Be myself?

Aug 31, 2007
2,025
1
31
Long Island/New York
When you perform for others, should you be yourself or play the part of a mysterious magician?

After revisiting Daniel Madison's artist page, he mentions that he enjoys David Blaine's character when he performs.
He said his serious character made his simple tricks seem more real and amazing to laymen.
I agree that your persona can have an effect on your magic and how it's presented.

Should we put on a more serious act to make magic seem more realistic, powerful, and effective?
Your thoughts?
 
Oct 24, 2008
245
0
Savannah, GA
When you perform for others, should you be yourself or play the part of a mysterious magician?

After revisiting Daniel Madison's artist page, he mentions that he enjoys David Blaine's character when he performs.
He said his serious character made his simple tricks seem more real and amazing to laymen.
I agree that your persona can have an effect on your magic and how it's presented.

Should we put on a more serious act to make magic seem more realistic, powerful, and effective?
Your thoughts?

Not even that, necessarily - as long as you have some sort of character that can facilitate magical capability. Blaine's mysterious and minimalistic, a bit creepy and weird, giving you the notion that something's not right, and from there you draw your own wild conclusions about what can of power he can possess. He doesn't have to be serious and quiet, but it serves to demonstrate magical capability.
 
Nov 20, 2007
4,434
6
Sydney, Australia
When you perform for others, should you be yourself or play the part of a mysterious magician?

After revisiting Daniel Madison's artist page, he mentions that he enjoys David Blaine's character when he performs.
He said his serious character made his simple tricks seem more real and amazing to laymen.
I agree that your persona can have an effect on your magic and how it's presented.

Should we put on a more serious act to make magic seem more realistic, powerful, and effective?
Your thoughts?

Either works, really, depending on how good you are at them. If you're a natural comedian, by all means, magic and comedy have great potential. Of course this will tend to pull you away from the life-changing-introspective-fifteen-minute-silence effects, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

The biggest issue I feel is that most people have no idea how to act. A teenager trying to be David Blaine just doesn't work. I'm only just heading out of my teenage years, but nonetheless I can already see, on reflection, how comparatively immature I was in some areas of life merely two years ago.
 
Jun 10, 2008
1,280
0
You little stalker!
You don't need to be yourself you just need a character. Now your character can match your personality, but not necessarily. For example, Kyle Eschin's character is a lonely, no life, momma's boy. No i'm sure that he's not like that in real life. But it's his persona on stage and it works for him.

Me being an amateur magician, my persona has to match my personality. So a serious personality does not fit me. My job is purely to entertain people. Doing magic in a serious tone makes it more of a lecture than a show.

But that's just how i think. If you think a serious persona fits you, then by all means, be a serious performer.
 
Being yourself is incredibly boring. People see that side of you every single day. So why not play the part of someone totally different. It allows for you, and the audiance, to see a different side of you. A whole different person if you will. So take this quote from me to you:

"To be yourself is to be boring, but to become someone else, even for a split second, is extraordinary."

Dylan P.


PS: DannyT. I noticed you live in Long Island. Have you ever seen the amityville horror house???
 
So, I'm told that I have a completely different "magician voice". I don't even notice that I'm doing it, but it's there.

Go figure. I don't try to be someone else when I'm performing, but rather a different side to the same person.
 
I cann't be serious when I perform magic because I am not a critical person. I mean have you seen my videos, I can't handle being David Blain. But being myself, has helped and made some of the more memorable moments of my magic. When I tried being someone I wasn't that is when I failed the most.
 
Sep 1, 2007
279
1
If you see being yourself as a problem when you're performing, then being someone else isn't going to make things any better.

We already have a David Blaine. We also have a couple of thousand copies of him (including names mentioned in this thread ;))
 
Nov 20, 2007
4,434
6
Sydney, Australia
Being yourself is incredibly boring. People see that side of you every single day.

...

"To be yourself is to be boring, but to become someone else, even for a split second, is extraordinary."

I personally think that if you are boring in real life, you have no chance at magic (or, for that matter, life). If people were interesting in life, then they'd be interesting performing magic. If people are bored when you are yourself, then you have an issue. Why are people boring in real life? Is it because they don't want to be interesting? Of course not. Most often, it is because they don't know how, or don't realise that they can be interesting.

I don't disagree with the quote in the context of, say, acting or theatre. But being yourself is only boring if you are boring. If being yourself in magic is boring, the implication is that being yourself at all is boring, and again, that's an issue which cannot be fixed so simply.

Telling someone to simply "be someone else more interesting" who doesn't know how is like putting a penguin on a farm and telling it to "be a cow".
 
-sigh- I really don't think this point can be answered by anyone but yourself. When I perform, I'm probably not myself, but I try to be, I really do. Although, I try to let my magic do the talking.
 
May 3, 2008
1,150
4
Hong Kong
I really dont care either.
Sometimes Im me, sometimes Im not.
Im usually pretty high and sarcastic in daily life so I find it works very well when performing.
Some poeple suggest being yourself is the best thing to do... but I find that kinda stupid...
Take an example... Derren Brown. In his live shows hes rather comical, in his TV specials hes mysterious, in real life hes like a nicer mixture of both.
 
I really dont care either.
Sometimes Im me, sometimes Im not.
Im usually pretty high and sarcastic in daily life so I find it works very well when performing.
Some poeple suggest being yourself is the best thing to do... but I find that kinda stupid...
Take an example... Derren Brown. In his live shows hes rather comical, in his TV specials hes mysterious, in real life hes like a nicer mixture of both.

Ohh yeah, kinda like Alain Nu. He's a great and funny guy in real life, but when performing, he gets this serious and mysterious persona. It's pretty freakin sweet
 
May 8, 2008
360
0
England
I'm only just heading out of my teenage years, but nonetheless I can already see, on reflection, how comparatively immature I was in some areas of life merely two years ago.

Haha, yeah looking back even a year ago, I'm very embarssed by myself.

-When I perform, I'm probably not myself, but I try to be, I really do.

I think when I'm performing magic, I'm pretty much everyone, everyone who I have seen perform. Everyone has had an impact on my magic, it might not show all the time, but it could be the way I think about performing or other little subtle things.

^^ Really good points, you try to be yourself or say you are, but there are always multiple influences that effect how you perform.

I guess you're an extension of yourself brought on by the fact you are performing and a variety of influences, as well as who you are performing too and situation.
 
Aug 31, 2007
2,025
1
31
Long Island/New York
First of all I want to thank everyone for their responses.
Some were very interesting and got me thinking.

If you're a natural comedian, by all means, magic and comedy have great potential. Of course this will tend to pull you away from the life-changing-introspective-fifteen-minute-silence effects, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

So which style do you think will have more of a reaction from?
Basically I'm asking which one is better. Comedy or a mysterious performance.
Put it this way:
If you were to perform for someone in a coffee shop, someone you didn't know. Would it be more effective to make them laugh while doing magic or doing a serious jaw-dropping performance and leaving?
I've noticed many times comedy can lessen the effect of the trick itself.
Warning, the following has vulgar language in it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOv5bwdZr-w
-sigh- I really don't think this point can be answered by anyone but yourself. When I perform, I'm probably not myself, but I try to be, I really do. Although, I try to let my magic do the talking.
I'm thinking about experimenting using both styles in different performances to see which ones get better reactions. Of course I'll need to perform several times because everyone's different, but I could get an idea of which one I'd prefer.

I'm sure you must have some type of presentation for your magic. I mean your magic can't do all the talking. What "style" do you usually use(who are you?). Ex. easy going, funny, etc.

I think when I'm performing magic, I'm pretty much everyone, everyone who I have seen perform. Everyone has had an impact on my magic, it might not show all the time, but it could be the way I think about performing or other little subtle things.
Cheers, Tom

Good point.
Every performance I've seen has taught me something. It basically showed me how I should act when I perform certain effects.
I wouldn't float a dollar bill and make a joke of it. It takes away from the effect rather than staying in complete silence which adds drama.
I guess artists create more than tricks.
 
If you see being yourself as a problem when you're performing, then being someone else isn't going to make things any better.

We already have a David Blaine. We also have a couple of thousand copies of him (including names mentioned in this thread ;))

Most profounded statement on these forums yet. There's alot said here that the members of Theory11 can learn from if they want too. Take it for what it's worth. Ineski you never surprise me. Threw it in my sig, pay attention grasshoppers.
 
I personally think that if you are boring in real life, you have no chance at magic (or, for that matter, life). If people were interesting in life, then they'd be interesting performing magic. If people are bored when you are yourself, then you have an issue. Why are people boring in real life? Is it because they don't want to be interesting? Of course not. Most often, it is because they don't know how, or don't realise that they can be interesting.

I don't disagree with the quote in the context of, say, acting or theatre. But being yourself is only boring if you are boring. If being yourself in magic is boring, the implication is that being yourself at all is boring, and again, that's an issue which cannot be fixed so simply.

Telling someone to simply "be someone else more interesting" who doesn't know how is like putting a penguin on a farm and telling it to "be a cow".

Allow me to clarify. I really was refering to acting. When you think about it, magic is just one life-long theater performance. And in the magic community when you perform you must take on a character. Now, if you perform as yourself, people may say, "Oh. Look it's jimmy doing something with cards." however, if you were to all of a sudden become sort of mysterious and dark and act as thought everyone needs to be silent, Well it builds tention. Gives them something else to see rater than jimmy, the y might now say: "Hey. Jimmy is doing a trick. Wait somethings different, why is he so serious." They are now drawn into your new persona because it is out of the ordinary. Something they don't see from you everyday. Think of it as one huge theater.
 
Nov 20, 2007
4,434
6
Sydney, Australia
Allow me to clarify. I really was refering to acting. When you think about it, magic is just one life-long theater performance. And in the magic community when you perform you must take on a character. Now, if you perform as yourself, people may say, "Oh. Look it's jimmy doing something with cards." however, if you were to all of a sudden become sort of mysterious and dark and act as thought everyone needs to be silent, Well it builds tention. Gives them something else to see rater than jimmy, the y might now say: "Hey. Jimmy is doing a trick. Wait somethings different, why is he so serious." They are now drawn into your new persona because it is out of the ordinary. Something they don't see from you everyday. Think of it as one huge theater.

Dylan, that does make more sense. I work as an actor, so I certainly understand what you're getting at. I'd submit though that the "Jimmy doing something with cards" thought has more to do with how you present magic than anything else, and not in the sense of a character, but more how you treat magic. If you [generic you] present magic as just a trick, that's how it will look.

W:H has an interesting podcast on this subject where he talks about magicians who are casual and then suddenly morph into some other creature that's totally unlike who they are.

Danny - The key to using comedy is to know when to use it and when not to. I read something about this not too long ago, will let you know when I think of exactly what it was. Nonetheless, the issue is that it's even harder to find good comedians, than good magicians. Those who understand timing, that is. I generally move fairly seriously when I perform magic, though I do have a bit of a quirky personality sometimes to it pops out for a laugh.
 
Aug 10, 2008
2,051
1
30
In a rock concert
Being yourself is incredibly boring. People see that side of you every single day. So why not play the part of someone totally different. It allows for you, and the audiance, to see a different side of you. A whole different person if you will. So take this quote from me to you:

"To be yourself is to be boring, but to become someone else, even for a split second, is extraordinary."

Dylan P.


PS: DannyT. I noticed you live in Long Island. Have you ever seen the amityville horror house???

Well, changing completely your persona would seem weird to them doesnt it? I cant be a funny guy and then the next second I have eyeliner, I am all serious and I start levitating criss angel style ?

I mean, why is David blaine like that? even when he is not performing he still keeps that air of mistery around him, and that its his real self, he just adapts that when he is performing...

Now, As I have said before, it is all a matter of experimenting, what works for you may not work that well for me, maybe having a character fits you, just try it and if you feel comfotable working that way, stick to it:)
 

baller08

Banned
Sep 21, 2008
138
0
Telling someone to simply "be someone else more interesting" who doesn't know how is like putting a penguin on a farm and telling it to "be a cow".

HAHA! Too true.

I posted this in another thread, but here is the acid test if you're wondering if you should "be yourself":

Walk into any social gathering, whether it be a high school dance, college party, nightclub, lounge, house party. Ask yourself, are you still interesting, the life of the party, and able to interact with strangers comfortably WITHOUT using any magic?

If the anwer is "yes"...then be yourself. If the answer is "no"...then don't because you're a boring person and magic isn't going to cover that up.
 
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