Any time we have a show, we try to preserve the memories with photos — smiles, shock, astonishment, bewilderment, wonder. The gallery over at Abracadabaret.com has a substantial collection. I've shot some myself. Other times I hand off the camera to see what someone else captures. Sometimes the photos are gorgeous, and other times the lighting is substandard, or the background is just strange. But through these photos — sorting them, cropping them, shooting them myself — has taught me a great deal about the performance of magic. Magic is an extremely difficult thing to photograph. Magic isn't static; it's based almost entirely on transformation and change. If a woman vanishes and I take a photo, a woman not in a photograph is not particularly impressive. It's the change from woman standing there to woman not standing there that makes for magic. Even mind reading, which some now consider to be magic in its purest form, is categorically unphotogenic. If I take your secret thoughts and speak them out loud, the resulting picture of our faces might be indistinguishable from the photo we'd get if I had just told you an exceptional "Knock-knock" joke.
And as I'm fond of telling young magicians, if you make cards magically spew from your mouth (a cool trick if ever there were one) don't take a picture of it. To the outside world, it simply looks like you are chewing on a fan of cards.
Most of the people who appear on the show are "talking acts". That means that a large portion of the photos taken will capture the face in the middle of a word. Not the most flattering position. This week, I was sorting through photos and the strange and funny faces seemed to jump out at me. So here, without anyone's consent, is a collection of The Funny Faces of Magic Tonight.