Tricks, effects, gimmicks and such


A word about tricks, effects, gimmicks, magic and routines.

A trick is simply something that is done that tricks someone. An effect is basically the ‘effect’ that a trick has on a spectator…the end result. An effect can be either magical or it can be downright disappointing; a disaster. 


A routine may be several tricks strung together. A routine is a trick or two combined with a storyline.  The tricks can be related such as several different methods or types of silk vanish. 


The effect can be magical or quite disappointing depending on how it is performed. There is an old adage that says the trick might be the silk vanish, you learn the trick and how to do the trick and then you learn how to perform it so that it is entertaining.  Performing a trick so that it is entertaining makes people smile, catches people off guard and is magical. That is what becomes an effect not just a trick. 


Another way of thinking of a trick could be this… a trick or gimmick may be what comes in a package and magic is what happens when you pull off the performance of the effect after lots of practice, by following the instructions to a tee and adding your patter, personality, showmanship turning it into a routine and making it entertaining. Your performance is flawless, second nature and instinctive. Your routine is therefore surprising, catches someone totally off guard and causes them to smile and say,” Wow, that’s magic!”

So it goes somewhat like this… gimmick, apparatus or feke is in the package, the trick is what you do with it. The effect is how you perform it… the intended effect, end result or outcome. The routine is stringing several effects together with your patter or storyline to make the whole ‘thing’ entertaining.

As for a thumb tip it is a mostly unseen gimmick, but designed to be ok if seen and secretly cover the unknown unlike a vanishing birdcage that is designed to be seen.

Hal McClamma