Beauty in magic

All beginners in magic should address their questions here.

Beauty in magic

Postby Guest » April 8th, 2002, 4:44 am

There is a clip of Richard Robinson at performing a lovely little routine called Monarch. In this piece a butterfly is made from paper, coloured by magical means, and then animated. The butterfly flits around Robinson in the air for a while and is then vanished. Although the basic techniques behind the routine are obvious to magicians and laymen alike, the whole thing is still very magical: a living thing is made from dead material and made to briefly live. The routine does not engender feelings of ASTONISHMENT, it doesnt really make you wonder HOW it was done, but it is a very strong experience none the less (at least for me).

Now that I have brought the clip and its location to your attention, a couple of questions:

First of all, I would, after all, like to know HOW it was done. Is the routine published anywhere? Is it Robinsons own? Is it based on some well known effect? Do you know of a similar effect? Or, if you cant help me with this, then do you know where I could write to Robinson?

Second. For me the effect is moving and inspiring and made me yearn to do some BEAUTIFUL magic. I would love to give other people just a taste of what I felt. I cant quite explain what I am seeking, I think it is BEAUTY (and probably related to the discussion of meaning in magic), but would still love some pointers to the literature.

Grateful for any advice you might have!

- David


Re: Beauty in magic

Postby Guest » April 11th, 2002, 1:08 am

is this effect described in paper magic by harry houdini ?

Posts: 678
Joined: January 31st, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: las vegas

Re: Beauty in magic

Postby CHRIS » April 11th, 2002, 4:44 am

I checked Houdini's Paper Magic. The word 'Monarch' does not appear. The only somewhat similar effect 'Japanese Butterflies' is described. But this is not the Monarch effect.

Chris.... preserving magic one book at a time.

Lisa Cousins
Posts: 429
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Hollywood

Re: Beauty in magic

Postby Lisa Cousins » April 12th, 2002, 9:59 am

Dear David,

While I don't have any technical information for you about this trick, I do believe that you cut right to the heart of the matter of what makes magic truly magical.

I am more audience than magician, and I am therefore very attuned to the experience of the person in the seats. I pay my money, I give you my undivided attention, I completely open my mind and my heart to your communication. What is it you have to say? If the entire point of the entertainment is merely to evoke my bafflement, I can't feel that my time and attention were particularly valued. But if you give me a spectacle of beauty to enjoy in the moment and recollect with pleasure, I go away fulfilled and bursting with genuine applause.

Hoping for more and more,



Re: Beauty in magic

Postby Guest » April 14th, 2002, 9:59 am

Originally posted by Lisa Cousins:
...if you give me a spectacle of beauty to enjoy in the moment and recollect with pleasure, I go away fulfilled and bursting with genuine applause.
If I may quote you again, Lisa:

"Class act!"


Tom Cutts


Re: Beauty in magic

Postby Guest » April 15th, 2002, 12:46 am

Thanks Martin and Chris for trying to help locate the routine! Even if I dont find it, at least its got me thinking more about the kinds of experiences I would (eventually) like to give people. And Lisa, it was nice to hear someone else who values the experience of magic as much as the techniques.

John Pezzullo
Posts: 455
Joined: March 16th, 2008, 5:19 am

Re: Beauty in magic

Postby John Pezzullo » April 15th, 2002, 3:55 am

Two words that don't come into my mind when I think of 'beauty in magic':

Jimmy Grippo.

A face that only a blind mother could love!


Return to “General”