Well, all kids love magic don’t they? Every favourite Uncle has pulled a coin from behind a child’s ear and created a moment of wonder for that child, right?
But when that child becomes an adult you’ll have to work a lot harder to create a magical moment. A moment of wonder. Their developed mind is much more sophisticated. They’ve doubtless acquired a little scepticism. They also understand basic physics and will realise that some of the things they appear to see are not actually possible – therefore it’s a trick – but when done well they’re happy to allow the moment of wonder to fall upon them and enjoy it.
Then of course there are people at the rather more senior part of adulthood. Perhaps their mind is not as sharp as it once was, or maybe their hearing or eyesight is impaired – or a combination of all of these. With correct pacing, maybe some larger props and a little care and attention magic can deliver the same special moment for them also.
When I perform at weddings I know that I’m likely to encounter at least three generations of people, and very often four generations. I’m there to entertain all of them so just one type of magic won’t span the age divide. Maybe I can do the same trick for young and old but at a different speed, or with different props. The aim is the same in any case. To entertain and to create a magical moment. It’s very obvious when I’ve achieved this aim. I get involuntary feedback. A shocked expression, a smile, a laugh. I make sure that I enjoy that moment with them.
I recently had one of my biggest challenges – and the greatest of pleasures. To perform close-up magic at a private lunch to celebrate a lady’s 100th birthday. Her children, Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren were all present. Ages ranged from 9 to 100 and most points in between. Everyone took the same pleasure from the magic, everyone reacted in much the same way, the tricks were much the same – but (importantly) carefully modified.