Hey guys! What is a week of magic without at least one thought of accomplishing the impossible? This week I want to talk about a couple things. First, how can a magician invent a magic trick that is unique and amazing? Second, how does a magician figure out the presentation of the trick?
Ok, let’s get the obvious out of the way. This post is not a how-do process or a big secret reveal on any specific illusion. This is only a couple theories one can work from to help develop an illusion in an efficient manner. There aren’t any rules in this game. Only creative possibilities.
First of all, you need to know that a really good illusion or magic trick, has structure. There is a beginning, middle, and an end. The fancy terminology us magicians use, is quite a bit more cool.
Anyway, in the beginning, the magician presents something to the audience that can be identified without to much explanation. Then, the magician explains what significance this thing has. This is called, the pledge.
In the middle of the illusion, the magician follows through with a confidant manipulation of, this something, and describes a spectacular ability that the audience is about to witness. Then, the audience witnesses the amazing ability that the magician promised them. This is called, the turn. (On a side note, this is sadly, where quite a bit of illusions finish.)
However, the true end of an illusion is the most important part. This is where, the something, the magician has presented to the audience, acts even more amazing than what the magician has already explained. Something unexpected. Something impossible. Something that takes the audience’s breath away.
Every illusion should inspire to do this.
So the next thing you need to ask yourself is, what do you already know? Magic in of itself is a very broad spectrum of classic theories and processes. If you know how a lot of illusions work in detail, you will understand the physics of what most objects of any shape are capable of, or the psychology of what most people see and hear when listening and watching how a magician is acting. This is your foundation. You need to know what everyone before you has done, so you can do something different.
When you understand this without any confusion, the psychological will then be easy to understand and incorporate into your prospective creation, be it a physical or a mental illusion. Or both.
Now, what kind of illusion do you want to create? There are quite a few categories to pick from.
Do you want this illusion to be performed close up, or in a small room of people, or on stage in front of a large crowd?
At this point things get very dicey. You are left with your own knowledge and understanding of how the mechanics of objects work and the degree of manipulation of the audiences attention you can direct.
Your creativity and imagination play the biggest role here. Wether you need to build something, or physically manipulate something, or even wordsmith a monolog that takes the audience on a journey of wonder and excitement. Working in reverse helps sometimes to develop the illusion.
When you have the effect already in your mind, a good way to find a problem to solve (in the turn), is to reverse engineer the solution (in the prestige) to create the problem you have not figured out yet.
Lastly, when you have the illusion worked out, you need to find a way to present it. Sadly, the only way to figure this out, is to test it on an audience. Friends, family, and even other trustworthy magicians. Getting feedback and criticism can be so very helpful.
As have said before, every magician is always refining their illusions. Making them more efficient, clever and easy to perform. We never stop tinkering.
“Without our minds to fool us into thinking anything is possible, magic would be an impossibility.”