About a month ago I picked up two Richard Osterlind books. I got The Principles of Magic and The Principles of Mentalism. These books look like they’ve been out for a while, I think the magic one had a copyright date of 2005 and the mentalism one a few years newer.
These books are filled with short thoughts on different aspects of performing. Usually these little essays about about a page and a half to two pages. Richard gets the information across, but it’s a pretty much just the facts. He doesn’t go too deep into much of it, but it’s a starting point to get you thinking about different aspects of how you perform.
I’d say these books are targeted towards someone who is going from performing for family and friends to maybe trying to do a show, or just starting doing formal shows. If that’s you, pick up a copy of the one that’s appropriate to what you do.
In my daily writing that I do in the morning, I was brainstorming some ideas using Googly Eyes. One of the tricks that I came up with was essentially a spellbound using a coin an a googly eye. The kicker would be the coin ends up inside of the eye where the black googly part would be.
One of my thoughts was that maybe I should do it with a signed coin. I ended up discarding this idea. The main reason I got rid of the idea of a signed coin was that if the coin changes to the googly eye, then it should still be signed. Well…it should be signed if we’re trying to prove it’s the same coin. Logically if we’re magically transforming it to something else then the signature doesn’t have to be there.
I think magicians get hung up on having things marked, where I think that non magicians don’t need it as much as we think they do. YES, there are times when it makes the trick stronger, like bill to lemon. An ambitious card with a borrowed deck doesn’t. Usually an ambitious card with your deck doesn’t need to be signed.
Now for the next part, which is when the coin appears inside the googly eye, should the whole coin appear inside of it? That’s the thing, if the outside of the eye is still there, then shouldn’t the coin that is replacing the black part inside just be the inside of the coin?
I do have a coin that’s just the center copper part of a half dollar. That would be what would make the most sense inside of the googly eye.
Is that too much logic?
However all of that thinking gives me a more unique trick!
Performing magic requires the audience stop believing what they know. A magic show is a world where anything can happen…but there are limits. If they can see the ball palmed in your hand, you break that suspension. If an effect lasts too long and give them time to leave the magical world and into an … Continue reading “Suspension of Disbelief…”
Performing magic requires the audience stop believing what they know. A magic show is a world where anything can happen…but there are limits. If they can see the ball palmed in your hand, you break that suspension. If an effect lasts too long and give them time to leave the magical world and into an analytical world, you’ve also lost the suspension of disbelief.
Here’s an example, let’s say you are floating a lady and she just levitates for a minute. Just static in the air without moving, and nothing else happens. The audience gets over the shock of them floating and no shifts to why is she floating mode. Odds are within the remaining 40 seconds they’ll figure it out. That’s why you add things like motion. She floats up or around you. You pass a hoop over her. These things keep your mind from becoming bored and stop suspending disbelief.
The suspension of disbelief goes beyond magic, it goes into puppetry, physical comedy, story telling, and even juggling. The audience doesn’t really believe it’s the juggler’s first time doing a trick, or that you and the puppet are having a spontaneous conversation. You need to keep adding things to prolong the suspension of disbelief, like the juggler dropping on his first attempt.
With your magic, how are you keeping people’s minds in your world?
Recently while travelling I started rereading the book Neo Magic Artistry written by S.H. Sharpe. This book is primarily about magic theory, however it does have a few tricks in the back. This book, which is several books reprinted as one makes a great point: “The greatest magicians have always been those whose work appealed … Continue reading “S. H. Sharpe…”
Recently while travelling I started rereading the book Neo Magic Artistry written by S.H. Sharpe. This book is primarily about magic theory, however it does have a few tricks in the back.
This book, which is several books reprinted as one makes a great point:
“The greatest magicians have always been those whose work appealed to their colleagues as well as the general public”
This is something I totally agree with. If you are an artist, you work should have something noteworthy to other magicians or magic enthusiasts. With all of the magic on TV and the internet, even non-magician audience members have become pretty educated about standard magic tricks.
TLDR: Your magic should appeal to magicians as well as non-magicians.