Friday, August 10, 2012

Why Do Magicians Always Have Magician Parties?

Magician parties are very common. This is a party where magicians gather for social reasons and have entertainment which is magic in nature. The busman's holiday!
The first thing you need to know about magicians is that they are always working! If they meet in the street it is not unlikely that one will get out a pack of cards and show the other the latest card move. Blackpool hosts a convention once a year where two thousands magicians descend on the city showing each other tricks in the hotel bars until the early hours.
True magicians are interested in the intricacies of method. The way the trick works and the endless variations of method which can be invented to achieve the same end. So magician parties will inevitably mutate into small groups all showing each other their latest creations.
When it comes to entertainment there are many options, singers, comedians, ventriloquists etc, but the magician is likely to stay safe. Consequently magician parties usually have magicians to entertain.
Sometime ago I went to Blackpool to celebrate a friends fortieth birthday. Crazy golf in the morning and an array of fast stomach churning rides in the afternoon. As we were looking for somewhere to have tea one noticed a poster for a magic show. As it happened the afternoon performance was about to start and without question my friends, all magicians, made for the box office.

It was a truly awful show and I could see no reason for spending my free time watching something from which I learned nothing. Maybe it is the same in other professions maybe singers gravitate towards the Karaoke Bar and dancers the west end musical.
Magician parties are by nature filled with magic and props but comedians are rather different.
Magic is a wonderful art but it is also limited to a small number of things that can be achieved within the framework. Comedy is much more flexible. The type of people attracted to comedy are inquisitive free thinking people. They look at the world around them and comment on it. They tend to be mature individuals with strong opinions, although often wrong and biased.
I have driven comedians hundreds of miles without talking about comedy at all. Politics, relationships our personal histories all took up time but the structure of a joke was hardly mentioned.
I love magicians and I love magician parties but there is a preoccupation with magic which I find hard to bear. I do like watching a good magic show, it is very hard to get right and when you watch a real pro at work it is very inspiring.
The problem with magician parties is that most magicians are showing you the next best thing. The rehearsal time has not been put in and the moves are not quite right. So you see something that is half finished and I prefer to see the real thing.
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