I have always had a soft spot for ‘magician foolers’. In the right circumstances they are just as valid as tricks aimed at laypeople. Anyway – reading IBIDEM the other day I came across a short article by Roy Walton which touches on this as well.
Thought it might be interesting to pass it along here…
CONJURERS, LAYMEN AND MIRRORS
“That’s a good trick for conjurers”
“It’s too complicated for a lay audience”
“That’s a good audience trick”
“I could never perform for conjurers”
The above four remarks are typical of those heard over and over again during one’s magical lifetime. There seems to be a distinct breakdown between tricks for conjurers and tricks for laymen. Some people would call these the bad tricks and the good tricks, and are of the opinion that the bad ones should be avoided at all costs.
Is there really any harm in “conjuring for conjurers,” and is it worthwhile?
What harm can there be in showing tricks that you think are more suitable for conjurers, to the audience for which they were designed. Surely, the only harm would be in inflicting these tricks on laymen who would not be able to appreciate them. As to whether it is worthwhile, the conjurers who show tricks to conjurers are normally amateurs whose purpose is not monetary gain, but enjoyment of their hobby.
Exactly the same reasoning can be applied to the normal, simple and direct tricks that are ideal for showing a lay audience but may be received with indifference by conjurers. To repeat myself, surely the only harm would be in inflicting these tricks on conjurers, who would not be able to appreciate them.
I realize there are many conjurers who are highly successful with both types of audience, Cardini and Channing Pollock come immediately to mind; but generally speaking, they are in the minority. There are also many conjurers who know the type of trick to show to fellow conjurers and the other type of trick to show to laymen; in the case of the stage acts of Cardini and Channing Pollock, the tricks are the same for both types of audience.
I believe that there is a place for all types of magic, the magic you only show laymen, the magic you only show to conjurers, the magic you show to the mirror, and even the magic that is so bad you will not even show it to the mirror.
The tricks that follow can be distributed into all four categories, but I would not be foolish enough to tell you into which one each falls, because my choice would probably be completely different from yours. There is a moral to be learned from this.