Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Scripting Part 1.

I have to admit, somewhat reluctantly, that in the twelve years I have been in magic I have only scripted a small amount of my effects. In fact, up to last August I could count the amount of scripted material I had on one hand. This fact shows you a few things about my take on magic. You could say I was immature about it, not really taking magic seriously.
You would be right.
It’s not that I had bad routines, just unscripted one’s. Let’s take a gander at a routine I developed for Lee Asher’s brilliant “Deuce Bag.”
The trick, besides having a brilliant name, is a knockout.
Here is it’s description direct from Lee’s lecture notes “Thinking Out Loud: Mental Noise From Lee Asher.”
“A card is selected and placed back I the pack by the spectator. A zip-lock bag is removed from your pocket. Inside the zip-lock is a wild card. The whole bag and wild card are placed in the spectator’s hand. A moment of magic occurs and the wild card transforms into their selection between their palms.”
I have been performing this trick for many years, and used it frequently when I was doing walk around/restaurant magic. My routine was simply that this was the most dangerous trick in the world. That the card in the bag was made out of a compound found on the moon and that it was very volatile and could explode any minute. I then place it on the spectator’s hand and wave the deck, with the chosen card in it, under the spectator’s hands. I ask, “Did you feel a tingling feeling?” If they say yes I act all scared and recommend they get the hand checked out before it falls off. Then I tell them, ever so slowly, to turn their hand around and voila, the chosen card is inside the bag.
I play it up for laughs. Of course the card isn’t dangerous, no, their hand is not going to fall off, but it plays very well. The only drawback I could find was that I had not scripted it. I just thought up the words one day and out they came.
So, you may be asking, if you’ve got the words already why script?
The answer is because when you script you think about what you are doing. I mean, really think.
When I sat down last week to put my version of “Deuce Bag” onto paper, I had to think very hard about why I was saying what I was saying, why I was doing what I was doing and where I should do what I must do.
I discovered that even though the trick had played strong in the past, it really didn’t have any build up. If I started small then built to a climax the trick would be much funnier and, more importantly, more amazing.
Also, I realized that the tricky part where the “magic” happens was being done in the wrong place. I had to distance myself from the tricky move and the actual reveal at the end. Something I probably would never think about if I hadn’t decided to script the routine as opposed to just playing it by ear.
So, how will the new routine work? I’m not sure and will never be sure until I perform it, but I know that the original routine worked so I can easily determine that the new routine will be just as good if not better.
Let’s put it this way. Scripting makes you THINK about your magic, that makes your magic better, better magic equals better response and a better response means more and better work for the magician.
With that in mind, how could you not decide to script?

I will post more on scripting in later posts.

Next Post: The Invisible Deck. Why can I see it?


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