Fooling Kids…Fooling Adults… Who cares?
Boston Massachusetts Magician www.ferrantimagic.com 339-927-4710
OMG…I’ve actually been pulled into this conversation. What a waste of my time, Yet…Magicians continue to discuss/debate/argue, whether it is easier to fool adults or children. (BTW, the overwhelming consensus is that children are harder to fool.)
Why is this important? It is not! What is important is the understanding of the basics of critical thinking in children and adults.
Now let’s get this out of the way…Being fooled is not about being made to seem foolish. Every Magician should know this, those who don’t…not my problem or my intent here.
Alright, so…. we are not going to make anyone feel foolish. Can we agree temporarily that to “fool” will mean to give an audience a positive experience in which they will experience degrees of belief, disbelief, shock and awe? Good! So for the moment we will agree that “being fooled” is about being entertained by tricks and illusions which should be presented in an entertaining fashion.
Children Fooler # 1
If I were to tell a five year old that there is a creature that eats children living under their bed…well, suffice it to say, this poor kid won’t be sleeping well for at least the near future. (BTW, this is the bad “fool.”) The reason is simple, children have little choice but to believe what an authoritative adult tells them. Personally I’d prefer telling them there is a Santa Claus, but that’s just me.
Adult Fooler # 1
On the other hand, If a so called “medium to the Stars” tells people he/she can talk to their dead relatives…sadly, an amazing amount of adults will buy in. (Bad Fool) Sometimes the belief can be quite costly to one’s pocketbook. Why does this work? This may be an over simplification, but…who wouldn’t feel some comfort knowing their Mom is doing great, and further than that, she is eager to help you overcome a current obstacle in your life. (Feels good, huh?”)
This fooling stuff is easy…especially when used in a negative way.
More on Fooling Kids!
Let’s return to some entertainment. It’s hard to count the number of times I have “sawed a sponge ball into two” for five and six year olds. If you’ve done it, you know they will take a single sponge ball and attempt to saw it into two, for what seems to be an eternity. This is an easy “good fool”. Not so hard, right?
How about the “See, don’t see” premise. Those less than critical thinkers will scream and scream louder each time you turn around and don’t see the spider on your back. Meanwhile, the adults are amused and happy seeing the fun their kids are having. (Remember, the Adults are not “fooled” here.)
BTW, this may border on making one look “foolish” but it won’t occur to any of them for at least ten years, and you’ll be long gone by then.
Additional note: I heard one “magician’s” explanation why kids are harder to fool…He explains that they have good eye sight and also view card tricks from a lower level, therefore they can easily spot a Double lift. “O.K., I’ll give you a pass on this for one time, if it happens again, shame on you! Make an adjustment.”
More on Adult Foolers
Back to the adults, I love the “think of a card” effect. The adult thinks of any card they see in a widely spread (fanned) deck of cards…the Magician removes one card and places it in his pocket. That’s right, the card in the pocket is the very one the spectator is only thinking of. (“Good fool”) Yup, good fool, because no one has ever asked how I did that, or even ventured a guess as to how it is accomplished.
In fact, the only group who might “know” how this is done is an alien from who knows where, known as the teen ager. OMG, these are the hardest people to “fool”. Just kidding!
For the best sources to learn to fool with integrity, I suggest Reading Darwin Ortiz’s works,
Strong Magic and Designing Miracles
Joe Ferranti Close up Strolling Magician Boston ma.