Where’s the Magic?

MAGICI have the great privilege of living in New York City where I have access to really tremendous free art exhibits and installations. I am constantly blown away by the inspiration and creativity of the artists. It’s nothing short of – Magic.

Last week, I went to a much touted and publicized installation that would only be available on three successive Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. I scheduled it in to a busy day’s plans with friends and family. I didn’t want to miss this. And I was let down.  All the effort and the technical details were there.  Yet, there was no Magic. It was what most people will say today – “meh”.  It made me wonder “why didn’t this artist get it right?”

I asked a favorite artist of mine – a very talented theatre playwright and director who devises theatre “extravaganzas”. How do you make magic? (Which she does in double doses!)  Her thoughts:

“I believe that magic comes from putting great passion into your work. When it is created with anything other than joy and love it will come out stale and lifeless.”

 “I believe you should be always thinking of your audience who is coming to the experience and what type you are giving to them.”

 “It is about creating things that are authentic.”

“And yes, don’t try too hard.”

“Some artists find themselves so closed off and only want to do things in a bubble. It works for some… but I believe you have to be in touch with the wider world.”

“I think you always have to have your eye on the result – you may not know exactly what it is – so in a sense it’s letting go of control of the final outcome… but always be working towards your goal.”

 This artist also offers free theatre. I asked her why?

“I’m afraid that as Americans we are taught that art is for the rich. I believe art (and good art at that) should be accessible to everyone. My company offers Free theatre and affordable pricing to open up the experience to everyone.”

What can we learn?

  1. Focus on your audience’s experience
  2. Create with passion and joy
  3. Stay connected to what is going on in the larger world
  4. Be authentic
  5. Keep your eye on the goal

It’s not always about the money. Learning to be creative with your resources, you can offer superior art – or experiences – to all audiences.