How Do You Create Magic?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by mattjones, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. Hey guys (and gals),
    I thought I'd post a thread on how to create magic. My apologies if this was already a thread- I searched for it and found nothing.
    I've been working a new effect this week and I've got a few different methods and I'll have to play around with it to get it the way I want it, but- I feel like I'm on my way to an original effect... (or a method at least)
    I'm really new to creating magic. I mean- this is my first time. For about a year and a half I've been purely a student of magic. I've only bought tricks and learned tricks the way the are taught. Now I feel like I'm ready to start creating effects on my own, using what I've already learned. So I've got some stuff to talk about:

    When It Comes to Creating Magic:

    1.) Where do you start?
    To me, it starts with an inspiration. I'll be going about my daily routine and then, all of a sudden, it will just happen- I'll get an idea. Find a concept. Something impossible that you want to do. (To me, that's the beauty of magic. Anything is possible.)

    2.) Ok, I've got a concept..... Now what?
    Once you have that idea, I try to work backwards. Ask yourself: How will this happen? What is something that I have already learned that you can apply to this new concept to make it work? Once you have a possible method, try it out. Just play with it, change it, and perfect it. (By the way, you don't have to have already known something to make it work- you may have to invent your own moves or sleights...)

    3.) Something doesn't quite feel right...
    Practice, practice, practice. Once you've got it down, start performing. Just remember- you can always change things around to make it work out better if it doesn't feel right at first.

    By the way, this is an interactive thread. Got something to share, add, subtract, multiply, post it!


  2. I too have just started creating magic! I love how just randomly an idea jumps into my head and I think, that would be so cool!!!! You should see my notebook it is filled with crazy ideas! I am pretty good at math so I use algebra and weird equations to figure out angles and other things. The only thing that stops me is my lack of materials and building skills. Most of my tricks involve gimmicks. I have already created around 7 simple ones. Including another version of stigmata (not nearly as good as wayne's but its a work in progress). I love making tricks though! Mostly because with the internet now days people can just look up how to do tricks.... not anymore!!!
  3. I have created some magic. My trick is called The Joker is on You you can check it out at of you have already seen it. but if you have not check it out.
  4. Awesome! I love it!

    Anyway, I'm not sure how good it is, but I know Jay Sankey created a DVD explaining how creates magic that you can check out here. However, I cannot say whether or not it is a good purchase because I don't own it.

  5. I created magic when I feel that I'm in creating mod them i go to my note book right Anny effect and try to created the method them when I'm done i do my home work i do some research to see if my trick is really original.
  6. Interesting topic! :)

    For myself, I do not try and "come up" with anything new or revolutionary. Instead, I just do what I think I should be doing -- practising, improving and having a fun time with the boards. Along this timeline, eventually I will stumble across a half-decent idea that will spark another idea, and then another, and then another; until I am left with a chain of ideas that will ultimately mould into the finished croncept. I do not necessarily force it, nor do I look for it - if the moment is right, it will come. It then has to go through another process; improvement and polishing. You will need to ask yourself, "How could I improve this? Does it have too many moves? Perhaps I could substitute this Double Undercut for a Bluff Pass, or that Double Turnover for a Top Change? " etc., and so on. It is then down to a matter of trying it out again and again, getting feedback from your reactions. If you feel it was weak, re-think how you could make this even simpler -- the simpler, the better. Over a long period of time, you will have a tested, well-structured effect that you can truly call "yours". Well done! :)

    That is what I feel is wrong with many magic items out today; the creation is not placed through the lengthy but needed process of "how could I make this better?" Instead, many ideas are simply rushed and are not thought out thoroughly, and I feel that hinders many subjects in magic.

  7. Very true. Many tricks take years before they are completly perfected and all the kinks are worked out. Not many trick are made overnight. And the ones that are...
    Well, you can tell.
  8. Unfortunately, I've never really created my own magic. However, I have adapted some things to fit my needs. I just think of what I want, and then find a solution, or multiple solutions for my "problem". I wish I could create something cool and original, though...
  9. I have slowed down on creating magic in the past few months, simply because I've been creating films. I've been writing so many scripts that's it's becoming ridiculous. But in magic, as in film, I get annoyed when someone tells me how to create my own trick/film. It is MY creative piece and I will create how I feel.

    I've noticed that waking up AFTER noon helps my creative process. It just allows me to think more creatively.

  10. Haha, that wont work for me as I rarely wake up after 8.
  11. Not to mention most of us will at some point have this thing called a "job" that tells us when to get up.

    You can learn when to be creative, you know. Your brain is sensitive to patterns, so if you sit down at 11:00 every day and try to be creative, your brain will literally start rewiring itself to be more creative at 11:00 within just a couple days. Most professional musicians and artists I know use this concept to produce their bread-and-butter art, although the works of real genius continue to pretty much show up whenever they feel like it.
  12. Chapter 1: Exposure

    What many young magicians do not understand about magic is that it is a highly respected art form by those who pursue it and are engrossed by it. It saddens me to see so many exposures by people young and old on the internet or live. What they do not realize is that, as kind as they may think it is, it is often hurting our profession. If everyone on the block starts doing Coin Matrix and Triumph routines, then what is left? Will the layperson soon become a vanished breed?

    As long as magic shops are public and internet magic websites running, some average Joe could learn or purchase, say, a DVD by Jay Sankey or Tyler Wilson’s book, learn the effects they were not meant to learn, not take it seriously, and teach it to others without a care. The truth is, anyone can do what we do. How?

    Practice! If, for whatever reason (as an icebreaker?), a layperson is willing to put the time and effort, the person can learn the routine or sleight and will often use it. That is another form of exposure: poor handling of an effect. If a layperson learns an intermediate effect, the person will most likely slip up, or get caught. And what is worse, they often do not care! They often do not take magic seriously. They think of magic as a simple hobby such as knitting or baking. But it is not! Most magicians’ jobs and lives rely on magic, and if laypeople know, for instance, a DL exists, they could call you on one, even if you aren’t doing it! I, for one, would be destroyed by that, since most card routines I do contain at least one DL. Many times we get away with sleights because laypeople aren’t looking for a palmed card or coin. They do not even know that type of thing exists, but if they do, POOF! The close-uppers career is weakened. Exposure happens; it is all too real. So how can it be avoided?

    One of the best ways is to create your own magic. To invent or innovate a new trick or sleight and keep it to yourself. “How can I create my own magic?” There are numerous ways to go about it. Here is the first way.

    Chapter 2: A Simple Test

    We are going to execute a test. Right here, right now. Do NOT leave your seat, but look around you. Find the closest object to yourself. Pick up the object. I am going to tell you exactly what you are holding. Concentrate on the object. Think of nothing else but the object.

    So, you’re thinking of it, your mind clear of any other thoughts. Read the following:

    The object you are holding is rather small. It has a slightly round quality to part of it. It is a smooth object. The object is slightly flexible. The object is…

    Your first magic creation.

    I am right, aren’t I? Of course I am, because that is the object you are stuck with for the next while. At least, until you create magic with it.

    Look at your object. Now think of something magical that could happen to the object. Could it change colour? Could it levitate? Could it spontaneously combust? Could it be ground into powder with your bare hands? Of course not… in real life. I want you to think about reality now, and relate the magical occurrence you have in mind to it. What could be used with your object to make the magic happen? Invisible thread? Confetti? Paint? A TT?

    Now, I want you to think of a way your magical occurrence could happen to your object. Could it be palmed? Could you use the paddle move? Could it be sleeved? Of course, most magic effects use more than one magic sleight or principle to make the magic happen, so you should think of numerous ways to accomplish your dream effect. Think of an easy method, utilizing (for example) a false transfer or key card principle. But also think of advanced methods, even if the method is far beyond your skill. As long as you know the mechanics of the advanced sleights, you should be fine. Think of methods using Culling, Multiple Breaks, Sleeving, or the Tenkai Pinch. For example, a Colour Changing Hair Comb could be accomplished simply with a couple of Paddle Moves or in a more advanced way with the Flipstick move and a quick sleeving.

    Now that it has all been worked through, go get any materials you have in mind to make the magic happen, and work with your idea. If your idea doesn’t work, no problem! Try alternative methods. You must have skimmed through a few techniques while brainstorming, why not give them a go? It wouldn’t hurt to try.

    Congratulations! You now know the basics of putting together a basic effect! All that is left is patter and presentation, and maybe an extension or improvement of your effect. There is definitely much improvement needed for your effect. However, you are still not done. The next chapter is of great importance, so read it carefully before so much as practicing your creation.

    Chapter 3: The Angry Magician and YOU

    Michael Kras has just created a magic effect. He calls this effect “Coins Across” which involves the coins magically traveling from one hand to the other. He claims this is a totally new concept, and publishes it in his new book. His book becomes a bestseller, and magicians love this new magic! Michael sits in his armchair, greedily counting his money, when a loud knock on the door is heard. Michael jumps out of his armchair and makes his way toward the door. Through the peephole, he espies a group of angry close-uppers! Michael does the only thing he can think of: he RUNS! He gallops toward the back door, and a loud THUD is heard! The magicians have broken down the front door! They quickly hurdle toward Michael, and….

    I will leave that to your imagination. Sorry if I scared you, but that IS what will happen if you rip-off a published magic effect. Okay, maybe not so extreme, but many in the magic community will be against you. Why? Because you have stolen.

    Whether you know it or not, you have stolen an existing effect from a potential artist. As negative as it sounds, it happens all the time. Magicians do not do there homework before releasing their effect to the magic community, and get burned on it later.

    How can this be avoided? Easily! Just do your research and find out if the effect has been done before. Of course, you can easily find out if the effect is the same as a slightly famous effect just by looking around. Surf the internet, read a book. It is acceptable if the EFFECT is the same but your METHOD is different, but a routine accomplished by a method that is already in print is definitely a no-no. Heck, you should even be careful in Case A. Some magicians STILL think if your effect is the same or even somewhat similar to an existing effect but the method is different, it is still stealing, especially if you call the effect original. Just take a look at every magic book and DVD you own and check if your effect is in print before releasing. If it is, you can still remodel the effect until it utilizes a different magic principle. The best place to research is in the Tarbell Course In Magic, since so many methods are in print just there. Of course, it would be impossible to study and research every existing magic book, video, manuscript, or marketed effect, especially for one effect, so the best thing to do is study the most popular magic products and records. If you reprint something that has been long forgotten, it can be called a discovery. Note that I said “discovery”. That is a mistake many magicians make. Since it is near impossible to create something totally new these days, the best you can say you have accomplished is discovered an effect. Not created, not invented, but discovered! There is no possible way of telling if an effect is original, which it most likely isn’t, so you lose all credibility in the magic community by, basically, lying!

    As long as you have studied and have really tried to find an effect, you can call your effect a discovery. Since the earliest magic book in print dates back to 1584 with a book entitled The Discovery Of Witchcraft, there is no possible way of finding out if an effect has been done before. Note the word “Discovery” in the book’s title! Even in the 1500s there was no way of telling! If someone in those times could figure that out, so can you.

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