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Neo Magic Artistry Review

Official Review

November 5th, 2012 12:51am
Reviewed by Fredrick Turner
In 2000, Todd Karr, with contributions from Vito Lupo, Jeff McBride and the art of Katlyn Breene, released a work of love for the late magician, historian and philosopher S.H. Sharpe. Published by Karr's Miracle Factory, this anthology included Neo Magic and the Magic Artistry Trilogy: Conjured Up, Good Conjuring and Great Magic. Bringing these works together in one volume was not only a great gift to magic but also the fulfillment of a dream of Sharpe's that he did not live to see.

Neo-Magic opens the collection and is the foundation for all of Sharpe's writing. Originally published in 1932, Neo-Magic may be a challenge for some 21st Century readers as some may find his writing style a bit old fashioned. However, persistence will be paid off in spades as Sharpe offers great insight into what makes magic magical. Starting with an analysis of art and its relationship to magic, Sharpe explores what he feels is needed for magic to become a fine art. As the volume unfolds, he provides the reader with his insight into topics as originality, patter, styles of presentation, program construction to name just a few. He even touches upon the ever present bane of performers - stage fright. While some of his thoughts may not fit you as a performer like a glove, you won't read a single page without having your thinking challenged.

The Magic Artistry Trilogy builds on the thinking of Neo-Magic but Sharpe adds effects that illustrate his thinking. Like all effects published in older books, you read them for the spark and ideas, not to be performed as written. Needless to say, times and tastes have changed.

I find that I return to this collection often. I never fail to find something new that I missed on previous readings. While I highly recommend this collection, it is not for the beginner. Matter of fact it's not for everyone. It is for the magician who wants to think about her or his performances and put that thinking into action.

If this sounds like a volume that appeals to you, then I recommend that you keep your eyes on the second hand book lists and auction sites for a copy of this book. Sadly, Neo-Magic Artistry is out of print.

Sharpe's wise and insightful words will inspire you to think about your magic. He will also trigger you to make changes in how you do what you do in your art.

Product info for Neo Magic Artistry

Author: Sharpe, S.H.
Publisher: Miracle Factory
Average Rating:  (2)
Retail Price: $50.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

Sharpe's Revised Editions of Neo-Magic and the Magic Artistry series. Includes additional material by David Devant, Doug Henning, Vito Lupo and Jeff McBride

Prepared by the late S.H. Sharpe, Neo-Magic Artistry combines Sharpe's revised versions of his rare 1932 classic of magic theory, Neo-Magic, with three of his other scarce books from the 1930's, Conjured Up, Good Conjuring, and Great Magic. Once again, Sam Sharpe will take you on his voyage through the meaning of magic and ways to transform your performances into fine art. You'll also find over 30 original effects; Sharpe's autobiography and additional Sharpe essays; the rarely-seen text of Devant's magic drama The Supreme Test; and words on Sharpe by Doug Henning, Todd Karr, Vito Lupo, and Jeff McBride. 432 Hardbound Pages, Printed On Acid-Free Paper With Full-Color Dustjacket

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