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James F
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Hey guys/gals of the Café. So I am taking a public speaking course in college. Our next speech is an "informative" speech. Originally I was going to do something political but the teacher commented that a good topic would be informing the class on a hobby. I thought about maybe doing something to do with magic. There are a few issues though. The speech is 4-6 minutes long and must have a presentation "aid" (by this she means graphs, demos, etc. So a trick would be perfect). However, it also needs at least 3 outside sources that you must cite. So I am having a lot of trouble thinking about how I could present an informative speech on magic that could use 3 outside quotable sources. I mean, all my magic literature are just books and DVDs with tricks in them.

A couple of ideas I had were the story about the professor fooling houdini and then performing the effect for them. I don't know if I could really stretch that story out to 6 minutes but maybe I could. The other issue is that the ambitious like effect wouldnt really play that well for the auditorium like class. Maybe a speech about my favorite magician? I don't know about this though because it would be someone like bannon or Harris and what outside resources could I use with that? My teacher suggested showing some basic effects and how they are done but I'm obviously uncomfortable with that. Its not just the revealing that is the issue. We all know how much it devalues the effects once an audience knows the workings. It just takes all the awe out of it. Seems like a diservice in itself to destroy the magic like that.

Does anyone have any ideas on this? If worse comes to worse Ill just do it on something else, but I would love to perform an effect for the class. Some tricks I was thinking about was maybe Galaxy or Our of this Universe or Las Vegas Leaper or Whack Your Pack. I would love to hear from some of my Café friends.

Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
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You two favorite people are perfect if you had all the research material. The Professor got his magic tricks from his pals, and Paul Harris's tricks are all classic tricks, the was smart enough to simplify them, and take out all the fancy sleight of hand moves that kept many from performing them, but you would not know that if you did not study the original tricks. Of course, Paul does not give references, but that is what I found out by having the original text before Paul Harris published his works. The Professor did improve on his friends ideas, and therefore they are his work.

Unfortunitly, nothing in the magic community does a comparison, or is published of where concepts come from.

Modern magic is still very young compared to any other art forms. Magicians really did not do that much close-up magic, as they did magic for a living and worked in theaters, either with grand stages shows or short act as part of a variety show.

With all requirements, I do not see how you could put such a presentation together even in a years time. And unless you are a member of the Magic Castle in LA, with their huge library of magic books, I do not see how you could do it financially, as these kinds of books are very expensive. All are privately published works. So not many if any are available in the library.

And you are 100% correct on exposure, even if they want to call it teaching a trick.

As far as I know the oldest trick that would fit your topic is the Cups and Balls trick. It has been followed back to Europe when there were court Jesters, some hieroglyphics are found on the walls showing it was possible to be around in Egyptian days.

The bag known as Topit is said to be derived from the Poacher's Pouch back in England when thieves would pouch chickens.

I am sure your teacher had no idea that there was no resources for you to easily obtain.

I would chose another topic if I were you, unless you have a local well read magician you can call on for assistance.
Dick Oslund
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James! PM me. I may be able to "bird dog" for you.
Dick Oslund
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Profile of Dick Oslund
The OP PMd me, and I offered help. He did not respond.
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