Thirteen years ago, David Copperfield got mugged at gunpoint by some teenagers who’d just moved to Florida from Kentucky. But David Copperfield—the most commercially successful magician in history—didn’t actually get mugged because he used slight of hand to make his pockets appear empty. In “reality,” David Copperfield’s pockets were holding his wallet, his cellphone, and his passport.
So. That’s magic.
Plus, the assailants pulled up to him at midnight in a Chevy Malibu and one of their names was Dwayne.
So. That’s magic, too.
Plus, after Dwayne’s half-brother, Terrance, pled guilty, his attorney said, “Terrance was remorseful for what occurred, has told the truth about his involvement, and would like everything to disappear.” Of course, the main guy who could help Terrance make anything disappear wasn’t taking his calls.
That’s not magic, but it is kinda funny.
It’s also not kinda funny. And I hope, in the intervening years, Dwayne and Terrance were able to figure out how to raise themselves because it appears they hadn’t gotten a very good start.
But, back to Copperfield. Magicians have a code. That code is: Don’t fucking tell people how we do the fucking tricks. That, for sure, is magic. To get strangers to agree—over all the years—not to talk about magic club?
Recently, David Copperfield had to reveal—in court— how he performs his Lucky #13 trick. His Lucky #13 trick is an “illusion” he “performs” in his Las Vegas show. (Those quote marks are grammatically incorrect. It really is an illusion he performs. But, we had fun, right?)
Copperfield has performed the Lucky #13 trick for over 15 years. As many as 100,000 people have participated in the trick. Not seen it, but been one of the chosen 13. And none of them has revealed how the trick works. Not even the guy suing him for negligence because he was allegedly injured running through a dark tunnel to make the trick a success.
So, imagine you’re in Vegas. You decide to spend your ticket money on tickets to the David Copperfield show. You get picked to do a trick. You do it. Somehow it works. The audience is mystified. David Copperfield then PERSONALLY asks you not to talk about magic club. And you don’t.
(Part of me thinks I’d be pissed that, suddenly, because I’d been randomly picked to be in a David Copperfield trick—when all I wanted to do was get drunk and be amazed—I now had to decide if I wanted to be the one asshole who talks about magic club. Why would I do it if I weren’t getting any of the benefits of magic club? But, maybe I would be benefiting. Maybe, just by the fact that I’d gotten to make the magic—even for a second—that I was precisely benefiting from the code. But, really, this is a whole other discussion and not the point here at all.)
The point is: believing in magic is about allowing yourself to marvel at life. To smile that David Copperfield at gunpoint instinctively used his skills to outsmart a couple boys from Kentucky experiencing the effects of the Florida sun (and maybe their upbringing). To appreciate that there are still codes we can choose to follow. To walk around in life like you just got randomly picked to make magic and everyone is depending on you to make it look real. And when you do, it becomes real.