How Great Magicians Make Magic Last

Nathan Wilson's Advice for Magicians

Hobbyist magician illustration

I’m not the first person to identify that magic has a serious flaw. The late Max Maven referred to it as the fragility of mystery.

Basically, magic can’t last because the longer it lasts, the more chance there is for the mystery to fall apart. So, while the moment can’t last, I believe we can’t try to stretch that moment out as far as we can. I think most of us at least want to try to do that.

So, I have identified a few different ways to do that. While they are not perfect or easy to implement, I believe they are worth the effort. Today, I want to talk about the one thing that has made the biggest difference, and that is my approach to a big, clear trick.

A Big Clear Trick

I was at my friend's birthday party, and I showed her this trick I had been working on. It got a great reaction, and I felt very proud. That was until a few weeks later when I heard her attempt to retell it. The details were muddled, and she kind of forgot the plot. But she ended this attempted story with the phrase, “Just trust me, it was amazing.” Since that day back in 2015, I’ve been obsessed with magic that can be retold in simple stories. 

After reading a book called The Power of Moments, I realized that for our magic to be memorable, it needs to be very clear and feel very big. Because we aren't just performing for our friends - we are, in a weird way, performing for their future selves. So we want to make the details clear, and we want the effect to feel truly impossible!

This post is for magicians only

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