Ortiz, Darwin: Strong Magic
©1994, published by Kaufman & Greenberg
Hardcover, 379 pgs
Strong Magic
Image courtesy The Magic Gadget Site

Comment: Darwin Ortiz’s masterpiece for improving the close-up magician’s showmanship. If you have decided to make magic a lifelong hobby or a career, it is in your best interest to pay whatever monetary amount necessary to obtain this book.

Contents:

13 Foreword (Juan Tamariz)
15 Introduction: Showmanship As Technique

15 Prologue: A Little Theory
17 1. Magic as Mystery
17 Memorable Magic
18 The Magical Experience
19 The Challenge Attitude
22 The Puzzle Mentality
23 The Illusion of Impossibility
25 2. Reaching the Emotions
26 Intellectual vs. Emotional Belief
27 3. Narrative Art

Part One: The Effect

30 Chapter One: Clarity
30 The Goal of Clarity
33 Interpretation
33 Selection
35 Easing the Audience’s Burden
37 Clarifying Techniques
50 Chapter Two: Conviction
50 1. The Dynamics of Convictions
50 The Expository Phase
52 Degrees of Conviction
53 Emotional Memory
56 Deteriorating Conviction
58 2. Conditions
64 Identifying Important Conditions
65 The Must-Believe Test
67 The No—Contact Condition
69 Dramatizing Conditions
75 3. Convincers
75 Accidental Convincers
76 Incidental Convincers
77 Why Convincers Work
80 Does Anyone Notice?
82 Weighing Pros and Cons
84 Chapter Three: Suggestion
84 What is Suggestion?
85 Prestige
89 Atmosphere
91 Reinforcement
92 Desire
93 Planting Suggestions
95 Negative Suggestions
97 Chapter Four: Substantive Meaning
97 Gambling
100 Grifting
102 ESP
103 The Occult
104 Magic
106 Money
109 Sex
110 Me
117 Universal Experience
122 Surrealism
126 Subtext
131 The Inherent Meaning of Magic
132 Credibility
135 Chapter Five: Situational Meaning
135 Conflict Against Spectator
137 Conflict Against Machine
138 Conflict Against Imaginary Character
139 Essential Elements
148 Optional Elements
149 Avoiding Pitfalls
158 Conflict Between Spectators
162 Risk
165 Failure
167 Magic Happening to Spectator
171 Chapter Six: Dramatic Structure
171 1. Interest Catchers
171 The Intriguing Statement
172 The Intriguing Question
173 The Spectator Question
174 The Inverted Question
175 The Intriguing Prop
176 The Lead—In Effect
177 2. Progression
177 What is Progression?
179 Intrinsic Progressions
181 Artificial Progressions
182 3. Surprise and Suspense
183 A. Surprise
183 Twist Endings
186 Kicker Endings
192 How much Surprise?
193 B. Suspense
193 What is Suspense?
194 Mystery—Curiosity
202 Conflict/Uncertainty
205 Tension/Anticipation
210 Milking Suspense
215 Combining Suspense Elements
217 4. The Climax
217 End on the Climax
218 Unresolved Suspicions
219 Extended Climaxes
220 Anti—Climaxes
224 Simultaneous Climaxes
226 Underselling the Climax

Part Two: The Character

230 Chapter Seven: The Functions Of Character
230 Character vs. Magic
232 Character and Effect
234 Character and Audience Interest
235 Chapter Eight: Creating The Character
235 Why You Need a Character
236 Finding Your Character
239 The Character Profile
239 Reconciling Character and Daily Life
241 Chapter Nine: Conveying The Character
242 What You Wear
244 What You Say
250 What You Do
252 What You Use
254 Exercises
257 Chapter Ten: Style
257 The Elements of Style
259 Developing a Style
263 Working at Your Style
264 Style as a Conscious Act
265 Considerations Affecting Style
266 Naturalness in Style

Part Three: The Act

270 Chapter Eleven: Structure
271 The Opener
273 Build
274 Closer
276 Chapter Twelve: Unity
276 Characterization
278 Props
278 Theme
282 Motifs
284 Chapter Thirteen: Variety
284 Theme
285 Props
285 Dramatic Structure
287 Chapter Fourteen: The Informal Performance

Part Four: The Audience

291 Chapter Fifteen: Audience Testing
291 Magicians and Consensus Reality
292 The Blind Leading the Blind
293 Commercial Sense
294 Feedback
295 Debriefing
297 Performing Experience
299 Chapter Sixteen: The Time Element
299 1. Timing
299 What is Timing?
300 Timing in Sleight of Hand
302 Timing in Misdirection
302 Timing in Patter
305 Learning Timing
305 2. Pacing
305 What is Pacing?
306 Pacing in Magic
307 Pacing and Patter
312 Pacing and Business
316 Pacing and Audience Participation
318 Striking a Balance
318 3. Tempo
321 Chapter Seventeen: Immediacy
321 Planned Spontaneity
322 Induced Responses
325 Special Effects
327 Audience Interaction
330 Situational Meaning
331 Chapter Eighteen: Attention Control
331 Mapping the Route
333 Tools of Attention Control
335 Directional Misdirection
337 Intensity Misdirection
338 Distractions
340 Chapter Nineteen: Audiences
341 Attention Span
342 Size
346 Magicians
348 Chapter Twenty: Assistants
348 The Importance of Assistants
349 Qualities of a Good Assistant
350 One Assistant or Two?
351 Who Chooses?
352 Choosing an Assistant
353 Getting Them Up
356 Chapter Twenty-One: Hecklers
356 The Psychology of Heckling
358 Theorizing
360 Challenging
361 Grabbing
363 The Challenge Attitude
364 Interrupting
365 Getting Nailed
366 Chapter Twenty-Two: The Unexpected
366 Practice and Rehearsal
368 Screw-Ups
370 Debriefing
371 Unforeseen Distractions

372 Appendix One: Darwin’s Laws
375 Appendix Two: Glossary


Previous