Magic Live Update No. 4

Chris Kenner: Poetry in Motion

 

I am an incredibly insecure performer.  When I am on stage, I am very secure, but when I a see other magicians, I do not want to admit that they are better or funnier than I am.  I suck ? I admit it.  But I suck less than others do ? that?s my sad solace. 

 

I had no desire to see Chris Kenner because I am so vain and so egocentric that I knew it would only bother me to see someone more creative and more funny than I could ever hope to be.  I went to see his lecture, however, only because I liked the title: How to Be Creative.  I have not been creative since I did my taxes last year.  I have not a creative bone in my body ? even when eating chicken or fish.  I needed this lecture.

 

Read On . . . 

 

Mr. Kenner began with a performance of his show as he would normally perform it for audiences.  I was blown away.  This man, this mere mortal, was truly creative and truly funny.  He was in control while seeming to be out of control.  He was funny when his act would require him to be funny and magical throughout.  He is as good as you and I have heard. 

 

Damn.

 

His act was great.  He did three effects and each was new and entertaining.  The secret behind each of the three incredibly original effects was that he was using a principle or trick previously done but interpreted in a different manner. 

 


Chris Kenner: Poetry in Motion

 

I am an incredibly insecure performer.  When I am on stage, I am very secure, but when I a see other magicians, I do not want to admit that they are better or funnier than I am.  I suck ? I admit it.  But I suck less than others do ? that?s my sad solace. 

 

I had no desire to see Chris Kenner because I am so vain and so egocentric that I knew it would only bother me to see someone more creative and more funny than I could ever hope to be.  I went to see his lecture, however, only because I liked the title: How to Be Creative.  I have not been creative since I did my taxes last year.  I have not a creative bone in my body ? even when eating chicken or fish.  I needed this lecture.

 

Read On . . . 

 

Mr. Kenner began with a performance of his show as he would normally perform it for audiences.  I was blown away.  This man, this mere mortal, was truly creative and truly funny.  He was in control while seeming to be out of control.  He was funny when his act would require him to be funny and magical throughout.  He is as good as you and I have heard. 

 

Damn.

 

His act was great.  He did three effects and each was new and entertaining.  The secret behind each of the three incredibly original effects was that he was using a principle or trick previously done but interpreted in a different manner. 

 

Mr. Kenner used the effect Ring Flite as his paradigm in explaining his process. He loved the effect, Ring Flite, and loved its impact on audiences.  When he began working at the nightclub Illusions early in his career, he noted that most of the magicians on staff performed Ring Flite.  He did not want to be the same as the others.  He wanted to be different; but he loved the Ring Flite illusion.  He decided, then, to use the effect Ring Flite to provide a meta-narrative of the type of effect he would like to invent.  It had to have a borrowed item vanish from one location and appear in another. 

 

This analysis plus the advice of Brother John Hammond that he should come up with a new trick every day helped to promote the creativity he needed.  He admits that he has not kept up with the discipline of writing in his journal a new trick every day before he falls asleep, but that the process is something he uses often. 

 

One of my favorite effects Mr. Kenner performed involved the apparent prediction of an audience member?s selection of a state.  He called the trick his Texas Trick.  After he selected his volunteer from the audience and asked him to think of the name of a state, he turned around a large white envelope to show the sign ?The Texas Trick? and he removed from that envelope, his prediction written on the back of a piece of board cut in the shape of Texas.  None the less, the spectator chose a state other than Texas and sure enough, when he turned the prediction around, it showed the state he selected. 

 

The Texas Trick was both funny and magic. 

 

Mr. Kenner?s presentation was inspirational.  Once my jealousy lapsed, I was able to appreciate his talent and ability to educate me and my brethren on one of the most important qualities a magician can possess, creativity.

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