Clouds and Kingdoms

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Clouds and Kingdoms

109.00 usd

Book (pre-order) by Nate Staniforth ($109.00)

Clouds and Kingdoms - magic
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For the past 15 years, Nate Staniforth has toured the United States with his stripped-down, 'unplugged' stage show, performing direct, no-frills magic at colleges, clubs and theaters. His Lottery Ticket prediction has been featured by superstars like David Blaine and Dynamo, and his recent memoir Here is Real Magic has been embraced by magicians around the world for its open and honest exploration of wonder, disillusionment, and magic.

In Clouds and Kingdoms, Nate shares a collection of his best material, honed over hundreds and even thousands of performances and published here for the first and only time. For the working professional, this book offers over 30 minutes of road-tested material that travels easily and does not require elaborate equipment. For the student, Nate advances several key principles as he teaches his creations. How do you layer multiple methods together within a routine so an audience will swear that you never did anything? How can you make a routine better by making it harder? And—most importantly—how can you take something inherently deceptive like an illusion and use it to give your audience an experience that feels genuine and magical.

Contents of Clouds and Kingdoms

Nate’s reconstruction of the Bill-to-Impossible-Location plot. Under test conditions a bill is borrowed, initialed, serial number memorized, and then burned to ashes only to reappear—not at the end of the routine in an impossible location as usual but rather at the beginning of the routine as a kind of impossible object that somehow exists before it should. Unbelievably, there are no switches and no pre-show. Dollar introduces a new utility move that allows this routine an unprecedented level of clarity and cleanliness and will invariably be used for countless other plots and routines in the years to come.

Nate’s version of the classic Wizard illusion and the closer to his stage act for two years. An onstage prank call turns into a miracle when the stranger on the other end of the line of a randomly selected phone number accidentally reveals a piece of secret information known only to the people in the theater at the show.

In 2012 Nate released his signature lottery prediction in The Lottery Ticket, a one-time limited edition printing that sold out in two months. To be clear, Nate’s original work on the lottery prediction plot will never be released again, but in this essay he breaks down his thinking on the performance and structure of lottery prediction effects. As Nate writes in the introduction, “In the years since the book’s publication a handful of other systems and methods for my trick have come out from other magicians and I’d like to offer a few thoughts on the performance of lottery prediction effects in general. Think of these as platform-agnostic performance notes from someone who has spent a great deal of time thinking about how to present this kind of material to maximum effect.”

A handful of matches randomly scattered on the ground somehow spells out the name of a spectator’s friend. Constellation is presented alongside an essay about the use of chance, observation, and opportunism in magic and mentalism to create a kind of Trick That Cannot Be Explained without playing cards.

A card trick for 800 people. Two spectators stand on opposite sides of the stage. Each signs a playing card and holds it folded between their hands. Then, under test conditions— the audience will swear the magician never did anything—the cards switch places. Nate used this on The Today Show and The Next Great Magician and as a feature in his live shows for over a decade.

A brief essay on fiction, deception, and telling the truth with a magic trick.

A rare opportunity to learn masterpieces from the working repertoire of one of the best. Nate has the wonderful ability to turn a trick into an experience of real magic for your audiences. After reading this, you’ll understand how to add that power to any of the effects you use.” C0lin McLeod

"Absolutely stunning. Smart methods with so many incredible uses. I love this book." - Rory Adams

“I’ve witnessed these pieces firsthand in theaters on the other side of the globe and these are Nate’s ‘killers.’ What’s amazing is how bullet-proof his methods become after years of testing. Beyond method, the effects feel completely new with plots that take the audience to some new and exciting places.” Justin Flom

“Wow. I’ve gone through this book a couple of times already. As I read the descriptions of the effects I’d be already thinking about a method, but when I read Nate’s methods my mouth dropped open in awe. He thinks of the finest details to pull everything together and puts in that extra 90% effort to make the effect 400% better. Phenomenal.” Beau Cremer

“Nate Staniforth has already created a modern classic of magic with his version of The Lottery Trick. In his new book ‘Clouds and Kingdoms’ he shares four new pieces of performance magic which are all strong, powerful, and beautiful. Buy the book now and carefully study his words and thoughts. He is a modern master of magic.” Anthony Owen


Community questions about Clouds and Kingdoms

Have a question about this product? It's possible others do too. Ask here and other Vanishing Inc. Magic customers will be able to respond with assistance! Alternatively, email us and we can help too.

  • Jeff asks: Is this a limited release?

    • 1. Dottore answers: The previous one was. I don't think this edition is.
    • 2. Gordon answers: In the product video, Josh says it is a limited edition.
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  • Courtney asks: How many pages is it?

    • 1. Ron answers: About a hundred.
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  • Steven asks: Hardbound?

    • 1. Jim answers: Softbound.
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  • One asks: How many copies are made?

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: 1,000 copies. After that, it will not be reproduced.
  • Philipp asks: Do I get this right that there is no explanation for a lottery prediction effect, only his thoughts about this kind of routines?

    • 1. Adam answers: Correct, Nate's lottery prediction is not explained.
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Customer reviews for Clouds and Kingdoms



I want to say this book is terrible so that no one else will buy it, but that would be dishonest and unfair. The book is FANTASTIC! It's expensive, but worth every penny. Even if you never perform any of the tricks in the book, your magic and your show will benefit greatly just from reading his thoughts on magic. Just reading how he structures things and seeing the thinking behind why this and why that - genius thinking. I couldn't be happier with the book. I buy a lot of books, and this is the best book I've bought in a long time.



My rating seems to be quite harsh, but I think of it as just strict: This could be a good magic book but there are things that make it an unhappy choice for me. First of all there is the high prize, combined with hyperbole advertising. Everybody who invests in magic media knows how it feels to buy an overpriced book or DVD, the feeling that you should have been more careful (but that it is your own fault really). Still, a book should make a deep impression on the reader if it is priced like this, and it just didn’t do that for me. Actually, I had the feeling there was some kind of „phantom concept“ for the book that would have been interesting to read. A deeper approach than just: You should go the whole way for a great effect.
The book consist of just a few chapters, which describe effects, except the „Lottery Revisited“ chapter, which describes the story behind an effect. The effects are detailed and I think if you are interested in performing one of them, you will find a good description here. That said, of course these effects are based on classic effects. That to study them, for example the ones by the great Barrie Richardson, is the „real work“: that is the fundamental wisdom to get from this small book. (And: these authors wrote books about their lifetime‘s work, for half the price.)
My main problems are two chapters: „Constellation“ is an example for a weak effect, which disappointed me a lot. The „Trick that cannot be explained without cards“-concept of course is nice, but the manifestation of it in the effect seemed to me like a party trick for friends, not a real audience. More like a positive prank.
And then „Lottery Revisited“: This is basically a description of a highly successful limited edition effect. And after that the author describes with doodles how the strength of the effect can be optimized. I have to say: This chapter felt like a failed concept for a magic book chapter and I cannot imagine that something like this would have been published before the golden age of magic e-books. And this chapter was a big hook for me in the advertising. (I know that it has been said that the original method wouldn’t be revealed but there are still great ways to write about an effect under these conditions.)
I finished reading the book in one afternoon. For comparison: Parallely I am reading a Bob Cassidy book and it is so full of information and complex subtleties that I‘m sure I will be studying it for the rest of the year.

Clouds and Kingdoms by Nate Staniforth