In my formative years in my development as both a human & a magician is I got fed the “Everyone LOVES Magic” train of thought. Nothing inherently wrong with that statement but it gives the expectation that EVERYONE loves magicians & magic – which isn’t true. There are a small tiny fragment of the human population that DESPISE magic & magicians. They are outnumbered by those that love magic so it behooves anyone when they come in contact with the magic haters.
When the subject of “who hates magic” comes up in the magic forums, the explanation is usually straightforward; bad magicians doing bad magic is the reason why some people hate magicians. That’s intuitively correct. One bad apple can & often does ruin the profession for others but is it really that black & white? No. A article published in the Journal Of Psychology, Aesthetics, Creativity & The Arts looked at the neuroscience of those who hate magic:
On a TikTok video, I made a video claiming that “Small Minds Reject Magic”. I have in my own personal experience running into the Magic Hate groups that they generally are void of creativity or openness to experience. I had NO idea until today how dead on my hunch was. Magicians HAVE to be creative and open to new experiences in order for the magic to work and it just so happens that people who watch a magic show ALSO have to be creative & open to experiences. The research goes even further. People who hate magic also score low in sociability & social / emotional intelligence. Magic & comedy, as I have discussed in another LinkedIn article have a LOT of similarities & require the SAME neurological network to enjoy. People who do comedy and enjoy comedy shows score HIGH in social & emotional intelligence. Comedy is a big predictor for SQ & EQ capacity. As the research article concludes – those that dislike magic not surprisingly score high in psychopathy!
Picture this situation… You’re a magician doing a cocktail party. Your job is to go table to table and entertain. You keep things short, simple & to the point. You come to a table and you ask if the table would like to see some magic (ALWAYS! ALWAYS ASK!). The table declines. That’s fine, you move on. Did the people at the table decline you because they hate magic? 100% of the time that this happens to me it usually has NOTHING to do with me or what I’m offering. There are a million things that could get you turned down at a table and hating magic is not one of them. Believe me, going table to table doing magic for strangers is VERY intimidating and being on the receiving end is also an intimidating encounter. Despite advances in science, technology – magic is STILL very powerful in the minds of people. The decline could just be out of hesitation for being put in the spot of having to choose. 9 times out of 10 – when a table rejects you, they WILL come looking for you once they see how FUN you are. If that one table never reaches out to you, it’s their loss