Notice we purposely used the word trick in the above title as this golden rule is as wrong as the language. Again, this advice comes from the beginner's book of magic and is meant to help the novice magician when first learning magic. Because many of the simple effects in these books rely on very transparent or self-working methods, the newcomer is cautioned against ever repeating a trick for the same person. This may be good advice for the novice, but certainly not for the advanced magician. Still, many performers carry that belief in their minds and never question it. Like the previous chapter, this golden rule needs some careful examination.
Hopefully, it is our goal to create such strong magic that the normal person is completely taken aback and is overwhelmed by the enormity of our deeds. Is it any wonder that, if this should happen, that person would want to see it again or have someone else see it with him? In this case, the request is a legitimate compliment and is not meant to be malicious. So where does the magician go if he cannot repeat his effect? Does he claim his powers have worn off or the moon has moved from the position he needs to do it again? It is not acceptable to decline someone's sincere request because you don't feel you have the ability to do it again without being caught. Your magic needs to be stronger than that and should be able to hold up to repeat performances.
All the great magicians who ever lived had a few favorite effects they made their reputations with. They repeated these routines over and over again and often for the same people. Their magic was good enough to allow them to do that! That is the problem with this rule. It assumes that the average person will catch onto the magician if he sees the same effect more than once. If magicians buy into that and believe they only need to be good enough to mystify a person once, they and their magic will never move further on. Here is the new rule: The magic you do must be good enough to be repeated!
This problem may be the reason many magicians feel the need to have so much material at their disposal. Since they cannot repeat themselves, they must have a huge repertoire of effects to get them by. The problem is, or course, they do not perfect that many effects and none will really shine. They do not practice and think through the routines with enough vivacity to get them to the point they can bear repeating. This may also be why so much Tv magic has to be doctored to withstand the replay button. In contrast, if you were to study videos of some of earliest television performers, you would see their magic was strong enough to stand up to that kind of scrutiny.
The only logical solution is to make your magic that good. Do not be satisfied with anything less than perfection and choose only those effects that can be repeated if they are flawlessly performed. Remember, if they really can bear repeating, you will only need five or six routines to get you by the whole night. Many, many professionals have had whole careers with little more than that. With the thousands of books available, there is plenty of material to choose from.
Along these same lines we should also mention those effects that are accomplished by a supposed mistake. The simplest might be where the magician purposely drops a coin, goes south with it during the pickup and then vanishes it. This may work fine, but if he is going to repeat the effect, the audience may begin to think of him as a very clumsy magician, indeed.
Another ruse that has seen some print and that has received popularity is a Center Tear routine based on having the spectator print a name in the circle of the paper. When he is done and the paper is refolded, the magician asks if he wrote the name in cursive. When he says he didn't, the magician takes back the paper, rips it up (doing the Center Tear) and gives him a fresh piece to write the name again. It is during his second writing that the magician unfolds the stolen center and reads it. Now this may sound like a very clever way to do the move and it certainly is. The problem comes with repeating the routine. If the climax has the desired effect on the spectator, that person will certainly come back with a friend for you to do it to. (The author does his own Center Tear over fifty times a night!) What does the magician do then? Does he repeat the mistake or use a different method? Doesn't it just make more sense to have a technique which doesn't require such a ruse?
The bottom line is to choose your effects carefully and spare no time or effort to make them into real magic. In addition to being practical, you will get an enormous feeling of accomplishment by achieving that highest goal.
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Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.