If you’ve read my book Only Ideas, you’ll know I dedicated an entire two-page spread to one of my golden rules—stop watching magic. People will ask which magicians I enjoy watching or which magic shows I enjoyed recently. I tend to give them the names of magicians I enjoyed watching as a kid or TV magic specials that I begged my parents to let me stay up and watch with them.
I cannot stress enough how much the ability to do my job, creating, writing and producing magic for television, can be unravelled entirely if I watch magic. I see it as part of my job to avoid watching magic at all costs. I keep a rough eye on new releases, and obviously, I take note of clips that go viral and are well received by viewers. But, for the most part, I avoid watching magic at all costs.
In this article, I will tell you why you should stop watching magic, even just for six months, but the truth is you already know why. Even this far into the article, you might be feeling guilty for only consuming magic content. Now is your opportunity to shift your focus and improve your magic by never watching magic again.
When I was in the writers’ room with Magic For Humans, most writers were comedians with zero magic knowledge. It was amazing. Willman and the head writer would stress the importance of never watching magic to the writers. The ones who didn’t would suggest the most eccentric and unique ideas. The ones who did would slowly start pitching more limited ideas to the group. You could tell almost immediately if one of the writers had searched for magic videos on YouTube.
The striking difference of Willman’s writer’s room, compared to other rooms I’ve written in, was that you never heard anyone say, “ah, Derren already did that.”
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