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How big should the magic be?

Recently, I read an article that a world famous American illusionist was preparing for his biggest and most spectacular illusion - making the moon disappear.


You can probably take a guess as to whom I'm referring to, so let's not get into that. I just wanted to bring this up because it refers to a question that I've often thought about. How big should the magic be?


I believe that this moon illusion was just a prank and I don't think it's actually going to come to anything. Why? Well, that's basically the point of the question.

For years, magicians have made objects and animals (including humans) appear and disappear, it' a very well known illusion and uses many different methods and presentations. But, if it's an object, just how big does it have to be to make the illusion believable?


Of course, we all know that the magician is never really making anything disappear, but sometimes the mechanics of the illusion can be enough to impress us. How does it work?


With certain objects, it can be relatively easy to work out how the effect is achieved. In my experience, this is usually with the larger objects. Making small objects disappear - cards, coins, silks, etc - can be harder to work out, because a magician uses sleight of hand and patter as a means of misdirection and so on. With larger objects, however, sleight of hand and patter are not usually used.


I think making larger objects - cars, aircraft, statues, etc - can have less of an impact, because there are only a small handful of ways in which the effect can be achieved.


I personally think that, if a magician is going to make something appear or disappear, the scale of the performance shouldn't leave the space of the stage.

If an illusion is taken outside, it is said that this makes the effect more impossible, but does it? I would have thought that, if something large is going to disappear, like an elephant for example, having it disappear on stage is far more impressive than having it disappear outside - fewer hiding places, smaller spaces, more cramped, etc. If it happens outside, it makes me wonder about all the possible options there are to achieve the effect.


I don't know, maybe this is just the way I think about it, but making the moon disappear would just be way over the top for me and would never be in the slightest bit effective. The moon is an object that humans have had very little interaction with. Nobody built it, nobody operates it, nobody manipulates or moves it (as a whole) and all these factors reduce the number of ways in which a magician could seemingly make it disappear.


Hell, I could do it myself using just my phone! I bet you could work out how.





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