Conflict and Complications in Magic


For the magic student:

I was talking with some guys on the Magic Café about conflict and complications in magic routines.

Every magic trick is like a little play, with the magician as the Protagonist, and the assisting spectator as the Antagonist.

The magician has a card chosen, the spectator wants to put it back anywhere he wants, or otherwise creates Conflict.

The magician wins, creating Resolution.

Along the way are complications.

This is how a routine is developed–by filling in the details of plot and character. Conflict and complications are the easiest ways to enlarge on the plot.

If you ask someone to take a card, and they want to put it back some place different than you suggested, this is a great moment of conflict that can be manipulated into the routine and provide engagement and emotion.

Whenever there is an emotional exchange between the performer and his spectator assistant the audience is galvanized; what is going to happen? Nothing engages interest as well as conflict and emotional drama.

The more the magician can express surprise, worry, slyness, anger or joy, and the more he can set his little play us to make the spectator respond with emotion, the more fun and exciting the presentation.

The magician should seek out such complications and use them to add to the interest level of his little drama:

 You can watch the whole routine here:

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About Pop Haydn

I am not originally from the 21st Century myself, but have been stuck here by accident--not entirely my fault--with a bunch of other maroons from another very different time and place... Nevertheless, my companions and I love it here and just like everyone else we are just trying to get by in this exciting and progressive era. With a variety show of steampunk-oriented magic, comedy and music, Pop's company entertains and sells a few bottles of Amazing Miracle Oil, Wonder Elixer, or Magnetized Water.

Posted on January 13, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. This and your level of respect and pride when you you say ‘notarized’ are always two of my favorite parts of your card to wallet. Thanks for sharing, Pop. Hopefully I’ll get an opportunity to see you live sometime.

    Liked by 1 person

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