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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Society of American Magicians! » » Is YouTube teaching acceptable? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Terrible Wizard
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Sorry to post as a non-member, but I'm curious (as an off-shoot of another thread elsewhere):

Would teaching magic tricks on YouTube count as exposure in the SAM and be against the oath/charter etc? Or is it seen as OK, so long as it public domain material etc.?
Anatole
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I'm surprised that no one has replied to the question that "Terrible Wizard" posed over a year ago.

Before I give my thoughts below, I will state that I am against the gratuitist exposure of magic such as that of The Masked Magician. But at the same time I acknowledge that we can quibble about the definition of "gratuitist exposure." Having made that disclaimer...

The Joint Ethics Guidelines page of the S.A.M. states:
-----quote-----
All members of The Society of American Magicians agree to:
1) Oppose the willful exposure to the public of any principles of the Art of Magic, or the methods employed in any magic effect or illusion.
-----unquote-----

Strictly speaking, when Blackstone lent his name to bubble gum cards that exposed tricks like "The Phantom Cards" and "The Card to Matchbox," he was willfully exposing the principle behind that trick. When he lent his name to the books _Blackstone's Secrets of Magic_, he was willfully exposing many magic tricks that were still in the repertoires of professonal and amateur magicians.

Take a look at the "Timeline of magic exposures on the GENII MagicPedia page:
http://geniimagazine.com/wiki/index.php/......xposures
where we read this example:
-----quote-----
Sid H. Radner's letter to the The Dragon, August 8, 1936, is published and states "Have you seen the expose in the Sunday papers by Harry Blackstone. The Magic Bottle and Rope is only one of the tricks explained. It is really too bad when a magician of Blackstone's standing lowers himself by cheap exposing. ... I believe that exposers should be removed from all magic organizations.
-----unquote-----

Then there was the time that charges of exposure were leveled against Cardini as mentioned in that same timeline:
-----quote-----
The SAM Parent Assembly bring charges of exposing via the five and dime stores in the form of 'cut-out' illusions. The Chicago Assembly No. 3 express their findings of not guilty, but in retaliation encloses similar charges against the following members of the New York Assembly: Proskauer, for Spook-Crook series and Seagram's booklet, Goldston, for newspaper exposures, and Cardini, for photographic exposures in the Sunday newspapers, and in "Popular Mechanics Magazine.
-----unquote-----

Radner's complaint is especially ironic/interesting because he himself was expelled from the S.A.M. for his part in the exposure of magic tricks in Science and Mechanics _Magic Handbook_.

The difference between those exposures and the exposures on youtube, however, is that a lay person had to pay money to buy the _Popular Mechanics_ issue with Cardini's article and to buy the Science and Mechanics _Magic Handbook_, whereas no one has to pay money to learn the secret of the tricks exposed on youtube.

There are, of course, a great many more magic secrets taught/exposed in books and even videos that can be checked out at most public and school libraries. If a non-magician reads the books in the library, she doesn't even need to have a library card. She can read the secrets just sitting at a table with the books. And let us not forget the series of tricks that Mac King taught betweeb acts on "The World's Greatest Magic."

And Cardini exposed the secrets of card manipulation in the Chicago _Tribune_ when he was still at the height of his career. A few years after that exposure, Cardini was elected S.A.M. National President. The New York S.A.M. Assembly apparently brought charges against Cardini for the _Tribune_ exposure. Does anyone know what happened after those charges were brought against him?

Every art/craft has its trade secrets, and yet many artists/craftspeople share those secrets with the lay public now and then in books and videos and face-to-face classes. I used to love episodes of "Disneyland" where the animators exposed how they drew and animated Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and other Disney characters. Watching those "exposures" contributed to my love of drawing and eventually led to assignments illustrating books that taught the magic of Alex Elmsley, Roger Sherman, John Bannon, and Ed Marlo.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
----- Sonny Narvaez
NightSG
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Just a hobbyist's opinion here, but to me a large part of the difference is whether it's teaching, or just exposing for the sake of exposing. Some people just post to show off that they know how it's done, while others give a lesson of a quality on par with many rather expensive DVDs.

OTOH, about 90% of them seem to follow the general rule; in order to post YouTube magic lessons, you must either be under 12 years old or have such a ridiculously heavy accent that no one can figure out what you're saying.
Terrible Wizard
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So does it boil down to charging money for the secrets, or to the quality of the teaching, or the status of the teacher?

It seems there's no consistency across the magic community, even within organisations that have written codes, on this issue. Which, given the complexity, is hardly surprising. But I think I find hypocrisy more irritating than exposure, but that's just a personal tic of mine.
Russo
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Going through all my paers-etc- found our membership card from 5/17/70 New York City - Magic Round Table - at Rossofs(?) - has 7 signatures on it - anyone interested in who??- p/m me an address!! - Just for fun!! -Ralph & Anna (russo)Rousseau
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