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Profile of tmills27
I'm just starting out again by performing and practicing some magic to friends and family. Right now, I'm wondering how to make it more interesting, and how to draw people in and have them intrigued with the tricks, enhancing them with performance and the right style.

I like to watch some of the famous magicians. I find Derren Brown has a style that really intrigues me. It's not about the actual tricks that he performs that catches my eye, it's how he presents them. A lot of people actually truly believe his magic, because of his great way of presenting it, and tying it into something that is believable (such as NLP, hypnotism, and mind control).

I'm not really right into mentalism stuff, and copying other styles wouldn't work for me. I guess I'm just trying to ask for some pointers on scripting magic, and how to enhance an illusion that leaves the spectators intrigued and mystified, instead of leaving them pondering about gimmicks, sleights. What are some pointers on creating a magical impression, versus a guy that is just trying to trick you?

What made me ask this question, is that I've recently got a jardine ellis ring. I've practiced and did a little performance to my grandmother. When I seen a demo of the ring, to me, I was really wondering how the ring was gimmicked. I was asking "can a spring loaded hinge on the ring really be so imperceptible to examination?" Now I know how it works of course, and it is indeed a normal ring and would seem interesting to a spectator after performing. But to me, it's a "puzzle" trick, at least, that's what it seems like when I perform it. I guess I don't mind it being that way, but I'm also wondering how can I enhance it so that it feels like there is magic involved. How can I present it so that it's less like a puzzle? Is there a key ingredient that can be applied to all tricks to make them more magical?
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United Kingdom
41 Posts

Profile of Moncle
I struggled with this from the very beginning, the solid bit of advice I had when starting out was that magic is 90% performance 10% sleights etc.

So I have sought out material and books on magic that relate to theory of performance, the following books in order of the most useful I have found to be the best....Tommy wonder's Books of Wonder - Derrens Browns Absolute Magic - Darwin Ortiz Strong Magic - Henning elms Showmanship for Magicians and the Fitzkee Trilogy.

Tommy Wonder's essays within his books I have found the most practical - original creations in terms of plots come across much stronger.

It still dumfounds me that very little is lectured or demonstrated on this part magic, I guess it is because it isn't easy.

You are definatley on the right track mate, good luck,

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Elite user
Calgary, AB
436 Posts

Profile of robvh
I'm much more interested these days in lectures and workshops that focus on showmanship and theory over tricks. There's a constant barrage of new tricks and most magicians have 50x more material on their shelves and in drawers than they will ever perform. I know I do.

Any such dicussion should mention Ken Weber's Maximum Entertainment. For close-up workers, Darwin Ortiz' Strong Magic is very highly regarded also. My next purchase will be Joanie Spina's DVD set.

Why learn more tricks when you can make all your existing tricks (and all future tricks) much stronger?
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
23046 Posts

Profile of Bill Hegbli
Magic is like a puzzle, that is why they call them magic tricks. It is human nature to guess how it was accomplished. Thus, just like solving a puzzle.

So in the end, one should feel good that the spectator were "puzzled" or another word commonly used is "fooled". You don't want to remove that factor. If you do it will not be a magic trick.

To make the Ellis Ring more interesting, simple, that is your job to draw attention to the props you use. If your grandma was guessing, why did you hand out the ring to her to begin with. A standard patter for the ring, before your time, but not your grandma, is to mention it is just like the rings a person has to catch on the old merry go round back. Grandma, did you ever see one of these? Hand it to her. Then say, this ring I caught seems to have magical powers. I have a length of ribbon. I "borrowed it" from my moms hobby basket, don't tell her, Okay.

Something like that or just make it fun.
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Loyal user
Toronto, Canada
272 Posts

Profile of MGordonB
Read Strong Magic by Darwin Ortiz
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