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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » Presentation Books (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Horatio
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Lots of times when people ask for book recommendations on this website, people also include presentation books in their lists. I'm getting a lot from these books (although there's lots of work to be done!). The ones that I've read so far are:

Showmanship for Magicians - Fitzkee
Our Magic - Maskelyne and Devant
Magic and Showmanship - Nelms
Strong Magic - Ortiz
Magic in Mind - Edited by Joshua Jay

My list of books that I may wish to buy to add to my developing ideas are:
Maximum Entertainment - Ken Weber
Magic By Design - John Carney
Beyond Deception - Tobias Beckwith
Scripting Magic - Pete McCabe
"Outs" Precautions and Challenges – Charles H. Hopkins

I've also heard good comments about Derren Brown's 'Absolute Magic', but this seems to be tricky to get hold of for a sensible price.

Are there any books not on my lists, which people here have found to be particularly useful/ inspiring?
ljsviol
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Horatio,
Recently I've been reading "The Collected Works of Alex Elmsley - Volume 1". It begins with a short essay "ALEX ELMSLEY
ON THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF MAGIC" (sorry about the caps, cut and paste). I found the short essay (around 16 pages) both useful and entertaining. The rest of the book discusses effects.

Larry S
DelMagic
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The Books of Wonder by Tommy Wonder & Stephen Minch are highly acclaimed for the presentation ideas in each of the fine effects. There are also essays in the books focusing specifically on presentation.
motown
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Audience Management by Gay Ljungberg is a great one
"If you ever write anything about me after I'm gone, I will come back and haunt you."
– Karl Germain
Adam Wood
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I would recommend Maximum Entertainment and Magic by Design as these books are on par with (not that the others aren't) Strong Magic, "Outs" Precautions and Challenges can be had for a few bucks and is a booklet every magician should own and so I would suggest picking it up ASAP, but it only deals with the three main topics. Another recommendation is Designing Miracles by Darwin Ortiz, it's as superb as Strong Magic and deals with as the ads say "the study of how laymen think and what it takes to amaze them".
“The hard must become habit. The habit must become easy. The easy must become beautiful.” -Doug Henning



"Don't make magic impossible, make impossible magic!" - Adam



PEACE, LOVE & MAGIC!!!
Vlad_77
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All great suggestions! And to add:

Get involved in community theater. Even if you don't land a part, getting involved in the the process of producing a play will serve you very well in performing magic. Too many magicians haven't the first clue about stagecraft let alone character development - and a character can be "you."

But to keep the topic going, invaluable essays can be found in may resources. Ones that immediately come to mind to add to the list can be found in:

Approaching Magic by David Regal

Close Up Illusions by Gary Ouellet

Art of Astonishment by Paul Harris

The Tarbell Course in Magic: I want to just add that even though the Tarbell Course was written long before virtually everybody on the Café was born, Tarbell's essays on psychology, presentation, etc., are just as relevant today

Life, Death, and Other Card Tricks by Robert Neale

Magic and Meaning by Robert Neale

One Degree by John Guastaferro

Chicago Surprise by Whit Haydn: Yes it is a book focusing on one excellent routine but there is so much more

If you subscribe to Genii and/or Magic, there are invaluable essays every month. Jeff McBride's series "The Show Doctor" is very relevant to this discussion

Workers by Michael Close

Card College is packed with important essays

Magic by Misdirection by Dariel Fitzkee

The Magic Menu is indispensible: look for essays by Paul Green, Al the Only, Simon Lovell, and many more

The first volume of Arturo Ascanio's set of books

Transformations: Creating Magic Out of Tricks by Lawrence Hass, PhD

Best,
Vlad

PS: Even if you're not interested in bizarre magick, these resources are packed with theory within each and every effect.
Horatio
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Thanks everyone for the responses so far. I've had to look all over the place to collect my list until now, so hopefully this thread will be a useful resource for others in the future too.

Another couple of promising books with good reviews that I've found are:
The Five Points in Magic - Juan Tamariz
Win the Crowd: Unlock the Secrets of Influence, Charisma, and Showmanship – Steve Cohen

The community theatre suggestion sounds like an extremely good one, Vlad. My immediate thought is that the time commitment could be a barrier, but I'll have to give some thought to when in the year I might find myself able to make that kind of commitment (I wouldn't want to let people down due to conflicting obligations).
I have been intrigued by what I've read about presentation ideas with the bizarre effects, but so far I haven't seen any effects that I think I would feel like using. Your comment gives me a good excuse for keeping my eyes open for one, Vlad.
Martino
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And of course Jeff's "Show Doctor" column has been expanded and revised and made into a book with additional video content accessible on the web.
"There's a difference between not knowing how something is done and knowing it can't be done!" - Simon Aronson
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