I know many magicians in the Philippines suffer from the same impairment. The difference is that many are not aware of their condition. A few others don’t miss the beautiful feeling of being mystified. I miss it sorely, though.
The onset of the malady is the same. We magicians begin to love the battle of wits with the performer, instead of enjoying his performance. We deconstruct magic tricks. We try to penetrate its veil of secrecy. We take pleasure in seeing through the deceptions.
We watch out for ruses, moves and techniques. We do it instinctively. It is the fun part we find in magic. That is the reason we take it up as a hobby, then as a serious pursuit and finally as a profession.
The mystery of magic attracts us. It challenges us to ponder its method. The result is that we dull our sense of wonder.
A shuttle pass to vanish a coin used to bug out our eyes. Today, even the most cutting-edge sleight-of-hand will not probably mystify us. We have become jaded, like a surgeon who doesn’t feel squeamish anymore at the sight of blood and gore on the operating table.
Often, we have an explanation for every trick we see. The explanation may not always be correct, but we have one ready anyway. If the performer did not use a shuttle pass to make a coin disappear, he must have topitted it. Or he might have sleeved it, PK ringed it, pulled it, or used any other myriad methods.
We come up with solutions unconsciously. By force of habit, we look for methods and secrets of the tricks we see. The result is that we rarely feel mystification anymore. Astonishment seldom jars us. The sense of wonder is mostly gone.
We have forgotten how to be laymen again. Most lay people watch magic for entertainment. Unless you presented your magic as a puzzle, they wouldn’t care how you did your tricks.
What a shame that for most of us magicians, magic is gone. It has left through the window of distrust, doubt and disbelief. Only techniques survive. Santa Claus is not real. The tooth fairy never comes at night. And Sleeping Beauty never got kissed by a prince.
- Are All Magicians Atheists? (innermagicclub.wordpress.com)
- Run-of-the-Mill, Everybody-is-doing-it Magic (innermagicclub.wordpress.com)
- Comedian Pete Holmes is Grateful He is Not a Magician (innermagicclub.wordpress.com)