Magic has been a mainstay of the television schedules for decades and in the age of YouTube there are still endless magic related uploads but magic is so much better when seen live!
I grew up watching Paul Daniels who was an inspiration to a generation of budding magicians and illusionists before David Blaine demonstrated a whole new way to do a magic show and Derren Brown showed how to do magic without calling it magic and engaged those who would not usually be interested in mere conjuring tricks (for more read Most Inspirational Magicians). When TV magic is done well it really can be incredible entertainment: funny, exciting, dramatic, moving, artistic, surprising, you name it TV magic can provide it and it provides those moments that everyone will be talking about at work the next day. People still talk to me about Paul Daniels faking his death, David Copperfield vanishing the Statue of Liberty, Dynamo walking on the Thames or Derren Brown predicting the lottery.
TV magicians have the benefit of being in full control of their environment. They can position their audience and the cameras so there are no bad angles, there are runners or stage crew able to perform secret steals and manoeuvres, there is the possibility of multiple takes and if all else fails there is the editing room. It’s no secret that editing can be used to create magical effects, there is an abundance of videos on YouTube utilising these methods and they can look spectacular but a magician shouldn’t rely on these techniques to create the magic. However, I know some TV magicians do use editing to make a trick seem even more impossible than it actually was and I have no problem with that as long as the people who saw the trick live saw basically the same thing as the person watching the trick at home.
There is no doubt that TV magic can be great but imagine all the incredible things you see on your screens but done right in front of you with no possibility of camera tricks, dodgy editing or stooges. Imagine a close-up magician actually influencing YOUR mind or turning lottery tickets into cash right in front of YOUR eyes! Or imagine being in a theatre with hundreds of people all laughing, gasping and cheering together as a charismatic performer takes you on a journey of amazement. The difference between watching magic on a screen or live is similar to the difference between watching football or a concert on a screen or live – the live experience is on a completely different level!
I will be putting together some screen magic myself soon by embarking on a new YouTube project at the end of June (see Coming in 2019 for more details) but if you want to see magic by somebody who has performed on TV many times I recommend you see me in the flesh. Please take a look at my public shows, I am also available for weddings, parties and corporate events if you would like to give your friends, family or colleagues unforgettable entertainment.
What do you think about TV or live magic? Which do you think is best? Have they both got their pros and cons? If you have any thoughts please let me know in the comments. As always please like and share, and remember: it’s the early bird that gets the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese.