Written by Jim Steinmeyer
Work of Jim Steinmeyer
304 pages (Hardcover), published by Hahne
Illustrated with drawings by Jim Steinmeyer
Language: English
43 entries
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Cover photograph
Creators Title Comments & References Page Categories
Brian Sibley Introduction A Spoonful of Magic, Brian Sibley Talks to Jim Steinmeyer about Creating Magic for Mary Poppins
Also published here 11
Jim Steinmeyer The Author's Foreword
Lectures on Illusion
Jim Steinmeyer Reminding & Deceiving "On Creating Theatrical Magic"
From the lecture at FISM, Dresden, Germany, July 1997
  • 1. Start with a Simple, Direct Plot
  • 2. Adopt a Point of View to Tell the Story, an "Angle" to the Plot that Gives it a Unique Approach
  • 3. Test Various Methods as Applied to the Plot
  • 4. Explore how the Plot can best Accommodate the Method
  • 5. Identify the Flaws in the Method and Evaluate their Impact
  • 6. Anticipate all Three Scripts, and Understand what the Audience will be Thinking at any Moment
  • 7. Adjust the Presentation to Clarify the Plot, Accentuate the Strengths of the Method, and Minimize the Weaknesses
Related to
  • 1997 lecture notes "Reminding & Deceiving"
Jim Steinmeyer Five Terrible Ideas "...and how they revolutionized stage magic"
The Robert Harbin Memorial Lecture at the Magic Circle Centenary Celebration, July 2005
Jim Steinmeyer Why Amac Drank "...and other puzzles from the history of magic"
From the lecture delivered as guest of honor at the Magic Collectors Weekend, Chicago, May, 2007
Jim Steinmeyer Robert Harbin & The Polemics of Modern Illusion From the lecture at The Magic Circle Harbin Centenary Weekend, February 2009
  • A Simple, Clear, Memorable Plot
  • An Interest on Mythic a Level
  • Add a Twist
  • A Play, Not a Prop
  • Practical Apparatus
  • Interesting Apparatus
  • Practical Routine
  • A Way In for the Magician
  • At Least Three Beats to the Climax
  • A Stage Surprise, An Additional Punctuation
Scripts & Routines
Jim Steinmeyer Linking Three Finger Rings "A Practical and Professional Routine for the Himber Ring"
Jim Steinmeyer The Straitjacket Escape "Patter for a Classic Escape"
Jim Steinmeyer The Magazine Test "A Presentation and Mnemonic List for a Famous Memory Feat"
memorizing magazines
Jim Steinmeyer One Hundred Mental Pictures for the Magazine Test
Jim Steinmeyer Timmy & The Spirit Slates "A Ghost Story with Spirit Slates"
words appear on slates to a told ghost story, ambigrams
Jim Steinmeyer The Torn Newspaper Prediction "A New Routine and Handling for a Classic Mental Effect"
pieces added from jacket
Related to 105
Jim Steinmeyer The Full Monte "A Card Trick On the Stage"
extra-large jumbo cards, set down on three chairs
Jim Steinmeyer Triumph Sudoku "A Formula for a New Puzzle and a New Performance"
Sudoku skill demonstration à la Magic Square
Jim Steinmeyer Toccata for Light Bulb & Paper Bag "The Ghost in the Machine"
turned-on light bulb on stand is seen through a glass box, vanishes and appears in a paper bag held by the performer, repeat, then paper bag vanishes and appears over bulb, then repeat with paper bag inside bulb
Unexpected Formulas
Jim Steinmeyer The New Orleans Formula "Producing Miracles under Duress"
strategy for the production of a large item (washer & dryer, even car) in a huge box/booth, apparent live camera footage from within the box shown on monitors, production as surprise ending of a short mental routine with a person inside the booth
Jim Steinmeyer The Shadow Play Solution "De-Emphasizing the Apparatus"
person appears behind large white cloth with lamp behind it
Jim Steinmeyer The Fabric Cabinet Solution "Practical Apparatus for Everyday Stages"
person appears in cloth cabinet
Jim Steinmeyer The Cocoon Redux "Apparatus Disguised as No Apparatus"
person appears in light-weight cloth cabinet
Inspired by
  • Buatier de Kolta's Cocoon (1887)
Jim Steinmeyer The Unexpected Illusion "A New Effect and Speculations on a Legendary Mystery"
person vanishes on a board that is held by two assistants, mirror
Inspired by
  • "The Flight of Venus" (Houdini)
Jim Steinmeyer Nowhere "The Bridge System"
effects using a bridge whose pillars are concealed by two assistants
Jim Steinmeyer Two-Dimensional Rehearsal paper cut-out of person becomes real person, using bridge system
Jim Steinmeyer Transformation person to another person, using bridge system
Jim Steinmeyer A Dress Possessed dress floats, lady appears inside wearing it, using bridge system
Jim Steinmeyer Find the Joker giant three card monte with performer dressed as clown, changes position behind giant cards, then is changed into another person and can appear somewhere else, using bridge system
Jim Steinmeyer By No Means "Self-Levitation"
using The Bridge System and fake leg for self-levitation
Unusual Inspirations
Jim Steinmeyer, De Yip "Louie" Loo The Travel "Based on De Yip Loo's Original Effect"
person standing in box, ten swords pushed in at the left side, all slid to right side one by one to slice person which emerges unharmed
Jim Steinmeyer The Paranormal "Levitation as a Challenge"
with patter and four spectators on stage
Jim Steinmeyer The Four-Fold Screen and Platform "Simplify...Simplify"
Inspired by
  • Abbott's Bryce's Screen
Jim Steinmeyer The Infinity Cabinet "Reflecting Forward"
giant book, person appears from it, openly used mirror surfaces
Jim Steinmeyer Trouble "A Dissected Box"
person in square box, box is opened accordion/zig-zag like, person comes out unharmed
Jim Steinmeyer Cube-ism "Apparatus that Comes and Goes"
person in box in front of a folding painting, vanishes and re-appears
Unique Solutions
Jim Steinmeyer The Nature of Empty "The Box as a Challenge"
  • Points of View
  • Points of Perspective
  • Dimensions
  • Hiding, or Accentuating, the Interior
  • Movement as Emptiness
  • Floor, Ceiling, Walls
  • Clarity Inside the Cabinet
  • Emptier if Something's Inside
  • In Motion
  • Proportions
  • Focus on Walls, Minimze Floor and Ceiling
  • A Foreshortened Pattern
Jim Steinmeyer Pandora's Box "Tip-Over, Surrounded"
Jim Steinmeyer Understanding Two Principles "The Wedge and its Progeny"
on wedge bases
  • Proportion, not Inflation
  • Form Follows Function
  • Always Wide, but Cleverly Small
  • When in Doubt, Furniture
  • Minimize with Multiple Elements
  • Form Follows Illusion
  • Maximize the Elements, Minimize the Cheats
  • Visual, not Simply Dimensional
  • Use Space Efficiently
  • Custom Designed for the Setting
  • New Techniques for Illusionists (Optical Wedge Table, Optical Slot Table)
Jim Steinmeyer Long Division "The Return of Method C"
Inspired by 275
Jim Steinmeyer Quantum Mechanics "Making Sense of a Classic Construction"
middle section of person lying on a board vanishes
Inspired by
  • Selbit, Man Without a Middle
Jim Steinmeyer About the Author
Data entered by Denis Behr, June 2022.