I’m always delighted when we have a Museletter written by our friend George Parker. George is a real wizard in every sense, and I know I always learn something from every conversation I get to have with him and everything I read that he writes. George lives in Amsterdam, and bills himself as a corporate alchemist – which means he helps companies and corporations, as well as individuals, create positive change, often using his magic. I know you’ll enjoy his insights below!
From George Parker:
The 7th Veil
Shakespeare once wrote: “I like your silence. It the more shows of your wonder.” I think he was right. When we experience wonder we fall silent. We react quite differently when we’re surprised, astonished, amazed, flabbergasted, stunned, astounded or startled.
I love both the experience of wonder as well as creating that experience for my audience. Yet I know that my success is often judged by how loud people scream and laugh and how much they will talk about it after the show. If I want to be perceived as successful I need to include some ‘cheerleader’-magic generating big laughs and loud cheers. If I want to be successful in my own definition I need to create the state of wonder which will in turn generate silence.
I’ve tried to solve this in a couple of ways. First, I look at my shows from a musical perspective. I want my shows to be symphonies. The instruments (script, visual effects, music, interaction, etc.) need to work together to create the bigger picture. I also want to mix in slower pieces and silent moments to create more texture.
The second solution was inspired by Sam Sharpe. In his ‘Neo Magic’ he wrote about the famous 7th veil that belly-dancers never remove while dancing: “The fine artist never attempts to withdraw the 7th veil. This means that in conjuring the greater effect is liable to be created or some sort of cover is used. To vanish a lamp from under a foulard is far more magical than to use the visible disappearance.”
Using this principle I’m able to ‘train’ my audience to hold their attention and open up to being silent. Once they get used to postponing their need to release tension by being loud, they will be much more inclined to switch to a state of wonder later.
It’s even true in real life, I’ve discovered!
And now on the the “news” part of the Museletter newsletter.
At the end of this month, Jeff will be travelling east for just two East Coast events. The first, on May 29-30, is sponsored by our good friend Marc DeSouza, who is an amazing magician in his own right. Marc’s space for events is very small, so if you’re in the area, I would urge you to get in touch with him as soon as possible. This will sell out fast, and you’re amongst the first to hear about it. For more info, e-mail Marc directly: FKaps@aol.com.
The second event will be at Howard Katz’ Magic Warehouse, again with show, lecture and workshop. The dates are June 1-2, and I understand Jeff will be actually hosting our Monday Night Mystery School show from The Magic Warehouse on Monday, June 3. For those of you who may not be aware, The Magic Warehouse is one of our sponsors for the Monday night shows, so it will be especially fun that Jeff will be able to broadcast – and give you all a short tour “behind the scenes” with Howard while he is there. There is a link to all Jeff’s events while in Baltimore on the home page for the Magic Warehouse: http://themagicwarehouse.com/. Go…buy a ticket now. They’ll go fast!
And while you’re there – buy some magic, too!
Till next time, then.