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April 14, 2011

The Engagement Reveal

During his or her daily life, a non-magician will experience many processes and techniques employed by a magician without ever knowing it.

Lately, the most interesting example of this has come out of my friends' getting engaged. Once the fiancée has a ring on her finger, she must hide it from view until the moment she informs someone of her engagement. This informing often happens in person, especially with ones considered close, so there is a very pregnant moment between the informing and the ring reveal.

The result is, in magician's terms, a very big, sparkling prop, resting in prime position to be seen by the audience. The risk of it being seen too soon creates tension for the performer/fiance, because the engaged couple want to tell them themselves, rather than disclose the news by a glimpse of the ring.

In magic, I like to break a routine down into two phases--the mechanics, and the reveal. The mechanics (see my earlier post here) incorporate everything the magician does to present the illusion, but the illusion does not become apparent to the audience until it is revealed.

If a magician found himself with a sparkly ring on his/her finger, they would make an extensive effort to conceal it in the open, subtly suggesting that the hand's fingers are empty when it really bares a ring. 

In reality, the non-magician fiancées I meet are full of nervous energy, because the prop sits on their finger, hiding, waiting to be revealed. This feeling of anxiety between the mechanics and the reveal is something the magician feels over and over again, and difficult to describe. Just try being calm in the moment before revealing an elephant.  

1 comment:

michaelwong43 said...

Hi Philip,

Thanks for agreeing to the link exchange. Just linked you on my blogroll at michaelwong.blogs.com

When you have a free moment, link back k?

talk you later...

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