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5 minutes with… Michael Close

Magi-Fest: This is your first appearance at The Session. What can registrants look forward to in your lecture?

Michael: In August of 2017, I gave a magic-theory-only lecture at the Browser’s Den of Magic at the request of its owner, Jeff Pinsky. In preparing for that lecture, I discovered connections that tied together many of my thoughts on magic theory that I had developed over the years. In my lecture at The Session, I’ll touch on several of those connections and perform and explain several effects (some old, some new) that demonstrate how to incorporate those theoretical principles. In addition, I’ll demonstrate and explain several new sleights and effects.

Magi-Fest: The rumor is that you have a new book on the horizon. Can you tell us about this? Will any of the material be featured in your lecture?
Michael: The rumor is true. I have been working on this ebook for more than five years (some of the material goes back earlier than that). Our hope was to have the book out by now, but the exigencies of raising a daughter, caring for an infant foster daughter, and editing seventy thousand words a month for M-U-M slowed down the process. With a bit of luck, the ebook (probably two volumes, since I’ve written more than 140K words at this point) will be ready for the session. Those who have seen some of the material in the new ebook were enthusiastic about it. I will be discussing some of this material in my lecture.
Magi-Fest: You work as a consultant on Fool Us. How has your experience there shaped or changed your approach to magic, if at all?
Michael: My experience on Fool Us has been eye-opening; I will discuss some of this in my lecture. The most important thing I’ve noticed is that what the producers demand are the same things that magic theory demands: a cohesive, well-written script; a strong delivery; a clear understanding of how to “tent-pole” an effect; the importance of only conveying one piece of information at a time. I’ve also gained an understanding of how television works – how the needs of the network often go against what we (as magicians) would want, and how to work within those constraints.

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