While this thread was supposed to be about the Square Circle, the question of what it is is actually the crux of the issue. And my pointone that has been made much more eloquently in the writings of Jim Steinmeyer*is that a talented illusionist and/or platform magician can make this a non-question. Again, Tom Burgoon doesnt explain away his Change Bag. He just calls it a bag.
Certainly if one can
justify a prop via presentationwithout it being burdensome or a case of running while not being chasedthen by all means do so.
When Kalin and Jinger perform the Wakeling Sawingan illusion where the magic happens inside the head of the audience since it never
sees Jinger actually cut in halfno one gives a hoot about the box(es). What do the boxes have to do with a Civil War era operating table as he calls it? Nothing, thats what: No one cares.
When they perform Spiker, no one gives a rats rump about the contrived box and set of flaming spikes that have no other use on this planet other than wheat they are used for. Jonathan Townsend has clearly never seen the reaction this illusion gets from an audience of laymenor magicians for that matter (Ive seen it both ways, the former many times).
How many people on this forum have seen Mike Caveneys presentation of the Gozinta Boxes?
How about young Kyle Eschens work with the Chinese Sticks?
And where is the line drawn, Jonathan, on everyday objects? Rope used by countless successful magicians doesnt look anything like something used these days. Not many people left know what a laundry line is.
How does one explain their silver, brass, copper, or chrome cups used for the Cups and Balls? Does Johnny Palmer explain them away? Does he have to? Did Vernon explain his very ornate cups?
And what the hell are those tiny baseballs or knitted balls all about anyway?
And Im willing to place a very large bet that David Alexander would just as soon shoot himself in the foot before retiring his Head Chopper because some magician is worried that it is a contrived prop.
*I highly recommend his Conjuring Anthology
and his new bookwhich I think is a masterpieceTechnique and Understanding
for those who need a dose of his knowledge. If these books are too costly, his lecture notes The Secret No One Tells You
is affordable and has a distilled version of his thoughts. http://www.jimsteinmeyer.com/