Magic Tricks, Illusion and the Impermanence of Being revised

Kate Hurd


20:30 (EST 13:30; PST 10:30)

60 min

Magic is one of the oldest performance arts in the world. It makes use of illusion and employs deception. It is playful, where the audience are willing participants in the deception, which therefore involves discrepancy, mutuality and restraint from harm. It is executed with a wink, through sleight of hand, misdirection, vanishing acts, and transformation. What exists? How did she do that? What just happened? Now you see it and now you don’t. Our own desire to lean in to the illusion even as we try and figure it out creates the non-repeating element. It challenges what is real and what is not real, including our own illusions about identity.

Developmental transformations is also a kind of magic act. We conjure through our imaginations; we employ a ritualistic circle, a magic curtain and a magic box. We weave our magic in a way that is metaphoric as well as illusionary. We notice the non-repeating element and play with the concepts of completeness, accuracy, exactness, constancy; we cavort with these terms in a way to discover a shared experience. We embrace that the representation of an experience is not the same as the actual experience. That is magical. And phenomenal. And phenomenological. It is not about the-thing- in -itself, but in our experience of it.

Magic creates instability. It gives us a sense of mastering natural forces, coupled with the knowledge that it is, after all, an act. It is all so impermanent. And in this discovery, we find the magic once again. So let us make some magic together. Preparedness to enact an actual magic trick is necessary to attend this workshop.

Kate Hurd, MA, RDT/BCT, LCAT, magically transforming, current member of the DvT Council, was Therapeutic Activities Director at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn, NY, until March, 2021, when she let it go, co-founder of Off Center: A Creative Space for the Arts in Psychotherapy, former President of the North American Drama Therapy Association (NADTA), and so on….