Sunday, November 30, 2008

Transformational Arc

I'm trying understand the components of story telling as it relates to the writing of a screen play and the performance of a magic act. One big difference is the lack of any transformational arc in either the story or the character (a generalization of magicians). Movies, stories, novels and other mediums use the arc to move things forward. You start here, you go through this and you come out different somehow. Most variety acts are demonstrations of skill tied together with light comedy. I've been wondering how to embed some arch in my act/character. To take the audience on a bit of a personal journey and let them feel some sort of change from the beginning to the end. For example, start the act with a cynical distaste for wonder, dismissing it as a puzzle. Acknowledge that magic is the butt of many jokes and accept that it's all a big fake. Then through the course of presenting the effects, somehow the magi begins to get it. To discover or rediscover how wonderful and beautiful it is to put a smile on the face of a person who needs to feel that sense of wonder.

I used to end every performance by saying,

"Your smile, is the light in the window of your face, that shows the world your heart is at home"

Scrooge, a great story of transformation

I yearn to make my act relevant for myself and my audiences. Strangely, I think it has less to do with tricks and more to do with writing. I continue to work on my craft. To hone and refine it. Polly said to me last night, you must really love what you do, most people would have hung it up by now." I do love what I do. I go out there every day and try and make the world a better place. . . one smile at a time. As a street performer I get my teeth kicked in regularly and am humbled nightly. Fighting all forms of distractions, I try and cut through the thick, scaly exterior of peoples psyches and get to the root of the matter. To answer the question what are we all doing watching this guy?

I hope to figure this out before I die. . . . in a long. . . long time.

No comments: