OUR THOUGHTS ON TEACHING MAGIC
Due to the flexible nature of close-up magic Nothing Up Our Sleeves are able to offer workshops in all manner of environments; from shops and library corners, to tents in festivals and fully functioning class rooms.
Over the last year our Magicians have also been working alongside Truelove Tours to create workshops for their “Leopold Thorn” touring theatre program; however our own independent workshop program began in earnest three years ago.
Initially our workshops were about teaching basic magic tricks, however after the first lesson we realised we could convey so much more...
We began by demonstrating effects that looked like complicated magic, genuinely worthy of a high class show; we then explained to our students that they would be able to perform these illusions by the end of the session. The methodology was incredibly simple; however the presentation had been honed over many years, using both magical and dramatic theory. This demonstration did more than simply show people how to perform a trick; by highlighting the importance of presentation we illustrated how to turn any basic effect into a true show-stopper.
We then took this all a step further...
This simple demonstration of the power of presentation opened the door to discussions on how we view our environment and how others view it. For the magic to work we have to see the world beyond our viewpoint and to look at the show from the spectator’s point of view. We then talk about looking at the world from other people’s perspectives, looking at arguments from the other person’s viewpoint. From here we can use magic and magical theory to help children and adults communicate and understand each other; ensuring they in turn can present their thoughts and views clearly.
Magic is ultimately the marriage of science and art; in addition to performance technique effective magicians have to possess both scientific knowledge and engineering skill. All this means that magic can be a superb launching point to talk about –
Science - Explaining optics, magnetism and other forces of nature.
Engineering – Having decided to utilize a scientific principle we discuss how we actually construct a magic prop or trick.
History – We examine the context in which a certain magic trick was developed and how the events at the time moulded the illusion.
Creative Writing – The best illusions are part of a story – we look at how you generate the best story for your effect.
Research Methods – We can discuss how an illusion was performed before, and how it can be developed to make it suitable for the environment in which you wish to perform it.
In summation, we believe magic can be used to start a discussion in any field of study!
If you’re interested in finding out more about our workshops and what we can offer; please drop us a line, tell us a little bit about what you’re looking for and we’ll see what we can do to tailor a workshop to your particular interests and requirements.
DEAN ALLEN JONES 2015
|Tea and Sympathy|
|Inventions of the Impossible|
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