Performance, Thaumaturgy, and Physical Magic
Not so many years ago, I was a stage performer. My acts consisted of a variety of flamboyantly dangerous feats, usually with scantily clad (or unclad) female assistants as props, and eventually targets. I performed in a variety of contexts, ranging from circuses to cabarets to avant-garde theater to big-venue rock shows and fetish events, and experienced some limited and mostly underground success and fame in these endeavors. By the end, I was performing before rather large audiences.
I learned that when thousands of eyeballs are fixed on you, watching your every movement, believing in you, Willing you to amaze them, you become larger and more potent than you were. You become, via our primitive animalistic mechanisms of human interconnection, amplified and enlarged. You transcend normal humanity and become something different and other, an elemental archetypal creature glowing with a nimbus of focused energy, at least for a few magic moments. Anyone who has ever physically attended a good performance as part of a large enthralled crowd has felt a little of this. And, anyone who has performed in such an event has experienced something akin to this — it is a fundamental and universal aspect of human group interaction, albeit an ephemeral, transient, and poorly understood one.