Establishing Meta Magic (2)

There is another form of meta magic that comes to mind, and it is more about discrepancies which are not always spotted easily:

  • Magic tricks on television that are achieved rather by TV tricks than by magic methods
  • When forum threads about magic books are sooo much better than the books themselves
  • Genii editor Richard Kaufman telling you in the digital video supplement of the magazine what you will find in the very same issue that you are already reading
  • When the performance and the explanation are essentially and inadvertently one and the same video on YouBurp
  • Magicians performing a bad trick badly and then telling you why it’s a good trick and how successful they are with it (not as uncommon as you might think, you inveterate optimist!)
  • Along similar lines: When, according to their own reviews, performer, critic and audience have obviously attended very different shows simultaneously.


Establishing Meta Magic

I’m sure you have already come across some of the following phenomena in your magic life. But I’m not sure though whether there is a name for these. For the lack of a better term, I will call this thing meta magic.

In a nutshell, meta magic is magic about itself, within itself or out of itself (if there is a difference). A deception within the deception. Tricks of meta magic quality are utterly self-referential. For that, they may constitute bad magic from a layman’s point-of-view, but they may be inherently funny and stimulating for majishuns.

Here are some striking examples of meta magic I could think of:

  • Doing a “torn and restored” trick with an instruction sheet that explains a “torn and restored” trick
  • Showing a card trick in which a magician drawn on a blank card finds the chosen card
  • Letting a burning cigarette disappear in a cloud of cigarette smoke
  • Floating a Zombie ball or Losander table while floating yourself
  • Sawing a woman in half while she is performing Disecto on you
  • Pulling a small square circle illusion out of a bigger square circle that was pulled out of a huge square circle
  • Changing a change bag into another change bag by using, umm, a square circle illusion.

I guess there is a lot more meta magic out there!