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Profile of MorgenDonner
Hello all,

Glad to have found this site it looks like there is a lot of content to learn from.

I've been interested in magic for a while, when I was younger I would often get kits and enjoyed it a lot, but I never pursued anything more than fairly basic tricks. Long story short, I'm in an all engineering male beauty pageant for charity at my college (, and one of the segments is a talent show. Last year I competed as well and performed balloon sculpture (A monkey climbing a palm tree) which was a big hit with the crowd so for this year I thought that magic would be a great way to stand out from the other contestants.

I only have four minutes to perform, and I'm planning to base my show around a levitation act, using the levitation kit from Theatre Magic ( So here come my beginner questions:

I was wondering if anybody knew of some good resources for selling an illusion to the audience, mainly to sell the trick. Any kind of books or instructional dvds/videos would be great.

My next question is if anybody has any recommendations on how to write together a skit. By that I mean how to come up with what to say to keep the audience's interest and maybe to put some jokes in it. I realize this is something I will largely have to do myself, but I thought maybe there were some tutorials available on things to say.

My last question is if anybody has any recommendations of certain tricks that are fairly quick to perform but at the same time good bang for the buck. Quick tricks that will leave the audience guessing. I was looking at some on an online store and was thinking of opening with a vanishing shot glass full of liquid (saying something along the lines that "I need to start my shows with some liquid courage, but that I drink a bit differently than most people"). Any other recommendations would be great. I'm sure there's already threads dedicated to this though so I will start browsing the website right after this post.
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Inner circle
Harrisburg, PA
1432 Posts

Profile of mmreed
Maximum Entertainment is a book that will take your performance to higher levels.

I suggest getting a copy and reading it twice!
Mark Reed
Wedding and Event Entertainment
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Inner circle
1263 Posts

Profile of rklew64
Curious, when is the show?
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Special user
568 Posts

Profile of stijnhommes
Darwin Ortiz's "Strong Magic" is also a good read when it comes to presentation, but it's not something you can pick up easily. You need to practice it before the big show. I can only parrot Ortiz and emphasize that you must sell the illusion as an impossibility. As soon as you yourself treat it like just a trick, the entertainment value for the audience plummets to basement.
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Inner circle
Pittsburgh, Pa
2925 Posts

Profile of davidpaul$
You might want to check out Andrew Mayne's offerings. He has some great material that I think, would be right up your alley. here is one on a levitation but there are a ton more. Just type his name in the search box and you will see a long list. I'm sure you will find something to meet your needs.
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
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Profile of MorgenDonner
Thanks for all the help so far. I will check out those books and kits after class today.

I've been practicing daily now with what I have and plan to get some other kitd ordered by this weekend.

The show is at the end of February so I have about one month to get my bit down. Not ideal but I'm confident I can get something good together by then.

I have anoter question I'd like to add in the mix: how do you decide on music to put together with the show? I've found a few articles online that have some advice on selecting tunes but I thought I'd ask some veterans as well.
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Inner circle
Landrum, S.C. by way of Chicago
3399 Posts

Profile of Stanyon
Morgen -

Same type of scenario from many years ago...I won using nothing more than "What's Next" (the spot card effect)! This effect is highly visible and you could easily fill your time slot with the explanation phase. Not a lot of moves to remember and presentation is everything. As they say "KISS"!


aka Steve Taylor

"Every move a move!"

"If you've enjoyed my performance half as much as I've enjoyed performing for you, then you've enjoyed it twice as much as me!"
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