Nicole On Magic (Not The Card Game)

Posted By Theatre

“My goofiest-sounding secret is that I also believe in magic. Sometimes I call it God and sometimes I call it light, and I believe in it because every now and then I read a really good book or hear a really good song or have a really good conversation with a friend and they seem to have some kind of shine to them. The list I keep of these moments in the back of my journal is comprised less of times when I was laughing or smiling and more of times when I felt like I could feel the colors in my eyes deepening from the display before me. Times in which I felt I was witnessing an all-encompassing representation of life driven by an understanding that, coincidence or not, our existence is a peculiar thing, and perhaps the greatest way to honor it is to just be human. To be happy AND sad, and everything else. And yeah, living is a pain, and I say I hate everyone and everything, and I don’t exude much enthusiasm when sandwiched between fluorescent lighting and vinyl flooring for seven hours straight, and I will probably mumble a bunch about how much I wish I could sleep forever the next time I have to wake up at 6 AM. But make no mistake about it: I really do like living. I really, truly do.”Tavi Gevinson

Like Tavi Gevinson, I sometimes think magic exists too. I feel it mostly when I see a truly fantastic play. Lately I feel it in the (electrifying, sexually-tense, look-out-there’s-an-alien-behind-you) moments between Scully and Mulder on the Xfiles seasons I’m binge-watching, but most commonly magic surfaces for me in the theatre.

A sure-fire sign that something has been touched by magic is when it makes you want to do. A piece of theatre (or art or literature or music or conversation) that makes you look at your life and consider your world is a good first step. Thinking is a good first step to anything, I’d say. But work that motivates you to do is something else. And it’s also kind of unexplainable. It can’t be created using a formula or replicated by technique. It’s something that has to happen organically. In my experience, this elusive thing is always both made and felt only when not trying for or expecting it.

Magic is a subjective thing. Yes. Obviously. Thank you, Nicole. But I really do believe there are certain kinds of stories that have the potential to connect with an audience on a weird kind of wavelength. They have the ability to stir a kind of emotion in a person that even they don’t understand, and that stirring isn’t always (and perhaps isn’t even usually) directly about the content of the piece. It’s something else – something bigger or smaller or both at once, I’m not really sure.

If you’ve ever experienced what I’m talking about, you will know immediately what I mean. If you haven’t, you will think I’m crazy, but I hope you continue reading and watching and striving to create it anyway. Firstly because the world needs it, and secondly because we’d REALLY like that kind of magic in the festival. 😉


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