Tricks & Ideas (5): Clear Magic

With many laymen assuming that the bigger part of magic’s secrets lies within suspicious boxes, hidden mechanism, black art and special lighting, I feel it is an interesting concept to present certain magic effects as „clearly“ as possible (pun intended). Think of objects appearing or disappearing in crystal-clear boxes, coins through glass table or „Clearly Impossible“, Jonathan Pendragon’s spectacular sawing of a lady, etc.

On his fine blog (in English and German; login required), Alexander de Cova has recently announced his version of a clear cups & balls routine which he will premier in his lecture tour through Germany and Austria this fall. I am really looking forward to his clever thinking on this. Other clear routines with the cups & balls that come to mind are the ones by Penn & Teller, Jason Latimer and Armando Lucero.

By the way, Alexander recommends using clear tumblers made of polycarbonate now instead of real drinking glasses. These are light-weight, almost unbreakable, easy to carry and easy to drill. (The sound may be a bit flat, though.)

Now clear your mind – what can you come up with?


Find more tricks & ideas here.


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FISM Leftovers & Ballyhoo

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I am happy to report that not all rumours that had spread before and around FISM 2015 in Rimini carried a grain of truth in them. As it turned out,

  • FISM did not attract more pickpockets than attendants.
  • The congress bag did not contain the card trick “Rimini Twins” by one Carlo Fulvo.
  • YouTube hotshots veterans Davino Penndetta and Grigio Pettini were not seen pitching a new card trick called “Convolution” that either ends with a less than stellar card-bend device or a color-changing dog shell.
  • FISM officers did not introduce new categories into the competition, although some contestants seemed to have speculated for high scores in “Electronic Mentalism”, “Comedy Magic Without Laughs”, and “Time-Worn Classics” (= magic dealers’ tricks performed with original patter).
  • The jury thankfully refused to honor Shaum Quarqhfar with a “Longer than Lifetime Special Award” in his suggested new category of “Cramming the most magic trophies into pictures and texts”. Never one to miss a beat, he took the stage in the closing ceremony and awarded himself a Presidential Citation for, umm, being there and being great.

From the Department of Deplorable Corrections:

  1. The official English program had announced great lectures by Vitello Tonnato, Al Forno, and Pinot Grigio on Wednesday before the Italian buffet with Armando Lucero, Spirencio del Fiasco and lots of Silvan. The translator regrets the confusion he caused.
  2. Semi-Officials corrected their claim of “Best FISM ever” and pointed out that Giovanni, the printer, had unfortunately dropped some words. It should have read “Best FISM Italy 2015 ever”. They are sorry for any inconvenience misconceptions this claim may have caused.

Afterthought I: Some still call FISM the alleged “Olympics” of Magic. If they only had better athletes and more heats before the finals!


Afterthought II: If FISM 2015 in Italy was “the best ever”, I never want to talk to anybody who has attended the worst.