Magical Facades

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Content advisory 16+ Time after time, I find myself watching various talent shows – America’s Got Talent, Britain’s Got Talent, the X – factors, the Idols, the Voice and others. While seemingly quite an unfulfilling way to pass the time, I tune in every time, and, truth be told, stand in awe of their talent. How little Darci Lynn could be such an amazing ventriloquist at just 12 years of age or how magical Grace Vanderwaal could be with her ukulele and her voice. But what attracts me again and again are the magicians.

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I know, magic is not real, magic is an illusion, yet, I keep hoping for it to be real. When I witness a seemingly impossible thing, it gives me hope that anything can happen. Magic is a lot of things, but magic is also HOPE. That is why everyone of us has wished at least once to receive that letter from Hogwarts, or how the little girl in me once dreamed of meeting a Prince who would sweep me off my feet and live with me happily ever after.

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As children we are led to believe in Santa Claus and Tooth Fairies. I remember being restless, unable to fall asleep, since I didn’t want to miss the moment the big fat old man in the red outfit swooped in through the window to deliver my gifts. Of course, I eventually fell asleep and it wasn’t long when I stopped trying -- because my older brother kindly smacked me with reality – Santa Claus isn’t real. It is maybe the first reality check we get as a child.

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In middle school, I went through a phase where I would learn simple magic tricks off the TV or books (bought a number of them) and show them to my family and any guests that came over to visit. It made me feel like I was creating real magic by making others believe in my illusion even though I was the one performing the tricks.

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One day, my father said to me, “The less you know, the better. I wish I understood less, that I had less perception power, because then I would have been a lot happier.” While what he said was regarding a grave family issue, those words stuck with me. Isn’t it true? We all like to believe in facades, mostly because we like to trust, to have faith in the good. Like that unhappy couple stuck in a loveless marriage strikes up the facade of a picture-perfect relationship. Or how the beautiful make up on the skin might be hiding a scar underneath. We put up facades for others to believe in. We pretend until it feels real and then we gradually lose touch with reality. We give someone the ‘hope’ of a “perfect illusion” but in ‘reality’ we are making them delusional.

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Note: This was inspired by Eric’s Canned Laughter!


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