What’s the importance of magic as a creative medium these days?
I know some may balk at the idea of modern magic "starting" with Houdini. Most would say it started with Robert-Houdin or even Scot's Discoverie of Witchcraft. But it could be argued that Houdini's standard and repeated statement that what he was doing was accomplished purely by natural means -- "there is nothing supernatural about it" -- was a very untypical and modern thing to hear from a magician during the Golden Age of Magic. Of course, the more Houdini said this the more people insisted he was supernatural, so...
Click below for more Houdini talk from Penn. I also highly recommend his podcast Penn's Sunday School where Houdini is frequently mentioned.