Isn’t the creation of an alternative reality the basis of all magic? Whether we (apparently) make ghosts walk, reveal fragments of the future, make coins disappear, or even (dare I say?) have a wooden duck find a playing card…
Without that we are presenters of puzzles, or displayers of skill. Nothing wrong with that; but it’s not magic.
Perhaps that is what attracts some of us to bizarre magic, in which the story — the temporary creation of an alternative reality — is central.
If the focus of our performance is to fool our audience I believe there is something missing. Indeed, many spectators may feel a little aggrieved. It’s “fun to be fooled”? Not always. As magicians we may enjoy that; some equate it with being made to feel foolish. Or being challenged to seek a solution.
The magic isn’t in the puzzle, it begins in the narrative — the story — which surrounds and supports the trick. Only then can the magic happen where it’s supposed to happen… in the minds and hearts of our audiences.
To put it another way, aren’t our tricks the illustrations to our stories? And doesn’t our craft lie in the way we bring them together to truly tickle our spectators’ ‘wonder muscles’?
Tell me what you think. I’d like to know.