As we’re all hurled in to 2016, after a year of people fraudulently parading misleadingly glamorous lives on social networks to gain those ever important followers and thus be deemed influential enough to score sponsorship deals, or, for the individual, to showcase their seemingly perfect lives to achieve virtual popularity I’m sat here in London drinking green tea trying to resist the coca-cola across the room (because we’re all health freaks now) thinking, in a time of constant change, why do magicians have the same stereotype they had a hundred years ago?
It’s safe to say that a good portion of my life is spent explaining what kind of magician I am, what I perform and where I perform it. I often wonder, when it’s so easy to watch TV on demand, travel the planet or Google (who uses Bing, seriously) something, why is it that the general opinion of a magician is the same now as it has been for decades. Magic on television has changed since the days of tail coats and top hats. The use of magic in marketing has been pulled off numerous times in a variety of countries with a certain air of cool, however gimmicky and trivialised it may be. Theatre shows have largely evolved in to much slicker and impressive performances and yet the stereotype of a magician is still way off of the reality.
When I’m introduced to new people and they find out I’m a magician the first thing they say, other than “show me a trick” is “so you do kids parties and stuff?“. While there are many good children’s entertainers that perform magic, they are as much of a magician as someone using Clip Art is an artist, as much of an athlete as someone who cycles to work. There are many reasons for this out dated stereotype and it does magic great harm as most people don’t now the potential good magic has. As Max Maven once said, “Good magic is better than sex”.
So if I must succumb to making a New Years resolution it is to make a greater effort to show people that magic is no longer the kitsch showcase it once was. What I ask of you, if I may, is to hire a magician if only for one event this year. You may be pleasantly surprised at how far we’ve come. Here’s to a year of changing the image of a magician from this, to this.