I quite agree that people get caught up in their own lives and sometimes miss the beautiful symphony called life. It is becoming a more and more common symptom of modern life.
I personally believe that magic, or any form of art, should, therefore, decide to not only entertain its audience, but reach for something more.
Yes, TV and movies provide minimal entertainment. They also often provide so much more.
For starters Donnie said, "goal". To me that is something you reach for, not always hitting but accomplishing much else along the way. In that manner I see entertainment as a stop along the way but not the destination. Similarly, the glorious moment of astonishment is just the fuel that (em)powers both the magic and the audience toward a deeper, more meaningful moment like the notes of a criscendo, or even a lone note in tremelo that summons up an ocean of emotions.
I reach for the art, not the craft, in magic. To me that means magic the individual's way. Not a copy but a unique original with conscience and something to say, which if it stops at entertainment at least does so in a way that enlightens you to the way you can be completely entertained.
McDonalds or The French Laundry (look it up)?
Scream 3 or Momento?
An Elvis impersonator or Dave Matthews?
Art is the catalyst that yanks people out of their recipe lives and makes them go "hmmmm...".
That is what I ask of the magic that I put before the general public. Not feeling fooled, tricked, or even amazed but much more personal emotions. While they are feeling those, their minds are alowing what you just did to be real.
My hope is that those personal emotions can bring them insiration to improve their lives, even if just to stop and listen to the symphony of life playing on.
For those who can't allow themselves to be moved at the time, there is always the entertainment...and some images and emotions that are planted in the back of their minds :D certain to come out when they let their guards down.
A heady proposition indeed.