We All Lie

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by JD, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. #1 JD, Sep 8, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2011
    Before I go any further, I'd like to note out that most of you are going to heavily disagree with what I say in this thread. I know that my views are most likely going to be seen as wrong in your eyes. That being said, I'll get down to the point of this thread.

    I think most magicians lie about why they do magic.
    99% of the time when you ask a magician why they do magic, they give this answer:
    "I do it to make people happy."
    I find that VERY HARD to agree with. In fact, I think most of us have a very different motive for doing magic.
    I, for example, do magic because I've always felt like the most overlooked person that no one took seriously. Basically, I started doing magic to get attention. I'm not going to BS anyone here. Now here are a few ulterior motives that I and Zac Eckstein came up with:
    You do it to get attention.
    You do it for the money (Zac does this)
    You do it to try to feel different than others.

    That's just a few basic ones. Before you can even begin to create a retort, let me go further with this.

    I also saw a forum user on the cafe. He did gospel magic. What is his motive? Not to make people happy. He outright said it was to spread the word of God.

    Zac Eckstein: This guy outright admits that he doesn't do magic to make people happy. On Facebook he tells his fans he wouldn't be anything without them. In private he told me this was all BS and he does magic for money entirely. In fact, he told me to make this thread.

    Cedric Taylor: This guy is a good friend. I have never once heard him say he does it to make people happy. CED, I think, wants to be famous. He has a pilot episode of his upcoming TV show planned.

    Basically, I haven't met one magician who does magic to truly make someone happy. I really hate seeing that statement all over the internet. Honestly, whenever I read that sentence, I think that people say that to make themselves feel better inside.

    Anyway, post away. Flame me if you want. These were just my ponderings.
  2. This post is so real. I can honestly say that I do magic for myself first and people second. I absolutely LOVE performing for people, but thats mostly because of my need for attention and needing to be the center of it brought on by knowing magic.(Funny how that works) But I also like to see when people are amazed, since I can relate to that even now, being a magician, it feels great to be fooled.

    But I also enjoy magic for money. When I graduate, I probably wouldn't be doing magic as often as I do now if there was no way to make money from it. I probably wouldn't be doing magic as much as I would NOW if I couldn't make money from performing, but it isn't my main reason for doing magic.

    But, of course, when people ask why I do magic, I say "Because I love performing for people", which is true, but misleading. I don't want to sound like a jerk.
  3. I enjoy performing for its own sake. Whether it's magic, circus, acrobatics or fire, I just like doing things that entertain people. Outside of a performance I don't like being the center of attention. I purposely avoid it in most cases. About equal with the enjoyment of performance, I focus on magic because it makes me feel clever.
  4. There was this girl who I wanted to date, and it was rumoured she liked magic, that's why I started :)
    We dated for 2 weeks... :S

    I'm not sure why I still do it, but I'm a creator first and a performer second. Don't get me wrong, I love performing. I love the
    rush of the reactions, and I very honestly enjoy making people happy, but I also like making effects.

    Good thread, it's making me think :)
  5. I hardly perform for people anymore honestly. I do it on request, but I primarily do it as a sort of meditation. I do it entirely for myself and won't tell you otherwise. I love just doing sleights and mastering hard techniques, just for the sake of knowing them.
  6. Wow. I was expect major flaming here. Glad that you guys didn't get mad.
  7. It's actually a pretty good topic man, thanks for bringing it up :)
  8. This is so True but nobody wants to admit it....

    I am going to be 100% honest. I started magic ,because I wanted to be popular with girls, and I wanted to be popular at school without being trendy. My need for attention got me in so much trouble before I did magic. I always tried to be the class clown ,but there was always somebody better than me. I just ended up getting in trouble all of the time. Now I don't feel this constant need to entertain and get attention from my class. I know that I can go out preform and get all the attention I want without trouble. It changed my life actually ,because since my I lost my need for attention from classmates during class I got better grades. Haha and I could talk all day about how Preforming magic improved my social skills. To sum it all up Magic is a selfish hobby but a healthy habit.

    We are not going to flame you, because what you're saying is the truth.
  9. I don't have one reason for doing Magic, in fact I'm sure most people have multiple.

    When I started it was something that I thought was cool and wanted to be able to show it off to others. As I progressed, it began to develop into something I wanted to master for myself and as my own challenge. Further down the line as I learned more and more I wanted to put my practice to use and perform for others. At that point, entertainment was my goal (with admittedly, some attention seeking). Now I'm interested in creating beautiful Magic; Magic that has a purpose, a story, a context and takes the participants on a journey, delighting and amazing them, rather than tricking or fooling them.

    After all this, I guess I have many reasons for doing Magic... It's cool, I enjoy it, I like the challenge of learning these skills, I like to entertain and amaze people with it and I am ever striving to create those wonderful moments of Magic for deserving participants.

    Anyone who says they do Magic purely for the joy and amazement of their participants is lying. If there's not even one small part of them doing the Magic for themselves and because they enjoy it, then they shouldn't be doing it. We have to get something out of our Magic as well as the people we perform for. If we're not enjoying it, how can we expect others to?

    So yes, I agree that Magician's don't only perform to make others happy, but I think that is often one of the many reasons people perform Magic.
  10. Wow, Me and J.Slade totally thought this would be career suicide! Glad you all agree so far!
  11. I do magic to challenge myself, and show my accomplishments off to other people. Its like working hard to get an award, then after receiving it, hanging it up for everyone to see.

    Just kidding! Did I have you going? I totally agree, I believe most magicians are attention seekers. I have always loved being in the limelight, ever since I was little. I was known as the goofy one, the jokester, the funny one, ect of my family. Once I found my first magic book (Mind Reading Card Tricks; on a shelf at Cracker Barrel) I loved having another reason to have all eyes on me. After a while I eventually learned about performance, patter, structure of magic, and how all that created a reaction from your audience. Yeah I loved making people wonder, freak out, and whatever else they do, but back in my mind I knew that I did that, no one else, just me. Now I'm getting paid to perform for people, and it's awesome.

    Now I would say that performing for the sole purpose of making money is a little greedy, because it is. However, I can't talk much because after I landed my gig, I found that I was performing less and less for people on the spot (like when my asks me to perform for one of her co-workers, or for people at my own work) and mainly when I know I'll get paid. I've almost become conditioned to expect some sort of payment for my services, like when someone doesn't tip for a balloon animal, I smile and walk away, but in my mind I'm like "bastard" haha. For me, that seems to be the wrong mindset. I'm not slamming Zac for having that motive, but I don't want to have it, and typing this out actually made me come face to face with it. I'm going to try and change that state of mind to where I perform to bring joy to other people. I'm not saying that is my only reason, because the main reason is indeed that I have this skill I can do that most other's can't, and I want to show it off. Furthermore, I believe that although getting something in return is nice (primarily $$$), doing some spontaneous street magic is quite rewarding. I performed at star bucks for some friends after I got done at the restaurant I perform at, and they freaked out (Gotta love sponge bunnies haha). Afterwards it made me feel good to just have a good time with friends (still being in the limelight) and not worry about getting anything in return except kind words.

    Let's admit, the praise we get is veeeery rewarding (Dude that's sick!;How the hell.....? You just blew my mind! and so on and so forth) because it reinforces that we have something special other's do not. That special feeling then creates self esteem, which brings confidence, which can make us stronger people (unless it increases to straight up cockyness, that's just uncool). I try and be as modest as I can when someone praises me to other's while I'm right there. "My friend Jacob here is a sick magician!" "Well, I'm ok I guess...." *proceed to blow mind.* But, there always comes a point where you go "Ok, I'm pretty good at this!" That is actually healthy, because it gets rid of the dreaded performance shakes. Plus the confidence is what you are doing enforces the magic and makes it stronger, because if you believe it, they believe it. Confidence is also an extremely sexy attribute (little hint for all you singles out there ;) ) haha.
    I could continue, but I don't want it to feel like a rant lol.

    Great post Slade! I doubt you'll get burned too badly, but be careful when calling people out you don't have a huge repor with. Most people don't like that sort of thing, just sayin.

  13. When you say that we we are all lying to the statement "To make others happy", I feel like its a grey statement you tried to make black and white.
    You say that attention, uniqueness, and money are the real reasons we do magic. Are those bad things?
    Furthermore, isn't possible that these later notions exist ONLY because we make others happy?

    If our art wasn't good enough, we wouldn't get attention.
    To be different is human nature. No one wants to be the sheep of society. I don't think anyone is lying about that.
    I can't really say anything about money because I've never sold a trick before and I guess that is one issue that might be a little seedier, but honestly I feel like its an issue that is reserved for a few upper tier people.

    Yes some may want to perform magic because we want to feel "special", but I think that's almost a given. You don't go into magic by just deciding it one day. You do it because you SAW real magic and it made you feel excited. We pick it up because we want to SPREAD that same excitement that we just felt to others.

    It's comparable to hearing a funny joke and wanting to retell it. To say that we retell jokes because we want attention and want to feel special is just a pessimistic way of looking at life, imo.
  14. #14 JD, Sep 8, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2011
    I wasn't really calling anyone out. I will formally apologize to Rick Everhart right now because I used him as an example and I don't know him. Zac and Cedric I know very, very well.
    So, I'm sorry Rick. You just came to mind and I should've asked before using you as an example. I just wanted to get my point across. Sorry. :/

    Edit: I never said those were bad things. I meant that I don't like it when people say they do magic to solely make people feel better.
    Yes it is possible that those notions exist because we make people happy.
    Now I really don't appreciate what you've done. I never said our art wasn't good enough. EVER. Go re-read my posts before you go and get mad at me.
  15. "to Spread that same excitement that we just felt to others." That is highly debatable.

    "It's comparable to hearing a funny joke and wanting to retell it. To say that we retell jokes because we want attention and want to feel special is just a pessimistic way of looking at life, imo."

    We retell jokes precisely to be the center of attention and for everyone to laugh at the joke we said. That isn't pessimistic at all, not sure where you got that from.

    We never said anything listed at the begining is wrong, just that we want people to acknowledge it and stop hiding behind a door, and get to understand their real goals with magic instead of creating false ones because that is what we have been spoon fed for the past 50 years. Once you understand your true goal it is much easier to accomplish it rather the hiding behind a false one that you will never be satisfied with simply because it is not your real goal.
  16. I do it for a combination of my own interest and money.

    I enjoy the challenge of developing/performing a busking show, the things that are unique to working outdoors, sometimes surrounded, that it's a crowd you have to build and convince that what they just saw was good enough to pay for even after the fact.

    I like the practising and learning sleights and routines and all, but there's nothing more flattering than a big hat and an appreciative crowd.
  17. Nice post, J.Slade. I'm quite in agreement.

    I don't want money or fame from my pursuit. Mentalism is a hobby for me, nothing more. But it's a hobby that forms another part of my personality, a part that I quite like. That's why I began performing.

    On a slight tangent - I posted a topic a number of years ago arguing that this here is exactly why those who say "What the audience sees is all that matters" are completely wrong. The effect on the audience is arguably the most important factor, but it's definitely not all that matters. We are the ones performing, and as you have correctly identified, it's often for a personal reason (at least partially). How we feel about what we perform is important, method is important, because if we're not happy, it will translate into our performances.
  18. inb4 it gets philosophical.

    I hope you all realize that this isn't just about magic. You can (and some say 'should') apply this to life in general.

    And then where does that leave us?
  19. I perform magic to make YOU happy. Sorry I just feel like being facetious. I really don't see why it matters personally what your real motives are. It's your business as a magician and as a person. People project all sorts of facades in life for various reasons. People lie to themselves as to what their motivation is for doing something. That's how it will always be. Magic is no different and is of no more importance than anything else. We give things importance and meaning.
  20. Freud said there is 2 things that the human race want: They want to feel important, they want to have good sex. If you're only doing performance for other and it didn't bring you anything, then you are merely a slave, because slave dont do anything for themselves. That being said, some people will still do it for passion and I think if you do really do magic for passion, you'll want to make other people happy and amaze them. Sure, you will have something beside making them happy, but you can trully want them to be amaze and have as byproduct money, fame and other thing that you mentioned.

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