“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.
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.”
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.