We are long overdue for a catch-up episode! Tyler has been jamming a lot by himself over the last two months. His landlord has been giving him nothing but grief and that’s been taking away from his magical mind. He successfully performed at the Fern Resort and has continues to collect a Noah’s Ark of pets. Jonah, meanwhile, has been getting a lot of shows for the Christmas season. He is going to be doing several table shows, which he always enjoys. Toronto Magic Company continues apace. That has allowed Jonah to workshop several new effects. He loves performing and has loved the recent episodes of the podcast, especially the Xavior Spade and Garrett Thomas episodes.
Recently we asked our listeners to submit questions for us to answer. One person asked us: Can magic exist without sleight-of-hand? Tyler answered emphatically ‘yes’ because not all tricks require sleights. Jonah agreed with that answer. It’s a reminder that there are many methods including mathematical and psychological. If you’re struggling with technical moves you should remember that there are many other things you can pursue.
We had another question from Joel Greenwich who recently released Catalyst, an amazing card colour change. Joel asked: If magic is an art form and art is intended to inspire and challenge, what does magic challenge the audience to do? We loved this question. Tyler thinks that the focus of magic is to make people questions things. What you want the audience to question is up to you. Magic is a subjective thing and you can make people question whatever you want. Jonah thinks that art is meant to make you reflect on the world. It should affect the way the audience thinks about the world.
About five years ago Jonah created a list of questions about magic that were puzzling him. The first, in a rather lengthy list, was the following: What is the base requirement to make and effect magical? Jonah and Tyler struggled to come up with a proper formula for this. Tyler thinks the audience should have an understanding of what should happen but the proof will be the opposite. Jonah think it has to do with the confidence in the improbability. It has to be impossible or highly improbable.
The next questions Jonah asked himself all those years ago goes like this: If everyone knows that it’s the magician causing the magic, is the magician restricted to openly saying he is the puppet master? Why would people think otherwise? Jonah and Tyler think the magician has to be the person responsible for the effect. You can’t fool an audience into thinking this is just happening outside of the magician’s control.
Next Jonah asks this question: If everyone knows that the magician is causing the magic than why should people not feel deceived? Tyler thinks that people can feel deceived but will not necessarily be made to feel stupid. If the magician does it right they should feel enlightened and entertained not humiliated and deceived. Jonah still struggles with this question. He worries that there is always something inherently deceptive in magic. It’s really hard to not make people feel stupid.
Finally, young Jonah wanted an answer to the following: How is a magician different than a programmer? Both are doing something that would have been impossible otherwise. Tyler thinks that they aren’t different. Both have structure and rules that are pliable. The general public doesn’t understand it but they accept it. Jonah thinks that a programmer isn’t trying to deceive. The magician is intentionally trying to bewilder the audience.
We love getting your questions so keep them coming for future episodes!