Now I warned you that there was going to be some pro wrestling content on here, so you’re not allowed to get mad.

Anyhoo, if you’ve read from the beginning you know that I’m trying to take this blog in a positive and constructive direction, in the hopes of avoiding some of the nonsense that I used to indulge in. So far, I feel like it’s mostly been working. In fact, I’m happy to report that unlike before, I no longer have any pet peeves in magic!

Of course… if I did have a pet peeve in magic, it might be that often times the following advice is thrown about a bit too freely on magic forums: “You’ve got to do what’s right for you.”

Now, I don’t hate anything, so I don’t hate this advice! But I used to. Oh man. When I heard somebody giving that advice, I’d want to take their head, put it into a vice, and go to work on them Joe Pesci style.

Before I get to why, watch this video of Al Snow critiquing aspiring wrestlers. If you even have a passing familiarity with pro wrestling, it ought to at the very least be eye opening about all the tiny details they have to pay attention to.

Finished watching? Cool.

Now, think back to when he was giving them advice. Was he saying stuff like “You’ve got to do what’s right for you”? Of course not. It’s a live art form with no do-overs and lots of risks. This isn’t to say that there’s no room for creativity, but rather that you want to engage in that after a base competence has been established. And don’t think that Al Snow is some sort of strict unimaginative old man when it comes to wrestling. In his most popular days, his gimmick was to knock his opponents out with the head of a doll that he’d talk to on a regular basis during promos.

We’re in the same boat. I’m not going to go so far as to say that we need to adopt hardline stances such as “no cards in a mentalism show” or whatnot, but rather, we’ve got to at least be open to the idea that there are better ways to do things simply because they help us avoid unnecessary risks. Yeah, barring irresponsible danger monte presentations, we normally don’t have to worry about some of the injuries that Snow’s talking about, but we still have risks. Risks that they’ll think our demonstrations are full of it. Risks that a flourish will tip them off that we could have manipulative skill. Risks that your favourite sleight has a bad angle that you need to be wary of when you’re performing in a new venue.

I mean, if something as universally looked-down upon as pro wrestling is demonstrating that they’re working really hard on the finer details, and we’re not…?