Magic magic magic…
Magic in its fundamental state is such a beautiful thing.
The reason mostly comes down to the fact that human beings are pretty much cause and reaction based creatures.
Everything we have built is based on this logic and rational. This is what helped us become rulers of our domains and even put a man on the moon. There is nothing that we undertake that can’t be explained.
Then Bam, magic comes and completely defies our senses and the only way you can react is with
In those few moments, we are arrested in our ability to comprehend what’s just unfolded infront of our eyes and we stand scratching our heads in awe. It’s an epic feeling that unites most individuals from all cultures still not drenched in superstition. Unfortunately some of the great performers of lore ended up being executed by smaller minded individuals who truly believed their arts were of the supernatural kind. Shame.
But in this day and age, most people realise they are being fooled and are happy to buy into it . So we are left forever chasing the ’cause’ to the delightful effect.
Keeping the cause to themselves is how most magicians build their rapport with their audience and it’s this rapport that is integral to the entire thing.
All in all, one can’t deny it is theatrical entertainment in its most primal form.
Insane in the mem-Blaine…
Of all the modern magicians, probably the one I loved the most was David Blaine from his two late 90s show ‘Street Magic’ and ‘Magic Man’. Not necessarily for any of the feats he did but for the way he communicated with people.
It was honest and low key. Up until that time, magic was something you watched up on stage or the tv. It was performed live for monarchs and diplomats alike and turned into a grand scale spectacle. David Blaine did a Robin Hood and stole it back for the people.
He was right up close with his audience, most of the time catching them unexpectedly on their way somewhere and giving them a surprising dose of exhilaration that would be the highlights of their days and conversation starters for years to come. He was making a genuine connection with the everyday folk, not for profit but for the art of spectacle, the way it should always be.
Trolled from afar
His tricks weren’t always like this though but he still had that personal touch to him. In his unique way, he was able to perform for us at home as well . I think, even to this day, I can’t describe the moment I felt when I first saw the trick below.
See if it works on you too
I watched this for the first time in a cinema and was ADAMANT it wasn’t going to work on me. Then I literally heard about a hundred people gasp at the same time including myself. It was just so amazing to all think first he got it right and secondly we were all thinking of exactly the same card.
It just blew my mind and filled the cinema with this nattering buzz as everyone immediately started talking to their neighbours about it. I’ve never seen anything like it.
I can’t even recollect what film I watched because the trick eclipsed everything else. It was all everyone was talking about, even when the main feature finished. That’s something special.
Plus the lil kid at the end was too cute. Dare I say that catchphrase has stayed with me till this day although I’m glad to finally realise where it came from.
The Great Communicator
In this instance below, he goes into South America and tries to do his usual routines but he finds the simple civilization of the Mayans are just not up to speed with his usual card tricks, let alone typical language barriers at hand.
So he strips it right down to the essence and it is in this essence of illusion that he still manages to captivate their hearts.
The clip in question starts at 1:533:37 (can’t bloody set the vid to start when i want it to, grrrr, I’ll fix it later)
The gem here is the expression of the artform through non-verbal communication is so universal that anyone can understand. It is one of those things that is found in every single culture and civilization since the birth of time.
I think at its core, for to those who are open to it, magic is simply brilliant
Psssh, I can do that, Hold my beer
Unfortunately though we are in the cynical age where me personally, I can’t buy into any magic related shows anymore.
Enterprises like the masked magician are now in place in order to spoil are fun and return us back to the world of cause and effect and to take the wonder out of magic. We now feel as it is our right to know how stuff is done in order to undermine the performers. Some says this forces them to not use stagnant material and grow as artists, personally I’m not so sure.
I knew this affected me when I went to a burlesque show and one of the magicians entertaining during the intermission came up to our party. His opening gambit was a number. I had already seen debunked and I became that idiot that shouted out
It’s in your other hand
Now while this was the case, this rattled him and I realised the rest of my party wanted to buy into the spectacle in the same way you buy into a theatrical performance. you wouldn’t go and watch Romeo and Juliette and shout out
Juliette’s not dead Govnor, she’s taken a bloody sleeping pill, chillax for like five mins
On reflection on this, I felt pretty bad I had turned into a haggler without even knowing it and this is one of those little things that will nag me forever as I won’t ever be able to redeem myself but if they happen to be reading, then I am sorry.
I would like to return back to a simpler time when people were happy being oblivious to things and just buy into the showmanship of the spectacle. The only people who should be asking how things are done are next generations of tricksters, looking to push the boundaries for our future offspring. The rest should…
Concentrate less on the ‘How?’ and more on the ‘WoW’
As for David Blaine, as with many other magicians, he got caught up with his hype and the scale of his feats of grandeur grew with media expectations of him. He started during endurance stuff for television like holding his breath, staying in a block of ice and just living in a suspended box.
Unfortunately what he didn’t realise was that these feats were taking him away from what made him special in the first place, his intimacy with the everyday bystander.
So people started seeing more as this odd guy rather than the great entertainer he was. He should have stuck to his guns and kept it real, then again, I’m not sure even he can make money grow on trees but high paying executives can certainly make it talk.
But you can’t deny that for that short time, he took your breath away and in this age of cynics, that’s magic within itself
Kanye West and Friends – Magic Man