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 Post subject: 24 Rules of Magic (Maskelyne)
PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 4:06 pm 
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Joined: 02 Jun 2006
Posts: 62
Location: Lublin, Poland
Great rules to live by, and ageless advice from one of the all time greats of magic. valuable advice not only for stage performers, but all magicians alike.


1. Never set aside any accepted rule, unless it is absolutely necessary to do so for some clearly defined reason.

2. Always endeavor to form an accurate conception of the point of view most likely to be adopted by a disinterested spectator.

3. Avoid complexity of procedure, and never tax either the patience or the memory of the audience.

4. Never produce two simultaneous effects, and let no effect be obscured by any subsidiary distraction.

5. Let each magical act represent a complete, distinct, and separate entity; compromising of nothing beyond one continous chain of essential
details, leading to one definite effect.

6. Let every accessory and incidental detail be kept well "within the picture," and in harmony with the generay impression which is intended to be conveyed.

7. Let nothing occur without an apparently substantial cause, and let every potential cause produce some apparently consequent effect.

8. Always remember that avoidable defects are incapable of justification.

9. Always remember that a plea of justification is ordinarily an aknowledgement of error, and consequently demands every possible reparation.

10. Cut your coat according to your cloth, but spare no pains in the cutting, or your procedure cannot be justified.

11. Always remember that a notable suprise is incapable of repetition; and that the repetition of an effect, of any kind whatever, cannot creat suprise.

12. A minor conception ordinarily demands the cumulative effect of repetition; a conception important in itself should usually create a distinct suprise.

13. The simultaneous presentation of two independent feats is permissible when one of them is associated with cumulative effect and the other in a final suprise.

14. Unless good reason can be shown, never explain, UPON THE STAGE, precisely what you are about to accomplish.

15. When presenting an effect of pure transition, the first and most important essential is the avoidance of every possible cause of distraction.

16. When an effect of transition ends with a sudden revelation or suprise, the course of the transition should be punctuated by actions or sounds leading up to and accentuating the final impression.

17. In every effect of pure transition, the beginning and end of the process involved should be distinctly indicated by some coincident occurrence.

18. In each presentation, the procedure should lead up to culminating point of interest, at which point the magical effect should be produced and after which nothing magically interesting should occur.

19. When a presentation includes a number of effects in series, the final effect should represent a true climax, and it's predecessors successive steps whereby that climax is reached.

20. When Magic and Drama are combined in one presentation, the stage procedure should primarily be governed by Dramatic requirements of the case, rather than the normal principles of Art in Magic.

21. When, in a combination of the two arts, the primary requirements of drama have been satisfied, all subsidiary details of procedure should be dictated by the normal principles of Art in Magic.

22. No magician should ever present, in public, any magical feat in which the procedure cannot be, or has not been, adapted to his own personal characteristics and abilities.

23. Never attempt, in public, anything that cannot be performed with the utmost ease in private.

24. Never present in public any performance which has not been most perfectly rehearsed - first in detail, and finally as a whole.

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