So just what do magicians teach other magicians in magic lectures and workshops?
I will be a featured lecturer at the Southern England Magic Convention (SEMC) next month so reporters have been asking what I will actually be doing. Most magicians who lecture share skills & techniques, technical handling of magic routines, props, magic equipment, performance tips, presentation ideas, new magic methods and gimmicks. My lecture style is a combination of skills and techniques but generally, the focus is always on my presentation and approach to presenting magic.
My featured lecture at the SEMC will be on “Classical Magic for an Urban Modern Audience”. Sounds a bit like an oxymoron… but much of modern magic is based on classics. And, my current style for the past few years has been “Urban Illusions in the City”. Ning & I have been working hard defining this style and making it our own. In fact, the producers at a local morning TV show that we will be appearing on next month wanted us because we represented the ‘new school’ of magic – something they have never seen in Singapore before. They were familiar with some local magicians but classified them as ‘old-school’ and traditional.
There are a few classical stage magic acts that I have worked on mastering since the start of my magic ‘career’ and we actually feature some versions in “Ultimate Magic”.
This is one of the oldest and most performed magic effects in history. I used to do it but not anymore because it is overdone and cliched. When I did do it, I developed a 5-ring routine that had one ‘revolutionary’ move. The only version in our shows now is a reinvention in the presentation and central props used in the act; The Linking Coathangers. This routine was popularized in the magic world by Mike Caveney. Taking that concept, I worked out a handling and routine which Ning ‘Magic Babed’ up and is now one of the highlights in her “Deadly Sexy Magic” show.
Cut & Restored Rope
This is a classic that is surprisingly not seen as much now. But, on the ‘safe’ side’, we compleltely redesigned the look of the act for Ning. In “Deadly Sexy Magic”, she uses a 12″ Tanto (Japanese dagger) accented with a red luminous strip that reflects under black light. She also uses luminous white rope for a stunning UV Knife & Rope act that ends with an endless rope segment. For our illusion shows without UV light, Ning wields a much longer Wakizashi (short sword) – beautiful and deadly!
The name for this old classic of producing money (coins) from thin air was given by the “King of Coins”, T. Nelson Downs. I now have two completely different routines with different finales for the Miser’s Dream; one with an audience member on stage (usually a kid) and one performed in the audience on the floor.
My major contribution to this classic is how I get into it. Magicians familiar with the effect will understand what I mean. I created the set-up to start very clean and to this date, have never seen anyone with a similar solution. Neither Bobo’s “Modern Coin Magic” (considered the bible of coin magic) nor Gary Darwin’s video on the Miser’s Dream mention a good way to start off this routine.
My solution is something I will share with magicans in my lecture. For a matter of interest to magicians reading this, I use 3 different p**** in the course of the routine, 30 c**** in all.
Multiplying Billiard Balls
This is a classic I learnt way back in 1992/ 1993. I first started using wooden billiard balls but now use Fakini 2″ balls. This is a size that not many can handle but one rule in magic is to use the biggest props possible so that there is good visibilty on stage.
The routine I use now is based on Alan Wakeling’s routine described in Steinmeyer’s book on Wakeling’s magic. However, one major difference is the incorporation of a Shimada move into the routine which creates the illusion of a flash appearance of 4 balls but using sleight of hand. Brett Daniels also incorporates this move into his billiard ball act. For a modern day version of Wakeling’s original routine, see if you can track down Mark Kalin’s performance of it.
At the lecture, I will be sharing all the secrets to the above acts as well as how I stage & present them to be relevant to today’s audiences. I will also be selling my lecture notes. They do not detail my handlings/ routines for the above acts but shares the behind the scenes producing work on putting together a professional-level show.
If you are in Singapore or Malaysia, you can buy my lecture notes here
International customers can buy it from www.illusionbooks.com