Originally Posted by arthur stead
Good topic, Ray!
Almost every effect I do has been modified to fit my onstage character, or to match a certain theme.
I can think of only only two effects I do almost exactly according to the original instructions.
1. Twisting The Aces. I do Dai Vernon’s version straight out of the Lewis Ganson Book, but changed the patter slightly to suit my own personality.
2. Jumbo B’Wave. Because I could not improve on Max Maven’s concise and to the point patter. However, I did write an original piece of background music which enhances the B’Wave plot in just the right places, and makes the ending a lot more dramatic.
As regards presentations changing over time: Some of mine are always evolving, and that can be caused by several factors. It could be something someone says or does during a performance. It could be something that goes wrong, or that just feels awkward. It could be a lightbulb moment, where you unexpectedly discover something that fits perfectly. Whatever it is, if it makes the trick or routine better, I’ll write it in and keep it! If it doesn’t benefit the trick, obviously I’ll change something to prevent that from happening again.
Making changes become essential when you’re creating themed shows. For example, I have my own original version of Skeleton in the Closet. For birthday parties, he’s a funny character called Mr. Bones. But for my Magic Explorer show, he becomes the remains of an explorer killed by Inca headhunters. And for my Magic of Ancient Egypt show, he’s a mummy who came to life after King Tut’s tomb was disturbed.
Of course, when you eventually get to a point where the presentation just feels right, you tend to leave it the way it is. But we’re all always learning, aren’t we? And new magical inventions and methods keep popping up. So for me, future changes appear to be inevitable.