Magic

Our major motivation for creating the Creativity Oracle was to stimulate writing more original presentations for magic. Our original beta users are a group of mentalists salted with a few bizarrists, but that should absolutely not limit its useful scope.

All magic is theater at its core, whether the stage is as simple as the palm of your spectator’s hand or a platform at the center of a major arena. At all scales, the effects you choose and how you choose to present them are telling a story. If you don’t know what that story is, then you have lost control of one element of the audience’s experience. A script need not imply that your presentation has spoken words at all (a mime can tell a complete story without a single word), but it does lay out the message you plan to convey through words and actions.

Several of the stories produced through Ross’s Daily Tale exercise were written (or in a few cases edited after they were mostly written) to fit the actions of magic effects. Naturally those stories are presented without reference to the necessary secrets, and working out how to relate them to the specific effect is left as an exercise. For that matter, even noticing that they are related to a classic magic trick is left as an exercise, and this page is just a guide.

To make that exercise a little easier, the following stories were clearly written with some specific magical effect in mind. I’ve listed each along with the name I recognize of the effect or prop. In some cases, these are commercial effects, in others, they are applications of classic methods and principles.

  • The Doll’s Task Okito doll, with extra creepy
  • A Fish Story ‎Goldfish (really a fake puffer fish) production on a fish line
  • The Unexpected Production of a spatula using a classic bird in a cage mechanism
  • Change is Good Change bag production of gems from pebbles
  • The Warped Way of Dreams Card Warp
  • White Mask Horror tale over mask and costume quick change
  • Hip-hop hare dye Hippity hop rabbits
  • Carrot for Lunch Out to lunch
  • The Strange Thing Out to lunch
  • The Dryad’s Question Parity force item
  • Sideshow Body magic feats inspired by the Georgia Magnet
  • Thinner model Quick change, thin model sawing
  • Numbered The 1089 force
  • Thirteen in the Dark A deliberately scary seance, table tipping, table levitation, seance grip, trumpet, reaching rods, self-lighting candle
  • Blindfolded An odd blindfold routine with big cats and birds
  • Newtonian A stage illusion involving floating balls and a painting
  • Tricky 1 A stage piece levitating candle flame, appearing screen, shadow play
  • Tricky 2 Billet switch, notes in fruit revelation
  • Tricky 3 An improbable gramophone
  • Q&A A Q&A act with a twist
  • Hypnotized A hyp act with some body magic tossed in
  • Cobra to Mongoose I’ve always been curious about ways to work balloon animals out of strung beads, and how that might fit in a presentation. Here’s an idea that might work. The mongoose is the classic balloon dog. The cobra is the needed length of beads.
  • Rubber Chicken Entrails A parlour piece (but it can go either way in scale) about divination through reading the entrails of a rubber chicken
  • Spots Pin spots pick out objects on stage that are never quite what they appear to be.
  • Froggy A frog to orange presentation. Again, listed in both places because performance may not really be the point.
  • Illusions A stage illusion inolving a pizza box puppet, an asrah, and a vanish from a robe. Could reappear in the audience, but the story left that ambiguous.

Other stories are just stories, but have “obvious” places where they could be enhanced with a magic effect underneath the story. The result would be a storytelling piece where a point is punctuated by a levitation, production, change, or even a prediction of some form. Some that leap out at me for this treatment are the following:

  • Ouija Poet Three haiku directly inspired by talking boards (and one written by a talking board).
  • The Rite Levitation, illusion, and hypnotism are at work in the story, but effective magic to go with it may be stronger if less direct.
  • In Memoriam, Andy Written at about the same time as the actual memorial wake for my friend, fellow Elder, bizarrist, and good witch, Andy Paik. The service did not actually involve masks, levitating objects, billet work, ashes revelation, and fire magic, but Andy’s performances often did all of that and more.
  • Thirteen in the Dark This piece really straddles the line between a spectator’s view of a presentation, and a story that could benefit from magical enhancements when told. Since I can’t decide, I’ll list it in both sections.
  • George’s Act While there are obvious classic production, quick change, and illusion methods at work in this story, I can’t imagine actually performing this act without access to a larger number of unexpectedly old and intelligent animals than I have available to me at present.
  • Cobra to Mongoose I’ve always been curious about ways to work balloon animals out of strung beads, and how that might fit in a presentation. Here’s an idea that might work.
  • I Saw Revenge A thin model sawing done the easiest way possible. May not be repeatable in the same town.
  • Spots Pin spots pick out objects on stage that are never quite what they appear to be.
  • Dark Music Black art and other dark seance techniques can reproduce most of the described effects. You will need the use of a world-class jazz trumpeter backed by a full ensemble, although I suspect a recording could be used if you have a sound system good enough to produce the near infrasonic tones of 32 foot and 64 foot organ stops.
  • Froggy A frog to orange presentation. Again, listed in both places because performance may not really be the point.

One thought on “Magic

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s