Designing with Cause

Creating Effects according to the Real Magic model

As we have discussed, most magic performed by most magicians takes us no further into a dramatic mode than the exercise of will. He clicks his fingers or sprinkles some absurd dust and before you can say, "Don't patronise us, you. unimaginative performer with no histrionic sensibility," a length of unusual white rope has been rent asunder and cleft in twain.

In this situation, no cause to the magical effect is offered, other than the will of the magician. This endows the magician with the role of First Cause, mid therefore he comes to play an omniscient role. Magic-man is god. Which is fine, but we don't believe him. Which is fine, if we don't need to: if we take the whole thing in a tongue-in- cheek way. Very often that will be a healthy and appropriate response, and these effects serve, as I have said previously, to establish the skills of the magician and provide a layer of texture.

But there is that problem of belief, and this is why 1 think that these considerations are immensely practical for the working magician. No intelligent spectator really thinks that you can cause the cards to change identity or turn face-down one at a time through the ancient ritual of esoteric 'twisting.' The same applies to almost all magic presented in this way. The more the effect requires only an exercise of will, the less believable it is. There may still be a moment of magic if the effect is presented skilfully, but that magic will be more akin to transient surprise rather than reverberating, unnerving wonder. (I'm trying to stop saying 'resonant' now so I hope you're comfortable with 'reverberating.') All the audience will know is that something they saw didn't happen, because magic isn't real, If the magician isn't making any effort to address this basic problem and give them space to find it real or something akin to real in saute sense, then the moment of magic will only extend so far. It is here that magic becomes perceived as skilful trickery. The response to this sort of effect is, "Wow~ You're very clever. I don't suppose you can tell us how you did it."

I feel something die inside me when I hear the response, "You're very clever." My cleverness does not speak of a magical realm that I am allowing them to glimpse, it does not speak of an emotional truth that they have learnt for themselves, and it does not speak of art. Occasionally I know that it is given almost in embarrassment: I have had people visibly very moved by some effects and in a fit of resurging Englishness, they have quickly reframed it as something clever and non-threatening to be complimented (and therefore kept at a safe distance). That I can live with. I can always just stare back at them and smile sadly.

At the other end of the speculum, there exists a type of magic that sacrifices all for some kind of message. It has run ahead to the end of the drama and is concerned only with the audience's understanding of the piece's dramatic vision. It seeks to deliver a communication, and the effect will work, usually metaphorically, to impart that.

Immediately we are in a very different type of magic from those that depend merely on a unilateral declaration of will, for now we are looking at magic with a point. Gospel magic and the type of trade- show magic that is designed to promote a concept or product are linked by their focus on imparting a message. I do not warm to either of these presentational angles, but once we start looking at final meanings, it is clear that we are giving the magic room to expand. When Darwin Ortiz begins a set with "Let me show you why you should never play cards with strangers," he is setting up a very simple contextual frame for the effects that follow to endow them with meaning. This is framing the performance with meaning:

when he ends with the similar words, "and that's why you should never play cards with strangers," he has ensured that the spectators perceive a point to what he has done. And there is new learning for the spectators, for they now know to be more careful when around unfamiliar card players.

There are plenty of message-heavy effects given by writers most concerned with darkly laden presentations. Mysterious metaphorical tales are wrought and played out through the tearing and restoring of cards, the linking of objects and the familiar phenomena of magic., all of which have their imagined primal meanings revealed by solenm presentation. However, I am sceptical. As I have said, there is no essence in magic to be revealed, only what the magician communicates about his art. A performer can become very involved in what he perceives to be the symbolic value of his plots, and miss the fact that in actual performance, the communication of meaning becomes ludicrously disproportionate to the effect. This is the other end of the extreme from magic that is trivialised and performed meaninglessly and without style: instead we have magic that is often performed pretentiously and with a style generally inappropriate and embarrassing.

Where the incorporation of meaning is handled sensitively and with a clear sense of what actually works, then we will have a piece of magic that points somewhere and speaks of the vision of the performer. I am not concerned here with communicating a wider social, political or spiritual vision in my magic. In my model for understanding powerful magical performance, the message is the performance itself. The vision is, as I have mentioned, a deftly- wrought mixture of character, material and dramatic finesse to provide a deeply affecting show. I aim to achieve that, and am sometimes happy with the results. In our model, it is still important that the magic connect with the outside world and have meaning in the lives of the spectator. I would like it to connect with life and, take root, but as magic, not as a tract.

The main bulk of drama, however, is concerned with struggle and conflict resolution. Some magic does wander into this area, but rarely commits at any real level. The declaration of will begins the drama, the message and learning ends it, but this is where tension and empathy are most generated. In magic this need not be grand, but it stands a far greater chance of being interesting.

The traditional Ambitious card eflect, where the card is placed repeatedly in the centre and jumps to the top at the will of the performer, has not reached that conflict stage. The performer may patter ineffectually about ambition, but such a plot device has no meaning to offer, and is clearly a presentational excuse for performing a series of sleights. In fact, it is a mere nod in the direction of meaningful context. (Some performers, trying to make it more 'meaningful,' might attempt to relate the movement of the card to some aspect of life — like ambition, or, God shield us from this rubbish, the 'power of a woman' when performed with a Queen. We have all seen such nonsense. The reason why these well-intentioned presentations fail is that there is no conflict or challenge for the performer.) As part of the texture of a long set, such skill-displays may be perfectly valid, as I have said. But there is no meaning to the effect as classically performed. Neither is there any conflict or difficulty on the part of the performer. It refuses to be human, or dramatically engaging. A twist in plot may allow the imaginative performer to include this. How would it be if the aim of the magician were to put the card in the middle?

Imagine this: card number one is selected and signed by spectator one, and returned to the pack. Card number two is chosen, sight unseeu, by spectator two and left on the table in front of her. "You have a one on fifty-two chance of removing the signed card... if you have, the next part won't work." The magician then announces his attn to make the signed card jump to the top of the deck. A click of the famous fingers, and it is done. It is shown to be on the top. 'Thank you, now I shall try the same with the second card," he says, casually placing the first card back in the centre of the deck. "At the moment, the top card is the —■ he begins, but as he tnrns over the top card, we see again the signed card. "I thought I put that back in the middle," he mumbles, and loses it again in the deck. But suddenly it has returned to the top. He clearly does not understand why, and the effect is eerie. He can't seem to shift it from its place. Then he relaxes, giving up.. - but now it has disappeared altogether.

It doesn't seem to be in the pack. Nor in any pockets. "Did you actually see it?" he asks the group. They reply in the affirmative. "I think we were all just expecting to see it. I have a feeling...it wasn't there at all... this has happened to me before and he reaches across to spectator 2's card, still face-down, and turns it over. It was the signed card all along, untouched on the table.

A few ambitious moves, and a switch at the end, and we have a real piece of weirdness. Like a good 'sucker' effect, it allows the sense of 'something has gone wrong,' but unlike a sucker effect, the spectators don't feel like suckers. What we would have there is a situation where the magician is caught out by his own trick. He attempts to control change in the world (by whimsically making a card jump to the top of the deck, which is not interesting), but the world has caught him out: it can't be done, because the card in question is not in the deck. Yet we are toying with a magical realm: a ghost of the card appears in its place, or maybe the perceptual manipulation is so convincing that we just think we have seen a card that was not there.

In this effect, the magician loses control. This would be anathema to the average magician, but most average magicians would find it hard to act the part convincingly to make it work theatrically. In our model for understanding magic though, the magician is not God: he is a human figure with a link to the magical realm, and sometimes that link must cause him suffering. Loss of control becomes a dramatic point and bolsters the appreciation of the magic. much like a juggler purposefully dropping a ball or two, If our magic is to be plausible, we must remind them that it is not simply a case of clicking fingers or making coins travel from hand to hand. There is investment, and therefore risk.

Again, I must repeat: this is all to provide texture. One effect in a set where the magician loses control of the situation in this way would suffice. This alternative handling of the ambitious plot is given as an example of turning around a dramatically unsound narrative and creating an engaging point of weirdness: it is not a formula for every trick. As we think now about forming effects, I cannot emphasise enough that it would be far too heavy~handed to make every effect pregnant with drama or conflict, lest the whole idea miscarry and your audience simply cannot swallow the ensuing mess. (An unfortunate metaphor perhaps, but you get my point). But there are certain ideas that are worth bearing in mind as effects are formed, which can colour the routines and raise the whole to a higher level.

'Magic' is about influence. Magical powers are not about end results, but about the endowment of the individual with gifts, and the method by which he can 'magically' achieve his aims. The change in the world (the turning into a frog, the appearance of the rabbit) is the result of the magic. it is not the magic itself.

Again. The magic is the process, it is what causes the effect. The home of magic is between the declaration of will (I choose to have this card change) and the result of that declaration (the card has changed). How exactly the magician's will becomes reality is where the magic happens. The magic is the causr' of the effect, the effect is just the part that we see.

if it seems that I am making an obscure point, let me expand. Returning to Teller's words and our discussion at the start of this book, one reason why magic is generally such bad theatre is that it deals only with effect, and ignores cause. How the card changed does not interest the magician, only that it did. Yet the age-old response from the spectator is"how did you do that?" — a cry for causal reasoning. The magician, missing the woods for the trees, thinks only of a series of effects. The cry of the audience is a clue to what his concern should be: the placing of the magic at the level of cause. In this way, a series of isolated routines (effects) becomes connected by an underlying connection of magical cause. This is not merely to silence the question of 'how,' for it is unrealistic to never expect it to be asked, but it creates a feeling that the 'how' has been accommodated. In doing so, the magic has become plausible.

Let me illustrate this by returning to the concrete example of that floating ring. When a bill is floated, what is the cause of it floating? Trickery is the irrimediate answer. When the ring floats, the spectator is concentrating on moving the ball of light inside of her. The ring and the emotion are linked by sentimental association. The movement of the ring is a metaphor for the spread of the feeling, and its ascension is an instruction to be delighted. There is a reason, suggested by the whole theatre of the thing, how and why the ring moves. There is cause and effect.

Now let me move a stage further. The cause and effect are not of this world: they follow according to the logic of the magical realm to which we, as magicians, have a connection. So if we specify the cause-and-effect in human terms, such as a New-Agey energy thing, such as -And as you concentrate, the energy will travel down your arm and cause the ring to move," then it ceases to be magical. It becomes human, and without wonder. The presentation that I gave for the ring effect allows for the connection between the spectator's mental actions and the movement of the ring to be understood emotionally and unconsciously.

This way, cause is given without the wonder dying a death, which can so often happen in mentalisrn. The nature of most mentalism, as I have mentioned, is generally to answer questions, not raise them. "I have this skill X and I use this to achieve these results. This is how 1 do it." Whether X is a psychic ability or finely-tuned inter-personal skills, the answer is given. The agenda of the mentalist is normally different in this way to the magician, who should create wonder, not merely a marvelling at his own skills. (And leaving the question Psychic or Fraud? open is a poor substitute for real wonder. Here, the performer is merely pushing the audience into a polemic, and undercutting much of the power of his performance).

Cause by metaphor, however, as in the case of the ring, is a genuinely magical conceit. It is open-ended, wondrous, and it presumes intelligence on the part of your audience rather than patronises them.

As magic stands, the question of 'how' is an embarrassment to the performer. It will seem sacrilegious to many to even be writing about it. To him, concentrating on the effect only, the question of the actual exercise of magic is literally waved away with a wand. Dealer effects that produce a flash of light or a puff of smoke on command still only highlight the visible effect, they offer no clue as to the power that caused the change. Fhat must be left to the performer to see if he can deal with this question in his routining, his approach and style, so that he can produce magic that shimmers in three dimensions, deeper and more wondrous than the thin sliver of interest caused by the appearance of clever manipulation.

Sometimes an existing effect can be taken and these ideas worked into the presentation. Often such an effect will have to be changed to facilitate meaning and the possibility of depth. A fingerring appearing on a key-fob, for example, has little meaning. It's a neat trick, but difficult to think what its appearance there could resolve, other than the question of to where the ring has disappeared. But to make it resolve something meaningful would be tough. Therefore many performers work with a borrowed key, which starts to make more sense. Keys are a little cold as items, unlike the sentimental associations of jewellery, but they may serve as associations for home, security and so on. Red and black cards separating are not inherently interesting, but the idea of harmony being restored, and balance being redressed, are.

For me, as I sit in my quilted silk dressing-gown at the harpsichord and dream up new effects to the sweet rapture of the Goldberg Variations (I'm sure we'd both agree that the Ginone alla Term of the ninth variation is particularly conducive to the stirring of the Muse), this lihinking is fundamental to the earliest stages of the creative process. I tend to begin with a feeling of how magic might emanate. It is not as cold as logic, but there is the question of 'how' before there is the question of 'what.' Not 'how' in terms of actual method, for this is the very last thing to be looked at, but 'how' in the magical sense. Perhaps a metaphor comes to mind. In the stories and novels of Kafka we see how he begins with a metaphor: the impenetrable castle, the over-arching world of the Law, the notion of one's sins being carved upon one's skin, his being a 'parasite' in the eyes of his father. These metaphors are realised in his stories, each is played out literally and develops the feeling of myth, and each resonates with an inner congruity that makes it whole and somehow holy. We lee! the metaphor, sense the metaphysics in his stories, and do not question their logic or absurdity.

Such is the power of metaphor. A popular and effective communication tool favoured by those that delight in modem therapies is to tell, say, a story that mirrors the condition of the patient (sorry, client) and offers an idea that may create powerful change for her. But because it is offered indirectly, as if the therapist is talking of other things, the client can take only what is useful and disregard what is irrelevant. In making the connection with her own plight herself, she will in many cases accept the message at a deeper level than if she was just told what was good for her (which she may be defensive about). For example, I was sat with a friend-of a-friend in my home who had half of his right little finger missing. (I mention that he was not a direct friend, for I would hate you to think that I would keep regular company with spastics.) I noticed that he was self-conscious about it, and had developed a number of efficient techniques for keeping it hidden, I mentioned it late in our conversation, and asked him how it had happened. Simon (for it was he) told me that he has blown it off in a chemistry experiment at school when he was fifteen. I expressed how cool that was. Did it make him self-conscious? Yes, especially around women that he liked.

This seemed a nice opportunity for a 'metaphorical intervention' as some would have it. I told him how it reminded me of an (imaginary) student I had known in my first year at University, also called Simon. (The real Simon was a student.) He had two lingers that were heavily webbed after some horrific birth defect. I laughed and said how he would use the anomaly to get pretty girls into bed. lie would sit them down and get into conversation, and talk to them about having babies and mothering. I mentioned to the real Simon how he would elicit in them 'mothering' states by choosing his words carefully and then would anchor the state to the idea of hands. he'd talk of babies' hands, of tiny fingers grasping adult ones, and so on. He would tell them of his own mother, and of the problems she met during pregnancy, and he would do so in such a way that aroused their sympathy arid feminine propensities even more. Then, at the right moment, he would show his hand, and the girl in question would see it, by now, in the way he desired. I spoke of how it became a powerful seductive technique, and how he had several of the rugby-playing lads faking little weird things on themselves to try and achieve the same success.

Now, I was making it all up, and whether or not the techniques I was saying that this imaginary Simon used would always reliably work was irrelevant. The point was to reverse this chap's presumption that his missing demi-finger was a big minus point when it came to athacting the opposite genital group. And it worked. I spoke to him about it a few weeks later and he told me that the story I had told about my friend had made him see it in a whole new light.

I acted, of course, surprised.

The intervention was effective because I allowed him to make the connections for himself. In a magical presentation, a similar process will occur. There is a fondness for metaphor amongst magicians concerned with serious presentations for magic: Burger and Neale's book Magic and Meaning talks much about this. However, as I have said, a magical routine might be loaded with metaphor and mean very little to anybody. if one is to use this type of structure, one must begin with an idea that will connect with the spectators and be appropriate for performance: i.e. it must be absorbing and magical.

In the ring effect, the ring moves as a visual metaphor for the imaginary processes of the spectator. As she steps back into a lovely memory and learns to recreate that leeling and in doing so attach it to the ring as a powerful trigger, the ring acts the whole thing out in sympathy. "Your heart soars and your spirit rises" is a metaphor) and the ring caries out the action in reality.

For a while, I used a similar process with the Oil and Water routine that I have referred to before. It is a great routine, and I very much say so myself, but like the 'Ambitious Card,' it has no meaning beyond a display of skill and trickery. So I used the following idea. I asked if anyone had heard of the inatsu. 1 explained that in magic, as one moves away "from the s1eight~oi-hand end of things" to "what magic's really about," one will often learn a lot of martial arts skills in the process. If you say this with a straight face after a bunch of mirtd-reading and watch-stopping effects, they will believe you. The matsu is the process that the martial artist goes through to put himself in a calm and balanced state, with the confusion of the day washed out of him. A very useful thing to be able to do, I ventured, and there would always be agreement from the group. The trick would begin to form: I would ta& about how confusion is a piling up of different ideas... ~'s I dealt reds and blacks into an alternating, face-up pile. Then I would talk about how the artists would create their state, and how in that state, nothing appears to be confused... and the cards would now have separated. This time the spectators would do it: I would have the principal spectator alternate the cards and take four in each hand. Then she would close her eyes and enter a relaxed state through my suggestion. Upon opening her eyes, she would be holding all the reds in one hand and the blacks in the other. For a finale, I would mix the cards, have her enter the state with her eyes open, and separate the cards face-down as she felt appropriate into two piles. Upon checking, she would have perfectly separated the colours. For a finale, they would spring back together into alternating order, which had always been my climax. It didn't sit well with the story but was a real punch of an ending. This bothered me, but the real issue was that I found the story too sickly- sweet. What worked well with the ring was too much for an 'Oil and Water.' However, if you are more given to such things, you may wish to consider the idea.

The context I now use to present the effect is as follows: I explain that I have been a magician for ten years or so and learnt by setting myself challenges and practising until I could achieve them invisibly.

At that age, I continue, I believed it to be about sleight-of-hand and deceiving the eye, and it took me many years to realise that that was not what magic is really about. But one of the first tests I set myself was as follows: I remove four red and four black cards and have a spectator place them in a face-up pile so that the colours alternate. He takes half the pile in each hand, and I place my hands over his. I explain that my task is to separate the colours in his hands without him feeling a thing. I ask him to choose which colour he would like to remain in each hand. "Seriously, this Lakes about three years to do perfectly," I add, and give his hands a gentle squeeze. The cards are shown to have separated.

"After some years I came to realise that magic had to become something intuitive rather than physical... so let me show you what you can achieve without any sleight-of-hand knowledge." 1 offer him the chance by something herself, as I shuffle the cards. I place them in a face-down row and have him pull out all the ones he feels are of the same colour. He does so, and the results are perfect. He takes the piles of both colours and I have him place them together for a moment... and in an instant they reassemble into their original alternated position in him hands. Big finish.

This is far more light-hearted, and carries with it a slightly disarming message that yes, sleight-of-hand exists, but no matter how well it's done, it's not what magic's really about, and that what I will be doing cannot be explained by such things. It's still a card trick, and I don't very often perform it for it still strikes me as cold. But it now has a lot more interest to it than rubbish about the colours having different weights. There is nothing charmingly whimsical about the weight of printing ink, and something definitely patronising about selling that idea to your audience. Again, that embarrassed nod towards the notion of cause. That's not what magical suspension of disbelief is about. Such nonsense asks for a willed suspension, rather than bypassing critical faculties and being directly affecting.

This improved handling is no longer a metaphorical one. The rnatsu presentation was, but it was flawed and cluttered, and rather trite for my tastes. Both deal with the issue of cause, and the issue of 'how' is abundantly covered. In the new 'Oil and Water,' however, the openendedness of the answer to 'how' is designed to gently challenge the spectator's ideas as to how magic is achieved. It would work if performed prior to a metaphorical piece such as the ring levitation, but would be crippling if performed afterwards: once this Oil arid Water has taken people beyond the expectation of mere sleight-of- hand trickery, the spectators have been prepared for more resonant pieces. To return to the theme of sleight-of-hand (if only to refute it) after a stronger metaphorical piece would be horrendous. Placed in the correct order, the routines that make up the set can carry the spectators to a higher level of appreciation, which gives some point to their journey.

Rather than beginning with a metaphor, I often find that a pleasing image forms and turns in my mind and an effect is built from this entirely aesthetic starting point. In Pure Effect I give details for the Figaro Transfer. This is a simple, almost-at-fingertips transfer of a card from the right hand to the left which exchanges the card simultaneously. The cards remain backs towards the audience, not parallel to the table: therefore a continuous clear view of the 'card' is offered throughout. When I first played with this move to see where it would take me, I saw an opportunity for a very clean torn-and- restored effect. A picture card would be signed, and as both hands approached each other to tear the card (kept face towards the audience) the transfer move would be made a split second before the tear. The palmed selection in the right could be retained, and the duplicate torn. The card could then be restored in whatever way might appeaL After the restoration, I had the switched-out pieces lapped. It occurred to me that if I palmed the pieces in my left hand as the restored card was displayed in the right, I could repeat the same exchange movement as I brought my hands together for a moment, snapping the card into Tenlcai in the right hand (thus vanishing it) and releasing the pieces simultaneously from the left. The effect would be that the restored card could not hold itself and had separated again- I showed this to a few friends, and the consensus was that the illusion was utterly convincing As the pieces fluttered to the table, the eyes dropped from the hand that palmed the card to the table, and I relaxed back, lapping the card as I blew the pieces into the air.

There was no doubt that it worked, but I had no interest in performing a torn and restored effect. I dislike anyone even signing my playing cards, as I like to give them a sense of importance in performance. The act of tearing the card is something I find ugly. and restorations unconvincing. But the transformation! It was beautiful. Eventually I hit upon the idea of rose petals. I could hold a card at fingertips and have it dissolve into beautiful blood-red rose petals. Far more beautiful.

Why would a card change into petals? It clearly had to be the climax of an effect, so somehow the notion of a rose had to creep into the presentation. A simple enough idea would be to have a card selected, which would transform in this way and 're~appear' by means of a duplicate in the floral centrepiece on the table. The idea of sticking a card in such an arrangement without being seen appealed, but as these things are right in the centre of the table, it seemed difficult at best. Far more beautiful, I thought, to incorporate the metaphorical idea and have the rose as a mental image, which becomes real at the end. I returned to the effect 'Zamiel's Card,' given in the same volume, and changed the wording. The routine is now as follows:

A deck of cards is spread on the table from the last effect. "1 first began experimenting with magic at the age of six, when I saw a street-performer do something that we would probably dismiss nowadays as trite: he produced a rose out of thin air and handed it to a lady. As a sensitive child, I thought this the most beautiful thing imaginable. I practised for weeks to achieve the same effect, having it in mind to woo my sweetheart at school, the then Debbie Boon, almost ten and something of a fox. I practised pulling a rose from my sleeve, for I had been told how it was done, determined to get it just right before approaching her, Eventually the day came and 1 was ready... I found her on the playground and whipped the dishevelled flower from my sleeve. Thorns caught my wrist, and petals fell to the floor, and she turned back to her friends and laughed. I dropped the rose and ran away, and cried under the climbing frames until English. It wasn't until after school that she came and found me, clutching the petals in her hand, and gave me a large kiss full on the lips.

"And that's how it began. Of course at that age I didn't really know what a deck of cards consisted of —■ (I look at the spread cards and gather them up), -—all I had was the imagination of a six-year old — (we look again and the cards have vanished. Big gasp from the audience.)

"So can I ask you to think of one card that you can see?" (I fart the imaginary deck for a mental selection). "Thank you. Now perhaps you would cut the deck a few times and I shall at-tempt to find your card." (I reach over to the imaginary deck and remove a real card from the top, back towards the audience. I look at it, pass it to my left hand (executing the Figaro Transfer) and place it in my pocket. I reach over and pull off another. And another, and a whole series of cards going one at a time into my pocket. Eventually I stop on one card, which I hold face towards me.) "What was the card you had in mind?" "The Two of Heart~.""The Two of Hearts - two hearts — I suppose... the dassic card of love." (I turn the card around. It can be seen to be the correct card for a moment, but then dissolves into rose petals, which are blown across the table.)

It is a sweet routine, and again, the impact of the finale is drawn from an emotional meaning, which the audience finds for itseff. The cause of the transformation is clear at a symbolic level, and speaks for itself without needing to be spelt out.

There cart be no formula for creating a little artwork, and it would be ridiculous to try and give one, even though I am setting out this model as I see it. hut one thing is clear to me: in the same way that we learn to move away from starting the creative process in magic with questions of method and to begin with effect, so too we should learn to move beyond the local effect and allow ourselves to sometimes begin with something more abstract, more feeling-based. Where this leads to the notion of a specific effect, that effect will encompass a wider vision and communicate something more resonant than the trick itself, which is our aim.

Of course inspiration will come from all quarters, and sometimes it will be a neat new move or a question of method which moves us. But if we cannot then look deeper than those, then we will present, at best, elegantly performed tricks. These have their place, and add texture to routines, but iii my mind they do not entirely suffice.

There are no formulas because anything that qualifies as art must be created from scratch. All we can do is train our sensitivities, much like an actor develops his emotional abilities or a gourmet his palate. With this sensitivity to drama, to meaning, to structure, beauty and the issue of cause, we can then draw inspiration from anywhere. And of course we spend a lifetime developing that ability. The particular way that these abstract notions come together for us mdividually — and what we reject or insist on as having importance — will shape our individual vision, and therefore the way that we design our routines.

Friendly Persuasion

Friendly Persuasion

To do this successfully you need to build a clear path of action by using tools if necessary. These tools would be facts, evidence and stories which you know they can relate to. Plus you always want to have their best interests at heart, in other words, you know what is good for them

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