t'vely. your magic might benefit more from an atmosphere of ,\lterna J"- ^'ere unseen forces really can affect human affairs. What the occu Zone atmosphere where the laws of reality might about asjieWC(j at any moment and the most familiar matters take on become ¿jmengi0n? Perhaps you want to create a Sting-like an a I6/1ere where card sharks with superhuman skill gather to bend at»fP of chanco to their will and fleece the unwary in the process. ^ can decide what atmosphere your magic will best thrive in. Ad you can only decide after studying your own magic carefully.

you've determined your goal, you have a variety of tools to help reach it. One of the most effective is the props you use. Every yoU kflS certain connotations: comical, whimsical, glamorous, exotic, P1°sterious, threatening, etc. The simplest way to determine those Annotations is to ask yourself the question: what kind of person would be likely to employ this prop? (If the answer is no sane person except a magician would ever use it, it's probably best to eliminate it.) An even more important tool is your words. They can generate (or destroy) atmosphere in two ways. First, the language itself may carry connotations. Are you using technical terms associated with a certain profession or field of study? The other important aspect of words is that they can create imagery through metaphors, descriptions, or allusions. Your words can create pictures in your audience's mind. Make them pictures that produce the atmosphere you want. The themes you choose for your effects can also contribute strongly to the atmosphere. Many effects can be cloaked in a variety of different themes according to your preference. Themes dealing with ESP. poltergeist, dreams, gambling, etc. are very evocative and can set a certain tone for the entire performance.

Finally, setting is one of the most important elements in creating atmosphere. Unfortunately, as a close-up magician, you'll seldom have much control over the setting in which you're performing. However, through the use of story patter you can evoke whatever setting is most favorable to the atmosphere you want to create. I won't go into detail on this topic since we'll be exploring it later in the discussion on story presentations. For the present, just keep in the back of your mind the realization that you can transport your audience to any setting you wish on the face of this earth (or elsewhere) by means of a good story effect.


Jhe fairy tale of "The Emperor's New Clothes" is a classic example of uggestion through reinforcement. Although the emperor was naked,

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