When we see performances like those, we are moved. When was the last time you were moved . . . truly moved, by a magician? Dean Dill was that magician for me. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt astonishment. As a performer, I often am not “allowed” to experience astonishment. My mind won’t let me. It’s too busy thinking about the effect from the perspective of a magician.
In my opinion, it is one of the biggest sacrifices that a performer makes when s/he becomes a magician. Once you cross over from “layperson” to magician, there’s no going back. However, there are rare cases when you can, for just a split second, feel that feeling again.
Here’s your chance to experience it. Don’t think about it. Don’t try to “solve” it. Don’t dwell on it. Just watch it and be astonished. Before you do, I would highly recommend you read last month’s Roots and Branches article called The Art of Astonishment. This is basically a guideline to how to feel astonishment. Once you’ve read that, feel free to watch Dean Dill perform this beautiful effect. It’s magic that will make you cry.
Let’s Remember Our Roots. The Root: MOVE YOUR AUDIENCE! Stop with the mindless droning on about what prop your holding and what you’re going to do with it, and where you’re gonna stick it. I’ll tell you where to stick it! Your audience members are not morons. You don’t need to say, “I have here a deck of cards.” Are you serious!?
Let’s Build Our Branches. Your Challenge: MOVE YOUR AUDIENCE! For the next 30 days, I want you to take one effect in your current repertoire, and stop . . . and think . . . Think about what you’re saying, when you’re saying it, why you’re saying it. Make sure that your words have meaning and aren’t simply stating the obvious. As many of you may know, this is the final issue of Stone Cold Magic Magazine. So I thought I’d go out with a bang. I may ruffle some feathers, but this subject is near and dear to my heart. Why can’t our magic be moving and beautiful and emotional and meaningful? The answer is: it can!
This is why I wrote 793.8. My mission for that book is to solve this problem: too much of magic has no meaning. I’m not even opposed to “adventures of the props” as a way to present. What I’m opposing is a flurry of narration of every move and every breath you take. I’m opposing statements that are so obvious that by making them, you’re calling your audience members idiots/fools/etc.
What’s the point of saying, “I have here a pen. Take this pen and sign this card.” Why!? How ’bout saying something like: “Would you mind signing your name on the card” as you simply hand them the pen. Find these problems in your presentation and eliminate them.
Now go study the classics and go discover your true magical self.