Poetry Reading by Alvo Stockman - Book

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EffectImagine you're sitting at a local coffee shop, steaming drink in your hand, contemplating life when you strike up a conversation with a friendly stranger. "What are you working on?" she asks. "Oh, just writing some poetry in my journal." You reply. "Are you a poet?" she inquires. "It's just a hobby of mine, actually. Would you like to hear some?" "Of course!" she exclaims excitedly. And so it begins. You read a few short poems to her before asking, "Would you like me to write one for you?" "Sure!" is the response. As you write, you look up once or twice but never ask any questions. "While writing, I made some wild guess about your tastes. Just out of curiosity, what is your favorite color?" "Green" "And your favorite flower?" "Lilies" "Oh REALLY? I think you're going to like this poem"" You immediately show her the poem you've been working on right in front of her which turns out to be quite inspirational, personal, and specifically about her! No nail writing here, these facts are embedded with a poem, complete with rhyming verse! IntroductionAs an art form, poetry has been around for thousands of years. From as far back as Gilgamesh over 3,000 years ago, to Homer, Virgil, to Shakespeare and Dylan, poetry is the oldest known form of written fiction. It has moved and touched people for centuries and is to this day a popular form of expression. Something about poetry gives its message a strong presence and impact. Perhaps it is our evolution as a musical and story-telling species that explains why poetry and song resonate so well with us. Poetry is synonymous with emotional beauty. Only when performances are particularly beautiful or moving are they referred to as "poetic." Dancers, actors, painters, only when having reached the pinnacle of their form are they themselves referred to as "poetic." Magic is an art form centered around amazement, emotion, desire and in rare cases, beauty. It is not, however a strictly defined set of tools or props. Instead, it is an experience. Magic lives in the mind, not in the physical world. It is therefore necessary to weave magic into our lives it is to be fully appreciated. Magic in the form of a "show" is an extremely limited opportunity. Even for magicians who perform regularly, the amount of time one is "on" is limited to the small fraction of a day. To live as a magician is to share this beauty of wonder wherever and whenever the opportunity arises. It is therefore important to be ready to introduce magic into the fabric of your life. To propogate a myth, a legend around being someone with special powers requires more than a stage persona. Being true and being yourself on and off stage is the only way to catch those precious opportunities. Underneath the super power abilities, the real "magic" is sharing a piece of beauty with your audience. WIth that perspective, the world becomes your "stage", and every minute of every day your "showtime." Ok, back to the poetry! We have a great opportunity here. In keeping with our primary goal of sharing beauty, it would be perfectly reasonable and appreciated to simply write a beautiful poem and give it to someone. Tried and tested, the poem has proven itself for thousands of years before the first recorded magic trick. In the epic poems carved in stone thousands of years before Christ, gods and men performed magic for those early audiences. These writings created a sense of wonder, of mystery, and painted colorful pictures of the unknown. Precisely what magic aims to do today. Magic does not exist in a vaccuum. It is a part of life. This is why it must incorporate elements of life to be important. To have a point of reference. In the same way that motion is relative, so too is magic! The further from reality your plots and props get, the harder it is to relate or care. Perhaps more importantly, magic must tell a story in order to matter to people. Consider modern marketing. When selling anything from roses to running shoes, marketers use stories to make people invest emotion into things. Politicians use similar strategies when campaigning. Combining your magic with something else that already matters is a great way to enhance both. Imagine how much value must have been placed on the earliest people for them to have been painstakingly chiseled into stone. Their raw simplicity combined with stories about fundamental human emotions allows us to appreciate them thousands of years later. Can the same be said about magic? As it turns out, yes! Well, sort of. Before the popularity of magic for magic's sake, shamans and religious figures throughout history have used magic to change civilizations. If you had called them "tricks," you probably would have been killed, but their methods were based on many of the same methods used by entertainers today. The point I'm trying to make is that the most affecting magicians have used skills and arts beyond isolated "tricks." They coupled their magical perspectives with issues that mattered to people. Always planting their abilities just beyond what's humanly possible. Close enough to be believable but just out of reach. Obviously, what is believable has varied greatly over time, but the principle remains the same. It's no surprise then that the most popular magical shaman today is Derren Brown, who cleverly combines cutting edge psychological research with a bit of conjury and a healthy dose of showmanship. My goal with Poetry Reading was to create a magical experience in a casual environment that takes all the inherent power of poetry, and combines it with the impact of personal and emotional stories that when shared not only amazes and mystifies, but motivates and inspires. BENEFITS of POETRY READING Souvenir Unlike the long list of magic tricks that give "souvenirs" to spectators, POETRY READING gives them something intended as a gift from the beginning. It's unique, personal, inspirations and will potentially be saved and re-read for many years. It's a memento that will make its recipient smile, feel good and remember their magical experience with you. Inspiration I touched on this above, but what gives POETRY READING real value is that it gives back to the audience. They are paying you their attention, after all and it's always nice to get something when you pay. When you tear a playing card and restore it, you've had zero long-term effect on the world around you. It's a neat trick, but it ends there. POETRY READING has real poetry potential to help people have a improved outlook on life and to cause real, positive change in someone's life. SurpriseBecause of the highly casual and natural interaction involved in performing POETRY READING, your spectator never needs to know that you've performing a magic trick. If you follow it up with more magic, they may get a clue, but leave them wondering about your incredible ability to read people's emotions. Think about it. It creates a lot more wonder if a poet read minds than when a magician does. We're "supposed" to be able to do "that stuff" and it's sometimes easy for folks to dismiss. By the time you're done, they'll never be expecting the twist ending! Escalator PrinciplePOETRY READING was designed form the beginning as a natural and casual interaction between two people In the off-chance your predictions don't hit spot on (they will 99% of the time), you've merely given your friend a nice poem which can be appreciated on it own without any magic. This safety net is something I call the Escalator Principle as it similar to how an escalator never really breaks down completely but simply turn into stairs which are quite useful on their own! Pages 44 - Saddle Stitched



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