For those of you not in the know, I went to college for film production. I wanted to make movies, but while in the Hollywood environment, and while I started to (re)learn magic, I discovered what I really wanted to do was entertain people. But that’s not the purpose of this post, I wanted to note that I really love movies so there’s a point of reference. The thing is, lately I’ve found a certain level of dislike which stems from something akin to an inability to work with my willing suspension of disbelief, or something similar to that.
A willing suspension of disbelief is where you go into watching a movie, or reading a book or playing a video game, and you know that what you see isn’t real, but you’re willing to suspend the disbelief and “go with it”. So, bottom line is that I am completely able to do that – I get into Sci-Fi, and Horror, and Fantasy. But lately while watching all this movie magic, I start seeing things that don’t make logical sense and that starts to ruin it for me. Of course, as I type this, no good example comes to mind. But say it’s something like someone goes left, when they have no reason to, and logically it would have made more sense to go right. To me, it shows a lack of attention from the writers and/or director.
Anyway, sometimes I might be really picky (Oh, what about when people from foreign countries speak to each other in English with horrible accents – can’t they just speak their native tongue?), but it seems that all these little logical “errors” slowly erode my like for any particular movie. But the truth of the matter is that the less problems a movie (or TV show, or whatever) has, the more it is likable. At least if you notice all these “errors”.
But how does this relate to magic, you might ask? Well I’ve been trying to be active in seeking out new tricks to learn and I realized that logical progression of a trick is something that makes me like or dislike it. It relates to those extra kicker endings that I complained about in a previous post. I remember reading a magician ask essentially “why do we go through the deck to find the Aces [not in a magical manner], then go through the process of losing them again, only to find them in a magical way”. What’s the point of “finding” them to begin with? It makes no sense. I saw a trick the other day where a guy showed a trick with 4 aces and 4 kings, and displayed the cards I think 3 times before going into the trick (the aces and kings were each of one suit, which I thought degraded the effect slightly, but that’s another issue), essentially over-proving, which is illogical in a performance.
I also like it when a trick, performed with sleights, mimics what might happen if a “normal” person were handling the cards, and things were to actually happen magically (for real, yo). If a move doesn’t seem natural (or, logical) to me, then either I have to find a way to make it become natural, or find a different way to do it, or just chuck the whole thing. Admittedly, I will learn a trick if I find that it progresses smoothly and logically, and uses an interesting move. But only if it “makes sense”.
So overall, I find I like less and less movies (but then, with the Hollywood drivel, it’s understandable), and I’m more and more picky about the magic I like.