How To Turn Your Tricks Into Miracles
By EndersGame - Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Everyone who performs magic wants it to be entertaining and to be strong. Once in a while you come across something that really helps bring you closer to that goal and raises your magic to the next level. For me and for many other magicians, that "something" has been a couple of books by magician and writer Darwin Ortiz.
I should warn you that these books are about magic theory - but don't stop reading this article just yet! Ortiz is one of the best and clearest thinkers in magic. And his books are are incredibly practical, and will help your magic more than a dozen videos or books with tricks ever will.
The first book is entitled "Strong Magic" (1994), and is subtitled Creative Showmanship for the Close-Up Magician. It has rightly been applauded for being an outstanding work on the subject of showmanship in magic. It's even considered a modern classic on the subject.
Now there's plenty of resources that do a good job of teaching you the mechanics of magic. But for a trick to feel truly magical it requires good presentation. With a special emphasis on card magic, this magnificent tome will teach you how to present magic. It is well-organized, comprehensive, and insightful. And it is supported with many practical examples, so it's surprisingly pleasant and enjoyable to read. There's a gazillion books that will teach you new tricks, but very few will teach you how to perform them well. While "Strong Magic" will not teach you a single trick, it will certainly help you perform all the ones that you do know a whole lot better!
Something similar can be said of Darwin's follow-up book, "Designing Miracles" (2007). This book is subtitled Creating The Illusion of Impossibility. Darwin's thesis is that we must not just consider the method used to accomplish an effect and how to present it. Also we must give attention to how a magical effect is constructed.
Like its predecessor, this book is full of practical application. It is essential reading for any magician who wants to understand why some effects amaze and why others don't. More importantly, it will teach you how to design effects so that they do create astonishment. And it will help you improve your magic significantly by changing the way you think about how magic effects are constructed and designed. We're not talking here about constructing physical props. But we're talking about the construction of a magic trick. That means the methods, the presentation, and all the decisions that go into putting it together. And it includes what your audience sees and what you as a magician actually do.
Don't make the mistake of thinking that this is only a book for creators of magic. It will help you select what tricks to perform by helping you understand what it takes to create the illusion of impossibility. And when there are different methods of doing a trick, it will help you decide which ones to use. It will also help you refine the tricks you're already doing to make them even better. Practical as always, Darwin won't just tell you how to do things. He will also give you the skills you need to think for yourself and to understand why some tricks works better than others. Then you can go out and be the very best magician you can possibly be.
"Strong Magic" succeeded in educating us in the key elements of showmanship. "Designing Miracles" succeeds in teaching us the key elements of constructing magical effects. Darwin Ortiz has a remarkable ability to think clearly and analyze why certain effects are so strong. He helps draw out the principles which we can then apply to our own magic. He's also a very clear communicator, and there are constant examples that illustrate well the points he's making.
Magic is more than making the right moves
Unlike most the majority of magic literature, both books are not about teaching us new tricks, or about the methods and mechanics of magic. Rather, these important titles are about teaching us how to design and construct tricks so that the effects become even more powerful. We need to create the genuine impression of the truly impossible, and to present our tricks in a way that makes them seem truly magical. Darwin's books will give you the clear thinking you need to improve small aspects of the tricks you already know, and make them even better.
While these are not cheap books, you can consider them a valuable investment well worth the cost. These are rare gems that will help you raise the level of all your magic. In the case of "Designing Miracles", you can also buy a digital download of an audio version of the book for around half the cost of the hard cover book. This also means you can listen to it on the go. It's read by the author himself, and Darwin does a fantastic job of reading his own material clearly and passionately.
Most magicians have already spent enough money adding tricks to their magic drawer. And they've already acquired enough books and videos to teach still more tricks. So rather than buy yet another trick, why not do yourself a favour? Instead invest in something that will teach you to how to turn the tricks you already have into true miracles of magic!
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