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444 Posts

Profile of squando
The magician makes the props not the other way around.
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Eternal Order
Look mom! I've got
14062 Posts

Profile of daffydoug
I had similar success in my early kid's shows with an effect I called Hi C...I rigged Hi C can up like a foo can, turned it upside down to show the effects of "ungravity" and when I poured it out it was red, (transformed into Hi C, I said) and it went over better than any thing else in my show. So simple, so satisfying...and such tremendous reactions from the kids. Amazing.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
Tom Stevens
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Profile of Tom Stevens
Give me anything that can change from one state to another without spectators detecting how it's done and I'll show you a magic prop.
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Inner circle
Harris Deutsch
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Great topic....

I love the K.I.S.S. approach...

Keep it Stupid, Simple or something like that...


Keep it simple, sweety.

On Monday a custodian walked by with a broom and long handled dust pan, while I was doing a harmonica bit. I asked him if I could borrow them. He said yes, so I went into an impromptu percussion and harmonica bit.

Stomp meets the Nearly Normal Magic Show.

The first time I tried this was at a Prison Show. I moved a chair on a cement floor and it created a nice sound. The chair became a great back beat.

Last year I learned a couple of yo-yo stunts and was surprised how well they were responded to. (Watch out for people that in their sentences with a preposition

The world is my magic store....

Harris Deutsch
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
music, magic and marvelous toys
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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Profile of magic4u02
I always love trying to think creatively and trying to be creative with my magic and with the routines I do. I always try to look outside and away from magic for a lot of the inspiration for the routines and acts I come up with. There are so many things that can inspire or spark your creativity if you only allow yourself and open yourself up to the art of "seeing".

Because of my art background, I think it has really taught me how to think about my magic in a totally different fashion then I think most people do. It has allowed me to be more open and creative and not feel like my ideas are being forced through a funnel.

Being an artist, I always say the only difference between an artist and anyone else is the fact that I have learned to SEE. People shake their heads and do not often understand what I mean by that. Let me try and explain.

Learning to see is far more then just looking and saying I understand what I am looking at. For example: a person is told to draw a tree. They do not look at the tree or understand the tree at all. Their brains are programmed that a tree looks a certain way and so they draw what their minds have registered a tree is supposed to look like. BUT, they are not really seeing it at all. Their minds have already placed in their subconscious a preconceived image. Whenever someone says tree, this image pops into their head and completes the thought.

But that image is not truly how THAT particular tree looks. You’re really not seeing at all. You’re seeing while wearing blinders. You come to realize that every tree is different from the other. The texture is different, the branches and color, how the atmosphere interacts with it and so on and so forth.

So learning to see is all about opening up your mind to really study something and to looking past the obvious. You force your brain not to construct these preconceived images but tell it to look at every tree as a different object entirely. It is a tough process to do but anyone can learn to do it.

This way of thinking and seeing is how I tend to view everything now. It has helped me to always observe and to be open to any thoughts and ideas for my own magic. Because of this, I feel my magic has become much more creative and entertaining and has become more of an extension of myself and my personality and character on stage.

I get ideas for my magic from anywhere and everything. I do not get my ideas for magic from magic or the magic props I buy or own. That sounds funny but it is so true. I find that my ideas come from nature, culture, music and just about anything. Even a cool shape of furniture can spark an idea or generate a thought. When you learn to open yourself up in this manner, you will find that your mind is more free to truly create something new and different.

Too many of us tend to look at the wrong things for inspiration. We are so used to going to our magic videos or books or acts or relying on our props. This is fine to get yourself excited about the project, but it tends to force you in a certain direction of copying or mimicking what you see. It limits you greatly.

The best suggestion to thinking creatively is to not go to the magic books or the videos just yet. Do not stare at your magic prop and struggle to gain ideas based upon that prop alone. Step away from it totally. Open yourself up to exploring the idea or object yourself and you will be amazed at what ideas you can generate.

I hope this has helped give you some ideas on how to think creatively and I would love to hear back from anyone else who has done this or who has their own ways of being creative.

Kyle Peron

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Inner circle
Bar Harbor, ME
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Profile of drwilson

These are great ideas. Some of the most original magic I ever saw was from bizarre magic performers who stated openly that they were inspired by movie special effects, driven by story lines from old horror movies. They made decisions based on character and story lines, then looked around for magic techniques to accomplish those ends. If the techniques did not exist in traditional stage magic, they stole them from movie or theatrical special effects.

You get a very different outcome starting from "I can hide something in my hand, now what can I do?" Bizarre magic folks started with a very clear idea of what they wanted to have happen. Sometimes they had to compromise, but usually the fire of the original vision was there.

We can all learn something from this approach. It's not restricted to bizarre magic. Look at, for example, Sylvester the Jester, who has a great unity of vision.


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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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I agree. That is basically what I am saying here. To look beyond the obvious. Look outwards for sources for your own creativity and not always at your magic videos or your magic props. Creative thoughts and creativity for magic can and should stem and thrive form other sources that are not always magic related.

I think we magicians tend to start viewing everything we do as a magician and from a magician's viewpoint. I think when we start to do this, we start to "ot see" clearly. As I stated above, it is the art of truely "seeing" that allows us to really open up our minds to creative thought. Instead of putting on blinders by thinking like a magician, try and step past that concept and notion.

There is so much more you can out into your magic other then ideas and magical thoughts that have been done before. Learn to look towards culture, art, plays, nature and the world around you. There is so much that can be taken from these sources and used and applied to a magical act or rotuine.

I think too many of us start with the magic prop and try and work outwards. I try to to the opposite. Instead of limiting myself to a magic prop, I think first of the magical notion of what is to take place. What is it that I want to convey and express to my audiences in a fun or emotional way? What story am I trying to express and share with them? Then based upon these answers, I build the magic around it.

Like every good book, there is a central plot, there are characters and there is even conflict. Why not use some of these features in your magic? It certainly would give your magic substance and your audience something to grab ahold of.

I think by thinking of the prop first and putting the prop foremost in your mind, you are limiting yourself right from the start. I think magicians like Slyvester the Jester and Topas are so creative because they did not limit themselves to what was already out there. they came up with these ideas and thoughts and developed the magic around them.

This way of thinking does not have to be applied only to bizarre magic, it can be used for any type of magic you do. It is just a means of thinking and a way in which you learn to see things from a different perspective.

Kyle Peron

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Special user
LaCenter, Wa
989 Posts

Profile of muzicman
Props are like clothes. You don't really need either of them, but they do enhance what they are hiding. I know people that can entertain with their words alone, but does that mean EVERYONE should? I love my props, and they are an extension of myself, just like my clothes!
Alan Munro
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Kentwood, Michigan, USA
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Profile of Alan Munro
I think it's a useful exercise to try to make simple things entertaining. I used to hate card tricks, for instance, because most that I saw were boring. Now, I can have an audience on the edge of their seats with just a deck of cards, both kids and adults. Sometimes the reliance on props causes us to not develop as performers.
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