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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Being more creative when you are a visual person? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Head Case
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I have been in the mist of giving a true effort to writing scripts. However I am having a very hard time coming up with ideas. Its hard for me to pull ideas from written word or just coming up with them on my own. When I see other performers, either from marketed material or someones show, doesn't matter. (in the sense of being visual) I see things I like and think it would be cool to re-work and do. So this is a three part question...

1) Does anyone have some advice or tips on becoming more creative? I have a hard time retaining information that I read, I have to see it to understand it. So I am lost on what to do, because obviously if you see it, its someone else's. On that note also... as a general rule of thumb is it ok to use the patter supplied from purchased effects or lectures? I have always seen performers say, you can use this effect but find your own original presentation so I have always just stuck to off the cuff type patter.

2) And how about applying that same topic to framing and tempo, if a performer uses dramatic tension or framing for a certain effect, does he own that framework? Even if you were to apply that same type of thinking to a completely different effect? Would that just be considered inspiration? Plus how could you own (as a magician / mentalist) a tool used in all performance art?

3) Is there a good way to go about defining what you want to do and say in an original way when working on a script? like brainstorming or making a story board, trying to make each effect just little bits of a whole story or message that all tie together into one big main message? How do you go about laying out a script to be able to come up with creative talking points?

Thanks.
IAIN
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Imagine the story first in my mind, scene by scene...and as you tweak and adapt it in your mind's eye - after each scene or step, just pause and write it down...

eugene burger is worth reading, especially his close-up magic stuff - just because he talks about magic, doesn't mean you cant port over the same thinking to mentalism, in regards to connecting with your audience, how to open a set and how to take charge...

you can try mind mapping too - just use post it notes...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_map

also, just challenge yourself http://www.psychologicalscience.org/inde......say.html

thing to bear in mind though, there's a very good reason as to why the same joke told by different comedians either falls flat or brings a huge roar of laughter...

google around a lot, research, doesn't take much to get the ball rolling...the questions you ask, millions (including me) have asked the same but in different ways for years and years and years, and there's loads of it on the internet..
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Johannes L.
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Here are some questions that might spark your imagination.

What feeling do you want the audience to feel?

How involved do you want the audience to be, both physically and mentally?

What can you say and do in order to get the audience to reflect in the way you want them to?

How can the effect be fused together with that presentation?

Will it seem credible?

Lastly,

About the script. I have written a lot of scripts, actually most plays. The important point is that every sentence should have an invisible subtext. Why do you say it? What is the performers thought? A sudden silence, what does that mean? What was the performer thinking before to come to such conclusions, if you fill in all the blanks the audience is left with no space to imagine. It is important to find a middle zone between saying everything and arising thoughts.

When it comes to being creative. Just try to focus on the questions above and then try to put a category on the presentation, romantic, touching, absurd, funny, mysterious. Then create the story after that by using your imagination. Often when you are creative-dry you mentally block yourself just by thinking that it is hard.
The Rain Man Glimpse

Effect: The mentalist memorize any kind of information in less than a second. $5
IAIN
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Think about certain superheroes - they have rules, they have a background story, they have a code they work by...

same as us...

there is no one true way to become more creative, script or anything else - I think its mainly practice... invoke your imagination more and more and more and it becomes a bit easier... keep notes, write things, video yourself, and so on...

here's an example, you say you use off the cuff patter instead of a script...do you know what happens if you record yourself using that off the cuff patter, write it out and then tweak it? it starts becoming a scripted line...rinse and repeat...

the best impromptu/off the cuffs from the pros, are usually pretty well rehearsed and scripted...
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Craig Logan
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Great insights here. The only thing I would recommend to add to the pile relates to your character. I have yet to firmly develop my character, but a character analysis worksheet (can be found easily enough on Google) has been greatly valuable for me in honing who I am on stage. That has also aided me in determining my script and the effects I choose to perform.

As Iain mentioned, Mind mapping and brainstorming are great tools for writing and creativity. Gaeton Bloom's Penguin lecture, although it has little to do with mentalism, focuses on creativity. It might be beneficial in getting the creative juices flowing.

By the way, Iain, my mind was slightly blown by the article you linked to. It makes sense because I consider myself a "visual" learner, but I am new to mentalism and recently purchased "Practical Mental Effects" and it has set a lot of ideas in motion in my little head.

And one more ramble before I hit submit: Notebooks are crucial. Write everything down. Everything. Bad ideas, good ideas, interesting props, prompts, and plots. Write down everything. You never know when they might become useful.
"A wizard is not to be made in a day." -Professor Hoffmann (Modern Magic)
Head Case
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Awesome information. Thank you guys!

Feel free to keep it coming if you have anything to add. This should really help me get over the sudden hump I hit.

Thank you!
IAIN
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Its important you learn how to motivate yourself, and find your own ways and means to kick start yourself...

so much info out there already!
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Johannes L.
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Read famous plays from history.

Then try to figure out every individual characters own story that together with the others form the story of the play. There are so many gold nuggets hidden behind simple sentences. Beautiful morales you can add to your presentation or morales that spark your own imagination.

"One important aspect of motivation is the willingness to stop and to look at things that no one else has bothered to look at. This simple process of focusing on things that are normally taken for granted is a powerful source of creativity."

- Edward De Bono
The Rain Man Glimpse

Effect: The mentalist memorize any kind of information in less than a second. $5
MatCult
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Quote:
On May 12, 2014, Head Case wrote:
I have a hard time retaining information that I read, I have to see it to understand it.


Lots of good advice already, so just a quick response to this point.

Try keeping a notebook. Rewriting something you have read in your own words may help it stick better than simply reading it.

Works for me anyway.
"Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business."
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