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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Richard Osterlind - The Natural (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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granterg
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It seems the mentalist can simply be his natural self while performing.

A good example of this, in my opinion, is Richard Osterlind.

Perhaps, a lot of showmanship could ruin a show.

What do you think?

granterg
TonyB2009
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Why can't showmanship be natural? Some people are naturally flamboyant on stage. Give me a showman any day. I don't think it ruins a performance. I think it enhances it.
granterg
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I am starting to think that being natural is showmanship.

granterg
Chaz93
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I think it depends on the person. If you're naturally extroverted and comfortable in front of an audience etc then you can go out and be yourself. I'm not that lucky. I'm a very shy and quiet fellow when not working. I have a character I play on stage that is outgoing, charming, charismatic, etc etc etc. While I believe these to be portions of my self, they are not traits I exhibit in my average day to day. it also depends on the type of show. If I was doing a lecture on memory and how to improve it I'd alter the presentation and handling of my routine to be less "showy" and more "informative". However, if I'm working a cabaret show or something similar I may perform the same effects, however add more showmanship to it and make a huge deal out of it. An example: If I am performing a M**i* Squ*r* for a cabaret show I start with Jermay's "for andruzzi" because it's in that state of consciousness that I can perform the rapid calculations needed. If I'm doing a memory demonstration though, I may still perform the effect but I won't worry about doing For Andruzzi because it's not in line with the presentation.

I think showmanship is a good thing in our art, however you have to take the entire presentation to heart. From the moment you walk out, what are you saying to your audience? As long as it's consistent and in line with the show I think you're alright. However yes, I do also think that too much flashy showy things can ruin a performance... although I have wanted to reveal a prediction by having it carried in by a dove. I just can't justify doing it. Smile
Steven Keyl
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In most cases one should behave in a way that is congruent with their actual character. If one is silly in the rest of their life, be silly when performing. If one is contemplative and introspective, be that way while performing as well. Of course you can tone things up or down but one's fundamental character should remain consistent.

The exception to this is if you are an excellent actor and can genuinely play a character that is incongruent with one's self in a way that appears completely organic and natural. In that case play it however you want. However, it is worth noting that most people think they are a much better actor than they actually are. Sort of like driving. Most everyone thinks they are excellent behind the wheel--when in fact, few are.
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LobowolfXXX
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Quote:
On 2012-01-13 23:30, Steven Keyl wrote:
In most cases one should behave in a way that is congruent with their actual character. If one is silly in the rest of their life, be silly when performing. If one is contemplative and introspective, be that way while performing as well. Of course you can tone things up or down but one's fundamental character should remain consistent.

The exception to this is if you are an excellent actor and can genuinely play a character that is incongruent with one's self in a way that appears completely organic and natural. In that case play it however you want. However, it is worth noting that most people think they are a much better actor than they actually are. Sort of like driving. Most everyone thinks they are excellent behind the wheel--when in fact, few are.


+1. Well put.
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solarzar
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On 2012-01-13 23:46, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Quote:
On 2012-01-13 23:30, Steven Keyl wrote:
In most cases one should behave in a way that is congruent with their actual character. If one is silly in the rest of their life, be silly when performing. If one is contemplative and introspective, be that way while performing as well. Of course you can tone things up or down but one's fundamental character should remain consistent.

The exception to this is if you are an excellent actor and can genuinely play a character that is incongruent with one's self in a way that appears completely organic and natural. In that case play it however you want. However, it is worth noting that most people think they are a much better actor than they actually are. Sort of like driving. Most everyone thinks they are excellent behind the wheel--when in fact, few are.


+1. Well put.


Ditto! Excellent. Few can be a Max Maven or Dunninger. More are Richard Osterlind bringing out his natural qualities into his performing persona.

Just my thoughts, Solarzar
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TheOneandOnly Tensai
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Didn't someone say something about how magicians are just actors playing the part of a real wizard? (I think it was James Randi)

I think if your natural stage presence is good for mentalism, then that's great, but most will have to play a role.
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RileyG
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On 2012-01-14 00:40, TheOneandOnly Tensai wrote:
Didn't someone say something about how magicians are just actors playing the part of a real wizard? (I think it was James Randi)

I think if your natural stage presence is good for mentalism, then that's great, but most will have to play a role.


"All the world's a stage" is the phrase that begins a monologue from William Shakespeare's "As You Like It"

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. As, first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
Signed,
Riley G Matthews Jr
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TheOneandOnly Tensai
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On 2012-01-14 00:48, RileyG wrote:

"All the world's a stage" is the phrase that begins a monologue from William Shakespeare's "As You Like It"



That's cool and all, but who said "I am an actor mearly playing the role of a magician."? James Randi, right?
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<facepalm>
Goldfield
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Out of all the well know mentalists, I find Richard to be the most inspiring and down to earth. His essays on mentalism are very informative on this particular topic
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cirrus
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On 2012-01-14 00:52, TheOneandOnly Tensai wrote:
Quote:
On 2012-01-14 00:48, RileyG wrote:

"All the world's a stage" is the phrase that begins a monologue from William Shakespeare's "As You Like It"



That's cool and all, but who said "I am an actor mearly playing the role of a magician."? James Randi, right?


I hope you are joking. It was Robert Houdin who said this.
TheOneandOnly Tensai
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On 2012-01-14 01:48, cirrus wrote:

I hope you are joking. It was Robert Houdin who said this.


Was it? I could have sworn I heard Mr Randi say that line, on something like Ted Talks or something.

Ah well, learn something everyday.
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Decomposed
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"Style is being yourself but only on purpose"

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Richard Osterlind's persona is something that is quite deliberate and I'm sure honed over the many years of performing.
Tá sé ach cleas má dhéanann tú sé cuma mhaith ar cheann.
mastermindreader
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Would you advise a normally dull and boring person to go on stage and "just be himself?"

"Just be yourself" is only good advice if you have a naturally dynamic personality and already know how to project it effectively on stage. That's what showmanship and stagecraft are all about.

Richard Osterlind (and most of the rest of us) spent many years learning how to seem "natural" on stage.

Good thoughts,

Bob
Jacob Smith
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I completely agree Bob, I consider showmanship and being natural on stage a neverending journey and art which I work on every moment of my life. People tend to always ask me "how are you able to do that" or "how do you have such a good stage presence" (Que the smugness) and usually the people that ask me that are the ones with the monotone voices that are what most would describe as "boring" it seems like. They are always shocked when I give the responce "I knew what I wanted to be and I worked everyday until I became that person". Richard has some amazing thoughts on showmanship and making mentalism and magic real through showmanship, my favorite being that if you believe it is real so will your audience.

-Jake
parmenion
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On 2012-01-14 09:28, magician 336 wrote:
I completely agree Bob, I consider showmanship and being natural on stage a neverending journey and art which I work on every moment of my life. People tend to always ask me "how are you able to do that" or "how do you have such a good stage presence" -Jake


My god, you're only 19 and already so good on stage!
When we think until last year you were only a close-up magician for friend!
When do you have a show to Broadway ?
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Steven Keyl
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On 2012-01-14 08:13, mastermindreader wrote:
Would you advise a normally dull and boring person to go on stage and "just be himself?"

[snip]



Yes I would! Being "dull and boring" aren't performance traits. I think we're confusing performing style with effects and scripting. The effects we choose and the words we use to explain/describe what the audience is seeing can be dull and boring. But that's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about performing style. Serious, silly, heavy-handed, bombastic, contemplative, light-hearted, corny, self-righteous, egomaniacal, or some combination thereof is what defines a performing style.

The better you know yourself the better you'll be able to amplify those existing traits on stage in a natural way. There is hardly anything more awkward than a performer who is clearly not acting naturally and who doesn't even know how contrived it looks to the rest of us.

If you use this as a starting point, then your stage persona will evolve naturally over time instead of trying to become a caricature of how you think the performer should act.

As a final point, it's not just about the level of energy you bring to a performance that defines exciting vs. dull. Take stand-up comedy for example. Steven Wright is about as monotone and lifeless as one could be but his performance is anything but dull. Carrot Top on the other hand is full of energy and life, but to me at least, it couldn't be more boring.
Steven Keyl - The Human Whisperer!

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"If you ever find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause, and reflect." --Mark Twain
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