WHY DO PEOPLE HATE MAGIC?
My name is Craig and I am a professional magician and as such I am hyper aware that magicians are viewed as geeky at best and downright disturbing at the other end of the spectrum.
I know this is a controversial statement and something that a lot of my fellow magicians will disagree with but it is true. Think about how magicians are portrayed on film and television. Outside of large Hollywood Blockbusters like The Prestige, magicians are portrayed as being very strange.
Think about that classic scene in ‘Gavin and Stacy’ set at a wedding faire. The magician was portrayed as an absolute idiot with no social skills whatsoever. Think about Barney in ‘How I Met Your Mother’.
This is a character who has learnt magic to pick up women in the most sleazy possible. Even when the programme doesn’t feature the character of a magician they can still make fun of magic in general. I refer you to this scene from ‘The IT Crowd’ as an example.
You can make the argument that magic is now more popular than ever before with people like Dynamo and David Blaine bursting onto the scene. And whilst that is true both Dynamo and David Blaine are considered very strange indeed. They arrive, do something very weird and then walk off without saying a word. Not exactly the height of social skills!
Try this experiment, ask a friend to describe a magician. More than likely they will describe a walking cliche. Someone who dresses in a top hat and tales, holding a dove in one hand and a rabbit in the other. And the best case scenario, you could have someone say a clown with bright orange hair.
I perform at weddings and corporate functions and myself and my team definitely do not look anything like you would imagine a magician would look like. And yet when I am performing I will frequently have people say to me “I hate magic”. Confession time
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT WHEN PEOPLE SAY “I HATE MAGIC!”
When I hear this I know I can make that person love magic. You see the reason that people say they don’t like magic is the same reason magic is portrayed in such a bad light by the media. That reason is the magic community. Now don’t get me wrong there are some magicians who are fantastic, many of these performers I count as friends.
However the majority of magicians are stuck in the dark ages.
You will recognise these performers straight away. They are the ones with a magic wand or a top hat and a bunny on their business card. They are the ones that have some horrible outdated graphics on their car. They are the ones that have a website that looks like it just been dragged kicking and screaming from the 1990’s. They are the ones that have no social skills and within seconds of performing immediately act like they are better than you.
The problem is magic is one of the only industries where you can get given a magic set for Christmas and within a month you have printed some business cards up at Vista Print and you are calling yourself a professional magician. Having said that there are many magicians that have been around for years and should have quit years ago.
So when I meet someone that says “I don’t like magic” I don’t take it personally. I understand that what they mean is they have seen a cheesy magician with no skill or social skills and have judged all magicians on one performance. My goal in this situation is within 5 minutes to change their opinion and show them how entertaining magic can be when performed well.
You see I am a very good magician. My team are very good magicians. I spend a lot of time thinking about my performance style and making sure I am entertaining. My goal when I perform is to make sure that when someone watches me perform they leave with a positive impression of both me and magic as a whole. I’m not the only magician that cares however the sad fact is that good magicians are few and far between.
The moral of this post is that if you think magic is terrible there is a very good chance you might be wrong. And if you are booking a magician for your event make sure you book a magician that is going create a memorable experience for your guests for all the RIGHT reasons. Better yet just book me - it’s quicker and I am awesome!
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