Some years ago, I met someone who was a professional magician. He still is, as far as I know. But now he lives in New Zealand. When he lived here, we occasionally went for a coffee at Delifrance in Central. While we were at the counter waiting for our orders, he'd sometimes do some tricks with a coin -- make it disappear, re-appear. I never figured out how he did it, and neither did the Delifrance girls. We all of us just ended up grinning and laughing. Grateful for a break in the tedium of work and life, I think some of them, if they could have, would have given him a kiss. Oh, lucky man! Yes, I envied his skill and talent; he was good-looking, too. But most of all the effect he had on us. In a couple of minutes, he, the magician, had made us all feel 100 per cent alive.
Like to find out what psychologists are learning about magicians, the audience, and the construct that is reality? Fascinating stuff. And no, it won't spoil the next time you watch a magician. Short article in Guardian.