JustJimAZ

Have Heroes Outside of Haunting

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Magician Brian Brushwood once wrote an email to his hero Teller of Penn & Teller.

Teller wrote back a very thoughtful and interesting reply, which included this:
"Have heroes outside of magic. Mine are Hitchcock, Poe, Sophocles, Shakespeare, and Bach. You're welcome to borrow them, but you must learn to love them yourself for your own reasons. Then they'll push you in the right direction."

I'll leave you to decide for yourself how those particular heroes shape Teller's magic and persona. What I would ask you to consider is this: Do you have heroes outside of Haunting and /or Horror?

Most haunters I have met are influenced by horror. Some people love Stephen King, or Dean Koontz, Lovecraft or McCammon. Others love Sam Raimi, Hitchcock, James Whale, Wes Craven or John Carpenter.

Others hold up haunters like Allen Hopps, Scott Swenson, Ed Gannon or Leonard Pickel. All great role models and frankly, worthy heroes. Teller's advice was not "have no heroes in magic", it was ,"have heroes outside of magic".

Why? Maybe, in part, because if all your heroes are in the same "game" you want to play, you'll have a hard time finding a unique voice. The letter from Teller later says, " You will never be the first Brian Allen Brushwood of magic if you want to be Penn & Teller. But if you want to be, say, the Salvador Dali of magic, we'll THERE'S an opening."

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If you look through my blogs, there are some common threads. I hope always to bring solid design ideas to whomever stumbles across this. I also hope to point out inspiration that comes from somewhere a bit off the beaten path.


I suggested taking inspiration from a video game for the blind, unusual use of shadows from Carl Theodore Dreyer's 1932 horror movie Vampyr, incorporating steampunk, and expressionism. I just want to encourage haunters to look in the corners where no one else is looking.

Teller lists Bach among his heroes. It's the only one on his list who is not, as far as I can tell, a story teller. On the other hand, maybe he was.

Do you have heroes from outside of haunting and horror which inform your haunting? Do you admire a science (or science fiction) writer? Maybe a painter like Monet, Dali, or Zdzisław Beksiński? Teller advises we cultivate heroes outside of our game and " they'll push you in the right direction."


You probably DO already admire people from other arts and disciplines, so do you let them "push you in the right direction"?

I'd love to hear who your heroes are and how they have influenced your haunting!
Categories
Halloween , Everything Else

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