Building Blocks 1: Essential Theater Skills for Magicians
Faculty: Dr. Larry Hass
“Larry Hass has become the contemporary Henning Nelms.” —Ross Johnson
Whether it happens in the street, on stage, or seated close-up, magic is a performing art. This means that many theatrical skills are directly applicable to magic and have the potential to lift your performances to another level of impact and success.
This first course of building-block skills develops your capacity in the three areas that will most quickly elevate the quality of your shows: VOICE, CHARACTER, and DESIGN. (Future courses will address areas that are equally important but less urgent.)
Each week, we tackle one of these areas through a combination of short lectures, exercises, discussion, and homework. The goal is to deepen your understanding, train your body, and cultivate your ability to make choices that will work well for you. At the end of the course, you will recognize significant growth in yourself and understand the forward path for greater confidence as a magician. Participants will also learn TWO pieces of Larry's magic that relate to the skills under discussion.
Taught online through Zoom on three THURSDAYS: February 23, March 2, and March 9 at 5:00 p.m. PACIFIC (8:00 p.m. EASTERN). Each session is 90 minutes.
NOTE: ALL CLASSES ARE RECORDED—YOU CAN WATCH THEM AT ANY TIME.
Week 1, February 23: Voice and Breathing
The core skill for every embodied performer or presenter is breathing properly so our voices will be rich, resonant, and will project to the audience. Also, we must train ourselves to properly enunciate so our words are clear. Developing these skills is not especially difficult but does require clarity about the techniques and a model for regular practice—which you will learn and later have available for your reference.
Week 2, March 2: Developing Your Character
It is not possible for us to perform without some kind of character manifesting itself. Untrained magicians unconsciously manifest the character(s) of other performers. Skilled magicians think carefully about the character they want to express, making sure it is clear, strong, and interesting for their audiences. Everything about magic gets easier when we come to understand and craft our character for greater impact.
Week 3, March 9: Design Your Performing Space and Style
Because it affects people subconsciously, design is the great unknown of many contemporary performers. Yet, the finest magicians carefully design and integrate every aspect of their performing space and public presentation. How do we do this? The first steps are to understand: 1) the kinds of things about our performances that require design, 2) the basic elements and principles of design, and 3) concrete, actionable ideas about where to start.
WHO IS THIS CLASS FOR?
— Any magician who wants to be a more powerful, memorable performer.
— Any student of magic who wants to learn the deeper secrets of embodied performance.
— Any magic enthusiast who wants to fully appreciate the work and play of the finest performers of our time.
— Any public speaker or presenter who wants to look better, sound better, and deliver with more confidence.
— Any executive or leader who wants to be more magnetic.