Hello… in this essay, which is obviously geared towards the teenage performer, I will attempt to help those few unfortunate teenage magicians whose parents either don’t like magic in general, or just don’t like their child performing. Either way, I will try to help.
First of all you have to determine if your parents are non-interested or non-supportive. They may sound similar, but in my opinion, they are two very different things.
If your parents are non-interested, when you want to perform for them, they will often act bored during your “test-run” performances, and may even turn you away, with an excuse such as, “Magic is all you ever do, find a new hobby.” Thank God I have never personally experienced this, but I bet it can really get you down. If this happens to you, just remember that even though they are your parent, it’s just one person… not everyone you encounter will be this way.
Now obviously, this is something that you don’t necessarily want, but it could be much worse. If your parents aren’t interested in watching you perform magic, simply find a friend that willing to watch your “test-runs.” Your best, or closest friend, should be perfectly suited for the job.
The second type, like I mentioned earlier, is the non-supportive parent. In my opinion, a non-supportive parent would be defined as a parent who does not want you performing… for anyone, anytime, anywhere.
This could include things such as not letting you purchase any new magic, not letting you perform at “social gatherings”, or sometimes extremely drastic measures such as taking away all of our magic.
To be blatantly honest with you, there isn’t a whole lot you can do if you have a non-supportive parent, or in a worst case scenario, non-supportive parents. Each of the situations I listed before model different problems, and therefore different solutions.
If your parent(s) won’t let you purchase any new magic, the situation, in my opinion, depends on how far along you are on the “Royal Road”. For example, if I, who have been into the art for about five years now, was not allowed to purchase any new magic, I would probably be ok until the ban was lifted, because I would have enough material that I had already purchased to last me a while. However, if I had just started, and hadn’t had enough time to build my “collection” of magic material, I probably wouldn’t have much material to work with, and it would therefore put a halt to my magic… even if only temporarily.
As a solution, I recommend you stop performing… yup, you read the last part correctly. Notice how I did not say stop practicing. After a while, your parents will probably assume that you have lost interest in magic, and therefore probably won’t care if you want to purchase a little magic. Depending on your parents, you may be able to slowly ease back into buying magic on a fairly regular basis.
Of course, some of you may think that falsely luring your parents into believing you are no longer interested in magic is a form of lying, and I can see your point, but apart from begging and pleading, what else are you going to do? Although a little on the extreme side the idea actually seems like it could work… until they realized that you were once again performing “full-time”, and reinstated the ban on purchasing magic.
Although your parents not allowing you to purchase magic would generally be thought of as a bad thing, it can in fact present itself as a good thing, and an even greater opportunity. One example of this would be an actual experience from my recent past.
A couple months ago, my Mom told me that I needed to stop buying magic until I was at least 16, so I could save up money for a care. At first I freaked out and opposed this idea, but when my Mom told me that she would match whatever money I came up with, I suddenly sparked an interest. I’d like to take this spot in my essay to tell you how truly blessed I am to have such wonderful parents.
Anyway, for the “opportunity” part of my on-going experience: because I’m trying to save up for a car, and won’t be buying any magic for a while, I have to rely on my family to give me magic as gifts for my birthday and Christmas. The great opportunity here that I keep speaking of is because I’m not buying any new magic buy twice a year, I have no choice but to go back through all my old material and essentially workshop and improve both the handlings and the presentations of all my old effects. Plus I have plenty of spare time for scripting!
Another situation that I have personally experience is my Mom not wanting me to perform. Every time I/we went someplace, she made me promise not to perform. It was really strange for me, because before this, she had always been very supportive of my magic. Her reasoning was that, “There is a time and place for magic, and a social gathering is not it.” This had me a little confused, but I went along with it. She continued with, “I want people to like you for you, not for your magic.” I completely agreed, but most of the time when I performed it was for people that I knew fairly well, and I had met prior to performing for them. Other times, I met some really great people because of my performances.
I overcome the problem by performing magic with normal objects that my Mom wouldn’t think I could use for magic… just in case she decides to take away my cards or coins (in very rare cases), and I am left prop-less. For example: for a period of time, I always had two rubber bands on my wrist. Why? Because my Mom could take all my cards, my rope, my Chop Cup, but she wouldn’t every think to take away a couple of rubber bands… which happen to be the very props I use for one of my all-time favorite impromptu effects… Crazy Man’s Handcuffs.
What I’m saying here is to learn magic with everyday objects, such as: coins (Modern Coin Magic), rings (Ring Leader by Gregory Wilson), napkins (Torn and Restored, balls for impromptu cups and balls), jewelry (watch steals), and silverware (Liquid Metal by Morgan Strebler).
Sure, it cold be viewed as going behind my mother’s back, even betraying her trust… but I didn’t think I could handle her taking away my passion, my art… magic, just because she had this idea in her head that I was too socially inept to make friends based solely on my personality… which wasn’t true, I might add.
The last and final situation is possibly the worst thing that could happen… your parents taking away your magic, hiding it from you… crushing the very dreams upon which you built your performances. O.K., maybe that’s taking it a little too far, but you get the idea.
After those last couple of paragraphs, you probably think I’m a cocky, horrible son who thinks that I can get away with anything and everything, including directly disobeying my mother, just to perform some silly little magic trick. Let me tell you, I’m not that way at all. One the things that I dislike the most in people around me is cockiness. Confidence, sure, is great, but cocky people really get on my nerves. Right now you’re probably wondering how in the world my cockiness, or lack there of, is going to tie in with your parents taking your magic away. The fact is, even though I may have the guts to ignore my Mom and perform against her rule, if she took away my magic, I wouldn’t be stupid, or cocky enough to try and “steal” them back. The blatant truth is that if it gets to the point where your parents have to actually confiscate your magic to get your attention, regardless of the reasoning behind their actions, you probably deserver every bit of the punishment… deal with it.
And so concludes my essay on “anti-magic” parents. I really hope you enjoyed it… it is by far my most personal essay yet, and it felt good to finally get those feelings off my chest. Have a wonderful day![/u]