Friday, April 1, 2011

Bizarre magic

There are many types of magic out there at least from the magicians perspective. Not so much to the spectator it's all magic to them. But back to magicians, from our standpoint magic is broken up into categories based on performance location (Close-up, parlour, stage...) type of props (coins, cards, silks...) performance style (geek, bizarre, mentalism...). Today I would like to talk about Bizarre magic.

What is bizarre magic? That is a hard question to answer, every magician especially every bizarre magician has a different answer as to what bizarre magic is. There is kind of an underlying belief to bizarre magic but other than that you have to define it yourself and work towards it. I personally see bizarre magic as more theatre than other types of magic.

At its simplest its good strong story telling magic. William Ligon said ""If ya ain't got no story, ya ain't got no magic." I feel that's a perfect summation of bizarre magic. A few days ago I posted a video of Chrisitan Cagigal doing an effect called The Gambler and The Stranger. Lets take that for an example (go watch it if you haven't) If we take out the story about the gambler and his foe; what's left? An effect where three cards change faces and then one turns into an unexpected third card. Sounds kind of weak, cause it is kind of weak. Now add in the story, you're following along and as the gambler loses more  tension is built. Then the three cards are laid face down and the gambler bets its all. This is the climax and you're so focused on whether or not he picks the right card that you don't see the final surprise looming just ahead. So you see how important the story is in that effect.

Now there are some themes that repeat themselves through out bizarre magic. The occult and macabre make big appearances. Various world beliefs pop up here and there. Monsters show their faces now and again. But it not about those, bizarre magic is about touching people and its easier to touch people with those. But its possible to have upbeat and uplifting bizarre magic as well. For instance David Parr has a wonderfully touching effect called "From the heart" Its a heartwarming effect about the transcendental nature of true love.

I hope this helps those interested in bizarre magic understand it a little better. If not I want you to know its a hard subject to write on.

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