Magician: Wikipedia can spur presentational ideas

January 12th, 2009 | Joe Hadsall | Filed Under General, Products

Magician and creator Oliver Meech, noting that there are many new sleights but not many new plots, wrote the book, “The Plot Thickens,” which advertises 22 fresh plots. It comes as no surprise that Meech offered a similar, outstanding idea for thinking of new presentations to The Clog. Meech recommends a popular information site to spur your creativity:

A classic technique of creativity is random word stimulation. In other words, you look up a random word in the dictionary and try and apply it to whatever you’re thinking about. It sounds weird but it works because it breaks you out of logical thinking and forces you to make new associations, which leads to original thinking. The trouble is, some words like “the” are less useful than nouns like “strike”. Here’s where three useful features of Wikipedia come in: 1. It’s packed with more words than any physical dictionary. 2. Most of the entries are nouns. 3. And last but not least, it has link in the top left corner called “Random Article.” Voila – an endless supply of random words (and often images) to stimulate your thinking.

At the end of the post, Meech challenges us to click that random article function and present our ideas. We’ll take him up on it. Here’s what we got:

Wow. Georgia State, a stop in the MARTA subway transit system in Atlanta. Not very magical.

At first glance, I’m thinking, “What a stupid random link. I’ll click again, no one at E will ever know.” Seriously, Georgia State, a subway stop? How the heck is something so specific going to inspire me? Let me read about it… It’ll get me to Georgia State University, the Georgia State Capitol and Grady Memorial Hospital. Because I was born in New Orleans, I can’t say that I like Atlanta a lot. But subways… they have me thinking about mass transit. How a person goes underground and emerges above-ground somewhere else.

BAM. That’s it. Underground transit, demonstrated with a deck of cards. I could string card to pocket, card to mouth, card to shoe, card to wallet and card to just about any-dang-where effects together, and those would be “stations.” I can look up the history of subways and work some of that into my routine. Now all I have to do is plan the effects to use.

Your turn: Click here to bring up a random Wikipedia page. What do you get? Share them here in the Ellusionist forums.


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  3. Chance Gardner on:

    Brad, your awesome. I love your magic your one of the best magicians ever. I love, love, love, magic. I cant stop talking about it or doing it.

  4. How/where do micgiaans and escape artists learn to pick locks?Everyone has heard of micgiaans and escape artists that pick their way out of handcuffs and padlocked chains and that kind of stuff; but where do they learn to pick locks?I know micgiaans learn from books or stores or other micgiaans and then progressively go into bigger stuff, but how in the world do they learn to pick locks so well?I’ve looked and I can’t find any books or anything on it. Can anyone help?I’m an amateur magician and I really want to get into escape acts.