Magic Imposter Syndrom
Imposter Syndrom is a common problem in a lot of industries, most particularly the tech industry. This is the idea that someone who is in fact extremely skilled still feels like they don’t know enough or are not yet good enough to be considered an “expert” (by some arbitrary measure) yet they find themselves in the position of having to be the “expert” and thus suffer a huge amount of stress over their perceived lack of ability to meet the arbitrary measure they think defines a “real expert.”
In other words “No! I’m not good enough!”
As an entertainer have you ever had an absolutely flawless show? No, of course not. No entertainer has a flawless show. What they do have is great shows that everyone enjoyed and that no one in the audience could possibly perceive any flaw in.
But the entertain knows. They know they missed a cue or flubbed a line or didn’t make the right gesture or missed a note or any one of a thousand possible mistakes.
Except tonight. Tonight I had a “flawless” show.
I put that in quotes because I do recognize that there was one big flaw right from the start; I didn’t actually have a prepared set list of magic pieces I was going to perform. I had my “commando bag” (my collection of magic that I can carry with me anywhere and can perform out of without thinking) because I knew I was going to be at a party this evening and I wanted to be prepared. It was with family so there was really not going to be any escape.
But I never really thought about the set before hand.
Yet everything I did out of my commando bag was executed perfectly. So much so that by the time we were on the road home my wife basically had no real critique to offer. Nothing but praise.
And it bugged me.
Don’t get me wrong. I love getting all the praise. But I am not used to a flawless show. I am not used to everything going so absolutely perfect that even I wasn’t particularly aware of any issues. And I am most certainly not used to there being no real critique of my performance.
I look forward to the details being called out. Knowing that there is something that I can work on for the future makes me feel better. It gives me things to think about and to guide me to becoming better.
And again, don’t get me wrong, there is always something to work on for the future, but I am used to at least one of the items on my ever growing list to be something from the last show I did that needs work.
Okay, I know, it seems odd to complain about this. And I am very sure that it sounds silly and even trivial. In a lot of ways it is.
But still, for a bit of time there, I was feeling like a “Magic Imposter”.
However, all that being said, I’ve shaken off the feeling. You see, as I’ve stated elsewhere, my nephews think I’m the most awesome magician in the world. And really, I can accept that.