Theory & Thoughts for Magicians

by Ryan Pilling

Ideas and inspiration to grow as a magician. Each episode will give you something to think about for improving your performances, creativity, and audience engagement. Presented by magic creator, author, and lecturer Ryan Pilling.

Podcast episodes

  • Season 1

  • Is Self-Working Magic Working For You?

    Is Self-Working Magic Working For You?

    Ryan digs in to one of the biggest lies magicians tell... themselves. A critical look at the prominence of self-working tricks in the magic industry, and whether it might be a short-term gain for a long-term loss. Don't be a stout Uncle George!

  • Take My Advice

    Take My Advice

    Some magicians keep their distance from the magic community because of bad advice. Be it unwelcome, unwarranted, or unfounded there seems to be no shortage of shaky advice being thrown around. In this episode Ryan looks at the wisdom of advice, how it comes to be, and how it gets passed along. It's not all bad, though. There is a more productive way to work together and offer guidance.

  • Hooks, Lines, and Thinkers

    Hooks, Lines, and Thinkers

    Through every moment of a routine your audience's interest is rising and falling. If it drains away, you're in trouble. Are you maintaining interest, attention, and creating a desire to see what happens next?

  • Magic Is Crumbling

    Magic Is Crumbling

    Max Maven was a giant in magic, whose long shadow kept many in line. So, where does that leave us now?

  • Hooked On Classics

    Hooked On Classics

    In 1954 the Magic Circle presented the Hoffmann Memorial Lecture by Charles Harrison on "The Qualities of a Classical Feat of Magic." In it he suggests eight common features of a trick which make it a "classic." Not everyone is on the same page. In his introduction to "Magic By Misdirection" Dariel Fitzkee makes the opposite argument; that no trick is, in itself, "great." In this episode Ryan Pilling takes a look at both sides, and asks why any particular trick does or does not become immortalized as a classic of magic, including one curious trick which was once a regular feature, now lost to history. Corrections: The "Six Card Repeat" was originated by Tommy Tucker, not Tommy Windsor. (Windsor is known for inventing the Dye Box... which is different than the Die Box!) --- References: "The Qualities of a Classical Feat of Magic" - A lecture by Charles Harrison, published as a bonus supplement with the Magic CIrcular, August 1954. "Magic by Misdirection" - Dariel Fitzkee, 1945