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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » Blood and Cards (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Jonathan Townsend
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Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
26898 Posts

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Once upon a time I met a young woman who was unusual. At the house one evening, a friend had accidental jabbed himself on a knife blade in the sink. He quickly got his hand out of the sink and was holding his hand and looking at it when she entered the kitchen. She asked if he was okay. He told her he had just gotten cut. She asked if it was bleeding. He nodded. She asked if she could watch.

Most people have unpleasant memories associated with bleeding. The sight of blood may evoke these memories.

In 15 year hindsight, I wonder what she was remembering or managing to keep from remembering.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Stuart Hooper
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Mithrandir
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I gotta agree with Mr. Townsend here, although I will come out and say that perhaps many people on this board cannot quite appreciate the *subtle horror* of "an MBA which expects to immediately improve a real company with school learned procedures."

But yes, the antique metaphors grow outdates. Like Mr. Townsend says, it's not to say that if you were faced with a bloodsucking vampire, it wouldn't be scary...but things like "Dracula, Dead and Loving it" cartoons, REALITY, all sorts of things take the bite out of such things. (no pun intended).

As far as Goths, modern kids, yes, well, I've seen firsthand what Live action roleplaying as it is benevolently called can be like. However, you want scary, modern things? Who remembers the days when the jocks picked on the "nerds?" Not these days, glad I didn't have labels myself but sheesh, there was a vast collection of pale-faced, trenchcoat wearing "Goths". Sure every day, they would *play* at being vampires, among themselves, but it wasn't so funny when they started packing knives, and copulating in odd places on school grounds. It was truly scary, but in no antique sense. I can't even count the number of friends I've lost who began, like I with a love of fantasy, perhaps, and ended up suicidal, drug wielding freaks.

Er...sort of sorry for this, but perhaps I just proved Mr. Palmer's point...but if you want to make routines about "modern vampires" your going to have to examine some pretty painful images, those of children wielding pipe bombs, and blowing their fellows to smithereens, only because these fellows are more beautiful, or more "popular".

:stout:
Bill Palmer
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Eternal Order
Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
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"Scary" is a very interesting topic, as is "reality." They have different meanings to different people.

Like it or not, there ARE people who take Gothic role playing into a far deeper area than it should be taken. The upsurge in "literature" and television programming in this genre during the past 10 - 15 years is a testament to this.

But to the former heirs of the Belknap Hardware
conglomerate, the image of the MBA straight out of college trying to improve the company is a wonderful example of exactly what not to do.

Think of all the wonderful companies that no longer exist because either inexperienced MBA's or inexperienced CPA's who had no practical understanding of a given business gave bad advice.

Modern vampires -- different blood.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Black Hart
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Scottish Highlands
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The practicalities of using blood in a presentation...

Blood can be a very powerful prop, in the right circumstances, but it does need to be the right circumstances.

Take for example the Black Artefacts effect 'Slasher' - the cut throat razor. I use it as a single effect, a blood sacrifice, to begin a banquet, or I use it at the end of my seance act as a closer.

The reason for this is quite simply the blood. After I have done the effect I have blood on my arm and hand so I need to get cleaned up or I will get blood all over things I don't want to get blood on.

I also have another angle on the seance where I use blood. This is a stage seance by the way. My ouija board is placed in full view of the audience and a wine glass (empty) is passed from one of the dinner tables and placed upside down on the board. However WE are not going to touch the glass as we are going to get the spirits to move the glass by themselves. After building up the tension, my assistant, the medium, who is seated at the side of the stage (performing area) falls into a trance. Just as the tension in the room reached it's peak, without warning the glass shatters and at this moment my assistant lets out a violent scream. I reach for my forehead as I try to calm down the audience and as I lower my hand the audience can see blood dripping from my forehead as I have been hit by a shard of flying glass.

The seance if finished at this point - a very dramatic ending.

Blood is a prop. Like ANY prop, like any action, like every word in every effect, its use should be considered and thought about and then used if and when it is right to do so.

Black Hart
Black Artefacts, manufacturer and dealer of weird, bizarre and psychic magic: www.blackhart.co.uk
ptbeast
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Oregon
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I find the question of what scares people, why it scares them, and what types of scares that we should strive for a very interesting one. I think, however, that we must keep certain things in perspective.

I have been involved in scaring people for a long time, as a designer of haunted houses as well as performing bizarre magick. I love to scare people and (for the most part) I have found that people love to be scared. But I think that it is important to ask the question "why do we want to scare?" If the answer to this is "to entertain," then I feel that it puts some constraints on our stories and our methods.

There is plenty of real horror in the world: terrorism, drive-by shootings, drug addiction, war,
disease, poverty... to name only a very few. But, in my (not always so) humble opinion, putting people in the middle of these scenarios, while it may be scary, does not entertain, simply shocks. To entertain we much reach deeper. We much touch something inside that allows them to shiver and scream, but in the end know that it was fantasy. If we push too far into the real then we run the risk of simply reminding people that they don't live in a safe world. Do we want to scare or to scar.

I have used ghosts, werewolves, vampires, and other things seen and unseen to cause people to scream, yell, and yes even wet their pants. But in the end, they generally end up laughing. Not at me, but to release the stress -- knowing that it is over. If we use the terrors of real life do they ever know that it is all over?

I am not saying that there are easy answers. I am certainly not saying that the questions should not be asked. Perhaps many of our stories, and certainly many of our props do need to be updated. But I think that our audiences deserve for us to do so with care and thinking.

Just my two cents worth.

Dave
Jonathan Townsend
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Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
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And then the lights go out in the 7-11, the twinkies start to shuffle on the shelf. In the small house that is the convenience store, the inhabitants start their day. A short day. Just a few hours while silent and blind computers count what some call money. Enough time for those who exist differently to do what the need. And plan.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
charles schneider
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.....who is Randolf Carter?

Randolph Carter is a character in a story by master horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. To read the entire tale go here.

http://www.randomhouse.com/delrey/sample/dreamcyc.html
Dustin Baker
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Inner circle
California
1001 Posts

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I developed an illusion where the magician slices a 6-8in gap in his arm using a playingcard, heals himself, leaves a scar, ect. It's completely angle proof to.

I developed a "Pro-Edition" of the effect, to be used as a more classical effect rather than the "shock magic" that it was before. Gerry Griffin helped me with the patter and the effect looks awsome.

PM me if you want to know more about it.
Think inside the box. . . it's less crowded.
kaytracy
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Inner circle
Central California
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I do not take issue with Mr. Townsend's views on what is scary.
I think that there are a great many things that children have been made to fear by their parents, peers, siblings and society at large<not to mention TV and movies>.
I guess I think that to the people of the time and genre originally mentioned such as vampires, etc. there are maybe a few things to break out further. Understand I am not an English/Literature expert, not a Poly. Sci. or Psych. major.
There is a difference in what people 100-150 years ago worried about, and there were differences in the societal structure as well. The lower classes had a few concerns that the upper classes did not. The upper classes worried mostly about not becoming part of the lower classes! <or so I have been told!>

Organizations "demonize" what they fear, or fear to become. In this day and age, there are still people <and I have met a few of them> who think that people of certain religious cultures are born with horns and a tail. In order to move among us "unseen", they must have those appendiges removed at birth. Just ask my co-worker how his daughter took it when the neighbor was examiining his childs forehead and commenting on what a good job the doctors did, she could not see any scars!

As a man who was able to afford to attend college in Ireland of the 1870's, <meaning he grew up during part of the great famine> Bram Stoker was able to travel to other locales in Europe, gather folk tales from the countryside, and bring them home to "sensationalize" them into his more famous work. I am not sure that the genteel and educated readers of his books at the time had any inkling of what he was writing about as far as vampires, etc. Not being a product of the times, I cannot say for certain that there was not also some form of political or class satire written into the work as well. Perhaps there was a sensatonalized popularity that surfaced when Mr. Ripper came onto the scene.
I guess I am saying that personally I prefer a bit of metaphor for my being entertained in a scary manner. There IS plenty in the day to day world to scare me. There is also plenty in the fantasy world that can tweak me into a scream as well.

I think it depends on the audience, and the tale. The objective of the story if you will.
Why are there still people today who are afraid of clowns?

Salsa Dancer, I say work out the tale, script it, be aware of the audience you are performing for, and give it a go. Sometimes we can over ****yze a thing (note the first few letters of that word!) and we just have to make like the shoe folks say and Just do it!
k
Kay and Tory
www.Bizarremagick.com
SeaDawg
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The Lunatic Fringe
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Sometimes as a stress mechanism humans turn to parody to deal with things they cannot explain. The horror of the undead feasting on the blood of others certainly captured the imaginations of generations and did so until the archetype was turned into many, many comedy spoofs.

But real world horrors still capture our imagination and yet attract and repel us at the same time. Need modern examples? Gacy, Dahmer, Manson have the same kind of intrigue as the Strangler and Jack the Ripper.

Look at the Success of the "SAW" franchise. Number three and still going strong....

Paterson and Deaver... still cranking out thrillers. We are fascinated by the macabre.

To effectively capture our audiences minds and fears is a great asset...
Crazy people take the psycho-path thru the forest...
Dustin Baker
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Inner circle
California
1001 Posts

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Quote:
On 2004-03-22 12:36, salsa_dancer wrote:
Giving some more thoughts to this, how about the card itself bleeding?

13 of them are covered with hearts Smile

Maybe utilising the number 13 - and a stab through the heart..




That's a good idea; I'll get on it.

Sorry, I misunderstood the point of the forum
(I thought someone was looking for a trick not discussing magic principle and theory).

As I mentioned in my previous post, I've been doing an effect with cards and blood for a while. I present the whole thing as a glimpse into the history of magic, when Indian Fakirs would pierce, slice, and cut themselves with various sharp implements. As a less menacing substitute for the weapons, I use playing cards.

The audience is not meant to respond with fear, evem though the very presence of blood suggests fear. I mean for them to be intrigued, about the trick and its history.

As for "shock magic" itself: everything is in the presentation. Sawing a woman in half is just as much dismemberment as Andrew Mayne's most gruesome work. Take Gut Buster. If you present it as "Watch me do this thing that should kill you." it's shocking and unmagical. If you present it as "Watch me pass my arm through his stomach, leaving him un-harmed." It is magical.

Gerry Griffin told me this once, "If all you want to do is shock the audience, you might as well put a bucket of blood with a goat's head sticking out on the stage. You'll get the same reaction."

When you come down to it the question is really, "Do we want to portray magic as? A positive or a negative force?"

As a positive force, everyone is healed and un-harmed at the end of the effect, the audience enjoyed what they saw (despite confusion and disbelief).

As a negative force, we're saying "Watch-out for magicians they'll stick their arm through your chest, slice you up, and make you disappear."

In my opinion, magic should be the force that fixes the problems caused by the world. i.e. Mortal means cause the problem, magical means fix it.

Maybe I'm reading too much into the subject, but that's where it brought me.
Think inside the box. . . it's less crowded.
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