Value for money is an interesting subject at this juncture in time. Finding the balance between a weekly shop of hundreds of pounds at Whole Foods or tens of pounds at a cheaper alternative, or perhaps the moral conundrum of choosing between a £50,000 environmentally friendly Tesla or a £10,000 second hand Diesel can weigh heavy on ones mind. The struggle is no less real with magic and I’ll tell you why.
I recently posted this image on social media.
Franz Harary is a well known magician who unveiled the worlds most expensive magic attraction this year at a staggering $40,000,000 in Macau, China. The attraction (The House of Cards) boasts 4 specially designed theatres that the audience rotate through with a storyline providing a full entertainment experience. Sounds impressive. What a $40M budget get’s you I can’t say as I’ve not yet seen the show that was launched in September. What I am sure of is that it will be a spectacle.
The real underlying question here is, does it provide an experience as deep as a private performance from a talented magician?
Most people never meet a magician, let alone a good magician and thus I appreciate that the following may come as a surprise but the possible entertainment contained within a simple deck of cards extends so much further than the initial stereotype of; Magician? Pick a card. Find that card. There are real pieces of art out there with a deck of cards that create emotional connections, a deep experiences beyond the general public’s (and perhaps your) expectation of what a card “trick” can be. All of this with a single deck of cards that cost less than the price of a pint (in London). So if you’re not already aware of this fact you must understand the often overlooked or dismissive attitude towards a magician may be the biggest mistake you make that day.
However you look at it, both platforms will entertain and amaze but for many the excitement and wonder in magic is experiencing it in front of your very eyes right under your nose without pyrotechnics, fancy lighting and beautiful assistants inviting your eyes to focus on them for a brief moment. The common misconception however is that the grander the performance the more dazzling and amazing it is. Having captivated thousands of people over the years, including royalty with cheap household items I know this not to be true. A truly great magician by the name of René Levand portrayed real magic with just a deck of cards and a personal favourite was his bread crumbs routine which you can watch below. All of which I might add was accomplished with one arm.
In regards to the title of this blog entry, I don’t think it’s for me to say. It’s for you to find out. I look forward to receiving your enquiry.