On the way home from a speakers date in Florida, I saw a called “The Prestige, ” in which the director demanded authenticity. And because there were a couple of characters in the moviemagicians in prestige that were magicians, this concept meant intensive coaching by prominent magicians and even more intensive practice in sleight of hand and the magical arts.

The star of the movie is Christian Bale, who came up with some profound thoughts about the art of magic, and the importance of keeping the magical secrets. Oddly, his point starts with the “Behind the Scenes” bits on the extras sections of DVDs. Bale argues that they, “Give us too much, and it destroys the mystery somewhat.” And that if they show us the cast and crew and all of the juicy bits, we destroy the full effect of the movie.

He takes this concept one step further with his studies to become a magician. “I was particularly intrigued b the sleight of hand tricks. He argues, as does apparently the movie, that once people learn the secret of the trick they are disappointed. I’ve got one thing to say: Hallelujah.

As a professional magician, I’ve had my ups and downs with exposing secrets. I used to guard secrets like gold; then went through a phase where I realized that the “entertainment” and “entertainer” are way more important than any little old secret. But I’ve come full circle back to the strong philosophy that the inner workings of magic tricks need to remain secret, or else we fail our audience.

Magic has a fairly unique ability to create a strong emotional experience. And when we reveal that the secret is a hidden fork-lift in your sleeve (Hey! You don’t expect me to give away real secrets, do you?) the effect is ruined. As a guy who has been a magician my entire adult life, (and most of my childhood), trust me when I say that the secrets are NEVER as good as the tricks. I’m with Christian Bale. Are you? Care to comment?

Check out my work as a professional magician & comedian here! (No secrets here!)

Brad Montgomery
Professional Magician, Comedian, Guard of Magicians’ Secrets

Technorati Tags: Magicians, The Prestige, Christian Bale, Magic Technorati Tags: Magicians, The Prestige, Christian Bale, Magic

2 replies
  1. Dan Porter
    Dan Porter says:

    The internet has made your job of selecting a speaker even more difficult. Your search can come up with hundreds of web sites for people advertising themselves as speakers. It’s time consuming to find what you need. The process of selecting among the various choices is frustrating and often puts you in contact with “speakers” who rarely give a professional speech..

  2. Palmo Carpino
    Palmo Carpino says:

    the Performer remains constant – it is the audience which is the variable. everyone may view the same event slightly different. Some will be amazed while others will be consumed in trying to figure it out (as opposed to just appreciating the illusion or performance whatever it happens to be).

    I want to keep the magic as magic.

    I love the line from the movie “The Santa Clause” with Tim Alan,
    “Somethings need to be seen to be believed while other things need to be believed before they can be seen” (I’m paraphrasing)

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