From time to time, someone will ask ‘Are you performing real magic?’. 9 times out of 10, it’s intended as a quip or something funny to ask, rather than someone genuinely questioning the laws of science. A joke or not, it is a difficult one to answer.
As a general rule, magicians are skeptical about the ability to perform real magic and when stripped back magicians simply perform tricks with the aid of gimmicks, dexterity and sleight of hand. Nothing magical that would stand up in a laboratory environment. However, that’s missing the point. The real ‘magic’ of magic as an art, is not really the magic itself. It’s the emotional moment that the audience experience. It’s that childlike state of wonder and awe that is entirely intangible. Normally that lasts for nothing more than a few moments and it precedes the ‘How does that work then?’ or the disbelief when talking to others about it. It’s clearer to see real magic when performing for children, as they tend to be more honest in their reactions. At a wedding recently I met a lovely photographer called Faye Cornhill. Faye captured a genuine and sincere reaction, which makes my point perfectly. A picture speaks 205 words.