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Theory, Articles & Reviews: page 3


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Brian T. Lees
Paperwork by Brian T. Lees

The paperwork associated with being a magician.

We may think the world is going paperless and in a few industries it is. But we still have a document close by to print as needed. Many times, receipts have been printed out to correct charges on statements. People do not hire maintenance work to be done without some form of contract. The magic industry is the same.

This text covers the basic documents used. These documents range from a simple query letter to proposals/quotes and contracts. Nestled within this ebook are the basics used to form the paper trail of our performances. Though...

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Paul Fleming
Paul Fleming Book Reviews Vol. 1-3 by Paul Fleming

Paul Fleming wrote what some consider the best book reviews in magic ever. This is the collection of all three volumes, in total 167 book reviews. Many reviewers then and now chose to write largely very positive reviews, more like an ad rather than a critical review. Paul Fleming on the contrary wrote his true opinion and slammed a book if he thought it was garbage. That makes the reviews so valuable, because you get an honest and informed opinion.

The only danger in reading these reviews is that you will find many more books you will want to read.

1st edition 1942; PDF 273 pages.

★★★★★ $15
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Brian T. Lees
Performance Close by Brian T. Lees

The close of your performance is your last chance to make a lasting impression on your audience. It should bring the audience to the peak of excitement, energize them and leave them talking about your magic. This text identifies the goals of the close. It provides examples and suggestions to help you develop a strong, effective close. Future performances often depend on the posture you leave your audience. Pull out all the stops, use all your tools to make your close one to be remembered.

  • Basic Show Composition
  • The Build Up
  • Close Goals
  • Tools for The Close
  • Sample Closes
  • Document
  • Wrapping...
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Brian T. Lees
Performance Opening by Brian T. Lees

The two most important elements of a performance are the opening and close. The opening sets the environment for the audience to be entertained. The close is the magician's last chance to leave a lasting impression on the audience. To be effective, the opening must meet specific goals. This text identifies them and provides ideas, samples and recommendations to help the magician attain them.

  • Show Structure
  • Primary Opening Goals
  • Types of Opening
  • Opener Planning
  • Sample Openings
  • Document
  • Wrapping It Up
1st edition 2019, PDF 18 pages.
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Peter Prevos
Perspectives on Magic: A book about the science of conjuring by Peter Prevos

When watching a magician the question that is most pressing on people's minds is how did he do it?

This is not the only question that can be asked of a magic performance. A psychologists might ask why it is possible that the mind can be deceived, occupational therapists are interested in how performing magic tricks can help people with physical disabilities and sociologists research the subculture of magicians.

This ebook explores some answers to the questions that scholars from different fields of science have asked about the performances of magicians. For magicians this ebook provides...

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Jarle Leirpoll
Pocket Power by Jarle Leirpoll

Jarle Leirpoll is one of Norway's leading Stand-Up and Close-Up performers. He received the Norwegian magician of the year award in 1998. You will find effective and deceptive ways to switch, ditch and steal - using only the normal pockets and occasionally a Topit. Several original routines and lots of techniques and ideas are explained in detail, including more than one hundred illustrations. On top of that four video clips are embedded in the ebook which show 5 effects. The chapter about Choreographic Misdirection has been significantly increased over the paper version of this book from 1995. ...

★★★★★ $13
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Arthur Buckley
Principles and Deceptions by Arthur Buckley

Another great book from Arthur Buckley. He discusses some theoretical aspects of magic and then goes into detailed instructions of moves and routines with coins, cards, and billiard balls. I can highly recommend this book.

1st edition, 1948, Arthur Buckley; original 222 pages; PDF 185 pages.

    1. Photograph of the Author
    2. Dedication
    3. Introduction by Theo Bamberg (Okito)
    4. Foreword by the Author
    5. The Principles of Magic
    6. Manipulation
    7. Substitution
    8. Duplication
    9. Camouflage
    10. Imitation
    11. False Partition
    12. Concealed Mechanism
    13. Falsification
    14. Arrangement
    15. Preparation
    16. Misdirection
    17. Concealment ...
★★★★ $7
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Brian T. Lees
Productive Rehearsal by Brian T. Lees

Whether you spend an hour a day, or a few hours before your performance this ebook helps you get the most out of the time spent.

The materials in this ebook help you identify dead spots, problems with angles, poor manipulation and other elements that directly impact your performance. Materials are included that help you prepare for the unexpected. The performance factor rests entirely on the audience. This ebook helps sharpen your performance skills.

  • What is rehearsal
  • Tools
  • Evaluation
  • Documentation
  • Sample documentation forms
  • Trick/Routine form
  • Train wreck rehearsal
  • Wrapping it...
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Alan Alan
Professional Performing Advice by Alan Alan

Two volumes and amongst the most valuable to the young performer who wants really practical professional advice right from the start. Alan Alan is one of the world's most highly paid escapologists and without revealing his very closest secrets he explains how the simplest stunt or effect can be built up into a great money-making act.

An extract from Alan Alan's death defying escape from a burning rope hanging over a cage of fierce lions is also included and completely analysed detail by detail by Alan Alan. Slightly muffled sound quality but the content is worth its weight in gold for anyone...

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Jim Sisti
Professional Restaurant Magic by Jim Sisti

This is a comprehensive guide to developing a restaurant magic repertoire, finding a suitable venue, strategies to help you keep your job and other practical information for the working professional.

Jim Sisti is a long time, experienced and professional restaurant magician. He was also the editor of The Magic Menu, a magic journal solely dedicated to bar and restaurant magic. You won't find any effects in this ebook, but you will find heaps of practical advice to build a career with restaurant magic. And most of the information, advice and suggestions you will receive apply in good part to other venues...

★★★★★ $19
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Brian T. Lees
Professional Show Development by Brian T. Lees

You do not have to hire a director, choreographer and technical designer to produce your own professional show. This ebook covers the environment, building your outline of magic, using music, and developing your show. Learn how to fine tune your performance through rehearsal, problem area recognition and the flow from opening to your finale. A high-quality professional production is within your grasp using a lot of materials you may already own.

  1. Set the stage
    • Backdrop
    • Sound, P/A System
    • Music
    • Lights
    • Working tables, etc.
    • Transporting
    • Cases, boxes, bags trunks and carts.
  2. Show components ...
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Max Holden
Programmes of Famous Magicians by Max Holden

This ebook gives a very nice glimpse into the past. It describes the routines and effects of the programmes of famous magicians. You will find descriptions of programmes by Dai Vernon, Al Baker, Annemann, Cardini, Blackstone, Dante, Davenport, Hugard, Keating, and many more. Check the table of contents link further down for the complete list.

1st edition, 1937, Max Holden, New York City; 49 pages.

  1. Percy Abbott
  2. AMAC
  3. Annemann
  4. Al Baker
  5. Roy Benson
  6. Walter Baker & Co
  7. McDonald Birch & Co
  8. John Blackledge
  9. John Booth
  10. Harry Blackstone
  11. The Late Herbert Brooks
  12. Milbourne Christopher
  13. The Great Carmo
  14. Keith Clark
  15. Cardini
  16. Cortini
  17. Chris Charlton
  18. Judson Cole
  19. Henry Clive ...
★★★★ $6
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Joseph Jastrow
Psychological Notes Upon Sleight-of-Hand Experts by Joseph Jastrow

Jastrow wondered if the pursuit of sleight-of-hand conjuring develops any special motor or mental powers. He invited Alexander Hermann and Harry Kellar and put them through a range of tests comparing them to average folks. In this article you will find out how these two giants of conjuring compare to the average.

From the introduction:

Having recently enjoyed visits at my Psychological Laboratory from Messrs. Hermann and Kellar, the widely-known prestidigitators, I put together the results of the series of tests to which they kindly submitted. As the time at my disposal for these tests was limited,...

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Alfred Binet
Psychology of Prestidigitation by Alfred Binet

This article makes an effort to analyze the different processes by which sleight-of-hand illusions are produced in the mind of spectators. Different causes are identified by studying various illusions and observing performing magicians in the lab.

1st edition 1894, 17 pages; PDF 15 pages.

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Brian T. Lees
Same Show Over and Over by Brian T. Lees

Magicians do the same basic show over and over. This text will help you prepare for a second, third or fourth show that same day. It covers the need to decompress from the first performance, relax, and reset. Then it identifies ways to pump yourself back up.

Every time you step on stage the audience should feel they are experiencing a premier performance. They don't care if we have done the same magic 100 times already. They want to see a fresh, energetic show each and every time.

This text will cover some of the things professionals do between shows. They follow steps that help them...

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Ken Muller
Satchel of Secrets: F.U.N. Presentation Series by Ken Muller

Learn some "real secrets of magic" - not the stuff that comes in the box. Gleaned from 60+ years of performing under various conditions. Dozens of quotes, ideas, ponderings and quips about performing magic that will change the way you perform, deal with audiences, create routines, select volunteers, practice and more.

No magic effects are taught here, just exciting ways to be better at what you do - and to appreciate being a magician.

1st edition 2018, 16 pages.

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Saturday Review by unknown

This is the review of Robert-Houdin's The Sharper Detected and Exposed that appeared in Saturday Review on May 9th, 1863.

1st edition 1863; PDF 5 pages.

★★★★★ $2
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Roberto Giobbi
Secret Twitter by Roberto Giobbi

Secret Twitter is now available as a PDF compilation. In addition you will get a readworthy introduction by Roberto. We have also added all replies to Roberto's daily tweets. Max Maven was the most vocal and opinionated one, but you will also get thoughts by Pit Hartling, Denis Behr, Ian Kendall and others.

What is Secret Twitter? If you are familiar with Roberto Giobbi's book Secret Agenda you can probably guess. Secret Twitter is a completely new and innovative way for Roberto to share his thoughts, comments, advice and insight with you - via Twitter.

For fourteen months, starting with November 1st 2014 and...

★★★★ $29.90
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Brian T. Lees
Setting the Environment by Brian T. Lees

A major portion of the audience's experience involves the environment. Their enjoyment can be pleasurable or highly distracted by the area they are given to watch you. This text covers the importance of the performing environment from both the stage and audience perspectives. It goes into details that need to be discussed before the room is set up. It covers many areas most magicians take for granted.

  • Seating
  • Staff
  • Performance Area
  • Sound
  • Flow Path
  • Emergencies
  • Get Ahead of Set Up
  • Meet and Greet
  • Wrapping it Up

1st edition 2016, 20 pages.

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Brian T. Lees
Show Development by Brian T. Lees

A primer to help organize clusters of magic into a professional show. Rate your magic in terms of entertainment factor and establish a flow that moves your performance from show opening to close. Learn the reasons larger and smaller magic are blended into a performance. Then learn how to use these various waves to slowly build your audience to that big "wow" finish successful magicians close with.

  • Show Components
  • Mechanics
  • Inventory
  • Flow
  • Music
  • Produce Your Show
  • Specialty Shows
  • Documentation/Backup
  • Wrapping It Up

1st edition 2016, 27 pages.

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Brian T. Lees
Show Documentation by Brian T. Lees

"I used to do that trick many years ago. I just cannot remember how it went but the audience loved it." Have you heard that before? Everyone has files. We keep records of bill payments, taxes, bank statements and a bunch of other important information. Why would your magic be any different?

This ebook identifies the importance of keeping back up information on your magic. It offers suggestions on a file system that includes text, binders and DVD sources. Armed with this system you could bring back any magic that you have done in the past. Use your files to determine what has changed, what...

★★★★★ $10
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Edward Maurice
Showmanship and Presentation by Edward Maurice

Tips and tricks from a Vaudeville professional including openers, audience appeal, costume, make-up, and a lot more. The ideal is to have a director who pays attention to these areas, but most magicians are performers and directors rolled up into one person. It is therefore important to read and study showmanship and presentation.

From the introduction by Park Shackleton:

It is now, thank goodness, many many years since I cared two hoots how a trick was done (i.e., the actual secret which is of no importance). I am only interested in how it is presented (which is of vital importance). ...

★★★★★ $7
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Dariel Fitzkee
Showmanship for Magicians by Dariel Fitzkee

Dariel Fitzkee authored one of the best trilogies on magic theory. This volume, book one in the trilogy, primarily deals with theoretical aspects of a magic performance. This book has been cited numerous times and is one of the standard works every serious magician should read. Fitzkee has a very analytical mind and describes his thoughts clearly. As with any theory not everyone will agree with every detail and every suggestion. Regardless of if you fully subscribe to Fitzkee's thinking or not, there is plenty to learn from his writings.

Paul Fleming wrote:

Several years ago, Dariel Fitzkee wrote a...

★★★★ $9
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Peter Mennie
Sound Advice for Magicians by Peter Mennie

Let's face it, once you step in front of an audience you not only have to be seen, but you have to be heard. And just like the sleight of hand in your show has to be the best it can be, the sound has to be the best it can be as well. Your audiences deserve better than 'it's good enough'.

Sound Advice For Magicians was written out of a lecture I do for magic clubs and clown alleys because I saw too many talented performers bomb in front of audiences because their sound system failed or the people running them were incompetent. In addition to performing full-time for over 40 years (with many...

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Displaying 64 to 87 (of 135 products)
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