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Eric Leclerc
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Ottawa Ontario
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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?
Doug Higley
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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.

Higley's Giant Flea Pocket Zibit
Hideo Kato
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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
Eric Leclerc
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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..
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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.


"If you can't teach an old dog new tricks, trick the old dog to learn."

-Rannie Raymundo-
aka The Boss
aka The Manila Enforcer

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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.


Nick Gasparro
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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.
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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!?)
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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.

We go through life backwards. The past is visible and the future is cloudy, it seems we are walking backwards.-- Terry Pratchet
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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.

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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.
Alan Munro
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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.
Bill Palmer
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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 The Trick Brain, 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.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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I personally think that comming up with a method I hard work, but 1ce you have your idea the ideas come zomming in!
Jonathan Townsend
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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
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Jeremy L.
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Effects hands down for me.
Jeremy L.
Do you buy ethically?
Magic Fakes
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Definately effects...methods are relatively easy to come up with when you have a general idea of WHAT it is you want to accomplish.
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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.
Lee Darrow
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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.
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
Patrick Differ
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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.
Will you walk into my parlour? said the Spider to the Fly,
Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to show when you are there.

Oh no, no, said the little Fly, to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair
-can ne'er come down again.
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