Why do people like magic so much? Magic has been around for many many years, and people always seem to enjoy it. Over the years, magic has changed a lot. However, two things that have remained a constant attraction of magic are its accessibility, and the feeling of wonder and confusion after a magic trick is performed. People like things they can’t explain. This is even more apparent now when we are, as a society, fed answers to questions we may not even care about. However, when a trick is known, it becomes boring and overused. This is why magic has never been about explaining, and why a magician doesn’t explain the trick after it has been completed. Another reason magic is so popular is because of the entertainment value. For many years, magic has been a source of laughter and joy for anyone, regardless of wealth and social status. Especially now with the addition of the internet, magic is both accessible and fun.
People’s fascination with magic stretches from a street performance to a formal stage, and from present day all the way back to ancient Egypt. There is one thing in common between all of these times and places: magic has been performed. That is an achievement of what is thought to be impossible. There are many different approaches to achieve, or provide the illusion of what is thought to be impossible. Some of these techniques include card tricks, reading minds, and escape tricks. It is this idea of achieving the impossible that contributes to the wonder of magic and why people enjoy it so much.
A magic trick is very similar to a movie. It is a story that works its way to the climax, or the most intense portion of the story. Most people would agree that movies or books are fun when the ending is not known. However, many people would also agree that a movie and story is much less fascinating when the end is known. Imagine a horror movie. After watching it once or twice, the entire entertainment value is gone because the scares, surprises and major turns in the story are predictable. A magic trick works in the same way. When a viewer has seen the trick before and knows exactly how it is done, it becomes a lot less fun. I believe that a magician would not get the same thing out of a magic show as the average viewer. This is because a magician would not receive the same sense of wonder that is so crucial to the enjoyment of magic.
Another reason magic and magic shows are so popular is how accessible they are to the public. Magic is everywhere. People perform magic for huge crowds and just their family. Both rich and poor are welcome to the world of magic. Another way magic is so accessible is the entertainment industry and the internet. Magic is seen in many very popular movies and TV shows, the biggest and most obvious being the Harry Potter series. Editing has allowed this movie series to push the boundaries of the human imagination even further, and while the magic in this movie series is much less “real”, it still leaves viewers with the same sense of wonder. This may be a large factor in what allowed the series of both books and movies to be so popular to so many people. Other movies like Now You See Me provide a more realistic approach to magic and show characters doing magic tricks that could happen in a real magic show. Many other realistic shows of magic are found on TV or on stage. The popular magician David Blaine has his own TV show. This allows audiences to see him perform magic on the street. Some big names on stage, especially recently, are Penn and Teller. These are two very popular magicians that do shows for audiences to see. The final reason magic is so popular is how accessible it is on the internet across many social media platforms such as Youtube. Here, magicians provide the entertainment and Youtube provides the audience creating a perfect match. This results in many talented magicians uploading videos that anyone can watch for free.
Magic is always evolving and changing to entertain viewers. Tricks and routines need to change, otherwise they get boring. However, it seems important to recognize what in magic appealed to viewers. There seems to be two reasons. The first is the rare feeling of both wonder and confusion in a completely information-based society. This is special because right now people feel a need to know what is going on, but in magic confusion is respected. Another important aspect of magic is the accessibility that allows anybody to watch it almost anytime. It allows all people the opportunity to see the same show. To me, this is what makes magic special and what does and always will draw a crowd.