Magic Tricks: The Beauty of Deception

Let’s all be honest to ourselves, we all like magic. Humans tend to be interested in things they can’t understand. That’s why we see lots of people investigating strange supernatural phenomena (which I personally don’t believe in).

The thing is, we are still entertained by people fooling us with their ‘magic’ when there’s bound to be some sort of trick somewhere.

All magic tricks aren’t real ‘magic’. That’s why they’re called tricks. Magicians trick people to believe that it’s real. And the thing is, they want to believe. Whether it be misdirection, sleight of hand, or special props, there’s always something behind a trick.

Just in case you don’t get what I’m saying, here’s one of my all time favorite quotes from one of my all time favorite movies, The Prestige.

“Every great magic trick consists of three parts or acts. The first part is called “The Pledge”. The magician shows you something ordinary: a deck of cards, a bird or a man. He shows you this object. Perhaps he asks you to inspect it to see if it is indeed real, unaltered, normal. But of course… it probably isn’t. The second act is called “The Turn”. The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. Now you’re looking for the secret… but you won’t find it, because of course you’re not really looking. You don’t really want to know. You want to be fooled. But you wouldn’t clap yet. Because making something disappear isn’t enough; you have to bring it back. That’s why every magic trick has a third act, the hardest part, the part we call “The Prestige”.”

Now, all of that seems like some sort of magic theory that you probably didn’t read anyway, but there’s this one really deep part that I want you guys to check out.

Now you’re looking for the secret… but you won’t find it, because of course you’re not really looking. You don’t really want to know. You want to be fooled.

Think about that for a while, reread it. I’ll give you a sec. Now think about it again.

I can’t express how perfectly that quote explains the beauty of magic. We continue to enjoy magic because every time we watch a performance, we expect something we can’t comprehend, and that’s exactly what we want. That explains why the beauty of the trick all disappears when we find out how it’s done.

When we watch people doing magic, we want to be deceived. We want to be fooled. And that’s exactly what magicians give us.

I find that beautiful. Don’t you?

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