the magic business

My father says the secret is making the audience think there’s a trick when there isn’t, really.

The magic business is all about misdirection and flashy handkerchiefs and sparks because real magic is boring if you let people see it without all the flashy stuff over top. People pay for tickets to see the spectacle, not the magic.

You have to make it look difficult, because if it looks too easy the audience thinks anyone can do it and then it’s not special and ticket-worthy.

But never be too good, he says. People don’t like it when you’re too good.

It’s harder than it sounds, to be good enough to be impressive but not good enough to be unbelievable.

Especially when it’s so easy. It’s like trying to make tying your shoes look mystifying.

Maybe it is, to people who don’t have shoes.

About flax-golden tales. Photo by Carey Farrell. Text by Erin Morgenstern.

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