This Sunday, I saw a terrific magic show at the Railway Club in Vancouver. It was called Magic and Mayhem, and organized by Jamie D Grant, who probably reads these blog type things. So shout out and props to you, Jamie.
The show was well attended, and a smash success, at least from my point of view. It is therefore with great discomfort that I need to rant about something. One performer in particular, was not quite up to snuff. He was attempting to do a mentalism/hypnotism type trick that started poorly and became a car wreck to watch. The audience did not buy into his "serious" premise at ALL, and at one point he quite rudely sent a spectator back to her seat for not being serious enough. He tried to cover it the rudeness, but it was quite apparent that he was offended and had sent her back to her spot with malice. I distinctly remember her saying "he just embarrassed me in front of a hundred people. what a jerk." By the end of the routine, he was so flustered he ended up getting the trick wrong. I tried to be encouraging about his performance afterwards, telling him it was a very good premise for a trick but that it needed a lot more performance/practice time and that I looked forward to seeing it in the future when it was polished. He was bold enough to correct me and say "Well, a little..."
No, sir, it needs a LOT more practice. And you need a LOT more performance time before you can call yourself a magician.
That's all beside the point, I guess. To be a pilot, you must first log enough flight hours under supervision to get your license. Doctors have internships. Lawyers do petty work in law offices before they get barred. Yet anyone can get on stage and call themselves a magician. Dariel Fitzkee estimates that out of the group that identifies themselves as "magicians" at least 50% are mediocre to poor and another 24% are very poor. When 99% of a group is worse than mediocre, it reflects poorly on the 1% that, to put it gently, doesn't suck.
That being said, a single bad performance did not ruin the night. I want to give a shout out to Travis Bernhardt who absolutely brought the house down on Sunday. Everyone needs to keep an eye out for his name in the future.
eden loves you.