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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Once upon a time... » » Storytelling stinks! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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jimgerrish
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That's right! Professor Spellbinder of The Magic Nook has just released his scented storytelling routine in which the audience smells some of the things he is describing as he talks. It's in the latest Wizards' Journal (#7) and it's called Potpouri. Spellbinder describes his smelly storytelling apparatus (which includes a felt storyboard, among other things), provides a starter story that he used this past Christmas season to great audience reactions at some libraries, nursing homes and daycare centers, and includes a song written by (ahem!) little old me which ties the whole thing together. The concept is easily applied to other stories, but the rich scents of this season (pine trees, gingerbread, chocolate, and so on) make it especially appealing.
Jaz
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Not long ago I was working on a story that involved flowers and the idea of releasing a scent at a certain moment came to mind.
I think it's a great idea.
Spellbinder
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I used to use the scent release during seances, but this concept goes beyond that because you release one scent after another during a story and you have to get your timing right to clear one scent away before the next one is released or your story telling session really will "stink!"
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

http://www.magicnook.com

Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
jimgerrish
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Before I left for work, Eleazar Goodenough reminded me to mention that his Popcorn Popper effect (Issue # 7 of The Wizards' Journal) uses the smell (and sounds) of cooking popcorn to help create the illusion that the corn is actually popping in his hands, so even though he's not using it for storytelling, scent is an under-used principle of our magic art.
ConjuringCoach
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I think scent is very under utilized. I am going so far as to try to create scents for each type of magical effect. An effect created through the use of a magic wand would smell different than an effect created through the use of a spell, potion, etc.

I am also planning on using scent when there are scene changes. For instance my fairy forest will smell like an old growth forest, the dragon's keep will smell like sulfer, my ice kingdom will smell like spearmint or menthol(can't think of too many things that smell 'frosty').

Along these lines...does anyone know of safe chemicals to use for this kind of thing? I would imagine that pure scent oils could be disruptive to people with allergies, etc.

Also, any thoughts on the best ways to dispense these things for maximum control and mixing?
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Spellbinder
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Quote:
On 2006-01-13 18:22, thanos wrote:
Along these lines...does anyone know of safe chemicals to use for this kind of thing? I would imagine that pure scent oils could be disruptive to people with allergies, etc.

Also, any thoughts on the best ways to dispense these things for maximum control and mixing?


I'm counting on the commercial scent oil manufacturers like Glade and Air-Wick to have solved the problem of allergenic scents, so whenever possible, I stick to scents available from them. I've never had anyone tell me they had any kind of health issues with my scented storytelling sessions. Usually the reaction is incredibly positive..."I felt like I was really there in the pine forest! I could almost spell the Christmas trees! etc."

I never mention the scents... they are just part of the background ambiance of the storytelling session like Muzak for the nose (would that be Mucuz?). The dispensing feltboard suitcase I describe in The Wizards' Journal Article has the capability of dispensing 10 different scents, but I rarely use all 10 in one story session. I'm a fan of "less is more."
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

http://www.magicnook.com

Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
ConjuringCoach
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Hehehe...Mucuz...nice... Smile

What did you mean by 'The Wizards' Journal' article? I am interested in learning more about this dispenser you speak of.

Quote:
I never mention the scents... they are just part of the background ambiance of the storytelling session like Muzak for the nose (would that be Mucuz?). The dispensing feltboard suitcase I describe in The Wizards' Journal Article has the capability of dispensing 10 different scents, but I rarely use all 10 in one story session. I'm a fan of "less is more."
You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
~Mark Twain
pkg
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Feeding the 6 (yes SIX) senses would be THE great way (IMO) to a really, like REALLY nice act...
a small example would be if anything that has lemon in it, just by mentioning it and the acid taste of it gives that "feeling" in ur mouth...add a SMALL hint of lemon smell; it would boost it 10 times more (they would swear that you were so good that you even got them to recall the smell of lemon too)

don't know if the message went through, but another example is "divided by hate", walking around people can smell the rose, once it wilts they smell "death's" horrible smell....

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Spellbinder
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The Wizards' Journal #7 can be found at The Magic Nook at http://www.magicnook.com. Thanks for asking!
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

http://www.magicnook.com

Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
Bill Palmer
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The use of scents in story routines goes back a long way. But it is underutilized. Check out "The Anniversary" in Fourth Dimensional Mysteries by Punx. It's a combination of mentalism and storytelling.

I don't use this kind of thing, myself. My sense of smell was severely truncated by allergy problems when I was a child. I have to be right on a scent in order to appreciate it.

I have no idea what a skunk smells like.

No remarks about "olfactory fatigue," please. Smile
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Doug Higley
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Great ideas. Consider The Dark Museum: the Scatch 'n' Sniff version.

The Funky Toe!
The Ear Waxy Ear!
The Nasty Monkey's Paw!


nah...but how nice it could be if one was doing a Chinese routine with some authentic insence wafting through the audience...or the scent of Oranges when you do that Bill In Orange (Lemon is old hat)...jimgerrish that Christmas idea is wonderful. Maybe a little gadget (that you conceal on your person) could be made that could release the scents...little 'silents but not so deadlys'...

Intrigueing.
Higley's Doug's Museum
scolman
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That's funny Doug.
I was performing at a party once a few years ago. My act involved using a smoke machine at one point when I lifted the lid off of a large wooden pot. There was a fair amount of smoke and someone in the audience (made up of a bunch of teens) decided to take advantage of the smokey environment and light up a joint!!
I noticed everyone looking around at each other as the scent permeated the room. After the show, I had a few kids come up to me and ask me where I got that awesome smoke machine (pot!!!), and could they borrow it for a party they were going to later..........

On a more serious note, I still use Mary's Notebox by Keith Lack. At the point where the note is found I use a small squeeze bulb placed on the floor filled with Pot Pourri. The sense of smell is a wonderful tool for the bizarre performer or storyteller.

I have also found that by depriving the other senses, such as the ability to see, heightens the other senses. Test this the next time you do a seance effect. If you are all sitting around a table in the dark holding hands. Tell a simple story about the spirit of a lady being in the room, step on the squirt bulb (or atomizer) and you'll get a reaction as the people smell it. In fact if you are in a bigger venue, as the smell fills the room it will move past different people creating a subtle impression that the spirit is walking past. The power of suggestion is unbelievable when combined with scent.

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Autumn Morning Star
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I became aware of the strong connection between memory association and scent when I used scented fog in my fog machine during an illusion show. I mixed the scented fog juice with unscented so as not to be too strong. My audience commented on how they could smell the rain when I told the story of the rain-maker.

Scent, music, deep dolby rumbling sounds, heat, cold, wind and more. There are so any areas of association. Definately under-utilized in magic.
Wonder is very necessary in life. When we're little kids, we're filled with wonder for the world - it's fascinating and miraculous. A lot of people lose that. They become cynical and jaded, especially in modern day society. Magic renews that wonder.
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sweeney
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Borodin also uses scents in some of his routines.
egregor
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I just came across this thread, so I hope some of you are still checking it. I was wondering how the toy gizmo AIRZOOKA would work with essential oils. A different airzooka with a different scent shot into your seance by an outside assistant.
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Spellbinder
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To use a different airzooka for each scent would be kind of huge and expensive for such an effervescent illusion. The airzooka is most useful for providing a blast of wind as a "spirit body" enters or leaves your midst. It can be quite a shocker.
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

http://www.magicnook.com

Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
Marvello
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Years ago film makers tried this concept with films that released scents at various times throughout the film, and unfortunately at the end of the movie all of the scents were mixed and it smelled terrible. The patrons entering the theater for the second showing were faced with an onslaught of stink.
Never criticize someone else until you have walked a mile in their shoes. Then, when you do criticize them, you will be a mile away from them and you will have their shoes.
Spellbinder
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I remember that, Marvello, and that's why I provide information about how to clear away one scent before starting the next, and how to space the scents so they don't interfere with one another. The moviemakers, in their usual Hollywood way, practiced overkill by spraying the scents directly into the air, rather than letting the scents migrate naturally on air currents. As a result, the scented oil droplets got all over everything and the scents stayed where the oil fell. In the system I use, similar to a new electric gizmo currently on the market that changes scents every half hour or so, no oil is sprayed and scents migrate on air currents, are dispersed with more air currents, and new scents can replace the old scents without raising a stink.
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

http://www.magicnook.com

Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
Marvello
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Sounds interesting and well thought out. nice idea.
Never criticize someone else until you have walked a mile in their shoes. Then, when you do criticize them, you will be a mile away from them and you will have their shoes.
coupcoupdaddy
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