Tim Arends has been a practicing magician and magic enthusiast for over 40 years.
Great Quotes about Magic and Magicians
Magic has a long and distinguished history, and so do magic books. Ever since the first book explaining magic tricks, The Discoverie of Witchcraft, was published by Reginald Scot in 1584, thousands of magic books have been published. These contain a great deal of wisdom and quotations by some of the greatest magicians of all time.
What is a quotation? It is a citation of the words used by someone in the past, in this case, a great magician. In reciting the words of such a personage you are engaging in the act of quoting. A quote requires the use of speech marks known as quotation marks, a sort of inverted comma.
The use of quotations from great magicians in the past can help you solidify your own thinking about magic as well as add that extra oomph to your conversations and presentations. Like a lawyer trying to convince a jury of the truth of his argument, being able to show that the great minds of magic thought in a certain way lends credence to your own point of view.
In this way, quotations can back up your ideas but should not be used as a replacement for your own thinking on the subject.
This listing of quotations is not about magic secrets, or at least not in the sense that the public generally thinks of them. It is not about revealing the modus operandi of tricks, but rather about the true secrets -- the important truths about magic -- the understanding of which can help make you a better performer and magician.
The quotes about magic tricks here have been gathered from my own library of magic books and magazines after many years of reading and studying of some of the greatest thoughts concerning magic.
Whether you use these quotes to spice up your own writings or lectures on magic or just for your own edification, you're sure to find much food for thought here!
The personality of magicians reaches out from their quotations and can inspire you and get you thinking despite the separation of many miles and many years from the time the quotation was penned or uttered. And that's about as close to real magic as you can possibly get!
Advice from HOUDINI
Never tell the audience how good you are; they will soon find out for themselves. - HOUDINI
The newspapers generally commented more on Heller's wit than on his magic. - HOUDINI
The hard must become habit. The habit must become easy The easy must become beautiful.-Doug Henning
Bill Severn - Practice brings that ease of performance
and peace of mind. It lets you forget yourself and concentrate on pleasing those who are watching you. They can't relax and enjoy themselves if you appear to be fumbling and nervous. - Magic author Bill Severn
When practicing any trick... - ...try it in front of a looking glass, accompanying your moves with your entire patter. - HOUDINI
The art of illusion is at least 95% applied psychology. - Henning Nelms
Never work to fool a magician...
...always work to your audience. You may think your trick is old, but it is always new to members of your audience." - HOUDINI
Performing for conjurers is the worst possible way
to test the value of your presentations. Everything you do, literally everything, has a different value for conjurers than it has for laymen. - Henning Nelms
Magic As Entertainment
"Magic is not inherently entertaining.
This is an extremely important fact. Magic is not inherently entertaining. Magic performed by someone who is not an entertainer becomes a mere puzzle." - Mark Wilson
Unless card magic is presented entertainingly...
...it can be a bore. The wrong place, the wrong time or too much of it will produce annoyance instead of pleasure. Long-winded tricks involving dealing cards into endless heaps and piles, those that call for the watchers to remember too many things at once, and the fumbling of the trickster who does nothing more than dig out a chosen card that has been lost in the deck, are guaranteed to create boredom. - Bill Severn
"Don't drag your tricks...
but work as quickly as you can, bearing in mind the Latin proverb, 'Make haste slowly'." - HOUDINI
Putting Magic in Perspective
"The secrets aren't so damned important.
There is little that a magician does that cannot be figured out by a reasonably intelligent spectator." - Dariel Fitzkee
Conjuring puzzles have a special weakness.
When a spectator meets the challenge by solving the puzzle, the conjurer loses. When the spectator fails, he regards the conjuring puzzle like any other puzzle: he gives up and feels entitled to be told the answer. This places a performer in an insolvable position. - Henning Nelms
Magic for Kids
"People now-a-days are beginning to look upon the Magician as one who can especially amuse the children." - Louis C. Haley, The Dramatic Art of Magic (1910)
There are more opportunities to perform kid shows
than any other type. Do some free shows at first. Of course, you want to make money from magic, but you cannot expect to exact a fee for your work until you can deliver a quality product. - Mark Wilson
Magic and Technology
Spectators today live in a world of magic gadgets
that are infinitely more amazing than anything a conjurer can offer. The woman with a pocket radio knows that it works by batteries. Her curiosity ends there. Why should she marvel when you show her another magic box? - Henning Nelms
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. - Arthur C. Clark