Magic and Illusion/Box plans


QUESTION: My five year old recently came to us wanting to audition for the elementary school talent show doing magic.  We had never done magic before but we borrowed some stuff and he auditioned.  He made it into the show and then went on to win!  I think we've found his niche! He is already talking about next year.  He would like to make a whole person disappear, but after searching for hours online I have failed to find any box blue prints for anything large enough to fit a person.  My husbands a carpenter so he could build it, but any ideas where we could get some plans?  And no, I'm not even sure as to what technique to use to make someone disappear but I guess it has to be something a young child could do.  Thank you!

ANSWER: Hi Nancy

Great news about your son's interest in magic and his win!

It's good to plan ahead for next year's show .... good performance takes time ... good for him. Making a oerson disappear is not a problem .... there are many many methods and it's a simple case initially of determining which one is suitable based on a number of factors.

I cannot direct you towards plans .... without knowing EXACTLY what you wish to do, in what environment and contect. I don't understand why you've not found any books, plans etc available .... but you wouldn't know from the descriptions which wiould work for you.

So.... IF you want to progress this I'd need to know all the above so I can recomment and help you design and build a suitable prop and then how to present it in a way that will appear magical.

As you should know, I cannot do that in Public Mode


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QUESTION: Thank you!  I'm not sure of what all factors you would need to know.  I am new to magic and just learning along with my son.  I do know that this will be on a stage with an audience of about 500.  The stage has a curtain but the curtain does not open in the middle.  Three sides of any box would be visible from that stage.  The stage and the audience are well lit with no way of dimming the lights. I saw a trick where boys tilted a box but that would not work as my son is too young to be strong enough to tilt a box (not that I know how that trick works either).  I hope that helps.  Please let me know if there is anything else you need to know.


The factors are as I listed in my answer:

What you want to achieve and why + The Environment + The Context

You've answered a little about the stage. That's quite a large audience so it will need to be an illusion that's clearly visible to them all. Something therefore with restricted angles is not suitable. You said that 3 sides of any box would be visible (presume front and 2 sides) but how about the top? Some audiences are viewing from raked seating or a balcony.

Not having lighting control is limiting, but workable.

I do need to ask more questions to learn about your aims, more about the curtains, wings etc and also the context - but as I said, it's just not possible to do this in Public Mode.

Not sure that anyone who cannot tilt a lightweight box should be doing this .... will he be able to wheel an illusion on and off? Who else does he have to help present this (on and off stage)?

Await response ......


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John Gordon - Master Magician


I am a professional performer, and attained status of Gold Star Member of The Inner Magic Circle and, over and above this highest degree, I am only one of about a dozen performers alive who has been awarded their coveted 'Silver Wand'. I perform at the highest level as well as train and coach both beginners and experts in learning a few tricks to creating a brand new award winning act. I ran The Summer School at The Magic Circle for many years as well as booked performers for the monthly public shows. I run a company called `MagicWorks` which provides magic for adult private and corporate events, television, film and theatre productions. I also hold training workshops and seminars, teleconferences and online training on using magic in business, performing at Trade Shows, Magic for Presenters etc and provide after dinner or conference talks and speeches all on the subject of business and personnel development. This includes creativity, presentation, online and offline marketing etc.


Whilst I have been a performer for many years I now spend an increasing amount of time as a personal and business coach, using magic as a metaphor in my teaching and training sessions. I have several Internet Businesses that include Coaching and Mentoring entertainers in the whole business of self Branding, Promotion, Marketing and filling their diaries with bookings.

I have been mentored by the leading magicians in the world and achieved top status at The Magic Circle. This means I became Gold Star Member Of The INNER Magic Circle! Also .... I am a trained coach.

Awards and Honors
I achieved Gold Star Member of The Inner Magic Circle I was awarded The Silver Wand by The Magic Circle for services to magic and TMC I was bestowed with Lifelong Membership of MOB - The Magicians Of Basingstoke

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