Michael Close, MAGIC Magazine - March 2005.

The Complete Review
(Reprinted with permission from MAGIC Magazine)

"Gerald Edmundson is a musician and a magician. (Gee, I like that combination.) He holds degrees from Texas Tech University and has studied at the University of the Americas in Mexico City. He has published seven works on the art of sleight-of-hand, is past President of the Texas Association of Magicians, past President of Ring 15 of the International Brotherhood of Magicians and twice received the Brotherhood’s Ren Clark Award. In 1997, he was awarded the Linking Ring Trophy by The International Brotherhood of Magicians for his creative contributions to the art. His most recent publication is The Ostrich Factor: A Practice Guide for Magicians, and it is a marvelous resource for anyone who is serious about improving his magic.

Just what is the ostrich factor? Mr. Edmundson explains: “As well-versed, conscientious amateurs and professionals, we know the accepted axioms of the art. But when practicing to perform, we sometimes inadvertently overlook or ignore one or more of these well known rules. The oversight keeps our performances from being as good as they could be. We make an assumption: if we know and understand the axioms, because of our experience and intuition, we will somehow automatically apply them to our performances. ‘Surely my head isn’t in the sand.’ This assumption is what I have coined ‘The Ostrich Factor.’ ”

In the next nine chapters, Mr. Edmundson provides a step-by-step method for applying these classic axioms of magic to the creation of a new magic performance piece. He covers techniques for creating an image of the magic ideal, methods for mastering a sleight, stratagems for audience management and misdirection, techniques for planning movement and patter, and information on how to put all the pieces together.

An enormous amount of information is offered, but because Mr. Edmundson’s presentation is so well organized, the reader is never overwhelmed. This is as fine an exposition of this type of material as I have ever read, and I cannot help but think that if the information is applied conscientiously better magic will result.

At $35 dollars, THE OSTRICH FACTOR is a real bargain. If your intent is to perform magic rather than just play with tricks, this book should be in your library. Buy it. Period.”

(Also mentioned in the same issue in Michael Close’s review of THE MAGIC OF ASCANIO: “This book is so good that all I really need say is ‘Buy it, you won’t be disappointed.’ The same is true of another book, THE OSTRICH FACTOR: A PRACTICE GUIDE FOR MAGICIANS”)

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