Original? Afraid not.

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Guest » 01/28/02 12:23 PM

A couple of weeks ago, I sat down for an hour and completely independently (i.e. without any outside influence or inspiration) worked out my own working for a "Triumph" type effect. I was quite pleased with it and carried on regularly thinking about it to add the enhancing finishing touches, etc. like you do when you've come up with something.

Yesterday, I saw Daryl perform almost exactly the same handling crediting to Tenkai. The only differences were minor, the "nuts and bolts" of the effect were exactly the same (he even uses a one handed fan as misdirection for a flop move which was a subtlety I had thought about and worked in). I was very disappointed as it was so similar that my creation couldn't even be thought of as "another version". This has happened to me before with individual sleights but never a whole effect (Coincidentally, several years back, I thought I had actually invented the reverse that Daryl uses in the above effect!!). I've thought about it and I'm now taking it as a positive.

I was wondering if a similar thing has ever happened to anyone else on these boards (surely it has). If so, I'd be interested in hearing about what you "re-invented" and how you felt when you found out it wasn't original.

Postby Pete McCabe » 01/28/02 02:12 PM


A couple of years ago I created a fantastic impromptu brainwave effect; you can find it in The Collected Works of Alex Elmsley where he calls it "Brainweave."

I've invented a few dozen effects, routines, handlinges, etc. over the years. And I can tell you that many times what I've "invented" turned out to be the creation of a much better magician many years previous.

Apart from the inevitable disappointment, I have come to appreciate these "reinventions" for their own merits. After all, Mr. Elmsley is justly revered for his creativity, so I know I came up with something good. I just didn't get there first.

As Daryl is similarly respected I would say you should feel the same way. It's when you reinvent something bad that was created by a hack magician that you should worry.
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/28/02 02:29 PM

The way I invent is by having a creative memory... :D :D :D

Seriously, I came up with a gag.

Mage walks on stage a bit late and flustered, carrying a set of linking rings. Mage trips and falls flat on floor.

When mage gets up one of the rings has penetrated his cheek!

(Ok, you slip the key into your mouth and the "vernon twist move" makes it look like it has PENETRATED your cheek).

Going back through a copy of The Discovery of Witchcraft, what do I find? Ring through cheek.


:mad: :o :(
Stay tooned.
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Postby Guest » 01/28/02 02:40 PM


You will find this happening quite a bit as you start to experiment with creating new effects.

I actually came up with something several months ago that I was told was also used by Martin Nash and Rene Lavand.

Look on the bright side. You created something independently that Daryl felt was strong enough to include in his repertoire !!

Postby Sean Piper » 01/28/02 04:09 PM

Don't let it get you down.

Many times over the past few years I've invented routines and moves, that I later discovered had been 'stolen' from me years earlier.

I remember hearing a very notable performer (can't remember exactly who, so I won't mention names) explain the creative process as being like a huge library just waiting for someone to look up a 'new' piece of information. But like any library, there's no reason why two people on opposite sides of the planet won't be looking at the same page of the same book.

The best piece of advice I received in regards to this type of situation, was that if you create a piece that has previously been invented by a Vernon, Elmsley or Hamman you know you're thinking along the right track!
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Postby Ray Haddad » 01/28/02 04:13 PM

Originally posted by Pete Biro:

Going back through a copy of The Discovery of Witchcraft, what do I find? Ring through cheek.


At least in your case, the original author was your kid brother. Hehehehehe. Sorry, could not even for a single moment resist that HUGE opening you left for me!

Best Always,
Best Regards,
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Postby Adam Brooks » 01/28/02 04:52 PM

Many years back, when my creative juices started flowing, I came up with something which, I thought, was truly original, and only after I put the finishing touches on it did a product hit the market which boasted my exact effect! I bought the trick, and as it turned out, both my and this other fellow's handlings were equally stupid. Ah well, c'est la vie.

As it was pointed out earlier in this thread, if you do find that your creation is a reinvention of something old, most of the time, you can take solace in the fact that you're thinking is along the same lines as, perhaps, one of the greats of magic.

Also, say you were to find something you came up was a reinvention, and you wanted to perform it. Obviously, laymen don't care whether the trick you're doing was invented by Tarzan or Frankenstein, they're not there performing! Reinvention only seems to matter when dealing with the publishing of material.

An old magician friend of mine used to say:
"It's amazing what we can accomplish when no one cares who gets the credit."

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Postby Bill Duncan » 01/28/02 07:41 PM

For me it was Mike Ammar's "Sonic Squeeze" coin production, which isn't too amazing, it's a pretty obvious method if you've worked with coins alot.

I also 'invented' a force that I was told is actually Christ's:

Force card face up second from the top below a double-face card.
Have spectator cut cards and mark the cut by turning the top half face up.
After some time misdirection spread the cards until you come to the force card.

I still use the coin production but the Cut Deeper Force is better...
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Postby Terry » 01/29/02 09:14 AM

At least in your case, the original author was your kid brother. Hehehehehe. Sorry, could not even for a single moment resist that HUGE opening you left for me!
Best Always,

Don't kid yourself Ray, that was Pete when he had hair! :D
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