Why Magicians Never Reveal Their Secrets

“As a magician I promise never to reveal the secret of any illusion to a non-magician, unless that one swears to uphold the Magician’s Oath in turn. I promise never to perform any illusion for any non-magician without first practicing the effect until I can perform it well enough to maintain the illusion of magic.” ~ The Magician’s Oath.

Several years ago a man covered himself in black garb from head to toe and began immediately revealing some of magic’s most closely guarded secrets to anyone who would watch him. Naturally, this caused quite a bit of uproar among the industry. This is because since the early fathers of modern magic, first practiced magic there has been a code stating we will never reveal our secrets. What some people may not understand are the reasons for this oath. Here are a few reasons.

  • Self-interest and preservation: It would hardly do for a magician to reveal the secret behind his/her most popular trick since it would then essentially be pointless for him/her to continue performing it. Thus, secrecy preserves what might well be a known show stopper for a magician.
  • It just spoils the fun: As much as the brain wants to know things and to solve puzzles it also enjoys being challenged, tricked as it were. Witnessing a feat that is surprising and wondrous is just plain fun to most of us. Magicians never want to rob their audiences of that sense of fun and amusement. It would fly in the face of everything we stand for.
  • It harms other magicians: Magicians are special fraternity of sorts even though they may be in direct competition with each other imagicn some places. Revealing the tricks that are popular for another magician could harm his/her practice.

Deep within all of us rests two conflicting desires. The first is the desire to know things and understand how the world around us operates. The second is the desire to be mystified by the unknown and to believe that there is still things beyond our comprehension that cause us to be humbled. Thus, the art of magic seeks to preserve the mystery and wonder of the modern world. It shows us that knowing everything is not possible nor is it even desirable. I am Sam Gherman – a magician in New York City. I am among a fraternity of close up NYC magicians who still believes in creating mysteries that defy the mind and logic.


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