Many magicians, through books and lectures and blogs, have addressed the question of the "real" goal of magic tricks. There are lots of theories and beliefs about it, and I have my own.
Some magicians say, "I just want to entertain."
Other magicians want simply to fool people.
And still others, whether they are conscious of it or not, want their audiences to be both fooled–and to feel foolish.
More and more frequently I hear magicians say their magic is dedicated to reminding their audiences of the "wonder" or "mysteries" or "astonishment" or "amazement" in the world.
Well, I don't buy it.
If I want to see the experience of wonder, I can watch children in a playground; their wonder is wonderful.
If I want mystery, I need only look up at a star-filled sky on a clear night. If I want astonishment or amazement, any issue of National Geographic provides these things generously.
I don't need linking rings, however artfully done, to bring me those precious experiences and emotions.
Nor do I need a masterful cut-and-restored rope trick to remind me of the magic of life: the delivery room at any hospital displays more wonder and awe in a average day than all the magic shows I've ever seen.
What are my own goals with magic tricks? What do I think magic tricks really do?
I'll be exploring and expressing my own answers to these questions in this blog.