The Rose Act: An Analysis
By Joshua Jay - Tuesday, October 29, 2019
There are effects in our era--moments, really--that somehow transcend what we thought possible. And these same effects and moments are always surrounded by controversy and doubt at first. But upon closer reflection, they represent a sea change.
The Rose Act might be one of these moments. Will Tsai performed this trick on America's Got Talent, and it went INSTANTLY viral. I haven't been asked about a trick more often since David Blaine levitated. And just like Blaine's levitation, this was met with a strong chorus of magician-doubters, casting the trick aside as impractical, mechanical and methodologically transparent. But is this fair?
As it turns out, it's not fair. The effect has been released, and to my surprise (and I would guess everyone's surprise), it isn't as mechanical as you would think. Yes, black art is involved, and yes, it isn't sleight-of-hand. But it isn't a digital screen and there are no remotes. It's quite "analogue" in how it works, actually.
But more importantly, "The Rose Act" looks more magical than virtually any magic trick we've encountered. It looks real. Magicians rarely exhibit such visceral, visual effects where items shift and change WITHOUT cover. Will did it.
Do you have to have special props? Particular lighting? A controlled environment? Yep. But since when are THOSE considerations disqualifiers? The same could be said of David Blaine's levitation sequence, and with twenty years of hindsight, it's abundantly clear that this trick succeeded in its aims. It is still one of David Blaine's most enduring legacy tricks, and the public associates it with him still.
I think this is a beautiful piece of magic. It's visual and memorable. On the method side, it's easy to do, comes with everything you need, and ready to be performed. There will be doubters, and there will be limitations. But this trick represents part of a shift in the magical zeitgeist, and I'm excited for what comes next.
Watch The Rose Act
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