Welcome back folks. Today I’m back with another arts and entertainment themed blog, which in a sense rekindles an earlier passion I had in my early to mid-twenties, more than it did photography if I’m honest. It’s something that can be described as the ultimate form of entertainment, particularly as it’s hugely popular on a broad international scale to people of all ages and backgrounds, but it also holds a very special appeal in the wonder-seeking eyes of kids. You may have guessed already, if not, I’m talking about the puzzling bewilderment that comes from the art of magic, and the gift that magic tricks can bring to humanity worldwide.
The beauty of magic is that it completely breaks down language barriers and a great deal of cultural barriers, which makes it even more rewarding to do while you’re on your travels. It’s something that I’ve practiced and witnessed first hand in many poor countries as well as developed ones, though in general - to me at least – the rewards are far greater. I found personally that people in poorer countries generally have little to no filter, so they naturally where their hearts on their sleeves more, which is by far, the perfect audience for any magician.
Where It All Started
Back in the joyous days of the lads down the pub after work for a few on a weeknight era, one of the lads (I can’t remember who as there were always around six of us) turned up with a pathetic card trick. I only say pathetic because in his own moment of empowerment of holding such a degree of unique knowledge, his excitement got carried away with him and he revealed the secret. See, revealing just how it worked, took all the wonder and amazement out of what we previously witnessed as something truly remarkable. The trick itself, and the way it was delivered was perfectly flawless, and we all cheered the lad for his newly discovered magical prowess.
It wasn’t long before we all jumped on the wagon and started mail ordering all kinds of gimmicks, props, magical component parts and perfectly engineered items designed to befuddle the hapless observer. It actually became a thing whereby each week, we would look more forward to our weekly beer gathering laced with magic than we ever did before. The novelty factor reigned high for a very long time.
We would all turn up, get a round of beers and a few bags of crisps in and then go round the table watching and reviewing an excitable and often hilarious vocally improvised magic routine from each of the lads. While some were comically downright pathetic the majority were nothing short of mind-blowing. Keep in mind though that for a bunch of very normal harmless working class lads from the middle of England, to suddenly have intense moments of wonder and applause directed at them was completely novel, uplifting, confidence boosting and a perfect ignition to want more. Anyway, what started as a few conventional card classics using Svengali decks and doctored currency to more elaborately engineered items and props along with common items found in the bar, it ended up being ridiculously extravagant.
I left England shortly after that, but if I remember that last night correctly, I’m sure they called last orders and Nathan hadn’t done his final trick for a good hour or so. He’d been saving it for his grand finale. It’s important to note that for the entire evening he’d had a small brown paper bag with paper handles sat by his feet the whole time. When the landlord finally shouted ‘Time please lads!’ Nathan stood up, looked around the floor in disgust and scoffed at how messy the floor was. With that he grabbed the small paper bag and pulled from it a full-length broom and immediately started sweeping the floor. We were all in hysterics, as much from the look on the landlord’s fat face than Nathan’s amazing finale.
Anyway, to conclude, I made a point of getting online before leaving England and topping myself up with a few second hand magic tricks, especially the smaller, simpler, more travel friendly ones (not like Nathan’s broom in a bag).
Since leaving England and exploring many countries and entertaining in this way, I can honestly say it was one the travel decisions I ever made. It’s brought joy to a lot of people, especially local kids (and to myself of course), and I can wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone. Anyway folks, thanks for dropping by, until next time..