Magic and Magicians in the 21st Century.

Houdini photo signed by Bess, (Mrs. Houdini), and given to Tom

Houdini photo signed by Bess, (Mrs. Houdini), and given to Tom

Today I had a good laugh. When we started out 37 or so years ago, learning magic was a whole different ball game. It often involved a book. Further more, reading it was also involved. Oh, you could buy a trick with instructions and figure out that trick, usually reading the instructions was a last resort. DVD’s or VHS’s were not yet available. That’s how old we are! Books and tricks. That was it. You could also take a course or lessons.

Today Magicians are a different breed. Of course the technology has changed, but that technology has also changed us, and the magicians. Instant gratification. If we can’t wait 4 seconds for something to come up on a screen, how can we be expected to read a whole book, or even part of it when we know its out there somewhere and we can google it and find out what we want, in a second.

A young man came into the shop and asked if we had a certain prop. Yes, we had it. Did we know how it works.

Yes, we know how it works.

Well, I bought it and it makes a noise when I work it. Is it supposed to make an noise?

No, its not supposed to make a noise.

At this point I figured he bought a rip off as the effect comes with a DVD and clearly explains how it works. I asked if he got the DVD with it. He said yes. I said that it was explained on the DVD. I asked if he watched it. He gave me a look and said,”Do you know that the DVD is a whole hour long? No I didn’t watch it!”  It was as though he thought I was out of my mind to think he would give up an hour of his life to watch a DVD just so he could learn a trick that he paid almost $100.00  for.  I told him to go home and watch it.

How many hours does he spend playing computer games? I should have asked.

So what’s next? I guess electrodes will come with the trick and you attach them to your brain and you automatically know how to do it. Don’t laugh!

I’m from the old school. I like written instructions if they are well described and illustrated. I’m not crazy about replay. Maybe if I knew how to work slow motion I would change my mind.


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2 responses to “Magic and Magicians in the 21st Century.

  1. I don’t mind if something comes with a DVD but I also wish there was good ole’ fashion written instructions. My iPad doesn’t play dvd’s. So I have to lug out my laptop, which isn’t a big deal bit still if I just need a quick refresher unfolding a piece of paper is easier. Also I can go at my own pace when reading, I’m not constantly having to back up and rewind because I missed a key word or hand placement while trying to complete the move that came and went 5 minutes ago.


  2. Evelyn Matlin

    I hear you! You are your mother’s son.


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