The Little Magical Touches

November 17, 2010 by Admin  
Filed under Everything You Should Know, Featured

To perform magical illusions to any successful degree, it is important to be in command of what the audience sees and what they believe before, during and after the trick is performed. So much of what an illusion is about pertains to what you allow the audience to believe, what you say and what you don’t. Knowing this is one of the first steps to being a skilled stage magician.

It is completely permissible to lie through your teeth as part of a stage performance. It’s no different from what actors do, after all. You can pass around one of the props for your show and tell the audience “As you can see, there are no hidden compartments!”, as long as you know they won’t be able to detect that there really is at least one. After all, it’s illusion, you are already lying to them.

However, lies of omission can be a more enjoyable way of getting the audience to believe that you have done something out of the ordinary. “You can see here, there are four coins. Now look as I take one away – and voila, there are still four coins.”. OK, that sounds fairly limp, but the point is that what the audience can see is very different from what actually is. Perhaps there were actually five coins to start with and they could only see four.

Another trick that is occasionally used as part of stage magic is the use of a “shill”. This is someone, known to the magician, who poses as part of the audience and is invited on stage to “assist” with a trick. The magician may well ask the “shill” to confirm that they have never seen each other before, which they will do.

Selling A Magic Trick

November 17, 2010 by Admin  
Filed under Everything You Should Know, Featured

Illusion may not carry the same aura of fascination that is inherent in “magic” as a concept, but if you happen to really make it work, and are really good at it, then you can still impress people with what you are capable of. As much as anything else, good illusion is about “selling” the trick – making it appear that you are seeing the same thing that the audience are seeing, and keeping an air of mystery about it.

There are various ways to sell a magic trick. If, for example, you have just made a coin “disappear”, it is to be assumed that you know where it has gone. However, if you remain deadpan in this situation, the audience will not go on the journey of confusion you want them to. Both visual and verbal sells will help with this trick. Asking “where has it gone?” as though you are unsure, and making a show of looking for it, can really help.

Various other tricks involve something along the lines of borrowing an expensive watch from a member of the audience and then making it “disappear”. A good way to sell this trick is to pretend to botch the “reappear” part of the trick and to become very apologetic, asking the owner if the watch was very expensive, and promising to pay them for a replacement. As the trick seems to be over it will be all the more impressive when you then produce the watch during the next trick.

The Use Of The Word “Magic”

November 17, 2010 by Admin  
Filed under Everything You Should Know

Half the time, when we use the word magic, we are not actually referring to anything with magical properties but rather something that is an illusion or singularly impressive. A very gifted sports player might often be referred to as having magical feet or hands, when what they really have is a specific gift for the game.

This much is not news to anyone, but what is interesting is how the word “magic” has come to be used so regularly for things that are impressive. The idea of magic as a phenomenon is that it makes things happen when there is no realistic explanation for it. There is of course a difference between being very good at something and being freakishly good at it.

Any parent in the world has probably, at one time or another, explained how something works by saying it is “magic”, usually to avoid giving a longer, more detailed and practically incomprehensible to children, explanation. It usually satisfies the child if they are young enough, as children are generally perfectly ready to believe that their parents are magical.

The actual existence of magic is something that will always divide people. Skeptics will have an explanation for a seemingly magical phenomenon or will believe that one exists where believers will happily put the phenomenon down to magic. As we cannot disprove the existence of real magic, it is quite pleasant to believe it exists. What is certain is that we will always be impressed by someone doing something inexplicable.

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