Lecture5 EP. Souls Not Sold

Put ten Bizarre Magicians together, and more than likely you will hear ten opinions of what constitutes Bizarre Magick.  Highly subjective.  However, all will agree it's storytelling.  Yes.  And so is the story that is 'pattered' when doing the Multiplying Sponge Rabbits -- but is that bizarre?  Hardly.  Unless, of course, if the performer has live rabbits carrying on so indecently in his hand in mixed company -- that would be bizarre in the correct definition of
the word:  strikingly unconventional.  Well, in the case of the rabbits also a bit kinky.

That's the problem, among the majority of magicians and lay people, a misconception of the word bizarre.  They equate it with soul selling, demons, witches, ghosties and ghasties and things that go bump in the night other than ones lover.  Compounding the problem, contributing to the onus on the word are some of the bizarre performers who are never offstage.  They ever play the 'mysterious' role, dress the part:  all in black, wearing silver
pentagrams, skull rings, all the 'weird' stage trappings that should have been left backstage after the performance.  To my perspective this is as sophomorically silly as if a clown wore full costume and makeup, including bulbous red rubber nose, to the market, to the doctor, to church.  Granted, these are in the minority but they contribute considerably to the perception that Bizarre Magick is excessively weird and bizarre magicians even weirder. Bizarre Magick is storytelling, illustrated with a few magical effects, that stirs the emotions, prods something within the human psyche to respond to the performance, to the story being told.  It is storytelling with substance as opposed to a superficial patter tale.  But wait -- a touchingly beautiful love story can have substance, but...is it bizarre?  Think back to the accurate definition of the word: strikingly unconventional.  Make me number eleven in that group of ten bizarrists, some would say yes if the love story awakens an emotion, any emotion, it can be in the category of Bizarre,  I disagree. No matter how lovely the love story -- without that unconventional twist it is not bizarre.

So, I put myself on an unwavering line with my definition:  Bizarre Magick is substantive storytelling magic, illustrated with one or more effects, the intent of which is to make a specific meaningful point by awakening a disquieting, at times perhaps even fearful, emotion in the participant to punctuate the message being imparted.  In other words -- you're far more apt to remember what makes you uncomfortable, uneasy or frightened than you are something that simply makes you pleasantly entertained. However, that said, the Prime Directive of Magic is that it must entertain;  even in Bizarre Magick that strives to be thought provoking -- it must also entertain.

As I don't have much patience with pontifications (except my own, of course, but being a kindly sort I'll spare you) here are three of my routines as examples.  The first, "A Gentleman of Mercy"
touches the dark side that may well lurk in us all, the horrors we might possibly inflict should certain circumstances trigger us to dreadful action.

The second, "The Lizzie Borden Bunnies" is darkly comic, and on the surface may at first seem to be nothing more than that.  But hopefully it will stir awareness of what bleak things fascinate us, and more importantly what we are doing to our children with questionable entertainment fare.

The third, "Stalker" began with giggles and cackles of delight when I first conceived of it.  Then while writing the initial reaction began changing to increasing horror; the thought being -- what if...just what if...........Well, that's all I'll tell you about that one.  But -- what

Here they are, just click on the links below:-

[1] " A Gentleman Of Mercy".

[2] "The Lizzie Borden Bunnies".

[3] "Stalker".



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