(Close Window)
Topic: Is YouTube teaching acceptable?
Message: Posted by: Terrible Wizard (Jun 8, 2017 02:08PM)
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.?
Message: Posted by: Anatole (Jul 18, 2017 10:10PM)
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:
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.

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:
where we read this example:
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.

Then there was the time that charges of exposure were leveled against Cardini as mentioned in that same timeline:
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.

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
Message: Posted by: NightSG (Oct 27, 2017 11:08AM)
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.
Message: Posted by: Terrible Wizard (Nov 22, 2017 06:41AM)
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.
Message: Posted by: Russo (Dec 4, 2017 10:34AM)
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
Message: Posted by: TalMagic (May 12, 2018 10:02AM)
Message: Posted by: Kyoki_Sanitys_Eclipse (Dec 13, 2018 08:10PM)
For me it comes down to effort. First you have to go to the library. Then you got to find the book. Then you have to read it and try to understand it. Most peo pl le are to lazy or don't care enough to fo this.

With YouTube you simply enter in the effect. Then you sit and watch it be revealed.

The difference in effort here is massive
Message: Posted by: Magical Moments (Jan 10, 2019 12:20AM)
The problem with teaching on YouTube IMHO is that anyone will have access to trade secrets and those who do not want to perform magic but just want to know how the tricks are done can find out there.

Exposing the secrets of magic should be done in a discreet way so only those who want to perform can access the methods. That way, we can limit to some extent who knows how we do what we do.

Many years ago, Dave Robbins published a magazine entitled MAGIC IS FUN which was sold at newstands and many members of the magic community were outraged. It lasted 7 issues.

It is my feeling that if one wants to learn the secrets of magic in order to perform the effects, they should have to exert more effort to find and acquire them than to simply find them on YouTube.
Message: Posted by: Frosty (Mar 5, 2019 11:54AM)
I'm no member of SAM but just happen to come across this post..

Here's my thoughts..

My personal opinion on this matter is times are a changing and the internet is the new modern library with many many more pubilishers... (some great and some terrible though LOL!)

More and more are now learning from YouTube and websites than from books.. It's Just a new platform!

I see nothing wrong with it cuz in order to be exposed to these secrets one must have an interest in magic to even search it in the first place... Having to spend money in order to have access to the secrets is just BS.. (No offending intended) Your time you spend to search these secrets and the time taken to watch them is sufficient and shouldn't require a monetary price..

Even magic shops are disappearing because of this new platform and also magic clubs are feeling it too..

I'm no expert in this but in order to survive these new times I feel one must adapt to this new platform and make changes accordingly..



You can whine about it all day or you can take advantage of it.. It's up to you!

Best to you all!
Message: Posted by: Deckstacker (May 31, 2019 07:53AM)
Frosty: I could not agree more that magic is not dying but is rather simply growing in new ways. "Back in the day," which in my case was the 1950's, I had to travel over an hour by train and then bus to Ireland's or the Treasure Chest in downtown Chicago in order to see magic performed/demonstrated live and sometimes even purchase a small prop just to get the prized sheet of instructions that came with it. I remain as entertained and fascinated today as I was then despite having easy access to magic performances a la Penn and Teller and all the so-called free "instruction" via YouTube that I may care to view whilst sitting in my favorite easy chair at home.

I probably spend an even greater proportion of my discretionary funds on magic items today than when I was just starting out. Why? Simple. As you have said, "one must have an interest in magic to even search it [out] in the first place." Further, I remain just as amused--and often bemused--by a good magical effect as ever. And I may well be just as entertained by the revelation of a chosen card inside a rubber chicken today as I was when it was produced from a plastic egg the week before. Magic evolves as magicians continually strive to improve their skills. What does not change, however, is the human sense of wonder that informs it all. All things considered, I do not fear for the future of our common hobby/profession at all. As you say, you can whine about change or embrace it. The choice is yours.
Message: Posted by: Frosty (Jun 2, 2019 02:52AM)
Hey Terrible Wizard, I feel you.. I miss the good ole' days too! Going to a magic shop and purchasing all the cool tricks and spending all I could afford on props, books & videos, but sadly those days are now disappearing now with the internet and all.. Wish I didn't used the word whining on my previous post. My apologies..

To be honest, I think YouTube is an exciting new platform for new and old performers to learn and share new magic tricks but I agree there is a negative side to it as well.. especially with all those youtubers revealing the secrets of the newest magic celebrity seen on TV just to expose them and get more views.. Teaching magic on YouTube on the other hand I see nothing wrong as it's just another platform just like books ,VHS (yep I still use 'em) & DVDs etc...

Best to you!
Message: Posted by: Frosty (Jun 28, 2019 09:31AM)
[quote]On Jun 2, 2019, Frosty wrote:
Hey Terrible Wizard, I feel you.. I miss the good ole' days too! Going to a magic etc... [/quote]

Messed up again LOL! My previous post was meant for Deckstacker and not for TerribleWizard... I think I need more coffee so I can get it right..

Best to you both though..!