TV Magicians and Their Off The Shelf Tricks

In this post, we break down my favourite Derren Brown routine, and look at why the best magicians are more than happy to put their own take on shop-bought tricks.

TV Magicians and Their Off The Shelf Tricks

This is one of my favourite Derren clips…

I remember watching the routine as a teen and being utterly delighted. I knew the secrets behind the routine because I’d seen all three tricks on the shelf in a magic shop. I was overjoyed and overcome with amazement seeing just how masterfully Derren and his team of writers were able to craft three simple tricks into a brilliantly original five-minute performance.

And the wonderful thing is that Derren, himself, seems utterly gleeful too at the fact that he can skillfully present three off the shelf tricks as though they were designed from the ground up. I’m pretty sure one of the tricks is Big Bang, which you can buy at Alakazam, but I suppose we’ll never know for sure….

I’ve been writing magic television for the past seven years now, which seems insane. Occasionally, a magician will discover my career and begin to groan about TV magicians performing magic that working magicians can’t perform at their gigs too.

If I can’t immediately escape, I try my best to assure them TV magicians are all mostly performing off-the-shelf tricks—and they never believe me.

If anyone needs to worry about how laypeople feel watching live magic vs TV magic—it’s the TV magicians, who make zero money from TV and all their money from corporate gigs and live tours.