MAKE BELIEVE Documentary Review
I feel unaccomplished.
That was the feeling that I had after watching a documentary about six teenagers who work ridiculously hard at training for the title of Teen World Champion. In “Make Believe“, we follow each of the teens as they struggle through the technical, emotional and spiritual aspects of the journey that a magician takes.
Before this, I always thought that magicians were a bunch of folks who relished fooling their audiences by doing an easy trick and making it seem hard. Turns out, it is harder than it looks. To do a simple card trick that lasts just a few seconds on stage, it takes hours (and I mean hours) of practice to be able to do it flawlessly. This kind of practice combines a maniacal approach to this discipline with an unabashed passion for what sometimes can be a thankless job. Think about it, when you sit in front of a magic act, you come in with certain expectations but you don’t really stop to think about how hard this little bunny trick is.
Furthermore, as the documentary progresses, you get to know each of the performers. We have the naturally talented Hiroki, who has spent countless days alone practicing an act without knowing if he is any good. Then we have the charming Krystyn Lambert, who sometimes lets her need for perfection hinder her social abilities. We also have consummate professional Bill Koch who, is taking his last shot at the title before he ages out. The documentary does an excellent job of making you care about each of these people and although impossible, you want them all to win.
Ultimately, if you are a fan of magic and are interested in a in-depth well crafted behind the scenes look at what this world is about, then Make Believe is a must watch. Then maybe you too will feel unaccomplished like me.
If you have Showtime, you will be able to watch it. You can find the next airings here.