Tuesday, August 10, 2010

More about ONE DEGREE

My new book ONE DEGREE is finally out. While it's a book for magicians, I believe it goes far beyond explaining "tricks" - and covers a practical philosophy that has overarching benefits.

ONE DEGREE as a book and an approach is all about making small, intentional improvements that can turn a good trick into a GREAT trick! It can be something as simple as pausing before the final reveal, replacing a sleight with a subtlety (or vice versa), and more. I see many beginners completely changing effects or trying the latest and greatest stuff in order to heighten their newness factor. I say, instead of making massive changes to try to achieve massive results...make strategic and careful improvements to achieve the same.

I view it in three parts: IMPACT, CONNECTION, and BEING ON TARGET

Build upon an established foundation to increase the impact inordinately. Think about Olympic sprint runners; as they approach the finish line, even the smallest change can make the difference between a Gold and a Bronze. Or as the cover of the book depicts, just one degree above 211°F takes it to the every powerful boiling point. I give practical examples of this philosophy in the form of effects and essays throughout the book.

We've all heard of "six degrees of separation.” Magic gives us the unique opportunity to turn this into ONE DEGREE of CONNECTION...even with a complete stranger. So, how do we maximize these connections? Just being aware of it and intentional in our actions is a great step. Borrowing from my experience in branding, it's important to speak in ONE "VOICE"...not just your spoken voice, but every other way you express yourself. This is how the best brands are built. I have an essay on branding in the book with suggestions to help you hone in your own brand as a magician (complete with my personal notes relative to MY brand).

Imagine yourself aiming an arrow at a target. A shift as little as ONE degree could make the difference between hitting your target...and not. So, in targetting our respective goals, viewing things through a one degree lens is so important.

An important note here is that one degree changes have to be a change for the BETTER. If you have a solid routine, and you make make a small change in the wrong direction, the effect does not just become a little worse...the results could be catastrophic. This is why it is vitally important to be wholly aware of who you are as a magician, what promise you make through your magic (brand), how you want the audience to FEEL...then making careful adjustments that are aligned with this.

You’ll soon recognize one degree changes everywhere...even beyond your magic. You'll become more aware why some magic just works, and some doesn't...or why some commercials grab you and inspire ACTION, while others don't...or why you're loyal to one brand over another. Here’s a quick non-magic example. I took my 2-year old daughter to Disneyland and we ordered pancakes. Out comes a "Mickey Mouse" shaped pancake. Wow! Here eyes grew wide and her smile lasted throughout the day. For Disney, it required very little effort or cost on their part to bring out a Mickey pancake (one degree improvement)...but the results were EXTRAORDINARY. Let's face it, it's just pancake batter...but the one degree change was completely aligned with the Disney brand promise to bring joy...and it worked in a BIG way.

In addition to more than 20 tricks and moves in ONE DEGREE, I have practical tips throughout the book that cover all of the above.

Some of my one-degree magic examples:
  • Adding wine glasses to a classic Ace Assembly
  • Adding an odd-backed card to Optical Opener, and crafting a presentation that connects
  • Making Palm Reader and Jack Carpenter's "Mysterious" completely in-the-hands
  • Taking Triumph out of YOUR hands, and having your participant unmix the deck behind their back
  • and so many more!

It's my hope that ONE DEGREE will help you for beyond the tricks I share. The goal is to inspire you to identify small but important shifts that will lead to a WOW factor in your own magic. Needless to say, your one degree shifts will be different than mine since they must be wholly aligned with our respective brands.

For more information, visit www.vanishingincmagic.com and www.johnGmagic.com



Caleb Wiles said...
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Caleb Wiles said...

Awesome job on the book, John. There are so many great things inside. I posted a review of the book at the following link if you you're interested.



John G said...

Great review, Caleb. Obviously I agree with you. Thanks for being inspired enough to take the time in reviewing it. Love the video review format.

Best of luck in expanding your blog. Looks and reads great.

John G