Well Said: Simon Aronson on Methods


In his latest newsletter (Jan-Feb 2020), Michael Close has just reissued a wonderful interview from 2012 with the late great Simon Aronson and his wife and partner, Ginny. It runs over 19 (!) pages and thus covers a lot of ground—their becoming, their two-person mindreading act, mem deck work, and much more, plus a fine card revelation. I really enjoyed reading it. Highly recommended!

Here are just a few excerpts of Aronson’s thinking which I find worthwhile pondering over for any creator and performer of magic:

On deceptive magic:

I make the assumption that my spectators are thinking people and that they know a lot. Not necessarily that they know a lot about magic, but that they are observant and rational. I don’t have absolutist principles about the way I try to create things, but certainly one guideline that I’ve always used is that whatever the method is, it ought to be counterintuitive. Whatever first thought people might normally have about a possible method, then the actual method ought not follow that same direction.

On combining methods:

I love to combine methods. Sometimes, by accident, people will fall onto the method. But if you have several things going on – a little bit of sleight of hand, a little bit of mathematics, a little bit of a stack, a bit of subtlety, some misdirection – then even if they get one part of it, it’s not enough to discover the whole method.

On complex methods and effects:

I don’t mind complex methods as long as they don’t result in complex effects. It’s like the duck that looks so serene gliding across the water; but under the surface he’s paddling like crazy. My feeling is that magic should be that way.

On fooling scientists:

I think that scientists and engineers have a particular weak spot. They are used to starting their experiments with observable data and work from there. The one thing they are not equipped to do, it’s not in their methodology, is to assume that the data itself has a mind and is trying to fool them.

If you haven’t already, you may want to consider subscribing to Michael’s free newsletter.


Well Said: Roberto Giobbi on “Getting Better”


In his latest “Secret Newsletter”, Roberto states:

I think it is one of the big frauds of our time to believe that one could get better at something by buying things. In my opinion one gets better by doing something differently.

Well said!

By the way, you may want to subscribe to his newsletter here.


Gut gesagt: Teller


Hier einige sehr anregende Zitate von Teller, der kleineren – und eigentlich stillen – Hälfte des berühmten Zauberduos Penn&Teller – exzerpiert aus dem Interview, das Harry Keaton mit ihm geführt hat (siehe magie 1/2020). Lesenswert!

Eine Erklärung eines Zaubertricks besteht aus hässlichen, komplizierten Abläufen. Wir machen das Gleiche wie andere Künstler auch: Wir zeigen das Schöne und verbergen das Hässliche.


Einer meiner Lieblingssätze ist, dass Magie nicht wirklich eine komfortable Kunstform ist. Du sitzt nicht im Publikum und lässt dich von Magie umspülen wie von sanfter Musik. Bei der Zauberei sitzt du immer auf der Stuhlkante: Was geht da gerade vor sich?


Zauberei ist kein Selbstläufer im Fernsehen. Magie ist die ultimative Live-Erfahrung. Du willst es mit eigenen Augen sehen.


Von den Zauberern, die in Fool Us auftreten, sind etwa 75 Prozent richtig gut. Und die anderen 25 Prozent kann man gut aussehen lassen.


The Horst Vegas Magic Chalk Talk (7): Tricks in Magazines

Horst Vegas, self-proclaimed Senior Boy Wonder of Magic and an unfailing Lota Bowl of Wizzdom, shares another of his tinny-tiny Golden Showbiz Rules & Recommendations:

Most trick descriptions in magic magazines make three kinds of people happy: the authors, for seeing their name in print; the editors, for having filled at least two dreaded pages without much ado; and most readers, for thinking „I could have come up with something better (if only I would)!”

Gut gesagt / Words of Wisdom (12): Topas

Zauberhändler haben immer auch etwas von käuflicher Liebe: Die Ware ist wunderbar, aber die Motivation des Verkäufers ist klar.”

Magic dealers always carry an air of negotiable affection: The displayed goods are wonderful, but the seller’s intention is obvious.”

zitiert aus / quoted from Aladin 04/2016, S. 59.