Superhero Magic

If you spend any time on Facebook, you’ve probably encountered Rick Lax. And he has probably read your mind. Don’t believe me? Think of a superhero. Any superhero. Now watch the video and see what happens. I’ll be right here waiting when you’re done:

superhero magic

What do you think – does Rick Lax have the power? Did he get inside your mind? Lax bills himself as a ‘deception expert’; he uses sleight of hand, fast talking, and other impressive, but mundane, means to make people believe he’s more than meets the eye. Rick says, “You can make anything look like magic, if it applies to the common choice.” (Hint: the names of most superheroes end with the letter “n”.)

Stage magic is kind of a funny thing, that way. We all know it’s not real, yet we can’t help but line up to watch it. We want to be fooled, and we want to believe that maybe one mortal among us actually does have superpowers.

My wife and I have been David Blaine fans for quite some time. You might be familiar with him – he’s been on Oprah, had several live television specials, and his own TV show. Blaine got his start doing street magic, a sort of de-staged version of magic that relies more on card tricks and an up-close and personal feel than the theatrics of guys like David Copperfield and Siegfried & Roy. His mind-blowing tricks would have Amy and me wondering: “Are the people he’s stopping on the street plants? Their reactions seem so genuine, though… How is he pulling it off?”

As he caught on, David Blaine proved that he is way more than a street hustler; he moved on to big TV magic, but with a totally different mindset than the Vegas guys. Blaine believes in pushing the limits of his own body. Today, his magic is not at all based on illusion or deception…and reaches something closer to real-life superpowers.

Blaine has trained his body to function without movement, without food, and even, for one seventeen-minute period – without air. Blaine states that his work is pure training, and is within human ability. He’s not tricking us into believing that he’s going seventeen minutes without oxygen, he’s actually doing it, and encouraging scientific and medical researchers to come along and study his outlier status in a way that’s beneficial to their research.

It’s interesting to think about – we love superheroes and magicians, even though we know their powers are strictly in the realm of special effects and illusion. But when someone like David Blaine comes along, sharing his thoughts on pushing the limits of humanity, he creates something else entirely, making us believe that we really do have superpowers and that magic can be real.

You can listen to Blaine’s fascinating TED talk about his training here:

superhero magic

Have a magical weekend,