Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Project 365 (201/365): Crossing The Great Wall Of China

.:201/365: Crossing The Great Wall Of China:.

I believe you’re bound to see a lot of Copperfield this month, since most of the most popular illusions of all time were made famous by him. This particular illusion that he performed was one of the most impressive bits of showmanship I have ever seen.

Penetration effects tend to be impressive because of the sheer mechanics involved in actually making a very convincing penetration happen. Whether it be something as simple as a pen that goes through a bill of money, or David Copperfield walking through the Great Wall of China, these illusions tend to really catch attention for being a flagrant defiance of physics. David Copperfield’s showmanship turned something already stunning in premise alone into a spectacle for the ages, being talked about to this very day even by people who weren’t even born during Copperfield’s heyday, talking about his amazing illusion in a breath of wonder that matches or at times eclipses that wonder surrounding David Blaine.

These larger-than-life performances were what really put Mr. Copperfield over the top, making him the most profitable magician of all time, having grossed over a billion dollars in ticket sales alone. His flair and panache set him apart from other performers like him, who were, admittedly, small-minded, or at the very least, not blessed with the resources at Copperfield’s disposal. I’m sure that the brainstorming process for this illusion must’ve been quite a doozy, and it certainly paid dividends for the man.

Amusingly enough, what caught my attention while looking for a video of the illusion was that there were so many commenters on YouTube screaming that this bit of magic was “fake.” Really? You mean to tell me you were willing to drink the Kool-Aid otherwise? Because, seriously, magic is about entertaining people, not converting someone to a new religion. Of course it’s fake! That’s the whole point of the exercise, and if you can’t appreciate the art form, then do everyone else a favour and shut up, because nobody really cares about your smug self-importance at insisting “you were not fooled.” Nobody cares if you believe in people who can walk through walls or not. In fact, Copperfield couldn’t care less if you believe. All that he cared about was if you were entertained. Now, if people demonstrating apparent powers does not entertain you, why don’t you just do what normal people do and tune out, rather than pop a vein, insisting it’s all fake?

The Great Wall of China is an amazing marvel of architecture that has stood in place for centuries on end. David Copperfield, through his amazing brand of magic, has made this marvel an even greater spectacle than it already is.

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