Because it is better entertainment. No more, no less.
For our act “The Mind-Reading Revolution” we promise to achieve our results of mind-reading without the use of any secret helper in the audience or backstage or any hidden electronical device such as microphones, cameras, headphones or vibration devices. We never did. We never will.
We’ve signed an affidavit that guarantees anyone $ 1 million if he or she could prove us otherwise.
We are not the first to offer such promises, although we may be the only ones to offer such a high amount. But why do we do it?
At the last World Championships of Magic, we’ve published this promise and even advertised it in the competition’s magazine. While some congratulated us for this idea and called it perfect marketing, others, even judges, criticized it and said that, by doing so, we would automatically accuse other competitors of using such methods. We were told that this had left a bitter taste with some judges. I should mention that the use of electronical items is NOT forbidden at the World Championships of Magic. So, isn’t that a weird logic? But that’s a whole different story.
Besides that, it does not concern us at all how others do what they do (unless we can learn something from them).
Our only goal is to perform the most interesting, fascinating, entertaining and, most importantly, the most inexplicable illusions possible. And outside of magic competitions there is only one judge - YOU!
For public performances there are no rules or even laws for magicians other than those that are supposed to prevent fraud in general. But a magic performance is an artistic act, in which the performer has been given the permission to pretend and to lie by you, the spectator. It is like at the theatre. You allow the actor to play a role and to pretend to be somebody else. Equally, a magician is an actor, playing the role of a magician. Besides that, the magician is able to achieve some remarkable special effects live.
Your permission has only one goal. You want to be entertained by an illusion. You want to be puzzled and, to a certain degree, wonder how we did it. You don’t care what method we are using as long as it is deceiving. The moment you know how it’s done, there is no illusion anymore. To be precise, the moment you THINK you know how it is done the magic is gone. You may still admire the dexterity of a magician, or the great effort he or she put into crafting certain equipment. But that isn’t the same kind of magic anymore.
I know this too well myself. When I first saw a similar act like ours more than 15 years ago, I was completely mesmerized and fascinated by it, as the lady on stage identified one object after another. After five minutes I wondered about the purpose of the really huge hat of her assistant, and it was immediately obvious to me that he must have had a camera in his hat. Of course, that alone wouldn’t explain everything. But the mind is lazy. As soon as it finds a simple solution, it is satisfied and stops investigating. I should mention that this couple didn’t use any cameras or helpers at all, but in the very moment I believed to have found the solution, I immediately lost interest in the act to a very high degree.
A hundred years ago, such disclaimers existed for the non-use of stooges, but not for the use of hidden electronical items, since nobody suspected such. Times have changed. Today, every child knows that tiny cameras, speakers, transmitters, vibrating devices and so on exist.
Again, back in time, magicians were the first ones to use electricity for their effects. That was for sure stunning. But at the latest when everybody knew what a lightbulb was, those same effects were practically dead. Think about it! If you knew for certain that he is not using electricity (and be willing to prove it under test conditions) and he could still make a lightbulb glow, wouldn’t that become more interesting?
For over 3 years we had been thinking hard how we could prove our claim. We thought about performing in water tanks or even naked, but still that wouldn’t prove much. In the end there was only one way to prove it. You had to believe us and you had to be able to hold us accountable if we would lie.
I would like to use another analogy. Imagine watching a tightrope acrobat walking between two skyscrapers. You can see him and the rope, but you cannot see the abyss because a wall is blocking your view. You don’t see if there is a safety net or not. So you have to trust the only person who can see the abyss, the tightrope acrobat himself. Needless to say that you would feel much more excited and engaged if you knew there was none and that the acrobat was actually risking his life.
We have a similar dilemma. We cannot show you the absence of something that could be so well hidden that nobody would find it without an x-ray scan.
That is why we went for an affidavit. It was the right choice and we are sure that in the long run not only our act will benefit from such disclaimers.
Oh, just before I forget. There is one more reason why we call it the “$ 1.000.000 Act”. If you should ever have enough spare money and really want to know how our illusion is done, please give us a call.