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Profile of MPMagic
To your question concerning Hauntiques: it is a great and inspiring book, but what I find a bit difficult is the mass of antique props you will need, so you will either spend a lot of time making the props yourself or browsing flea marktes and garage sales, etc.

Indeed: tracking down the stuff for some of Christian's more complex routines (The Host, Time Trap...) can be daunting, but the book is not strictly a "technical manual" with tricks to be copied and performed as described, but it should rather help you and inspire you to create your own stories and your own "virtual fantasy" with objects you may find. Christian explains (chapter 3) how he created one of his most complex pieces of theatre when he found, by chance, the day pass for the World's Exhibition of the Duke D'Ursel. This apparently meaningless item helped to create a very complex routine, of which the ticket is just a small part, not the centre of the story.

I think that by realizing that an item is just a small part, sometimes insignificant, of the bigger picture, is a step forward in creating interesting stories. Often magician concentrate too much on the "item", the object of the trick: I believe that for storytelling magic, the item is just what triggers the story, but the real magic happens inside the spectator's mind.

My two cents... Smile
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Profile of Ringo
I believe that mr. Chelmans books are meant to be an inspiration, not a "licence to perform" his routines. Come to think of it, there are very few people who COULD perform the stuff in hauntiques. Amazing book it is !
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Central Jersey, NJ
66 Posts

Profile of link8822
I'm a big fan of using personal stories too. I remember Wayne Houchin spoke of this at his lecture. He said there's two options, you can either learn to act & be a good actor, or you can simply be yourself & use personal stories. But the personal stories don't need to be 100% accurate but the base of the story is true with entertaining tweaks to enhance the presentation. (or to make it fit in with the specific effect)
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Charlottesville, VA
169 Posts

Profile of ApprenticeWizard
I thin k there are many possible sources for good stories. The funniest one I've come up with so far is based on a parady of a well-known fairy tale. But the most touching and hopefully inspiring one is derived from an experience of a close relative. Very good stories can come from many many possible sources. Personal experience is one great source but I would quickly expand that to include all the "personal stories" you've ever heard anyone tell you about, or have ever read about.
Magically yours,
Tom Olshefski
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The United States
1221 Posts

Profile of w_s_anderson
I perform a show called Operation: Magic. Every routine in the show is based on my real life experiences throught my world travels with the military. The response we get is 10 times what we used to get before switching to that format.
Yoram Bar-Sela
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Profile of Yoram Bar-Sela
Magical-Tales' "birthday surprise In Las Vegas" and "The Fortune Teller's Prediction" are based on almost daily life stories, but adapted to generate fun and laugh, as well as high visual impact. You may check them at
Leslie Melville
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685 Posts

Profile of Leslie Melville
By way of clarification, may I point out that the above 'Magical-Tales' posting has nothing at all to with my storytelling website:, my book entitled 'Magictales' published by Leaping Lizards in 2006 or my shortly to be published 'Magictales Two' by the same publisher.

Leslie Melville.
Stories....?....That's telling!
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Profile of edshern
Check out Paradoxmagic's post in this forum.
Lawrence O
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Greenwich (CT)
6799 Posts

Profile of Lawrence O
Get something emotional that as large an audience can identify with: make it dramatic and include a protagonist that is not "I" and not "you" but "we" and "magic". No challenge (even unadmitted) and a sharing of how magic does actually help in real life.

Using Ikea nuts and bolts I wrote a kind of two in the hand one in the pocket routine with them but designed ot fool magicians as well as lay people.
The story runs about the fact that small event like the cable of the breaks in a car can end up in very dramatically runninng over a child. Then by association, the fact that sometimes Ikea is not delivering a full set of nuts and bolts can degenerate into a huge loss of life time and a dramatic matrimonial dispute
Thus the easily recognized black Ikea nuts and sometimes the bolt coming back illustrate how magic can save us pretty large spans of life time.
For the climax, the bolt is placed in the pocket with three nuts left in the fist, and upon opening the left hand, the bolt reappears with the three nuts deeply threaded on it... (Magic is saving life time not only on mishap but on the mounting of Ikea furnitures)
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
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Profile of SheldonR
Cool. You know telling a story while doing some magic tricks has always hooked audience time and again. I don't remember one that didn't, so far. Once you start a personal story, you won't have that much of a hard time explaining things and connecting the dots to the story because you are in control. Unlike of you invent one, no matter how original it is, you may make a mistake at some point if you're not able to practice it that much.
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Sydney, Australia
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Profile of birdman69
I travel a lot with work, so many of my magic effects revolve around things I have picked up along the way. I have found that it is easy to segue into the setup of a magic effect based on the conversation. I have been told that sometimes it was difficult for people to know if I was having a conversation or just setting up for a magic trick. Not sure if that is a good or bad comment?
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