Lecture6 BS.

How does a Bizarrist or Storyteller create a routine?  For some, it is a story they either thought of, or read. It could be fiction or fact, myth or history. Something in the story moves them and they begin to construct it into a performing piece. Then they will look for the magic to bring the story alive for an audience. It is not a quick procedure. Some of the truly remarkable ones took years to get it just right. And when it is right it can become a signature piece for the performer.

I think that Bizarrist, as a whole, read a great deal more than those in other branches of magic. I am not talking about magic books, although we are as hooked on them as everyone else. It is the other things we read, both for pleasure and to develop new plots and routines.

Others will see an effect they would like to perform, then build a routine or story around it. Whatever the spark, it takes time to get everything right. As with every type of performer in every stage of magic, no one who is worth their salt, buys an effect one day and tries to perform it the next.

I am a storyteller, in my life, and in my performance. There is no line in between to separate the two. Everything I perform has a story. When I create a routine, the story usually comes first, the effects are just to make my audience believe, even for a little while, that perhaps my story is true. It does not matter if I have written the story or use one that I have read, it must pass my test if it is to be used. My stories must touch emotions in my audience. I try to make them something the audience can relate to in their private life. And, of course the bottom line for any performer, they must
entertain, or in some cases, frighten.

When I started to perform Bizarre Magick I was into the pretty heavy stuff. Controlling a Poltergeist to do my bidding or raising a demon. My closer was a routine called "The Effigy of Puzuzu" This was around the time the movie "The  Exorcist" was very popular. Pazuzu was the demon in The Exorcist. The routine was designed to frighten the audience, and it certainly did just that.

My story told the audience about the power and evilness of this demon and when I finally showed the effigy to them, although it was only eight inches high, they saw what I wanted them to see, something incredibly evil.

When I chanted and beat out a rhythm on a drum, for a period of time just long enough for them to begin to think, nothing would happen, a glow would appear around the effigie's mid section, smoke would start to come out of it's nose and mouth, then flames. I shouted, with fear in my voice, "He's escaping!!!!" That was the cue for the house lights to go out. In the darkened theater a woman I had placed in the front of the audience would count to five to herself, then scream at the top of her lungs. Another five count and another woman in the back of the house would scream. While the
screaming was going on, two helpers, with water guns filled with ice water, were squirting water into the air over the audience. In the dark they couldn't tell if it was icy cold or very hot drops that were hitting their faces, At that point someone screamed to turn on the lights. When they come on, both Pazuzu and I were gone and the show was over.

I have long since stopped this type of performance. Now my stories try to touch other emotions in the audience instead of just fear.

My goal is still the same. To have the audience leave the performance, not wondering how I did the tricks, but instead have a feeling of wonder. Could it be true? Is there something else in life that I have missed, or best of all, "I would like to have that guy for a friend.

Brother Shadow



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All the material in this lecture is copyrighted with all rights reserved to Carl Herron, 2002.