As I get older, I think back to my younger years and reflect how things have changed. That is what you do when you get older. There are a few things that I partook in, years ago, that I still do today. However, they do not feel as special as they once did.
The first thing that comes to mind is photography. I remember when cameras were disposable and you were limited to the number of photos you could take. Back then, all the photos seemed like they were special. Whoever had the camera would tell the group that it was time for a photo. The rest of us would gather because we would think, “This person is using up one of their photos; therefore, it must be important.” The photos were always of people enjoying themselves or of rare sites that may never been seen again. Back then, there were not any photos of your Friday night outfit or the food that you were eating that day. The smartphone has made the photo less special than it used to be. In the past, if you were a photo enthusiast, you took 20 photos in a week or two. Now, 20 photos are taken in the first five minutes of an evening night. Times have changed the specialty factor.
The second thing that comes to mind is dinner. The food has not changed that much since the 80’s or 90’s, aside from the portion sizes. What has changed is the location of where the food is consumed. I remember, being at my grandma’s and eating at the table. I would listen to the adults discuss matters of the day. I was not exactly aware of what those matters were, but they seemed important and I tried to contribute my daily happenings. But, we were all at the table talking in what seemed like a meeting with food. Today, many people do not sit at the table for dinner anymore. Television programming is so good that they sit on the couch, with plate in lap and instead of discussing personal daily stories; the characters on the television discuss their narrative.
So what does this old man’s rant have to do with magic? The only commonality it has is that I am doing my best to make sure my magical performance does not fall into the same category of dinner or photography. I tend to see a lot of magic, and I am seeing many performers succeed in finding selected playing cards and vanishing of coins, but I am not seeing too many tricks that appear special. This may be because the story behind the trick may not be capturing the attention of the audience or because it feels like anyone else can accomplish that same trick, rendering it common. Now, I do not have the exact answer as to how to remedy this, but I do have an inclination that I will be pursing. So, for all the magicians out there, I would be interested in your thoughts behind this on the “specialness” in magic and whether it is growing or diminishing. And, for the non-magicians, I would be interested in your thoughts on things in your life that are becoming more special or less special since your younger years. Please share; I am highly interested and sharing is always special.