An Interesting Talk from Penn&Teller
Every magician I truly like all have something in common; they have taken the time to find a way to raise magic to a higher art form. They come to this artistic bar in many ways and frequently they don’t agree on the why’s and why not’s of what it means to make magic a higher art form.
What it seems to be is that they (and I’ll even go so far as to say “we” as I’d like to think I do this as well) spend the time to care about what the message is, what the content is, and what the audience comes away with. We take the time to consider what we are doing within the context of our own morals & ethics.
And care enough about such things that we revisit the concepts on an almost constant basis, always reexamining where we are and whether or not our positions have changed or grown.
Perhaps the best known act that wrestles with these ideas regularly is the brilliant Penn & Teller. It’s no surprise that P&T are heroes of mine. Many times I have watched their shows and watched discussions/lectures from them, and always I come away with something new to think about or reexamine.
Well, they’ve been at this stuff for the last 38+ years, both in their magic shows and in their television shows, especially “Bullshit!”
Here then is a video, about an hour long, of an interview with P&T at last years “Amazing Meeting” where they discuss their performance ethics, thier favorite episodes of “Bullshit” and answer questions from their audience that are very interesting.
And please, watch to the end. James Randi comes on stage at the end for a wonderful statement that is well worth seeing.