Feb 24, 2009

Showing what you know and showing off

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Last Sunday my girlfriend and I went to the mall for a date. On our way home we passed by a kiosk selling magic tricks. The attendant, who I believe isn't a magician (just someone who know how to do the trick), offered to show me a 4 linking ring routine. I declined the offer with a smile and continued on walking.

My girlfriend then asked me what if I did magic in front of her rather than that person doing a magic trick for me. She said too that I might even pretend not to know how the trick works and then end up doing a full and better routine than that person. I just laughed at the ideas she was telling me and I just told her Magic is like martial arts, even though you know it it doesn't mena you should show it off.

With this thought in mind I remember the times when I was a beginner in magic. Sometimes when I know a trick I show it too soon that rather than having a good performance I end up exposing some secrets of it. Only then I realized that magic should be about humility too.

Whenever I see these kiosks sometimes I can't help myself but be frustrated especially at some attendants who would actually show you a trick or two that you know you could have done better. Example of this is the "bite-out" coin which is always performed for people. I remember when one attendant blew away the secret of it because she wasn't careful with her angles. Another is when an attendant is doing a svengali deck routine wherein after he has performed it he revealed outright the secret in front of his audience (even if there was just one person, I could actually hear every word he says) The sad thing about it is that is they are just showing off and not showing magic to people.

I understand that they are just doing their job but I hope they understand too that magic needs more than what they do and doing it in the manner wherein you are just showing off is nothing more than presenting a clever puzzle rather than presenting a miracle.

Well I hope some had read this and learned a lesson or two with it. I hope you remember that magic is used to entertain not just to show off.

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