Ed Williams and I set out our definition of magic in a prior post. We used the definition to develop our course to teach magicians how to effectively perform rather than doing tricks. We spent many many wonderful hours reducing our thoughts and experiences into a form that could be taught to others. Ed was one of the few magicians that I personally knew that shared a common understanding on a theory of performing.
This is the outline of the course:
Session #1 (3 hours)
Orientation and introduction to the course.
Definition of magic.
The Iceberg Principle
How the public perceives magic. Purveyor of puzzles or Performing Artist?
Be prepared to be video taped doing a few of your favorite effects or a routine. This does not need to be a polished routine. However, you should have the mechanics of the trick down. This will be used for future reference.
Session #2 (3 hours)
Lecture – Finding Your Character – Art of Performing
Dramatic Structure, Theory of Method Acting, Improvisation, Serious Business of Comedy.
Question & Answer Session.
Session #3 (3hours)
Lecture – Using Your Character – The Art of Entertainment
Casting Yourself, Presentation, Pacing, Rhythm, Practice, Rehearsal, Using the tools from your toolbox (Body, Timing, Music, Stagecraft, Lighting, Assistants, Properties, Volunteers, Stagecraft, Performing Space).
Question and Answer Session.
Session #4 (3 hours)
Lecture – Setting Your Character Free – Art of Audience Communication
Suspension of Disbelief, Emotional Appeal, Applause and Reaction, Controlling Attention, Your Role in the Conversation, Your Audience’s Role in the Conversation. Conversing Without Words (Beware! This can be a mime field). Putting it all together.
Session #5 (1.5 hours)
Personal Instruction I, Video Session
Each individual’s performance will be videotaped and will be reviewed during a private 2 on 1 session. Suggestions will be made and areas that could use improvements pointed out that will enhance the performance.
Session #5 (1.5 hours)
Personal Instruction II, Video Session
In this second 2 on 1 private session each individual will again be videotaped applying the information gained from the previous session. Further fine tuning of the performance.
All participants will be invited to perform in a special performance at Funtyme Magic. The Show will be videotaped before a live audience.