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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Right or Wrong? » » Exposure in magic books aimed at laypeople (7 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Pakar Ilusi
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While I understand what you are saying Jay...

The Masked Magician actually stated that it was HIS INTENT to educate the masses.

His intent was to push Magic into NEW FRONTIERS by forcing Magicians to develop better methods and presentations.

Not looking to show you wrong, but if INTENT was the only criteria in it being Exposure or Education, everyone would just say that their intent was good...

We live in a world now where communication is fast and relatively easy. We can't stop people from sharing the information.

I say we all just accept that it is beyond our control to protect our methods anymore. Then we can go about the business of entertaining people in our Shows. That's way more important, imho...

Smile
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
Servante
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Yes, but saying a thing doesn't make it so. We all know it wasn't his intent to move magic into new frontiers. His intent was to make money. His intent may also have been to build a reputation as a master magician who exposes fraud (Like Houdini with the spiritualists).

Didn't exactly work out that way.

But still, if the local performance venue in an average-sized city booked The Masked Magician, don't you think it would fill the house?
Celebrity isn't necessarily based upon skill or talent or anything else so much as being seen by the masses as you are performing on TV, doing pretty much anything. Lots of famous people are famous simply for being famous.

So, in that sense, he accomplished his true intent.

I'm in the same boat Jay was in. When I was a kid I saw magicians on television...and I saw ventriloquists on television...and I wanted to do that.
I bought a Jerry Mahoney figure and Paul Winchell's and Vanrensaueler's (sp?) books. I bought Adams and Tenyo stuff at the toy store...and I checked Walter Gibson's books out of the library...and I discovered the Vic Lawston catalogue...and I was on my way.
Before too many years I was entertaining at various Blue and Gold banquets and company Christmas parties. I discovered a local magician's magic shop on the other side of town and started hanging around with other young magicians...buying books and tricks and trading moves and listening to our fearless leader.

Obviously, though, I had to grow into knowing the "big" secrets. I sussed out most of it early, based on what I knew of the littler secrets. The "big" secrets simply weren't available to the general public.

The problem these days is the huge amount of television time that has to be filled, and the Internet.

When I was growing up there were three networks and one independent station far enough away that the picture was only watchable when the clouds were low enough for the signal to skip. We didn't have cable and, of course, there was no Internet.
Now there are a jillion TV channels with time that must be filled, and we see more magic...but we also see more exposure. There's a positive part to that, though: since there are so many channels, the secrets are being revealed to fewer people than if there'd been only three networks.

The Internet continues to be a problem...but at least there is porn to distract the seekers of secrets!

But, to return to Jay's point: If there hadn't been libraries to reveal some secrets, there wouldn't be a lot of us around to be kvetching about it now, I think. The problem these days it that it's no trouble to find the secrets. You don't have to get to the library and spend hours poring through books. You don't have to save up your money and buy something through the catalogue. You don't have a magic shop where you can hang around with like-minded people, because the magic shops are on the Internet.

The problem may not be the revelation of tricks and illusions so much...but the availability of the secrets without much effort on the part of the seeker...and the seeker is someone who doesn't care to DO either the work or the tricks. It's not just tyro magicians doing the seeking any more...it's the audience. Because it's easy.

-Philip
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2010-07-09 12:19, Servante wrote:
Yes, but saying a thing doesn't make it so. ...
-Philip


Philip that's a contradiction to one of the basic tenets of magic - the one we recall with the word abracadabra - with these words I make it so.
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Servante
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Ah yes, saying THAT may not make it so...but it makes it SEEM so! And THAT is what makes it...magic!
Jonathan Townsend
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Close - when you can add more about the "enough for who(m)" bit you'll have something workable. There's more to magic than self deception (and the latest product you can fuss with).

Or if you like playing Lewis Carroll using Richard Bandler and Rene Descartes, Here's the Mock Turtle's rules of magic:
I delete therefor it's enough.
I distort therefor it's right.
I generalize so it must be true for everyone else.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Mr. Mystoffelees
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I reveal therefore I feel superior...
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
Pakar Ilusi
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Quote:
On 2010-07-09 12:19, Servante wrote:

The problem may not be the revelation of tricks and illusions so much...but the availability of the secrets without much effort on the part of the seeker...and the seeker is someone who doesn't care to DO either the work or the tricks. It's not just tyro magicians doing the seeking any more...it's the audience. Because it's easy.

-Philip


Who is this "Audience" you speak of? If these people seek it out, won't they qualify as "Magicians"? If they don't qualify, then what makes someone qualify as a "Magician"?

Someone who performs Magic for an audience in a Show?

Many people here know how to do Magic but never really perform for others in a proper Show. So, they're not "Magicians"?

Or just being able to do a trick, any trick, qualifies someone as a "Magician"?

Then most people are "Magicians" already. Most people can do ONE simple card trick, so they're "Magicians" or "Audience"?

What about the Magic enthusiast who only collects Magic? He/she is "Audience" or "Magician"?
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
Servante
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The magic enthusiast is, I think, still a magician if he practices the tricks for himself...or for guests, perhaps. I had a friend who was like that. He loved to buy older classic tricks. He lived in my neighborhood and I would go to his house with some of my stuff...and we'd talk magic. I told him he should be performing, because he was skilled. He demurred. It was enough to collect and preserve.
He was a magician, a preservationist and an audience...all rolled up into one man, and it was enough for him. He had a lot of lovely stuff, and I gave him a couple of things of my own to complete a couple of his preserved treasures.

Just being able to do one trick doesn't make you a magician...it makes you a person who knows a trick.

I guess part of what I was saying up there, Pakar, is that it used to be that you had to make considerable effort...reading...and research...and practice to acquire your magic. These days people who don't revere the art or who don't want to be magicians can discover in ten minutes on the Internet what it used to take months or years to discover. In the "old days" (My, don't I sound like an old fogey)there was so much time and effort involved that you "became" what you sought. Some still do it that way, I guess...and the Internet part of it all is just that--only a part, instead of the be-all and end-all.

The Internet has created a whole new posse of seekers, though: The seekers who don't care to be magicians, but who just want to know how it's done, specifically to be "in the know" and tell others How It's Done. We had those people back in the day...but there were few of them, and most of them didn't care to do the labor to discover How It's Done. What's been removed from the equation, though, is the labor...and what's been added is international effortless mass communication.
Jonathan Townsend
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The labor, how to make an item work for an audience, remains the same.
as to how our culture fostered generations of churls who confuse base mechanics with the work that goes into offering a thoughtful gift... well that's the issue IMHO.

or as a much more insightful person noted a generation ago - there is an initiation into adulthood and no matter how they might try, children cannot initiate themselves or each other into adulthood. you might not like my shorthand for this: most people don't want responsibility. some people mature while all people grow older.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Pakar Ilusi
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Servante, I see your points, sir.

Well put your thoughts are...

And you said.

"...and what's been added is international effortless mass communication."

That there is the good and the bad of this smaller world.

I have no answers, only more questions...
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
Servante
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As do we all, my friend...as do we all.

--Philip
Jonathan Townsend
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Perhaps one might start with some consideration of whether or not one is willing to keep secrets - even when the rewards for gossiping can be rather tempting.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
kasper
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I don't think most of the general public cares about magicians secrets. No one ever pushed me out of the way to get too the magic books at the bookstore. Ive never seen anybody look at magic books at the store. I usually have some sort of magic book on my coffee table. No body even picks it up.
Mr. Mystoffelees
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Well, that is that then...
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deadcatbounce
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I've read most of this thread, and let me say first of all - I have the book - I think it's one of the best out there, at the price. Sure, there are a load of revelations - but that's the point of the book. My comments are

This may be slightly off topic, but my thoughts on the subject are from the point of exposure, rather than the ethics/originality/namechecks, etc.

I look at these books - and Youtube, and ask myself "how will this affect me, as a working magician?". I work for 4yo's up. Now - you could probably get way with a TT & silk up to the age of about 6. After that - it's a bit dicey. I've been doing this magic lark for 30 years now - 20 years of hardcore close-up, followed by ten years of kidstuff

Every magic box has a tt. But - I still use a tt in every show I do. For older kids and adults, I do a tt bill switch - as part of a routine - not a standalone effect -- never get called out on it. Because, laymen in general, don't associate a tt with a billswitch. (I've mentioned this before on the Café, but I can't underline it enough - it applies to many other presentations/applications. But, if you bring out a silk and vanish it, you'll get nailed - even if you do it well.

Here's where I veer off a bit...

If I do have a persistent "I know this one" - (audience member) I'll sucker trick them, if the occasion calls for it. Of course, if you're working something like "Double Cross", then ... sort it out yourself... Smile The hardest audience I can imagine, would be an uncontrolled group of 14 year olds...which I have, frequently. (just remembered - no - hen nights were the worst!)

I use the Shell game, 3CM, Chicago Surprise, Bill in Lemon, Ropes, Svengali Deck, Hydrostatic Glass, etc.. All of these are findable on youtube. Now, take an average 14 year old, and let him loose on that Josh Jay book for 6 months, maybe a year - then put him in front of an audience. You don't learn stagecraft for real, in books. You have to DO it.

If you get called out by Mr "I've seen this one - he's got a plastic thumb/Himber Wallet/a wire running up his sleeve and into his back pocket that links somehow onto the keys of his TVR/that's not the puppet talking -it's him - look- you can see his lips move/ ", then you have to learn how to handle them.

I find it quite easy, but I must admit to my chagrin, I have been punched out a few times. And all these times, I've been aware of what I was doing. I've not worked many rough places... but the streets of Tralee were a cruel, challenging training ground. Probably a bit more sociable now, - several feuding traveller families moved out a few years back.

In short - if I'm a working magician, and I'm forced to adapt because of exposure - I adapt. There was a time recently, where Bill in Lemon was on some talent show. Dropped it for a year - and now - I use a potato - they never connect the two..

However - I will say - if I ever invent a decent effect (unlikely, as all I do is rejuvenate old stuff), I'd probably rather not publish it. Rather than publish it and be ripped off. I hate that. And I rarely use the word ..

I'll go along with what Kasper said.

ps. Last words - Magic must be entertaining. Turn a trick into a playlet. First sleight of hand trick I ever learned was Emerson West - Color Monte. Took me 14 hours to learn the moves and the patter. That's nothing to the time I spent weaving a story around it. I still love performing it - because it's not a trick - it's a play/fable/education/head grabber. It's based around my experiences in Las Vegas, which everyone can relate to, whether they've been there or not.


Rambling Deadcatbounce
"With every mistake - we must surely be learning..." George Harrison.
George Ledo
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Ok, here we go.

I really get a kick out of posts that defend "revealing to magicians" and decry "revealing to the lay public." Does walking into a magic shop make one a magician? Does buying a magic book at B&N or Amazon make one a lay person?

Many years ago I attended a meeting of the local IBM ring. One of the guys was going to "teach" a few card tricks. He started by looking around and declaring "everyone here is a magician, so it's okay." From his behavior before his lecture, it was clear that it was his first time there and he didn't know anybody. It was all I could do to shut up and not scream, "How the ********* do you know?"
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Mike Gainor
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Does joining a magician forum make one a magician?


Pssst... it's ok to answer as you can plainly see I have over 50 posts. Smile
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George Ledo
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Methinks not, anymore than joining an astronomy forum makes one an astronomer. Smile
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Jonathan Townsend
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Got a rabbit on your back? Magic market dealers don't like it when others are selling their product without "permission". Though if you look at the books on Modern Magic and Latest Magic you will find they were written for the public. Greater Magic was published in volumes to be on public library shelves, to sit next to the dictionary and encyclopedia.

hmmmm... how many stars have you named? Smile There's some tradition about who gets to name what and order or precedence on naming things.
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George Ledo
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[quote]On Jul 11, 2010, Pakar Ilusi wrote:
Quote:
Who is this "Audience" you speak of? If these people seek it out, won't they qualify as "Magicians"? If they don't qualify, then what makes someone qualify as a "Magician"?

Someone who performs Magic for an audience in a Show?

Many people here know how to do Magic but never really perform for others in a proper Show. So, they're not "Magicians"?

Or just being able to do a trick, any trick, qualifies someone as a "Magician"?

Then most people are "Magicians" already. Most people can do ONE simple card trick, so they're "Magicians" or "Audience"?

What about the Magic enthusiast who only collects Magic? He/she is "Audience" or "Magician"?

I am just totally fascinated by all this talk of being a magician vs a non-magician, as if one were higher on the food chain than the other, or if the subject were worth getting defensive about.

I've been in and around magic since I was about eleven, which was fifty-six years ago. I performed professionally in my late teens but haven't done so since I was twenty-two. I've been a member of IBM for fifty years and recently received my "Order of Merlin Excalibur" certificate. And I've been hanging around the Café since 2005. So, by all accounts, I should qualify as "a magician."

Yet, the few rare times the subject comes up, I just say I build props for a magic dealer and leave it at that. I don't consider myself "a magician" because I don't perform for the general public. And, back in the days when I did, and before I was getting paid, I referred to myself as "an amateur magician."

Call it what you will. For me, being "a magician" is not some kind of neon badge you wear on your shirt to show you're in on secrets -- it's just a description of what you do. If you perform magic for an audience, you're "a magician;" if not, then you're something else. And there's nothing wrong with that.

I say again: THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT.

Maybe it's just an old-fashioned concept of respect left over from the Jurassic or Triassic periods, but I refuse to invite myself into the same crowd as the Copperfields, Burtons, Siegfrieds, Roys, Penns, Tellers, and others.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
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