I'm feeling really shitty, so allow me to rant.
I'm in a horribe magic rut and I'm trying to figure out why.
It could be oversaturation. Magic has taken over much of my life - it's my hobby, my passion, my profession. Many things I do outside of magic inevitably lead back to it. I want to step away for a while, but I can't: I have professional obligations and there's too much magic information in my head to not
make the connections between my non-magic activities and my magic activities.
It could frustration. I've seen so many inspired magic acts recently that I become angry I'm not further along in my magic than I think I should be. I want to do stage magic so badly, but I fear I have neither the finances, resources, or space to even begin working on an act.
It could be other magicians. I'm getting more and more depressed by the current state of magic each day. There is so much shit
out there that it's hard to justify the small amounts of treasure scattered among it.
I love the art of magic. I really, really do. But sometimes I get so frustrated, angry, depressed by it that it really hurts.
There's a point where I wonder about the reasons to perform magic in the first place.
I refuse to take part in an art who's only object is to inflate the artist's ego. That's not what real magic is about, but that's what a lot of magic out there is.
I also refuse to take part in an art in which the art itself is only a means to acheive a goal and not the goal itself. I'm finding that magic is becoming more of a vehicle for me than an end; I'm using it to get a laugh, for example, which makes the magic secondary to the jokes it allows me to perform. That's not what art is; that's not what magic should be.
In sum, the magic of magic is slipping away from me. I can't see it any more. Why the fuck do we do it? Clearly, we can't do what we give the illusion we are doing, so why do we even pretend? Our audiences aren't stupid; they know they're being tricked. What does creating the question of "How did he/she do that?" help anybody? Paul Harris talks about our role as "astonishment guides," but on what basis does he draw these conclusions? His reasoning stems from a basic conception of how our mind works, one that clearly isn't founded on any psychological proof.
What does fooling somebody really do? Why do I, as an audience member, get out of being stumped?
"That's so amazing. I can't believe that just happened. I didn't think that it was possible, but you just performed something rather cool." Am I supposed to now think, "So now I know that thhings that seem impossible aren't always, so I'll keep that in mind in my life"? No! You think, "That's a clever magician. I'm really fooled. He/She did a great job outthinking me."
Actors create worlds upon the stage; magicians tend to be irrevocably tied to our own. Where's the vision, the message, the great expressiveness of magic?