"Showhorn" - Magic meets TED X

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.
Joe Mckay
Posts: 1128
Joined: April 13th, 2008, 6:56 am
Favorite Magician: Lubor Fiedler
Location: Durham, England

"Showhorn" - Magic meets TED X

Postby Joe Mckay » March 5th, 2017, 6:11 pm

I am interested in an area that magicians seem to be tackling more and more. Presenting a magic show in the guise of a lecture with some simple takeaway messages. You see this a lot where magicians give Ted X type talks.

On Twitter - Andi Gladwin came up with the word "Showhorn" which he defines as 'where you shoehorn a message into your magic so you can do a TED X talk'. Pretty funny. I think a lot of mentalists do college shows a bit like this. Where a mentalism show is wrapped up with self-improvement/educational messages. So it is not a new thing.

I am not a big fan of TED style talks myself but that is just me being a bit of an intellectual snob. It is all interesting, inspiring and feel goody for 18 minutes. But it never seems to stack up to much of importance. I'd rather read a book.

Anyway - I don't care about that because I think this is an area more magicians should consider tackling more.

Firstly - this stuff couldn't be easier. The dumbest section of any bookstore is the Business section. And within a few years - most of the bestsellers will be preaching the exact opposite of what they are preaching now. So none of it really has any intellectual rigor.

And secondly - I think magic works quite well in these sorts of contexts. Magic is often more interesting when the magician is sharing his interest in magic with you and talking a bit about the history and ideas behind the art. And what he has learned from his studies. As opposed to just launching into a show in which the conceit is usually simply one of trying to fool people.

You see this with gambling experts. Part of the fun of these sorts of demonstrations is that you are made to feel you are on the same side as the expert. He is demonstrating some cool stuff he has learned. As opposed to the more adversarial relationship of magician and spectator.

This is an area becoming more and more popular. And it will only continue to grow in the future as TED style lectures take over the world. As such - I am interested in how magicians will run with this trend? As the world becomes dumber - the "intellectual" tastes of the masses become dumber as well. And that is an opportunity for enterprising magicians.

Jonathan Townsend
Posts: 7527
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Westchester, NY

Re: "Showhorn" - Magic meets TED X

Postby Jonathan Townsend » March 5th, 2017, 8:22 pm

? You're asking for a script for the six card repeat trick to use while explaining the benefits of outsourcing and showing graphics from nostalgiac weight loss product advertisements?

Or... one of the genii forum members, Master Payne may have some practical performing experience on how to creatively present tricks in novel context.

Master Payne? Calling Master Payne!
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

Return to “Buzz”