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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Designing Miracles vs. Trick Brain (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

TeddyBoy
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Can anyone advise whether or not Ortiz's Designing Miracles has similar content to Fitzkee's Trick Brain? Do they overlap with respect to how to design a trick/effect of one's own creation?
So many sleights...so little time.
Cheers,

Ted
Boomer
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Trick Brain: 1944
Designing Miracles: 2006

(At least according to my hardcovers)

If you can only get one, get Darwin's. If you feel the need to fill out your library, along with the controversial stuff from Fitzkee, get his trilogy.

As to overlap, nope.


Dave
TeddyBoy
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Thanks Boomer. I've got both but time is limited so I guess I'll go with Ortiz.
So many sleights...so little time.
Cheers,

Ted
TomB
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I find Fitzkee to be very logical in his writing. As an engineer, I found it absolutely great. There are other books that may be better suited for the general public.

I look at trick brain as a reference book. Its not to be read cover to cover. Just like a dictionary is used to look up a definition of a word. You find the effect you want, then if you need some examples he gives it to you. The table of contents in trick brain is very valuable. There isn't much controversy in the book. People just nitpick if certain effects can be grouped differently. They missed the point.

It teaches how to decompose a magic effect, every magic trick past, present, and future.

If trick brain is commonsense, then you think like a magician! If it is not commonsense, it will teach you how to think like a magician.

Once you know the effect, and presumably the method to create the effect, you may think you know the secrets to magic.

But that's not the real secret to magic. Just like reading the instructions on a cereal box may tell you the "secret", the real secret is how you present the trick. That's exactly what the trilogy offers.

This is what separates the boys from the men. Mediocrity and greatness. It requires practice in front of an audience. Its perfecting all the little details.

Chapters should be read, and should create inspiration. You should sleep and dream about it.
TeddyBoy
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Thanks Tom for your in depth comments. You have made this a tough decision so I will probably have to find time to read both Ortiz and Fitzkee. By the way, being an old hobbyist that never even considers fooling an amateur or professional practitioner, mediocrity looks pretty good to me.
So many sleights...so little time.
Cheers,

Ted
TomB
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Do yourself a favor and just get the table of contents of Trick Brain. Of the Trilogy, it's the least enjoyed reading.

You need to remember that the good magicians appreciate theater. In the same breath, if you had to read one of Fitzkee books read Misdirection. Then if you desire, read the other two books.

Also read Henning Nelms Magic and Showmanship. You can pick it up for under 5 bucks. It is a much easier read.

I would also recommend the Tommy Wonder books, when you get serious.

If you are not willing to act, to pretend your hand is holding something when it's not, then no f*#$ch d**p will ever look good. Just the same, no miracle will ever be created.

Before you attempt to create magical effects, you need to understand what the father of modern magic said, "A magician is an actor playing the part of a magician."- Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin.

If your mind is set to accept mediocrity, I would not even start. If your goal is create a miracle then dream big.

You said you were a hobbyists, what tricks do you perform? Who do you perform it for? How many times have your performed your favorite trick?
TeddyBoy
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As a hobbyist I only perform for wife and former co-workers - I'm retired. As for mediocrity, right now that looks pretty good. Due to personal issues I do not have the time to join any informal or formal groups, therefore my performance skills don't really develop. But I like studying sleight of hand so I tough it out. I have some other books, e.g., Nelms's as well as Maximum Entertainment that should help develop some level of skill in performing.
So many sleights...so little time.
Cheers,

Ted
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