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I’m not on TikTok. I’m not on most things. I deleted Instagram recently. I also deactivated my Facebook. I’m still on YouTube, though. In writing this article, I find myself asking why. I guess I find immense value in YouTube. I don’t have the app, so I suppose the act of visiting the website feels more intentional and purposeful. It’s not something I accidentally slip into. I also like that I can choose to only see videos from people I subscribe to and in chronological order.
In a recent interview, David Blaine stressed the power of YouTube for discovering brilliant magic. He compared the act of searching on YouTube and watching any trick you can imagine getting performed to going to the library, as he had done as a kid, and having to use his imagination when reading about different effects.
And he’s right — 99% of the magic I have consumed has been on YouTube. Classic TV magic clips as well as medium-form clips from magicians a decade ago who would go on to become Netflix stars or TikTokers.
Two magicians’ content stood out to me as a teen on YouTube. The first was the Magic Meltdown video series from Justin Willman. Willman worked with Nerdist to produce a series of six-minute magic episodes. The series is spectacularly entertaining.
The second YouTube magician I subscribed to was Justin Flom. I loved his Magic Block Party videos, in which he would invite his whole block to his family home for a huge party filled with magic.