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It's our natural inclination to watch a magician with a critical eye. We all want to 'see' the moment when the magic happens. Unfortunately, we miss the 'real' magic.
The 'real' magic is how the magician makes the effect come alive. If we try too hard to catch a magician 'flashing', then we miss all the moves that make the effect actually work.
How is he/she standing? How do they conceal critical moves? Does their patter make sense and does it bring the effect together in an interesting manner? Do they connect with the audience? How do they use humor to both relax and entertain the audience?
There are many other things to look for in a good performance, this is only the short list. In fact, if a magician performs badly, you can even learn a number of things NOT to do from their performance. It's more important to watch other performers with a thoughtful eye than with a critical eye...
Many of the very top magicians are students of the classic magicians of the past. They pour over rare video of their performances in hope of learning, not the trick, but the techniques that make the trick work.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|