Inventing Magic
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Inventing Magic...

Magic which is performed on stage is an art whose sole objective is to entertain people and it entails presentation of what is seemingly impossible within usual and normal settings.

This art of creating an illusion is known as a magic trick and the individual who is responsible for it is referred to as a magician or an illusionist –

at times due to the nature of his tricks such an individual can also be called a mentalist, conjurer or an escape artist.


For a spectator, watching a magician perform is probably one of the most relaxed forms of entertainment as he just needs to sit back, enjoy the feeling of being enthralled and applaud on being duly impressed.

But for the magician creating an illusion requires a strong collaboration between art and science – something that can only be achieved through lots of perseverance, patience and relentless practice.

Although it is true that many of the magic tricks which are presented nowadays are the proverbial ‘old wine in new bottle’,

the concept of inventing magic is used in how well and convincingly can a old trick be staged so as it is still enjoyed and appreciated by the audience.


The credit of inventing magic truly belongs to the ancient magicians who used this art to impress pharaohs and other members of the royalty and it is this art which has passed down through eons to have eventually culminated into what is known as contemporary magic.

But to state that our present-day magicians have not made any contribution would be wrong because in fact the only reason as to why an ancient trick has endured till today is owing to the creativity of these individuals.

Therefore, this is what inventing or creating magic is all about – creating illusions by using the same old principles so that even though the end result is the same the trick still appears new because of having been conducted differently.

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Inventing Magic

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If you are a magician then you will invariably reach a point of time in your career wherein inventing some magic would be inevitable for the sake of ensuring survival.

In such a situation, bearing in mind a few factors will definitely assist in creating an illusion which is perfect in every way. Some of these factors are –


  • Location of the performance – The big question while inventing magic is where would you be performing? Will it be on the stage, at a birthday party, in a restaurant or in front of people walking down the street? Since this factor by itself influences the choice of magic, it needs to be borne in mind prior to creating illusions.   


  • Attention span – Another seminal factor which determines the success of the show is the length of the illusion – while too short a trick may fail to create an impact, magic that goes on and on beyond the attention span of the audience loses its significance. Hence while inventing magic it is essential to time the performance and match it with the expected attention span of the audience.  


  • Age group – In order to taste success, it is imperative for the magician to be cognizant of the fact that there are only a few tricks which enjoy universal appeal. In accordance with this rule, a wise magician would avoid creating scary illusions when performing in front of kids or the elderly. Likewise, the tone of the show should refrain from being rude as it would set a bad example and send the wrong message.


  • Theme – Whichever illusion is created, it must fit in with the theme of the magic show and add to its consequence.


  • Mobility – Is the illusion stationary or can it be transported from one locale to another? This is yet another consideration which needs plenty of thinking over before the actual performance is scheduled to take place.


In spite of all the criticism, inventing magic has many advantages, some of which are discussed as follows –


  • It lends a unique feel to the performance in the sense that even though it is an old trick the audience still feels that they are seeing it for the first time. For example if the handkerchief and decanter trick is enacted by using a milk pot and a tie, then it obviously seems like something new and different. Another variation of the same is the Orrin’s spider web trick which entails the application of the same principle but in a hitherto unfamiliar manner. 
  • Creating a grand illusion is one of the perfect ways to bring the show to a climax and break it just before the curtains fall.
  • On being incorporated with positive information like trademark colors, name, address, email id or website, an illusion turns out to be one the most positive advertising gimmicks.


There are certain disadvantages as well, which are –


  • Thinking of an illusion which is unique and one-of-a-kind is a task which is easier said than done, not to mention the practice and the nitty-gritty involved.
  • Eventually when it is performed in front of an audience not only should it be pulled perfectly but must have all the elements of surprise which are associated with inventing magic.
  • Likewise, creating illusion is also not a simple task, especially in terms of paraphernalia and everything needs to be checked time and again for the performance to carry on smoothly. Apart from acute embarrassment, it could be dangerous for the audience as well and result in unwanted accidents.


Like everything else in the world has its set of pros and cons, inventing magic is also not a foolproof system and has its strengths and pitfalls. To capitalize on the strengths and minimize on the pitfalls is the final objective and this depends solely on the capabilities of the magician. 

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