And So it Goes......1 (The Art of the Lie) from John's blog

The Art of the Lie (oddities):

Oh the guilt! The magician’s GUILT! The horrible blinking of the eyes when telling a fabrication….. the treacherous need to look away when performing a slight. Oh, how the art of the lie has suffered its true potential: an aid for truthful expression. And so the little or big lie gets lost to confusion, so sad in its pitiful malformation of existence.

It’s not that the lie is a bad thing; it’s just that it’s been perverted and overused. We shouldn’t be filled with guilt when offering a semi untruth to create a miracle. But many times we cringe at the very notion of offering up a half truth.

Ironic isn’t it? We do this daily without hesitation, but during the honest performance of deceit we feel guilt for our presentation. And so it goes, in our sad little expression of self assuredness in our presentation of deceit. But the spectator knows best, and all of the smart banter in the world can’t successfully argue the layman’s point of view.

It has taken me years upon years to become comfortable in the art of deceit. Even still I find myself having to consciously combat my instinct of honesty. Many times I have felt lost, not sure of my performance because I couldn’t stand to look at the deceit I was offering. I did not realize that the thing I was offering to the spectator was the wonderment of “not knowing”. “Not knowing” and the unknown is an awesome thing to produce in a spectator’s mind. Wonderment is amazing, that is where creativity can manifest the impossible into the probable.

One of the ways I was able to combat my selfish need to be honest, was to force myself to focus on the moment at hand. For example, I have a horrible time not blinking or turning away (in an extreme exaggerated way) when executing a slight. I have a tendency to be completely unnatural which only ruins the effect. So part of my repertoire of practice is to force myself to look at my hands when performing a slight, so that I don’t cringe, or give away that something deceitful has happened. The way I could convince myself to do this, was to create an internal monologue telling myself that I am witnessing a miracle, not that I am creating one through trickery. However, I do not do this during performance. I get to the point where I don’t even think about my hands, and allow the naturalness through preparedness shine through.

I now practice this method daily, and it has greatly improved my performances. It has also improved my confidence in performing because I get myself into the mindset that I’m actually creating these miracles. As the great Antony Gerard would say, we do not perform tricks, tricks are something a dog does. What we do is perform magic, which is an art, and takes countless hours of practice and dedication in order to present this wonderful art. Just as one would study a musical instrument, we must practice, learn our scales, understand the theory of composition, different methods of presentation, tempo, pacing, ect… However, that is a different topic all together. And so it goes……..


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Admin
Feb 19 '13
We have changed "blogs" to essays. That way anyone who wants to post there thoughts about magic, it just makes it clearer as to what is there.
Admin
Feb 19 '13
Plus I'm excited for Luna's material to be there, and easier to find
Moderator
Feb 19 '13

"Truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues. Without truthfulness progress and success, in all the worlds of God, are impossible for any soul. When this holy attribute is established in man, all the divine qualities will also be acquired." ‘Abdu’l-Baha

That being said, I have wrestled with the same problem as John, but came to the conclusion that I am not lying but entertaining. Does an actor that espouses lines that are not his own consider himself a lair? We are as Robert Houdin said "Actors playing the part of a magician." If our role calls for us to lie, to fabricate to obfuscate or otherwise muddy the waters then so be it. There are many effects that require only stealth and subterfuge without the dreaded out and out lie, perhaps those stricken with the pangs of guilt for entertaining should look into these types of effects.

Just my 2 cents worth

"Truthfulness is the foundation of all human virtues. Without truthfulness progress and success, in all the worlds of God, are impossible for any soul. When this holy attribute is establi...See more
Admin
Feb 19 '13
Nicely done Bud
3rd Featured
Feb 19 '13
The Magicians guilt... "Just as one would study a musical instrument, we must practice, learn our scales, understand the theory of composition, different methods of presentation, tempo, pacing, ect… However, that is a different topic all together." I have this one on my wall...The Magicians guilt... "Just as one would study a musical instrument, we must practice, learn our scales, understand the theory of composition, different methods of presentation, tempo, pacing, e...See more
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By John
Added Feb 19 '13

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