Ian Adair – SME Columnist


Stevens Magic Emporium – Column 4:

I’ve often been asked “How do you invent magical effects.” I always reply that I don’t ‘invent’ tricks and effects, I simply ‘create’ them from ideas which suddenly come to me. I never quite know if the person I am speaking to understands what I mean. To create new magical effects, one has to use existing methods and principles – not invent them. Much like a piano keyboard, the same keys are used, but a different tune or melody is achieved by arranging them in a different order.

I always loved performing. However, I wanted to create tricks more than anything, and over the years I have. Not wishing to boast, but as a fact, I’ve had over one thousand of my magical effects marketed by worldwide dealers so far in my lifetime. How did they all come about? That’s a difficult question to answer.
I suppose it depends on what comes to my mind at the time, although I purposely sit down and work out ‘tricks’ for clients.

Having been a magic dealer all of my life, I guess it has been important that I have been capable of thinking up new ideas which, when manufactured, have become saleable items.

Whilst most magic sets sold in toy shops and stores, contain similar items (plastic cups and balls – paddles, ball vase etc) there are a few firms that prefer to add new and different items into their sets. This is where the magical inventor (ooops!) I mean ‘creator’, steps in. Creating tricks for magic sets which are sold to the public, usually to youngsters, is different to that of producing items for qualified magicians. Some magicians could say “You shouldn’t be exposing new magic tricks to the public anyway”. If this be the case, who would be the person to devise the contents of a magic set. And, surely most magicians enter the craft having their first magic set. Should we deny others to follow suit? I don’t think so.

I always tell magicians that I create one brand new trick every day. This is a lie – because I often create two or three some days, if my brain is over-acting!

I sometimes take a principle, involve it into an effect I would like to see happen, and end up with an item which can either be published or marketed. I love the ‘Paddle Trick’. I guess I have come up with hundreds or variations, many of which have been marketed over the years. I haven’t ‘actually’ invented the ‘paddle trick’ – I have simply used the principle to bring about a new effect possible. I believe that most magicians can create their own effects, although many will say it is not possible.

Creating tricks also keeps your brain alert. If I can’t create a particular effect I am seeking. I sulk and get really angry with myself.

I love seeing the finished idea become a marketed product, one which is advertised and sold to magicians. I like it even better when I see someone actually perform it in front of an audience – even though they are receiving the applause. Some people love creating paintings, sculptures, fine foods – I love creating magic!

There’s magic in the air… from Ian Adair (M.I.M.C.)