Magic- part 1: DON'T RUIN IT FOR THEM

I had to teach  a magic class to kids. Now, I am in no way a magician. But! I can learn anything, even magic. Excited, I set to the task and worked hard at it. I studied several tricks, mastered them (I use that word lightly. I got okay with them would be a more accurate statement) and then I captivated my audience. Okay, maybe not captivate, but it was cool.

"How did you do THAT!?!" Even though I am not very good and my tricks were oh so simple, they were astonished. So I did it again, slower, in case they could catch what I was doing. They tried to figure it out and couldn't.

Then I did something horrible. I showed them HOW I did it. It was a magic class, I was supposed to teach them how... right?

The blank looks I got had lost all excitement.

The magic had died.

Did they want to practice to be able to do these tricks? Nope. Well... one did... there is always one.

Anyway, fast-forward.... same kids, during a summer camp, I thought I'd give them a little magic show. I have these okay abilities, I might as well put them to use. Magic is hard, and if you don't practice it in front of a crowd, you will not get better at it. Plus, I knew they would be very forgiving since they knew the tricks.

I was expecting them to say, "I know that trick." And come up and do it for us. Because they did know them all.

They did not offer. Well, that  one did... the others sat and gaped like I was magical. They were captivated and demanded I show them how I did that.

I already had... but I said "Nope, it's magic." I learnt my lesson. Never ruin the magic for others.

This can apply to all forms of art. I remember my daughter being captivated by a piano player. She couldn't believe how great he was. I know what it takes to be that good so I brought her up to the young man and asked how often he practiced. "Four hours a day. Everyday." Was his non-magical answer. The excitement she had faded. The magic was gone. He had to work to be that good.

Magic is an illusion we enjoy because we want to believe.

Have you created this for others or ruined it for them?
In what magical things do you believe?


Suzi said...

I totally get that with the kids. I can't think of any examples off-hand, but I've had that happen with my kids. You show them something, and they're like, oh... Kinda disappointed.

Better to let them think we're all powerful! :)

Valentina Hepburn said...

The reverse is also true.My daughter, Samantha, was eleven when she said, "For goodness sake, Mum.Santa Claus isn't real." She said she'd known for years but kept it going for my sake. So, there was no more reindeer food at the front gate, or milk and mince-pies left for Santa by the chimney. And yes, I was upset, because it meant the end of an era. Samantha's twenty-eight now, and creating Christmas magic for her own children...and loving every moment.

Richard Hughes said...

I'm fascinated by magicians and their magic. I can never figure out how they do it.

Tanya Lynne Reimer said...

Suzi, I never did figure out how my dad exchanged the tooth for the coin. I watched him all day. Magical!!

Valentina, that is a wonderful point, and what I hope to discuss next!

Richard, oh my gosh, I agree, there are some very talented artists out there who make it look so easy! And so many tricks blow my mind.

Vicki Tremper said...

There's magic in everything. My kids still believe in my writer magic even though they see how hard I work at it, and for how long. They're excited for every small milestone of my journey. They remind me to be excited for those small milestones, too.