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Theory, Articles & Reviews

Theory is too often neglected. As the saying goes "The most practical thing is a good theory," you should be well grounded in magic's theory. We offer a wide variety of titles from the classics Our Magic, The Art of Magic and Fitzkee's trilogy, to modern articles by some of the most respected and outspoken teachers like Jamy Ian Swiss and Michael Close. You might also want to browse our Marketing category which offers a lot of advice on how to present yourself in a professional manner.

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L. C. Collier

What is a Stage and How Do I Use It? by L. C. CollierThis publication is intended to give you a general working knowledge of the parts of a stage and how to use them. It covers stage construction, stage terminology, lighting and cue sheets. This will give you a nutshell version of subjects that would normally take three book volumes to cover.

A general working knowledge will help you present your act in the best possible way. Most of the legitimate theaters require union workers to run the theater. They appreciate it when you know what you want, what their facility has to offer and how to ask for it.

1st edition 2003; 17 pages.

2008 / 9 / 30
$5.00

£3.96
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Barry Mitchell

Stage Up-ers by Barry MitchellThis subject and the information covered is vital to every performer. That is if you want to improve. If you think you're already the best in the world then stop reading this now. But if you want to know more about how to stand on any stage with more presence, personality, and professionalism then don't miss this recording. This could be the best you spend this year to improve your professionalism and show. But more than that it will prove that you really want to improve your talent and not just sit on the sideline.
  1. Introduction
  2. Open Up
  3. Open strong or die fast
  4. Climbing the show mountain ...
2008 / 2 / 12
$20.00

£15.85
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John Bannon & Mark Leveridge

Creativity - The Secrets of Invention by John Bannon & Mark LeveridgeAt the 5th British Close Up Magic Symposium, John Bannon and Mark Leveridge held an open discussion for nearly an hour on creativity in close up magic. The techniques revealed in the course of this discussion will enable you to set about creating and refining your magic, as it provides you with a clear framework and approach. The combination of interview and questions from the Symposium audience makes for a lively and often humorous session which not only provides you with many concrete suggestions to work on, but which also entertains. Some registrants considered this to be the highlight of...
2008 / 1 / 30
$15.00

£11.89
€13.75
C$20.10
AUD$22.39
₹1038.00
CN¥103.20
JP¥1662.26
R$57.75
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Mark Leveridge

A Simple Guide to Creativity by Mark LeveridgeA thoroughly understandable explanation about how to create new magic and the techniques for improving the magic that you already do. De-mystify the creative process and open up your mind to simple yet effective ways to improve your magic.

Over the years there have been a number of books which have sought to create some sort of ‘system’ to explain and to formalize the process of magical creation. The problem is that in seeking to explain and elucidate the process so much jargon and complex theorizing takes place that the average reader is left with little that is understandable to work...

2007 / 11 / 13
$10.00

£7.92
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Bob Cassidy

Staging It by Bob CassidyThere is no argument about the dilemma faced by many newcomers to mentalism. Are mental effects best presented as natural phenomena of the mind, or as examples of rare paranormal or supernatural abilities?

Most of today's mentalists use the "mental skill" as opposed to the "psychic gift" approach, but only rarely are they particularly consistent about it. Even Joseph Dunninger, the pre-eminent mentalist of the twentieth century, sometimes made conflicting claims. While he stated that his thought reading skills were "scientific" and not those of a fortune-teller or psychic, his promotional materials often...

2007 / 7 / 6
$25.00

£19.81
€22.92
C$33.50
AUD$37.31
₹1730.00
CN¥172.00
JP¥2770.43
R$96.25
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Barton Whaley

Encyclopedic Dictionary of Magic by Barton WhaleyThis is a new edition of the famous and unique magic dictionary by Bart Whaley. Bart has continued to correct entries in this dictionary until the present. We have converted everything to PDF and added bookmarks for each entry in the dictionary as well as inserted thousands of hyperlinked cross-references to make browsing and using this dictionary as convenient as possible.

There is simply no other such encyclopedia. Some have tried but nobody has achieved what Bart Whaley has. The depth and breadth is mind boggling. Almost 4000 terms are described. This is the absolute must have magic desk...

2007 / 2 / 8
$50.00

£39.62
€45.85
C$66.99
AUD$74.63
₹3460.00
CN¥344.00
JP¥5540.85
R$192.50
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Paul Fleming

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

2007 / 1 / 12
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£11.89
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₹1038.00
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R$57.75
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Leo Behnke

The Conservation of Magic by Leo BehnkeDo you know the correct temperature for your library? What should the humidity be? Can you save rotting leather? What's the best method of storing playing cards? How do you recover computer disks that have been drowned? Just one reading of The Conservation of Magic will save you years of research and study in order to care for your artifacts so future collectors will find them in the best possible condition. Each chapter gives you the basics of understanding your magic collectibles, and then, step-by-step, how to care for them. You will learn how to look at your treasures like a professional,...
2007 / 1 / 3
$25.00

£19.81
€22.92
C$33.50
AUD$37.31
₹1730.00
CN¥172.00
JP¥2770.43
R$96.25
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Dariel Fitzkee

The Trick Brain by Dariel FitzkeeThis is book two from Fitzkee's trilogy and is unlike any other book ever written on magic. It was the first book (and to my knowledge the only book) to attack magic methods from a scientific standpoint. Fitzkee develops here a classification of effects, from appearances to vanishes, and then describes a system to invent or develop new trick plots. This is an invention system. I would say it is one way to invent new trick plots. But even if you are not of the scientific sort, the classification and discussion of magic effects and methods is a tremendous resource to expand your horizon and think...
2006 / 8 / 12
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£7.13
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Dariel Fitzkee

Magic by Misdirection by Dariel FitzkeeThis volume, book three in the trilogy, is all about the psychology in magic. Mechanics alone, a sleight or move, are not sufficient to produce a strong magic effect. Dexterity by itself is more like juggling. Only if misdirection, the psychological aspect of deception, is added into the mix, will one be able to create a truly magic experience.

There aren't many good works on misdirection. This is one of the must read ebooks, a classic in the theory of magic. A shorter but modern discussion of misdirection can be read in Pocket Power by Jarle Leirpoll.

  • INTRODUCTION
    • Which is the cart and which is the horse ...
2006 / 8 / 11
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£7.13
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Dariel Fitzkee

Showmanship for Magicians by Dariel FitzkeeDariel 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.

Here is what others had to say about this book, when...

2006 / 8 / 10
$9.00

£7.13
€8.25
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₹622.80
CN¥61.92
JP¥997.35
R$34.65
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Jim Sisti

Professional Restaurant Magic by Jim SistiThis 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...

2006 / 6 / 26
$19.00

£15.06
€17.42
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AUD$28.36
₹1314.80
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JP¥2105.52
R$73.15
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Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin & Professor Hoffmann

The Secrets of Conjuring by Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin & Professor HoffmannThe original title is Les Secrets de la Prestidigitation et de la Magie. It was the collection of lessons and information Robert-Houdin intended to teach his sons to make them expert magicians. However, his sons did have other interests, mechanics and military, which led him to publish his recordings as book. Prof. Hoffmann has translated this masterpiece into English.
  • Editor's Preface
  • Author's Preface
  • Introduction
  • Home of Robert-Houdin
  • Conjuring and Its Professors
  • Art of Conjuring
  • Coin Conjuring
  • General Principles
  • Coin Tricks
  • Card Conjuring
  • Sundry Expedients
  • Cups and Balls
  • Various Tricks ...
2006 / 2 / 3
$9.00

£7.13
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Michael Close

Michael Close In Review by Michael CloseRead and search all the reviews from Magic Magazine from 1995-2005. It contains almost 1400 pages of text, over 1500 books, videotapes, DVDs and tricks from the last 10 years.

Find out if that product on eBay is worth purchasing. Search for products from your favorite creators. Search on the term "highly recommended" to find out what should be in your magic library. You can search on products you already own to find the hidden gems.

This ebook is particularly useful in combination with Jamy Ian Swiss Book Reviews. It allows you to get a second opinion on many books both reviewers covered.

2nd edition 2005; 1379 pages....

2006 / 1 / 27
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Jim Kleefeld

The Volunteer Book by Jim KleefeldMost magicians involve a part of their audience in some of their effects, be it the trivial act of picking a card, or a more involved on stage helper or assistant. We can call all of these people volunteers, because they volunteer to participate in one form or another. Jim Kleefeld has written the first detailed and thorough work on volunteers, how to pick them, treat them and plan accordingly. Since he is trained in theater and psychology, he is very qualified to understand the perspective of volunteers, how they feel, how they would like to be treated and how they might react.

You can find...

2006 / 1 / 13
$20.00

£15.85
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AUD$29.85
₹1384.00
CN¥137.60
JP¥2216.34
R$77.00
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Jim Kleefeld

The Contract Book by Jim KleefeldUnless you are exclusively performing for friends and family, you should have a contract for each engagement. Of course, the best is to have a lawyer in your home state write up a contract specifically tailored to your needs and circumstances. But before you contact your lawyer you should sit down and read this ebook to learn more about contracts. The better prepared you are and the clearer you can present your needs to your lawyer the less time it will take and the less money it will cost. Your lawyer will also respect you more if you have a better understanding and know what you want and why...
2006 / 1 / 13
$20.00

£15.85
€18.34
C$26.80
AUD$29.85
₹1384.00
CN¥137.60
JP¥2216.34
R$77.00
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Daniel Skahen

The Public Approach by Daniel SkahenThis ebook addresses in a fairly comprehensive and very thoughtful way, how should one approach a stranger with magic. I have not seen any other work which addresses this issue in such detail and with such practical advice. If you are looking to do some 'street magic', this is an ebook you should not ignore.

1st edition, 2005; 140 pages.

  • Why the Public Approach?
  • Reversing the Perspective
  • Fundamental Human Nature
  • People are Bored
  • Personal Confidence
  • The Freedom of Indifference
  • Reframing Limiting Beliefs
  • Performance Anxiety
  • Practice Makes Perfect
  • Testing the Waters
  • It's Nothin' Personal ...
2005 / 11 / 14
$10.00

£7.92
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Daniel Skahen

Magic by Theory by Daniel SkahenAs the title suggests, this is a pure work about theory, but not old and dusty thoughts, instead a fresh and new look by Daniel Tyler. Certainly you will find topics which are as old as magic, such as 'the merit of gimmicks' and 'misdirection', but you will also find a chapter dealing with 'where to shop', which is up-to-date and includes places on the internet. This chapter alone can save you a multiple of the price of this ebook. Or what about 'getting the girl' or 'how to admire Blaine, but be yourself' - all topics that Daniel discusses. You might be shocked to hear that Daniel is just eighteen...
2005 / 9 / 10
$7.50

£5.94
€6.88
C$10.05
AUD$11.19
₹519.00
CN¥51.60
JP¥831.13
R$28.88
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Max Holden

Programmes of Famous Magicians by Max HoldenThis 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 ...
2005 / 9 / 10
$6.00

£4.75
€5.50
C$8.04
AUD$8.96
₹415.20
CN¥41.28
JP¥664.90
R$23.10
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Werner C. (Dorny) Dornfeld/Dornfield

Trix and Chatter by Werner C. (Dorny) Dornfeld/DornfieldDorny was a much liked and regarded magician of his time. One of the highlights of this book is the "Who's Who and Why" section which will tell you a lot about the colleagues of Dorny. There is also a good patter section and a number of tricks ranging from cards, coins, mentalism, most of them contributed by other magicians like Hugard, Blackstone, Jordan, Brema, Hilliar, ...

1st edition, 1921, W. Dornfeld, published by Arthur P. Felsman; 286 pages.

  1. Overture
  2. Act One - "Chatter"
  3. Intermission - "The Ne-Kro-Mancer Man"
  4. Act Two - "Who's Who - and Why"
  5. Intermission - "War Magic"
  6. Act Three - "Trix"
  7. Finale
...
2005 / 9 / 10
$9.00

£7.13
€8.25
C$12.06
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₹622.80
CN¥61.92
JP¥997.35
R$34.65
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