This week Jonah connects with Peter Samelson where he offers up three questions we can ask ourselves to make our magic scripts better.
Something Theatre Couldn’t Do
Peter Samelson originally focused on theatre with an intention to do something with his life that was worthwhile and mattered. After training to become an actor and moving to New York to make an impact in the theatre scene he realized he was going to struggle to make that impact.
At first he was fed up with magic, mostly because he wasn’t attracted to the primary focus of deceiving or fooling people, but once he moved to New York and began seeing how magic could impact a theatre audience and the difference it could make to the theatre scene he began to view magic in a new light. With magic, he had an opportunity to reach people in ways that many people in theatre couldn’t do.
Magic As A Moving Image
Peter also offers up a master class in dissecting your script. He explains about the images of magic. Magic is a real-time moving three-dimensional image. It almost doesn’t matter what the script is around it, the image has a potency. In a script you need to not only have imagery but imagery that is not just personal imagery, you need universal imagery.
The best way to approach any bit of magic that you’re trying to find a script for is to ask yourself these three questions. Why, what, and who. Why am I doing this and why should anybody care about this? What is this about and what would it look like if it was real magic. Finally, who is your audience and who are you in relationship to them?
What do you like about modern magic? What do you not like?
Peter likes the fact that the focus on social media and on online performances has led to an exposure and driven magic forward to develop new effects and new solutions to problems.
Peter doesn’t like the idea that just publishing something doesn’t give you the right to perform it. There’s been a back on forth discussion on performance rights. Peter is of the mind that if you are publishing a book that the understanding of it is that the person who picks up that book is going to use it.
Take home point
Keep asking yourself why. Why are you doing this trick? Why are you doing this routine? And, more importantly, why should anybody care?
Jonah also recommends a wonderful masterclass on vanishing ink that you can find out by visiting vanishingincmagic.com/magician/Peter-Samelson