Having just recently started to listen to MagicBroadcast, I caught Robert Baxt being interviewed by Gerald Kirchner. Robert said some great things about how to make your magic meaningful to your audience, by taking even the most simple of things and giving it a personal meaning that they could identify with. This would then take it away from being just a simple trick, to an experience that they will remember.
The interview closed with a question posed to Robert about if he found himself in an impromptu setting, what card trick would he do? Robert’s answer was something along the lines of he wouldn’t do a card trick as what meaning does the Seven of Clubs or the Eight of Diamonds have to someone, other than when you do a gambling routine. He would much prefer to do a money trick as he felt people would better relate to this.
For someone who’s first and foremost love in this art is card magic, I must say I disagree! Bear with me while I quickly give you my views on the old argument of ‘Card Tricks are boring’. I do hear this suprisingly quite a lot, but usually from magicians, magicians relatives/partners/friends. Sometimes I do get the reaction of ‘Seen that one’ when I pull out a deck of cards, but usually that happens when I have been working with other magicians who are also doing card tricks. Briefly I believe they only think they are boring because they have seen a lot of bad and boring card magic. Also because there is a lot of card magic out there, and its quite an ‘easy’ option then lots of magicians use this vehicle to show a quick trick and it’s easy to do so without much thought to presentation or the why’s and wherefore’s. That’s why I think they automatically assume that all card magic is boring, its easy to condemn when you see a lot of the same style of bad magic.
I could easily harbour this opinion about manipulation acts, the linking rings or the cups and balls, as a magician you are subject to so many of the same kinds of tricks, with the same routines, but just every so often you get a little ray of sunshine that makes you re-evaluate, Just watch the manipulation type acts of FISM Winners Norbert Ferre and Mirko watch someone like Mark Raffles do the rings, or David Regal’s presentation for the Cups, what these people have in common is that they have thought about standard routines, and how best to change them to suit their style and to make them meaningful to the audience.
I do believe you can make card magic (as in any kind of magic) meaningful to your audience, it just requires a lot of thought, care and attention to do so, which is only what your audience deserves.
So I guess our job should be to try and lift all of our material to the realm where people can care about and relate to it, be it card magic, kids magic, mentalism, manipulation or whatever vehicle you choose to bring your magic to others.