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Topic: What is harder to come up with, effects or methods?
Message: Posted by: Eric Leclerc (Feb 17, 2005 05:08PM)
Do you think coming up with the "effect" for a new trick is more challenging than inventing the method to accomplish your trick?

Do you think its inventing the effect that's harder? like "make a pack of gum I just showed full, empty" etc... or is the method that you find is more challenging to invent "hmm could be 2 packs,switch, could be a gimmicked pack, couldn't be gum at all,maybe all the gums are stuck together and can be easily palmed off!?" etc..

What do you think magicians find more of a challenge?
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Feb 17, 2005 05:21PM)
Speaking for myself...the 'method'. Once I have that the door is wide open and the ideas come rushing in unbound.

Good Q...will be interesting to follow.

Message: Posted by: Hideo Kato (Feb 17, 2005 06:36PM)
I am more pleased when I found a new good effect than method. If I find a new effect, it is almost always easy to find the method for the effect. When I find a new method, it is not certain if that method produce a good effect.

Hideo Kato
Message: Posted by: Eric Leclerc (Feb 17, 2005 07:31PM)
I think so too... I think laymen and/or your close friends come up with the best (and worse) plots for tricks. Some of them are just too far fetched but other have potential. I do right now, in my repertoire, many tricks some poeple just dropped on me like "hey it would be cool if you could do......" They become my own signature tricks cause they were thought up by laymen who don't have a magician brain. This hardly ever happens in a professional setting but mostly amongst friends. I find when an effect is mentioned to me, the method will always appear shortly..
Message: Posted by: rannie (Feb 19, 2005 02:03AM)
On 2005-02-17 19:36, Hideo Kato wrote:
I am more pleased when I found a new good effect than method. If I find a new effect, it is almost always easy to find the method for the effect. When I find a new method, it is not certain if that method produce a good effect.

Hideo Kato

Same here Kato San! I always dream of effects. The methods through years of reading , meeting with different magicians and talking magic all the time, come almost instictively. that's the best part of making magic.


Message: Posted by: drwilson (Feb 21, 2005 09:46AM)
For me, the hardest part is thinking about what sort of things my character would or wouldn't do. There are so many effects out there that are wrong for my character, even though I like them.

Next hardest is thinking of (or finding) effects. I find it very fruitful to read novels or watch movies in which magic occurs. The novelist or filmmaker puts the magic in because it is strongly motivated, it accomplishes a purpose with respect to plot or character. They are also not constrained by what is "possible" in terms of live performance.

Methods are relatively straightforward after that.

Here's an example. The wonderful novel "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell" is bursting with magic, some involving mirrors. This gave me this idea. The performer places a deck of cards in its case on the table, then places a small mirror with an ornate frame on top of the deck. He gives another deck to an audience member, who is instructed to remove a single card from the deck, show it around, and insert it reversed into the deck. The magician removes the cards from the case on the table, revealing a single reversed card.

Of course this is just the Invisible Deck, which I haven't performed in Don Alan's style just because it doesn't fit me for some reason. I will be trying out the above presentation soon.


Message: Posted by: Nick Gasparro (Mar 7, 2005 01:01AM)
The effect is more difficult to come up with.

We all know five differnt methods for double lifts, three different versions/methods of "Twisting the Aces", two differnt methods for "Triupmh", etc....

It seems we have an abundance of methods, but a lack of effects.

Magic exists as an art in the effect.
Magic exists as a trade in the method.
Message: Posted by: magicjohn2278 (Apr 2, 2005 07:52PM)
Definately the effect is the hardest thing to think - after that, working out a method is usually pretty easy.

(Sounds a bit like a challenge doesn't it!?)
Message: Posted by: Magicman8 (Apr 8, 2005 07:29AM)
John I am willing to take that as a challenge. You may have to watch for me in the banquet asking for help on methods.

Message: Posted by: MagicMarker (Apr 13, 2005 12:52PM)
I tend to start out with a move or a method and a trick just appears obvious.
I can think of effects all day but I'm not so good and findign ways to do them so I don't really bother.

I do find that the more time I spend with other magicians the easier it is to find methods so the balance will probably shift in the future.

As for dreaming I woke up this morning having dreamt both an effect and
a method for a trick. It's not original in any way, but it's really
nice to have one land on your lap.

That little box ticking away between your ears is genuinely magic.

Message: Posted by: muzicman (Apr 14, 2005 01:32PM)
Each can be challenging. I sometimes easily come up with an effect but the method has so many possibilties. I must carefully weigh reliability, cost, angles, and presentation when deciding how to do the method. The effect is easy for me...I have 1000's of ideas from watching others as well as my own imagination. It's the method that is toughest because of the engineering involved. BTW, I do illusion shows and stage acts so you may see different answers based on the style of magic that everyone does.
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Apr 16, 2005 02:02PM)
Effects are harder to come up with. One of my long-time favorite routines took several years before I could figure out how to make it go to the next level. Besides, methods aren't what are sold to audiences, it's the overall effect that has the value.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (May 24, 2005 05:55PM)
But that has been done. Coming up with an original trick is much more difficult than coming up with a method. Or several methods.

More difficult than coming up with an original trick is coming up with an original trick that makes any sense to do.

If you have [i]The Trick Brain[/i], you are familiar with Fitzkee's method of generating new tricks. Some of the artificially generated tricks that you might get from that book just don't make any sense at all, unless you spend a lot of time developing a context for them. For example, you could conceivably spend a lot of time developing an act based around Vienna sausages. But why would you want to?

There was a very famous act that was developed around phonograph records. It never made sense to me. There was a whole section of the Miser's Dream done with small phonograph records. Pulling money out of the air makes sense. Pulling tiny phonograph records out of the air doesn't make much sense to me.

But in a way, the act was a good 20 years before its time. Now there are very small CD's, which would make this whole sequence logical.
Message: Posted by: darkleopard5 (May 28, 2005 10:43PM)
I personally think that comming up with a method I hard work, but 1ce you have your idea the ideas come zomming in!
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (May 29, 2005 09:44AM)
Coming up with something seems easier than spelling.

For those who want a FREE quick spell checker that works on web sites/BBS's: http://www.iespell.com
Message: Posted by: Jeremy L. (May 29, 2005 12:09PM)
Effects hands down for me.
Message: Posted by: JeffWampler (May 30, 2005 11:58AM)
Definately effects...methods are relatively easy to come up with when you have a general idea of WHAT it is you want to accomplish.
Message: Posted by: paullong (Jun 7, 2005 08:41AM)
I think it has to be effect which is harder for me. The great thing about magic for me is the amount of amazing possibilities which come from the methods.
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Jun 7, 2005 08:40PM)
For me, it always starts with the presentation. Then he actual effect, then the method. The reason I separate the effect from the presentation is that the presentation shapes what the audience perceives the effect to be! And, from there, the effect often falls into line.

Maybe that's why it took almost 15 years for me to publish anything since the New Invocation issue...?

Lee Darrow, C.H.
Message: Posted by: Patrick Differ (Jun 10, 2005 11:22PM)
Methods, by far, are more difficult for me. Effects come to me surprisingly often. All I have to do is ask myself, "What would the magic look like, now?" Then the simple little problems I have are trying to figure out how to actually do the darn things.
Message: Posted by: Eric Leclerc (Jun 28, 2005 11:58AM)

are you saying you come up with the presentation for a trick that hasnt even been invented yet? I cant imagine how someone could do that. Thinking of ways to present a trick that you do not know what the effect is?! I don't get it
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Jun 30, 2005 01:01AM)
Eric, I start with an idea for what I would like to show an audience - the script and idea for the effect sort of come together at the same time. if you look at the material in MOM, you will see what I mean, I work "script heavy" in my bizarre work. My haunted key script runs almost four pages, as an example, and is based on a true story about my grandfather's adventures in the Merchant Marines during World War II.

Spooky as heck, too, I'm told, especially as I do the key routine in the volunteer's hand, not mine.

I start with the idea of what a "real" wizard would be able to do, from a storyline idea, then frame the trick around that. So a Midas Touch story might be the framework for telling about how the mage would watch the gold form in the flare of fire that would flash from his touching anything on the full moon, then demonstrate how it happens with a small rock that someone else wraps in a piece of parchment, which like cloth, is the only thing uneffected by the curse. The mage picks up the stone in its wrapping and FWOOSH! a flare of fire and a small nugget of gold drops to the table!

Story, effect, method. Think of it as "reverse engineering" applied to magical routines! ;)

Hope that helps!

Lee Darrow, C.H.
Message: Posted by: Signature (Jun 30, 2005 09:56AM)
I personally find that it is harder to come up with menthods ;D
since you get onto them most times without kowing it ;D it happens when I am practicing something but the effekt it creates is really different to come up ;D

so I think they are both hard to come up but that is a thing that everyone needs
to know for himself since its a very personal ting

just talking about new effekts or menthods

Message: Posted by: cornfarrell (Aug 4, 2005 10:11AM)
Sometimes they are both hard and sometimes one is easier than the other. it is the age old question which is more important the form or the function and which follows the other? I try to pursue the effects first and then figure out methods.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Aug 6, 2005 02:32PM)
On 2005-06-28 12:58, Eric Leclerc wrote:

are you saying you come up with the presentation for a trick that hasnt even been invented yet? I cant imagine how someone could do that. Thinking of ways to present a trick that you do not know what the effect is?! I don't get it


That's the way that Borodin works out many of his ideas. I also do the same thing.

"Richard's Cigar," which is an unpublished work of mine, came into being because of an actual occurrence. I used the story to inspire an effect, which, in turn inspired the method.

"The Inquisitor," which is in Borodin's new book (soon to be released -- watch this space for details) was inspired by some items Borodin found when he had moved into a house in Bamberg. He found an old doll's head in some of the construction materials. Shortly after that, he learned that the house had once been occupied by an inquisitor. Then he wrote the story and the routine.
Message: Posted by: Beth (Aug 8, 2005 07:17PM)
For me methods are harder to come by than effects. Maybe because I simply love the theatrical aspects of magic. I usually come up with the effect and then try to find a method to make it work.
Message: Posted by: BlackShadow (Aug 30, 2005 05:37PM)
Effects for sure for me.

It's difficult to come up with something truly original, because so much has been done before and there are a limited number of magical "events." ie Vanish/restoration etc. Also I think it's very important to have a plot, a story, or a purpose for an effect. Just aimlessly doing something or other does not make for good entertainment. The audience likes to be involved with you and to follow what you are doing. Fitting the plotline and the outcome to your exact style can be challenging.

Having decided where I am going, getting there is easier for me. Like Rannie, having read around the literature, there's usually more than one way of making it happen.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Aug 31, 2005 01:19AM)
On 2005-08-08 20:17, Beth wrote:
For me methods are harder to come by than effects. Maybe because I simply love the theatrical aspects of magic. I usually come up with the effect and then try to find a method to make it work.

This proves something I have believed for years. This is the essential difference between men and women, psychologically speaking. Women are more gifted when it comes to intiuitive things. Men are more mechanically inclined.

This is why you hear about "women's intuition" and "Mr. Goodwrench."