I received a letter some time ago from Tim Wallace, a magician who is legally blind (but is able to see things that are very close to him). Tim wrote to me because he is interested in finding magical material that he might be able to perform for other blind individuals. It's an interesting challenge, don't you think?
I wrote to him telling him about my own experience a few years ago with a blind audience member. While I was appearing at Cafe Royal in Chicago in the early 1990s, a blind young man came in with a group of sighted persons. I didn't realize that he was blind until I joined the group at their table.
What did I perform? First, I performed my Sponge Ball routine. I began by giving the single sponge ball to the blind man so that he could feel it. I then started the routine narrating what was happening. I used the blind assistant for the final stage of the routine, where the spectator discovers twenty-two sponge balls in their hand. My blind helper seemed thoroughly delighted when he slowly opened his hand and began feeling the balls expanding.
I followed the Sponge Ball routine with the Mullica Wallet, again narrating what was happening. Then the Cecil Lyle Paper Hat trick. Here, he was able to feel the papers as well as the finished hat. I made a second, different hat for him.
As I was putting the second hat onto his head, a thought flashed before my mind. I forced a card on one of the sighted persons and then asked my blind assistant whether he thought the selected card was red or black -- kicking him gently under the table with my foot on the appropriate word. He caught on instantly. Needless to say, the sighted people at the table were dumbfounded when he finally revealed the card. We did it several more times (using different card forces!) and the effect on those present became weirder and weirder.
My blind assistant became a Friday night regular at the restaurant. He would come in with different groups of friends and he genuinely seemed to enjoy fooling them when he became the magician who was able to divine their selected playing cards.
When thinking about material to present before non-sighted audiences, we must first make a basic division. The first situation would be one where ONLY blind people are present in the audience. The second performing situation would be one where both sighted and non sighted persons are present. In this second case, obviously, the range of possible effects is greater since those present who are sighted can verify certain things during the performance and keep the proceedings fair and "on the up and up."
Here's my first challenge: perhaps you would like to spend some time thinking about what you would do if you were performing for non sighted (or sighted and non sighted) audiences. If you come up with some good ideas, do send them to Tim Wallace directly. Because of my travel schedule, don't send your thoughts to me; it will only delay things. You can write to Tim Wallace at 3860 N. Electric Avenue, San Bernardino, CA 92405. Or, you can email him at: [email protected].
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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.