Welcome everyone to Episode 92 – our first episode of 2018! We both had a good New Year’s Eve. We relaxed with friends, some hors d’oeuvres and champagne. Last New Year’s we challenged ourselves to come up with some magical resolutions. Jonah resolved to work more on scripting his magic performances in 2017 – something he managed to achieve. Tyler, meanwhile, can’t remember what his resolution was. Though, he may have promised himself that he was going to perform more.
This year Jonah resolved to perform at least one show that he is truly happy with. When he performs now he is usually only happy with 60% of the show. Tyler agrees with that assessment. When he walks off stage he is rarely happy with his performance. In that vein Tyler resolved to create a one hour show in 2018. He wants to craft something that his scripted and story-boarded. Tyler thinks a year should be more than enough time to accomplish that.
Recently Jonah had some listeners introduce themselves as “those old magicians you make fun of on the podcast.” Jonah wants to clarify that your age has nothing to do with their criticisms. Specifically, we don’t like it when people think that magic is a private social club and not an art form to be shared. Please don’t accuse us of being ageist!
2017 also marked a big milestone for us. Earlier in the year we tried to start the #DiscourseAt1000 hashtag which almost nobody used but us. Nevertheless, we managed to cross the 1000 followers mark on Instagram this year! Now we’re just hoping for the swipe up to listen to the episode function on Instagram. Next up: 10,000 followers!
Five years ago Jonah wrote down a list of questions about the philosophy and practice of magic. On the last solo episode we talked about the first half of the list. Today we tackle the rest of the list.
First off young Jonah asked himself the following: Does making a plot or purpose to magic add value to the effect or distract from the effect? Why would one happen and not the other? Tyler answers this by saying that the key is about the magicians intent. If you’re setting out to baffle your audience than a bare bones effect is the best way to accomplish that. But if you want to hit the audience on a more emotional level than a grand story might work better. Jonah agrees with that answer. Though, it might be more difficult to do magic without a big presentation.
The next question asked: Are all impossible things equally impossible? Why are some more than others? Tyler answered quickly that all impossible things are equally impossible by definition. The amount of difficulty required in the audience members head is what’s important. Jonah thinks that there are levels of impossible. It’s more impossible to disappear a car then a coin. Tyler thinks that’s a logical impossibility.
Next up: Does the audience’s prediction of the magical result before verifying it strengthen the effect or weaken it? Is surprising them a good idea? Tyler thinks that a surprise ending still has to make sense inside the logic of the story your trying to tell. Sometimes you want the audience to follow along the whole time. But there are other times when you want to throw a twist that the audience didn’t see coming. Jonah says that his favourite thing in magic is when the audience realizes whats about to happen moments before it occurs.
Finally young Jonah asks: What is the claim of the magician? Are we claiming to have powers or just the ability to fool you? Tyler thinks that’s it’s often unclear about claims a magician is making. There isn’t always a claim being made. In his own magic he always makes it clear that magic isn’t real.
Jonah says that he wants the audience to know that it’s not real but he wants it to feel real. He will use props like potions on stage to get the crowd into the illusion. He likes to find a way to show that the trick isn’t real without saying that it isn’t real.
We have some big plans for 2018 including more big guests and some Discourse branded products. Thank you so much for being with us over the last year.