In the course of writing TSoM, I realised: this thing’s about magicians, so there should probably be some magic in it. Yes, I am that smart.
The key to me was not just throwing in random tricks at random points. TSoM isn’t a musical, where people break out into song at the most illogical or inopportune points. (‘Hey, Maria! Your boyfriend just stabbed my boyfriend! Want to hear a song about it? Here it goes.’)
TSoM also isn’t a magic show. It tells a story, so it was important to me to find effects that fit into that story. They would fit thematically if at all possible, but at the very least be closely linked to everything else that was going on. That line between creative-nonfiction-narrative and deception could blur, but it couldn’t completely disappear. Far more difficult than I had first imagined.
What I’ve come up with is the end result of a lot of research. The earliest book I went to for ideas was written in 1876 (Professor Hoffmann’s Modern Magic). The most recent is probably 2011’s A Book in English by Woody Aragón. In between were many, many others. Not to mention all the DVDs (even though I just did).
In the end, I like to think the research paid off. This work has taken the most effort with the script, but I’m relatively happy with where things are.
One thing I decided whilst pulling this all together is that I would give credit to those magicians whose work inspired or influenced me, and in some cases, whose work I’m performing verbatim. (I’m certainly not the first to perform another’s material, and I sure as hell won’t be the last, but I won’t claim it as my own.) As part of the programme, all the magicians on whose shoulders I stand get credited for their work. I’m also thinking of including the programme as part of a gift basket to send to them, but maybe that’s going overboard.
What’s more, after the show (you have bought your tickets, right?) come up and talk with me, and I’ll give you information about the creator, what the name of the effect is, and where you can find it. And maybe that will inspire you to find out more about them, and lead you to tell your own stories.