Future

What way is magic heading – street magic

Street magic falls into two genres; traditional street performance and guerrilla magic.

Traditional street performance

The first definition of street magic refers to a traditional form of magic performance – that of busking. In this, the magician draws an audience from passers by and performs an entire act for them. In exchange, the magician seeks remuneration either by having a receptacle for tips available throughout the act or by “passing the hat” at the end of the performance.

Street magic most often consists of sleight of hand, card magic, and occasionally mentalism, though the ability to draw and hold an audience is frequently cited by practitioners as a skill of greater importance than the illusions themselves.

The famous Indian Mango Tree Trick is the chief stock in trade of many of street magic. In the trick magician apparently plants a mango seed, covers it with a cloth, makes mysterious incantations, and, removing the cloth from time to time successively shows a tree of various heights, up to two or three feet.

Anthropologists chronicle this form of street magic from approximately 3,000 years ago – and there are records of such performers across the continents, notably Europe, Asia/South Asia and the Middle East. While it is a very old performing style, its history is not particularly well documented in print. In his diary, Samuel Pepys mentions seeing magicians performing in this fashion and one can see street magicians in depictions by Hieronymous Bosch, William Hogarth, and Pieter Brueghel.

INTRODUCTION

With the re-birth of new innovative and exciting magicians like Derren Brown, Criss Angel and David Blaine, people have returned to street magic.

Street Magic is one of the most rapidly growing forms of magic in the world today

Shunned by television, the modern magician slinks home to the last refuge for their endangered kind: Las Vegas. Stage magic teeters on the brink of becoming a dying art,

The infectious disease of “celebrity driven magic” is now being practiced by other TV magicians who believe it is all right, even acceptable, to use editing of videotape to bring illusions to their finale. If you show your hand empty, the hand must then become full in an amazing way. It is not fair, or necessary, to the truly talented magician, to “cut away” or edit in another picture of a smiling face or someone looking amazed, and then cut back to the hand being full.

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METHODS

Cutting away from a picture is not misdirection. It is cheap and fake – actually typical TV fare in the early 21st century.

Modern magicians have to scramble for any edge or angle that will keep them in business in an age of television and movies. one of the first places in England to show early moving pictures. Magic tricks were frequently the subjects of these early films, and from this inspiration a new type of illusion emerged.

In an age where digital effects have taken movie magic to new extremes and make the impossible seamlessly real on a daily basis, a magician’s live audience could simply forget to be amazed when a man levitates or a woman walks through a wall.

Stage magic and movie magic are not the same, nor do they try to be the same. Audiences and magicians make a grave error by “confusing special effects with illusion, and deception with magic.” Without stooping to bleary-eyed nostalgia, a time before CGI, when wonder outweighed suspicion and illusions were magical.

JEFF SHERIDAN

New York based artist and magician Jeff Sheridan is regarded as one of the pre-eminent U.S. street magicians to emerge from the surge in street performance artistry which began in the late ’60s. He authored the 1977 book, Street Magic and allegedly was one of the performers who inspired and taught the young David Blaine after Blaine saw Sheridan perform in Central Park.

More recently, other performers have garnered accolades from the magic community for their contributions to the art. Jim Cellini (aka Richard Sullivan) has been a full-time street performer since the 1970s and has published a book (Cellini: The Royal Touch) and DVDs (The Art of Street Performing, volumes 1 – 3) on the subject. Gazzo Macee (aka Gary Osborne) has been a full-time street performer since the 1980s and has published a booklet (“The Art of Krowd Keeping” written for Gazzo by Danny Hustle and Jim Wells) and DVD (Street Cups) on the subject.

Eric Evans has been a full-time professional since the 1990s and has published a book on the subject (The Secret Art of Magic). Cyril Takayama has produced and starred in three TV shows on street magic and produced one street-magic DVD.

GUERRILLA MAGIC

The second category is more appropriately called “guerrilla magic” It is a relatively recent style of performing magic illusions where the magician performs a single trick or two in a public space (such as on a sidewalk) for an unpaying audience. The desired effect of this “hit and run” style of magic is to give the audience a feeling that what they are seeing is impromptu, unrehearsed, and experimental.

This style of “street magic” is associated with David Blaine (who popularized the term) and more recently, Criss Angel, Derren Brown and Cyril Takayama. The format was developed to play well on television beginning with the 1997 ABC television special David Blaine: Street Magic.

Many magicians respect Blaine’s choice of material and give him credit for creating an image of the contemporary magician distinct from other magicians in recent television history, such as David Copperfield or Doug Henning.

However, magic historians, such as Jamy Ian Swiss note that “guerrilla magic” is primarily associated with only a few individuals who perform on television and certain magic dealers that sell effects to amateur magicians who watch these programs.Eugene Burger opined to Jamy Ian Swiss “On one level it’s the ultimate trivialization of magic: accosting strangers on the street.”

OTHER CHALLENGES

There are other challenges for a modern magician too. New formats like YouTube videos have brought magic to wider audiences and created new styles. If it was hard for 19th-century mediums to keep their trickery concealed, it must be even more difficult for a modern street magician surrounded by smartphones.

“For me, magic is about the mystery. We live in a day and age where there are very few things that are kept a mystery any more because we can just go on our mobile devices and google whatever and get the answers,” he says.

In our information age, what’s the future of magic? Will magicians continue to captivate the public consciousness? Dynamo believes so.

“People want to be amazed – they want to witness something that they can’t explain […] I’ve been into magic for over 20 years now and I’m still massively curious about it and about the way the world works. If I still feel this way, that curiosity must be out there in all of us.”

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INTERNET IMPACT

As for its impact on the future of magic – you’re talking to someone who was on dial-up until 3 months ago. I think its impact on the learning of magic may be that future magicians will know about far more things than their predecessors, but I’m not sure they will have the depth of knowledge one gets from a study of books.

I think that when the novelty wears off, the combination of tools that will be available – books, the Net, videos, interaction with other magicians, live performances in front of real people, etc. – will provide endless possibilities for developing better magic.

Then again, as the old saying goes, the mind can only absorb what the seat can endure.

HARRY POTTER

Harry Potter is a series of seven novels written by British author J. K. Rowling. The novels chronicle the life of a young wizard, Harry Potter, and his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The main story arc concerns Harry’s struggle against Lord Voldemort, the Dark wizard who intends to become immortal, overthrow the Ministry of Magic, subjugate non-magic people and destroy anyone who stands in his way.

Since the release of the first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, on 30 June 1997, the books have gained immense popularity, critical acclaim and commercial success worldwide. They attracted a wide adult audience, and have remained one of the preeminent cornerstones of young adult literature.

The series has also had some share of criticism, including concern about the increasingly dark tone as the series progressed, as well as the often gruesome and graphic violence depicted in the series. As of July 2013, the books have sold more than 450 million copies worldwide.

Because of the success of the books and films, Harry Potter-themed areas, known as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, have been created at several Universal Parks & Resorts theme parks around the world. The franchise continues to expand, with numerous supplemental books to accompany the films and the original novels, a studio tour in London that opened in 2012.

PLOT

The environment Rowling created is intimately connected to reality. The British magical community of the Harry Potter books is inspired by 1990s British culture, European folklore, classical mythology and alchemy, incorporating objects and wildlife such as magic wands, magic plants, potions, and spells, flying broomsticks, centaurs and other magical creatures.

While the fantasy land of Narnia is an alternative universe and the Lord of the Rings’ Middle-earth a mythic past, the wizarding world of Harry Potter exists in parallel within the real world and contains magical versions of the ordinary elements of everyday life, with the books being

In 2011, Rowling launched a new website announcing an upcoming project called Pottermore. Pottermore opened to the general public on 14 April 2012.Pottermore allows users to chose their wand and play various minigames. The main purpose of the website was to allow the user to journey though the story with access to content not revealed by JK Rowling previously, with over 18,000 words of additional content.

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STRUCTURE AND GENRE

The Harry Potter novels are mainly directed at a young adult audience as opposed to an audience of middle grade readers, children, or adults. The novels fall within the genre of fantasy literature, and qualify as a unique type of fantasy called “urban fantasy,” “contemporary fantasy,” or “low fantasy.”

They are mainly dramas, and maintain a fairly serious and dark tone throughout, though they do contain some notable instances of tragicomedy and black humour. In many respects, they are also examples of the coming of age novel, and contain elements of mystery, adventure, horror, thriller, and romance.

They can be considered part of the British children’s addressing serious themes of death, love, loss, prejudice, coming-of-age, and the loss of innocence in a 1990’s British setting.

The books are also, in the words of Stephen King, “shrewd mystery tales”, and each book is constructed in the manner of a Sherlock Holmes-style mystery adventure. The stories are told from a third person limited point of view with very few exceptions.

J K ROWLING

Joanne “Jo” Rowling, born 31 July 1965), pen names J. K. Rowling and Robert Galbraith, is a British novelist, screenwriter and film producer best known as the author of the Harry Potter fantasy series. The books have gained worldwide attention, won multiple awards, and sold more than 400 million copies. They have become the best-selling book series in history and been the basis for a series of films which is the second highest-grossing film series in history.

Born in Yate, Gloucestershire, England, Rowling was working as a researcher and bilingual secretary for Amnesty International when she conceived the idea for the Harry Potter series while on a delayed train from Manchester to London in 1990.
Rowling has lived a “rags to riches” life story, in which she progressed from living on state benefits to multi-millionaire status within five years. She is the United Kingdom’s best-selling living author, with sales in excess of £238m.

The Harry Potter books have gained recognition for sparking an interest in reading among the young at a time when children were thought to be abandoning books for computers and television,

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