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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » Where is Bizarre Magick headed? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Dan Mindo
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Has Bizarre Magick has reached a point where it lacks direction? I'm not trying to be negative, I'm just making an observation. The Bizarre community seems to be fragmented. The loss of The Alter Flame and the passing of some of Bizarre's elders seems to have cast us adrift. What are your thoughts on the direction of Bizarre Magick?
Jonathan Townsend
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Perhaps post modern re-interpretations of baby boomer classics like Mister Rogers Neighborhood? How did the king rule his kingdom? And what really went on in that clock tower? What made the trolley run and were there really hidden messages in those songs?

Bizarre is where you hang you cloak.

The old ones never left!
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Peter Marucci
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I don't think bizarre has lost its direction. Granted, people like Gene Poinc, Charles Cameron, and Punx are no longer with us. But we have others like Bro. Shadow, DeNomolos, Black Hart, Karl Bartoni, and many, many more.

As Jonathan says in the post above, "the old ones never left". Not really.
chmara
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Direction???

To me that reeks of top down—and real magic—and particularly bizarre magic is from the real UNDERGROUND up. (Note—underground is under the bottom.)

Look what "top down" has done to US prestige in the last three years.

Look what "top down" has done to Disney.

Look what "top down" did to Jane Mansfield and Jimmy Dean. (Darn, wrong top again.)

I think the magic story telling of Peter Marucci, the light and Dark Tales of Brother Shadow are but an inkling of what can be done. While these compeers tend more to the Goetic side (check your Andruzzi boys) a good old fairy tale like Rapunzel for kids— done with proper effects (choose your own) is as "bizarre" as you can get.

Folk lore from every culture, dark and light, fits into the bizarre mode. Political comment, especially lately, firs the bizarre mode.

The really great thing about Goetic magic is you can make yourself part of our superstitious history. Identify with witches, warlocks, the Spanish Inquisition without Monte Python (or with if that is your choice).

Probably one of the most bizarre acts today— commercial—totally bizarre—is Mac King on the light side. Recreating a hayseed for a character with the sharpness of an Indiana Lawyer who went to law school in Philadelphia. And his form of bizarre, beyond the **** suit, is fuh-nny!

In story telling mode, the magic of the late Shari Lewis, like the magic of Fred Rogers, could transport an audience as most of us only dream of doing.

AND Denomolos and Blackhart (OK, and even Marucci) show there is much more to an old trick than moves. Ed paints and decorates for atmosphere, then routines. Blackhart lives the atmosphere and does create "stock bizarre tricks" for those who are either lazy—or like myself—believe themselves to be not quite a top talent in prop creation.

(Ok, so I live near Jim Riser and Nick Rugiero and that is causing me to feel very inexpert in making props, but mine are pretty good, actually.)

Peter Marucci and Brother Shadow, Bill Palmer, Christian Chelman all bring drama and routining to the table. Often with stock stuff that every "straight" magician has in a drawer of on the shelf.

Would you call Penn—and even more so Teller—bizarre?

Now, a challenge. Have you read any greek myths or fables lately? Who is using these for material? Lovecraft abounds in magic, as does Poe. What about Hitchcock, oft quoted by our friend (in the Italian Society sense) Darmoe. There is a lot of solid material in sci-fi and Shakespeare. Lore of India and Native American lore.

Recent discussions on the uses of cockroaches and Urim and Thummin devices have been had in some circles. In Tucson, an antique dealer paled when I asked him for five objects with which to murder someone. I am working with lynchings, and Egyptian fortune telling, yes, from the time of Joseph of the Coat of Many Colors.

Paul Alberstat (did I get it right that time Paul?) works tea rooms and coffee houses—probably a lot quieter than some of the Bars Eugene Burger works.

And, can you believe it, Jeff McBride is a mainstream magician with Kabuki, old theater movement and dance technique, commando crafted street magic and mime all intertwined. He dresses the part full time. And would you consider D. Romeo's Asrah to "Music of the Night" bizarre or just Broadway staging???

Fr. Daniel Roland, one of the Catholic Churches best story telling magicians, fits the story telling/bizarre mode—and he is full of faith. His act lets you laugh, think, cry and be astonished all at the same time. He uses a take on bubbles he developed from the work of Vito Lupo—who is or is not a bizarre performer???

So, my questioning friend, look at the web of bizarre magic. It travels in many directions. Some lead to the spider of depair, others to a full meal for a hungry spider. Choose one carefully, BUT LET IT BE YOUR CHOICE—YOUR DIRECTION. If you travel with the herd, remember the mythos of the lemming, and what our fellow magician in craft says—"I don't care if I AM a lemming—I won't go!

And as you travel the web, make sure some of it is woven over as mirror so you can see your brand of bizarre—in your own reflection.

With Respect.
Gregg (C. H. Mara) Chmara -- long of wind tonight.

PS -- I am still waiting for my new skull to come in -- GC
Gregg (C. H. Mara) Chmara

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montz
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It is true. With performers such as Christian Chelman, Eugene Burger and Maven,Kenton Knepper, Doc Hilford and new, fresh creators including Luke Jermay and Caleb Strange, the future of Bizarre Magick looks good,

Especially with the solid footing it got from Cameron, Shiels, Raven, and Andruzzi.
Tony Razzano
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Another great source for stories is Joseph Campbell in his "Power of Myth".

Best regards,
Tony Razzano
Best regards,
<BR>Tony Razzano, Past President, PEA
Winner of the PEA"s Bascom Jones and Bob Haines Awards
Black Hart
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The future of Bizarre Magic?

Push the boundaries. Experiment. Dare to be different. Dare to fail. Do not be afraid to make changes.

Do the above and the future is good.

Black Hart
Black Artefacts, manufacturer and dealer of weird, bizarre and psychic magic: www.blackhart.co.uk
Bill Palmer
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These are all good points.

Two years ago, when I was trying to find a publisher for {i]Sheherazade[/i], I called Stephen Minch and L&L Publishing. I thought that with the "in" I had from Paramiracles, maybe one of these houses would publish the book. I didn't want any royalties. I just wanted to see the book in print.

I got a very polite brush-off from both of them. Minch said "Bizarre magic is dead. Nobody is doing it any more" or words to that effect. Louis Falanga's secretary said "We aren't taking on any new books at this time. The other publishers are afraid we are flooding the market."

What HORSEPUCKEY! Stephen had been in on the ground floor of Bizarre Magic, when Andruzzi had published his scroll. And L & L cranks books out like there is a never-ending money supply out there. I didn't argue with either one of them. Neither had even looked at the manuscript. So, I published it myself. Now it is almost sold out. I don't plan to reprint.

Am I bitter? Not at all. I'm glad they turned me away. Now I am a publisher. And I have other people submitting manuscripts. Some of these are people that L & L would really love to see in their stable of authors.

And I'll be glad to supply the books to them when they are published.

Is Bizarre dying? No. Does it lack direction? No. Bizarre is a category that is as broad as close-up or illusion. It has its own proponents, and the best of them do not worry whether an idea is "bizarre" or not. They simply want to create a good, entertaining presentation that fits their style.

And that is the way it should be in all of magic.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
chmara
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Well said, Bill.

While not a major share of the hobby market -- bizarre represents a deeply underserved com,munity with a wide variety of takes and tastes.GC
Gregg (C. H. Mara) Chmara

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C. H. Mara Illusion & Psychic Entertainments
Payne
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The problem with Bizarre Magic is that it tends to be deeply personal. It is a form of magical expression that is tied to ones own personality and thus it is difficult to package and market to the masses who want instant effects.
Scheherazade is a great book as are Punx's and Poinc's but most see the effects contained in these exceptional tomes as being completely unworkable and for the most part they are correct.
The effects in Scheherazade are tied to the author who created them and are but dim reflections of the original when attempted to be exactly replicated. Bizarre magic books are not your typical instruction manuals but catalysts that inspire deeper thinking into ones own performance psyche.
This makes these manuscripts completely worthless to the common Magus who simply wants another card or coin trick for their arsenal.
However this being said I believe that Bizarre magic is alive and well and is a movement that is finally gaining acceptance among our fellow magi.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Dan Mindo
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Lots of interesting comments! In my mind, Bizarre Magick is the only form of the art that can routinely create an emotional bond between the performer and the audience. It's sad that some think it is dead. I guess that's why I began this thread. While I feel that it lacks direction at this time, I think that it will sort itself out, and emerge stronger.

I've been around magic my whole life, a few years ago I decided to perform a transformation effect which was created by Andruzzi and perfected by Kirkandall. I performed it at McBride's "Mysterium" and "The Phoenix Gathering". That one effect had more impact on my audience than anything I had performed in my entire life. So I would strongly disagree with anyone saying that Bizarre is dead. It gave me life.

When I say that I think that Bizarre has lost it's direction, in part, I'm lamenting the loss of the Invocation and the Alter Flame. They helped to create a sense of community. So somebody out there, (maybe it's you) please create a new monthly publication devoted to Bizarre Magick and I'll stop whining.
chmara
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Payne-

you are very correct in saying that "most are unworkable" to the unskilled or only moderately interested in poutrting in the work in trhe craft.

I have used some from every one of these books to buold shows and their effects in my style. They are idea generators -- not fake books as musicians may use. They are more about composing -- than playing.

If "bizarre" aint tied to the performer's personality -- it aint bizarre -- it's an Abbott and Costello or Disney horror clone.

GC[-) TIC
Gregg (C. H. Mara) Chmara

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C. H. Mara Illusion & Psychic Entertainments
Dan Mindo
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While I enjoy reading most Bizarre routine's. I use them as a source of inspiration. They help to spark my creativity. I often wonder how many of these effects have ever been performed for real audiences.

Many of the stories in Bizarre Magick can stand alone without the magick. However I find some effects which consist of a marginally interesting story puncuated by a single effect at the end to be rather tiresome.
enriqueenriquez
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I agree with Dan: a story has to be strong enough by itself, without tricks.

I think somebody called that “The Marucci rule”, wich is a beautiful and well deserved name for a rule, by the way.

Many magicians say that people just want the tricks and doesn’t care about the stories. If that were true, why we don’t have “Magic Theaters” in every mall, instead of Movie Theaters?

I personally prefer to tell my own stories. At least, the stories that I have found myself. But that doesn’t mean that the stories in books like “Once Upon a Time”, “Capricornian Tales” or “Sheherazade” are unworkable.

If 100 storytellers tell “Little Red Riding Hood”, you will have 100 different versions. That’s the way stories work. If you perform your own routines you are probably making more rich the field of bizarre magick. But if you perform someone else’s routine, you are extending a tradition, in the way most storytellers do, in many countries and cultures.
Tspall
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As a relative newcomer to Bizarre magic I'm finding that the more I explore it, the more it really has to come from within yourself. Your personal style will play a big part in how you perform it. Not just the character you portray but what kinds of stories will you use. If you like mythology, go for it! Some of the Grimm's Fairy Tales could be great for routines. Your routines will benefit greatly from the fact that you are truly interested in the tale you're telling.

Maybe (and I'm not sure of the answer to this) part of the impression of Bizarre lacking direction is that it's not as common to find places, such as here on MC, for Bizarre magicians to come together to discuss ideas?
Tony
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My magic blog:
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Stuart Hooper
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The only problem I see here is the continued desire to seperate bizzare into some sort of Artistic underground in the magical community....ALL magic faces the same problems, ALL magic should come within.

As for the fellow who suggested greek myths and fables, right on, some amazing routines there...maybe I can obtain permission to post some of the work being done...
Dan Mindo
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Does all magic face the same problems? I'm not sure I agree with that. The most obvious flaw I find in Bizarre Magick is stories that are too long with too little pay off in the magic department. Eugene Burger wrote a great article on script editing that would be really useful to many Bizarre performers.

As for mainstream magic, it has many problems, but I think a different set of problems for the most part. I think all magic has common problems, but each branch of magic has its own.

Artistic, underground; this is how real change usually comes about.
rickmagic1
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Anytime you're within a certain artform and you go against the status quo, you'll get singled out...
remember Andy Warhol, Lenny Bruce, and Frank Zappa?

The defense rests.

Rick
Richard Green
The Modern Conjurer
Host of the Haunted Magic show at House of Cards Nashville!
chmara
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Frank who???

You left out Salvatore Dali, VanGogh, Capornicus, Napoleon, Socrates, Dante, Pope John Paul, Luther, Wesley, John Brown, Quentin Tarantino, Mac King -- and a few other good men and women along the way.

It is unfortunate that Andruzzi's use of the term "Goetic" magic did not stick -- and that English is so limited we cannot come up with a better way to mix our Draculas with our TILL EULENSPIEGELS.

GC
Gregg (C. H. Mara) Chmara

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Tucson, AZ



C. H. Mara Illusion & Psychic Entertainments
Clifford the Red
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I was fortunate to attend the Bizarre Focus Master Class last year with Eugene Burger and Jeff McBride, along with a host of other wonderful magicians.

I think the realm of Bizarre is live and well and perhaps maturing. It is no longer confined to horror, but engaging the entire spectrum of eliciting emotion in performance. The focus of Bizarre is making an emotional connection with your audience and creating a truly magical experience instead of performing tricks. It is a magnet for original creation and certainly was the impetus for the many effects my partner and I have created from scratch.
"The universe is full of magical things, waiting for our wits to grow sharper." Eden Philpotts
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