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Old 12-20-00, 02:25 PM   #1
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Post Writing Material...the creative process.

this is not necessarily a Busker related question as much as it is a performing question in general so I will also post on Blah blah...

What kind of brain storming process do you use to write material for your show...whether it be street show, theatre show, stand-up material?...I am for some reason hitting some road blocks for material for a show I am writting that is going to be performed in March...and I am wondering if any of you have come across certain excercises that help your creative juices to flow freely again... feel free to email me anything as well if you dont want to post.


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Old 12-22-00, 09:00 AM   #2
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I don't think of new stuff very often but when I do it certainly helps for me to try to imagine doing the routine on stage especially if it is something that uses a volunteer and can't really be rehearsed ahead of time. Just create a mental picture of yourself on stage and go through all the possible things that could happen, even ways in which it could go wrong. Through this daydreaming process you can have your own virtual rehearsal.
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Old 12-22-00, 09:27 AM   #3
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I moved the other (Blah Blah) thread into this Forum. I think it fits better here.

REX, if you want to cut and paste your reply below in to the other thread with the same name, I can delete this thread.

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Old 03-15-09, 08:51 AM   #4
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I like to watch other forms of performing art to gather ideas for my magic shows. In doing so, I find funny/interesting bits that I can adapt to my environment without being a DIRECT hack

A few examples:

I was watching my favorite musical, "Fiddler on the Roof" one day and got a great idea for a hat line. The line in the movie went something like: "One kopeck? Last week you gave me TWO kopecks!"

"I had a bad week", said the rich man.

"Just because YOU had a bad week, why should I have to suffer?" said the beggar.

That line became: "If you liked my show, it's customary to tip me at the end. If you didn't like my show, I ask that you tip me anyway. After all, why should be BOTH be disappointed?"

I've heard that line used by other performers since then, but I wrote it while sitting at my TV watching Fiddler...still don't know to this day if I'd heard it before that moment or if I came up with it on the spot...drives me nuts thinking about it...I've got a bit of an obsession with being original...

Another example:

While watching Baby Einstein with my boy, they were doing a little bit trying to teach "object permanence" with a stuffed animal under a box. It kinda reminded me of the Shell Game, which I perform with regularly. Well, I got this idea of having one BIG shell and 2 little shells on either side...and then playing the game like that.

Sure, School for Scoundrels have had jumbo shells out for ages, but did they ever only play with 1 big and 2 little shells...dunno actually...but I thought of it while watching Baby Einstein.

Final example:

I did some magic shows for King's Island (amusement park here in Ohio) 2 years ago & needed a closing bit to tie everything together. The whole show was about the audience trying to help me decide what I wanted to dress up as for Halloween. Well, once again I'm watching some kids show with my children and they're making Halloween masks out of paper bags. Somehow, that turned into my finale.

I took my Ultimate Sketch Pad drawing, taped it to a cauldron and then put it on my head. Then I got the audience to say "Happy Halloween", which were the magic words of the show & took the cauldron off my head to reveal that I'd magically transformed into Frankenstein.

I'm just a part timer trying to put together as original a show as I can muster. It's impossible for me to remember exactly where all of my thoughts came from...I still struggle with the hat line in example #1. For the life of me, I can't remember if I heard someone use it, or if I wrote it completely originally. It did pop in my head while watching Fiddler though. That much I'm sure of.
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Old 03-15-09, 11:19 AM   #5
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I throw ideas out to friends and fellow performers then let them stew in my brain till the genii comes out of the bottle and then I write the idea down. Later I rethink the whole thing. While driving I do my best brain storming. Not sure why?
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Old 03-15-09, 01:36 PM   #6
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Write jokes for 15 or 20 minutes every day. I try to write at least five jokes a day. Most of them will suck, write them anyway. The more you write the better the writing will get. You'll still have tons of stinkers, but 3 workable jokes a week makes 150+ a year. If you have writers block then you just keep writing crappy jokes until you get unblocked, and sometimes when you look back at the crap a few months later you find ways to reword them into workable jokes.
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Old 03-15-09, 03:59 PM   #7
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I tend to do a process called automatic writing, where I write down anything that comes into my brain, either on a particular subject or not. I tend to write a few pages of what I call quick poems, stream of conciousness writing that frees up my mind, just to see what floats to the top. This is an excellent method to get things moving, and flowing, without any judgement or perameters. See Keith Johnstone's book Impro on narrative skills. That is where i found this process.

You may or may not use this as script material, that is not important, the important thing is to get things moving, oftentimes, you will find surprises in what you have written. After this you can either start to write your material, or start working in the physical.

It is helpful also to work this aspect in the physical body, with improv exercises. Basically, you want to dissolve the blocks that you have set for yourself, and just play with the material, to bring back the sense of fun, which is why we are doing this stuff anyway. Why else would you structure your life around throwing things around?

I hope this helps, if not, at least it helped me, thanks for the question.

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