Sunday, April 03, 2005

A Magic Touch

My fascination for the art of magic stretches back too far for me to remember. It is hard to me to pick the exact reason why I first got interested in it. The numberous magic shows that I saw as a child were obviously a big factor in it. As were the tricks that my Mom bought one evening from a fair she had visited. Simple tricks really, but interesting, nevertheless. And when I actually managed to fool a few adults with them I was more surprised than anyone else.

For a very long time after that I really had no connection whatsoever to anything remotely magical. Then one day comes the Messiah that would rekindle my faith in the art. David Blaine. There was something about the way he performed his tricks on the road that interested me. The way he would stop normal people, everyday Mr Joe's (and Miss Jane's) and bedazzle them for a few minutes with some sleight of hand.

For a person who found talking to people he didn't know too hard for his liking, magic seemed like the perfect answer. The ideal ice-breaker. That's why I prefer street-magic to the illusions performed on stage before an audience. There is something about the one-on-one aspect of former that appeals to me and that is completely missing from the latter.

And then there's performance art. No sleight of hand here. Just plain endurance and a dash of craziness. Like being frozen in an ice block for 3 days or standing on a 10 storey pillar for 35 hours. It appeals to that latent craving for attention that we all possess. It is also very satisfying to see the crowd there; pulling you on, praying for your success. These feats, I am certain, would not be possible to pull off were it not for the presence of an enthusiatic crowd. You are just as much doing it for them then, as you are for yourself. Failure to complete the task would be letting them down. Something you just cannot do. I hope to one day be able to pull off some of these "crazy" acts myself. Only time will tell whether I accomplish this goal or not.

My own experience performing tricks, though little, has been extremely fulfilling. The expressions on the faces of the people I've performed the tricks for are worthy rewards in themselves. Including the one on the face of a girl I once scared with my eyes. (If she's out there and reading this, Hi!!) Suddenly it becomes a lot easier to start a conversation with someone. And hey, it helps to impress the ladies too!

I can't see myself making a living performing magic because it's too late too start. I would liked to have done so though. However, I think I'll just continue with my amateur performances and settle for the smiles and flummoxed looks instead of the huge million dollar payoffs! I think they're worth more anyways.

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