Friday, June 6, 2008

Magic + Theater

This week I was fortunate to catch a performance by Dr. Lawrence Hass of Muehlenberg College. Dr. Hass is the creator of The Theory and Art of Magic program at Muehlenberg, which brings in various magicians from around the world to discuss our art in an academic setting.

Dr. Hass is also lecturing this weekend in Chicago, and after seeing his performance, I'm definitely looking forward to the lecture.

His performance has also sparked my thinking more about magic in the theatrical setting, and the type of training that prepares you for it.

Chicago, as you may also know, is home to the best training grounds for improvisation comedy in the United States, in the form of The Second City, i.O, and Annoyance Theater, to name a few. In the early part of this year, I did a class at Second City, to see what I could pick up from it and channel into my magic.

Fortunately, you don't need to move to the Windy City to get this sort of experience. Australian magic master Tim Ellis has created Magic Sports, based off of Keith Johnstone's Theater Sports for improv actors.

The idea is to foster a magician's creativity by challenging the person to come up with effects on the spot. Games can range from pulling a random object (not a magic prop!) from a bag, to performing your favorite routine to randomly chosen music, and seeing how well you adapt.

I've already set up a Magic Sports activity night with my local club. I hope if your club needs an interactive activity (as opposed to another sit-and-watch activity), to give Magic Sports a try.

No comments: