People all over the world are fascinated by magic. The concept of magic and sorcerers spans regions, cultures and generations. Because people love to be thrilled and amazed by things that seem logically impossible.
Most magic draws on an understanding of human psychology. This is a degree of social engineering that borders on fraud to create or suspend distrust. Either way, magic relies on the skill and often physical dexterity of the wizard. Technology also plays an increasingly important role in performing some of the more impressive tricks.
At the end of 2021, I wrote a story for Season 2 of The World According to Jeff Goldblum on Disney+. This story was specifically focused on an episode exploring magic and the neuroscience that makes it all work. In that episode, Eric Blackwell, a professional magician from Chicago, performed his magic on the streets.
Erik has been busy with high profile appearances and guest appearances. Apart from his role in an episode of ‘The World by Jeff Goldblum’, he has also recently made guest appearances on national shows such as Access Hollywood and Daytime Chicago.
I recently had the opportunity to connect with Blackwell and dive further into the cross-section of the magical world and technology.
Logically, we know that the person in front of us didn’t just pop a coin out of thin air. He literally ripped into his 150 pieces, and he told you that it really can’t be that the $20 bill is somehow intact and miraculously in your butt pocket. I know You know these things – yet you’re still shocked and surprised, because a magician’s job is to manipulate your reality.
I’m dating myself, but in 1983 David Copperfield saw the Statue of Liberty live on television and in front of a live audience on set in New York to make sure it wasn’t just a camera trick. I was watching the Statue of Liberty!
As an extreme example, obliterating the Statue of Liberty was more a function of technology than a sleight of hand, a feat of engineering. No spoilers, but there is a YouTube video explaining how the illusion was drawn.
Today there are a growing variety of devices and gadgets available to magicians to enhance or activate their illusions. Again, I don’t want to spoil the magic by explaining how the various illusions work, but if it seems incredible and is simply a function of the wizard’s dexterity If there is no conceivable way to do so, there is a good chance that technology is involved.
Interestingly, that doesn’t detract from the awesomeness of this trick…at least for me. I’m equally impressed with the capabilities of these devices and our ability to pack functionality into smaller gadgets.
big magic key
When I was in the US Air Force, stationed at RAF Upper Hayford in England, I had a roommate for a while who was a pretty decent magician. He showed me how some tricks work. Props of some kind are often involved, which on some level can seem like “cheating”, but with or without props, it takes practice and dedication to master the dexterity needed. is required.
However, gadgets and sleight of hand aside, magic isn’t very impressive or simply doesn’t work if the magician doesn’t deliver it properly. The banter that accompanies the trick and the performance required to engage the audience is at least as important as being able to physically perform the trick.
At the end of the day, it’s the magicians who make great magic. With the help of technology, magicians can push the boundaries a bit and expand their repertoire of tricks and illusions, but the basics don’t really change. Ultimately it depends on the magician’s ability to make you believe.