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RayJ

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I was on a non-magic forum this morning and posted about something and as I am wont to do, in my mind I related it to the field of magic.

The post was started by a fellow that was wanting to produce leather crafting videos and place them on Youtube.

He linked his first video and asked for comments.

After a number of responses, I began to wonder just why he wanted to do it in the first place.  So as I am also wont to do, I pointed out the fact that he hadn't explained 'the why'.

So how does this relate to magic?  We all perform magic for different reasons.  Sure, there are some common drivers, but each of us have our own unique reasons.

The 'Why' is, I believe, crucial.  What I mean is that if you can fully understand your own 'Why', then the 'How' must surely follow.  Or at least the why will inform the how.

If it is the other way around and you focus on the 'How' and neglect the 'Why', aren't you doing a disservice to yourself and possibly the audience?

Way back when there was a series of books that focused on the how and why.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_and_Why_Wonder_Books

I just think when it comes to magic and many things in life actually, the 'Why' is more important.
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RayJ

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I'm bumping this because I see there's been some views and no comments.  Maybe it isn't interesting or thought-provoking.  I thought it was, enough so that I decided to begin a thread.
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Paco Nagata

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One of those viewers wasn't me, Ray; I've just read this new post [smile] 

I'm a little bit (pretty much) slow reader, so, in this big forum plenty of so much interesting posts I sometimes get late, but this time I'm the first one [cool]

My personal reason for doing magic is to escape for a while from the stress of the reality. And some spectators may like seeing magic for similar reasons.

Why to do something that can't be done? Well, maybe because nothing can be more different than that. Let's do and see magic for a good change. 



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Andrew

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Reply with quote  #4 
Hi, Ray.

It is thought provoking. I guess some posts illicit more of a response than others.

I started doing magic because I loved it as a kid and I wanted to explore that again as an adult. I wanted to know if I could achieve the things that went over my head or were too difficult for me as a kid.

Now I do it because I love the world of magic that there is to explore. It's so much fun. But I also want to get out there and perform. I want to do this as much for me as I do for the spectators. I can't explain it. I guess it's like learning to play a guitar and wanting to perform on stage.

Funnily enough I've been reading Man's Search for Meaning recently. That book really brings into sharp focus the relationship between why and how.

Hope you're well, Ray.

Andrew
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RayJ

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew
Hi, Ray.

It is thought provoking. I guess some posts illicit more of a response than others.

I started doing magic because I loved it as a kid and I wanted to explore that again as an adult. I wanted to know if I could achieve the things that went over my head or were too difficult for me as a kid.

Now I do it because I love the world of magic that there is to explore. It's so much fun. But I also want to get out there and perform. I want to do this as much for me as I do for the spectators. I can't explain it. I guess it's like learning to play a guitar and wanting to perform on stage.

Funnily enough I've been reading Man's Search for Meaning recently. That book really brings into sharp focus the relationship between why and how.

Hope you're well, Ray.

Andrew


Thanks for the reply Andrew.  I guess when I had the original thought run though my head I was envisioning how each individual's WHY informs their approach to magic.

For example, maybe your WHY is that you want to cause them to believe in the paranormal.  So obviously you would be drawn to mentalism.  But depending upon how strong that WHY is, you might go all out and try to become a mentalism "purist", meaning someone that purports to do the "real thing".  As opposed to a magician doing a mentalism effect or presentation.

Similarly, you might be content to be a "trickster" and your repertoire would surely follow.

It was just an exercise in getting folks to think about their own WHY and HOW it informs their magic, that's all.
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Socrates

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Why I practice magic?

As a creative thinking exercise, as a way of understanding how the mind works and how to redirect it, to deepen my knowledge of the world around me, for learning new skills, for the digital dexterity required, for the improvisational nature of working off the cuff, and also investigating language, scripting and creative writing.

How does it inform the magic?

My approach to magic is constantly evolving. I am currently enjoying the utilization of humour, and becoming more curious about the role of the joker/clown/trickster in society... this has led me to investigate fairy tales and their origins.

We are surrounded by wonder and I am now beginning to realize why Eugene Burger said, "The magic is you!"
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RayJ

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Socrates
Why I practice magic?

As a creative thinking exercise, as a way of understanding how the mind works and how to redirect it, to deepen my knowledge of the world around me, for learning new skills, for the digital dexterity required, for the improvisational nature of working off the cuff, and also investigating language, scripting and creative writing.

How does it inform the magic?

My approach to magic is constantly evolving. I am currently enjoying the utilization of humour, and becoming more curious about the role of the joker/clown/trickster in society... this has led me to investigate fairy tales and their origins.

We are surrounded by wonder and I am now beginning to realize why Eugene Burger said, "You are the magician"


Great example and just the thing I was interested in hearing.  Clowns have a long history and it would be interesting to learn more about them.  

I always enjoyed performances by Vito Lupo.  The magic begins at around 3:15 in this video.  I truly wish I had the opportunity to have seen him live.  I have no clue if he still performs.  Haven't heard his name in years.

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RayJ

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paco Nagata
One of those viewers wasn't me, Ray; I've just read this new post [smile] 

I'm a little bit (pretty much) slow reader, so, in this big forum plenty of so much interesting posts I sometimes get late, but this time I'm the first one [cool]

My personal reason for doing magic is to escape for a while from the stress of the reality. And some spectators may like seeing magic for similar reasons.

Why to do something that can't be done? Well, maybe because nothing can be more different than that. Let's do and see magic for a good change. 




I dig your passion and spirit.  By the way, "dig" means like here in the states.  I always have to remember we are blessed to have members from so many countries.

It must be hard for some members when slang is used.  I really respect the ability to communicate shown by those whose first language isn't English.  It is impressive.

Paco, magic can be a wonderful diversion from life's troubles.  If it only served that purpose it would still be pretty important.
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John Cowne

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I think ‘the’ reason why I started in magic and why I continue in magic has changed. In fact, the longer I continue in magic, I find the reasons have multiplied, morphed and deepened over the years. My reason for borrowing a book On magic from the school library was that I needed to know how Impossible things were done. But then the first time I performed a simple trick brought a look of wonder on a friend‘s face ... and then it grew. And then I remember using a simple colour changing silk as an illustration in a youth talk ... again it grew. I still want to know how things are done, but I also enjoy seeing people’s delight and wonder. And I still use it, I believe, as a powerful illustrator of all kinds of truths. I’m sure there’s heaps of motivations/whys that I haven't identified in myself. Do they affect how I do magic? Certainly. Give me a bit more time to think that one through.
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RayJ

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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Cowne
I think ‘the’ reason why I started in magic and why I continue in magic has changed. In fact, the longer I continue in magic, I find the reasons have multiplied, morphed and deepened over the years. My reason for borrowing a book On magic from the school library was that I needed to know how Impossible things were done. But then the first time I performed a simple trick brought a look of wonder on a friend‘s face ... and then it grew. And then I remember using a simple colour changing silk as an illustration in a youth talk ... again it grew. I still want to know how things are done, but I also enjoy seeing people’s delight and wonder. And I still use it, I believe, as a powerful illustrator of all kinds of truths. I’m sure there’s heaps of motivations/whys that I haven't identified in myself. Do they affect how I do magic? Certainly. Give me a bit more time to think that one through.


Good reply! We all can see our WHY morph over time. For some, what began as a desire to amaze changes to a desire to eat and magic foots the bill. Some of those lose their passion for magic and can even loathe it. But it is their means to an end. They persist because to do otherwise is hard.
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