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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Yogi/Fakir Quandary (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Steve_Mollett
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I seek opinions.
Most 'fakir' performers are relegated to being "sideshow performers."
What approach should a performer take to be perceived as a real ascetic, and yet keep the performance commercial (yogis, after all, are NOT performers, but religious mystics).
Author of: GARROTE ESCAPES
The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
- Albert Camus
TonyB2009
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Jim Rose managed it. He brought such stunts into the mainstream. I think it is all down to attitude. Look at how Derren Browne did the Blockhead and the Walking on Glass during his show Evening of Wonders. I am sure it is up on youtube. He is very mainstream, as far removed from freakshow as a chartered accountant.

Make no apologies for your performance. If you see it one way in your head, your audience will go along with you. So if you feel it belongs in a sideshow, so will they. If you believe it belongs in a serious stage show, they will too.
MentalistCreationLab
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Excellent question.

To be seen a perceived as a real ascetic or mystic one must bill out as such right from the get go. Also your venue choices will be a good bit different than a mental, magic or a bizarre magic venue. In this regard you may find yourself working psychic or holistic fairs, new age or metaphysical bookstore or places where these types of items are offered and sold. Depending on what you are considering doing other venues may be available as well.

I will tell you this having worked as a mystic many clients prefer this avenue over some of the more traditional forms of entertainment as a mystic must create a new world for them to explore. This is also the hardest part about working this line of work. But I think it may have just got a little easier since the band of readers book came out and revealed some inner secrets of the mystic. In this book the first thing you will want to read in by the Monk where relating a story that happened at the zoo. When working as a mystic you will be doing a lot of this. While that may not make any tangible sense to some of you it will to others.

Another thing when working as a mystic or ascetic its all about the spiritual and not the religious. Never step across that threshold or things can get ugly fast. I know I worked on both sides of this coin.

or you could hop a plane to India and become a Guru. Smile

Oh and the most important thing is find and wear the clothes that are associated with the style your going for.

I say more but not in open forum.
Tom Jorgenson
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I'd say you could make up your own universe and demonstrate what you claim. Can't go wrong there. Invent your own asceticism, use it as your Mitox. Then, you could mix and match anything you want and it plays.

I did this with my Blade Box; Mayan Yoga.
We dance an invisible dance to music they cannot hear.
Todd Robbins
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When I started doing sideshow skills onstage, I took them out of the context of the carnival midway. I was doing comedy clubs and colleges, worked out of a nice black faux alligator gladstone bag and always wore a suit and tie. After I started working in Coney Island I put it all back into its the context of its early habitat. I still do a lot of corporate in that suit and tie style, but I like bringing up the historical perspective of where these skills came from (yes, I know they originated in the far and middle east, but I am talking about the role they played in American popular culture.)

Dress however you want and just focus on the power and the appeal of the material, engaging the audience with these elements and bring them into your world, and you will find your answer.

And just for the record, Darren Brown did the blockhead and glass walk indirectly because of me. But that's another story.
Steve_Mollett
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Thanks for all your help.
I am almost 56, so I am old enough to play the 'guru.'
I'm thinking of performing in Indo-Western suits, to give a sophisticated, but somewhat exotic look.
Along with fakir stunts, my specialty is escapology "yogi-style" (concentration and contortionism).
Author of: GARROTE ESCAPES
The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
- Albert Camus
Slim King
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You go Guru Man. Glad to see your interest !
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
dmkraig
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STeve, the Indowestern suit is, IMO, a great idea, although a kurta is more traditional for the guru.

If you want to take this approach, I would suggest following the advice of Jeff McBride: play the role 24/7.

Set up a back story for your character. Always be in character, even with friends. If someone calls, get the number off of ID and call back ten minutes later saying that you were in meditation. Go vegetarian. Drink tea. Study Indian mystical thought so you can share explanations and give "lectures and demonstrations" rather than shows. For example, "As a result of 20 years of meditation I am now in such control of my kundalini that I can raise the energy and send it through my palm chakras as pranic energy toward that glass on a table. Watch." Take some deep breaths, point both palms to the glass on the table, and bam, it explodes.

In his books on hypnosis, Anthony Jacquin advises that you should be THE HYPNOTIST. If you're going to act as a guru, be THE GURU.
Randwill
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Quote:
On 2013-02-03 12:13, dmkraig wrote:
Always be in character, even with friends.


Sounds like a good way to get rid of all your friends.
DWRackley
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Quote:
On 2013-02-03 12:59, Randwill wrote:
Quote:
On 2013-02-03 12:13, dmkraig wrote:
Always be in character, even with friends.

Sounds like a good way to get rid of all your friends.


This is funny. From years of being “known” before I started doing Mentalism, I learned to always be “on”. As they say, you never know who you’re going to run into.

That is a bit different from being always in character. I have several “characters”, and the one who is most like me in the real world is in fact the Mentalist.

To differentiate, I have an icon that I use, kind of like Clark Kent taking off the glasses. (Stay with me here.) When I’m going out in “Mentalist mode” I slip on a costumed jewelry pinky ring. It’s a simple affectation that differentiates between when I’m normal versus when I have super powers…well…I’m actually never quite “normal”…heh!

This has worked very well (for me), as I do get approached by folks when I’m just out with the family, and friends do notice the subtlety.

I guess nothing about this really sounds normal, but look at the lot of us. Smile If you’re thinking at all about going “in character”, you need to have a safety switch to keep you grounded in reality. Not meant to spoil the fun, just thinking down the road…
...what if I could read your mind?

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Donatelli and Company at ChattanoogaPerformers.com

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Pakar Ilusi
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Dunno 'bout a whole gig but...

Take a look at Derren Brown's performance of walking on broken glass, that could be a "guide".

He did it well to take it and make it meaningful, imho... Smile
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
Steve_Mollett
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All of this is great advice, and the more I consider the possibilities, the LESS I like it.
It was a silly idea--forget it. Smile
Author of: GARROTE ESCAPES
The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
- Albert Camus
Pakar Ilusi
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Quote:
On 2013-02-03 20:25, Steve_Mollett wrote:
All of this is great advice, and the more I consider the possibilities, the LESS I like it.
It was a silly idea--forget it. Smile


Smile
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
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