General Stage Magic Assistance

Discuss your favorite platform magic and illusions.

Postby Guest » 04/02/06 08:40 PM

Hello people of the Genni Forums! My name is Ethan and I've been performing magic for about a year and four months now. But despite that and the fact that I am fifteen, I am very ambitious. For this year's talent show I had planned on performing an extreme twist on the classic metamorphis effect but couldn't due to a lack of funds on my part :eek: But instead of thinking of it as a total loss, I'm thinking of it as a chance to put together an even better show. Anywho now for the actual question. Does anyone have any good recomendations for info on illusions? Eg. books, dvds, movies, people. Any help is appreciated!


Postby Guest » 04/03/06 03:30 PM

I suggest The Seven Basic Secrets of Illusion Design Author: Eric Van Duzer . He covers many aspects of how illusions work, tips on designing and building them, and presentational tips. Last I checked you had to get it from osterlinds site (someone could correct me if I'm incorrect).
Steve V

Postby Guest » 04/03/06 06:01 PM

Thanks, I'll check it out.

Postby Guest » 04/03/06 09:57 PM

Just remember... think OUTSIDE the box. Not every Illusion has to be done with a ton of boxes and equipment. Consider the Head-Off-Head illusion, or the Cloak of Invisibility, or The Garden Gate Illusion.

Postby Jeff Haas » 04/04/06 10:34 AM

Andrew Mayne has a lot of low-budget illusion plans in his booklets. Check them out at:
Jeff Haas
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Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: San Mateo, CA

Postby Guest » 04/04/06 11:13 AM

The old stand by "Victory Carton Illusion" booklet by U.F. Grant and of course any of the Paul Osborne Illusion Systems books, etc. at:

Postby Guest » 04/05/06 05:12 AM

Ethan,Don't run before you can walk.Set yourself up with several Magic Acts first. Illusions rarely work with a very young performer. They are the big mysteries, the Grand Magic and sit better on an older magician, ie one well into his 20's and beyond.Somehow with a teenager ( and there are a very very few exceptions) illusions always look more like a puzzle for an audience to solve. The maturity of the performer is missing and youthful cuteness takes its place.
Do study illusions,; check out the Doug Henning, David Copperfield, S & R, Jeff McBride DVD's and the one Harry Blackstone did, plus any of the old & new Masters of Grand Illusion.Then gradually grow into them. There's a whole lot more magic to be learned and mastered before that.
Illusions are basically big theatrical effects so you need to study Theatre & Acting and above all experience the techniques of Acting and Theatrical production. Join a group. learn how to perform TO an audience. How to put over dialogue lines, how to move and gesture, interpretation of lines, how to use your's not simply talking into a microphone.; study costume and makeup.Along with this try out different styles of Magic.Perhaps even playing our Art as different characters.
Study Magic's History and all the great performers who have gone before. Experiment, Explore and Create.
It's seems a long long road BUT it is the most interesting, exciting,fascinating, never ending, never completed journey you will ever make.
I'm still walking the road and still discovering things.
Don't neglect the BOOKS on Magic. They will make you think and resolve things yourself. Read Tarbell,Fitzkee, Steinmayer, Alan Wakeling, Chris Carey, Ken Weber, Jerry MacGregor, Darwin Ortiz, John Mendoza & James Rencaux's and Edward Maurice's (UK) booklets on Showmanship and presentaion.
Good luck.
Allen Tipton UK

Postby Guest » 04/05/06 05:32 PM

Thanks for the advice everyone. And yes I find the history/art of magic facinating. Actually I recently read Steinmayer's "Hiding the Elephant." And also, performing is not a new thing to me. I've been into acting for a a while now and have been playing the trumpet for audiences for a good part of my life. Thanks again!


Postby Guest » 04/25/06 04:54 AM

Nice advice Mr Tipton. I agreee with you 100%.

"Hiding the Elephant" is a must have.


Postby Guest » 04/25/06 09:08 AM

Ethan, I well remember performing in my high school talent shows. One of the things I made up one year was a sort of vertical Asrah that Dick Zimmerman wrote up in a 60s Genii. It was relatively easy to construct, but required lot of practice with my girl friend and another friend who I convinced to be part of the act.

Another year I followed what I recall as a UF Grant plan for making a Super-X style suspension out of pipe. It was home made, but worked fine. I did a somewhat different presentation, bringing out three teachers to stand around the apparatus as I laid the girl on the board and then removed the supports. The back teacher neatly covered the support and I was able to move around. He "helped" pass the hoop over the floating girl which further camoflaged the secret. It looked great.

The last year I did The Dancing Handkerchief in front of the curtain and then did a homemade Dizzy Limit. The net dropped and the girl screamed and then cut off her scream half way as she vanished. The audience - all high school kids - was utterly silent as I walked to the front of the stage and as the curtains closed...then they burst into applause. It was great fun.

Decades later, at high school reunions, I still have classmates come up and remmind me of what I did. Make memories, rehearse carefully, and have fun.

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