Yesterday, I wrote about the folly of small movements and sluggish performance style. They reduce the performer into becoming part of the background. They wear out audience interest and attention.
As magicians, we need to perform secret moves and covert maneuvers to produce the magical effects we want. While small movements or inactivity can bore the audience to tears, they have the innate quality of disengaging the attention of even the most observant spectators. As a result, it is possible to dodge the keenest scrutiny by slowing down the action of the “dirty” hand, keeping it still, or masking the secret move with a larger motion.
A good example of a large-motion-hiding-the-small-movement is when a performer classic palms a coin at the moment his hand is traveling towards another object to pick it up.
What all this means is that we magicians have interesting tools in our arsenal. These tools can cut both ways. Large movements can attract attention, while small movements don’t. Yet, the small movements can come in handy when we need to execute maneuvers that we don’t want the audience to detect.
I think because of these psychological tools available to us magicians, many of us find magic not only endearing but also addictive. It’s so addictive—at least for me—that I’m gonna have a nicotine fit the moment I stop thinking about magic. I just can’t seem to lick the addiction.
But that’s another story for another time…