Thursday, May 13, 2010

In Search For A Method

How does a magician choose the best method for any magic effect?

I got a few hints:

1. Choose the method which looks the most like you don't do anything.
2. Choose the method which is hidden within a natural gesture or action.
3. If the best method to achieve the desired magic effect is the hardest one of the few you got, too bad, then you gotta practise that method.
4. If there are two ways to achieve the magic effect, and one needs a gimmick while the other one just relies on sleight of hand, but both look the same, then by all means choose the ungimmicked method. (Because that way you don't have to rely on a gimmick that might fail or break)
5. If the gaffed method looks better (see #1) than the sleight of hand method then choose the gimmick.

Magicians tend to be lazy like any other person and most often go for the most direct method to achieve the magic effect. That can be a downfall. Because when a lay person tries to figure out how a magic effect was accomplished he will also go for the most direct method, ending up in a "too perfect"-like scenario.

That means in terms of searching for the most deceptive method we need to think different.

Here is an example: If you have seven keys and a pad lock and you want the magic effect to be that any key is chosen and it will unlock the pad lock while the remaining keys won't fit, then it might feel right to find a good method of switching the chosen key for the "right" key.

But this is a bad construction, as a switch of the keys will be the most direct method. And therefore the audience will think of the same thing, ergo will look for it. And if you really switch out the key it means you would have to choose a method to do it. And every method has advantages and also disadvantages. This could result in having to pick up the key once the spectator has chosen the key. It might result in you having to open the lock instead of the spectator doing it. Or you could force the key, which undercuts the "free choice" aspect that is desired with a magic effect like this.

So thinking different is "key" here. Instead of switching the key, switching the pad lock might be a solution. it is not the most direct path of thought, ergo will not be immediately a spectator's assumption of how it is done. Switching the pad lock allows for a free choice of the keys and it also gets rid of the need to switch the key (all keys are the same) after the choice is made.

Now all we need to find is a good method of switching the pad lock. But since there is much less heat on the lock even a bolder method will work.

I really hope my tips actually help you a tiny bit, choosing the best method to achieve a desired magic effect.

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