I love how you have Michael P. Lair going on in the back ground. I saw him give a lecture in Toledo Ohio at The Glass City Conjurers Conclave when I was like 16 and looked at my mentor and asked "Is this as bad as I think it is?" It looks like this guy has been pitching the same stuff since the mid 90's.I wasn't a fan then and I'm still not a fan now.
the reason most magicians cannot construct routines is because they cannot "see" what they do divorced from their own fantasies of what they want it to look like, or through lenses not colored by their own self indulgent values and interests. Many magicians have never looked at what they do objectively. How many have used a real director? How many have learned how to really tell a story, or the difference between thinking you are conveying sonething and actually showing that thing so it can be conveyed. most magicians do magic because it pleases themselves. The audience is irrelevant except to prop up the ego of the magician
You brought up a few good points. The reason I do magic is because I love the joy it brings to people. That look on their face when they turn into that little girl or little boy seeing magic for the first time. That is why I'm not a fan of this new XCM/Cardistry thing going on now. That isn't about wonder it is about "look at how much time I have to practice." It kills the wonder.As for the story telling. writing and director thing, well it is something many magicians over look. After seeing Ricky Jay and his 52 assistants on HBO and reading in The Linking Ring about this guy in Canada doing and old school Cabaret type of show, that I knew that was what I wanted to do. By this time I had the original run of Tops Magazines from the 30's 40's and 50's. I would read all of these effects no on did any more. By this time it was all about either the grand stage or close up stuff. So I went about reading all that I could on stage work. I knew from reading The Linking Ring that both Ricky Jay and this guy in Canada both had state directors. So, after heading off to college, I made friends with the people in the theater dept. so I could meet people who could help with my act.As for the writing, I took some writing classes, and read up on showmanship. I also worked in radio so I was able to talk to copy and comedy writers. I was able to bounce idea off of people and found out what stuck and what fell flat. When i would start putting together a new act, i would get lay people from my life and ask them what they liked. What they though would be cool to see. It helped to keep me out of the "magician thinking like a magician" hole. I think there are many magicians who don't understand that there is more to magic than magic. It's more like a steak. Sure the steak it tasty by its self, but add some spices a marinade and grilled onions and it is something greater than it's parts alone.
Magicians definitely need other interests than magic. These hobbies will be very handy when it comes to storytelling or routine construction.
I don't think it has anything in particular to do with magic, you'd get the same results with people in almost any creative endeavour. I hope you've seen Coal to Diamond!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDmoKE2nzag
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