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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » Performing a seance evening for the first time (40 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Mr. Woolery
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Since the time this topic started, I did develop a seance for use over Zoom. I think it was pretty good and it corrected some of the issues I identified in my first effort.

A few thoughts about what helped me develop the seance I performed may be of use to Fowill (and perhaps others), though I want to assert again that I am not an expert and I am not pretending to be one. Still, I think there's some value to my choices as I developed my own seance efforts.

-Can you think of an experience that would make you think "maybe that was a real ghost" that you could create for others? (Pendulum is a really good start, but there are others. Many people have convinced themselves they are communicating with spirits when they use a Ouija board, for example.)

-What questions would you ask a ghost if you had the opportunity to ask only three questions?

-How scary do you want to make your seance? (Just the feeling of possible spirit contact is enough to freak some people out, but ask yourself if you are looking to create a horror movie experience or just a weird and creepy evening.)

-Do you want to leave any proof of contact or do you prefer the ambiguity?

-What would it take to make a skeptic question his beliefs? Do you want to convince the skeptics or just give them questions they can't answer?

-What do you claim you are doing? Contacting the dead? Recreating a historical seance? Is this a sacred ritual from your own esoteric religion, something forbidden, something dangerous, or is it something else entirely? If someone comes up to you afterward and says he is considering changing religions now, is that your goal?

-Can you think of anything that would allow for the feeling of involvement on the part of all members of the assembly? (I personally feel it is most meaningful to avoid having anyone passive. I don't want it to feel like I'm the entertainment and they are the audience. I want it to feel like I'm the guy who is facilitating us all experiencing something together.)

-Finally, and I think this is very important, why would a ghost want to communicate with the folks who are holding the seance? I mean, I get their motivations, but why would a ghost care enough to make the effort to also communicate? That question led me to a frame for my Zoom seance that I felt was a potentially interesting one. It also gave me the motivation for adding some material that I wouldn't have expected to fit before I found my frame story.

I'm trying not to guide you to the same conclusions I came to, but I did put a lot of thought into my Zoom efforts and I am still proud of the result. I think by answering the questions, you get a lot closer to figuring out what your seance experience should feel like. And from there, it is only a short step to making it actually happen.

-Patrick
fowill
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Chile
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Food for thought! Thank you for this questions that definitely help to reflect upon what we want to achieve and then how. It reminds me of Cassidy's Fundamentals on thinking about how different styles of performers would present the same effect.

I'm currently working on a Jack the Ripper seance, following Voodini's advices and reading a lot of useful and interesting ideas here at the Café.

In my case I prefer the weird and creepy feeling with an open end like so may good stories that let you with more questions than answers. So I'm reducing my props and effects to get a more authentic feeling.

I would love to know more about you Zoom adaptations.

Best!
Fowill
Mr. Woolery
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The principal adjustment for Zoom was finding ways the other people could actually feel they were interacting with the spirit. Without that, it would have been me in my study trying to convince people I wasn’t causing whatever was happening.

What can you have them do? Voodini is a very good start. But look at his methods of making it seem that spirits really are communicating. The two things that really did the convincing both came from his works.

I’m not being cryptic to be a jerk or make you “earn” the secrets. I’m actually hoping you will ask yourself the same questions I asked myself so you end up with a performance that is truly you.

Patrick
fowill
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Chile
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That's the big question I suppose, not only have your participants watch but to have some kind of experience in a virtual environment. I do guided meditations and related things and that's has been the major challenge.

I'm now focused on my in-person Jack the Ripper seance, then I'll like to do something in relation to a well and old (one hundread years ago maybe) documented case of "demonic possession" that happened where I live.

So I'm reading and practicing and reflecting... So I totally understand your point, but I admit I'm curious not about the methods behind but how you resolved this challenge of giving an experience to your participants.

I think the questions you propose are really valuable to end with a very personal outcome/performance solution.

Best!
Fowill
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