By Andi Gladwin - Friday, February 7, 2020

I create most of my magic by collaboration. Some of my most-performed effects started by me coming up with an idea, and then sharing it with a friend or two to help develop it into a performance piece. Ideas rarely thrive in my own head; it's only when they are said out loud that they really start to percolate.

I have found that the best collaborators ask the best questions. For example, I recently shared a new idea with Josh and his response was, "It's a great effect, but how could you make it less linear?" That led me to continue to think, and develop the effect; the end result being that it is now a stronger routine because of my answer to that question.

Similarly, I recall John Archer telling me that his famous Blank Night effect was created because his friend Pete Firman asked whether he was happy with the bill coming out of a thumbtip folded up. John spent months developing his idea, and sharing it with magician friends along the way; and we then all asked our own questions and gave our own ideas. The end result is a masterpiece that may have never been created if Pete didn't ask that question.

If you don't have a friend on the same wavelength to collaborate with, you can even ask your own questions. The more questions you ask, the better the effect will become — and that's not just in the development stages either. Once an effect is performed, you'll find that many more questions arise, and that answering them will create a better effect.

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