Do you really think that people believe that there is real magic? I am not meaning to sound condescending so please forgive me if I do; it is difficult to fully convey meaning using text alone. I just do not see it as likely that the people I am likely to perform for at corporate events are going to be the types who believe that real magic happens.
I didn't mean to imply that taking out a big magic box was not going to arouse suspicion, merely that doing so is not that big a deal because the way you present your routine is more important that if it actually fools everyone. If your properly present your ambitious card (or any other card routine) there is no reason for anyone to suspect that you are using gimmicked cards.
Additionally, we are entertainers. If trying to figure out the method is what entertains the audience, let them try. Keep them guessing. I would never expose the method, but if someone thinks it's that important to know the method, they will come up with whatever they think you did and will not be convinced otherwise. Trying to convince someone that what you are doing is REAL magic is not only futile but it is unethical. We ARE performers; no one should be using their skills to try to convince anyone otherwise.
I understand your point of view. However, there is one thing that allows us to re-evaluate each of the bolded statements above: Religion.
The fact is, most business men and medical professionals (in the United States) are some form of Christian, which means they must believe that magic can
or at least did at one time
occur as a real phenomenon. Put simply, Christianity is the most popular of religious persuasions, and one cannot ascribe to Christianity and at the same time hold a disbelief in real magic; to do so would present a double standard that cannot logically be fulfilled.
Considering that all accounts of Biblical miracles are 2000 or so years old, given the state of knowledge in society at that time, and given that the laws of physics which govern all universal activity are unchanging, it would be illogical to conclude that the events described as miracles were in any way legitimate. Most were, in actual fact, old stunts known to a handful of the Jewish culture of the time (such as turning water into wine).
If any of these things were to be witnessed today (such as a man walking on water), it would immediately be labelled unauthentic by most. Few would take it to be proof of true power, but those few people still represent a portion of the population that does believe
in real magic. And even if few believe in a modern demonstration, an overwhelming majority in today's society do
believe an eye-witness account from ancient culture, meaning that they must
believe that real magic exists.
This demonstrates the truth in the observation made by malfy about indigenous native cultures that have no exposure to other means of explanation for the illusions that we create: such cultures mirror society as it was roughly 2000 years ago - at least in terms of exposure to alternative forms of explanation where magic is concerned. If malfy had used his powers to gain an audience, spoken to them about prophecies, all the while using his powers as proof of his supernatural credibility, and if the natives of Hana, Hawaii wrote an account of malfy's demonstrations, passed it down through ages, and honored it as the word of a supernatural seer of all the universe, we would see the birth of a new religion. We would witness a society that would grow with a lasting belief in real magic
despite our knowledge that such a thing does not exist, and that the natives simply didn't examine the magic closely enough to disprove its authenticity.
The bottom line is this: the vast majority of people must
believe in magic, considering their religious persuasion, but they will deny this belief in the context of modern times, given that modern magic has been evaluated, examined, and explained in some way. At the very least, most people are confused as to whether or not they accept magic as legitimate; they assume that old miracles and modern explanations are mutually exclusive, and thus will not apply the latter to the former. Due to this, there is a much wider belief in real magic than is at first clear.
"Trying to convince someone that what you are doing is REAL magic is not only futile, but it is unethical."
Unethical? I agree completely.
Futile? I must disagree, as history has overwhelmingly proven otherwise.