Quitting Magic

Nov 19, 2017
66
38
I quit magic 2 or 3 years ago. I used to live and breathe nothing other than magic. It was my life. I don’t know if I got burnt out or what. I find myself looking back on it sometimes for nostalgia, but I’m glad I quit and could have time for other hobbies. It was a great thing for me to learn and maybe in the far future I’ll want to retire into magic or something, but I’m fine with being done with magic. Anyone else have a similar experience with magic? I sure you wouldn’t be here if so, but still
 
Jun 18, 2019
547
295
17
West Bengal, India
I quit magic 2 or 3 years ago. I used to live and breathe nothing other than magic. It was my life. I don’t know if I got burnt out or what. I find myself looking back on it sometimes for nostalgia, but I’m glad I quit and could have time for other hobbies. It was a great thing for me to learn and maybe in the far future I’ll want to retire into magic or something, but I’m fine with being done with magic. Anyone else have a similar experience with magic? I sure you wouldn’t be here if so, but still
For a year now, I have had a love-hate relationship with magic, after being obsessed with it for more than half my life. The love part is obvious, but the 'hate' was for several reasons that I could've never predicted (no wonder that my 'mentalism' is subpar).

1) Firstly, most of the magic that is possible to do always seems to fail under actual heavy topics. Yes, you can make a good effect around love, friendship and so on (though several butcher that too), but I've never seen good magic talking about issues like depression and mental health, or harder topics like racism. One doesn't need to ALWAYS present magic with such lofty topics, but if I'm going to immerse myself in an art form, I'd like the option to do that some day when I want to. With magic, it usually comes off as cheesy and obnoxious. Painting, filmmaking, dance, music, and other art forms that I often held magic equal to, don't have this problem.

2) The magic community at large often seems to be absolutely disconnected from the actual reality. There can be any number of big issues going on in the world, but the biggest discussion in the community could still be about the latest double lift.

3) Magic had become my sole identity and that was very troubling. I would keep trying to shoehorn magic into ANY creative idea somehow, and sometimes still find myself doing that. Otherwise it feels as if I'm somehow ''betraying'' my past-self who thought that she'd love magic the same, forever.

It took me a lot of introspection (and figuring out how to get off the high horse) to realise that I don't need to completely quit magic. Watching several very competent magicians actually talk and base performances around bigger issues (Derek DelGaudio and Derren Brown, off the top of my head) changed my mind and now I know that it's possible (immensely difficult, but at least possible) for magic to not break under the weight of heavy topics. I also realised that magicians speak about world problems and current topics as much as others, but it just doesn't get as much publicity within the community as much as the millionth pass-variation. Moreover, for the technical prosperity of the art form, that millionth pass-variation is, actually, still important.

I still haven't figured out how to deal with my third and arguably, most personal problem. But admitting to myself that it's okay for me to not just do magic, or not have EVERYTHING creative I do revolve around magic, helped. Funnily enough, since I've admitted that to myself, I've met more magicians who have felt or currently feel the same as me. Hence I've had several wonderful discussions with others in the community and grown closer to magic and the community (the irony, I know).

PS: Not trying to convince you to get back into magic, just my experience.
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,763
2,867
I used to live and breathe nothing other than magic. It was my life.
Magic had become my sole identity and that was very troubling.

I think being a good magician requires a certain amount of obsession. The problem arises when that obsessive tendency goes from motivating one to practice, to the obsession becoming the person's identity.

It's imperative to have diverse interests and hobbies in order to create relatable art. This also helps balance out that obsessive nature.

There's nothing objectively 'wrong' with losing interest in something that was important to you, though. That's life, it happens. But I will note that the cycle of obsessing over something, allowing it to consume you, and then losing interest is very common in folks with ADHD. I know it's something I do as well - I pick up new hobbies several times a year (currently: leather working).
 
Oct 2, 2018
158
137
For a year now, I have had a love-hate relationship with magic, after being obsessed with it for more than half my life. The love part is obvious, but the 'hate' was for several reasons that I could've never predicted (no wonder that my 'mentalism' is subpar).

1) Firstly, most of the magic that is possible to do always seems to fail under actual heavy topics. Yes, you can make a good effect around love, friendship and so on (though several butcher that too), but I've never seen good magic talking about issues like depression and mental health, or harder topics like racism. One doesn't need to ALWAYS present magic with such lofty topics, but if I'm going to immerse myself in an art form, I'd like the option to do that some day when I want to. With magic, it usually comes off as cheesy and obnoxious. Painting, filmmaking, dance, music, and other art forms that I often held magic equal to, don't have this problem.

2) The magic community at large often seems to be absolutely disconnected from the actual reality. There can be any number of big issues going on in the world, but the biggest discussion in the community could still be about the latest double lift.

3) Magic had become my sole identity and that was very troubling. I would keep trying to shoehorn magic into ANY creative idea somehow, and sometimes still find myself doing that. Otherwise it feels as if I'm somehow ''betraying'' my past-self who thought that she'd love magic the same, forever.

It took me a lot of introspection (and figuring out how to get off the high horse) to realise that I don't need to completely quit magic. Watching several very competent magicians actually talk and base performances around bigger issues (Derek DelGaudio and Derren Brown, off the top of my head) changed my mind and now I know that it's possible (immensely difficult, but at least possible) for magic to not break under the weight of heavy topics. I also realised that magicians speak about world problems and current topics as much as others, but it just doesn't get as much publicity within the community as much as the millionth pass-variation. Moreover, for the technical prosperity of the art form, that millionth pass-variation is, actually, still important.

I still haven't figured out how to deal with my third and arguably, most personal problem. But admitting to myself that it's okay for me to not just do magic, or not have EVERYTHING creative I do revolve around magic, helped. Funnily enough, since I've admitted that to myself, I've met more magicians who have felt or currently feel the same as me. Hence I've had several wonderful discussions with others in the community and grown closer to magic and the community (the irony, I know).

PS: Not trying to convince you to get back into magic, just my experience.

Perhaps we're at the critical point now where the dialogue can be open and meaningful, and it will take mavericks to move magic into the social areas that were either not talked about, or simply taboo. Social norms are changing, albeit slowly, but change can be good when it is paired with willingness to listen and admiting things can be a whole lot better. Growth always involves pain, and pain can be a great motivator. Hope is another strong motivator, perhaps the greatest. Everything doesn't have to revolve around magic, as long as you stay true to yourself and your beliefs. Be the best version of you that you can be,and you can always be proud of who you are and what you have accomplished. Mostly, life is way too short not to have a whole lot of fun and laugh a whole lot.
 

Justin.Morris

Elite Member
Aug 31, 2007
2,744
849
Canada
www.morrismagic.ca
I've been on a hiatus for a while. Never expected that I ever would to be honest. Life just got carried away and as I was approaching 40, I was turning my attention to really press into some life goals that I had set for myself that needed my attention. Now that I've achieved those, I'm creating some new goals in all areas of my life as I look ahead to the next 20 years, asking myself what role magic as a hobby, and magic as a business will play in my life.
 

RealityOne

Elite Member
Nov 1, 2009
3,587
3,862
New Jersey
Anyone else have a similar experience with magic? I sure you wouldn’t be here if so, but still

For me, magic has always ebbed and flowed. During the pandemic, I found myself more immersed in magic than ever. Now that things are returning to normal and the weather is nice, I find my focus on many of the activities that I couldn't do during the pandemic.

Yes, you can make a good effect around love, friendship and so on (though several butcher that too), but I've never seen good magic talking about issues like depression and mental health, or harder topics like racism

There are two problems with those topics. The first is that they are more complicated and nuanced. It is difficult to address those topics properly in a magic performance. It can be done, but you have to think like Dr. Seuss. His books like The Speeches and The Lorax addressed significant topics in a way that was simplified but authentic. The second problem is that the topics don't make you feel good. Nobody wants to have something enjoyable turned into a lecture. Again, it can be done but it has to be done in a way that is designed to give hope or encouragement rather than more negative emotions of anger, despair or sadness. More personal narratives (whether they be about you or someone else) work better than talking points. Show them, don't tell them.

The magic community at large often seems to be absolutely disconnected from the actual reality. There can be any number of big issues going on in the world, but the biggest discussion in the community could still be about the latest double lift.

I suspect that the people aren't disconnected from reality, but instead come together to chat about things that aren't political and discuss things that aren't even important. There are forums (virtual and in real life) to discuss serious topics, and there are forums to discuss double lifts. They are not mutually exclusive.

Magic had become my sole identity and that was very troubling. I would keep trying to shoehorn magic into ANY creative idea somehow, and sometimes still find myself doing that. Otherwise it feels as if I'm somehow ''betraying'' my past-self who thought that she'd love magic the same, forever.

There is infatuation and love in life. They may at times overlap, but they are not the same. Infatuation does burn out but love endures not because you feel exactly the same forever but because the nuances of your feeling change but it remains love. And yes, I'm not just talking about magic.

But admitting to myself that it's okay for me to not just do magic, or not have EVERYTHING creative I do revolve around magic, helped. Funnily enough, since I've admitted that to myself, I've met more magicians who have felt or currently feel the same as me. H

Be creative in all aspects of your life. Read. Think. Write. Experience. Do. Everything in life is connected. Creativity in one area flows to other areas.

It's imperative to have diverse interests and hobbies in order to create relatable art. This also helps balance out that obsessive nature.

Exactly.

Life just got carried away and as I was approaching 40, I was turning my attention to really press into some life goals that I had set for myself that needed my attention. Now that I've achieved those, I'm creating some new goals in all areas of my life as I look ahead to the next 20 years

I remember something that Richard Covey wrote about life sometimes having to be out of balance. Sometimes we do have to direct our attention and efforts in one area and away from other areas. It sounds like that is what you did and that you did it through a conscious choice. That is a good thing and much better than changes in our paths that occur through indecision or inattention.
 

RickEverhart

forum moderator / t11
Elite Member
Sep 14, 2008
3,657
469
43
Louisville, OH
Magic...it will ALWAYS be here for you, yet it will come and go in various time frames of your life. It's a dusty bicycle sitting in the corner of the shed that just needs dusted back off when you're ready again. I have learned to do what makes me happy and what I am currently passionate about. I still book shows/gigs as an entertainer, yet I have also developed a love for photography as well and have been spending tons of time and energy learning a new skill and booking clients in this new side hobby as well. So for now, I am a 21 year veteran elementary teacher, a husband and father of 3 amazing teens that deserve all of my attention (as their high school activities and sports will soon all end), a semi professional magician, balloon sculptor and now a photographer. Yep, it's ok to set things on that back burner and pursue what you want to and it's also perfectly normal. :) I promise!
 
Mar 2, 2016
82
63
United States
If it's any consolation, I've been on a 4+ year break now and I'm thinking about getting back into the hobby (It's been a while since I've posted here!) so I think Rick is spot on when he says it will come and go (and I feel like that goes for a lot of hobbies in general). That's the beauty of it being a hobby, it'll be there whenever you want to pick it back up, if you want to.
 
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