The author of Smart Course in Magic lists what he sees are the intrinsic advantages of learning magic as a hobby — in addition to the omni-present fanfare of being a magician.
I am often asked the real-world benefits of learning magic. For clearly, everybody may not see themselves performing magic on a stage or wish to develop/pursue a career as a magician.
Here then, is a quick top-of-mind list created by me about the various ways in which knowledge and training in magic can help any individual. I hope this encourages many more to learn and adopt the art of magic as their creative obsession.
Benefits of Learning Magic
Some of the numerous benefits of picking up magic as a hobby or learning it as a performing art are,
- Self-Confidence sees a strong boost
- Develops creativity and problem-solving skills
- Improves public speaking presentation skills
- Wonderful tool for those working in the development sector
- Provides immense possibilities for entertaining education
- The best ice-breaker one can have to make new friends
- Mystify and entertain friends and family
- Fabulous hobby to keep your mind and body active
- Magic for therapeutic and rehabilitation purposes
- Protection against pseudoscientific scams and frauds
- Makes you unique among your colleagues and peers
- Effective medium of communicating messages of social relevance
- Special add-on to those working in storytelling and/or with children
- Essential knowledge for those in the skeptic and rationalist circles [See related articles here and here]
I have myself benefitted from many of the above stated advantages and serve as a personal example of being a stage-shy person who lacked any self-confidence before I took up magic [see related article here]. It is only after learning to perform magic did I get the necessary push and much-needed confidence to first take stage and then to rule it. [Hear the story at this TEDx Talk]
The efficiency of magic as a social communication tool and as a medium of development communication is again an aspect that has been postulated by many, including my own masters’ research project and related papers and lectures. All this is of course in addition to the added income one can earn by pursuing a part-time career in magic.
It is also interesting that many of the well-known user experience professionals, film actors, authors, rationalists, scientists, lawyers, sales and marketing professionals, and more have had an active interest in performing magic. This connection between magic and the creative thinking side of people is not too hidden.
What better than leave you with these words from Edward Tufte who in explaining Information Design said, “If you can explain a magic trick you can explain most anything!” No surprise then that Tufte too has more than dabbled in the art of magic.
So, what’s your excuse to Learn Magic?
- Hollywoods Secret Magicians: Emily Feimster, Netscape
- AskTog: Magic and Software Design: Bruce Tognazzini, Ask Tog
- Magic Coins Tufte: Austin Kleon
- Unleashing the Power of Magic to Communicate: Nakul Shenoy
- What Magic can teach us about empathy in UX: Lukas Mathis, UX Magazine
- Skepticism and the Art of Magic: Jeremy Salow, Suite 101
- David Copperfields Project Magic: Project Magic
- What is Healing of Magic: Healing of Magic
- The Science of Mind Bending: Nakul Shenoy, Popular Science
- Web wizards weave their magic: BBC NEWS
- Interesting Facts About Magicians: Magic Academy Australia