Tarbell – Every Trick in the Book Book 2 - Lesson 14

Lesson 33: Illusions

Although every effect we perform should create the illusion of magic, in our business, we reserve the term "Illusion" for a specific type of trick, typically, any large, stage effect where a person, large animal, or any really big object, is produced, vanished, transformed, and so on.

"When I was first learning magic, I was fascinated by the illusions I saw performed on TV and built many large props out of cardboard, just to try them out. And those early days taught me many lessons about design and construction which helped immensely when I graduated to building with more durable materials." - Dan Harlan

The illusions featured in this lesson are technically simple, although Dan has taken the opportunity to push them way beyond the printed page.

The first one, in fact, doesn't require any carpentry skill whatsoever just proper staging and coordinated movements acquired through careful rehearsal. With this knowledge, you can cleverly cause someone to travel to an impossible location and be replaced by an entirely different person.

Then, Dan goes really big and redesigns an angle-sensitive idea, giving it a practical, portable, piece-by-piece construction, a complete make-over, and a brand-new presentation that not only excites the audience's interest, but also justifies (and obscures) the necessary choreography to pull it off.

Then, Dan takes on two illusions in one with a deceptively simple build that can be used for a direct production, or if you prefer, a surprising switch. And once again, Dan designed it to break-down into pieces small enough to be transported in the back seat of a car. And set-up requires no tools.

In addition to the secret methods employed for these illusions, you'll also learn a bit about how to properly stage them, and, of course, Dan walks you step-by-step through every detail of their construction. So, when you're ready to build, my guidance will save you a lot of valuable time.

Every audience loves a big illusion done well, and this lesson will give you a strong foundation for understanding what it takes to do it right.

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