I was looking through some old Copperfield specials to see how funny it would be to switch out the music so he would be floating over the grand canyon, for example, to I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas (Answer: mildly funny.) I had never seen this Copperfield special before, The Magic of David Copperfield VII: Familiares. Below is the climax of the show. I found it very fascinating, specifically because this was the moment the show was building towards, not the vanish of a lear jet or whatever a tornado of fire is -- but this long, kind of hokey, pseudo-nostalgic, Spielberg-inspired, vignette. I bet if you're young you might find it hard to sit through, the pace will seem really slow. But it's interesting too, because it's so different than anything that would close a modern magic special with. If you haven't seen it, check it out below...
I enjoyed this episode of the Freakonomics podcast about surprise and suspense. I don't know that there's anything particularly applicable to magic, but I do think suspense and surprise seem like good, audience-centric goals for a performance that will lead to more entertaining magic. It seems to me we often think of magic in terms that are too small (i.e., here's a new sleight that will fool people) or in terms that are too grandiose (i.e. "Magic gets people questioning the nature or reality and removes all preconceptions of how the world works.") I feel like both of these views are an attempt to ignore the idea that magic is supposed to be entertaining. And that's a disservice to the people you're performing for. What I mean is, if you think playing music is only about how quickly you can work your fingers on the guitar, or you define music as some lofty exercise where the beat of the music is a reflection of the heartbeat we felt in the womb, neither of these attitudes are going to help you belt out some catchy songs.
Are there more of you in magic? For a long time I've told people there are. And that my theory was it had something to do with keeping secrets, i.e. they had become accustomed to it in their personal life and so magic was a way of creating art from secrets (as opposed to maybe feeling shame from them). Is my hypothesis bullshit? And is my feeling that there are more gay people in magic than in the general population bullshit? You might say, "Well, it's not magic per se, it's show business, so that draws in more gay people." Which makes sense, but I don't think there are more gay jugglers.
If you want to set me straight (so to speak) send me an email. You can write it anonymously or just tell me that it's not for publication. Don't worry, I value privacy.
I signed up to be a volunteer for Donald Trump's presidential campaign. Everyone is horrified when I tell them this, but I think it seems like it would be hilarious. Sadly, I don't think he's genuinely running because I haven't heard back from them yet and it's been a couple of weeks. I feel like a real presidential campaign would be so hungry for volunteers that they would be all over you after you signed up. Oh well.
We're at two and a half months now of daily posts. I've received a ton of very positive emails since launching this site. So thanks to everyone who wrote. I'd like to specifically thank Joe Mckay and Rob Dobson who have both provided a number of ideas that have or will become posts on this site.