“Magic doesn’t occur in the hands of the magician. It occurs in the minds of the spectators.” ~ Mitch Praver
What is it about defying our own expectations that we find so irresistible? Close-up magician Mitch Praver thinks with me about how curiosity and magic intersect. From infants’ understanding of object permanence to our own delight with what seems impossible, this is magic through a news lens.
Listen to Choose to be Curious #152: Between Improbable & Impossible: Curiosity & Magic, with Mitch Praver
Mitch Praver loves that space between improbable and impossible. Find him on LinkedIn
Read the research that inspired this episode. This was the coverage that caught my eye: “Something about a baby’s curiosity about magic tricks is predicting how curious they become as preschoolers,” said Lisa Feigenson, co-director of the Johns Hopkins University Laboratory for Child Development. “What the data suggest is that some three-year-olds have a leg up or seem particularly well positioned to learn a lot about the world.”
Theme music by Sean Balick; “We Build with Rubber Bands” by Lemuel, via Blue Dot Sessions.
To help me prepare for our conversation, Mitch sent me a most remarkable and generous set of links that whet my appetite. He writes: “As for getting exposed to good close-up magic, of course it is MUCH better to experience it live in person rather than on TV. With that said, I’ll recommend these for starters...”
On TV: Penn & Teller Fool Us – On YouTube you can find performances (filter by most views) of some of my peeps, Asi Wind, Shin Lim, Boris Wild, Shawn Farqhuar, Kostya Kimlat and Eric Mead. Try: this, this, or this. There are so many on the Tonight Show. Here’s one with David Blaine.
Movies: Check out “Dealt” featuring Richard Turner , one of the greatest card sleight of hand mechanics — and he’s totally blind!! Mitch saw “In and Of Itself” off-broadway three times and it has now been made into a film.
Live in NYC – If you get up there, there’s great close up magic:
1. Six Impossible Things – Joshua Jay
2. Secrets – Derren Brown (best living mentalist)
3. Steve Cohen, The Millionaire’s Magician (best parlor magician since Hofsinzer)
4. Magic After Hours – at Tannen’s Magic Store, the largest in the world.