A Break From the Mundane

Jun 22, 2011
I was recently in a Verizon Wireless store. I was walking around when I took out my cards. I had just finished a spring, my first warm up, when a boy with a Nintendo DS ran up to me and asked if I was a magician. I said yes. His eyes lit up and he asked for me to show him a magic trick. I then proceeded to do the Two Card Monte and the Double Lift Change. He was shocked and said, "You're the best I've ever seen. Really good." He left and that was the end of our encounter.

But I learned a very important lesson. It is our job as magicians to give audiences a break from the mundane, the everyday. Most people get so wrapped up or trapped in their everyday lives that they lose some of the greatest moments in life. And they know that. But they don't know how to get out of that never-ending circle. They're longing to see something to bring them to a place where they can escape. Escape from their troubles, routines, and habits. We are that escape. They rely on us to deliver an experience that will propel them to a world that is hard to reach. The world of Unbelief. All their days are spent doing things that they know will be the same when they wake up the next morning. They want to get out of it and see things that they don't understand. Things that will cause them to stop, and ponder their systems, beliefs, and what they call reality. It is our job as the magician to show them that their reality can be changed. Changed into something unexpected. Hope for, but unexpected.

Try to remember the first magic trick you saw. Whatever it my be, I'm sure the reaction will be the same wherever you go. Astonishment, joy, excitement. Now remember the first magic secret you learned. Try to remember that feeling you had when you learned the secret. I remember mine. "That's it? That's all there is to it? Pretty easy." The disappointment of the knowledge is harsh. But, as magicians, we make a sacrifice. Now remember the first magic trick you performed. "I could do this forever," I thought. Their sheer joy fuels my drive to do magic. We as magicians, trade one sort of magic for another. We lose the absence of knowledge of the secret for the joy and wonder of our audience. It's an equivalent exchange.

So the next time you perform, remember that we are letting our audience travel to a place that they are longing to go to. A place where only WE can take them. Let's make that journey one they won't ever forget.
It's funny I feel like I can't ever really watch magicians anymore other than to learn. I feel like most of the entertainment value is gone since I usually know how every trick is done. However, you're right it is a great exchange that we get to make others happy now that we know how to do magic tricks. The best exchange I've made in my life.
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