Tuesday, November 9, 2010
An interesting little thought came up. In a German magic forum the following video was posted.
The young magician with arguable taste and a Justin Bieber hairdo is directly ripping off the Copperfield's presentation for the Origami Illusion.
It is a school project. And aside from the fact that the illusion itself is a cheap knock off the discussion was about if it is okay to teach school kids magic, as one could get the impression, that "magic is no art, because kids can do it"
Here is my take. Magic is no art. Painting is no art either, nor is playing the piano. It is a craft. And you gotta learn the craft before you can become an artist in the field. So a piano player needs to play other people's music before writing his own. A painter needs to learn how to spread paint around on a canvas before he can approach to create his own system. (e.G. Bob Ross)
And a magician needs to do other people's acts before he can start to do his own. In the past a young man, wanting to learn magic needed a teacher. And usually the teacher would teach his apprentice all he can do. And he would insist that the apprentice would become an exact copy of the teacher. Simply because the act works. The lines would have to be copied, the moves, the structure and even the character. That way the apprentice would understand why an act worked. The apprentice was not allowed to do his own thing, even if the young man desired to do so. And finally, when the apprenticeship was over the young man was said good by by saying "Now, do your own thing!"
Usually the young man had no more interest to copy his master, yet he had all the tools to do his own thing. Cool isn't it.
So to assume that every beginner should have a unique approach to magic is stupid. One needs to go beyond the phase of copying others. But for a short while I think it's okay. The process is called "Learning the Craft".