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The Life & Magic of Stewart James (1908-1996)


Twelve Keys To All From The Pyramids (Part 3)

Give each one of your eleven – you are the twelfth – shadow people a different occupation or skill and they will not think like a magician.  You are the only magician.

— Stewart James

It is noteworthy that anytime James worked with these wraithlike figures – as well as with the “Three Companions That Never Were” – he was the common denominator; he never seems to picture himself as removed or outside of the imagined collaborations.  As an individual he is always present and interacting with his fictive counterparts. David Ben makes a similar observation in his book Advantage Play. In his thorough analysis of Stewart James' creative strategy system, he remarks that the magician's "most successful idea kindlers were based on the personal relationships he created with imaginary people rather than inanimate or arbitrary exercises devoid of personality."

The "Twelve Keys to All From the Pyramids" thought-starter helped James break away from the simple, one-track mind approach that too many people attempt while problem-solving.   The exercise  allowed him to apply other skill sets and types of professional training to the realm of magic. This forced him to ask himself: How would an engineer solve this problem? Or a mathematician? Or a physicist? Or a medical doctor? Each expert would have a different opinion. One of the reasons James' innovations were so original is that he frequently thought hard about magic without thinking like a magician.  His approach was always from different angles.



Copyright © 2007 Joe Culpepper and Magicana. All rights reserved.