Clear Thinking From a Magician

&#8220It’s extremely difficult for me to tell you the secret of anything,” says Bill Kalush, 47 years old, founder of the center. “Real secrets are psychological and deep. To take a simple secret and perform it in a way that looks like magic is extremely difficult.” He offers as an analogy: “This is a scalpel. See how sharp it is? That’s how to do surgery.”

Great observation, from an interesting Wall Street Journal article by Demetria Gallegos about the Conjuring Arts Research Center, a magic library for magicians only.


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  1. 164 says:

    If economists were this arrogant the equivalent might be “These are data. See long some of the numbers are? Go forecast the economy.”

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    • Felix says:

      Magicians have repeatable reliable skills to be proud of ….

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    • OliverH says:

      They are even more arrogant:

      The magician here explicitly admits that he is merely practicing SECRETS that only LOOK like magic, i.e. he’s hoodwinking people.

      A lot of economists hoodwink people but claim they were exercising an academic discipline….

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  2. bob says:

    Whew, I didn’t realize that magic tricks were that complex. I’m sorry, illusions. Seriously, surgery requires extensive knowledge and training.

    Anyone with a dramatic flair and jazz hands can do a magic trick… illusion.

    I’d be very comfortable with my surgeon trying out magic tricks in his spare time, not so much with my magician operating on people.

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    • OliverH says:

      And I didn’t realize that not knowing about something qualifies you to lecture on it. Yes, anyone with a dramatic flair and jazz hands can do a magic trick. But to create them, and live from your performances, it DOES require extensive knowledge and training.

      If all you know is spare time magicians, I suggest you leave the discussion of that field of work to people who know what it takes to be a pro. I wouldn’t want your surgeon to try to entertain people at a show in Las Vegas – or even at the next bext company anniversary. He’d likely bore people to death by repeating the act they already saw with someone else last year ten times and calling that “entertainment”.

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  3. Luka says:

    I disagree. With enough practice and the right mentor, secrets become conglomerations of skills that can be learned.

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