Vanish Magic Magazine Vanish magazine 38 - Page 94

ILLUSION BUIDLING YOUR DREAM TAKING YOUR ILLUSION FROM CONCEPT TO COMPLETITION BY DOUG BENNETT A s I write these words the sun has just done its incredible disappearing act. All without the aid of any of the big name magicians working today. Speaking of hard working magicians, you’re out there toiling in the trenches, making a decent living, and things are going pretty well. But your bookings have started to plateau, and you’re looking for ways to get your show out of that rut and take things to the next level, most likely by adding some “big stuff” like the pros on TV are doing. You’re also smart, so you get it that this isn’t about buying some stock illusion that’s already been done to death and adding it to your set list. It’s about creating something new and different that will bring a refreshing touch of originality to your show and hopefully get you more and better bookings. Fortunately, you’ve gotten into the habit of writing down any and all ideas that come to mind, and you actually have one or two illusion concepts that you think just might have legs. If this description fits you, but you’re not sure what to do next, here are 5 questions you need to ask in order to take your idea from concept to completion. Question #1: What’s the trick? Years ago I had the opportu- nity to share some of my illu- sion ideas with Don Wayne, in the hope that one of them might find its way into David Copperfield’s show. As I pitched my last and “best” idea, Don smiled and said politely, “That’s an interesting idea, but what’s the trick?” At the core of every good illusion idea there needs to be a clear magical effect, or “trick”---vanish, appearance, levitation, transposition, etc.- --that will hopefully “wow” your audience. In considering an idea for development you need to pose that question, “What’s the trick?”, not only to yourself but also to 1 or 2 trusted people in your magic circle. With the input of others your idea will hope- fully evolve until it passes the “What’s the trick?” test. When and if it does, you will be ready for question #2. Question #2: Is the trick right for my show? As good as the “trick” may be, you need to ask yourself how well it will fit into your show. Ideally, your new illusion should compliment your performance style while making your show feel richer, bigger, and more complete. If you sense that adding this new illusion to your show will be like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, then you should seriously question whether it’s right for you. Question #3: Who will build my illusion? As great as your illusion idea may be, it will remain an idea unless you can find a builder to transform it into a physical, functional prop. And finding a suitable builder that’s right for your project is going to take some research. A good place to start is to click on the following link which will take you to a fairly current and comprehensive list of the main builders in the magic biz who, for the most part, have good reputations. http://www.magicauction. com/IllusionHotline/Profes- sional_Builders.htm Depending on where you are headquartered, you might find a builder on the list who happens to be in your vicinity. If not, don’t let that discourage you. Over the years I’ve helped a number of clients work with builders located clear across the country, and the results have been great. The key is to find a builder with a good reputation and reach out to them via phone to get a feel for their personality and how they operate. If your prospective builder passes the phone interview, your next step should be to make an appointment to trav- el to their facility and arrange for a tour and a sit down meeting. During this face-to- face meeting, should you feel so inclined, you can present your idea to the builder along with a simple NDA (Non-Dis- closure Agreement) for the builder to sign, stipulating that your idea will remain strictly confidential. In my