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PhotobucketMagic and special effects—two different theatrics yet so similar many magicians mistake one for the other.

The similarities between the two lie in their visual impact. The difference is in the distinctive impressions they create and the peculiar emotions they trigger.

Strobe lights and fog machines on stage are special effects. They create mood. They can awe, they can shock.  But they are not magic per se. They are special effects.

PhotobucketLite Flite is magic.  And so is D’Lite, although I’ve seen dancers, who are non-magicians, use D’Lites in their dance numbers and render these magical lights special effects.

Throw streamers are special effects.  And so is Snow Storm in China if done for just the heck of it.

However, with a good storyline accompanying it, and with excellent build up and presentation, Snow Storm in China can tug on one’s emotion.  The pieces of paper then that burst into the air under vigorous fanning will create the illusion of snow, which audience members who suspend their disbelief will readily accept, if only momentarily.

Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI) is special effects. So is video editing. But an Invisible Deck on TV is magic, even without stooging, editing, or CGI-ing.

Why am I telling you all this?

PhotobucketSo that you will not strike an applause pose after you trigger the confetti launcher or pelt the  throw streamers to the audience. You will just look silly if you do so.

Unless the confetti launch and the throw-streamer pitch is wrapped in a story, with a beginning, middle and end, and is mysterious, amazing and emotionally touching, the method covert, then you are merely performing special effects and don’t deserve an ovation.

Take note.

Stay magical,