Review: Standing Up on Stage – Volume 2 – Personality Pieces by Scott Alexander

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Reviewer: John Teo”][vc_column_text]This is the second of 5 volumes which are like an encyclopedia on stage and parlour magic. In each volume, Scott Alexander concentrates on a different aspect of stage/parlour magic.

In addition to the actual effects he uses, he also discusses how to build the persona of the performing magician in “Character Building”, and how to work and collaborate with the stage hands and technicians in “Director’s Guide”.

The effects may be familiar to you, but when Scott puts his character and presentation on them, they become so diffferent and so much more entertaining.


Volume 2 features “Personality Piecess”. In the introduction, Scott explains how to set the tone of your performing character in your effects and establish rapport with the audience.

The Effects

  1. Natural Enemies – needle through ballon performed to match the magician’s persona. It can also be used as a transitional effect to another trick.
  2. A Fakir Miracle – the chop cup routine brought to the stage. This is his “go-to” effect and is customised to his performing character, especially with cleverly chosen words in the patter.
  3. Watch This One – an unusual twist to the ending of the invisible deck, which is a brainchild of Alain Nu.
  4. Pimp Bill Repeat – a hip presentation for the 6 bill repeat effect.

Character Building

The 5 words developed from volume 1 is used as the 5 points of the Style Star. Each of the 5 points is further expanded by finding 2 contributing factors. This will help to nail down the performing character of the magician.

Director’s Guide

In this volume, Scott discusses the importance of lighting. He examines how to create theatre and mood with lighting, how to use lighting to focus on your effects, and the use of colour lights, follow spots and ultra violet lights. He also explains how to use threads with lights, what types of lights you should purchase in case your performing venue does not have the proper lighting, and how to find the “hot spot” so that you can make yourself visible to the audience.

Very good advice from someonw who is experienced and knows what stage and parlour magic is all about. Excellent when viewed with the other 4 volumes. A must if you wish to perform professionally on stage.


Magic is our passion but we are not a magic shop ? You can purchase this here![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”gp-standard-sidebar”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Ning Cai is a Singapore Literature Prize nominated author, who was also long listed for the Epigram Books Fiction Prize in 2016. A bestselling writer, she is also recognised for her illusionist/ escapologist stage character Magic Babe Ning, and recognised by Channel News Asia as South East Asia's first professional female magician.

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