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Scott F. Guinn
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I guess my feeling on this then, is why are so many of you who say there is no problem with this so upset by the Masked magician? I have seen posts by some of the same people here who are defending their right to sell a trick for $100, in another forum on this very board slamming the masked magician for exposing stuff that isn't his to expose on TV. But it's the same thing in my opinion. Sure, he's doing it on a larger scale, but he's also getting a heckuva lot more than $100! Why is it okay if I'm the one getting the money, but wrong if it's someone else doing it?

Yes, magic shops sell tricks. And yes, people can buy tricks and books, etc. However, if someone is asking me about an effect I performed in a show, you can bet your left cheekbone that it isn't something I took verbatim out of a book or a trick that I perform exactly as it comes out of the box. I put a lot of time, energy and thought into making each effect I perform my own.

Also, that magic dealer had to get a retail sales license, he has to pay sales tax (in most states), keep an inventory, keep his books, pay all the overhead, etc. If you aren't doing all that, I don't think you have the right to sell stuff to just anyone who asks. and what most of the posts here have been talking about isn't selling a hotrod, they're talking about simply telling the secret--not teaching the trick or giving away a prop.

And I still say that if you have signed an oath saying you won't reveal secrets to non-magicians (or those with a serious interest trying to become magicians), you've got no business doing it just because money is suddenly involved. In the end, of course, it's your decision, but you are breaking your oath.

I just think this is a very slippery slope--where does it end?
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Jeb Sherrill
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Quote:
What is an appropriate response if a person approaches you after a performance and offers you $100 to teach him how to do one of your tricks (assume it is something not requiring great technical skill)


This is the original question. This is just a random trick from your show. Since this is also stated to be a simple trick (little technical skill) then it's narrowed down a little. We can also assume that since he said "trick", this is not an entire routine. I think "hot rod" is exactly the type of thing being talked about here. Now, if you don't want to do this, then that's fine, it's your choice and frankly I understand the choice. If all your tricks and routines are dear to you, I doubly understand. But to say it's against a magician's oath, or wrong to do in general, I think is going way too far.

I tell you what, chuck the dealer idea just for the sake of argument, though I don't think I have to do all those things you stated just to be a dealer, but here goes:

You're teaching him a magic lesson. I've given magic lessons for $20 an hour or more. I taught a guy a card trick for $5 once (I was in my shop). I know I can teach magic lessons. Can we look at it that way?


Sable

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hobbymagic
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I started all of this with the hypothetical question. I have not been faced with the situation. It was intended to generate thoughts on the ethics of the situation - and in that light- it has been very successful.

My personal answer would be it depends on the person and the trick. If it were a very simple easy to learn trick and the person expressed a genuine interest in learning magic, I would teach him for free. If he were interested in learning about magic I would suggest books or video tape. I also might offer to sell him private lessons.

If someone just wants to know the secret and has no real interest in learning magic I would not sell the secret.
Scott F. Guinn
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Quote:
On 2002-02-12 04:39, semianimus wrote:
This is the original question. This is just a random trick from your show. Since this is also stated to be a simple trick (little technical skill) then it's narrowed down a little. We can also assume that since he said "trick", this is not an entire routine.


First off, there are no "random" tricks in my show. each is there for a carefully thought out purpose. Secondly, few of my effects, particularly in my stand up show, require much in the way of technical skill. Third, magicians OFTEN use the terms,
"trick" effect" and "routine" interchangeably, so that is a matter of interpretation.

Quote:
But to say it's against a magician's oath, or wrong to do in general, I think is going way too far.


How far is too far? Where is the line? You sign a sworn oath saying you won't do this. There's no stipulation that says anything about how difficult the trick is, or how much you are offerred to do it. Your word is either worth something, or it isn't. there is no, "sort of honesty."

Quote:
You're teaching him a magic lesson. I've given magic lessons for $20 an hour or more. I taught a guy a card trick for $5 once (I was in my shop). I know I can teach magic lessons. Can we look at it that way?


No! I now refer you to the original question. This isn't a person asking to be taught the art of magic. He's not asking for lessons. he's not seriously committed. He just wants to know how one of your tricks is done. There's a HUGE difference!

Let's look at it another way. When you're performing, and someone says, "How did you do that?", do you tell them? I seriously doubt it. The only difference between that scenario and the one being posed here is the cash.

If you're willing to do this for the money (and that IS the only defining detail between these two scenarios), that's your business. I, for one, see this as a very black and white issue, and I choose to stand by my sworn oath.

Clearly, I'm not changing any minds here, and I've said my peace. This is a topic that obviously gets me worked up, so I won't post here again. I'm quite sure the people who agree with me haven't changed their opinions, nor have those who disagree with me, so this all boils down to an exercise in futility.
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Jeb Sherrill
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Well now you have me worked up.

Quote:
First off, there are no "random" tricks in my show, each is there for a carefully thought out purpose. Secondly few of my effects, particularly in my stand up show, require much in the way of technical skill. Third, magicians OFTEN use the terms, "trick" effect" and "routine" interchangeably, so that is a matter of interpretation.


Then don't do it, I never said you had to. And of course we use trick and routine as the same thing from time to time, but I think "simple trick" speaks for itself.
I don't even recall anyone else in the discussion mentioning anything more. You're not even trying to see this point, but going off on your own assumtions.

Quote:
How far is too far? Where is the line? You sign a sworn oath saying you won't do this. There's no stipulation that says anything about how difficult the trick is, or how much you are offerred to do it. Your word is either worth something, or it isn't. there is no, "sort of honesty."


My oath states that I will not expose tricks. I would not be exposing a trick, I would be selling a trick (teaching it in fact). My word is worth everything by the way and I don't appreciate it being questioned. I would never simply EXPOSE a trick.

Quote:
No! I now refer you to the original question. This isn't a person asking to be taught the art of magic. He's not asking for lessons. he's not seriously committed. He just wants to know how one of your tricks is done. There's a HUGE difference!


NO! I refer YOU to the original question.

"What is an appropriate response if a person approaches you after a performance and offers you $100 to teach him how to do one of your tricks"

This is the precise question. No where does it stipulate anything about how committed or interested the person is in the art, only that he is asking you "teach" him a magic trick. If that isn't a lesson, I don't know what is.

Sable
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Burt Yaroch
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For the benefit of those of us here who have not taken this oath, would someone care to post the applicable portion here please?
Yakworld.
Jeb Sherrill
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Here it is:

On May 8, 1993, the IBM Board of Directors approved the following Code of Ethics jointly with the Society of American Magicians. This was the result of a cooperative effort to work together for the betterment of magic.

All members of the International Brotherhood of 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.

2) Display ethical behavior in the presentation of magic to the public and in our conduct as magicians, including not interfering with or jeopardizing the performance of another magician either through personal intervention or the unauthorized use of another's creation.


3) Recognize and respect for rights of the creators, inventors, authors, and owners of magic concepts, presentations, effects and literature, and their rights to have exclusive use of, or to grant permission for the use by others of such creations.


4) Discourage false or misleading statements in the advertising of effects, and literature, merchandise or actions pertaining to the magical arts.


5) Discourage advertisement in magic publications for any magical apparatus, effect, literature or other materials for which the advertiser does not have commercial rights.


6) Promote the humane treatment and care of livestock used in magical performances.


Sable

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Burt Yaroch
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Thanks Sable.

As it seems this has turned into a semantic debate I think you are both right. I think an oath is purposefully written with flowery, sometimes ambiguous, language to impart a clear directive while leaving it open to personal interpretation. (Otherwise this oath would have been written Ten Commandments style-although sometimes that is not clear enough.)

And I am cetainly not referring to twisting your current interpretation to justify some forthcoming action. Your oath is created when it is spoken (or read) or shortly thereafter as you, yourself, interpreted the intent of the oath. Smile
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Fon
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Just to get back to the original question and to give you guys some good patter,

I'm often asked after a trick

"how did you do that?"

My answer every single time............

"very well thank you!"

Always takes the situation away with a laugh,

And no, I don't disclose tricks unless it's to a fellow magician. Then providing I know they will practice it before showing it and ruining my trick (I do bar work) I show them, and train them.

Fon
Always thinking..........?
Scott F. Guinn
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I know I said I wouldn't post here again, but I felt it was merited based on Sable's reply to my above statements, and wanted to publicly make this known. I sent this to him in a PM, but thought you should all see it, since my comments above were what caused it.

"Sable--

I want to apologize to you--clearly I have offended you with my statements in the "selling secrets" thread. That was never my intent. When I said "you" in my posts, I was using the word in the collective sense, not the personal. I would fight for your right to disagree with me, and I value your input and interaction on this board.

I can see how you would take this personally, but please know that was not how it was intended--rather I meant it within the boundaries of the hypothetical discussion in which we were partaking. I have no doubt that you are a man of your word who merely sees me as someone overreacting or misinterpreting the subject.

Please accept my apologies for any offense I have caused.

Regards,
Scott"
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Joe M. Turner
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Quote:
On 2002-02-11 21:48, greatscott wrote:


And odds are good that he will expose it through poor performance.





I'm sitting here thinking about whether I really think this is the criterion by which magic should be bought and sold. It has a lot of appeal, but there are going to be a lot of magic shops put out of business if they won't sell a trick to a person who they feel might later expose it through poor performance.

Interesting thought.

Should magic dealers who let non-magicians buy tricks in their shops be unable to be members of the magic organizations?
...
Regards,
Joe M. Turner
[email]jmt@turnermagic.com[/email]
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Jeb Sherrill
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Scott,
I PMed you, but the apologies are mine.
I overreacted and I'm sorry.

Sable
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majorshaw
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I have a question.

I posted a few items on this forum, I'm almost sure everyone is a magicican. Must all belong to SAM, IBM, or Magic Circle to purchase?

But, I was also asked why not sell on E-Bay. My 3 cents worth about them and any magician purchasing from them. Well enough said.

Randy
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Jeb Sherrill
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Majorshaw,
You don't have to be a member of anything to puchase magic, unless certain stores or specific people have stipulations.

Sable
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Peter Marucci
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Sable raises an interesting point, 'way back there in the posts:
How do we define exposure?
Is it teaching a trick?
Is it selling a trick?
Is it doing a trick badly, so that the secret is revealed?
Is it revealing a secret to all and sundry?
Just HOW do you define exposure?
(These are rhetorical questions, BTW; I don't have a definitive answer)
cheers,
Peter Marucci
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alex keal
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O.K. let's look at the person offering to pay the money. If it is another magician,
I feel that is what our brotherhood is about sharing and working together without costs.

But if this person is a layman, than I would mention that he could go to his local magic shop and buy an excellent book to begin with, The Mark Wilson course. After all, this book is available in just about any book store, but if he has to enter a magic shop to see the book, he just may understand why we have a code of ethics and should abide by them.

Now if you are in a situation where you need to put food on the table or have to take a child to a doctor, we are dealing with a personal situation, and only you can decide how to handle that.

I watched a local magician do a torn and restored card for years, and it fried me everytime I saw it done, no one had ever done this for me before in this manner, then one day I asked him about it, and we struck up a conversation about magic and he found out that I have been in magic for about 40 years plus.

He then sat down and taught me his version step by step, and I value it to this day as well as his friendship.

anyway that is my 2 cents worth.

All the Best
Alex
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Mr. Ed
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Quote:
On 2002-02-10 12:09, hobbymagic wrote:
What is an appropriate response if a person approaches you after a performance and offers you $100 to teach him how to do one of your tricks (assume it is something not requiring great technical skill)



My two cents here. At times I have been asked "how did you do that?" The response I give is "I can't tell you"

When asked why not, I say "The whole point of performing for you is to entertain you, and if I tell you how it is done, then I'm cheating you out of a magical experience. But if you really need to know" Whisper in their ear "It was MAGIC"

Always leave 'em wanting more. This little exchange works great for me with my personality. Hope it helps


p.s. this is what I look like doing jumping jacks too

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DoctorAmazo
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Fon--
I'd like to alternate that one with:

<look furtively around and whisper>
"Can you keep a secret?"

<pause for their arrirmative answer>

"Well, so can I!"
<wink and smile>

I haven't summoned up the courage for the Penn Jillette method:

<lean over as if to whisper in their ear>
"IT'S A FREAKING TRICK!!!"
magiker
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Can we really sell the explanation to an effect that we bought or we have learned from a book, Vid or other magician.
Surely it comes back to this vague copyright.
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Mikael Eriksson
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When I perform for children, I very often have a bunch of children coming up to me after I have finished, saying: "I want to look in your magic case!" I use to say:
"Okay, everyone stand here beside me!" And then I'd open the case-for 1/10 of a second and immediately close it again. They yell:
"NOOO!" and they laugh. They see nothing but have some satisfaction, at no cost on my behalf! Smile

Mikael
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