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What we can learn from magicians about managing risk

  • Meghan McDonough
By Meghan McDonough

Video journalist

New York CityPublished Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Good magic feels like it’s all up to chance—the right card happens to be in the right place at the right time. All of that is, of course, an illusion, achieved through hours and hours of practice.

Rachel Wax works in fashion by day and magic by night in Speakeasy Magick at The McKittrick Hotel in New York. In this second episode of our member-exclusive show RISK, she tells us that the biggest risk most magicians face is not messing up a single trick, but rather losing control of the audience. And she has a secret weapon to protect herself.

In the first episode, we learned how to better measure risk. Once you know what you’re up against, you can protect yourself. That’s risk management. We can all create safety nets for ourselves at the outset so that when the worst happens, we’re covered.

But there’s more to it than that. Allison Schrager, who writes about risk for Quartz, warns of illusions of safety that encourage us to take on more risk than we can handle. The key is in understanding that balance and toeing the line to find it.

Watch this video to learn how:

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