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The art of illusion or what they say is magic, it is the art of astonishment and or the art of fascination. The basis of the magic or illusion is to amaze and astound the spectators or the audience and force them to think twice and that what they saw is either real or just merely deceiving. We all taught by our grade school teachers that matter cannot be created nor destroyed yet it is done by what they so-called magicians before our very own eyes, making magic a viable form of art. Just as actors and actresses create emotions that gains audience, so too can a magician.
Art defines what is real in society even when that art is a lie or an illusion. Illusions twist the concrete and open windows of potential. A powerful enough illusion can shatter monotony and create new experiences. According to a most respected magician named Paul Harris, he elaborated the concept in his book where he said “…astonishment is not an emotion that is created. It’s an existing state that is revealed the art of astonishment, when pushed into the wildest edges of edges, is the art of doing real magic”. Harris is getting something that transcends the art of illusion or the art of magic and is true of other art forms as well.
Mastering the art of illusion can be categorized into three types of performance.
Panic zone: You perceive that things are impossible to do, this is the zone where everything is beyond your capabilities.
Learning zone: You are determined to learn, however, even with discipline and effort, there are still challenges that get into the process.
Comfort zone: This is the zone where you know what to do, you are confident with your skills and you are comfortable with your performance.
With more effort, perseverance, and practice, you can master the art of illusion. Make it into a routine, learn and practice more of the tricks of illusion.
As you can see, artists are not necessarily using the art to express themselves or to merely surpass the reality, but rather they show the truth or somewhat close to the truth. They show how society and the reality works. The human response, when confronted by art, is that what they are seeing or hearing or reading is real. The world needs art.
Society nowadays has become artificial in what it wants and what it appreciates even people are making themselves artificial, both physically and how they act towards one another, hence the need of the art or what we perceive as art. So what if all that is left that’s real is the art or mere illusion? It can be a reality check for all of us. It objectifies reality by stripping away preconceptions of society.
Do you even understand what I am writing about? I, myself, don’t. Anyway, all I have to give for the last statement is that art is the window that looks out from the shelter of society into the real world.
How do the magicians make an object disappear with a snap of their finger? How did they make the object disappear right in front of the audience with just a single snap? Scientifically speaking, our brain has already registered how the objects are used, and we know that it cannot disappear into the thin air, but how did the magician do this?
Magic has been through centuries performed as an art, and ever since magicians did not fail to amuse and shock the audience through their made impossible through illusions.
While most of the tricks and illusions of the magicians remain precious secrets, some of the magic Nazis or simply audience studied about how magic works to gain insights into how and why the minds of the people are easily deceived. Magic allows people to experience the impossible. It really creates a conflict between the things that can happen and the things that can simply be experienced. While some magicians would like to deceive the audience that they possess true magical powers, the true secret lies in clever techniques that exploit limitations in the way the people’s brains work. And this is how magic tricks work, magician, plays with the limitation of how our brain works- most specifically the vision.
Among our senses, our visual sense is what we mostly rely on. Without our visual sense, our behavior and thoughts are greatly affected. Thus, with our vision, we can see and believe what we see. However, the reliability of our sense of sight is not as strong as we thought. It can be easily deceived with our perception and illusion.
According to an anonymous researcher, visual illusion occurs when there is a mismatch between the perceptual experience and the true state of the world. We are often surprised by how these illusions deceive us but pretty much all our perception is just an illusion. Evidently, we think that our eyes capture beautiful and truthful images but in reality, these visual experiences are just merely a result from a complex brain processes that produces clever predictions or estimates about what the world is alike, or what we perceive as what we see. And as with this clever predictions, it is never a hundred percent correct which by the use of these errors, the magicians have utilized and mastered.
The visual situations we have experienced is related to the misconceptions we saw from the details we already know of, and the process of these numerous amounts of information is strictly and obsessively expensive, or let me rephrase this; if a person wants to process a handful of visual information, then he or she needs a larger brain capacity to have a clear and reliable results. So, humans as we are, our brains do not completely engulf all the details of everything, instead, it develops strategies that are extremely efficient that it allows us to prioritize things we want and we don’t want to see and process.
Magic is a form of entertainment used to fascinate, amaze, and overwhelm the audience throughout the ages. A performer or magician can confidently present any type of tricks and illusions. There are different genres of magic performance, by which card tricks is one of the least discussed. There are two main types of card tricks.
Two main types:
- Mathematical card tricks
- Sleight-of-hand card tricks
The first type is the mathematical card trick. This is a simple card trick that involves easy and simple instructions, however, this cannot truly impress the audience. All-time performers can still make the audience leave in awe by setting the mood with a simple mathematical card trick and a quick transition using the sleight-of-hand trick.
The second type is the sleight-of-hand trick. This magic trick uses manipulation and misdirection of the audience through the use of cards and doing something that can perceive the naked eyes with the impossible. This card trick requires patience, practice, and mastery. The magician should always misdirect or distract the audience to perform the trick perfectly.
Performing magic in front of the audience needs practice, patience, and creativity on how to do or perform it. The magician needs an audience or people who watch and listens attentively, observant but easily distracted, regardless of the size of the audience, it can be a group of friends, a small group, a classroom, a hall, or a full auditorium or gymnasium. He also needs a deck of cards, of course.
Before anything else, the magician must always introduce the trick in a compelling manner and this can be done in an indefinite number of ways and here lies the creativity of the magician. Most of the magicians would first ask if the audience believes in magic to let the audience be skeptical and will show their “prove it” attitude. Or some would say they believe in them and they will revel in the opportunity to experience the moment of validation before their eyes.
Either of the two or any of it, once the trick is introduced, it should be something the audience is either marked by skepticism or credulity. So after the introduction part, the magician now have the stage to show off his practiced tricks to the audience. The success and the failure of the magic trick lie in the hands of the magician and the minds of the audience. And it can be measured through the audience’s impact. If some of them would say they already saw it from other magicians, then the magician’s creativity of showing his stunt is lacking. Or the audience would say that they caught how the magician did it, then it is in the matter of the magician distracting them.
As the magic trick demonstrates, sleight of the hand magic does not have to be that hard but it doesn’t make it easy because as it was said beforehand, it requires patience, practice and more practice and last but not the least, the creativity of the one who would perform it.
A few centuries ago, magic and illusion is a popular culture. It is an old performing art that can leave the audience in awe. It can make you experience the impossible.
As we can see in the televisions, magic tricks are cast without hassle and hustle. However, we should not be enticed since it is in the entertainment industry, and you are in the real world. Here are some of the tips for those who are new in the world of magic. Follow these tips to avoid committing crucial mistakes.
You have to hold on to the fact that to cast magic tricks is not impossible, but it is also not easy and simple. Casting magic tricks is a work of art. The practice of working with magic affects the emotional and physical needs of the magician. The preparation is intense as it needs to be done with their own will, with their own words, and with an equipment or tools. To evaluate the magic spell if it is successful or not, the magic should not harm anyone.
To get started…
Before attempting on doing any magic, you should be in the right and healthy mind and body. Take a bath, use appropriate clothes, meditate, and ensure that you have already mastered the tricks. This should be done, to relax your body, mind and to avoid mistakes.
You have to be confident. When it comes to magic performances, people will easily believe on those who are confident on what they are doing. They have the charisma and the patter.
Learn the basic knowledge, tricks, and skills of magic. There are helpful books and resources wherein you can get an idea of what are the first few tricks an amateur magician should learn.
Involve the audience with classic misdirection. As you give your attention to your audience, they will worry about what they are going to do or say next. Thus, they cannot notice what you are going to do next.
Make use of some tools or equipment. It catches the attention of the object, thus it can misdirect their attention to the props than on what you are doing.
Do not restrict your movements! Be confident as you can be. You will become completely involved with your performance that it can shock the audience.
Moreover, do not be afraid to use some effects as the audience are here to be overwhelmed.
With the piece of advice given, you come to realize that magic tricks deceive our perception. Our vision is being tricked into distorting the real situation. Prediction is one of the illusions often used by the magicians. It is when the neuronal processes thought that it has captured the imagination of the real object. When in fact, it has only perceived the object because the person perceived that it will happen in the future.
Master the art of using attentional limitations through misdirecting the attention of the audience. The audience won’t be able to observe the obvious change.