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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The May 2012 entrée: Martin Lewis » » I’ll create a new trick right now. » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Magikraft
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A number of folks have asked about my creative process so I though I would create an effect right now and describe what I’m thinking.

It’s 8:30 am in Southern California and I am sitting at the kitchen table with my MacBook Air and a cup of Peet’s Major Dickason’s blend.

I decide to start by choosing a subject. It’s not the only way to proceed but that’s what I’ll do this time. I begin looking around to see if anything gets my attention. I’m not trying to think of a trick right now just idly drifting, sipping coffee, and looking for something unusual to do magic with.

Through the window I see a sapling lemon tree that my wife Susi recently got. It gets my attention because I have to remember to water it while she’s away. I decide to create a trick with a tree. I think about walking in the park, what would interest the people there. I decide my new trick should have emotional appeal, and be eco friendly. I start thinking of the tricks I know with trees, plants, etc.

There’s Houdin’s “Blooming Orange Bush” of course, and the Hindu “Growth of a Mango Tree.” Both involve the process of life. I can’t think of much else…

Then I remember that trick with the bunch of feather flowers, where you pluck the blossoms off and, by pushing a hidden lever, the flowers slowly reappear. That always seemed hokey to me, I’m not a fan of feather flowers, but the principle is good.

Now I saw that old feather trick in a new light, instead of bouquet that looks like nothing on earth, it would be a slim branch with green sprouting leaves. Built on the same principle as the feather bouquet but using silk leaves and real wood.

Now I have something useful it’s just a case of developing it. All I needed was that one inspiration to get me started.

Earlier I had the idea of breaking a branch off a sapling and magically restoring it. I got that idea but focusing on my subject and running through the list of possible effects in my mind. I briefly considered a mindreading tree and still think that could be a funny premise. I eventually decided on the destroyed and restored effect. I would break a branch off a tree, make it vanish and reappear back in place.

I considered a number of complicated methods, all require a fake tree. There are some amazingly realistic trees out there. The simplest method that occurred to me is a make a same both sides tree. “Break” a branch off one side, then when the audience attention is on the vanish have the tree make a half turn. On stage the tree could be in a planter that conceals the mechanism.

I then noticed I could combine the two effects and make is a routine.

After breaking off the branch, Instead of plucking the leaves one by one I decided to brutally strip then off would be more dramatic. To do that I would simple have a few leaves palmed and as I seem to strip the leaves I operate the little lever that withdraws the leaves into the hollow branch tips. I can let a few drop to the floor from the palmed stack as a convincer.

Next throw the handful of palmed leaves in the air, thrust the branch among them like a card sword, operate the little lever in reverse making it look like the leaves have reattached, actually all the palmed leave fall to the floor but who’s counting?

Vanishing the branch I imagine a little hook on one end and as I throw it into the air I actually hook it onto the back of my pants. I imagined that like the lovely dove effect where the bird it thrown into the air only to change to a silk. A few more leave fluttering down would aid the illusion.

This is not an effect I will ever make, there is no place for it in my show. It would be perfect for someone though, it has drama, visual effects, and touches the emotions, and could be written into a silent play for a couple.

I have written the ideas in order to make it easier to explain but in fact the two parts of the effect came about in a hodgepodge of sifting ideas. As I finish writing this it is 6:00pm. I have spent the day going about my business but this occupied my thoughts a good part of the time.

Now what shall I call my new trick? Hmmm...
critter
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This is a great illustration that I will be pondering tonight instead of sleeping. Thanks.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
magicalaurie
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Ontario, Canada
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I like it! A name, a name... I'll think about it, too. Great reading, thankyou, Martin! Smile
billmonroe
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Annapolis, MD
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This would be a good, "She loves me, she loves me not" type of premise. The leaves are "stripped" off as indicated above and you take them one by one for the "she loves me...not" sequence allowing them to flutter to the floor and the last leaf invariably is, "she loves me not", then hoping for more leaves to get to "she loves me", they re-appear. Thanks Martin

Bill
MJ Marrs
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Los Angeles
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First off, great choice in coffee! Peet's "Major Dickason" blend is the best cup of coffee I've ever had. A trip to Buma's "House of Magic" in San Francisco back in the day gave me the opportunity of visiting the original Peet's shop as well.

Seeing the creative process methodically worked out was a treat. Thanks!

Best,
MJ
Magikraft
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Right on MJ, Major Dickason's rocks indeed!
MagicBrain
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Hey ! You may have the name of that new trick '' The Dickason Tree Illusion'' !!! ... and thank you very much Mr Martin for sharing your creative thoughts... very much inspiring.
mystre71
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martinsburg west virginia
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Thanks for sharing this Mr. Lewis. While I don't have a name for your effect. You thoughts on a mind reading tree did spark an image of the "out to lunch" principle used with a couple signing their name inside a heart only to become carved into a tree.
Joe
Walk around coin box work check it out here https://www.magicalmystries.com/products
Magikraft
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What an excellent idea Joe!
David Dayton
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Dear Martin,

I missed your lecture at Grand Illusions in Sacramento a few years ago, but Steve Johnson directed me to your two great Making Magic dvds. As a teacher, I found your presentations and directions excellent and was able to complete most of the tricks, though my inability to spray roughing fluid evenly caused me some problems with the Come-Back Card. As a novice to magic (this is my fourth year of hobbying around), I really appreciated being able to create some wonderful effects relatively inexpensively in my very first family and school shows.

Just wanted to say thanks,

David Dayton
Magikraft
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Thanks David,

You are welcome, I am always happy to hear my DVD's are useful! I recall that lecture, a great bunch of folks. Hope to see you next time at Grand Illusions.

-Martin
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The May 2012 entrée: Martin Lewis » » I’ll create a new trick right now. » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes)
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