Max Andrews

10/11 ARCHER STREET, LONDON, W.I

When Max asked me to write the Editorial for this month, my first thoughrs, naturally, were, "What shall 1 write about?" The answer was, of course, "Magic", seeing that the Editorial was destined to appear in "The Magic Magazine"!! but I have read so often, recently, that Magic is dead that I wondered if it was worth writing about.

Almost every magazine one picks up these days has some reference to the demise of our art, and rhe arguments put forward in favour of this contention are so mournful, that I begin to wonder if the writers who pen such stuff really do wish that Magic were dead, and it really does appear, at times, as though these moaners have donned an undertaker's tall hat, complete with black crepe, in order to be there at the funeral.

Even Orben, the man who peddles laughs, is a little gloomy about the future of Magic, unless, he qualifies, we are prepared to run with the trend of modern times. If you want to be successful he says, become a mentalist, a close-up worker, or a comedy magician. In other words, be prepared to follow the band. But hasn't it always been so? In the old leisurely days audiences were content to sit back and watch long-drawn-out, complicated combinations of effects, the old general-post type of thing, but as speed became a more prevalent part of our lives, so everything, and particularly in the entertainment world, had to put on a spurt too, or die by the wayside. Songs became shorter—the old sixteen-line-verse died years ago. Jokes became snappier -ihe weli known 'one-liner' was never heard of in those days! The red nosed comic made way for the immaculately dressed, sophisticated humorist. The down-to-the-floor table drapes made way for the music-stand table with its three inch fringe, which in turn has almost :-2-eeded into the background in favour of the chromium pillar type table with its clear (or coloured) plastic top, devoid of all drapes. Yes I think Magic HAS moved with the times, otherwise it just would not be here to write about.

I thought however, that I would see what they were saying about it in the days of 'yesteryear', and turning up a well-known English magazine for the year 1909, I came across this:—

"Conjurers' Conversational Hints. Is Magic dead? ! ! ! (the exclamation marks are mine). The re-decoration of St. George's Hall —do you like it? Are the palmy days of conjuring over?" and so on and so on. So you see they were at it even in those leisurely days, and I rhink it is safe to say that in or about the year 2000 some scribe will turn back to these pages and say "Blimey! They were at it in 1953."

No. magical friend, Magic is not dead, although I will agree with you that there are a few magicians,(not you, or you, but the other fellows), who do try hard to suffocate and maim it by presenting not the effects their grandfathers presented but effects AS their grandfathers presented them. I think there is a lot in that, don't you? Take some of your grandfathers' effects by all means—some of rhem are still alive and kicking even today, but give them that little pep, symbolic of modern times, in other words, follow the trend.

So, if anyone asks you if Magic is dead, just you tell them that it's as dead as they make it, or, to put it, in less funereal terms, MAGIC IS AS ALIVE AS YOU WANT IT TO BE. IT'S UP TO YOU AND YOU, AND YOU, TO SEE THAT IT "LIVES", NOT MERELY EXISTS.

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