And So It Goes…

The Art of the Lie (oddities):

Oh the guilt! The magician’s GUILT! The horrible blinking of the eyes when telling a fabrication….. the treacherous need to look away when performing a slight. Oh, how the art of the lie has suffered its true potential: an aid for truthful expression. And so the little or big lie gets lost to confusion, so sad in its pitiful malformation of existence.

It’s not that the lie is a bad thing; it’s just that it’s been perverted and overused. We shouldn’t be filled with guilt when offering a semi untruth to create a miracle. But many times we cringe at the very notion of offering up a half truth.

Ironic isn’t it? We do this daily without hesitation, but during the honest performance of deceit we feel guilt for our presentation. And so it goes, in our sad little expression of self assuredness in our presentation of deceit. But the spectator knows best, and all of the smart banter in the world can’t successfully argue the layman’s point of view.

It has taken me years upon years to become comfortable in the art of deceit. Even still I find myself having to consciously combat my instinct of honesty. Many times I have felt lost, not sure of my performance because I couldn’t stand to look at the deceit I was offering. I did not realize that the thing I was offering to the spectator was the wonderment of “not knowing”. “Not knowing” and the unknown is an awesome thing to produce in a spectator’s mind. Wonderment is amazing, that is where creativity can manifest the impossible into the probable.

One of the ways I was able to combat my selfish need to be honest, was to force myself to focus on the moment at hand. For example, I have a horrible time not blinking or turning away (in an extreme exaggerated way) when executing a slight. I have a tendency to be completely unnatural which only ruins the effect. So part of my repertoire of practice is to force myself to look at my hands when performing a slight, so that I don’t cringe, or give away that something deceitful has happened. The way I could convince myself to do this, was to create an internal monologue telling myself that I am witnessing a miracle, not that I am creating one through trickery. However, I do not do this during performance. I get to the point where I don’t even think about my hands, and allow the naturalness through preparedness shine through.

I now practice this method daily, and it has greatly improved my performances. It has also improved my confidence in performing because I get myself into the mindset that I’m actually creating these miracles. As the great Antony Gerard would say, we do not perform tricks, tricks are something a dog does. What we do is perform magic, which is an art, and takes countless hours of practice and dedication in order to present this wonderful art. Just as one would study a musical instrument, we must practice, learn our scales, understand the theory of composition, different methods of presentation, tempo, pacing, ect… However, that is a different topic all together. And so it goes……..

For more information about John Midgley, visit his website:

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