Does the study and performance of magic offer a social benefit? We certainly think so! Mentalist Nakul Shenoy, author of The Smart Course in Magic, created this list of benefits derived from the art: Benefits of Learning Magic:
Author Shenoy offers his personal example of a stage-shy person lacking in self-confidence before discovering his passion for magic. This master’s research project acknowledges magic as a valuable social communication tool.
Why have we bothered with forming a brick & mortar club in this age of worldwide Internet access? What are the true physical and emotional benefits of creating, joining, and supporting a local magic Ring?
FELLOWSHIP - One of the greatest benefits is meeting new friends with a common passion. Rings generally host members with varied interests in magic. You're bound to hit it off with someone. Participating in a Ring may also lead to other social and business networking opportunities outside of the club.
THE MASTERMIND EXPERIENCE— The concept of the mastermind alliance was formally introduced by Napoleon Hill in his timeless classic, Think And Grow Rich. Benjamin Franklin belonged to such a group, which he called a Junto. Mr. Hill wrote, “The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony. No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind—The Master Mind]." Mastermind partners share feedback, brainstorm new possibilities, and set accountability structures that keep us focused and on track. The successful Ring, as a mastermind, creates a community of supportive colleagues who work together to move each member to new heights. Members gain tremendous insight which improves our appreciation and understanding of this art. It’s like having an objective board of directors, a success team, and a peer advisory group, all rolled into one.
LEARN NEW SKILLS - Joining a Ring offers the member a wider selection of hands-on magic instruction and knowledge. Members that are interested in learning more about the history of magic or finding reliable sources for collectible items will find fellow Ring members to be the ideal starting point. A seasoned Ring will have members who have been performing, studying, and collecting for years. They’re happy to share this knowledge. Seasoned Rings may take advantage of this experience through regular special interest group jams or workshops for peers.
PERSONAL CONFIDENCE - Ring members gain experience and confidence by performing or speaking in front of a supportive specialty group. They sharpen their listening and evaluation skills. Many members sharpen their leadership and master of ceremony skills by taking an active part in Ring leadership and committee support.
SHARING THE PASSION - One can be enthusiastic about magic yet have no interest whatsoever in performing in public. Joining a Ring gives members an opportunity to share their particular interest within a safe and undemanding environment. Collectors can share their treasures, historians can offer a look into our past, and private performers can test and share new routines before appreciative and respectful peers.
SOCIAL ACTIVITY - A seasoned Ring offers plenty of opportunity for regular social activity. We can get very lethargic at times, especially in winter when leaving the house can be a burden. When we give in to this lethargy, we end up staying at home fighting boredom. Attending weekly or monthly Ring meetings are a welcome break in this routine. The more active we are, the more energy we create. Seasoned clubs may host informal weekly lunch or dinner gatherings as well as annual auctions, banquets, holiday parties, and more.
PURCHASING POWER - There is power in a group. One of the benefits of joining a Ring is that savvy club leadership can arrange group discounts for its members. These can cover everything from group discounted tickets to professional performances to bulk purchases of magic gear, books, and supplies. Ring leaders can use this group dynamic to arrange discounts through local restaurants, theaters, retailers, and more.
NETWORKING - Magic attracts people from every walk of life—doctors, lawyers, teachers, policemen, construction workers - this list is endless. Rings offer an excellent opportunity to meld business and social networks. Friends made in the Ring may introduce you to other people in their personal and professional networks. If you run a small business, your Ring family offers opportunities to promote your business and benefit from professional expertise. Networks can help you find employment, seek out reliable service and health providers, find significant bargains, and so much more.
EXTENDED NETWORKS - I.B.M. members are not restricted to a single Ring. Members are encouraged to join additional Rings outside of their immediate area. Joining multiple Rings provides a common link between regional Rings resulting in increased social, lecture, and sharing opportunities. Rings that welcome one another’s members build relationships that strengthen the art of magic across the entire region. Always reach out to and welcome members from neighboring Rings.
COMMUNITY SERVICE - Many Rings use their skills and expertise to serve the local community. This promotes a positive image for magic as a true performance art. Rings may use their collective expertise to produce fund-raising showcases for local charities, provide entertainment relief during regional emergencies or disasters, provide positive role models and training programs for young magicians, and so much more. Selflessly serving others helps us to feel better about ourselves and sets an upbeat example for others.
COLLEGE ADMISSIONS - In addition to solid academics, college admissions boards like to see students who are well-rounded through regular interaction with social and civic clubs. Ring participation, especially as a mentor to younger children or as a volunteer for community service activities, can boost a teen’s admission to select colleges. This type of extra-curricular activity looks great on scholarship applications.