Thursday, September 06, 2012

Magical Vs. Impossible

Dai Vernon is credited with saying something to the effect of "confusion is not magic". I want to add my own thoughts along this line to the magic world by saying impossible does not equal magical.

I think doing something impossible and doing something magical are two different realms. Much like we seem to lump all performing traits under the term "character" we seem to just fist every thing that is supposed to be magical into the category of "magic".

Much like my popular stance that coincidence is not magic so too shall this gem rest right next to it.

What got me thinking of this was watching the demo for an animated torn and restored card. I like to think that magic has a very defined clear cut effect to it. Tricks that I feel sit under the impossible umbrella are things that either don't make sense or are not magic in and of themselves. It's a very thine line I admit.

Usually magic is best when it serves a purpose or fills a need. Let me explain it to you using hand puppets and this little one act play I just made up.

Magic
Random Person: "Man I am hungry"
Magician: hand me that napkin (magician makes sandwich appear from empty napkin)
Person: "Wow that was amazing! Thanks!"

Impossible
Magician: "Watch me take this sandwich and make it penetrate halfway thru this pane of glass"
Confused Person: "Um...ok."
(Magician fuses sandwich and glass as one)
Person: "Wow that was.. weird. Why did you do that?"
Magician: "Because I can..."

That might be a tad extreme but doing something random like the second example serves no purpose other than eye candy. Magic is impossible. Impossible is not always magic.

Does this mean all your magic needs to serve a function? Hell no! However the moments of magic should make sense to the task at hand. Ambitious card is magic. It is structured as such. Turning an apple into an iphone? Not so much. Doing something impossible "just because" may seem like magic to some but in the end...

it might just be damned silly.