The Question before me this evening: Does magic have any importance for the real world?
If so, what?

Magic is an art-form. If we can accept that art is the creative expression of one’s self, than there is no question that magic is a form of art. It’s true that there are those who simply learn to work a pack of cards and can deftly fool you. They are more tricksters, and craftsmen than artists. However, there is also a line where a magician (any artist really) opens his soul to the audience and shares his genius. The distinction between the craftsman and the artist is sometimes very difficult to draw, especially if you do not understand what you are looking at.

Let me put this into more mainstream terms. In the musical world there are those who are singers, and others who are singer / songwriters. There is a big difference. The singer generally has a gorgeous voice and produces the stuff of pop-culture. They are sexy and on the cover of teen-magazines. Great voice, and image, but rarely do they actually put their pen to the paper and let the musical muse lead them to create a piece that is genuinely theirs. The Singer/Songwriter, of course does ply the creationary juices to the guitar and pour his very soul into a song. The lyrics are his iambic stream of consciousness and the tune rhymes with his heartbeat. His song is the stuff of art. This is Dave Matthews vs. Britney Spears. Adele vs. Ke$ha. It has nothing to do with musical style, but everything to do with soul.

So, Magic is an art-form. So what? What relevance does it have on the world?

Virtually everyday, the world wakes up, goes to work, goes home, watches TV and goes to bed. Sadly, Routine is dominant, and mental dust collects on our imaginations.

Music, film, theater and literature generally deal with topics of social or political importance. Visual arts such as painting and sculpture often explore the quest for beauty and truth. What is the purpose of magic?

To confront the impossible.

In this age of smartphones, science and logic, there is very little uncertainty around us. Many would say this is good, but if we let Google remember everything for us and science explain away every mystery, what is left? Plenty, but we must be ready to deal with ambiguity and the unknown. We must realize that not everything is explainable with science.

What!? Science can’t explain everything? That’s correct. Even our own treasured human consciousness isn’t understood by psychology and neurology. If we cannot define something so primal as that, how can we expect to avoid other bits of the ambiguous and ultimately, the impossible?

It is true that magical effects are accomplished through clever manipulations by inventive performers, by that is far from the point. Magic is more than a series of puzzles which should lead you to ask, “How do he do that?”

Good Magic deals with the possibility of the impossible being real. Magic is there to brush the dust off of the imagination and jog the sense of astonishment. There is power in that. There is beauty and hope in that. I look forward to sharing the impossible with you.

(This a series of blog entries. I look forward to pulling back the curtain ever so slightly to discuss the way that magicians learn to deal with the dense concepts described above.)