Hello...intro

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Hello...intro

Postby Bled on Mon Oct 27, 2014 1:06 am

Hi folks,

I grew up watching all the spooky, mysterious and weird TV I could find. That consisted of all the classic horror flicks and TV shows like Ghost Story with Sebastian Cabbot, The Evil Touch with Anthony Quayle (Goodnight...pleasant dreams), and my favourite of all was The Night Stalker. The first really unsettling film I remember watching was The Haunting which was made in 1963, coincidentally my year of birth, I slept with my hands tucked under me for many years after seeing that film, I didn't want any ghosts grabbing me by the wrist. :)

I started performing magic when I was about 25-ish and then became more interested in mentalism at 30. Since then I've amassed a great library of mentalism and bizzarre books (the latest one is the complete bound Altar Flame) and videos/DVD's. I love bizarre magic but haven't performed it professionally (apart from an occasional routine in close up) mainly for friends in an informal setting. The thing that I would dearly love to do professionally is a theatrical seance. That has been a passionate goal ever since I read Eugene Burger's Spirit Theater years ago. I have found a perfect venue for it, now I just have to find the motivation and discipline to put it together and actually do it...that's the hard part.

It's great to be here and I'm looking forward to skulking about the hallways and nooks, I hope to meet you all along the way.
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Re: Hello...intro

Postby davidparr on Mon Oct 27, 2014 4:33 am

Thanks for the intro, Bled! You and I are about the same age. Kolchak was my favorite TV show as well, and I had the Ghost Story album. Welcome to the site; it's always nice to meet a kindred spirit!

I'm currently in the middle of a run of my Halloween show, Haunting History, which takes place in a mansion-museum just outside of Chicago. For me, finding the right environment for my magic was what motivated me to create new material, assemble it into a script, and then focus on making that show happen. It sounds like you have the environment part covered; you found a venue — not an easy task. What is blocking you from moving forward?
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Re: Hello...intro

Postby Bled on Mon Oct 27, 2014 2:18 pm

Thanks for the welcome David!

I think the only thing that's blocking me is actually getting started, sitting down in front of the dreaded blank page and putting it together. I do have a theme and I'm determined to do it. Being on this forum and reading about your show and also other people doing it will be enough to light the fire under me I think.

I my pre-magic days I pursued an acting career, I did a few soaps and commercials etc and in my search for acting work I ended up getting a full time job on the acting staff of a theme park called Old Sydney Town, it was an authentic recreation of the early Sydney settlement and was set in the late 1700's to early 1800's. The town had authentic buildings, convicts, soldiers, firing of cannons and muskets, court cases and floggings. Going onto site after dark when the town was closed was a very eerie and unsettling thing. The town shut down many, many years ago and has been left to become derelict, vines entwining the run down fences, huts partially decayed etc. and my plan is to hold seances in the old court house and jail. It is built with big sandstone blocks and has barred cells in the jail and closed in 'condemned cells' at each end, it is a spooky place to be in the light of day let alone at night. I'll get the seance participants to park in the visitors area at the top of town and have them led down to the jail by lantern light.

So that is my intended venue, now to get to writing. Some of the management and staff of the town used to be mildly nervous and superstitious due to the fact that the characters we portrayed were real people who had lived and died in the early colony, the old town crier really thought the town was haunted by them. With that in mind I'm considering writing the seance based around people who died in the colony, both real and fictitious. That's the plan anyway.
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Re: Hello...intro

Postby magus on Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:19 pm

“Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.”

Gene Fowler quotes (American journalist and biographer, 1890-1960)
A Wish For Wings That Work
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Re: Hello...intro

Postby davidparr on Mon Oct 27, 2014 11:47 pm

Sounds like a great location and premise. Here's my advice for dealing with what writers sometimes call "the terror of the blank page." I learned this from an interview with filmmaker David Lynch. Get a stack of index cards and a pen. On the first card, write down an idea — maybe a favorite effect or one you've always wanted to do, a brief description of a costume or a character, a line of dialogue or a summary of a scene. As more ideas come to you, write those down on separate cards, just one idea per card. You'll be surprised how quickly the ideas stack up. There are several advantages to this approach. By limiting yourself to one idea per card, you don't have to face the daunting task of trying to fill a blank letter-size page with — something. And you can instantly see evidence of your progress as the cards stack up. Lynch knew that if he could stack up seventy of these cards, he had enough material to make a feature film. You won't need nearly as many. Always carry a bunch of blank cards and a pen, everywhere you go. That way, when ideas occur to you, you can write them down and add them to the pile. The best thing about this approach is that it doesn't lock you into a structure too early in the creative process. The goal is to stay in "play space" as long as you can. When it comes time to begin assembling your ideas into a show, you can take these idea cards and spread them out on the floor, shuffle them around, experiment with arranging them in a different order, find connections between ideas. You might even discover connections that surprise you, which can lead to new ideas. This is how I construct all my shows, right down to figuring out the set list of material I'm going to perform. It's all done on index cards. It lets me bypass the terror of the blank page and get started right now — one card, one idea, which leads to another card and another idea, and so on.
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Re: Hello...intro

Postby Bled on Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:53 am

magus wrote:“Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.”

Gene Fowler quotes (American journalist and biographer, 1890-1960)


That made me laugh Magus, it is so true.

Thanks very much for that method David, that is so helpful! What a great idea that is, I'll start work on that tonight.

Many thanks!
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Re: Hello...intro

Postby davidparr on Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:31 am

One more tip. Save the cards that have ideas on them that, for whatever reasons, you don't end up using in this show. File them in a place where they won't get lost. You might be able to put those ideas into a future show!
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