“to procure for these shadows of imagination that willing suspension of disbelief for the moment...”

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

It is a common concept for theater goers to turn off their logic and reason to enjoy the show in front of them. Imagine you’re sitting 5th row center at a broadway-grade production of The Wizard of Oz. The Wicked Witch of the West is sending her flying monkeys off to capture Dorothy and her companions. The monkeys don’t actually fly, rather they are swung across the stage on wires. And since when do monkeys have wings? And while we’re at it, they are actors dressed as monkeys. And the witch isn’t really a witch either. Duh!

Of course, all of that is true. As you walk into the theater, you know that you are about to see a performance. As the lights in the house come down and the play unfolds on the stage, you’re job is to sit back, relax and enjoy the show. You willingly suspend your disbelief regarding the laws of nature, physics and time in order to enjoy this piece of art on the stage. If you didn’t, you’d be miserable and detest theater.  

I have a background in theater, but I’m not an actor. I’m a magician. I’m different. During my performance, I don’t want you to just relax and enjoy. I don’t want you to suspend your disbelief.  I want you to be engaged. I want your mind to race. I want you to lose sleep over it. I want you to use every resource available to you to try to understand what is happening. In the end, I want YOU to come to the conclusion that what I do is impossible. Thus making it magic.

In magic, we discuss the unwilling suspension of disbelief. That is to say that the magic causes the audience to doubt their senses unwillingly. You have no choice but to believe that the impossible has occured.