Let’s assume for today’s post, that each of the artists mentioned are the best in their field. Let’s compare only with those folks…
The painter goes to work early in the morning. She grabs a brush, displays her oils and takes her time filling a blank space with color to create a one-of-a-kind illusion of life on canvas… a masterpiece.
What a joy painting must be. A true introvert’s art form… unless of course you are Bob Ross, the famous American painter who filmed his painting projects for television. He enjoyed an audience, though it was not a live audience. I’m sure many painters do like an audience; but usually, it’s an out of the spotlight art. The final production is what demands attention. “Look at this! …not at me.” says the painter.
To me, that would be easier.
The musician grabs his instrument. Play. Sing. Rock! He can even close his eyes if the lights on stage are too bright. The rhythm of the band backing him creates a high. As a group they are strong, united, uplifting each other. The musician is tapped into that marvelous wonder, which was instilled from creation, where a person can become a part of the music and get carried away.
I played in many bands for many years before hanging up my bass guitar. It was a rush! A beautiful thing. To me, those times were easier.
Now the acrobat takes risks daily. Depending on how intense the stunts, a gymnast could risk broken limb or even life! The technical skill to make each movement, jump, or spin with precision every single time takes incredible difficultly. Intense focus.
I couldn’t do it. My athletic reaction speed compares to turtle in winter.
As a magician, we take on all these roles when we perform. Magic to me is a hybrid art. It’s a combination, each of these plus the other.
We are painting a picture inside the audience member’s minds. We make them see something that is not physically there, if only for a moment.
Magic performance is a rhythm of conducting actions and reactions of strangers we have just met...Not unlike a conductor leading an orchestra pieced together with musicians all sourced from different companies who have never met or practiced together before. While often standing solo and directing those people to react, we magi are simultaneously playing several “instruments” of our own: gimmicks, smoke, mirrors, words, and our own hands...to name a few we must master.
We even say when Juan Tamariz performs he is “in concert.” (Said of Roger Clause, too.)
As far as tumbling, our bones don’t typically break doing sleights… though some of us attempt life challenging stunts and escapes. Still, we deliver our lines on cue and hit our sleights, often with improvisation to our unique audiences, all while syncing our props at the same time.
We need to practice for the expert timing and precision of an athlete. We juggle silently, invisibly. In coin magic, our dexterity is unbeknownst to our fans. That is if they are fans… they may be opposing fans, hecklers, trying to trip us on our “balance beam” of performance.
We create, make harmony, and dance at the same time in any venue and through any storm.
I think there are many other art forms we could look at, but I’m at the end of this post. Is magic the hardest? I do not know. I wouldn't call it the easiest. But, we do seem to take some of the most difficult parts of all the arts around us and attempt them in unison. What do you think? What is the hardest art form overall? What other art forms do we seemingly mimic in magic? Leave a comment below of what you know: