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Peter Loughran
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Ontario, Canada
2683 Posts

Profile of Peter Loughran
Wow - I have been very busy over the past year both with the business and personal reasons, it’s been a fantastic year so far and I am glad to be posting a new article in my forum.

I recently announced the coming of a new product entitled Broom Thru Body Illusion.

If you haven't seen it yet, you may see a preview of it by clicking HERE!

I have produced and marketed around 30 of my own original products and I have been involved in dozens of other tricks/illusions as a consultant for other creators.

My product threads always seem to draw what I like to jokingly call my “fan club”. This includes a thread that was posted in the Tricks and Effects section prior to its release; the moderators have now locked the thread. My “fan club” consists of about 6 or so of the same repeat posters who will come into these threads on my products and make malicious comments--most of the time with no reason or proof behind their comments. Some also only post on ANY thread when there is a negative comment to be written.

I know everyone is entitled to their opinion and I love constructive criticism. But what makes me laugh is the guys that come on (my product thread or any product thread) and say something like " This is garbage etc." just by looking at the trick without actually ever receiving and trying it, nor giving any reason why they don't like it. What does that contribute? I'll tell you: nothing! If you don't like an effect then say why, be positive, be constructive; help the creator understand your concerns. There is no excuse in such a small industry to be malicious. The only reason they do this it appears is that some of them are simply trying to hurt a creator's business. I can't speak for other creators, but if you notice, I’m still here, and our business continues to grow year after year, so if they have something better to do... Again, I am not talking about all negative posts. Like I said I love constructive criticism, and contributing comments good or bad will always help a creator. It’s the other ones I am referring to.

Every creator that throws himself/herself out there in these public forums has dealt with what I am talking about. When the Café first became live several years ago some comments did bother me, but now they don’t. I accept these comments as part of the business; there are just people out there that are like that. And I know that the majority of the other Café members can see right through these types of comments. I know because people call me, or email me to tell me so, and I appreciate the support from those fellow magicians.

With that in mind, I would like to introduce to you a special guest to my forum. He is writing on this very topic and was inspired after reading the locked Broom Thru Body thread. I think this is a MUST READ for everyone, and also this will be an excellent reference for creators and future creators, as well as all the Café members!

Please welcome a well respected and close friend/creator of mine, Jason Palter, of Paltergeist Unlimited!

JASON PALTER:------------------------------

Hello everyone,

First of all, please understand that I have only had my creations on the market for just over a year. However for over 20 years, I’ve been a full-time professional performer and (like many of you) a “purchaser” of other people’s creations and effects. Some of them have been good purchases, and like any product—some have been not-so-good. Let me also say that I’m honored and very lucky to have good friends in the magic world like Peter Loughran. Peter is a great influence on me, and is one of a select few that I bounce ideas off of. He is someone who has been extremely successful at putting out high-quality props and tricks, and I have no doubt that part of my success with my releases can be attributed to colleagues like him. While his items may not be for everyone, you cannot deny that he is an excellent model for quality and customer service that I think many creators should aspire to. Okay, enough with the Loughran-Butt-Kissing…..let’s move on! LOL!

Peter’s creations (like mine, like Chance Wolf’s, like Collectors Workshop’s, like Richard Sanders’, etc.) simply may not be for everyone. But that being said, there is no reason to go on any boards anonymously and make the comments that a few of you do. The internet is so vast, and it is so easy to say hurtful and inflammatory comments from behind a keyboard. These comments for the most part are not necessary and do nothing to help anyone.

I am very fortunate and blessed that although I only have 4 creations on the market and it has only been 1 year that I have been in business doing this, my products have been selling extremely well and garnering many rave reviews. Of course not everyone likes all or any of my products—and that is fine. However, there are still lots that do, and I have many more products on my “bench” for you guys in the future (both my own creations, and additional ones that I am producing for other people). However I will tell you one thing that I have learned in the short time that I have been at this: Anyone, and I mean A-N-Y-O-N-E, can come up with an IDA. But not anyone can take that idea and actually turn it into something that will work, and most importantly something that people will BUY.

If you have never had a creative thought in your life before and/or have never created a trick that is out on the market, let me tell you from my own experience this past year: you simply have no clue of what is involved. There is an immeasurable amount of time, money, frustration, and most importantly GUTS to do this business. It takes a lot of bravery to “put yourself out there” in front of other magicians (including the ones on this board), publish your REAL name (not some internet “handle”), and advertise with your ACTUAL contact information. And most importantly it takes NERVE to then ask your fellow magicians to part with their hard-earned money and spend it on your product, instead of someone else’s. Do you know what I mean? It is this sort of stuff that keeps creators up at night: Wondering if “they will buy it once I sell it”, and worrying whether it is worth all the investment of time, money, etc. (We also worry about things like—for example—ensuring that we shoot the darn video of the Broom Thru Body, and hope that people don’t skewer us on-line for it). And while I’m on the topic/example of the video: Please keep in mind that the video camera’s eye DOES NOT blink like a layperson’s. You as a magician (who can “pause” the video by the way) are going to very possibly see things that a spectator would never see or even think about. Remember, we watch as “magicians” and not always as “spectators”.

So with this in mind, imagine for a moment that you have an idea (for example) of how to make a car wheel float in the middle of the sidewalk only using 3 popsicle sticks, a wad of 8-day old bubblegum, and 16 feet of basting thread (I know that it is a stretch, but work with me on the bubblegum part). It’s a great idea, looks like it works when drawn on paper, and sounds so magical! So you love your idea, and are ready to take the next steps: actually taking the ton of time and money it will take to build one, and then hopefully marketing and selling it. Well I would say that is awesome, and “go for it”! But let me tell you that you will be shocked at the process involved. Peter often told me about how tough it was to do these things, but it is only now that I’ve done them for the past year that I see what he means. If you get a chance to see my Avatar on this forum….there’s a reason why I don’t have much hair! LOL!

May I also say that often there are people on the boards that make comments about a creator’s tricks when they have NO IDEA what they are talking about. I can tell you from personal experience that I was responding to someone on the Café last year who was making such crazy comments about one of my products, and trying to compare it to something else. It was so TOTALLY obvious to me and anyone who knew the inner workings of my trick, that this gentleman had never before even seen my gimmick for my trick. And yet, he ranted and raved as though he did. Let me tell you it was most amusing when (in a non-confrontational way that I was later complimented on by many of you!) I suggested that he have a look at my gimmick. I also said that I had no doubt that when he saw it he would love it like the THOUSANDS of other purchasers did, and although he may then determine that the trick was not for him—he would see that it in no way resembled the other item in question. It was amazing how quickly his venting disappeared from that thread! So all I’m suggesting (and I’m paraphrasing an old expression here) is that it is NICE to be important and “flashy” on the threads…..but it is so much more important and professional to be NICE on the threads.

Yes, we are in a business that is grounded in “secrets”. But we are all in this magic business together—why is it that we don’t appear to readily support each other more often? Instead of making a positive comment about something, so often the comment is negative, and very often usually without “proof” if you catch my drift. I know that I am not alone in these feelings, and have spoken to MANY around the world who have experienced this as well. My best friend (who is not a magician by the way) has read some of the comments on the various boards, and is always amazed at how nasty magicians can be to each other. This is especially evident with the ones that say things and don’t even sign their real names! I’m not talking about making the normal criticisms and comments about another’s ideas, ethics, performance style, shows, etc. I’m speaking about the offensive, impolite and often uninformed responses that in many cases are ALWAYS negative, with very little positive to say. What sort of energy does that send out to people? You guessed it: negative energy. I think that in many cases it is disgraceful and obnoxious to do this. I also feel that it is one of the reasons that many well-known magicians and magic creators do not post very often on the various magic boards. They simply don’t want to get “baited” into a silly argument, etc. by some buffoon who has no clue of what they are talking about, has probably never had a creative thought in their life, and/or do not know how to respectfully treat others.

Many, many creators like Peter and I make sure that our phone numbers, emails, etc. are widely available to handle any questions, issues, and possible manufacturing defects with our products. If you aren’t happy with a trick or maybe received one that was broken, why not just contact the creator DIRECTLY? We creators are consumers too, and we feel just as frustrated when we buy something that is broken. You just might be shocked to find out that the creator is only too happy to replace/repair your broken trick for you. What good does it do to anyone—especially the creator who is trying to make a living—to anonymously vent from your computer? Why not give them the benefit of the doubt, and contact them first? Of course if you have no luck with them, and they tell you to “take a walk off a bridge” or something, then maybe you have reason to vent on the boards.

Keep in mind that like other creators, I of course make products for sale so that I can make a living and put food in my family’s mouths. But I and other creators also do this for you guys and hope that you get enjoyment and “wows” when you perform our inventions. Look, if the trick is not for you…then it is not for you—just say THAT! If you feel that the product is not good quality, then say why it isn’t—but only AFTER you’ve handled/seen it and can make an INFORMED comment! If you think that the promo video is not good and will not feel people, keep in mind that there are LOTS of others who just might think that it will fool laypeople. If you’re so sure that it won’t, explain why and keep in mind that there are some that may not agree with you. Why be catty and say such awful and nasty comments? Who are you really trying to help by writing these remarks: the other magicians who are reading the thread, or feeding your ego while “hidden” behind your computer keyboard with a false or made-up name? I simply don’t feel that comments like the above mentioned are ever necessary.

Please understand that I’m not saying that I “dare you to go and try and market one of your ideas”. If you have an idea, do it—it’s a lot of frustration but can be so much fun too—and I really encourage it! Instead I guess I’m just suggesting that next time you go to post a malicious comment anonymously on a board, perhaps give some thought to the work, time, money and “courage” that creators have to go through. Remember, we’re of course trying to make a living, but also trying to make some really cool stuff so that you can fool and entertain the stink out of your audiences! While we may not be successful with every product, hopefully we’ll soon create one that is perfect for you and your show.

Thank you for reading my comments and thoughts. I hope that I have not offended anyone, and rather have inspired some alternative thinking, and positive energy!

Jason Palter
Paltergeist Unlimited
I would like to thank Jason for being a guest in my forum.

If you have any questions or comments about this article please feel free to PM myself or Jason.

Your friendly neighborhood magic inventor,

Peter Loughran.
Peace out everybody!

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