When performing who do you portray? Vampire or Vampire hunter?
Witch or Wizard? Demon or Saint?
How does one develop just such a character?
I'm glad you asked. I have the honor of introducing you to your
instructor for this course --
Mr. Peter Marucci
Below you will find the first installment in this course on
Bizarre Character Development.
- Bizarre Character Development 101 -
By Peter Marucci
The late English magician Harold Taylor used to have a test; in London's Trafalgar
Square, he would position his wife on one side of the square and he would walk across
to the other side. If he didn't get heads turning from at least half the people
he passed, he knew he didn't look the part of a magician.
And this was NOT when he was performing; it was during the day and he was dressed
in what would be called "street clothes".
He was a flamboyant character and his point was that he was always "on", whether
performing or not. So it should be with the bizarre performer.
It's difficult, if not impossible, to appear in an old, shiny tux, or jeans and a
T-shirt, and expect to be taken seriously as a bizarre magician. But it is equally
difficult, or impossible, to do the same if what you are wearing looks like it came
from a second-hand shop.
And whether you perform as a wizard, a Gothic story-teller, or whatever, what you
wear should be as authentic as possible. That does not mean that, if you perform
as a wizard, you have to wear long, Druid-like robes and such; but what you wear
should be a contemporary version of that.
For example, when performing bizarre, I would wear a black turtleneck sweater and
black pants; around my neck is a pendant - a small, pewter dagger with a dragon's
head on the hilt, or a massive chunk of crystal. These two items are as authentic
as any I could find; they are not things that you might find in your local joke or
magic shop, or at Wal-Mart around Hallowe'en!
The chains on which one or the other hangs are (a) a heavy, gold one (for the crystal)
or (b) a silver one for the dagger. They are not cheap craft-store chains or ball
chain that looks as if it were pulled out of a toilet!
Now, this is for performing.
That is not to say that you should necessarily dress like that at all times - although
some performers can and do. But when you are not "on", you should at least look
like a scaled-down version of your performing persona; that is, dress in black, if
that's your style; or wear occult jewellery, if that's your style.
No matter what, there should be something that not only separates you from everyone
else, but also symbolically indicates who your performing persona is.