How do performers keep magic “magical” in our modern high-tech lives?

December 21, 2017

We live in a digital world, and the rise of online video and social media has had a massive influence on magic. That influence might be good or bad, depending on who you ask. So CBC News of Canada spoke with four different magic acts about how they see the digital shifts changing magic, and how they continue to wow today’s audiences.

Each of the performers acknowledged that digital developments have changed how they approach their craft. But you won’t find any wailing or gnashing of teeth about how YouTube is killing the art form, or unquestioning adoration of the newest modernizations for tricks.

Illusionist Darcy Oake sees the digital world as a challenge to stay sharp. “It helps to push the art form forward, totally, because you can’t become complacent knowing that someone’s going to watch this 50 times,” he said.

Colin Cloud, a mentalist currently performing with The Illusionists tour, opined that fancy tech toys are no substitute for good old-fashioned practice: “The truth is, the way that my ‘magic’ works is it’s all really based in knowledge and practice, and anyone could do what I do if they’ve dedicated the time that I have.”

Toronto locals David Ben and The Sentimentalists had also shared views about tapping into the timelessness of magic performances. Check out all of their thoughts on CBC News.