons for reading, learning and practising things that canít be found in the bizarre literature, I think it is [i]essential[/i] that you start by performing magic that you yourself care about! Why else get involved in magic in the first place? For most people magic is a hobby (at the beginning it is unlikely to be anything else) and a personal joy and meaning must surely come before prudence.
Message: Posted by: MisterE21 (Jan 9, 2003 01:52PM)
It's enlightening to see that a question I asked without even fully being able to explain can recieve such well-informed and pertinent responses!

It isn't that I have no interest in straight magic, because I do. I'm not much for the "mwahaha...i tricked you, i tricked you, you don't know how i did it...neener neener" sort of presentation. I do plan to continue my studies of straight magic, ever expanding my boundaries, learning new things. However, I don't feel the same compulsion towards it as I'm feeling towards things bizarre.

Obviously, as I've expended large (for me) amounts of money and time into learning the straight effects I know, my first task is to see which effects I can reasonably turn to the bizarre side of things and go from there.

I completely agree that a base of knowledge regarding magic is of a large benefit (a surgeon has a basic understanding of general medicine), but I can't help but find myself drawn...

I suppose I ask the question because it's something I'm wrestling with...dividing my precious practice and rehearsal time up...
Message: Posted by: Caleb Strange (Jan 9, 2003 02:08PM)
MisterE21 asks an interesting question, and there has been some great advice. On a practical level, I'd suggest that you perfect some routines that intrigue you, and present them as you wish, bizarre or otherwise. You also have the advantage, with your considerable writing skills, of being able to present some stories effect free, so that will help your presentation no end. And at some point, it will be important for you to perform your stuff, as this is where you really start learning. Start modestly, for family and friends. Though bear in mind, they can be your toughest audience.

I suggest you also start studying the general classics of magic too. In a recent thread, the cut and restored rope effect produced a a myriad of great ideas. Bill's absolutely correct when he says that bizarre books are rather light on explanation, so the wider your reading and practice, the more chance you have to know what they're talking about. Plus, I bet I'm not the only one who re-reads magic books and thinks, 'How did I forget that?'. The books spawn ideas for method, effect, and presentation.

Finally, look at what you've already got, and use it as a resource. Your writing's great. You've got the jump on a lot of us with that one. But how are your performing skills? Are there things not directly connected to your magic that you could learn? I know I should ask myself that more frequently than I do.

There's a lot to learn. Too much to cram into a lifetime. But the journey begins and continues, with one step then another.

Regards,

Caleb Strange.
Message: Posted by: magicman2000 (Jan 9, 2003 03:27PM)
MisterE21, I have to agree with ptbeast. Most of the people who do straight magic forget that you should not just consider yourself a magician, but you should think of yourself as an entertainer that does magic. Going the way of bizarre magic gives you a little more freedom in concocting a riveting presentation. A general knowledge of straight magic is very helpful in pursuing your goal, but if you are a good spinner of yarns of mystery, you can get greater fulfillment with bizarre magic. Here is an example of a trick that is done both ways.

John Kennedy's Mystery Box - where a previously selected card ends up in a small wooden box. A nice effect but not an emotionally gripping experience that will stay with the spectator for any length of time.

The other effect is:
Mary's Notebox., which is almost identical in construction to Kennedy's box, but has an emotional story about the bizarre history of the box. This touching story leaves the audience on the edge of their seats and with a lasting memory of the illusion.

Bizarre magic has a much greater emotional impact on the audience than straight magic. But to make it sucessful requires that the magician be more adept at building a gripping line of patter.