Secrets of Improvisational Magic
by Justin Higham
Softback, 72 pages, size A5
Reviewed by Alan Hudson
This is probably one of those booklets that will go unnoticed by most of the magic fraternity. Partly because the writer, Justin Higham, is underground (and by that I mean fairly unknown unlike other 'underground' magicians who are amongst the biggest sellers in magic today). It might also go unnoticed because at the moment it is only available through Justin himself.
However, I get the feeling it will get rediscovered in years to come and talked about as a must have gem. Secrets of Improvisational Magic isn't a book of tricks - although there are a few explained. It's more like an essay on how to make your magic more personal by jazzing or making tricks up on the spot, due to circumstances that present themselves. For instance, you might glimpse that a forced card has been accidentally shuffled to the bottom of the pack as it's been handed back to you. How many of us just get the card back to the top and go with our intended effect? Here Justin explains how and why we should be more alert and create more miracles with the unplanned nature of how things in our performing environment crop up.
This is an easy read, with lots of practical examples and a wide range of quotes from people such as Arthur Setterington to Benjamin Earl. Many reviewers say things like 'I wish you hadn't released this as I want to keep all the material to myself'. For me this is quite the opposite. I hope everyone reads it so we can all create more miracles and keep the fun of performing magic alive.
Secrets of Improvisational Magic by Justin Higham. £12.50 plus £1-30 P&P. Or £1.85 surface worldwide and £2.30 airmail Europe £2.80 airmail rest of world. Available from the author at 4 Van Bern House, 83-85 Prince of Wales Road, Kentish Town, London NW5 3LY. Alternatively, via Paypal: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.card-magic.com
© Alan Hudson, May 2010