People approach me after my show and want to know if I can read their palm or speak to their dead relatives. They’re convinced I’m actually psychic and ask “When did you know you had this gift?”
I politely explain that I’m an entertainer - a mystery artist - and that everything they witnessed is the product of 20+ years of work. Just like they’ve spent a lifetime acquiring a skill, so have I. I’m trained in the art of deception. But at least I’m being truthful about the lies I keep telling.
And yet, even after they’ve spoken with me they insist on believing. I see it on their faces. They’re positive I’m lying and that there must be more to it than trickery. They need to believe.
But can we stop?
Seriously, it’s 2017. We should all know by now that magic isn’t real. Your crystal necklace won’t heal you, fortune telling isn't real, and that salt lamp is nothing more than just a really cool light.
Isn’t that enough?
Some people insist I should be flattered with the feedback I receive. “Wow! They think you’re the real deal!” they tell me excitedly.
But there’s nothing to be excited about. When people think I’m real, I cringe thinking I might be getting included in the long list of bullshit in this world.
And boy is there a lot of BS. It’s everywhere I go.
Psychic readers are on every block and evangelicals are on every channel. Companies promise a miracle weight loss pill or balance band that will change your life. There are frauds purporting to be mediums from Long Island to Hollywood and celebrities claiming they have all the answers.
A common rebuttal to this topic goes something like this: It’s not hurting anyone, why not just let people believe in what they want?
It does hurt people to believe in nonsense. That’s how lies like “fake news” spread and people wrongly stop giving their children vaccines. Bad beliefs lead to wars and travel bans. Believing in alternative facts means we’d rather stay in the past than protect the planet.
Your BS is hurting everyone.
I couldn’t sleep at night knowing I wasn’t being honest. I’m in this field because I discovered it at a young age and realized I was good at it. Later, I fell in love with theatre and put it all together. But I’ve never wanted to start a religion. I don’t want you to think I’m real.
I’d prefer you to see something you don’t understand and listen when I tell you I’m fake. Then maybe you’ll consider how other people may be deceiving you in the world and realize that they’re not being quite as honest as I am.
It will take a lot of work to wade through the goop and the misleading tweets and the conspiracy theories, but I promise it’s worth it. The truth is important and we should all work a little harder to find the facts.
I won’t tell you how I read minds - some of the best things in life should be kept a mystery. But the next time you see something you can’t explain, pause and think for a second. Perhaps you don’t need an explanation. Maybe seeing something wondrous or beautiful or unbelievable is enough. Maybe it’s better not to know.