As reader or readers of this august news source for all things magic know, we intensely dislike April Fools’ Day.
Magicians by their nature — a nature honed through DNA revisions and natural splicing — enjoy embarrassing and entertaining people all the time.
But there is more enjoyment if entertaining than fooling in our book — the yet to be published tome, Make a Choice: Embarrassing versus Entertaining. We have submitted the book to several publishers but none have taken it up. We have several published articles on the topic but the circulation of those articles have been restricted — due to lack of interest — to our family members; and not even all of them. Actually just two family members took a copy of the articles and we’re not sure they read them.
We will also admit that although our act from the age of 9-years-old to 30-years of age included sucker tricks like Fraidy Cat Rabbit, the Sucker Sliding Die Box and Hippity Hop Rabbits — all sucker tricks — we have changed our approach to magic and no longer perform sucker tricks or effects where a volunteer from the audience is made to look foolish or like a dupe. We figure they are nice enough to pay for our best and by definition, our best cannot include effects where we can make a patron look stupid.
At this point in any article of this type, we would say something like “but of course, we don’t condemn those who use sucker tricks.” We have no such statement to make here.
We can say, as noted above that our use of the sucker trick was curtailed when we put ourselves in the shoes of those who were guests. We came to the conclusion and theory of performing that because no one likes to feel stupid ever, we should not make an individual feel unsafe or of decreased ability to fully enjoy the show.
But what about Slydini’s Vanishing Napkins? Do you still do that? Isn’t that the ultimate sucker trick? True, we are singling out a single volunteer to be fooled by the vanish of napkins or rolled up paper; whilst the audience clearly sees how the effect is done.
We still do the effect because it is a classic, is not meant to make a volunteer look stupid but as an active actor in the miracle. Perhaps that is not fair and just shows our hypocrisy, but we hope not.
Magic is unique in the entertainment world on the embarrassment/entertaining.
For our act and individual routines, we choose to treat volunteers with respect and allow them to join in the fun from the start.