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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » David Bowie (16 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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magic maniac
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Inspiration post. Thank-you.
Mark_Chandaue
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Quote:
On Jan 12, 2016, phillsmiff wrote:
Quote:
On Jan 11, 2016, Mark_Chandaue wrote:
I didn't realise at first that it was Bowie and due to his high level of skill, I assumed he looked so familiar because I'd met him at a convention or the circle. He was also a really genuinely nice guy.

Mark


Post of the year here, amazing. When did you clock it was him?

Phill

After he was walking away, having purchased something (can't remember what he bought but it would have been some prop or gimmick as this was in the Hamley's magic department back when they had a professional magic dept). One of the guys from another department came running over freaking out asking me about Bowie. I looked at the credit card slip which was in the name David Jones and the penny dropped. Not recognising him was probably a good thing, had I recognised him he probably would have bought what he wanted and left within 5 minutes. Hopefully he enjoyed being taken seriously as a magician rather than simply being Bowie. He deserved to be taken seriously, he was more than a casual coin man, he was using edge grips, goshman pinches, gallo pitches and the like. I would rate his skills back then as advanced.

So he truly was "one of us".

Mark
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C.J.
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Taking the discussion back to Rick's original point of characterisation, what Bowie showed was that people in general are interested in things (and characters) that have a significant deviance from the norm. A lot of the news reports that have been coming out all agree that Bowie's various characters were very intentional, and his developments, changes and reinventions over the decades were carefully planned. He wasn't just an eccentric, and he certainly wasn't "just himself" on stage.

One of my peeves is hearing a lot of people talk about mentalism, and in one breath they will say how important it is to play a character, and in the very next breath they will say "And my character is basically just like me". That's not a character. That's YOU in a performance mindset pretending to have powers. If Real You and Character You are both essentially just normal people, then you miss a huge opportunity to attract interest and intrigue from your audience. David Bowie made great music, but his persona(s) gave an extra reason for people to notice him, become fascinated by him, follow him and love him. Are we mentalists certain that we want to just play "basically an ordinary guy with the power to read minds"?

So I agree and disagree with Rick's first post. I agree:
Quote:
And true character development is so very different from the lazy caricatures that most mentalists hide behind.


I disagree:
Quote:
start searching inside of yourself to see who you truly are.


I don't think a good character is "who you truly are". If that's where it is based, then it should be taken to an extreme that is noticeable and meaningful. As the story of "Undercover coin magician Bowie" above shows, in public he may not have been noticeable. Regardless of whatever claims he made in interviews, if Ziggy Stardust was "who Bowie truly was", then he would have presented this version of himself at all times, not just when he was on stage or under a media spotlight. No; if we are going to break away from the lazy caricatures that most mentalists hide behind, then searching within for our true selves is, at best, only a very first step.
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Rick Maue
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Thanks for your thoughts, my friends.

And C.J., please don't assume I am telling any performers to "be themselves". Personally, after more than three years of research (including dozens and dozens of in-depth discussions and interviews with performers of all types), and then writing over 400 pages about character development, I have come to the conclusion that it is impossible for anyone to be him/herself. (I certainly won't attempt to go into that discussion right now.) That is certainly not what I meant.

However, in order to construct any true character (thus avoiding the lazy caricatures), each performer must start by looking inside to see who they are; to see what they are attempting to project; and why they are doing what they do. And yes, I agree with you, that is merely the first step. But, sadly, it is a first step that far too many mentalists and magicians never take.


Keep the change,
Rick
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C.J.
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Quote:
On Jan 14, 2016, Rick Maue wrote:
and then writing over 400 pages about character development,


Are these writings available for purchase? I'm keen on anything that relates to the stagecraft side of our art.

(and thanks for clarifying your position - I see what you're saying now!)
Connor Jacobs - The Thought Sculptor
Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur
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Rick Maue
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I'm sorry, my friend, but they are not available for purchase. Over the past decade, I lost interest in releasing mentalism products. That's why I have three unpublished books (and a fourth in progress), as well as several unreleased video projects, on my shelf. I have continuously worked on such things simply to exercise my brain (and also as a part of the consulting and directing I do for a few very close friends), but I have no immediate plans to release any of the material. Maybe that will change in the future. However, I do have a reoccurring fantasy of hosting a large bonfire one of these days. Smile


Keep the change,
Rick
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Gaunt
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Thank you Rick for such a valuable and thought provoking post. May Bowie continue to live through his beautiful and transformative music.
Keith Raygor
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Quote:
On Jan 11, 2016, IAIN wrote:
and he was initially quite influenced by anthony newley of all people, but if you listen to bowie's early stuff - you can hear it!


Yes, the deep vibrato, and the theatrical presentation while he sang. He was an entertainer with the willingness to explore out loud.
Rick Maue
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Today, with it being David's 71st birthday, I decided to look back on this thread. I appreciate those who took time to read my original thoughts...and special thanks to those who offered their own views.

Keep the change,
Rick
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The Hermit
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First time I saw this thread. Good points Mr. Maue. I would add one thing - Bowie's characters were very much a part of and sometimes anticipated the current zeitgeist and culture. Much like Doug Henning could only break out in the 'hippy' times, Bowie's understood the people and culture he was trying to impact artistically. He leveraged pop culture to reinforce his character. Many mentalists and magicians today seem divorced from current times.
Last Laugh
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Great thread. Happy B-day Bowie.

Also - I had no idea Bowie was a coin man! How cool is that?
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Senor Fabuloso
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In another thread about rewriting the 13 steps I posted step one to be character development and step two to be motivation. These are the who and why of performing. They give you most of what you need to understand intellectually yourself in performance. Yourself refers to the being you propose to be. Consider the other literary tools at our disposal when creating. The what where and how to complete your story and you will have accomplished something.

I'm honored that such a wonderful performer as Mr. Maue could validate a piece of advice I offered to the community. Your work Mr. Maue and how you made bizarre that which was just mental has been and remains an inspiration to me. Thank you.
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