Making Original Tricks

Mar 9, 2021
39
30
Hey guys,

I was wondering how most magicians come up with their own methods to do a trick. Is there a process that needs to be followed when coming up with your own tricks and methods?



Thanks for reading
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,740
2,854
There's going to be many different approaches to creating material.

I think the 'best' approach is essentially problem solving. Identify an issue with an existing method, determine a possible solution, try it. If it works, refine it further.

When Aaron Fisher was creating the One Handed Pop Over, he did so because he wanted a one-handed version of an existing move. So he sat down and went step by step through the move to figure out how to turn it from needing two hands to being one handed. That's a fairly unusual case, though - usually the way a new method or presentation is created is due to the performer tweaking and honing the method or presentation over years and years of performing it.

You will also see folks who create something simply for the sake of creating something new. This is generally done with the distinct intention of selling that method or trick to the magic industry and in my opinion these offerings are usually under developed and not real world practical.

Personally I always develop material from the end backwards. Meaning I think up an experience I want to provide to an audience, then I script and block it, -then- I think about how I'll accomplish it. If I don't already have a method up to par, I learn or create it.
 
Nov 6, 2017
8
5
One thing that I've done that has helped me greatly is keeping a physical notebook with me whenever possible. Then, when you get an idea, no matter how silly or impossible, you can write it down and maybe come back to it later. This helps me to not rule out anything, and has seriously helped with my creative thinking towards magic!

One last thing that has also helped is getting a more expensive notebook that I can view as treating myself when I get a new one. This encourages me to fill up the pages quicker than I would with a cheaper notebook so that I can get another funky notebook! I would recommend unlined paper so that ideas can flow nonlinearly, at least that's the way I look at it.
 
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WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,740
2,854
On the notebook idea -

Some folks have this thing where they want to keep a neat looking notebook "nice" and so they will hesitate to write certain things in said notebook. The way around that is to have a dirt cheap, pocket sized notebook/pad that you can carry around and write anything in. Then transcribe those thoughts into the nicer notebook later. This serves two purposes - one, it gets around that little hesitation so you're more inclined to write everything down. Two, it automatically filters and refines thoughts. This is because in order to transcribe it from the junky notebook to the nice one, you are forced to think about it more and filter it and clarify it.
 

RealityOne

Moderator
Nov 1, 2009
3,578
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New Jersey
Additional note on notebook: Write things out with sufficient detail and don't use non-standard abbreviations. I have notebook entries that I can't figure out what I was thinking at the time I wrote them.
 
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Luis Vega

Elite Member
Mar 19, 2008
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Leon, Guanajuato Mexico
luisvega.com.mx
One thing that I've done that has helped me greatly is keeping a physical notebook with me whenever possible. Then, when you get an idea, no matter how silly or impossible, you can write it down and maybe come back to it later. This helps me to not rule out anything, and has seriously helped with my creative thinking towards magic!

One last thing that has also helped is getting a more expensive notebook that I can view as treating myself when I get a new one. This encourages me to fill up the pages quicker than I would with a cheaper notebook so that I can get another funky notebook! I would recommend unlined paper so that ideas can flow nonlinearly, at least that's the way I look at it.


Also... you can use your phone to record a quick video of an idea to remember later
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,740
2,854
Ha! Indeed.

And learning when to bail on a plan is yet another important skill in creating material.
 
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