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N14
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Hi everyone,

I hope I put this topic on the right place.

I just participated on the poll, and found it very difficult to choose one of the 5 answers.

I'm new to magic myself, and I do my best to keep magic a secret, mystical art.

I remember that when I was young I saw a movie once. No idea what it's called or who played in it. But there was this part about the main character trying to find out the secrets of some magic tricks to solve a murder. He really had a hard time finding the right people, who would talk very vaguely about the art. No idea how it ended.

The point I tried to make is that it should stay secret. It's part of the Art. But then again, someone really interested and devoted should be able to get the help from the ones who have the knowledge.

Password protected..?.. I think you can get around, or finding the answers on the question, somewhere on the web, to obtain the password, like it's done on a lot of other sites. This is different when you're invited and given a password of course.

It's just so hard to come up with the perfect solution, and me being a starter myself, might make it even more difficult to answer this. Of course I want to know as much as posible in the shortest time, but I think that doing so I would destroy the art.

Banquet room..!..
It's a great idea, people less interested won't stick around that long to obtain access. Maybe an invitation would be better.
But when does someone know the other person, on the other side of the net, is the right person to tell the secret too and give him access?
The quiet boy in the corner might be more serious about it than the one trying to make friends with everyone on his path.

The best thing I can do, is just to give it serious thoughts, on what magic means to me. What does it mean that it's secret.

I just came to a conclusion for myself; it should stay secret, hard to get. If I really want it, it should cost me sweat, tears and blood. I just have to prove myself and others that I'm worth it to tell the secret to.

Maybe that's why I like the Magic Cafe.
The people here are not shouting the secrets of tricks and illusions to each other. They stay friendly and have a good sense of humor.


I just had to put this out.
Mary B.
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Hi Niels,

We appreciate your comments. As a beginner myself, I'm inclined to agree. There are those who simply want to find out the secret of magic, whatever their reasons, and those of us who sincerely want to learn, for our own enjoyment and for the betterment of the craft. It's the former we are trying to discourage, and to that end, password protecting the Cafe would be a big step. It's one thing if they can just open the page and read all the posts, but a lot of them wouldn't bother to register (which they would have to do) if we password-protected the Cafe.

For the ones who do bother to register, I think they might find the information here as cryptic as I did, and still do (some of it) without making the investment of buying the books and tapes that explain some of the effects discussed here.

There will always be those who just want to find out and expose the secrets of magic, and given the nature of a public forum such as the Cafe, there really isn't a lot we can do to stop them. All we can do is make it a little more difficult for them to get in and find out anything useful to their purposes.

I think if everyone here keeps in mind as they are writing their posts, that there are people out there who they may not want to read them, it would go a long way toward discouraging the ne'er-do-wells.

Just my two cents!

Smile Mary B.
amagician
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The poll is a great thing, but very difficult, because the answers are not mutually exclusive, in my opinion.

If there is an area for discussing secrets, passwords are a good step, but not enough by itself, because they will probably get passed on by the same ones who spread other's personal secrets and routines Smile

A trial period (which appears to be the current set-up) is worthwhile.
Just because someone knows a secret does not give them the right to reveal it to other people, magicians or whoever.
If you developed a method for a trick, you can tell anyone and everyone.
If you put it on view in a book or magazine, don't scream if someone uses it.

But, you will probably feel very unhappy if someone you tell your secret to treats it as common currency.

It is generally only those without enough skill to develop workable methods and improvements themselves who try to elevate their profile by dishing out other's confidential info. They know how, but usually not "how to present" which is the real secret anyway.

Maybe I have a bias because I am a dealer so I suffer financially if secrets are spread, but free access encourages more bad magicians who do not respect what they get for free and that hurts us all.
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Stephen Long
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I think (and I truly believe this) that those who truly want to find a secret will find it no matter what.

A password, I think, will solve little.
If anything it will worsen the situation.
Someone after a secret is much more likely to pursue a site that is password protected than one that is not simply because the password protected site MUST have more secrets contained within it than one that does not.

When I first started out in card magic I searched the net high and low looking not for secrets but methods.
Trust me, there are plenty of sites out there that will expose a secret without the magical colloquialisms used on this site.

Basically what I'm saying is why would a secret searching layman wade through all the forums on this site in search of a particular effect that baffled him when he can find it out via much easier methods?

Those that want the secrets badly enough will find them regardless of passwords or banquet rooms.

I'd like to finish with a question to the staff:
Have we had a problem at all with people who are only here for the secrets?
If not, why are we inconveniencing ourselves with passwords and the like?

The Cafe is a great place.
I think it has little to worry about.
But, being a democratic sort, I'm with the majority.
Whatever the Cafe decides, I'm with it all the way.

May it live long and prosper, so to speak.

Gonz
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Thomas Wayne
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Quote:
On 2002-02-01 16:33, Gonzolo the mediocre wrote:
[...]
I'd like to finish with a question to the staff:
Have we had a problem at all with people who are only here for the secrets?
If not, why are we inconveniencing ourselves with passwords and the like?
[...]


Although I am not a member of the staff, I do think I know the answer to this question. It's multi-pronged; there are different reasons for the various people who raise the "exposure" hue and cry:

1) An overzealous moderator who pushes his personal agenda and uses his/her status to appoint himself the last word in any discussion. We should hope, of course, that we don't have anyone like this on the Magic Cafe staff.

2) A few experienced magicians who want to prevent what they see as a lower class of magician from reaching a level of greater competence by learning from their peers. Maybe it's from fear of competition, maybe it's the "I'm smart, you're dumb" syndrome... This type is more common than you might think.

3) A certain class of members who just want something to complain about; "exposure" is a hot-button they know will attract attention, but keep them reasonably safe from reprisal.

4) Members who have a genuine concern about what contitutes "exposure", and what safely falls into the category of "free exchange of ideas". Hopefully this is the majority of concerned readers.


The first three categories are lost causes (IMO); it's this last group that holds the only real hope for an enlightened discussion group that can share and grow together. Perhaps with further discussion and debate, wrestling with this thorny topic, we will find a place where we can gain from our collective knowledge without damaging our art.

Regards,
Thomas Wayne
MOST magicians: "Here's a quarter, it's gone, you're an idiot, it's back, you're a jerk, show's over." Jerry Seinfeld
amagician
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Thomas,

1) Why would "an overzealous moderator... raise the exposure hue & cry"? I can't understand that line at all.

2) "A lower class of magician... learning from their peers "from" fear of competition".
I dislike "magicians" who think that secrets are all they need to know, like the amateur clowns who think a wig and a funny voice are all a clown needs.

3) Who is trying to get publicity by pressing the "exposure button"? I believe the question has been fairly and reasonably put to the Members.

4) I know what exposure is. That is not the question.

My experience of good magicians are that they recognize and will share with anyone who is genuinely trying to be a better performer and not just a secrets gatherer. Most ignore public exposure like the crummy Fox specials but do get annoyed when working performers' routines are exposed by people without the ability to get publicity by developing and presenting their own routines.
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John Williams
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Peter Marucci
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I don't see the need to change anything here because of the so-called problems of exposure.
More magic is exposed by bad magicians, attempting to perform when they shouldn't, than by all the "unprotected" message boards and Fox specials combined.
If someone wants to know magic secrets, any library will give you what you want, as will any magic dealer or shop.
But thinking that the secrets are what makes up a magic show is like thinking a piano is all you need to give a Chopin recital.
cheers,
Peter Marucci
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N14
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Hi Peter,

I do agree that if someone wants to find out the secret, he will be able to find it. If it's on the Net, in a Library or at a dealer.

Personally, I would like to keep it secret and mystic. It's, in my eyes, part of the Art. But living in a free world (for a big part at least), I think every "magician" has to make this decision for him/her self.

The dilemna I have, is when do I reveal the secret and when don't I? This is just a quest in finding my own norms and values in regard to magic. And do I avoid the ones who don't have the same norms and values as I do?

I also think the performance is probably the most important part of magic.
But try to play a Chopin recital without a piano at all.
Peter Marucci
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Well, N14, Albert Schweitzer, among others, used to play the piano without a piano (he used lines on a board and only he "heard" the music).
That aside, since we do performance stuff just like the pianist with a real piano, you raise a good point:
When does one reveal the secret?
That's something that you have to feel comfortable with yourself.
For example, I write a column in the Linking Ring magazine; in the strictest sense of the word, I suppose you could say that I, and all the other magic writers, are revealing secrets.
No argument. And yet I believe that we all feel comfortable with that because the people it is directed at are knowledgable magic enthusiasts (well, for the most part they are).
But someone else might not want to do that sort of thing.
Fine. That's legit, too.
It's something that you have to find within yourself.
cheers,
Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com
Jeb Sherrill
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I like to keep magic nice and secret too, but I agree strongly with Gonz and Peter, especially Gonz's point about other sites and the password issue. We could probably talk quite openly about all kinds of magic here and I doubt it would make a bit difference.

For now, I do not openly talk about magic here because it is against the policies (as I understand them) of the board, but if the policies were different I would talk more openly (not completely, but more).

The information here is very hard to access for normal people. Think about what we mostly talk about here, think about the thousands of posts a person would have to wade through to find anything of use and then the lines of magic jargon they'd have to go through to make any sense of it.

People take about ten minutes to forget most secrets exposed right in front of their faces, let alone ones they've tried to decipher in text. Shoot, I've read tricks out of books, thrown them aside because I didn't like the effect and a magician blew me away with it the next week, and I'm a magician.

If people want this stuff, they'll go to sites where it is easily found. Anyway, they want to know how Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear, not so much how I do a pass (they don't even know what one is). I'd rather spend my time helping the newbies learn about this art as best I can instead of having to answer all their questions with "go look it up in a book sonny."

Sable
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Dorian Rhodell
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Hi guys,

I just gotta reply so here goes.....

N14, I think you've got the right idea and the right attitude. If you truly love magic then you will do anything for it.... as I would.

I'm a firm believer of the way of thinking that Vernon made abundantly clear, that if people don't like practicing, they should do the rest of us a favor and get out of magic.
If you give to magic.... it will give to you. Keep this frame of mind and I'm sure you'll be successful in magic.

Sable, Peter, Gonz, all of you have great points and I agree with you. I personally feel however, that the exposure issue is beaten to death. The worst thing anyone could ever do to magic is perform it badly.

That is all the exposure that any person will ever need. You can still fool people with the linking rings even if they know the secret. When I was working at Disneyland a kid came in and said "I know how the rings are done... I saw it on the Fox special".

Maybe it was some other special I don't know. Point being I did a ring routine and he said "Oh that must be a different set". If a lot of magicians spent half as much time practicing as they did worrying about exposure, magic might be a little better off.

Skinner, Jennings, Vernon, Marlo, Channing Pollock, whoever you want to name as a person you admire didn't get there by anything else except as N14 put it, "blood, sweat, and tears". Maybe that should be the focus of this new year.

Elevating the art through practice and forgetting about trying to silence the exposers. The more emphasis we place on this topic, the more attention we draw to ourselves and thus, the more outsiders will become interested.


Just a thought,

Dorian Rhodell
Peter Marucci
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Dorian writes: "If a lot of magicians spent half as much time practicing as they did worrying about exposure, magic might be a little better off."

I'll heartily second that!

cheers,
Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com
Peter Loughran
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I remember when the first "Masked Magician" show ever aired here in Canada, several years ago. It was right before my busy Christmas season of Corporate shows.

I remember the show aired just a couple of days prior to a show, where as I had the sub-trunk scheduled in my performance. I had to try and think of a way to use the 'Masked Magician's' revealing of the illusion to my advantage... and this is what I did...

Before I went into my usual introduction of the classic Houdini illusion, I first asked my audience "How many of you saw the Masked Magician a couple of nights ago on FOX?"
To my suprise I only saw about half of the hands raised out of the approximately 1000 in attendance.

I then said as a bit of humour, "Ok then, can all of you please leave the auditorium!" I received a few laughs, (Already I am making the best out of a bad situation).

Next I went on breifly, explaining the Masked Loser's interpetation of how he revealed the illusion, by his assistant standing next to the trunk, and how they loosened the ropes and slid the lid off to one side in order for them to make their escape.

I then told my audience that I wasn't going to perform the Illusion this way, in fact to prove to them that the lid would never move, I would in-fact have my assistant stand on top of the crate thru-out the entire illusion making it impossible for me to escape this way.

We performed the illusion, and the switch was as fast as usual, But, let me tell you that this was the biggest response I had ever seen since I first began performing the illusion several years prior.

I had dozens of people come up to me after the show and explain to me that after they saw the FOX special they thought they knew how this and every other illusion was done. But, now that they have seen my version (which is the most common method of performing it) They were completely baffled, and had no idea how the illusion really worked.

Some even told me that they would never bother to watch one of his specials again, because it seemed to be a waste of their time now.

Exposure will unfortunately continue as long as magic is around - Where there is good there is always evil - However, maybe we can try and reverse some of the ways that magic is exposed to help keep that level of disbelief that we are able to enjoy and continue to share with our audiences.
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Jeb Sherrill
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You know Peter, it's funny; as much as I might dislike Valantine's "selling out" as it were, at least he did have the presence of mind to expose "mostly" old and unused versions of many stage illusions. I have encountered this phenomena you spoke of as well; people even more impressed from realizing that the exposer was itself a fake. Bully for turning it around Peter.

Sable
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Stephen Long
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The results of the poll, as it currently stands:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/poll.php

How do people here feel about these results?

And (primarily to the staff) will the Cafe be changing at all as a result?
If so, do you have any ideas as to when?

Many thanks,
Gonz
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Jeb Sherrill
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I can't see anything on that link page.

Sable
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Tom Cutts
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That's because the results are secret.
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N14
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