I am shaping a thought through my writing...because I realized something has changed. I am not completely sure of what it is, but magic on TV is not creating the same feeling for people. I am not sure if it’s the fact that the bar has been raised time and time again until magicians can no longer help but to jump below it, or if it is the computer savvy youth that can find the solutions within minutes of seeing it on TV. Perhaps…perhaps, it is the fact that magic on TV has been dismissed because of computer technology and animation - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bXPuyAESG0 – as a perfect example of what I am writing about. Criss Angel has done SO much for magic, but has he also hurt magic a little? I am not knocking Angel, for he is only doing what we all dream of on a large scale – he has made a living doing what he loves. He seems like a really nice guy and it is wonderful to have magic with a big spotlight on it, as it can help us all. However, the basic elements to making an effect on TV truly magical don’t seem to exist any more. Not so “Random spectators” witnessing these miracles as a replacement for witnessing them ourselves – but let us be honest you can’t fake true reactions to something of this nature. I find these reactions like a women faking an orgasm – many men will be fooled by it…some won’t…but either way, you aren’t doing anyone a favor, as it is an embarrassment for both parties. I CRINGE watching the specials where they approach random people on the streets to see there poor acting jobs. Is Angel the first to use stooges or have the TV audience in on the magic? Nope, but he may be the first to try to sell their poor acting skills as a convincer to the legitimacy of the effect. I think many see right through this – and it really destroys the integrity of the TV magician. Now when they do see something that could have been done just as well live they will dismiss it as “those people are in on it”. For example, David Copperfield would spend much of the special convincing only those that mattered – YOU the home viewer – about the key elements to make what you are about to see impossible…rather than wasting our time hearing solely about the training, how hard it was, why he wanted to do this amazing feat, or how upset his mom was he is risking his life again. Copperfield might spend some times on those elements, but it wasn’t the primary goal, as he always focused on creating an emotional hook about the feat…not just about him. He would relate to the people about the topic, and the topic wasn’t about his life. Also, he would establish the criteria to make what you were about to see more amazing. Another thing I noticed – As of late TV magic feels a need to make magic visual. In the past, others wouldn’t, unless the method could withstand it (Copperfield floating illusion, for example). Is one better than another? Not for me to say, but I did notice that the walk on water Angel effect smelled fishy…and not just because there were fish around. It had that feeling of fake, too much editing. Copperfield, as our continuous example of dichotomy, walked through the Great Wall of China - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDpyhEOaeoQ– but used a veil to imply he was going through the wall – like a shadow box effect. When I was young, I didn’t think camera tricks – but I did imagine over and over again how it was possible, with no solution – where I see Angel, and I find it leaves no room for wonder. Like Copperfield says – Before there can be wonders, there must be wonder. So…in a way, I find this is the weakness to visual magic, as visual magic only creates curiosity, but not wonder as much. I just realized this appears like a Copperfield VS Angel essay – but if you believe that, then you have missed the point and should stop reading. Here is the thing – I am no stage magician nor have I ever done magic on TV. I can’t imagine how hard it is for Angel to put so many shows together with different themes and stunts – I just am writing about my feelings of where TV magic has gone and going from an observer stand point. As hard as it must be for Angel, I often wonder if less is more. If Angel thinks about things like the Too Perfect Theory and the value of creating wonder instead of just creating reactions. Is he building towards something better, or just building? What can we really do? Well, I think we should hold ourselves to that standard, before we command it of others. I am constantly doing my part to create magic that creates wonder, not just a momentary reaction. Often we can get the two confused, especially when we see a successful magician doing just that; nevertheless, it is a personal choice. Do you want to have your magic remembered in a way that jus thinking about it as a memory creates that feeling of wonder again, or do you want people to freak out until they become preoccupied with something else? If the feeling of magic is a gift, how long do you want them to have it? Now ask – are you willing to make the change in your magic to make that happen? We have an advantage – we don’t have to fool the unblinking eye of the camera – so we have options. I digress, while remaining on topic – so I guess this is the part I open it up for chat? So, what bothers you about TV magic? What bothers you about close up magic? What are you doing to make sure it doesn’t happen to your magic? Hope you enjoyed the read – cheers.