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mike greene
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Profile of mike greene
Just an interesting thought that Id like to get a few responses about.

Ive recently been reading a few of the 'Classic' magic books, more specifically, the works of Vernon, Slydini and Ammar, and they've had a profound effect on my performance style

After going through these texts, Ive found myself going through my whole repertoire and essentially getting rid of most of the stuff Ive been using.

My focus (in my own opinion of course) has been distorted until recently, and I am now attemtping to use only STRONG magic.

Perhaps a better way of saying this would be memorable magic, basically effects that can emotionally involve the audience. So I'm now putting more emphasis on ENGAGING rather than just performing, and am having a complete overhaul of my material, with much more 'in the spectators hands' action, and with more importance being placed on going slowly and gracefully than pointless (in my opinion, and with my style) flourishes.

So the question Im asking is this :

Has any one book, video, experience, etc, ever caused you to completely change your focus in magic, and perhaps even throw away much of your repertoire and start from scratch?

Im very interested in getting different peoples' takes on this.

Thanks in advance,

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Profile of Wes65
I made a similar change after a show I did several years ago. I decided to move away from individual "tricks" and develop my skills in sleight of hand with a focus on coins.

I witnessed a simple sleight of hand routine with a silver dollar that I did after the show was over have a much bigger impact than the "tricks" (you know the packaged, ready to perform effects you by from a magic dealer) I did for the show.
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Profile of spatlind
Absolute Magic by Derren Brown is worth a read in terms of assessing how you approach your magic in performance. Certainly makes one think.
Actions lie louder than words - Carolyn Wells

I believe in God, only I spell it Nature - Frank Lloyd Wright.
Tom Fenton
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Leeds, UK (but I'm Scottish)
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"The Book of Secrets" by John Carney.

It's recently been re-issued, buy it before it goes.

It is a wonderful book.
"But there isn't a door"
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Where does one find "The Book of Secrets"? I've looked at several online sites and don't see it listed. Any help would be appreciated.
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Profile of BCS
I second Tom's suggestion. I ordered mine from John's website (he ill sign it if you ask).

Good luck
Father Photius
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El Paso, TX (Formerly Amarillo)
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I never got to the point that I purged my magical apparatus. I'm afraid I'm a guilty collector of mass quantities over the years. But there was one book that changed my whole outlook on performing magic. I got it years ago when I was a teenager. The Professional Touch by Monk Watson. This small paperback originally written by Monk in the 1940's gave me a whole new perspective on what I should be trying to do with the audience. Perhaps the best thing it did was to inspire me to chase down Monk Watson. He was still living at the time and I managed to chase him down at an Abbots get together. Fortunately for me, I had the right last name to get him to give me a few minutes. He agreed to watch my performance and give me some pointers. Well pointers isn't the word for what he gave me. He gave me one of the most constructive critical evaluations I ever had over anything in my life, and he was 100% right on every point. I ,to this day, attribute my success in my professional years to that evaluation. It taught me how to be an entertainer, not just a guy who does magic. The book is still around and I think still worth the price. Just wish Monk was still with us.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
Tom Fenton
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Yoy can get it directly from Mr Carney.

His website is here:

The book is roughly halfway down the page.

If you ask, he'll even sign it for you.

Hope this helps,
"But there isn't a door"
David White
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As long as you're reading, watching, studying and growing, you'll naturally start from scratch from time to time and rethink how you approach everything and grow as a performer be it casual or professional. But you have to be a willing, interested participant.

I suggest reading a Darwin Ortiz book called Creating the Illusion of Impossibility.
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Is that Darwin's latest book?
Douglas Lippert
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On 2009-02-11 13:49, JamesTong wrote:
Is that Darwin's latest book?

Maybe he meant Designing Miracles?


Doug L.
Douglas Lippert
Former I.B.M. Ring #8 Secretary
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