Mr. Humble wrote a letter yesterday asking why some magicians appear boastful.
To Mr. Humble, here are three reasons that drive magicians into bragging and displays of boastfulness:
1) They assume a cocky attitude to compensate for their lack of confidence. Yes, most beginning magicians, being as green as green mangoes, lack confidence. They need weeks, maybe months or years in the trenches before they become self-assured.
They are like airline pilots. They need to rack up flight-time to hone their skills. In the meantime, they fake their confidence. They wrap themselves up in bluster when performing magic.
I’m referring to the magicians, not the pilots.
2) They use audacity as a defense mechanism. Performing magic is like speaking in public. Public speaking is the number one phobia of people around the world. Most people would rather skydive than speak in public.
If you bump into a boastful magician, leave him be. Even if his arrogance ruffles your feathers. Please understand he is just trying to overcome stage jitters.
3) They put on a brash demeanor to show the audience who is in charge. The confident posturing is showmanship. A performer who looks uncertain and indecisive cannot command the audience’s respect. Hecklers will eat him alive. If he is performing for children, the kids will walk all over him.
To prevent that from happening, he must rule the stage with self-assured hands.
4) They play the conceited-magician role to celebrate the success of their performance. They drop jaws with their Unadulterated Cutting the Aces. They kill the audience. They bug out the spectators’ eyes. They have done the impossible. Something ordinary mortals cannot do.
So what do they do?
They whoop it up. They prattle about how good they are. They strut around like a proud peacock, feeling they are the greatest thing since…well, peacock.
So there. I’ve given you four, not three, reasons magicians can appear boastful instead of humble.
Why four instead of three I promised?
Because I always under promise and over deliver.
That’s the way of the humblest magician in the Philippines.