Magnetized water explained:
I first created the Magnetized Water routine for my medicine show in 2010.
The idea was to take a number of fairly weak magic effects and by combining them with a strong effect (Hydro Glass) make them work toward creating a strong impression of the impossible, the reality of magnetized water.
“Proving” anything is then unnecessary.
I want to talk to my customers in the audience, but don’t want anyone to feel left out or “out of the loop.” So I give a quick explanation of magnetized water, and then quickly turn to the complaints we have received and concerns of our customers in the audience. We want to apologize and explain.
Everything in this explanation is a demonstration of the “science” behind the effect, rather than a “proof” of its existence. The proof of the effect is assumed when the “customers” in the audience and their concerns are addressed.
It is not a pitch. It is framed as a disclaimer and public announcement.
I didn’t want to do two monologue pitches in my show and I already had the Amazing Miracle Oil pitch which comes earlier:
I wanted the Magnetized water routine to be as different as possible from the Amazing Miracle Oil pitch.
This “product placement” in the Magnetized Water routine is framed instead as an apology and an explanation for our customers’ complaints, or rather, concerns. It is not just another sales pitch.
It takes people off balance. It assumes that the magnetized water is real and is well-known. The defensiveness and water-treading “explanation” hooks the audience and draws them in.
My other medicine show themed effect, the Tantalus Tubes, was presented as a sneaky pitch/ad hidden behind the presentation of an “old” magic trick.
The true intention is only revealed at the end. People can’t really read the labels on the bottles, but when the advertising banner drops it becomes clear that all the bottles on the table are “Pop Haydn’s Tennessee Sour Mash Medicinal Whiskey.”
Tantalus Tubes is a real magic effect that just has a medicine show theme. It is not a sketch or monologue backed by magical “special effects” as is the Magnetized Water routine.
I wanted to maintain the “Medicine Show” theme throughout a 90 minute show but I didn’t want to be repetitive.
Magnetized Water is not really a magic routine at all. It is a character and story-driven sketch. The impossible isn’t proven, it is assumed and the audience’s supposed agreement to this reality is also assumed.
That is why sticking the bottle to the display board like a refrigerator magnet is even more satisfying than some of the stronger magic effects. It is creating the impression of magnetized water as a reality.
It confirms the idea of magnetized water in a very familiar way and fulfills a fantasy image that the audience may have seen coming.
These Youtube videos are the same idea as the Magnetized Water routine:
They are story driven, and the magic is not so much proof as special effects for something the story takes as a given — it is science after all!
I think it is good to experiment with ads, promotions, interesting video of all types, since it takes a lot of variety to maintain interest online. You want to promote your character and brand as well as post performance videos.
These sort of non-magic magic videos are a very good way of adding to online content, and building your off-stage story.
Don’t forget to publish posters, photos and memes as well. These help to create your online presence and develop your character and backstory:
If you Google Images Pop Haydn, you will see the variety of brand-building images that have been posted of me over the years.
Part of the value of “backstory” in magic is that it allows for you to develop your brand online using many different methods other than by “performance.”