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Topic: By way of introduction...
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (Sep 10, 2005 03:42PM)
My primary goal here is to share some thoughts and ideas on magic and theatrical techniques from the viewpoint of a set designer, a guy who's worked in the theatre and themed entertainment world for years. Since my main interests in magic are large illusions and stage manipulation, the material in here is naturally geared to these two specialties. However, some material, especially that on imagination, story telling, research, and magic as drama, can certainly apply to other areas.

Some of this material is based on questions and comments I've seen here in the Café and at PMZZ.org, and on my responses to them. I figure that if these questions are being asked, and that if I can contribute something to magic by helping to answer or clarify some of them, then I should do so.

For those who are curious as to who I am, here's the Cliff's Notes version.

I started in magic when I was about ten or eleven, and soon started building my own props. When I was around eighteen, I put together a cards-and-doves act that began to attract some real attention around the San Francisco Bay Area. My goal at the time was to go to Vegas and then go touring, but one thing led to another and I ended up instead going away to study set design in college and grad school.

A series of events then placed me in the architectural field, where I served as a designer and project manager for about fifteen years, mostly doing corporate and government jobs in Massachusetts and New York. I came back to the entertainment world around 1996, when I joined a large theatrical scenery shop in upstate New York as a project manager and head of the design studio.

All this time, magic was on the back burner. But then I discovered The Magic Café in 2004 and my interest perked up again. That's when I started looking for a niche, some place in magic where I could do something that's up my alley and that hasn't been overdone. So the idea of writing this column was born, and I'm thrilled that Steve felt it would be of interest to this community.

Donna and I moved from New York to the Bay Area in 2003, so, between coming back home, getting back into theatre, and getting involved in magic again, I guess I can say I'm coming around a full circle.

I hope you enjoy this column and find something useful in it.