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Brad Burt
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Stellen:

Got it, but am confused. Please, can you give me an example. Gazzo does 'X' routine which will culminate in: ? Within that routine I see the following subtext(s).

Maybe for instance it's not his manipulation of subtexts, but perhaps it's just his personality and how he projects it out to the audience? This is something that has fascinated me for many, many years. What is it about person X compared to person Y that while they might do the EXACT same routine, same patter, etc. you would gravitate to one over the other. What is Charisma perhaps?

My favorite example magically is the late Mike Rogers. Granted his technique was wonderful, etc., but Mike would admit to you that although he considered his magic excellent material it wasn't somehow way far above normal, etc. But, I could literally watch Mike for hours. He was magnetic. He was happy, affable, confident, etc. But, I don't think those are subtexts, etc.

Stellen, I'm actually not attempting to subvert the thread or lead it elsewhere...I'm just not sure that within the parameters of your statement above I understand WHAT subtexts you are talking about? I would covet some examples.

Sincerest regards,
Brad Burt
Pop Haydn
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What Gazzo says to people would be terribly hurtful, crass and mean, did he not have a subtext that he was good-hearted, democratic, and merely challenging people to give and take the hits in fun.

Were there the least malice in his heart, it would show in his demeanor. There isn't, so he can get away with a lot. He has a multi-megawatt, generous and friendly smile, and underneath the insults he throws in everyone's direction there is his winking agreement that these are terrible things to say...

His subtext is "Toughen up! Don't take such things too seriously. We're all the same. We all have to take the hits. Let's just have some fun!"

Were you to read his patter cold in print, you would think he was a racist, homophobic, xenophobic, misogynistic jerk.

But he really isn't racist at all.
BarryFernelius
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Quote:
On 2011-08-31 15:20, Pop Haydn wrote:
What Gazzo says to people would be terribly hurtful, crass and mean, did he not have a subtext that he was good-hearted, democratic, and merely challenging people to give and take the hits in fun.

... (Snip! Some stuff omitted.)

Were you to read his patter cold in print, you would think he was a racist, homophobic, xenophobic, misogynistic jerk.

But he really isn't racist at all.


Cruel, but fair. Smile

Pop can give as good as he gets.
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Pop Haydn
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Oh, I am just kidding Gazzo with a cheap shot. He can take it.

I consider Gazzo one of the very best, and a good friend.
Brad Burt
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That helps me anyway, thanks.
Brad Burt
tommy
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Not everyone knows the code of the road.
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Pop Haydn
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The "magician's wink" that tells you to not take things at face value is subtext.

When the magician says, "I'm going to show you some real magic..." the subtext is "I'm going to screw with your head."

When the magicians says, "I'll show you how it is done..." the subtext is "I'm lying through my teeth and I'm just going to screw with your head again."
The Burnaby Kid
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I think a distinction needs to be made between "insinuation" and "subtext". Insinuation can be picked up by the audience, and if the performer is winking to offer some contrast between what he says and what he means, then what he means is, despite not being said literally, not really in the realm of subtext anymore.
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Pop Haydn
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An actual wink would be an insinuation, I was referring mainly to the Trickster behind the mask. By "the wink" I meant to refer to the underlying attitude of the performer to his work, the dual nature of the dilemma itself--the mask of the sorceror that seems somehow slightly loose on his face.
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2011-08-31 01:34, Stellan wrote:
... how irony and tongue in cheek are related to subtext?...


One can describe sarcasm as when they can tell you don't mean it.
Similarly one can describe irony as when they know enough about the context to see how a congruent statement or action brings untended consequences.
One can describe tongue-in-cheek as when they can see that you know that they know you don't mean it AND that you expect them to find it funny.

In all three cases there is evident incongruence. In a textual medium one can present cues to the reader (which may form a subtext) so that the reader can interpret actions or statements as ironic/sarcastic/tongue-in-cheek/naive...
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The Burnaby Kid
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Quote:
On 2011-08-31 18:34, Pop Haydn wrote:
An actual wink would be an insinuation, I was referring mainly to the Trickster behind the mask. By "the wink" I meant to refer to the underlying attitude of the performer to his work, the dual nature of the dilemma itself--the mask of the sorceror that seems somehow slightly loose on his face.


Ah ok, wasn't sure. In which case...

Quote:

When the magician says, "I'm going to show you some real magic..." the subtext is "I'm going to screw with your head."

When the magicians says, "I'll show you how it is done..." the subtext is "I'm lying through my teeth and I'm just going to screw with your head again."


Sez you.
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Jonathan Townsend
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Michael Kamen
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My understanding of subtext is as what is really going on, behind the pretenses and assumptions of the characters. I think Whit has got it right.
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Jonathan Townsend
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Sorry, you lost me at the word "really".

Any thoughts on the sources cited above?
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Michael Kamen
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"Really" relative to the author's intentions for the story. I will try to find time to look at those sources tomorrow if time permits.
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Stonewick
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Jonathan,
Thank you for the links!
tommy
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"Subtext is the difference between what is overt and what lies beneath." and so how does one know what lies beneath things such as a wink? It works in the same way a symbolism it seems to me; The person is initiated by being shown the symbol and being told what it means. That is called feeding the symbol so that when that symbol is presented in future it evokes a meaning to the initiated. Most people throughout their life have been initiated in what a wink means. The wink is the overt symbol and meaning that lies beneath is the subtext. In other words most people have been programmed to react to a wink in a certain way. The symbol technique applies to almost anything that evokes a reaction. How people react to certain symbols depends on what the symbol was fed with. Everything overt has some subtext it seems to me.
The subtext of a magician to me is the will.
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Alan Wheeler
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To keep it simple, imagine the motivations needed behind the actions in Tamariz's "crossing the gaze."

1. Hidden Method or Nontext: You must switch the 36" blank card silk for the 36" King of Hearts silk.

2. Scripted Words/Actions or Text: I will need a magic medallian...[grope in left pocket fruitlessly, pat pockets searching, cross the gaze, grope in right pocket]...here it is!

3. Subtext: I'm always confident and never worried about losing my magic medallion. If I take the trouble it will even return to me when I call its real (long and bothersome) name. It doesn't really matter but I sometimes misplace my magic medallion. Sometimes it even seems to jump around from pocket to pocket of it's own accord, but I always find it eventually. It's always fun and funny when I find it!
The views and comments expressed on this post may be mere speculation and are not necessarily the opinions, values, or beliefs of Alan Wheeler.
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Jonathan Townsend
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To start - you need a script and with that some direct assertive propositions that you want to come across the footlights to reach the audience. With those working reliably one can then explore nuances which offer subtext. Without such basic competence the "subtext" of a performance is (as in one of the example links) likely to be less than flattering messages, some of which will seem directed at the audience.

This topic is likely easier to discuss after one has been in a few productions onstage under direction and/or taken a course that covers the topic in writing (or at least reading inside an academic environment). IMHO doing is a better teacher than watching or reading as ones preconceptions tend to get in the way.

Scripted mistakes don't often bear up to repeated viewing. Making a character based situation where it's easy to make such a mistake is a worthwhile challenge in scripting for magicians. Smile
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Stellan
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Alan, I think you have misunderstood the concept of subtext.
As I understand it, subtext adds complexity to a text or performance. There has to be a gap between the overt text and subtext. They can't be in line as in your example. Communication that just amplifies or underlines the text it is not subtext.
I am more and more convinced that subtext is something that belongs to the presentation of the trick, something that will make the presentation and the character more interesting,nuanced or complex. Although it is possible to talk about something similar connected to the construction of the trick it is kind of confusing since subtext is a concept belonging to theater and drama. I think it is important to understand why Maskelyne and Devant separated magic and drama as two things with different needs and requirements.
As magicians we are used to think in terms of the trick and its presentation. When you know how to execute the trick, then it is time to think about how to present it. Now it is time to think about subtext. You want your presentation to be interesting and memorable. In order to engage the spectator you don't want your presentation to be flat. In a neuro-psychological sense you want to activate several parts of his brain to make him more involved. So you add subtext, which makes it more emotional and intellectual interesting.
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