The Art of Magic is the Art of Story:

The art of magic is the art of weaving non-realities into temporary realities, causing the suspension of disbelief.  Many people think that it is the other way around.  They think that suspension of disbelief is required first.  Not so.

A good magician is a good story teller.  If you pull the audience into a story with which they can relate, then give them a reason to “keep reading,” then suspension of disbelief is the natural cause.

Now, we mental magicians have a slight advantage: every story we tell is already about the observer.  The subject of our story is always the idea that the observer might be weaved into a fascinating display of mind reading powers, or have the opportunity to make the magician look the fool if he fails.  This is the grown up version of the 9 year old who shouts at the party magician, “it is up your sleeve.”

The difference being that the grown up watching the mentalist, already came to the show with the hope of being pulled into the fantasy story.  So, it behooves us to practice telling stories and holding conversations.  Particularly in  a society that is increasingly less about one-on-one and face-to-face.  A good story teller who can hold the attention of the high speed, instant gratification crowd, is truly a master of his art.

Don’t let anyone tell you that knowing the tricks, performing the experiments, and just flinging out the banter is “good enough.”  Become a master story teller.

Good luck and good performance to you!


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