When I travel, I take books and DVDs that have a lot of useful material in/on them. This means I find myself taking John Bannon’s stuff quite frequently. We are very fortunate that magic seems to attract a lot of brilliant thinkers – e.g. Jim Steinmeyer, Simon Aronoson, Mike Close, Robert Harbin, Alex Elmsley, Stewart James, David Williamson, Darwin Ortiz etc. It seems so many of the magic savants get the press and we tend to forget those of great intelligence and insight.
I spent a great deal of time rereading Smoke and Mirrors on my last trip. What a good book. Some of Bannon’s wisdom needs to be pointed out so we don’t forget.
That is why I consider myself a magician first, an entertainer second. This is why I do not believe a magician is an actor playing the part of a magician.. Magic should be entertaining and should contain elements of theater, spectacle and/or humor. But I think if magic has anything it can call its own, it is its appeal to the bundle of human reactions I call surprise. By choosing magic as the medium, by being a magician rather than a comedian, actor or storyteller, my aim is to provide that otherworldly sense of surprise.
Thank you, John! The entertainment at all costs mantra has gone further to destroy magic than anything I can think of.
The old saw that there are no bad tricks, just bad magicians, is nonsense. Of course there are bad tricks. Lots of them.
At this stage of the game, I’m surprised this even needs to be said, but I heard it again the other night. Not only are there bad tricks, there are real stinkers – just awful. I give you Electric Touch etc.
I believe that once a prediction is introduced, the audience presumes that it will be correct; that is, that the trick will succeed. From that moment on, the audience necessarily concentrates on the conditions of the subsequent selection.
Boy, is he on the right track here. It seems like half of the tricks at any magic club start with I have a prediction…..
I guess my point of this article is to encourage you to take books and DVDs, written by the great modern magic thinkers, and look deeper. There’s a gold mine in the Worker’s series, just as there is in the writings of all of those I mentioned above. We’re living on a golden age of magic thinking – don’t let it get away.