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Topic: So You Want To Be An Illusionist ...
Message: Posted by: Chezaday (Jan 16, 2009 04:59PM)
My good friend, David Seebach has been asked to present his "So you want to be an Illusionist" lecture at this years Abbott's Magic-Get Together. From unloading his van, to setting up the equipment .. you are involved. I wish he was doing this years ago. You won't find this kind of information anywhere else. This is one of the best lectures I've ever seen.

If you're just getting started with illusions .. I suggest you get to the convention this summer. David has many years of on-stage experience that is unmatched. I can't wait to see what he has in store for this very unique presentation.

Message: Posted by: Christopher Starr (Jan 16, 2009 05:30PM)
You think that he'll ever present it in book or video form?
Message: Posted by: Chezaday (Jan 16, 2009 06:16PM)
If you're old enough to remember, David use to write an article for the New Tops Magazine back in the 80's. It was the first thing I would turn to as I was just getting started in the illusion field. Since then we've become good friends and I keep bugging him about writing a book. He's got so much knowledge to share .. and he's an amazing writer. Everything in his show is scripted .. just amazing.

I'm pretty sure I've convinced him to make a set of lecture notes for this special event. Maybe this will spark some interest in him doing a book .. I know I would be the first to get it signed.

Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Jan 16, 2009 07:04PM)
It needs to be combined with a dvd of unloading, setting, backstage, performance and reloading of a show.

Steve, you and I have already been there and done that on a lot of this. I think this should be a mandatory lecture for closeup and balloon twisters as part of their continuing magic education.

I've done my closeup and balloon work already also.

Message: Posted by: Chezaday (Jan 16, 2009 10:54PM)
I'm still breaking my back loading in and loading out .. fun stuff. I think this is a great opportunity for those just getting started or the pros to see exactly what is involved with an illusion show. To my surprise many regular working performers have never seen many of these illusion right up close.

It was actually kind of funny to hear some of their comments. It takes how long to set up? How heavy is that in the case?? The girl has to do what?? When you're working with these props on a regular basis .. it's no big deal, you get use to all the work involved. Many just don't realize all that is involved. This lecture will get into just that.

If you've never been out to Colon, Michigan .. this is a perfect reason to come out. Besides .. I'm on the special Saturday Matinee show along with Richard and the rest of the Abbott's Stage Crew. It was a blast last time we pulled this off.

Message: Posted by: CMMAGIC (Jan 16, 2009 11:04PM)
Message: Posted by: magicgettogether (Jan 17, 2009 08:11AM)
When Greg asked me to promote David's lecture the first question I asked was about lecture notes and he said to the best of his knowledge David will have lecture notes. It sounds like you did convince him and this lecture should be fantastic fun.

You can find the latest on the 09 Get Together (including the Seebach lecture) at http://www.magicgettogether.com as it develops.
Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Jan 17, 2009 11:55AM)
For those that are from other countries (including me) the lecture notes will be awesome. Where can we buy his lecture notes?
Message: Posted by: Chezaday (Jan 17, 2009 12:06PM)
I'm sure if there is enough demand David will make them available. I think he still has to write them up first. The lecture will be presented this August at the Abbott's Magic Get-Together.

I'll keep on his case ... the book will follow.

Message: Posted by: magicgettogether (Jan 17, 2009 12:12PM)
Abbotts will make arrangements to have some for sale after the convention
Message: Posted by: inhumaninferno (Jan 17, 2009 01:29PM)
I say YEAH...

Seebach's been at this along time and has much knowledge to share. Troupin' an illusion show is a lot of work. Most got no idea.

Plus, Colon in August is always a great place to be. I've missed a few years, hope to scoot there this time.

Message: Posted by: chmara (Jan 17, 2009 07:06PM)
Set Up - Play - knock down - Set up - fight electrical techs, play, knock down travel - set up - lights great sound attrocious -- play - knock down --- travel -- assistant sick -- get local model -- train while setting up and cutting -- play -- knock down -- find truck broken after loaded -- etc.

The life of an illusionist is interesting. As Fechner once said -- ""to make a small fortune as an illusionist - start with a large one."

But, I must say I have always felt that hiring a magician for a large stage show who could not fill the stage and keep the audience visibly impressed was always a disappointment. This means top talent with personality and exceptional stagecraft, OR lots of big props and better than average stafecraft.

The labor in the latter becomes tedious and more difficult with age unless you maker enough to hire a good crew!
Message: Posted by: adam christopher (Jan 18, 2009 09:33AM)
Chez some of Davids Old Articles can be find on the Abbots website where they've e-archived some of the New Tops.....AC
Message: Posted by: Christopher Starr (Jan 18, 2009 09:45AM)
Can you give us a link? ;)
Message: Posted by: M-Illusion (Jan 18, 2009 10:06AM)
Links to the articles from Tops:

Message: Posted by: magicgettogether (Jan 18, 2009 01:24PM)
I enjoyed all the articles but especially liked the Buzz Saw one because he mentions that it was the most expensive item in the Abbotts catalog. As a kid growing up in the seventies I used to read that catalog and the buzz saw was on my list for that very reason. However on my first trip to Abbotts I had only saved up about $300.00 or so and decided to purchase a garden of flowers with my savings rather than wait for the other 9,700 dollars to get the buzz saw.

Luckily I had Seebach's Tops articles and my dreams to get me through the minimum wage teenager years.
Message: Posted by: Chezaday (Jan 18, 2009 02:26PM)
I went as far as making copies of the articles and binding them in a book .. no joke. Man it was a lot of work, and it wasn't cheap either. I made like six copies and gave one to David. It was a fun project .. learned a lot about piecing a book together.

Message: Posted by: adam christopher (Jan 19, 2009 06:35AM)
Steve, how many articles were there total? Adam
Message: Posted by: Chezaday (Jan 19, 2009 11:23AM)
A lot .. he wrote for the magazine for years. I imagine he's got them all on paper, right off his typewriter .. there were no computers back then. They may have even been tablets of stone .. it was a while ago.

Message: Posted by: adam christopher (Jan 19, 2009 11:45AM)
LOL @ the tablets of stone and what were those plate shaped thingys that you listened to music on called? My bad....it would be interesting to see the collection....David should release them as a book...from the Top's articles online his knowledge of Illusions is huge!!!
Message: Posted by: Chezaday (Jan 19, 2009 12:02PM)
You know its not such a bad idea. Maybe Abbotts could compile the collection and David could add addition notes and updates to the material.

I really think this would really sell. I remember looking through many of the articles and much of the information is still very interesting and useful. This might just stir things up enough to set the wheels in motion.

Subject: Illusions

the Book by David Seebach

Sounds good to me, long over due ...

Message: Posted by: Marshall Thornside (Jan 21, 2009 11:07AM)
I haven't seen daivd is yeeeaaarrrsss.

nor have I been to abbotts in yeearrss.

so maybe, we could actually go.
(as I keep sayin')
Message: Posted by: Chezaday (Jan 21, 2009 11:42AM)
I think you shouuuld get your buuuutt in geeeear and go!

It's still a fun time, I look forward to a few days in the country .. nothing better than some fresh air and a peanut butter shake.


Don't forget the midnight tour of the graveyard on Friday ... Ooooh Scary!
Message: Posted by: trey (Jan 21, 2009 04:54PM)
I would love a copy of all the illusion articles. I read a few of the ones posted. And now I am hooked! He really does need to write a book. Illusions are one of the least written about subjects in magic.

Message: Posted by: Chezaday (Jan 22, 2009 12:15AM)
I couldn't agree with you more .. David has a lot to offer. I think there is a great gap to fill since Ken Griffin's Illusion Show Know-How.

Good news .. David has begun work on the lecture notes. I'll look over what he sent tonight. I'm excited ..

Message: Posted by: Marshall Thornside (Jan 22, 2009 08:18AM)
Its hard enough getting my dad motivated to go to
a magic show but once he's there he's a social butterfly.

you saw how he was in November.

We'll see.
I have to fill my concert schedule and save my monies to go...
Message: Posted by: magicgettogether (Jan 22, 2009 08:29AM)
I will venture into the Tops back issue room (it reminds me of a smaller version of the final scene in Raiders of the lost Ark) and pull all the tops with Davids articles. I know Abbotts has a complete set and could compile what is described above, but I am wondering if I can find enough back issues maybe we could give a free issue of Tops to all attending (sort of like free bat day at baseball), or include one with a purchase of lecture notes, etc. Let me see what Abbotts has first and then we can work something out.

We can have plenty of the Griffins Illusion Show Know How on hand too if you like, Abbotts has included that book in a current Illusion Book promotion at its site. I think it is from the 70's. You can find a touching story about the Griffins at the link below as they do a USO tour at a base in Vietnam where their son was killed a year earlier.

Abbotts is always open to any ideas so please keep shooting suggestions at this thread. This years Get Together will be well remembered because so many new things are going to be added, not the least of which includes the first use of the new Colon Magic Park.

Message: Posted by: trey (Jan 22, 2009 01:22PM)
I love the Griffins Articles! It is like reading a letter from a friend. You don't get that from a magazine now days!

Message: Posted by: magicgettogether (Jan 22, 2009 02:58PM)
You can find about 75 articles at
Message: Posted by: magicgettogether (Jan 27, 2009 06:39PM)
Everyone attending this lecture will get a free issue of Tops that will have a David Seebach Subject:Illusion article in it. The issues are over 20 years old but are in mint to excellent condition.

Who knows, since this will exhaust Abbotts Tops issues for those particular months these may very well become collectible items.
Message: Posted by: CMMAGIC (Jan 27, 2009 07:11PM)
Can't wait to hear this lecture , Im looking forward to it. I can't believe there hasn't been this type of lecture before , these topics are quite difficult and can't be dealt with alone.

See you all there Summer 2009

Carl Michael
Message: Posted by: David Seebach (Feb 5, 2009 12:49AM)
My "So You Want To Be An Illusionist" lecture will NOT offer lecture notes. Instead, I am already writing a companion BOOK that will go far beyond anything I can cover within the time restraint of the lecture format. At the lecture you will have an opportunity to experience several stage illusions up close. This usually includes some "hands on" time with the props. I like to offer "test drives" for any aspiring illusionists and their assistants. You will have an opportunity to ask questions. I will offer advice about good illusion acquisitions ---especially for "first timers"--- and some warnings about poor choices. The lecture will be frank, funny and unique; you're not going to get this detailed, insider information anywhere else. I am hard at work on the book and over 50 pages are completed. Already covered: Guillotine, Head Chopper, Super-X, Flying Carpet, Chair Suspension, Blaney's Ladder Levitation, Broom Suspension, Sub Trunk, Harbin's Bow Sawing, Zig-Zag, Modern Art, Mini Cube Zag, Hindu Basket, Sword Cabinet, Enchanted Temple, Origami... and I'm just getting started!
Message: Posted by: haywire (Feb 5, 2009 12:57AM)
Wow I wish I could go... Sounds fantastic.

Too many lectures are on close up, and there are few lectures focused completely on the art of grand illusion. Sounds great, wish you the best with it...

Message: Posted by: KPPfeiffer (Feb 5, 2009 03:02AM)
I won't be able to attend.
BUT PLEASE TAPE THE LECTURE! As Richard pointed out, that would really help to see what is involved in performing illusions. And I would like to know your motivation: why is it worth all the trouble?
Message: Posted by: Chezaday (Feb 6, 2009 01:02AM)
This is reason enough to make plans to attend the Abbott Magic Get-Together. It's unlike any convention you've ever been to .. I'm not kidding. I've been going for over 20 years now .. it's just that special.

I've been on David's case for some time now to write a book .. and I guess things have finally fallen into place. I've already read every bit of his work so far .. and it's simply awesome. Real, useful information for anyone considering or performing illusions. Every couple of days he would send me another section or two .. 50 pages so far, I had to replace the ink in my printer. It will be worth its weight in gold when it's finally available.

Dare I say profound??

Message: Posted by: 123TJS321 (Jun 15, 2009 01:25PM)
Im exited
this was one of the main things I was looking forward to
Message: Posted by: magicgettogether (Jun 16, 2009 07:59PM)
Heres a video of David and Tara
Message: Posted by: magicgettogether (Jul 16, 2009 05:31PM)
This just in from Hank Moorehouse

Special added lecture. Besides premiering the David Seebach lecture on adding an illusion to your show. Following his lecture we will have Franz Harary presenting a question and answer lecture with video clips on traveling the world with one of the largest ever Illusion shows.

When I asked Franz who was one of the first Magicians he ever saw present an illusion show his reply was.."David Seebach at the Get Together, over 28 years ago"...Don't miss these two events.

Hank Moorehouse
Message: Posted by: Chezaday (Jul 17, 2009 12:56AM)
This is just awesome news .. two of my very favorite performers, at the best convention of the summer.

This is too good to be true, I might just pass out ...

Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Jul 17, 2009 05:06AM)
I would love a copy of your book David. Let me know when it's available.
Message: Posted by: magicgettogether (Jul 19, 2009 06:42PM)
Oh No

Franz called and had to cancel, seems he had an appointment with his lawyer in CA. that he overlooked. He wanted to come Friday or Saturday but the stage is booked solid those days with other magic events. We're trying to set something up for Wednesday but it is at best doubtful.

David's lecture is scheduled to go on as planned.
Message: Posted by: magicgettogether (Jul 21, 2009 02:04PM)
Franz is back on, he moved his lawyer appointment and will be on Thursday after David Seebach.

My apologies for any confusion.
Message: Posted by: Chezaday (Aug 7, 2009 01:08AM)
Just a quick note from my hotel in Coldwater .. David's lecture was awesome! After 90 minutes of some of the most insightful information every revealed on illusions, David received a standing ovation. It was well deserved .. and nearly sold-out the first run of his book "So You Want to Be an Illusionist."

If you weren't there .. you really missed out. I don't think anyone left without an appreciation to all the hard work involved for not only the magician but the box-jumper as well. Anyone there will know exactly what I'm talking about.

There are a few remaining copies that are available from Abbott's directly.

Like I said .. you should have been there ..

Message: Posted by: magicgettogether (Aug 7, 2009 06:47AM)
I noticed in his book that he mentions he no longer has his original notes on the Subject:Illusion articles and unless Abbotts has them they would be lost forever. Fortunately both Tops and New Tops are digitalized (and available for purchase) so some cold Feb day when I am snowed in I will convert them to html and add them to the Newest Tops as a classic issue.

The free issue of Tops for the show went over well, surprised how many people did not know about Tops magazine. I should have put a flyer in each one about the newest tops.

I thought the lecture was awesome, unfortunately I had to leave early from the Franz Harary lecture to make the graveyard tour.

So much to do, so little time
Message: Posted by: Laszlo Csizmadi (Aug 9, 2009 03:20AM)
Is there any video or DVD from the lectures?


Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Aug 9, 2009 03:09PM)
I do not think Video was done. It was an incredible lecture.

I have suggested to David that he continue to develop this lecture for a dvd in two phases. First would be the illusions that are suit to one or two people. Second would be the more complicated illusions requiring more staging and assistants.

David talked concisely and clearing for over 90 minutes. He could have went another 90 minutes without losing a person in the auditorium. The pros and cons of different illusions were discussed, staging ideas, costuming, etc. There was so much information that I doubt if any could fully adsorb everything he had to say.

Get the book. It is a great starting point but if you ever get the chance to see the lecture; do it.

Message: Posted by: magicgettogether (Aug 9, 2009 03:49PM)
We tried videotaping but would have had to interfere with the lecture and stopped. David used the whole stage and the only way it would have worked was if we moved around with him.
Message: Posted by: Laszlo Csizmadi (Aug 10, 2009 12:52PM)
Thanks. I was hoping to get a hand a David and Franz Lecture video. You guys should record them in the future because not every one living in the States. :)


Message: Posted by: David Seebach (Aug 11, 2009 03:38PM)
Wow! What a great response to my lecture last week. The book just flew afterwards as it seemed everyone wanted a copy. If you'd like one just order it from Abbott's or buy one from Duane Laflin or contact me for a copy that I'll send immediately by Priority Mail ($25 + $5 shipping). I accept cash, checks,m oney orders and, of course, PayPal.