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posted by janrinok on Sunday March 30 2014, @07:41AM   Printer-friendly
from the now-you-see-it dept.

The Burnaby Kid writes:

Figured I'd toss this out there, since SN was asking for interesting story submissions. I'm a professional magician working abroad, and I've been indulging in this incredibly geeky performing art for almost two decades. One problem that happens a lot when it comes to magic is that the nature of secrecy means that we don't get open dialogue with the muggles we perform for, and that leads to us getting into this weird sort of insular and incestuous discussion with other magicians, which ends up warping our minds to the extent that we start doing moronic things like... oh, I don't know... referring to our audience members as "muggles". We get into some pretty weird debates, and I've been trying my best to argue for raising the bar, such as by suggesting that we need to be more sensitive about what you guys like, such as by making sure that if we pull out a deck of cards, we've got something to perform that can compete with Card Through Window. And yet... Maybe I've got it wrong? What DO you guys like? If you like watching magicians perform, what do you like about it? If you don't, why not?

 
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  • (Score: 1) by hendrikboom on Sunday March 30 2014, @04:04PM

    by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 30 2014, @04:04PM (#23180) Homepage Journal

    Every time I've figured out how it's done or had it revealed to me afterward it has always increased my appreciation for the trick. I can watch it over and over again and have even more to appreciate. Like sunsets. People often say they don't want to know how the light is refracted by water droplets to form the many kinds of rainbow, but I always marvel at that as well as the sheer visual effect while I'm seeing one. Yay reality!

    -- hendrik

  • (Score: 2) by umafuckitt on Sunday March 30 2014, @04:24PM

    by umafuckitt (20) on Sunday March 30 2014, @04:24PM (#23187)

    I see where you're coming from, but I think these are different things. Knowing how refraction works adds an extra dimension to the prettiness of the rainbow. I agree it only serves to enhance what you already see. Knowing how a magic trick works tells you that you didn't see what you thought you saw. In other words: the effect isn't real and something else happened. That changes the essence of what you saw. For some people this will impact negatively. For others, like you, it may revel in the mechanics of it. Either way, however, knowing the mechanics of a magic trick completely changes how you view it because the mystification (which is why the effect has impact) is now gone and is replaced with something else.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by hatta on Sunday March 30 2014, @05:46PM

      by hatta (879) on Sunday March 30 2014, @05:46PM (#23214)

      Knowing how a magic trick works tells you that you didn't see what you thought you saw. In other words: the effect isn't real and something else happened.

      Knowing that it's a magic trick at all tells you the same thing. The enjoyment of a magic trick is not dependent on believing that it's real. We all know it's fake, by the simple fact that it's magic. That doesn't damage the wonder at all.

    • (Score: 2) by sjames on Monday March 31 2014, @12:49AM

      by sjames (2882) on Monday March 31 2014, @12:49AM (#23370) Journal

      The thing is, I already know that the lady didn't actually get cut in half and then put back together. Most of us (apparently not the nut that sued David Copperfield) know the magician doesn't actually have divine powers.

      I can then appreciate the skill of the trick, just how far the magician pushed his luck, the artfullness of the patter, etc.

      The best time I have had watching a show was me and several professional magicians watching a video tape.