What People Don’t Like About Magic

As a magician, I had been fed a lot of dogma by my industry. The biggest most pervasive dogmatic statement is “everyone loves magic”. While it is true MOST people love magic, there is a small segment of the population that responds negatively to magic and magicians in general.

Magic’s Appeal

Before we can understand why some get turned off by magic, we must look at what draws people to a magic show. 1) It’s the dopamine high. 2) It’s the surprise that is innate. People like surprises. Same reason why we go to comedy shows and scare parks. 3) Magic shows us that there are things we don’t understand. 4) Magic has no culture or language barriers. 5) There is a magic instinct in many people. We LOVE the awe, wonder and the feeling of the raw power of the unknown & supernatural like phenomenon. 6) A magician is a symbol of someone who can do great things, it’s the same reason why we love superheroes.

The big question; Do women prefer magic more than men do?

Yes and for all the reasons mentioned above. A woman is more likely to attend a magic show than a man. Women by in large are more in aligned with their emotional intelligence. People who score high in emotional intelligence respond positively to good comedy and magic. Both operating on a identical neural pathway. Women engage in magic the same way one would engage in a movie or story, it’s a journey where as men are more likely to engage in magic as an intellectual exercise. Not always. Remember this isn’t universal for men & women.

Which genre of magic is least remembered by audiences?

In 2014 magician & author, Joshua Jay along side Dr. Lissa Grimm with the psychology department of New Jersey College conducted a study, the first of it’s kind on people’s attitudes towards magicians. For years science studied magic for science’s sake, this time it was studying magic for magic’s sake. Between Grand Illusions, Parlor, Mind reading / mentalism, card & coin magic – card magic was the least of thee to be recalled in a memory test. Of ALL the genre’s of magic card magic is the most published and unfortunately the gateway drug for both exposure to magic and interest.

While there are some wonderful card routines, many people will automatically dismiss the magician if it’s the very first thing they are presented in a magic show.

Going back to the parallel I have made between comedy and magic, much like a old joke, over exposure to a certain genre of magic gets old and some people will naturally grow contempt for it.

I will almost ALWAYS have a deck of cards on me. It’s my fidget spinner to get my through my simmering episodes. I ALSO will almost always have a American Half Dollar or a British Two Pound on me too and if there is enough room in my pocket I may even have a pair of purple sponge balls in case a situation calls for an improvised performance. I NEVER open up with playing cards. I will always start with a sponge ball, rubber band, finger ring or coin piece. The cards will come out once I have been established by the groups or audience.

Why isn’t magic popular?

Magic is in the best place it has been in its entire 5,000+ year history. Magic is more popular now than it has ever been. Look at what’s playing on TV and cinema, look whats in the bookstores – look at the rise in the New Age community. Look who has been winning America’s Got Talent like 4 seasons in a row! Just because you’re not seeing a magic show every day does not mean it is losing popularity.

That’s a good thing.

Magic is scarce. If it was as plentiful as music or TV, you would be desensitized and that sense of wonder, joy and the emotions of surprise and all would be worth less.

There is a LOT of magic but a LOT of BAD magicians.

There are a LOT of magicians who do not belong in the magic scene, many of whom have already been caste out into the far fringes. Thankfully there are fewer and fewer cheezy sleezy pick-up artists and socially unintellectual uncles taking on magic as a profession but one bad experience with a magician can ruin it for someone who would have otherwise enjoyed magic had it been presented to the by the right person with the right intentions. Magic is one of the only art forms where you can download a tutorial for nothing, learn the secret and call yourself a magician. The democratization of magic via internet has made it more accessible to people with bad intentions.

One bad exposure to a magician can ruin it for everyone else.

We magicians need to be better stewards of our public and cease performing other people’s material.

Published by Jordan Allen

Hello there, I am Jordan Allen & I can't wait to give you a FUN magical EXPERIENCE!

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