Thursday, 29 December 2011

On Premises 01

Coming up with a premise for a trick can change the impact of a trick drastically. So I play this little game, simply called: "Same trick over and over again". The plot is a coin vanishing in the left hand and then being reproduced. The structure is that the coin is transferred from the right to the left hand three times (two times the condition the audience) and on the third one the coin is gone. Sticking to that plot and that structure there is only room left for premises. So playing that game means I need to make the same trick different each time without violating the plot or structure. Here is what I came up with:

1. Three ways to make a coin go form one hand to the other.
Here the conditioning is part of the premise. "Arc" and "Straight Line" are very easy to understand concepts. And offering a third version to make the distance even shorter has some real world implications. That is why it works well for a not so drunk crowd.

2. The doggy stick story.
This is just great for kids. I've done it many times. It has a "pretend" element, it refers to an outdoor activity and has a funny outcome. Poo jokes are funny for kids.

3. The shrinking coin.
This is my least favorite. But instead of doing this with a coin, do it with a bill. Rolling it up and press it into the fist. When you open it up it will look considerably smaller, because of the wrinkles. So on the third time vanishing the bill - sorry I meant shrinking the bill - so it cannot be seen anymore makes sense. Then reproducing the bill/coin by stretching it is a neat finish.

Each time the same freaking trick seems different. And whenever I create some magic sequences that I like I try to get away with it again, without it being an obvious repeat. This is when a different premise comes in handy. So that makes the game that I play a valuable asset in my creative toolbox.

I chose to tell you this, because I got many questions on that very subject. I give you another example. If you have two coins and toss both of them into then hand any by opening the hand there is only one seen, most magicians would simply say that one has gone. But you could interpret the events in a different way.

1. Both coins could have fused into one
2. One coin is just invisible but still there

In first case it could lead into a nice splitting coins routine. What if you had a hole bunch of coins fused together? Basically it would be a standard coin production sequence, but to the audience it will be a different trick.
In the second case you could go all out picking up the invisible coin, demonstrating how it is still solid, by picking up a whine glass and creating a sound that shouldn't be there, but is there.

Suddenly you have much more opportunities to do certain effects.

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