View Full Version : Don't get it.
21st September 2003, 10:11 AM
I'm not a magician, but I don't understand what the hysteria is over revealing secrets. It's sort like saying "we want people to believe there really is magic." As for myself, the only magic that is worth a crap is sleight (sp) of hand stuff and stuff that actually involves skill and dexterity. The kind of crap that Copperfield does - what the hell is that about? A bunch of technicians run sneak around sliding panels and what not while David does "Vana White hand motions". I suppose you have got to give credit to those who can concieve of these illusions, but how many of the big names really come up with these things themselves? The only magic I like and admire is that that requires particular skill. The rest of it ranks up there with mimes and clowns. I like Penn and Teller, but they are skillful and funny. You might be a decent entertainer, but standing in a cage on a platform while a bunch of technicians throw a curtain over you and make you turn into a tiger is something anyone can do. Audience members do it (or the equivalent) all the time.
22nd September 2003, 02:21 AM
Originally posted by billydkid
I'm not a magician, but I don't understand what the hysteria is over revealing secrets. It's sort like saying "we want people to believe there really is magic."
Magic is only magic as long as there is mystery involved. The moment you reveal the trick, it becomes a stupid kids trick.
People will beg you to reveal a trick, and then the moment you do, they will laugh at you and call you a fraud. As long as they don't know how it's done, they're entertained.
For some rare people, knowing how a trick is done doesn't take away from its entertainment value. These people are the ones who are willing to do the research themselves.
22nd September 2003, 04:24 AM
As I see it, the problem is that unless a magic tricks working is revealed to all, then a section of the audience will continue to believe in it being a real, sometimes supernatural phenomena, i.e human self levitation, mind reading etc.
So the real balance is, what is the value in these forms of entertainment when they are perpetuating the believe in nonsense phenomena such as those mentioned above, allbeit only in the more gullible minded sections of the audience.
I think the answer lies in a heavy enphasis on the word 'Illusion'. With this emphasis the audience is primed with the idea that they have to suspend logic & rationality for the length of the trick in the knowledge that they can be entertained whilst knowing that what they are seeing before their eyes, isn't breaking any natural laws, and more importantly the magician doing performing isn't claiming to be doing anything 'spooky', but merely performing an *illusion*.
With the emphasis on illusion, Copperfield can slide his mirrors and Blaine can eat snickers bars a sleeping bag, and I *can* be entertained. But the instant they stare at me 'dead-pan' through the TV screen and try to tell me that they are purveyors of supernatural skills, it turns my willingness to be entertained into a willingness to through eggs at them.
23rd September 2003, 05:46 AM
I agree that Blaine skates a thin line with his "spooky" persona, and enjoys creating the impression he's doing "supernatural" kind of stuff.
But Copperfield? Anyone who seriously thinks he's "for real" is beyond help anyway, and those who think he (or your average restaurant or trade show magician) is "perpetuating belief in the paranormal" are only marginally less stupid.
Even mentalists like Derren Brown (who performs on TV for strangers in the street, like Blaine, and does "psychic" stunts etc.) are careful to disclaim any supernatural ability. Derren calls himself a "psychological illusionist" and purports to use natural methods, such as clever suggestion, to accomplish his effects.
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