J Bov Explodes Rhetorically

On The Whys and Wherefores of my Love of Magic

I love magic. I love seeing it, I love performing it and I love the idea behind it.

The above is a small selection of tricks I’ve managed to learn, ones that I could perform in front of my laptop camera at short notice, but you get the idea.

I’ve been a fan of magic since I was very young, when I was around six I was bought one of those all-in-one boxes “50 tricks for you to perform” type of deal. I learned them all and spent a lot of my time showing them to people, trying to make them seem as natural and easy as possible. Unfortunately I mislaid my box of tricks (PUN!) around the time I became interested in videogames (my love of videogames can be explained with one word ‘escapism’) and haven’t bothered with the all-in-one sets since. Partly because I have no money and secondly because I lost interest.

Just recently I began to feel the urge to learn some bar tricks (Hell, I can go to the pub now, so why not?) and from that stemmed an urge to learn some coin manipulations.
After several years off I was hooked again. I had to watch every magic special on TV, I began to realise that David Blaine is a twat who dresses up cheap tricks and shows them to idiots, I went looking for gimmicks to buy and lamented the lack of a good magic shop near my home (although I hear there’s one in Wakefield).

Now I suppose some people might consider magic tricks to be a childish pastime, brightly coloured toys and flashy movements and I can see why they would. I like to call these people ‘Dead Inside’. The majority of the time these folk will try their damndest not to smile or react in any way besides a derisive snort or sneer even if they’re genuinely impressed. I feel bad for these people. “It’s all just tricks, sleight of hand, magic’s not real.” No, it isn’t, that’s not the point; I’m not trying to make you think I have real magical powers, I just want to impress and shock and engage people with an art form older than balet and almost as skillful. I want people to suspend their disbelief as one would for a film or play and think ‘Wow! That’s impossible!’

Then there are others, the people you want to perform for, the people for whom you begin to get into magic. They will go along with anything, believe any slick talk and hold any object (real or not) just for a chance to be amazed. These people’s faces light up when you vanish a coin, when you make a card explode in front of them, when their initials are on THAT VERY COIN OH MY GOD! Those people are why we learn difficult manipulations, sleights and gimmicks. Those people are why we even exist. If the naysayers had their way magicians would be burned at the stake.

I love magic because of the look on people’s faces when something unexpected and exciting happens. I love magic because no matter how impossible a trick looks it usually has a deceptively simple solution. I love magic because it’s technical AND whimsical.

I love magic because it adds something to the grey drudgery and depressing monotony of our lives. It adds some brightly coloured toys and flashy hand movements. Why do you think juggling has survived so long?

So I write humourous pieces, I make music, I try to make jokes, I juggle and I learn magic tricks. I do these things so I have some ammo in the war against mediocrity, so I have a way of making some people smile, so I can fight off sadness, should the need arrise.

I don’t do it so I have something I can keep from people; I’ve told many people how I do some of the tricks in the video above. I like people to appreciate the practicle side as well as the effect. I don’t do it to be different, hundreds of people enjoy magic. My driving instructor was/is a magician of great skill, a man who owns a restaurant near my home sometimes does tricks at people’s tables for his own amusement.

I love magic because it makes people smile. I love magic because it accessible to almost everyone.
I love magic because it makes you, for a few seconds or a few minutes, forget that the world hates you. Makes you forget bills, accidents, terrorists, CCTV and the fact that you are constantly watched and judged and evaluated on your actions. It allows you to step away from the evils of the world and exist in the moment.

I love magic because it falls into the category of selfless action.
That’s the only heroism left in this world.

I love magic because I like other people to love something.

But most of all, I love magic because there is nothing more fulfilling than making someone smile.


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