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Posts Tagged ‘Penn

Presto!…

In this month’s Smithsonian, Penn’s silent partner Teller spills the beans on magic… and in so doing shares a top hat full of lessons applicable to life-at-large.

… let’s take what magicians call a force, where the magician gives you a false sense of free action by giving you an extremely controlled choice… I compared that to choosing between two political candidates. But I see it everywhere. When I go to the supermarket, I have a choice of dozens of kinds of cereals—all made by the same manufacturer of essentially the same ingredients. I have the gut impression of variety and freedom, but in the end, the only real choice I have is not to buy…

In typical theater, an actor holds up a stick, and you make believe it’s a sword. In magic, that sword has to seem absolutely 100 percent real, even when it’s 100 percent fake. It has to draw blood. Theater is “willing suspension of disbelief.” Magic is unwilling suspension of disbelief…

Misdirection is a huge term that means whatever you use to make it impossible to draw a straight line from the illusion to the method. It’s an interruption, a reframing. It comes in so many varieties and is so fundamental, it’s quite hard to formulate in a neat definition—rather like the term “noun” or “verb” in grammar. We all know what these are, but only after seeing lots of examples…

Read Teller’s own piece here, and the companion interview here.

As we practice our reveals, we might recall that it was on this date in 1901 that Andrew Carnegie, recently retired from his role as one of the world’s foremost industrialists, offered the city of New York $5.2 million for the construction of sixty-five branch libraries… and began a philanthropic campaign that founded 2,509 libraries in the English-speaking world, established the educators’ retirement fund that has become TIAA-CREF, endowed Tuskegee Institute under Booker T. Washington, helped Washington found the National Negro Business League, established the Carnegie Endowment for Peace (among other foundations), and of course, built Carnegie Hall.  It’s believed that Carnegie gave away over $350 million before his death in 1919, when his last $30 million was distributed to foundations he’d started and charities he’d supported.

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Written by (Roughly) Daily

March 12, 2012 at 1:01 am

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