If your goal is to come up with more interesting presentations for magic, go create a google doc or get a notebook and start filling it with the things you see or experience (in your life, in the news, in pop culture) that are non-magic related that you find intriguing in some way. I have a list that is 100s of items long. These aren't ideas for effects or even ideas for presentation. They're not even ideas at all at this point. They're just ideas for ideas.

Here are some of the more recent things I've taken note of that could potentially grow into something more.

1. The climax of Revenge from Alfred Hitchcock Presents - I'm going to spoil this 60 year old television episode so go watch it on youtube first if that's an issue for you. In this episode a woman is left home alone while her husband goes off to work. When he gets home he finds his wife has been attacked (the implication is that she's been raped) and she's in this distant, almost catatonic state. The police are called in to investigate but there's nothing to go on. Later the man is driving his devastated wife through town. She has the 1000-yard-stare of a Vietnam vet. As they drive she sees a man walking down the street and she says breathlessly to her husband, "There he is! That's him!" Her husband follows the man into a building and ends up killing him. He gets back in the car with his wife and they continue to drive. She is again zoned out. At one point she becomes animated again, "There he is! That's him!" she says, indicating some other sap who's walking down the street. And then she sinks back inside herself and it dawns on her husband that his wife no longer has a grip on reality and he just killed an innocent man. 

What I like about it: The moment where she says "There he is! That's him!" for a second time is so chilling and great. I like the idea of misidentification. I like the idea of it seeming like you've come to a conclusion when you really haven't. I think there's a trick in there somewhere. Something where you go through the effect and seemingly wrap it up at the end, but then something happens and they realize it was a false conclusion. I'm not sure exactly how this would play out, but there's something there.

2. The song Testament to Youth in Verse by The New Pornographers - Specifically the part from 1:50 on. The New Pornographers are probably the most chill-inducing band to see in person and seeing this song live was one of the most electric moments I've ever had at a concert.

What I like about it: I love the way the ending builds. The New Pornographers are a big band with a bunch of great vocalists and they all come in and layer over this simple one-word melody and it becomes huge and deep. I want to do a trick that ends in a similar way. We tend to think of multiple revelations or kicker endings as happening one after another, often they're disconnected from each other, and frequently there's a sense of diminishing returns. I want to do an effect where there is a simple climax that you keep returning to and building on with additional climaxes that are in harmony with it and build it into something overwhelming. I have a multiple selection routine I'm creating that sort of plays out this way. So instead of revelation after revelation, each one builds on the other. But I'm still searching for a better use of this kind of climax.

3. This comic by XKCD -

What I like about it: I just think there's a good presentation in there somewhere. It's just a matter of finding the right trick to connect it to.