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PhotobucketMy good friend Professor Al Leonidas,  a Sociology teacher at Miriam College and a magician, drops me an email to ask a weighty question.

Master Leodini,

Talk to us about image management.

Is it OK to show 10 to 20 doves in a show? How many is enough?

Is it OK to show 46 umbrellas in a show? How many is enough?

Thank you.



PhotobucketHi Prof. Al,

I sit in front of the PC monitor puzzling over your questions.  I’m not sure if you are asking me one question in three interrogative sentences, or three interrogative sentences in one question.

For the life of me, I can’t see the connection between “image management” and producing doves and umbrellas.  And then, it hit me.  I can’t find a connection, because there is none.  You are asking me multiple questions, not one. The questions don’t relate with each other. “Image management” and doves/umbrella production are as alien as peanut butter and chicharon bulaklak.

Let me give you multiple answers then.

First, with regard to doves and umbrellas…

In this fast-and-furious MTV era, where thousands of messages bombard the senses of ordinary folks, shock-and-awe magic is a good tactic to employ. Don’t just produce one dove, or one umbrella.  Produce a dozen—heck, produce several dozens.

PhotobucketWhen Moses let loose the 10 plagues of Egypt, he released from the bowels of the earth not one frog but thousands of frogs, not one fly but thousands of squadrons of flies, not one locust but a swarm of locusts. If you were in Egypt at that time, you’d certainly be as shocked and awed as the Pharaoh by the sheer number of pests materializing from nowhere.

Ten to twenty doves? Forty six umbrellas?

They’re not nearly so shocking as the plagues of Egypt, but they would do.  Just produce them in rapid-fire fashion, say, in three to five minutes, and you have a show that will rivet your audience to their seats.

However, make sure you do it fast. If it takes you 10 hours to produce 10 doves, then as surely as the word surely, everybody in the audience must have gone home by then.

Also make sure to vary your method of production.  If you produce all 46 umbrellas from a square circle, the spectators will be asleep by the third umbrella.

Mix your methods to achieve variety. That’s the secret, which is no longer a secret, because I’m telling you about it.

Remember, shock-and-awe magic is fast and furious. Most of all, it involves a large quantity—like 20 doves or 46 umbrellas.

If you can produce more doves or umbrellas from body loads without looking like a stuffed turkey, then by all means fill all your secret pockets with umbrellas and produce more doves and umbrellas. Filling the stage with production items is an excellent way to close a show.

Remember to bring many assistants to help you pack all the items your produce.  Bring also a large car to transport all your stuff.

You also asked “how many is enough” in regard to the number of doves and umbrellas to produce.

Any number below the tolerance of the audience is good enough.  Produce all those doves and umbrellas as much as you want. Stop just before you drive the audience insane, just before they throw up from boredom, or just before they take a gun and shoot themselves in the head.

PhotobucketNow as to the “image management” question, I think you have to ask Dra. Belo about that.

Stay magical,