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Unlike static art forms like painting, Bculpture, and photoeraDhv purely expressive art forms like music and dance, magic is a nY™ art form. This simply means that magic tells a 8t0ry I'm not h referring to the fact that some magical presentations use a atorvt accompany the effect. I mean that every effect is itself a storv regardless of the presentation accompanying it. Like any story ,t has a beginning, a middle, and an end. As with any narrative art the audience watches because it wants to find out what will happen next When a spectator watches a magic trick, he is witnessing, and sometimes participating in, a story: the story of what happens in the magic trick.

This means that part of magic presentation technique is narrative technique. It is concerned with considerations of theme, characterization, conflict, plotting, story line, clarity, atmosphere, and dramatic structure. These are the same considerations that are central to all narrative arts: film, theater, fiction, and storytelling. I stress this because, as obvious as the point is, it has received very little attention in magic literature. Therefore, this way of thinking is likely to strike many readers as strange. In developing the concepts explored in this book I'll often employ analogies to other narrative arts and cite principles that are accepted as axiomatic in all other narrative arts, yet hardly recognized in magic. I think that as we go along you'll come to appreciate that the better you understand the principles of narrative art generally the more effective you'll be as a magical entertainer.

While every magic trick tells a story, it's important to realize that the prime goal of magic is not to tell a story but to create a sensation. I mention this because, in addition to Fitzkee's fallacy, another common error is what I call "the theatrical fallacy." Some of the magicians and magical writers most concerned with presentation make the mistake of thinking that the point of a magic effect is to support a dramatic premise, much like theatrical effects or film special effects do. (This, for example, is a flaw in Henning Nelrns' otherwise outstanding Magic and Showmanship. Not surprisingly, Nelms' background was in theater.)

If, however, our fundamental premise is correct that the unique strength of magic is that it gives the audience the experience ot

• . -r „ Jromi oucugui oi magic is uuni> 11. 5»««-^ --------t dramatic confronting the impossible, it follows that the point 0a ar^ ^ presentation is to enhance the magic. The magic is ^

validate a dramatic premise, the dramatic prem.se is use

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