Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Lying Game

Everybody lies... Most people tell white lies in order not to hurt others feelings. Some people tell lies to look better at work or with friends. Others tell lies that are meant to move blame to another person, and there are a few people who only know how to lie. I love the whopper fish tale which we all know as a lie. Then there are the worst of all lies, which are the lies we tell ourselves.

There are three professions who lie. Grifters, politicians, and magicians.

As a magician I am paid to lie. It is part of the art of deception to tell people you are doing something when really as the magician you are doing something completely different. But there is so much more involved to the deception than just the lie, there is the skill, performance and most importantly the misdirection. There is a whole psychology to the art of magic that is over looked by many performers. Magicians play the lying game to entertain.

Most lies when discovered ultimately hurt the people involved. With magic it means the illusion had been uncovered and people know how it is done. Once the secret is out, I find a lot of people become disappointed as the mystery that magic brings into a persons life is far more appealing than the truth. Remember that the next time you ask a magician to tell you the secret. You will be far more happy wondering how the magician made the rabbit appear, than knowing where it truly came from. At the end of a show magicians rely on the whopper tale. More often than not a trick is remembered as being far more magical than any magician in the world could ever make it. What performer doesn't like to hear about their presentation of an illusion become larger than life. I use to correct people with what really happened and now I let them tell the whopper magic tale. You should hear the stories of my rope escape, and how I let the guy tie me up, or that I steal everything from him while tied up. Doesn't happen, but it makes for a great story and makes others want to come see the show. But it's little things that push people in the direction of these tales that have been crafted into the act. For example: I steal the jacket and hat, or jacket and glasses to give the impression of stealing many things from him. I also send him back to his seat with things in his hands so it leaves the impression of giving things back not just giving him things. The reason people think the audience member ties me up is because .... Well I can't give that away. Some of these little pushes I stumble across, and others I methodically think them through and work them into the routines. It is through this process that my whopper magic stories get bigger and bigger.

In real life I happen to be the worst lier you will ever meet. But if you pick a card and put it back anywhere, no matter what I say, I'm lying because I always know where your card is in the deck.

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