Performing Miracles : The real magic behind the performance

Issitt, James (2020) Performing Miracles : The real magic behind the performance. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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Whilst the study of magic, for many years, has examined the mechanics of legerdemain there remains the need for a reflective analytical and pedagogical framework that can be utilised for the exposition and development of the close-up magician’s practice. As a premise, if there are two magicians, Magician A has the best sleight of hand in the world but lacking in performance skills; and Magician B can competently execute ten tricks but has excellent performance – to the layperson, who is the better magician? This text synthesises the theories of magic and performance, in order to create a new analytical tool for the improvement of the skills of the close-up magician. It takes Kowzan’s (1968) 13 Point System as its basis to formulate a new analytical tool. The Issitt 12-point System can be used to analyse a performance of close-up magic and assist in the teaching of performance skills. It offers that the close-up magician’s set comprises three discrete areas: Technical Ability, Performance and Audience Relationship. It suggests that a close-up magician’s practice can be enhanced when all the elements within the new System are considered. The Issitt 12-point System has been tested on the writer’s own practice, that of an apprentice magician, and an expert in the field of close-up magic, Fay Presto. Practitioners in other forms of magic, other performance fields and beyond may consider the new System as a model which can be adapted within their own disciplines.

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Thesis (PhD)
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Deposited On:
15 Sep 2020 14:00
Last Modified:
09 Jun 2024 23:21