I often do a Q & A after performances, invariably someone will ask " How did you do .......?". I quote Sherlock Holmes (Doyle) "Eliminate the impossible and what is left, however improbable, is the truth".
For me if more than 10% are thinking "how I did...." then my presentation isn't quite right
Yes I perform real magic. It's not the effects on stage. It's being the conduit to an audience having a good time, forgetting what grinds them on a day to day basis and instead putting a smile on their faces. Whether it's a laugh, a moment of wonder or enjoyment. When that happens in the audience, that's where the magic takes place. That's why the audience does the magic, not me.
That's (part of) what being an entertainer is about, at least for me.
Think what you will about that, even call it cheap magic. If it's cheap magic, then it's all I have and it's plenty good enough for me. In fact it's about the best thing I can do.