Comedy Magic

(Continued from last month).

Reading back over what I have so far written on the subject of "Comedy Magic", one thing strikes me very forcibly. No matter how excruciatingly funny a thing may be in actual practice, in print, in cold, cold print, it reads so drab and uninteresting that it runs a great risk of being passed by. This argument applies to much in magical reading. Instances are frequent wherein a performer has seen an effect presented and then has freely commented that "the trick didn't read anything like that in the book!"

In describing Comedy Magic the risk of its appearing dull and dreary to the reader is more than twofold. The situation can be hilarious, before an audience, but, in the description, the print is just as cold and impassive. There is, however, a remedy for this, but, unfortunately for the writer, it depends entirely upon the reader and is, almost, entirely out of the author's control.

The remedy is IMAGINATION. In the reading of all magical effects, particularly in the reading of Comedy Magical effects, USE your im agination. Don't just read the text as you would your morning newspaper. Let yourself be carried INTO the situation, imagine the audience there, imagine yourself amongst them. Try to visualise how funny it would be to you if you were there walching the effect. Never mind, for the moment, how it's done (we conjurers worry too much about secrets and too little about effects) you will get to know that later.

Read the effect and then, before going any further, close your eyes, picture the stage, the performer, the action, and the effect it will have upon an audience which has come to be entertained. That is the important ingredient, the effect upon an audience which has come to be entertained. Without imagination, all you will get is the effect upon a blasé conjurer, skimming through the description of a trick, anxious to get to the 'meaty' bit where 'he tells us how it's done'. Possibly too, you will experience great disappointment when you find that the secret lies in a bit of thread or a safety pin and you will have entirely missed the most important thing—THE EFFECT. So, use your imagin-

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