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Beyond Look, Don't See: Furthering the Art of Children's Magic Review

Official Review

August 28th, 2015 1:38am
Reviewed by James Sanden
Beyond Look Don’t See by Christopher Barnes is an encyclopedic approach to entertaining children with magic. Mr. Barnes has researched the literature and analyzed hundreds of effects, distilling what magicians do to entertain children into 25 individual techniques. Some of the techniques may seem familiar (though the author’s analysis breathes new life into them), while others are novel and off the beaten path, providing new ways to entertain even an experienced magician my have never considered.

Each technique is given its own chapter and begins by explaining the basic technique. Mr. Barnes takes a very meticulous approach, covering not only the approach in detail, but providing variety of examples and applications, each of which could potentially be expanded to an entire routine unto itself. By offering multiple examples, the techniques are made clearer and the flexibility of the approach is demonstrated. It’s also a wonderful exercise in brainstorming, and inspires the reader to find unique applications in his or her own work for the different strategies. This section is then followed by a complete routine, with script, utilizing the technique in performance. While one could simply take these routines and add them to one’s show, the value of the book goes far beyond the tricks themselves. The principles are the result of deep analysis and thought, have been distilled down to core entertainment ideas, and are worth extensive study. As the title suggests, these techniques go beyond “Look, Don’t See” and offer a wide variety of strategies and approaches to entertain children on multiple levels and in a variety of ways.

Beyond Look, Don’t See could be one of the most valuable contributions to the literature on children’s magic ever written because Mr. Barnes has done what all great thinkers in a given field have done, which is identify distinctions. By separating out the structure of the humor, giving it a name and describing it according to how it operates, Mr. Barnes gives the reader the tools to create their own unique expression, rather than simply offering routines to add to their show. At the same time, even if the reader doesn’t study the structure of the techniques, Look, Don’t See is literally packed to overflowing with ideas, suggestions, and tips, as well as complete routines that can be used in one’s show. So even if the reader is just looking for routines or bits to add to their performance, this book is an encyclopedic resource.

Beyond Look, Don’t See is a tremendously valuable addition to children’s magic literature, and offers something no other resource has done: an encyclopedic analysis of how children’s entertainers make their audience’s laugh. Like Silly Billy’s Seriously Silly and Danny Orlean’s DVD set “The Art of Presenting Magic to Children,” this book offers tools that allow the performer to create not just a better quality show, but one that is an expression of his or her own approach. The end result is a better performance, a unique expression and an increase in the quality of magic performed for the public. If you perform for children or families, this book should be in your library. I give it my highest recommendation.

Available at your favorite Murphy’s Magic dealer

Product info for Beyond Look, Don't See: Furthering the Art of Children's Magic

Publisher: Christopher Barnes
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $35.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

If you are a children's/family entertainer this book is a must have!

Delve into NYC magician Christopher T. Magician's proven and practical techniques for establishing more memorable magic presentations.

You are cordially invited beyond the red velvet rope for an up-close and personal tour through the Art of children's magic as Christopher T. Magician describes in detail in his 25 favorite techniques for creating kid show hilarity. Along the way you'll discover 25 fully-scripted routines direct from his decade-long stint as a sought-after children's magician in and around New York City.

To demonstrate the versatility of each technique on the list he also provides 144 "Take It And Run With It" ideas -- ideas you can take, run with, and make your own. Don't worry. You won't find "Look Don't See" and Magician-in-Trouble in these pages! The goal is to take the art of children's magic further. So join us, won't you, as we go BEYOND Look, Don't See.

"If nothing else, this book gets you thinking out-of-the-box about your magic and infusing more fun into your show rather than settling for the standard straight-out-of-the-box routines that accompany tricks. The Broccoli Story is probably worth the cost of the book alone." - Tim Mannix

If you are a committed practitioner of performances geared to magic for children, this book is definitely worth adding to your library and knowledge-base.

Paperback: 470 pages

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