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In his book Strong Magic, professional magician Darwin Ortiz reveals his secrets. Unlike most magic books, however, Strong Magic doesn't have the author simply list step-by-step instructions for performing specific tricks. Instead, he tackles much more fundamental issues, emphasising the importance of presentation over method, and explaining how performing for laypeople is an inherently different task to performing for other magicians, requiring a different approach.

With fascinating insight, Ortiz shows how magicians, like all professionals, can get lost in their circle of mutually appreciative friends, distancing themselves from the laity and their quite different point of view. He then tells you how to look at your performance anew, from an outsider's perspective, and make it better for them, not for your friends.

He explains why performing for the general public can, contrary to most magicians' opinion, be more difficult than performing for other magicians, before giving you the information necessary to understand these differences in what they want in a performance and update your presentation accordingly.

Before you dismiss his advice as being aimed solely at beginners, bear in mind these basic points are often overlooked by professionals throughout the whole duration of their careers, which explains why so many magicians can impress each other yet leave regular audiences cold.

This probably isn't the book that most professional magicians want, but for the vast majority, it's certainly the one they need. Following Ortiz' advice should turn you from a merely technically apt magician into an emotionally engaging one.

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