No matter where you go on the internet to find your news and community, sooner or later you’ll see someone talking about how this or that is killing magic.
But is it?
Is magic *actually* dying?
With an unprecedented number of new magicians entering the art, some magicians with what you might call ‘Old fashioned values’ claim that magic is becoming watered down and hijacked, becoming nothing more than a fad.
Whilst this may be true for some, what negative impact does it actually have on the community?
I’ve read on a number of forums, how “All the kids want to do is learn the secret and then expose it on the internet,” and whilst this is undoubtedly true in a small number of cases, in many others, it’s because those new magicians haven’t yet learned any better.
It’s up to *US* as a community to band together and look after the beginners, to teach them the right way to learn, to teach them the power of the magic club or society, and finding a trusted friend with whom to practice.
I have no doubt that reading this entry will be a huge mix of skill levels and experience, from professional to just beginning.
To the beginners, please, be patient with your progress. You might think that one day you’re getting nowhere, and another you’re ready to go out and perform for the world, but please, be patient and brutally honest with yourself.
To the professionals, I beg of you – be a little more lenient and patient with the “kids” who are just beginning. All they want is to learn the right way… Teach, don’t preach.
Others say that the prevalence of magic websites such as www.ellusionist.com are to blame for the proliferation of new magicians. Again, now it would seem that a magic store is only ever a google away – but how much easier is that for us?
The closest real magic shop to me, the one I visit most often and would love to hang out at every day, is a hundred miles away - and I’m sure I don’t have it as bad as some.
A few years ago, we would have had to make that journey every time we wanted to pick up a new deck of cards, pick up some refills for our lotions and potions or replace the thumbtip that the cat ran off with. (Don’t laugh, I swear one day I’ll find a dozen or more hidden away somewhere.)
Now, we click on the right name in our favourites and a few moments later, the order is placed and being processed.
Some may say that this takes away a lot of the human contact associated with a visit to the magic shop, but if you’re in a rush… Well, honestly – how many of us were ever able to just nip into the brick and mortar store, purchase the one or two items we wanted and walk out again?
How about the prevalence of magic on TV with shows like Celebracadabra, showing how Celebrities can learn magic quickly? *Surely* that’s to blame for the downfall of magic? The fact that you can tune in almost any day and find a show with magic on it, that the tricks are being performed by a variety of skill levels, cluing our spectators and audiences in when performed badly.
The fact of the matter is that when Penn & Teller can’t kill the Thumbtip by exposing it on international tv, and the efforts of all the Masked Magician’s shows put together can’t keep us down, will the next show that features no exposure do us any bad?
Yet other complaints have been based around custom cards, and the manufacturer’s website being emblazoned across the box. I can honestly tell you that the magician behind one of the top rated effects so far this year has exactly that to blame for hooking him in to magic. If it hadn’t been for a deck of black tiger cards, and seeing “More Black Tiger Gear available from www.ellusionist.com” on the bottom of the box, his entire magical output so far and in the future would never have existed.
That may be just one story – but that’s the first story that springs to mind.
Cards, like anything else, are a tool – they’re like the mechanic’s spanner or the painter’s brush.
They do what the artist chooses to do with them.
That’s right, it’s up to *you* to make them make sense, it’s up to *you* to create a web of mystery surrounding them, or fashion a reason for using them.
Some say that they shouldn’t have to do that – but hey, if we were all the same, we’d all like musical theater…