When Ravenhawks Magazine’s contributor Rosa Medea was growing up she couldn’t find much on TV to whet her appetite for magic, although these days it’s a different picture altogether. She explains how she found that one program and one person in particular that planted that seed…
Magic-themed, supernatural and fantasy based TV series has become almost as prevalent on the small screen these days as the news. The world’s fascination for all things magical and supernatural has spawned a whole host of ongoing series including Game of Thrones, Grimm, The Vampire Diaries and Once Upon A Time.
For magic users, novice and advanced, these series offer an interesting perspective on the craft that sometimes scratches beyond the surface. It’s interesting how the tides have turned. Growing up as a kid, with little awareness of magic other than the books I would read about witches and goblins, my perception of magic users was a little skewed and erring on the side of dated and somewhat fearful.
At the time, there was little out there on the box to “educate” someone like me about magic. Then suddenly in the 90s, a different form of “magician” – the TV illusionists such as Penn and Teller and David Copperfield started cropping up on TV. I still wasn’t enthused by what I felt were slightly cheesy antics – lol!
I was more interested in the “magic” of Bruce Lee and his warrior-style martial arts. That to me was magic. But when it came to females in positions of magical prowess – oh no, we didn’t go there. “Tarot readers”… “nah…bandanna-wearing fibbers”; “healers”… “hippies on something”; and as for old ladies that would stare, “oh s++t they are going to put a spell on me”.
Fortunately, those narrow-minded days have long since gone to the void. Interestingly I never found a female lead on any TV programme that appealed to my magical persuasion while growing up, unlike today, there are many females in lead roles that would appeal to anyone interested in the craft. For me, the interest in the craft would come from someone who would blow up to “rock star” status – the illusionist and endurance artist, David Blaine.
Mock you might, but I found the man they declared “freakish” and “weird” on TV as deeply fascinating. Watching his Street Magic show I was like: “how does he stay focused? how the hell did he move those objects? how does he control his mind in such a way?” Each of those questions being pertinent to anyone practicing magic, I guess. Oh yes, and I even dreamt of someday learning to levitate myself after watching David Blaine lift his ass off the curb.
Like his predecessor and hero, Houdini, David Blaine has done some daredevil stunts including getting buried alive for a week, being encased in a block of ice, going without food and hanging in a locked box near London’s Tower Bridge for 44 days, holding his breath underwater for 17 minutes, standing atop a 100-foot pillar for 35 hours, and standing three days and three nights in the middle of a million volts of electric currents.
But in spite of their enormity, it wasn’t so much the death-defying stunts themselves that I admired about David Blaine, but rather his ability to still the mind and focus his intent, which for me was where his power lies and that which I found most awe-inspiring. So David Blaine officially stirred my interest in magic in a broader sense, although I can safely say I was not about to try burying myself in ice.
In more recent times, there have been others who have taken on David Blaine’s street magic style including Dynamo and Troy. Not quite as enigmatic as the originator but a seed has been planted nonetheless, just like with the explosion of TV series such as Once Upon A Time, and Charmed before that, where leading ladies are having an impact on a younger generation keen on magic.
And in years to come a new wave of magic users, entertainers, TV series and films will explore a different take on magic, reflective of what the energy of the land is needing people to become aware of at that moment. I look forward to seeing how the story unfolds on whatever device I may be watching it on in that time and place.