The effects in this book have been designed from the inside out. In each case, I began with some concept drawn from nature or metaphysics that I was strongly attracted to. Then, like a magnet invisibly organizing iron filings, the concept acted as a nucleus around which technique, method and devices gathered to produce the form of the effect.
If we apply this perspective to the classic effects of magic, we will find that many of them unconsciously express principles found in nature or archetypal ideas from our imagination. Recognizing the concept at the heart of an effect can add a new depth of understanding and enjoyment to the technical art of magic/mentalism which give form to the concept. It can also increase our appreciation of nature, and the nature of our own collective imagination, from which arise all of the concepts which we recognize and declare to be "Magic!"
Consider that classic of close-up magic, the Matrix Coins. In this effect, coins, which begin spread out on the table, mysteriously gather together under a single card. The effect perfectly illustrates a fundamental natural phenomenon: Every cycle in nature possess a phase in which material is gathered together and concentrated as well as a phase in which material is spread out and dispersed. In the rain cycle for example, water from the ocean disperses, via the sun and wind, all over the world only to fall into streams. Streams gather into rivers, which in turn gather back into the ocean. When we witness an artist like Reed McClintock perform his Matrix effect we see this "coming together and coming apart" as though the coins are indeed moved by some unseen force of nature. Sheer magic.
In mentalism, the organizing/directing principle behind the form of an effect is always very clear. Mentalism invokes the archetypal concepts — be they imaginary or real — of telekinesis, precognition, or clairvoyance. And, watch Max Maven perform his 'Tossed Out Tech" and you will recognize the unmistakable shape and form of telepathy. To me, this clarity of organizing concept is the most appealing aspect of this branch of our art.
Inside-Out is certainly not the only perspective that can be applied to finding/creating magic and mental effects. Simply looking for a cool way of showing off one's dexterity with coins or cards can lead to entertaining and recognizable magic. What adopting the Inside-Out perspective can do is add another dimension to our enjoyment of the magic of nature and the nature of magic.
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