Why Magicians Never Reveal Their Tricks

Here are three simple reasons why magicians never reveal tricks.

First and foremost, magicians never reveal tricks because it destroys the mystery. Every adult knows that magic doesn’t really exist. After all, if somebody really had magic powers they might be able to use them for something more worthy than finding playing cards or making rabbits appear from a hat…though the latter might solve food shortage problems.

What magic offers is a moment of Wonder/Surprise. We have just witnessed something that our mind tells us CANNOT happen…but, dammit, we just saw it happen.  After the initial surprise, the reaction is usually one of laughter or puzzlement. Look at the faces of the women at the house party I performed recently. A deck of cards just turned to glass while the spectator was holding it.

Now, if the magic secret is revealed the amazement is replaced by a swift sense of let-down. ‘Oh, so that’s how you did it…’ said in a falling tone of disappointment.

On a more selfish note, the magician has taken time and, usually money, to buy the secret and then practise and rehearse. Why should s/he give it away for free?

There’s even an ethical question here. If somebody creates a magic trick, I don’t really have the right to reveal it to anybody else, even if I have paid for it. Don’t forget, magicians’ livelihood depends on the secrecy.

Exposure of a trick can ruin it. Years ago it was common to see magicians perform with a floating cane. It was an incredible trick…until it was sold as a toy one Christmas. The secret was exposed (though, in all fairness, I think the modern audience had begun to guess) and that was the end of that.

“So, if magicians never reveal their tricks, how do they learn them in the first place?” I hear you ask. Well, that’s something I will cover in a future post.

In the meantime, if you’d like to see what can happen when a trick goes wrong, just click here.

If you’d like to treat your guests at a wedding, party, dinner, fund raiser etc. then why not contact me to see how I can contribute to your event? I might even teach you a trick.

(About the author: Frank Farrell performs stage and close up magic across the country)