Tufts magicians spread joy in a world of uncertainty

Amid the high shelves and hidden study rooms of Library Tischa world of spectacle and marvelous delights awaits you.

Every week the Society of Wizards of Tufts come together to create a wide variety of magic. With students ranging from from beginners to experienced masters of illusionmembers take pride in finding new ways to amaze themselves and others.

The group was founded by two Tufts second-year students, in progress President Dylan Wilson and Vice President Ben Skinner. Both Wilson and Skinner had to do magic before coming to tufts and they explained that they had teamed up to share their passions with other magicians when they came to campus.

I saw this guy doing card tricks in the hall of our common room freshman, and it was Ben,” Wilson said. “And I think we immediately became friends because of that. One day I just [said to] him, ‘We have to create a club.‘”

Skinner describes how his interest in forming the group stemmed from his desire to meet people interested in magic.

In fact, I didn’t really have any friends who were also interested in magic until I came to Tufts,” Skinner said. “That’s kind of where my interest comes from… let’s meet more people who also have this passion.

At their meetings, members spend their time initiate and learn new tricks with the help of others.

Usually we’ll just take turns with each other,” Wilson noted. “It’s called jamming, where you just show each other stuff and say, ‘Oh, that’s cool’, ‘I didn’t like that part’ [or] ‘Maybe you can do that.’

Skinner pointed out that although the practice of magic may seem complicated from an external point of view, the Society of Magicians East very beginner friendly.

I think what’s cool is if someone who’s never done magic comes to one of our meetings [and] spent 45 minutes there, they could leave knowing two or three laps“, Skinner noted.

While many members of the Society of Magicians are new to the world of magic, other members, like Max Greenspoon, know very well the Wizard community.

Greenspoon, a junior, has always specialized in Card tips. However, he describes that he has has recently explored new areas such as mentalism.

My vast experience is… a lot in cards… I have a routine that I call ‘Prism,’ which is about 10 to 15 minutes with a deck of cards,” said Greenspoon. But more recently I’ve started doing more work in areas like mentalism…looking at the psychology behind some of these things.”

For many magicians of the Society of Magiciansthe hardest part of magic is making their tricks meaningful to their audience.

There is a magic theory… called the ham sandwich theory… [which] It’s the idea that if I walk up to you and magically produce a ham sandwich for you, that’s cool. But… you think, ‘Why the hell did you just make a ham sandwich??’” green spoon noted. If I came up to you, and we had a conversation and… it happened… ‘Hey, I’m a little hungry, that could really be fine for a ham sandwich right now.’ And then I produced the ham sandwich, the magic makes sense, and it feels relevant. And it’s one of the hardest things to find.”

When it comes to staging their actions, Wilson and green spoon both underline the single tower power as opposed to elaborate and flashy stage productions.

I think it’s really cool to see someone do this very simple trick, but it’s the best trick you’ve ever seen because he does it really well, Wilson noted.

green spoon reiterated the wonder of live magic tricks.

I find that there is a certain beauty and elegance… [that] I’m four feet in front of you, you can see exactly what I’m doing every moment…and I still managed to get you, green spoon noted.

green spoon also pointed out the the personality that comes with simple, up-close magicand how he greatly enjoys interactions with members of the public.

I love to play with that intimacy…in a staging, it’s…much easier for you to just anonymize your audience,” green spoon noted. “Whereas in a close environment, I could know the name of every person in front of me. I can attract every one of them.

green spoon explained that magicians face challenges adapt to the technological innovations of the 21st century.

There are three main rules for magicians… you never do a trick more than once, you never say what you’re going to do before you do it, and you never reveal how it’s done. said Greenspoon. “In the age of the internet, all these rules are brokenn, and so I think we have a duty as artists – not even as magicians, as artists – to move with the times and… move the craft forward by getting more people excited about this stuff ..”

green spoon also described some of the the current labels that magicians face in society and how he strives to break down the stigma that comes with being a magician.

A lot of people think of magic as this sort of corny hobby, like, “Oh, he does magic tricks.” Oh that’s cute.’ … There’s almost like a stigma around it“, green spoon noted. And so [magicians need to be] kinda work to excite more people to do these cool things… even if they are not interested in learning [magic]this marvel is something i think everyone can enjoy.”

All members expressed their immense gratitude for the Society of Magicians and optimism about the future of the group.

“IIt’s a bit like a team… when you go to see a show,” Wilson noted. “It’s like, ‘We’re going to kill this, it’s going to be good,’ and then you can celebrate afterwards.

Skinner shared that students can quickly apply their Magician Society experiences.

“YYou can come to a meeting, and we can teach you stuff,” Skinner noted. “The next day you can blow people away. If you’re interested in magic, I think our club is a great place. [We are] always happy to have more people who just want to come and have a good time and learn some cool stuff.

green spoon noted the special importance that magic has in today’s society.

With what’s going on in the world, we need magic.” green spoon noted. “Magic brings joy. …a kind of pure joy… You can just be wonderfully surprised and intimidated by magic, and you don’t need to care [the] moral implications of it.

green spoon describes that being a member of the Society of Wizards of Tufts is all about receiving and sending genuine happiness.

[Teaching newbies is] win-win because [the new members] …get that joy,” Greenspoon said. “Then we show them how they can make that joy happen to others. Magic is about spreading joy. We want to make people happy.

Brian L. Hartfield