A magician called Yif recently posted videos on YouTube, which many of the magic community felt were simply full of camera tricks. Magicians have discussed this in depth on magic forums and debated if the magic video was filmed with stooges and set up off camera. So, do you feel that magic on TV should only be performed in the same way a magician could perform it in live conditions?
The problems magicians face on TV.
MoveMonkey in Detroit makes a good point: Unlike at a live performance of magic, audiences watching a trick on TV or YouTube have the power to REWIND. They can enjoy infinite viewing of the performance. This destroys many of the techniques magicians use in live magic:
- Change blindness.
- Forced perspective.
- Intersecting moments.
- Psychological influence.
One of the golden rules of how to do magic tricks, is broken when a trick is recorded:
Never repeat a trick
Once a trick – Twice a lesson comes into play here. It’s pretty easy for viewers to back-engineer a trick they watch on YouTube if they really want to.
Are magic tricks on TV a problem?
I’ve often wondered why so many magicians insist that magic on TV should only be performed the way it would be if performed ‘live’. We don’t insist singers only release live recordings without sound processing. We also don’t insist all TV shows are recorded theatre plays.
I’ve no idea if the tricks Yif performs use stooges. To be honest, I don’t really care.
1) If someone watches the video and is entertained, it’s done it’s job.
2) If that makes someone more likely to book a magician to see some live magic at their event, that’s great for us!
3) If it inspires a beginner to start the journey into magic, that’s great for him and the magic community.
Regardless of the material being live magic or staged magic, the footage can still help us learn how to do magic tricks. Just like a singer can learn something from a processed pop song. Yif does not rush the presentation, and allows the reactions to grow well after the magic has been performed. We can take from that and find ways to apply it to our own presentations.
What do you think? Please share your thoughts about magic tricks on trick in the comments section below.