Sunday, May 16, 2010

Lowest Common Denominator

It occurs to me, after a bit of sleep and further reflection, that what I was really talking about last night was the lowest common denominator.  It seems that all too many performers try to make their craft appeal to the lowest common denominator in any given audience, and I think that's wrong.  I think that's why so few actually hit "art."

Magician are too afraid to inject a bit of literature or philosophy into their act, for fear of alienating those in their audience who don't read, or may not "get it."  Balloon artists content themselves to work for children, twisting cute little animals instead of balloon sculpture like those shown here.

There's nothing wrong with working for children, and there's nothing wrong with wanting to be accessible to the masses.  But consider aiming at a higher target.  Don't be elitist, but a reference to Shakespeare during a magic trick will enhance the experience for those who do get it, and will simply be overlooked or forgotten by those who don't.  You can aim high and create art without sacrificing audience appeal.  I think that's a worthy mindset to consider.

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