Magic as Reassurance

A magician begins “doing incredible things with big silver hoops” for no less a purpose that to REASSURE a spectator.  (This we learn in an intriguing illustration in The Saturday Evening Post, Nov. 12, 1904.)  We don’t typically associate reassurance — the restoration of confidence — to tricksters; we all know that a “confidence man” is ironically named. Even so:...

Beyond Bizarre

The 2005 “Beyond Bizarre” magic workshop in Las Vegas defies easy description, because the sages who organized the event sought out to transcend limiting terminology. It was a workshop about magic, certainly, since there were indeed lessons on the mechanics of tricks, but more than half the routines pushed the envelope of traditional definitions of “bizarre magic.” It was...

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