“Well, you fooled me.”

I receive this comment quite often. Most of the time it is from middle-aged men, but it ranges all ages and backgrounds. In the moment, I take it as it’s intended - as a compliment. It is their way of saying, ‘Nice Work.’ or ‘I enjoyed your performance.’ It feels good to know that my audiences enjoy my work, and are fooled by it.

To be honest, this comment disheartens me a little. The ability to fool the audience's senses is a prerequisite for the creation of magic. It is the most basic requirement of any magician, whether it be for children or brain surgeons. If you can’t trick your audience, you will never create magic. I don’t like to think about tricking people. I strive for something much deeper than that.

Telling a magician that he fooled you is like telling Peyton Manning that he throws the ball really well. When Manning picks up a football, there is a level of skill, command and even art in his ability to deliver a strike to the receiver. There are high school quarterbacks that can throw a ball almost as far as Manning, but we’d all agree that it’s just not the same.

What can magic communicate?

As a magician, of course I’m going to fool my audiences. I believe that the people I work for are intelligent and educated. This is not a bash on their cognitive prowess. But neurosurgeons understand the world differently than Air Force fighter pilots. Both are highly trained, but in very different fields. Magic is another field. The vast majority of the population does not study magic on an in-depth level. They might know a few things, a move or two and maybe a few tricks. I know the basic anatomy of the human brain, but I’m not a neuroscientist.

My goal is to help you dive into those realms. My goal is to have you thinking about the supposedly impossible feats and ponder their possibility. Yes, I will fool you, but my hope is that the conversation goes much deeper than that.