The clever folks at TED-Ed point out something interesting:
There is a rule in magic, taught religiously to new magicians which goes something like this:
Never repeat the same trick twice for the same audience.
In its simplest for, it appears to be wonderful advice. Only showing a piece of magic once keeps the secret safe since everyone has fewer opportunities to try and work out how it's done and you retain the element of surprise.
There's another school of thought that embraces repetition with escalation. That is, you can do the same trick over and over again, but with each repetition you should raise the stakes, or incorporate extra wrinkles and twists. This is much like the famed Dueling Banjo's scene from Deliverance...
This is the version I was first exposed to as a young child in a Warner Brothers cartoon.
However, in university, I became aware of a strange phenomenon in children's television with Blue's Clues. At one point they would take an episode and air it on Monday. Then on Tuesday, in the same time slot, they aired the exact same episode. And continued for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. And they did some rather interesting research on the young children watching it. It turns out, the more times they had seen the episode, the more they payed attention and the more interested they were on subsequent viewings. This runs completely counter to what our intuition says should happen; we ought to be bored watching the same program over and over again.
Of course, this matches up with my own youth. It would be difficult to count the number of times I've watched the original Star Wars trilogy or Ace Ventura. And when we were in elementary and middle school, we would watch syndicated episodes of The Simpsons until we could recite the most profound scenes from memory... Dental plan... Lisa needs braces...
I had the opportunity to run an experiment fairly recently. Due to some miscommunication, I was trapped with a group of children who were far too young (I typically try my best not to ever perform for anyone under seven years old for reasons I've explained before) for far too long. There was one piece which I learn from Eugene Burger's Mastering the Art of Magic which has always been dependable for me with children. It's fun, appropriately absurd and silly, and gets several people involved.
Unfortunately, several people wasn't enough. So to increase my interaction, I took a single segment from the middle of the trick, and started doing it over and over again, once for each child. I did it over and over again, word-for-word the same, passing form one child to the next like an assembly line. Every one was happy to get their turn, and there was no sense at all that this was "getting old". Because I was confused and bewildered, I kept going. I made it to nine times, repeating the same phase of a trick and finally moved on. I know I could have continued but I was bored myself.
Now, I don't want to repeat myself that much on a regular basis, but it was an interesting learning experience to find out that maybe repetition fundamentally isn't that bad.