You would’ve had to have led a very sheltered life to not be exposed to the “traditional” magic shows of the past…rabbits out of hats, beautiful assistants being sawed in half, feathery bouquets of flowers appearing out of nowhere…
Depending on your age, many of these were staples at children’s parties (okay, maybe not so much the sawing-in-half one), a tradition passed down from generation to generation. Which is why now, as an adult, you can be forgiven for thinking magic is within the purview of the younger generation.
But – happily – you couldn’t be more wrong.
“For me, magic is not simply a demonstration of ‘tricks’,” says Capetonian magician Ryan Jones. “I like to describe magic as something that is more of a feeling that one gets when one experiences something astonishing – when one grows older and wiser this feeling seems to fade away.
“Children tend to react with amazement to even the most basic magical effects. Yet as an adult, as we grow ‘wiser’ and learn more about the physical world and therefore become more sceptical.
“As an adult, one is generally faced with more complex issues in life, this can affect one’s attitude toward seeing something ‘magical’ – but I believe that magic is about creating moments, moments which move one away from the harsh reality of life and into a world where anything is possible – just like the time when we were children…”
Stuart Lightbody – who will be performing his show Unique Wonders at Alexander Bar, Café & Theatre from March 4-16 – cautions us not to make the mistake of thinking the art of magic is only something for children. “Magic is about playfulness, curiosity and fascination. For many adults, these emotions are sorely missing from life. They lie buried under stress and repetition; magic has a wonderful way of revealing them,” he says.
These emotions are an important part of learning, and of being flexible in behaviour and outlook, continues Lightbody.
“So I think magic is even more valuable for adults than it is for children.”
Lightbody has been lucky enough to travel the world and sit down with some of the greatest sleight-of-hand artists who have ever lived, which has been an unbelievable privilege. “I have seen things that are like a waking dream, and the memories will stay with me until my last breath. To watch a few moments that have taken a lifetime of study and practice to create. I find that to be a wonderful thing,” he says.
“So next time you see a magician, sit back and allow the magic experience to take a hold of your mind and you will feel a pure sense of wonder and astonishment,” promises Jones.
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