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Bryan Gilles
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Northern California
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Profile of Bryan Gilles
I know that is a weird subject title to this question...and I am not sure how to ask but... What illusions really define you as a modern day magician. I know the Zig-Zag is kind of a thing of the past and in it's place is Modern Art. The Subtrunk too... I am really intrigued by a plexi-trunk... I am curious though... When you think of modern day magic, what illusions really stick out the most to you?
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lakeland Fl
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Brett Daniels Levitation.
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Profile of hugmagic
I prefer to ask what magician has taken a proven illusion and presented it in a new way to make it appealing and impacting. Ask not "what's new but what's good."

For Instance, Harry Blackstone Jr. doing ZIG Zag would never become passe because of his presentation and personality. David Ben does an incredible job with Germain's Rose Bush and Okito's Floating ball. Kevin James's Sawing in Half is another prime exsample.

Think about sitting at a magic show and seeing someone do an older effect but put a new twist or presentation on it. I have. And then I think I wish I had thought of that.

Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
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The Holy City of East Orange, NJ
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Profile of Spellbinder
What Jim Gerrish is doing in his "PVC Pipe & Dollar Store Illusions for the REALLY, REALLY Cheap Illusionist" has less to do with making old illusions from PVC pipe than with rethinking old illusions and coming up with new presentations of them. What you make them from is irrelevant (unless you really ARE cheap!). And if you go way back to the VERY old illusions, they are fresh and new to today's audiences.

In his third book, coming on-line soon, Gerrish will demonstrate how to use PVC pipe as a template for designing a new levitation based along older lines of thought. Then, having worked out all the details and measurements in plastic, you take the PVC pipe template to a welder and get him to make an exact duplicate in cast iron. I wish I had thought of that simple approach years ago!
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
Slim King
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Eternal Order
17616 Posts

Profile of Slim King
I just got the firdt two books! They're great.....Don't tell a soul!
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
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Profile of darkleopard5
I do not think that ONLY illusions make an magican, BLaine for instance,he didn't always have the money and fame, he worked his wa up wit card tricks and etc. but npw I agree most magican gain fame with illusions.
Father Photius
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El Paso, TX (Formerly Amarillo)
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While in some people's minds, a given magician is know for a particular effect, but the truth is that those who are most successful are those who present best. It is not a "newness" business, or a single attaction business, it is the entertainment business. I've seen many illusion show with big , new, mystifying illusions and been boored out of my mind. I've seen a master magician do some of the simplest effects and been in rapture. I won't mention a name, but a while back, I saw a big illusion show in Las Vegas (not Lance's) and the next day I saw Mac King's show. Both the wife and I were highly entertained by Mac's show. Both of us had trouble staying awake in the Illusion show. Mac does one Illusion, the shadow tent. The rest is simple stage magic. Good sleights, mind you, but my wife has no concept of a sleight vs. gimmick, vs. anything else. I guarantee you Mac will last as a pro a lot longer than the illusionist will. What defines you as a magician in this era is your professionalism and your mastery of ur art, which all comes down to the bottom line of "how entertaining are u?"
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
Pakar Ilusi
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Profile of Pakar Ilusi
Yup, I agree...

It comes down to "How entertaining are you?"...

Life is an Illusion...

"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
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LaCenter, Wa
989 Posts

Profile of muzicman
Peter Marvey has taken magic to a new level IMO. His illusions are based on old principles, but presented in a new way. Check out his videos here. I really like his Bizarre Mutations video.
Deke Rivers
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Profile of Deke Rivers
I have to take issue with the notion that the Zig Zag and Sub Trunk are "things of the past." Audiences are just as intrigued with Zig Zag as they were 30 years ago ... and, as nice as Modern Art is, Zig Zag has some definite advantages over it (i.e. everything you see is the REAL lady.)

The Sub Trunk is also a killer illusion, properly presented. The idea of penetrating solid wood in an instant is astounding. There is nothing about modern rechnology that will make this dated or obsolete. The fact that someone does it differently doesn't mean the original is any less powerful. Different and original doesn't necessarily translate into better.
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Naperville, IL
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Profile of Chezaday
What's old is new again .. that's what it's all about. Sure .. I haven't performed my good old Zig Zag for quite some time .. but I still love that illusion. Some of the old illusions are just brilliant ... you still can't touch them. But besides all that .. it's not about the prop .. but the performer. I tell many of my friends the same thing. Sure I've got plenty of illusions .. but that's not really important .. the audience remembers me .. for me, not what trick I did on stage. They usually remember some of the stupid stuff I did .. well, I still do .. but that's what it's really about .. are you entertaining them .. do they leave with a smile on their face??

That's what I'm shooting for ..

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North Carolina
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Profile of Bridgewater
In the mid-1970's Doug Henning opened on Broadway in "The Magic Show". It ran for several years and remains one of the longest-running Broadway musicals ever. His "newest" illusion was the Zig-Zag which was already decades old. The sub-trunk, asrah, thin-model sawing, tabouret, chinese sticks and Anderson newspaper tear were also featured. For those too young to recall, the Anderson trick was hardly new, and the other effects were practically ancient. So why did people shell out money to see a show of tired old magic tricks? Because the presentation was neither old nor tired. The magician had talent and enthusiasm, and he was surrounded by other great talents. David Ogden Stiers and Anita Morris were huge stars in their own right. Composer Steven Schwartz has a mantle full of Tonys and Oscars. They concentrated on a great show, not "new illusions".
Out in Las Vegas, Mac King is voted "best" in a number of categories each year by visitors and locals. Sometimes it's "Best Afternoon Show", other times it's "Best Entertainment Value". He's doing card tricks and rope tricks and his exotic animal is a goldfish. Meanwhile guys with tons of props and hardware, and claims to be "just like Copperfield", seem to open and close every couple of weeks.
If a magician's goal is to entertain his audience, I think I'd like to see his show. If his goal is to be the next world's-greatest-illusionist, I'd just as soon stay home.
"Don't run with those..."
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Mexico City
377 Posts

Profile of Jazz
Hey muzicman, this Peter Marvey is really good. I have to confess I didn´t know him. I watched his videos and they are really good and interesting. Lots of old principles with new looks just as you said. He seems to like a lot of BA. Pretty cool.

One one of his videos there is for just a few seconds sawing in half done sideways. Too bad that the whole clip isn´t shown. I have never seen that one. Anyone has more info about it?
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