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A LifeTips reader recently asked, "What is the most important thing about magic?". It may sound like a rather complicated question, but actually... it's not.
Magicians fret over tricks and effects. They worry greatly about their appearance and their stage presence. They spend tons of money on props, sound equipment, assistants, lighting, and whatever else they think will make them a better magician. But... lost is the one basic principle that's at the very heart of magic...
Everything we do comes down to one basic question - was it entertaining? You can have thousands of dollars in props and equipment, you can dress to the hilt and spend a fortune on 'secrets'; but ultimately, it all comes down to your performance and whether or not it entertains the audience.
I have friends who've spent endless hours working on a pass or a double undercut, and they can perform them to perfection... but they had never developed the ability to entertain. Oh, they can impress other magicians with their technical skills, but they are missing the basic point. We are here to entertain the audience. Just as surely as a circus clown, a singer, a trapeze artist, a lion tamer, or a comedian use their skills to entertain, so should a magician.
Don't think I'm against buying props and spending money to make for a better, more professional appearance. I'm not. But in the midst of watching David Copperfield perform his magic with million dollar illusions, one of my favorite moments was watching him sit on the edge of the stage and perform a Crazy Man's Handcuff routine with two rubber bands. He made it magical... he made it simply entertaining.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|