You are gaining traction as a magician. Now you want to create your own magic. But how? Creativity is notoriously elusive—especially when what you are trying to create is, by definition, impossible. This book dives into the importance of originality in magic—defining what it means for magic to be “original”—and gives you concrete, practical advice for how to create your own, original magical effects. Inside you will find powerful examples of creativity, effective exercises for generating novel and meaningful ideas, and six original effects developed by the author.
"I am often asked where I get my ideas from, and I always reply that creativity can be learned. Which brings me to Theron Christensen’s book 'Plotting Astonishment.' In this book, Theron delivers an excellent roadmap to creativity. He has done all the heavy lifting for you and leads you towards creating your own original magic with clear and concise insights, exercises, key concepts, and real world examples. I have been creating magic for fifty years and wish I had this book when I first started. It would have saved me a whole lot of time. It puts into words what I learned the hard way."
“Theron Christensen has done the impossible! He has tackled the seemingly amorphous subject of creativity and wrangled it into a clear, concise book that will help all magicians make better magic. In Plotting Astonishment, he not only tells you why it's important to create original magic, he also explains how to do it. He provides thought-provoking exercises with well-defined goals, presented in such a direct manner you will be amazed at how quickly you can produce impressive results. If you consider yourself a creative magician, this book is required reading to remind yourself of your core strengths, clarify your artistic intentions, and introduce yourself to a well-structured methodology. If you don't consider yourself to be creative . . . this book is required reading!”
"Plotting Astonishment is a book about the author's creative process. I've long believed that you can't teach creativity in magic. And while I still believe that, I see real value in studying how particular performers approach their own work creatively. In these terms, Theron's work is terrific. He first explores the theoretical aspects to the ways he approaches magic. And in the second half of the book we're treated to some fine ‘apparatus magic,’ which I hope to someday see live onstage. I enjoyed Plotting Astonishment and I think you will too."
“In this book, Theron demystifies the creative process and highlights the importance of original magic. I found his creative approach refreshing and helpful. His thoughts on theory are sound. I was especially impressed by the apparatus magic discussed at the conclusion of the book. He not only explains his creative process to you, he also offers several examples of the magic that he has created using this process. His original magic is practical for the stand-up performer and is reminiscent of the magic of Jim Steinmeyer. Theron uses diverse props in interesting and theatrical ways with innovative methods. So much of magic writing offers hollow advice and an assortment of pipe dreams. Theron Christensen's book, Plotting Astonishment, stands in stark contrast. It is a classically minded guide to creating original magic.”
"I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to witness Theron develop and perform his original material detailed in Plotting Astonishment. This book will cause you to have a serious conversation with yourself about your own magic as an art form. The text will motivate and guide you down a path of authenticity that is worth revisiting at various points in your magical journey."