I just came up with this piece during a typical thread response, and it kind of turned out to be an essay; so I thought it was important enough to share here. I have not posted any of my essays in forums in awhile, because as I said I was too busy publishing them in my first book. However I would like to post this piece being it is not that long, and just something I have pondered for awhile now that I feel needs to be shared amongst other magicians. If you are a serious magician, and not simply a laymen seeking out secrets; do you enjoy being fooled? Or does ego inhibit you from such an enjoyable experience?
I actually enjoy being fooled, although that rarely happens anymore outright. I may be slightly confused about the method, or look for something far more advanced than is actually there. But then again it depends on how I am viewing the effect, as a magician or as a layman. I think being a magician and being able to see an effect as a layman would, is actually an acquired skill that comes easier over time. At first you are overwhelmed with knowledge that all you are looking for is method, which in itself can get you really fooled, as you tend to be more close-minded in the early stages of your learning.
Personally I believe that being fooled, or even slightly confused; is something to be cherished. Even more so after spending many years studying the art. It brings that sense of "wonder" back to you again, the wonder that most likely encouraged and persuaded you to study magic in the first place. Now I don't mean being confused from a layman's perspective, obviously they should be "entertained;" not confused.
The magician is a little of both. He is confused because he knows methods, but something just doesn't seem to match up. This can lead to frustration, annoyance, or enjoymentâ€”sometimes all the above; depending on the personality of the magician. Anytime I do experience that wonder I try to prolong it as much as possible. If I see something very unique on a DVD that I did not fully understand, or figure out right away; I stop the video and think it about for awhile.
Sometimes days, as this preserves the initial moment of astonishment. Most are only looking for "secrets," not that gleeful moment of trying to decipher the miracle at hand. Most will simply rewind again and again, or even worse go right to the explanation. I never do that. I believe the more experienced and knowledgeable you become, the more those types of rare moments should be savored, and enjoyed. Of course I speak of "legitimate magic" in this case, not "TV magic."
Who knows when it will happen again? So don't be afraid to be fooled, it is a good thing. It means the art is still progressing and surviving, and you are you still learning and growing just the same. I think the longer you have been in the art the more you come to appreciate such moments, I know I have. Regardless of ego, to deny it would be simply "fooling" myself. So next time before going straight to the explanation on a DVD, sit back and soak it in...expand your mind and try to think through all the possibilities.
Appreciate and ascertain the mastery of the art at work. Don't go searching for secrets right away, go soul-searching instead...