The good magician first seduces you honestly, without deception, with charisma, with his inner universe, with his vision of the world, with a beautiful idea, with his scenic presence, with the plasticity of his movements … and set your imagination free. Your mind starts hinting and building, finding and putting meaning… and then the magician just makes happen this that you already wish hard. In other to do that he needs to bend the truth, but he does it with talent and intelligence exceptionally allowing himself the luxury of lying. Deception is always a means to a greater end. The effects are loaded with meaning. His act is based on display, it is luminous.
The bad magician needs to cover his shame and shortcomings with fireworks hiding himslef behind the gimmicks, he lies systematically trying to convince you that he is the wonder maker that only exists in his mind. The effects are hollow. Deception is the end itself. His act is based on hiding, it is dark.
“Thus is one who apparently accomplishes the impossible in an entertainer manner. It naturally follows that the performer who demonstrates a number of tricks without playing the imagination of his audience is not strictly speaking a conjurer at all, but a trickster.
… Where the imagination is not stimulated there is no real mystery.” S.H. Sharpe 1932