Illusion books

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by KoryB87, Aug 15, 2017.

  1. Hey everyone, I am new to all this and I wanted to read more about how to do illusions and begin to preform those types of tricks from small illusions to huge stage ones. Ive been trying to find any books on the subject, but I can only really find one and it was like $120 and I don't want to spend that much yet? Any thoughts on a cheap, but resourceful book? Thanks.
  2. Well, if your looking for more so smaller stage stuff (or actually any scenario), I would pick up Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic. It is a pretty well rounded beginner's guide. It only costs 3 - 12 or so US dollars. Check "other sellers" on Amazon, I picked mine up very cheaply there. You could also check out ebay.
    You get effects with ropes, basic tricks with cards, sponge balls, mental magic, magic with money, impromptu stuff, classic silk/handkerchief magic, even stuff with billiard balls. And there is also a section on human illusions. You'll find great stuff in there, espescially since you can probably find the money in your couch!
  3. Yes, Mark Wilson's is the place to start. It even has how to build small stage illusions near the back.
  4. Thanks guys! I will start there! Any websites you guys recommend?
  5. Most websites end up being more so for close up magic. It is pretty weird selling larger illusions on the modern market, but when they are released, the result is usually phenomenal. It's kinda like the old dude from the one ad during all the games.
    (Market speaking): I don't always release large illusions, but when I do...
    Anyways, looking through the market right now, effects like Dress Code, or even ITRs like Tarantula 2 or Venom are probably going to be your best option. That being said, you can apply a lot of effects that are close up to a larger stage, if you modify them a bit. You may want to look into utilities you can use in multiple scenarios.
  6. You also need to make sure you're clear on your vocabulary at this point.

    Not every trick is an illusion. Tarantula, for example, is not an illusion. MisMade Girl is an illusion, Tarantula is a utility gimmick.

    Tricks and effects are not the same thing, and routines are different to both of those as well.

    If you are looking for illusions you're generally going to be moving apparatus around the stage.
  7. I was just saying you could buy those effects and present them as illusions. Just like how in some effects, I can use a gimmick and present it as skill (though I personally would never do this).
  8. Right, sure. But if he's looking to purchase things then he needs to know the proper vernacular for magic and magic vendors.
    Maaz Hasan likes this.
  9. As mentioned I would start with the Mark Wilson Course, and also Tarbell has some nice ilusiones also... if you want to dig deeper on the subject then check out Rand Woodbuerys illusion works books which aren't that expensive... you can find them on penguin
  10. Wow okay! Thank you guys for all your help! I really appreciate it!
  11. I agree. I am looking through Tarbell right now (I think it is only volume one). It has a ton of stuff in it. Granted, you are going to have to save up for it (the full collection is like $250, the first volume is $35), but it is definitely going to be worth it.
  12. Oh perfect! Thanks!
  13. Mark Wilson's Complete Course is really the book to start with if you don't have a background in magic. Along with a lot of great magic, there are some make at home props and some stage illusions. For the price, you can't go wrong.

    From there there are four options.

    One is the least expensive route. You can pick up the "Victory Carton llusions" by U.F. Grant for around $10 and learn to make illusions out of cardboard boxes. However, my advice would be to get the "Illusion" books by Andrew Mayne - IllusionTech, IllusionFX, Illusion Book and Secret Illusion Show. Those books range from $9 to $26 to $45.

    The second option is to get the actual plans from Osborne Illusion Systems. You can get books of plans, electronic plans and full sets of plans. The plans run from $27.50 to $30 per illusion. Start with the How to Build Your Own Illusions Book 1 if you don't know basic woodworking skills.

    The third option is to do the deep dive and buy a lot of books that explain the principles and workings of illusions. Here is a partial list:

    Osborne How to Build Your Own Illusions Book 1 (and probably 2 thorugh 4)
    Professional Illusion Building for the Home Craftsman by Dick Gustafson
    Rand Woodbury's Illusionworks Series (1 through 4) (there also are two DVD sets)
    Steinmeyer's Device and Illusion
    Steinmeyer's Conjuring Anthology (a variety of parlor, close up and stage effects)
    Steinmeyer's Technique and Understanding
    Steinmeyer's The Complete Jarrett
    Steinmeyer's Modern Art and Other Mysteries​

    And if you have a really big budget:

    The Carl Owen Book Keep the Wheels Turning (around $250)
    Hull's Encyclopedia of Illusions (Around $500)​

    The fourth option is to get a subscripton to Genii which gives you access to past issues electronically. Jim Steinmyer currently has a Conjuring column (which mostly has been parlor rather than stage illusion), Jack Gaughn has a column on historical magical effects and Paul Osborne had a column for a number of years where he provided illusion plans. Plus, you get a whole lot of other magic as part of the deal.
  14. U grant was he a president?

    Or a money maker like that. Cool.
  15. Wow thank you! this is very helpful! I will look into this stuff!
  16. Hey KoryB87!

    So the number one book I recommend if you are a beginner stage illusionist or just curious about the art form is So You Want To Be An Illusionist by David Seebach. It's $18.75 on penguinmagic ( Definitely start here as well as Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic for some pretty decent material on stage illusions.

    After that I recommend any work by Andrew Mayne or How To Be An Illusionist by JC Sum for $75 on penguin ( The latter fleshes out more on topics covered in Seebach's book as mentioned earlier. If you are purely looking for illusion planning, I recommend supporting my local magic shops printing of Abbot's Illusions for $50 which includes tons of workshop plans and presentations for high quality stage illusions.

    Just a forewarning from my personal experiences; being a stage illusionist is a lot of hard work! Unlike close-up magic, it can no longer be a one man show even if that is what is shown on stage. It will now take the organized coordination of an entire team you will have to trust heavily. It's also a very expensive focus. The cheapest stage illusion I own is $850 and some other illusions I'm saving towards are $6,000+ each! Granted, you can always build your own but the cost of materials adds up really fast, especially if you want it to look nice. It's also presented a lot differently than how close-up magic is. Instead of forming connections with a small group of people you are now having to entertain an entire crowd of people that are just a rush of faces looking at you and it feels way less personal that way. You have to get comfortable with the idea that this is supposed to be a theatrical presentation and not a "magic effect" like how street magic is presented.

    Anything else you want to know about stage illusions or my personal experience working as a stage illusionist feel free to hit me up anytime through PM!
    RealityOne likes this.
  17. Don't forget about Darwin's Inexpensive Illusions

  18. Thank you!!
  19. Thank you so much for the advice! I appreciate it!

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