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Thoughts on My Recent Magic Theory Lecture

On Sunday, August 13, I had the pleasure of presenting a lecture on magic theory for a group of magicians at the Browser’s Den of Magic ( I’d like to thank Jeff Pinsky, owner of the Den, for suggesting I do this lecture. It’s a risky idea; generally speaking, lectures that eschew tricks and focus only on theory are not that popular with magicians. Magicians want tricks. (In the three-and-a-half hours I spoke, I did four tricks, but I didn’t explain them. I only pointed out aspects of their methods that related to the theoretical point I was discussing.)

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the lecture was sold out; it was standing room only in the shop. I was even more pleasantly surprised that almost everyone stayed for the entire talk, that they were absorbed by the subject matter, and that they asked good questions. I send out my heartfelt thanks to all of you who attended.

Michael Close Lecture

For me, the best thing about this lecture was that it forced me to return to some of my earlier essays on magic theory and revise and rethink them. Doing this opened my mind to connections between various aspects of theory that I had not previous discovered. Making these connections gave me a roadmap for imparting the information with clarity. I think it was my best attempt so far at showing how the disparate facets of magic theory are interrelated.

If you weren’t able to make the lecture many of the topics I discussed will be included in my new ebook. I did mention at the end of the lecture (and I’m happy to pass along to you) that an excellent way to become familiar magic theory texts is to download the PDF, Magic in Mind, from the Vanishing Inc. website ( Its 500+ pages contain essays from the major players in the magic theory world. The best thing is, it’s free.

(By the way, one of the great things about the Browser’s Den is that Jeff stocks an extensive selection of magic books. Magic theory is rarely discussed on videos – or by fifteen-year-old magicians on their YouTube channel, go figure. If want to learn about magic theory, you’re going to have to read a book.)


From Canada's Magic Blog about the lecture:

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