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Profile of Winnes
Wow, did Mel Gibson speak like William Wallace?

"Its a braw bricht moonlit nicht the nicht"
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Profile of xersekis
On 2005-02-04 09:02, bobser wrote:moves, but will he ever excel at mentalism? that's what and who we're talking about. Those who have the knowledge and skill necessary to be mentalists!

And to , who wrote:
"so sadly most magicians would not be good at it".

I simply wouldn't know how to answer someone with such a belief system. It's like saying magicians 'don't have people skills, when they evidently do.


I guess bottom line -

have you attended a magic convention or a club meeting ever. The people skills demonstrated by 'most' magicians leave a lot wanting. That isn't to say there aren't 'some' who are good people persons. But as a rule --- find one at a restuarant, performing in the lobby of some other performers gig etc. Sitting in the front row at a convention talking about the performer on stage. I don't need to site tons of examples. BUt MANY magicians aren't into others they are into the tricks and into themselves. Some know when to quit and when to start performing many don't. Many don't know about rapport, ettiquette and turn taking in interactions. BUT certainly not all magicians are inadequate - only some, many perhaps. Too many - and too many are clownish (not picking on clowns) and that is why magicians are thought to be 'pretty bogus' and 'geeky' by a wide variety of people. Thankfully Blaine has come around and got people intrigued again. Most people think of magicians as 'kiddie' entertainers - whether that is primarily true or not. It wasn't toher performers and lay people who damaged the magicians reputation - it was non professional magicians who don't know about social skills, and non professional magicians who performed poorly at some function they probably undercut another performer to get - who helped damage it for all the truly fine magicians.

Magicians have hurt themselves far more than anyone has hurt them.

Many magicians are fine people, with adequate people and performing skills.
But a lot leave a lot wanting.

If a magician really does want to be better they should take a Carnegie course or something that teaches them how to interact. It certainly can't hurt. Anything that makes one better WITH people will make one better performing FOR people.

Thankfully there are courses people can take to become better people persons, and some magical schools to become better performers and some business and marketing programs to ebcome better at the business. This is where most should spend their money - "people, perfromance and prospering through good business practicices".

Do most - NO - why not ---

BTW I don't mean to sound down on magicians - as I rule I am not. I count many as good friends. And as fine people who have ethics, high morale standards and are all around nice.

And many performers - professionals are truly nice. Having spent years and in Hollywood elbow to elbow with major stars and movies and shakers in the film industry I learned this -

most who havemade it and are established are kind and good people. Those on the rise can be most troublesome because they are still attempting to prove it and could loose their foothold any day. Those who failed are generally the most bitter. Now this is not set in stone and there are exceptions to the rule. But frequently you will find this to be the case.

As with performers and people coming up behind them - some may be cautious. everyone realizes that at some point they will be replaced. I think the majority of performers discussed here have been extrememly gracious and generous and helpful when they feel they understand and trust the person asking for help. When motives are understaood they can be very open.

Also most people who have gotten to the top and who are at the top have gotten and continued to get burned ALL THE TIME. People lie to them, use them, abuse them, want everything from them, expect them to behave a certain way, be a certain way, expect them to helpo them as if they owe it to you, surrounded by yes people etc. Caution when at the top is learned by expereince.

Still some are truly remarkable and wonderfully generous people no matter how many times they have been taken advantage of - given the right person making the request, the right circumstances.

Some times people at the top aren't always the best judge of character - because so many others are around them surrounding them on the rise to the top.

So when some one has done well in a corporate or college market, theater market or private there are also sorts of pertinent reasons why they may not be frothcoming with strangers and people who ask for their help.

When friendships start or blossoming mentorhips (a sadly missing [phenomena in our current day and age) then sometimes you get the kitchen sink with everything else.

Undertand where they are coming from - and recognize where you are coming from - and whether they woudl be best offer helping out someone else. So there is actually much to consider.
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On 2005-02-04 11:32, kinesis wrote:
LOL, why do people think we Scottish speak like William Wallace, Mel Gibson has a lot to answer for.

As a an admitted *seemingly* 100% "N.Y. Italian" with the surname to prove it (any a youz gotta problem wit dat?) my paternal grandmother was nonetheless a Scot (family name of "MacDonald") making me 1/4 Scottish. I guess that explains why I speak like William Wallace the last 15 minutes of every hour.LOL
"A good mentalist ... will teach you a miracle because he understands the subtleties ..." -- Banachek

"If this works it'll be BEAUTIFUL!" - The Amazing Kreskin on a stunning effect he performed on his 1970s television series (PS: it worked)
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Profile of Muddy
I don't see the connection between not wanting to share secrets/methods and being arrogant/stuck up. I know that's probably not what Nightbringer meant, but it seemed to be brought up quite a bit in the responses. Personally I wouldn't draw that conclusion (arrogance) about anyone not wanting to give away a method. Now incessant rambling about how others are inferior and "I am the greatest" ... that's arrogance IMO ... you could probably find a bit of this on the forums if you looked Smile ... but what does it really matter in the end? It doesn't take too much effort to skim over the garbage (when it is found) and pick out the gems.

Are there really any "secrets" that can't be had for the right price, anyway?
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Profile of xersekis
"Are there really any "secrets" that can't be had for the right price, anyway?"

perhaps the saddest statement of the day

what ever happened to honor, to trust, to fellowship, to keeping a promise, to integrity, ...
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Profile of bobser
On 2005-02-04 13:57, rex sikes wrote:
have you attended a magic convention or a club meeting ever. The people skills demonstrated by 'most' magicians leave a lot wanting.

I agree, but you might be able to say exactly the same thing with regard mentalists?

On 2005-02-04 13:32, ChristopherWallace wrote:
Nope, we assume all Scots speak like Sean Connery.

Chrishtopher, that ish absholute nonshensh, sho, shay you're shorry!

Yoursh aye,
Bob Burns is the creator of The Swan.
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Well the thing is if everyone kept everything under wraps then all will fall over each others feet. I bought stuff that somebody claimed to have invented, only to find a similar thing in an old rare manuscript ,that they hadnt seen.i do not beleive you should copy anyone,however I don't see anything wrong with you interpreting someones routine. I hope mr banachek doesn't mind but I like doing loco logo,talking about subliminal messages and influence in advertising that's how we end up with the outcome etc.i do create my own routines but get frustrated when I have a little trouble with mechanics and very few want to help.ive spent over 6 months creating a routine and finally got there see my post real time clipboard.i did a derren post but I don't want to be him .i had an effect and needed help and I saw his d.d and thought his mechanics may solve a problem I had.its hard when youve to work all hours god sends and have kids too.i don't have nearly as much time to develope my ideas,so help would be wise id help anyone that has difficulty with something,not just pretty sure that somone has taken an idea of mine.i don't care I find it a compliment,i know that theyll never perform it the way I would and so itll never be as good.thanks paul
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On 2005-02-03 04:47, Steve Dela wrote:
This may be because there are technically (read that again before arguing!...Technically) less moves etc. in mentalism and it would be easier for you to catch up to their level of performance. (they are scared of you taking their work.)

I have a lot of Mental friends that are always willing to help though.
This may be because my main interest is in the Magic side of our proffession.

In Magic
Steve Dela

Sorry, but that's pure BULL STUFF!

Yes, many people in mentalism come off as being a bit aloof and arrogant. Part of this is habit of character and part of it stems from the fact that your more successful people in this field have a much higher degree of education, social-economic status, and too, they've gained their position in the trade after many years of hard work. Simply put, they haven't time for the Johnny-come-lately types that are simply jumping onto the Mentalism/Bizarre bandwagon of current trend. Like any craft, they want to wait until you prove yourself and "earn your chops" before they are going to give you much more than the time of day.

Mentalist are very (overly) protective of their secrets, this is another reason for the sense of "distance" when it comes to meeting some newbie and talking shop.

"Less moves and is easier..." Well, if you think what we do is "easier" you haven't a clue as to what it means to be a Mentalist.

There is always a trade-off and when it comes to what we do, though the technical side may be a bit less "slight" based, the performance demands are a thousand times greater. MENTALISTS AREN'T MAGICIANS DOING TRICKS we are salesmen trying to appeal to our patrons at the psychological level, to invest themselves into a state of belief in what we do. This simple difference is what most in magic fail to see, understand or respect. In the mind of the average magic buff a trick is a trick... in this you find the real wedge that creates the sense of division that exists between the two art forms and those that perform them.

Truth of the matter is, I've come to know more people within the Bizarre & Psychic Entertainment world as close, reliable friend than I ever did in stage magic. Fewer of these people are out to steal my ideas or routines, which is a serious plus in my book. Mentalist/psychic entertainers tend to strive more towards originality, which is another reason why they can present themselves in a distant manner, side-stepping the performance issue. On the other hand, they are willing to work with and guide those that show potential, helping them mold both, their act as well as their character. Catch is, you have to be moldable -- willing to be willing to learn that you don't know it all and in doing Mentalism, there is a completely different mind set.

It was once said that a "Magician" was but an actor playing a part. If that were true most beginner books on magic would tell you to put the dang book down and go to theater class for two years first. In the case of the Mentalist/Bizarrist, theater is the essence to what we do and being an accomplished and confident showman far outweighs the technical aspects of what we do.

When it comes to the technical side however, consider how much more difficult it is to present slight-of-hand (as an example) in a manner that is not showing of our dexterity (as most manipulation acts do) but rather, reveals pure innocense e.g. everything flows in a natural manner and above the air of suspicion. Trust me, it's far more difficult to do a solid pice of billet work than it is to do an acceptable and even impressive version of SPELLBOUND or SCOTCH & SODA.

To rub elbows with those who are accomplished in this craft means only that you must prove yourself. You've got to come across as being much more than someone doing tricks, that's all.

BTW... and for the record. The majority of the Mentalists I've gotten to know over the years, including a few known for having attitude, have proven to be very sincere, sensitive and good hearted people once they get to know and trust you. Guys like Banachek and even Jon Riggs are frequently willing to bend over backwards to help someone that's sincere. So maybe it's not THEIR attitude that needs to be weighed????

Just my two cents worth.
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"Mentalism is easy to do...badly!" - Max Maven
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I have done magic AND mentalism.
Sometimes I am nice and sometimes I am not but I am not schizophrenic and neither am I.
Here kitty, kitty,kitty. Smile
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[quote]On 2005-02-03 15:06, Steve Dela wrote:
I am yet to find someone that can tell me that it took longer to learn a good billet switch than an invisable second deal.

I do mentalism and Magic and love them both. I realise it is hard to be a good mentalist. but I know that move wise, slight of hand card stuff etc takes longer to learn.

Steve, gotta disagree with you there.

Ever try doing Cassidy 4th Dem. Telepathy? The switches involved are a lot more involved than a simple centre tear; of the routines that he's done, involving billets, this one for me at any rate is the most difficult one to get. Technically and professionaly.

Mentalism IMO, is a tad harder than "magic" with cards on so many levels, not the least of which is in presentation.

A friend of mine at the Coventry Magic Circle is a children's performer. He's good at it, excellent in fact. He's got the personality to get on well with the little ones. He's also a rather good close up performer; cards and rubber band magic are his area. He's good.

However, when it comes to doing "mentalism", frankly he leaves a lot to be desired. The reason? His approach. "Look at me do this trick". He may do a rather good effect involving forced choices, he might even be able to bend metal, or do a card prediction that uses the Stubbins move, but in carring this over to the arena of mind-magic, rather than pure magic; "Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat." he leaves a lot to be desired.

There are differnt levels of skill and ability required. One can get Cassidy's billet handeling or an Acidus move down in 15 minutes, but need to spend 15 weeks in building up a persona from which to use those moves.

"Pick a card, any card" only requires my ability to do the effect correctly without showing the lift in a bad angle.


On 2005-02-03 15:16, snushy wrote:

In addition, it's not like I was vetted before I bougtht your stuff. I didn't have to prove myself or pass any tests. You made your material available to all and sundry. The fact that it is of the highest quality is for the discerning performer to decide, but if some jackass makes a fool of himself performing something he learned off of your DVD, aren't you partially to blame? Haven't you contributed to the whole problem of the great secrets of our art being readily and easily available?

I wonder why o why the same concern about vetting, and letting some jackass perform something off of a Banacheck/Cassidy/Earle/Maven/Osterlund/Choose your own performer, DVD isn't carried over into the other areas of the magi arena?

Anyone can get a DVD on how to finger flick or work a sponge bunny. Anyone can fork out some good money for a floating zombie. Anyone can spend money a Harlan DVD and drive people to distraction with rubber band manipulation, and do it wrong.

So why does it seem that this secretive attitude carried over to other areas of magic?

I sometimes think that the mentalist arena can be a bit too smug about what we do; more protective, overly so it seems, about keeping out the poor trash and keeping our billet/nail writing/spoon-fork bending a "secret".

I can show my son how to bend a spoon. I have. He's rather good at it. But that's only the tip of the iceburg. Presentation/self belief is something that he's going to have learn and develop. These two skills are hardest to teach/learn.

The fact that he's seen my set of Maven DVDs, or, horror of horrors, read my copy of "Pre-Show Thoughts" doesn't mean he's going to be great mentalist, any more than the fact that he's read my 1977 copy of the Mark Wilson Course in Magic, or The Encyclopedia of Card Tricks, will make him a brillient/adaquate close-up/stage magician.

By the way, how would you go about "vetting" someone anyway, given the abundance of magic books, mentalism included, available on the bookshelfs of most public libraries, book stores, and of course Toys "r" Us?

I think sometimes it's too easy to take this "art" way too seriously. We're not talking about developing a cure for cancer, or a fat free Big Mac after all.
Good Thoughts.

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On 2005-04-03 03:29, mindguy wrote:

Ever try doing Cassidy 4th Dem. Telepathy? The switches involved are a lot more involved than a simple centre tear; of the routines that he's done, involving billets, this one for me at any rate is the most difficult one to get. Technically and professionaly.

Mentalism IMO, is a tad harder than "magic" with cards on so many levels, not the least of which is in presentation.

OK...this is just my opinion.

Card work is seen as "magic"...wherein people go out of their way to try and "catch" you doing something sneaky. Mentalist rarely bill themselves as magicians and therefore audiences aren't looking for sleight of hand.

In this thread many people have remarked that "magic" is easier, that it doesn't require personality. Horse&!@#. Look at Eddie Fechter. His routines aren't too difficult, but his personality made the routines memorable. Someone else performing them would be less than impressive. Many magicians perform the work of David Williamson and Paul Harris...but it is highly unlikely that they do it as well as those two men.

Mentalism is a form of magic. ALL magic (to be done well) requires personality and practice. To think that one is somehow superior to the other is just being self-serving. All branches of the "magic" tree require years of dedicated study and practice.

OK...I will step off my soapbox now Smile
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Ok, here's a thought: perhaps mentalism and magic are just as "hard" when compared side to side...after all, you could do a three card monte effect with a mentalsim performance, and the card-flingers would say that it is (either) more or less difficult...

I think the reason that mentalists come across the way we do has to do with the audience! Really, no one in our society really believes in magic anymore...and even in church, where magic was once the power that did "everything", it is now often referred to as "devil's work". So the card-trick-coin-vanishing-sponge-bunny-carrying fellow in the stuffed-pocket-suit is recognized by his (or her) audience as not being real.

The same cannot be said for mentalists, even if they are dressed as bozo-wigged clowns with red noses. What we do is looked upon as something that your average spectator wants to believe is real, because they cannot believe that "magic" is real anymore. Look at the popularity of the Harry Potter series, both in print and on film/video. The magic that is portrayed is not trickery, but real wizardry. Now, if your local restaurant table-hopper could do that, it might be thought of as being slightly different than what is normally seen over the dinner table (regardless of how good the performer really is).

But the local fortune-teller or the local mind reader is often thought to be real, even if they are the new-to-the-art-eighteen-year-old-who-couldn't-possibly-be-real, because our audience wants to believe that mindreading is possible, that bending a fork into a twisted mass is more than a special effect in a movie, and that predicting the events of your customer's night will have an effect upon them that any magic trick simply cannot duplicate.

When I do a simple mind reading effect, I am often asked if I tell fortunes, or tell their future. When I do a card trick (and do it well!) I am often asked if I play poker. What does that tell you?

Since my opinion is that mentalism is thought of as "real" magic, you can see why those in the art would be hesitant to give away "the real work", or why they might come across as more reserved(!) than the average magician, who might be a clown, a waiter, or any other person who part-times himself into believing that he is a magician - and I say that because every full-time professional magician I have ever met would sit and share...people in the Blaine/Copperfield league. After all, just look at our group here! Osterlind, Banachek, and a very long list of those who are pro's, giving of their time and thoughts, just to see that our *art* continues on...

Food for thought?

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Thank God you Scots don't all speak like Sir Alex and Lorraine worst nightmare..being stuck in a lift with those two..the most unintelligible creatures on Earth.

Howard ..and No ! all Yorkshiremen don't say "Eeeh By Gum Lad"
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Let’s pretend for a moment that this forum is not the “Magic Café” but rather the “Software Design Café” and that this thread is not “Stuck up Mentalists” but rather “Stuck up Entrepreneurs”.

Using the scenario I just present let me make a few comments:

1. A successful (established) software design entrepreneur would never share “trade secrets” with anyone, much less an up and coming entrepreneur in the same industry. To do so would be business suicide.

2. If a successful software design entrepreneur decided to share some of his “trade secrets” with other software design entrepreneurs through books, lectures or videos in an effort to make additional income then good for them. Capitalism at work! A smart entrepreneur knows the importance of multiple revenue streams. A smart entrepreneur also knows that there is risk involved with this type of venture. It is possible that someone could buy these secrets and become the next “Successful Software Design Entrepreneur” which could ultimately impact the profitability of their business. The smart entrepreneur also realizes that this information will now be available to the public at large but gives little or no consideration to this as most won’t know what it is or do anything with the “trade secrets” once they get them.

3. At the annual “Software Design Entrepreneur Convention” in Las Vegas, the most successful “Software Design Entrepreneurs” attend to lecture, give demonstrations and perhaps even to sell some of their products to entrepreneurs of all levels. When approached by “Up and Coming Software Design Entrepreneurs" they should be (but are not required to be) polite but that is it! They are not required (nor should they be) to make small talk, to go into further discussion on topics they may have discussed earlier or even “hang out” with others in the industry.

Since Truth Teller has posted his thoughts and comments on this subject let me use an actual example involving him. I was introduced to Truth Teller at a convention by someone who is well respected in this industry. We exchanged greetings, shook hands and parted ways. I didn’t expect anything else. This is not to say that he wouldn’t have answered my questions, gave me suggestions or continued in conversation with me but I didn’t expect him too. You see, he is an established, successful mentalist and I’m up and coming. I clearly recognize this fact and Mentalism would be much better off if others did as well!

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Actually (No offense to you Escape Artists, I love you guys and escapes), but to me just as a observation, I've seen more bickering on the Escape Artist board here. I know that's different from what you're saying. Myself, I just try to find common ground, and I try to get along with everyone. Ocassionally, my Temper and Thin-Skin gets the best of me but I try to be kind to people. I'm sorry though you've experienced ANY RUDENESS from anybody much less a fellow performer. Your Pal, Ed, (Eddini).
"Treat Others As You'd Want To Be Treated" - Jesus Christ
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I have found in meeting many, many Magicians and Mentalist (some well known and some not so well known) that the best ones (skilled) are the nicest. You don't have to reveal secrets and methods to be a good person and treat people with dignity and respect. I've been a Soldier for over 24 years and have served in harm's way on several occasions and I say this only to illustrate a point. You don't know me or who I am and how dare you look down your nose at me because you can do a pass or have been on a TV program or whatever. Most of the Magicians/Mentalist you'll meet that are worth their salt and are great human beings and very helpful. They won't share their secrets with you nor should they. But people respect talent and want to meet "Famous" Magicians and talk to them. Our business has a fan base like any other art and we should treat them with respect.
"Freedom is the best Magic of all"
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Well said CSM!

I've met loads’a top mentalists (for those of you who know about that Sark lark in the Channel Islands, you’ll know what I’m talking about!) And without exception, they have been wonderful, warm people whose hospitality knows no bounds. I’ve been invited into their homes, and treated with the greatest respect, love and hospitality – and I include in there Uri Geller and Marc Salem, Ian Rowland, Banachek, etc. etc. each and every one of them is a superb fellow human being.

The only trouble I’ve had is with the Internet Experts who make others feel small to make themselves feel big.

Booooo to them, I say!

Best wishes,

Drew McAdam

(Mind you, when I’m a top draw I’m going to be a petty, snivelling little rat who dismisses all of you with a haughty shake of my head. So look out!)
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It is a two way thing, Top professionals must realize that many of the new students look up to them and are the creative forces behind their new found career / hobby. but equally the inspired must realize that not all is up for sale, published on a DVD or in a book.

Ethics is the biggest flaw in our profession, I would dearly love to do some of the routines that I see many of the top guys doing but ethically I will not, I used to fall into a trap of being the guy that knew it all, so when I was down the club I always want to be the guy who knew how Kreskin did this or that. This was inexperience on my part.

50% of my act is created by myself, this has really made me appreciate my efforts, time, practise and determinaton to cherish the work I put in.

Many new guys by a trick and that's it, $20 I paid my dues so I have the right to do what I like with it, however $20 is nothing, the trick is nothing, the method is nothing, what you do with it, the respect you give it is everything. Whenever I buy something new or learn a new effect which I will use I treat it like it was my own idea, once I have fitted it to my act it just seems to be part of my work, seemlessly fitting in to it's new home.

I am gratful that I am able to learn from some of the top guys but equally I respect their personal works, so in to conclude my ramble..

We are all in this together, a unique group of individuals who will spend five hours folding a piece of paper up and then tearing it, flicking through books for good words, staring gormless into a mirror as we unfold a piece of paper in our pockets and constantly thank our audiences for being so great as we shave in the bathroom.

Respect those who put you were you are.. respect those who share.. respect the method.. the thought.. the time.. the skill.. but most of all respect the art...

Halelulah Praise The Lord..

Thanks for being such a great audience.....

Now wheres my razor?

"I love the one with the plastic thumb!"
Someone who has seen a s*** magician
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Drew, I can't wait. I would be honored to be "snubbed" by you. Headshake away!!!!!! Smile. I agree CSMTREE. I have had coffee with Banachek after one of his shows at a small college several hours from where I live. He could not have been more ingratiating. He was kind, charming, and it was a great experience. After I discussed a few topics, he immediately asked me if there was something he could help me with, or if I had any questions about HIS MATERIAL. He was a true gentleman. Let's face it, some people will be hospitable others will be harsh. And please do not hear me say that if someone doesn't share his methods he is not hospitable. A true friend helps another find "their" way. I have also had the pleasure to get to know Charles Pecor (Mentalist,Magician). He too has been extrememly kind and helpful. On both occasions, I had to demonstrate that I knew something of the matter (at least speak with some knowledge of the subject), but both were helpful and kind. The first was a pleasant moment, the latter has continued to be a growing friendship between seasoned performer (not to mention, knowledgeable), and a 33 year old fledgling (I have been peforming at different capacities since 92). In other words, we should appreciate those who are gracious to us, and to those who not not so inclined... do not let it bother us. We are not entitled to anything, but from those who have shared their knowledge -we have received a kind and wonderful gift. If we all treated each other's ideas with respect (i.e. don't steal) then we wouldn't have to discuss these issues, however business is a harsh reality and brilliant performance pieces are stolen everyday. But if you merely steal, and don't think for yourself, you are merely finger painting the Mona Lisa.... smear away!!!!!!!!!!!
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