The Message is the Magic

Marshall McLuhan famously stated, ‘The medium is the message’. When people first saw motion pictures they would have marvelled as much at the medium of film as the content of the movies. Whole societies have been shaped – how we work, travel, and relax – by technological media such as cars, television, and internet; it’s not what we look at but how we look at it that is McLuhan’s message. Magicians now learn from YouTube and video downloads rather than books, and this affects how they learn magic, what they learn, and how they understand it. Right-handed magicians are learning card moves left-handed (and vice versa) from YouTube, because they aren’t aware that the online instructor’s handedness is different from theirs, or they’ve been told it doesn’t matter (it does).

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Self-Improvement Courses

I mentioned previously how certain fundamentals of learning only take place ‘in the field’. Learning in the classroom only ever takes the student halfway. The other half comes from ‘trying out the tricks live, failing or succeeding, logging how and why the failures and successes happened, and keeping on until the failures represent nothing more than minor, unforeseeable glitches which even an expert magician will likely face.’ Continue reading “Self-Improvement Courses”

The Holy Grail of Conjuring

Imagine a concept that allows one to perform magic with the following features:

  • Can be done seated or standing
  • Outdoors or indoors (certain elementary conditions pertaining)
  • Borrowed objects – no special gimmicks
  • Has the appearance of real magic
  • Of an infinite variety in terms of effect and method – from producing a silk from thin air to vanishing coins, making cards change, reading people’s minds – limitless
  • May produce effects remembered by people for the rest of their lives
  • Can be mastered to a basic level in 6 months but ideally 2 years or more

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