Shining A Light On Magic Tricks

From childhood, we are beguiled by a magician’s abilities to perform tricks that seem to have no obvious explanation. As we get older, we may begin to understand more about how a trick has been performed and with practice may be able to perform the tricks ourselves. However, most of us will still in adulthood be unable to see the “unseen hand” that makes these tricks happen.

There are however a number of talented illusionists who seek to shine some light on what is otherwise a fairly murky world. Objectively we all know that the illusionist is not really making a big truck disappear into nothingness. How could they do that? Where would it go? And if they had such powers, would they be performing on stage when they had the opportunity to use the powers for greater gain?

What the illusionists mentioned above manage to do is show how these tricks are performed by first doing the trick themselves as “normal”, and then showing how they did it. This has led to an outcry from the Magic Circle, a UK organisation which represents illusionists, saying that the acts of these “rogue” illusionists represent a threat to the mystery that is necessary for magic to exist. Other similar organisations have made equally dire pronouncements.

For many, however, the joy of such “whistle blower” illusionists is that they show how the tricks are actually performed in a way which makes the act seem even more impressive. Famously, Penn and Teller (an American illusionist act) have performed these tricks and ones they devise themselves while reading a newspaper or delivering a complicated monologue – demonstrating great dexterity in so doing.

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