Well said: Robert-Houdin on “False Bottom” Conjuring vs. Art

Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin, “The Father of Modern Magic,” 1868:

It is easy enough, no doubt, to play the conjuror without possessing either dexterity or mental ability. It is only necessary to lay in a stock of apparatus of that kind which of itself works the trick. This is what may be called the “false bottom” school of conjuring. Cleverness at this sort of work is of the same order as that of the musician who produces a tune by turning the handle of a barrel-organ. Such performers will never merit the title of skilled artists, and can never hope to obtain any real success.

Well said!

So beware of the “false bottom” or “push button” school of (pseudo) conjuring!



One thought on “Well said: Robert-Houdin on “False Bottom” Conjuring vs. Art

  1. The magic is in the magician, not in the magical object, so that to produce a true
    feeling of magic it’s not enough to do it, but you also have to transmit the message that you are a magician. To be a magician it’s not enough to “have magic.” You also have to learn how to
    be a magician instead of how to be “someone that has learned how to do that.”
    Well said, Robert-Houdin!
    And well pointed out, Jan!

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