Fascinating Concepts

Discuss general aspects of Genii.
Cristian Scaramella
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Joined: October 29th, 2017, 6:34 pm

Fascinating Concepts

Postby Cristian Scaramella » November 4th, 2017, 3:30 pm

Hello, Andy from the jerx talks in his book about the importance of fascinating concepts in creating the kind of magic he is known for, he explains how to create his effects he keeps a list of fascinating concepts and a list of tricks, and then he tries, without forcing it, to use those concepts as the actions or procedures that you claim are causing the effect in the moment.

This as led to great ideas like his trick where he travels to another dimension, that one where a fetus reads her mother's mind, that one where he appears in someone's dream, that one where he makes you eat a pill that gives you heightened senses, and so on.

Here is a post from his blog that explains what makes a fascinating concept: http://www.thejerx.com/blog/2015/9/4/wh ... 0a%20thing

I tought it would be nice to make a list of fascinating concepts together, maybe you have a great idea and don't have a method for it, and someone else will have one, or maybe you have a great trick but can't find an interesting premise, if a sizeable number of people contributes with some fascinating concepts this thread could be useful.

I'll start by listing some of the classics in a very basic way, without a real story attached to them, but feel free to talk about more fleshed out ideas

A ghost manifesting in some way
transmission of thoughts (telepathy)
Shape Shifting
The ability to teleport things (or machines that teleport things)
Time control
an artifact with magical properties (like a golden thumtip that makes all it touches gold)
Super Speed
Super Strength
Super Intelligence
Being able to talk with animals
living in the matrix or some kind of simulation
the world existing just in our toughts and thus being able to alter part of it by sheer force of will (having a spectator do it)

I hope someone will add to this list, that's all, bye! :D

Joe Mckay
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Favorite Magician: Lubor Fiedler
Location: Durham, England

Re: Fascinating Concepts

Postby Joe Mckay » November 4th, 2017, 5:23 pm

Fun idea for a thread. This is definitely something that I most associate with Andy's work.

Although creativity is a strange thing. I often feel you can lose interest in an idea after sharing it. Rather than trying to keep it "under wraps" for awhile in order to try and come up with something special. The brain is odd like that at times. Maybe it is just me...

I recently got hold of The Dark Card by Jean Boucher. It is a gimmicked effect in which a blue-backed card signed by the spectator changes into a red-backed card - still with spectator's signature on it.

That inspired the following whimsy when I was discussing this trick with somebody else:

There are a lot of strong things you can do with the gimmick. Imagine having a card signed from a blue-backed deck. And then later on you show a red-backed card folded up in a John Kennedy Mystery Box? This is one of Scott Guinn's ideas.

So when performing the trick above you could pretend you are stuck in Groundhog Day. And yesterday you did the exact same trick for the spectator, and they chose and signed the same card.

And to prove it - this time round you decided to do the same trick but with a different coloured deck. After the trick is over - and as soon as you feel like they are gonna' bust you (eg ask to see the blue-backed card they signed at the start of the trick) - you could run out the door saying you gotta' save an old lady's life. And it will still make for a nice trick since you can leave them with the impossible object (the signed red card) as you run out the door.

A funny line to shout out would be "See you tomorrow!" as you do so. Since you are stuck in a forever-repeating day. Actually - the Groundhog Day concept is a pretty good one. So maybe it is worth building into other effects as well?

Bob Farmer
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Re: Fascinating Concepts

Postby Bob Farmer » November 4th, 2017, 6:29 pm

Joe: For another version of "The Dark Card," without the gimmick, see my new book, The Bammo Gaffus Maximus, and "The Red Card of Mystery."

Joe Mckay
Posts: 1892
Joined: April 13th, 2008, 6:56 am
Favorite Magician: Lubor Fiedler
Location: Durham, England

Re: Fascinating Concepts

Postby Joe Mckay » November 4th, 2017, 7:55 pm

Cheers, Bob. I am still working my way through that book.

I got distracted by the other book you put out - The Bammo Tarotdiction. I am a bit obsessed with that book at the moment. Really fascinating concepts. My favourite trick in that book is the one where you have a deck shuffled by the spectator and then dealt out into piles. This is done twice and the deck - after a triumph sequence - ends up in new deck order with the selection face up in the correct numerical position in the deck!

I was discussing that trick with somebody and came up with the following strange presentation. Which fits in well with the theme of this thread:

You dig out a short-wave radio. And bring up a number station.


And tell the spectator that your friend works for the CIA and is currently monitoring you from a satellite in outer space. And he has some new CIA technology that he wants to use for a magic trick whilst he is on his lunch break. You then wave to him in the sky through the window. You then have the spectator shuffle the deck of cards and then ask the spectator to spread the cards in his hands and show them to the sky.

You then follow the code of numbers being broadcast live and deal through the deck twice. Apparently you are able to translate this sequence of numbers in a way that tells you what piles to deal the cards into. And finish the trick with the new deck order kicker.

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Re: Fascinating Concepts

Postby MagicbyAlfred » November 4th, 2017, 10:03 pm

Just a few thoughts for some other possible premises:

Artificial intelligence

Communication with deceased loved ones


Mind control

Technology coming to life and manifesting will

Imparting magical powers to the spectator

How to attract wealth or love

Joe Mckay
Posts: 1892
Joined: April 13th, 2008, 6:56 am
Favorite Magician: Lubor Fiedler
Location: Durham, England

Re: Fascinating Concepts

Postby Joe Mckay » November 5th, 2017, 5:49 pm

I have often heard magicians say that you should look to things outside magic for inspiration. That is something I had a problem putting into action. It was hard for me to picture how you could translate something you loved in a movie or comedy sketch into a magic trick.

Happily - Andy had a great post detailing exactly how he goes about this.


"Ideas for ideas" is how Andy phrases it. It is a lovely concept. For instance - what would be the magic trick equivalent of a brilliant comedy sketch like this one:


or this one:


Funnily enough - the first video (The Audition) reminds me a bit of this trick by Andy:


So with Andy's work there are a couple of things going on. Firstly - the idea of grounding presentations in themes that are recognizable to laypeople.

"Is this a thing?", is the question he asks. Aliens are a thing. They regularly appear in movies, TV shows and the media.

Ambitious cards, alas, are not a thing.

Second - is keeping an eye out for interesting/witty concepts in the media. And filing them away so that they can be used as inspiration for a magic trick.

For some reason I think a lot about ouija boards. Just because there are so many different ways to make use of them in a magic trick. And because they are inherently interesting objects to most laypeople. Indeed - a significant proportion of laypeople are actually scared of them. They are perfect objects for use in magic - particularly at this time of year.

Anyway - one context for the use of ouija boards would be to try and "solve" mysteries from history. So during a magic trick involving a ouija board - you could contact Shakespeare to see if the disputed authorship of his plays was part of a conspiracy or not? A nice twist for this trick would be to have Shakespeare say he was actually one of the translators of the King James Bible. Check out page 2 of the following link to see the reasoning behind this:

http://digitalcommons.butler.edu/cgi/vi ... t=wordways

It is an art rather than a science. Just a case of keeping your mind open to those things that interest you. And then seeing if there are ways to combine them in a way that might work in a magic trick. I am not great at this. Certainly not compared to Andy. But when I have had success, it has been a case of 2-3 different ideas combining at once. And it is really a state of mind rather than a formal process. A case of not being afraid to try and work in odds and ends from outside of magic.

Bob Farmer
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Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
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Re: Fascinating Concepts

Postby Bob Farmer » November 6th, 2017, 7:35 am

Joe, I absolutely love your premise with the secret radio broadcasts for at least two reasons:

1. It makes it appear the magician is doing nothing--that some outside force is controlling the outcome.

2. It's so unsettling: I knew about these broadcasts from my time as a shortwave radio enthusiast and they stoke that suspicion that THEY are out there controlling things.

And yes, The Bammo Tarodiction Toolbox is still available. Write to Bammomagic@cogeco.ca

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