Sunday, March 27, 2011

What's Your Story?

Magicians: Think about a routine or a set you usually perform.

Now describe the entire set in about 50 words. Wait. Here's the real key; avoid listing the names of the effects or directly describing what happens with the props. Instead, describe it as a STORY of the journey experienced by the audience.

So instead of writing down your routine as a list of 4 or 5 effects, you might describe it like, "The audience experiences the power of subliminal advertising, then are shown how their own actions could subliminally broadcast their mere thoughts. Then, in addition to predicting the future, the future is actually altered! Finally, the audience sees what it's like to have something vanish up close, then repeat with a powerful twist."

Why do this exercise? 1) It often unveils misplaced effects that interrupt the flow of an cohesive and advancing story; 2) it focuses your view through an audience lens; and 3) it helps to answer the ever important "So What?"about particular effect(s) - such as "So what if I find the Aces?" or "So what if I find their card?" The latter examples can often transcend into experiences that touch your audience in profound ways IF the story and premise are presented as such.

So, what's your story?

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Sunday, March 13, 2011


Okay, so Paul Harris' classic effect has always intrigued me. I'm quite proud of the variation I use, not so much for handling touches, but for the the "moments" I create through simple one-degree shifts. The most notable of these is placing the cards ON the card box during the time they change. It's a hands-off magical moment. Enjoy!