The Future is now

Magic in the Future

Is this what we face for the future of magic?

The year is 2525:

Two guys (1 and 2) questioning the “magic” on the stage

1) Why is he manipulating all of those decorated pieces of cardboard?

2) They’re called playing cards.

1) Playing… what?

2) Playing cards. People played games with them. They gambled with them, and that, more often than not, destroyed lives. But you’re watching ‘fantasy magic’ from a bygone era. We haven’t had factory-made, three-ply, air-cushion-finish Bicycles, Aviators, or Bee decks since 2040….

1) What? Played games and gambled with Bicycles, Aviators and Bees? — What the HECK are you talking about…?

2) *Sigh* You just don’t know your magic history, do you?


1) That’s a fun act, but where did he get all those shiny disks of metal? And that odd-looking bucket?

2) Ah, you’re beyond hope. That dude’s doing The Miser’s Dream, a classic of ancient magic where you pluck money out of the air and toss it into champagne —

1) What? There hasn’t been physical “money” since the first Mars colony was established. I read in a history book when they used to use that stuff.

2) Have it your way. The guy is presenting a classic illusion of desire: The ability of a magician to pluck large sums of physical cash out of thin air…

1) Yeah, right. When I want large sums of ‘cash’ as you call it, all I have to do is plug into the Cloud and Google it. It’s only digitized information, after all–

3) Hey buddy, shut up! I’m trying to watch the show!

************************************************1) Now there’s an act you don’t see very often. Talk about doing things the hard way!

2) He’s called an illusionist. The Zig Zag and the Substitution Trunk haven’t been seen for a very long time. Ten thousand hack magicians overworked them and killed those effects for at least a hundred and fifty years —

1) And now they’re a novelty again, right? But the “novelty” is not what he’s doing, but how he’s doing it!

2) It’s a mechanical kind of magic. Not seen since the Alien Invasion of 2180. The unique thing about it, is that there are no electronics, no photonics, no time warps or three-dimensional holograms —

1) Hah! And as the dealers used to say in ancient history, “no threads, no magnets, no trap doors, no mirrors, and your fingers don’t leave your hands at any time during the performance!” (laughs).

2) Yeah, we all know the illusions of the past were made obsolete by holography, teleportation, quantum invisibility, and I.M.J. [Internet Mind Jack) so this guy is just giving us a magic tour down memory lane. Just play along with it and pretend you don’t know what the heck is going on!

1) Okay. But right about now, I’d rather be out camping on the moons of Saturn with my kids.

2) What? You had kids!? Do the P.C.P. know this? [Population Control Police]

3) That does it!! In about two nanoseconds I’m going to Telethink the theater’s Android ushers and have you thrown out of here!


I remember the time when it took hours of physical practice to do magic instead of the latest download of prepackaged software.

Learning to play an instrument, faro a deck, juggle balls, dance — you name it — involves an initial resistance of a very stubborn brain (what is it – some kind of evolutionary defense mechanism NOT to master new skills??), but then persistent repetition coupled with dogged determination, and the brain eventually “breaks down” and readily absorbs the new skill, which can then be a relatively easy task — for a lifetime.

I read this once: Some famous classical pianist (forget who) had just done a long and complex recital. A voice in the audience was heard: “Man I’d spend my entire life just to be able to play like piano like that!” To which the pianist responded, “I already have.”

One more: A pianist was heard to say, “If I don’t practice for a day, I know it! If I don’t practice for two days, my agent knows it. And if I don’t practice for three days, my audience knows it.”

Two magicians are watching a fantastic sleight of hand artist. The magician is effortless ripping through the most complex pieces of Vernon, Marlo, Elmsley and so on. … After about forty minutes of this, one magician leans over to the other and whispers, “Man, it’s hot in here. That guy is great! I’m sweating like a pig. Can’t you feel the heat?”

“No,” says the second magician calmly, “I just do birthday parties.

Most of you know that I am a professional educator and I spent 22 years as a college professor. The education business has expended an enormous amount of effort in trying to determine how people learn. Much of the progress was made in understanding the process of learning during World War Two when we had to take untrained farm boys and quickly teach them war technology. Out of that effort Benjamin Bloom developed a taxonomy to understand the education process.

If you look at the Psychomotor Domain, I hope it will give you encouragement if you ever try to learn a physical skill such as sleight of hand! It will show that it takes times and goes in stages.

Much of this seems like “Common Sense”. Seventy years ago the humorist Will Rogers said the problem with common sense is that “it ain’t so common.” Well, it is much less common today than it was then.

I will keep you posted from the future.

Dennis Phillips



About blueridgemagiciansring320

Secretary of Ring 320 of the International Brotherhood of Magicians located in the Western Virginia.
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