The Science of Magic

Dec 9, 2008
Hello all.
I realised recently something, something which I have referred to as The Science of Magic, or Flourishing. Now what is this?

Well this phrase, in my mind, refers to how something works, whether it be what kind of pressure and where it is necessary to get things to work, or even how a self working trick works. For example, Under Pressure by Michael Vile, is a flourish that many people can do, however I have seen, multiple times, people say "How did you get it to go fast" or "slow" or maybe "how did you get the cards to run of singly as opposed to in a chunk?" And I realised this is my Science of Magic, it's the way something actually works and what gets it to works. I know how and where to pressure to get certain variables of Under Pressure to change. Or even in certain tricks, how do things or sleights that you regard as " it just works" work. This is the best way I can describe this concept to you.

So why I am I talking? I wondered, how many of you, a) Understand this concept? b) Use this concept and understand the actual Science of Magic? and c) feel this science is necessary and knowing just "the thing to do to make it work" is enough to know about this hypothetical trick / sleight / flourish?

I would appreciate your views on the above questions, and if you feel this thread is a waste of three paragraphs, then don't reply, or at least reply with some interesting complaints.

Thank You very much,

Tom Field
Last edited by a moderator:
Jun 10, 2008
You little stalker!
First of all, it should be called the Science of Flourishing. Magic is the opposite of science. Whatever science can't explain, magic can. Science of Magic is an oxymoron.

Anyways, i do observe flourishes frequently. I've figured out why when you do a tg murphy deck flip with a face up card on top that it lands face down on the bottom. Science has helped me a lot in my flourishes. Ex. I used science to help me control the speed of my springs and dribbles. Now i can dribble and spring super slow or super fast.
Oct 16, 2007
The word science is from the latin scīre, meaning 'to know'.

Secondary, tertiary and quaternary English definitions of the word are as follows:
2- Methodological activity, discipline, or study: I've got packing a suitcase down to a science.
3- An activity that appears to require study and method: the science of purchasing.
4- Knowledge, especially that gained through experience.

With that, I cannot believe that there isn't a "Science" to performing magic as much as there is an "Art" to performing magic. I employ scientific thinking to my effect handling, presence and showmanship daily:

"What do I want to be able to achieve?"
"How can I do this effectively?"
"How/when will I/ should I employ these ideas?"
"What could I do differently next time to improve the response/ clarity of effect"

Then, after examining the whole picture from a few different standpoints, I move forward to my next flaw.

If you don't take a step back after a gig, assess your flaws and weaknesses, note your strengths and postulate what you should do to make your next performance better, I'm afraid you're best fit for child birthday parties where no one pays attention after the cake is served anyway.

As for Fieldininio's meaning of "The science of magic," are you referring to "the physics of magic" or the "psychology of magic"? If that is what you are in fact driving at, yes, if it weren't for physics, I would not be able to do many of the 'flashy' manipulations I enjoy performing and if it wasn't for psychology, I wouldn't appreciate the small nuances that many great performers before me have employed in their acts to achieve awe inspiring moments of theatre.

Last edited by a moderator:
{[{ searchResultsCount }]} Results