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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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Jonathan Townsend
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...I know to this day "real" people like grown ups, teenagers and also others wanting to learn magic, are askin how to become a magician and and askin where I learned the secrets from. I'm pretty sure these "real" people know about magic shops and that you can find most anything on the internet...


Others might infer that they are making conversation and saying indirectly that they admire and respect the craft you have demonstrated. ( That's you and the mystery of the craft they have seen in action. )
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Starrpower
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Quote:
On 2010-05-08 14:53, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-05-08 13:04, Starrpower wrote:
I think he does. We are in a trade -- magic -- and we deal in secrets. It's not that hard to figure out.

Now if you are gonna split hairs over linguistics when we all know what...


That was funny. It's a legal term. Putting a legal term in scare quotes just makes the rest of the argument and ensuing discussion more "amusing".


Funny? Who's laughing at whom? We are NOT talking legal terminology. Rory was referring to the generally accepted concept of magicians keeping secrets from the general lay public, and apparently everyone understood that except for you. Not everyone agreed with him, but they all could tell pretty clearly what the topic was. You, on the other hand, refuse to address the point being made, and instead try to distract with minor points and irrelevant details.
Jonathan Townsend
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Yes, funny. And sad if one can't pretend that such ignorance as you and others demonstrate is anything other than performance art.

Kindly note that both Scot's Discoverie of Witchcraft and Neve's Merrie Companion were written for lay audiences - as were the Hoffmann Magic books. Scot makes it clear that he was given help by at least one magician in the process. Angelo Lewis (our dear Proffessor Hoffmann) went and exposed what he saw of working conjuror's methods for his books. IMHO your argument is without merit and based upon no tradition in the history of our craft as regards the public. What you and others are describing is an artificial "wink-wink you pay for secrets" ethos that's part of the market inside magic.

The OP who used the term "trade secrets" was close to discussing a possible answer to our problem of methods going public faster than suitable working replacements can be developed, tested and put into use.

Getting back to the books for the public , IMHO it's about some who would trade money for other people's work. To some extent that may be because they are "attention needing" as you put it - having their name and face on a book in public.
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Rory Diamond
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I think I will find out where these authors like Joshua Jay and Gabe Fujari are peforming, and then stand there and tell everyone how the tricks are done. Heck, I won't even charge people! I'll make the same case that I am getting people interested in magic by exposing it. Or, I can charge people a buck a trick or something to explain it. When they get mad at me, I will point out that it's ok for them to do it, why can't I?
Jonathan Townsend
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Rory, I empathize with your desire to help them understand the consequences of their actions. Such would also undermine the enjoyment of their audiences... so not sure that's the best possible approach.
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HerbLarry
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Such would also undermine the enjoyment of their audiences...


Doesn't exposure by it's very nature do the same?
You know why don't act naive.
truthteller
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What's the difference between exposure and education? Where would we be without education? What's the line? If we get to learn it, it's education. If they get to learn it, it's exposure?
Jonathan Townsend
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On 2010-05-10 17:23, truthteller wrote:
What's the difference between exposure and education? Where would we be without education? What's the line? If we get to learn it, it's education. If they get to learn it, it's exposure?


truthteller, your post is simply nonsensical - a false dichotomy and some curious use of language.

Let's get this "exposure" term nailed down. If the unintended can get it and understand it ... it's exposed. Two factors. Their ignorance permits us to bring them bliss. Smile

What, specifically, do you you wish to believe which conflicts so greatly with the above?

Folks, that was not a PM to truthteller as our (all of us) online dialogs tend to trip over unstated presuppositions and unchallenged assertions. What specifically makes a thing always true? What is the worst that could happen if it were not true? Tools we can all use to explore the things we can put into words.
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Starrpower
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I think Rory is a genius! I might humbly add one suggestion to his brilliant plan.

Rory could wait until AFTER the show to share Joshua's methods. In that way, people could enjoy the shows at two levels: they could watch the show without a complete understanding of the methods (thus NOT undermining their enjoyment in an ignorant state), then afterwards avoid the frustration of not knowing how things were done by learning the secrets.

At a buck, they'll save money! Win-win-win. Rory eeks out a living, the audience is happy in it's knowledge of magic (not-so)secrets, and Joshua Jay has his passion for sharing magic methods with the general public furthered. And, those who do not want to know the secrets do not have to pay!
truthteller
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Jonathan,

My post is meant to ask - what's the difference between a layman and a magician. There are many here on this forum who I would never share a secret with. In my mind, having an internet connection is not the prerequisite for being considered a magician. However many here constantly rationalize that we should be able to share ideas because we are all brothers. I am reminded of Kaps's quip to his "fraternal" gardener.

I see many posts (particularly on the forums reaching out to youth) where a magician who learned from sources that many might consider exposure rail against seeing the same material in the hands of their classmates.

What makes one entitled to "education" and the other a consumer of "exposure?"
Mr. Mystoffelees
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I do not mean to pick on JJ, I think he is a class act. However, he is a product of those who went before, and is certainly not traveling uncharted territory. I sincerely believe that selling magic secrets in bookshops frequented by lay people is exposure. How is it not?

However, he has not to look far to find "mentors" who have paved the way and made such exposure look acceptable. Names we all know and honor have for decades, if not centuries, sold magic secrets to whoever had the booty to buy them. Add to this that being in the know takes a back seat only to greed, perhaps. as a human motivator and you have the formula for an exposure cocktail.

Anyone who has not had to deal with the offal of that cocktail is not working in magic much.
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
Jonathan Townsend
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To address truthteller's question - my internal narrative uses something like this:

magician: Person who's using the mechanics of guile to being delight to audiences.
That puts an operative focus on "bring" rather than "know". When someone here at the Café wants to bring an idea or vision or theme into performance I feel pretty comfortable pointing them to the oldest of known sources for workable material so they can explore from there and then bring their specific needs into the dialog. So IMHO it's about a focus on doing and audience perspective. Theater plus refined special effects. But again that's my internal frame of reference. Everyone has their own.

Quote:
On 2010-05-10 18:43, Starrpower wrote:
I think Rory is a genius! I might humbly add one suggestion to his brilliant plan.

Rory could wait until AFTER the show to share Joshua's methods. In that way, people could enjoy the shows at two levels: they could watch the show without a complete understanding of the methods (thus NOT undermining their enjoyment in an ignorant state), then afterwards avoid the frustration of not knowing how things were done by learning the secrets.

At a buck, they'll save money! Win-win-win. Rory eeks out a living, the audience is happy in it's knowledge of magic (not-so)secrets, and Joshua Jay has his passion for sharing magic methods with the general public furthered. And, those who do not want to know the secrets do not have to pay!


I cringe while applauding your insight. That plan's a tough one to argue against. Bravo.

Posted: May 10, 2010 9:37pm
There are people who tell stories they made up or got from books ... once upon a time.

There are people who tell stories they heard from others - I met a guy who told me that...

There are people who tell stories about things they saw or did.

What we do is become "that guy who" and in so doing - give our audiences the chance to become the storyteller.

So tell me just what is the purpose in writing a book discussing the means by which others have given the gift of story?
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Rory Diamond
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I never saw Slydini marketing a book to the public exposing magic. I never saw FRANK GARCIA marketing a book exposing magic aimed at the public. I never saw JIMMY GRIPPO marketing a book exposing magic for the public. I never saw DAI VERNON pimping a public book exposing magic. Get the point?
Whit Haydn
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Maskelyne and Devant? Harlan Tarbell? Harry Blackstone, Sr.? Henry Hays? Houdini?

Most of the great illusionists sold "How to do Magic" booklets in the lobby.
truthteller
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On 2010-05-11 13:24, Rory Diamond wrote:
I never saw Slydini marketing a book to the public exposing magic. I never saw FRANK GARCIA marketing a book exposing magic aimed at the public. I never saw JIMMY GRIPPO marketing a book exposing magic for the public. I never saw DAI VERNON pimping a public book exposing magic. Get the point?


Slydini made money teaching magic to people who would pay the fee.

The first time I visited Las Vegas I walked into a Houdini Magic shop. It was amusing to me to see the Grippo book on the shelf - for sale - to anyone who happened to be walking through the casino's shops.

Frank Garcia and George Schindler (Dean of the SAM) released Magic with Cards through Reiss games which was sold by either Sears or JC Penny. It came with the book (soft cover) and a deck. I got it for my tenth birthday. That's where I learned Out of this World, Belchou's Aces, and the Ashes on Arm revelation. I closed my shows in 6th grade with that trick.

Schindler (DEAN of the SAM) also released Magic with Everyday Objects, a book intended for "ANYONE".

Dai Vernon shot an expose of loading the cups in the cups and balls routine which aired on a PBS segment on magic. He performed the routine, and then showed the entire loading sequence.

Want to try again?
The One
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I find it funny that the invisible deck, folding coin, linking rings and others are being addressed as Oh-so-important secrets in the first place...

maybe funny is not the right word.

This may come as a surprise to many, but there are a he11 of a lot more "tricks" out there!
I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end...
I came here...
To tell you how this is going to begin.
Scott F. Guinn
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Quote:
On 2010-05-11 16:30, truthteller wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-05-11 13:24, Rory Diamond wrote:
I never saw Slydini marketing a book to the public exposing magic. I never saw FRANK GARCIA marketing a book exposing magic aimed at the public. I never saw JIMMY GRIPPO marketing a book exposing magic for the public. I never saw DAI VERNON pimping a public book exposing magic. Get the point?


Slydini made money teaching magic to people who would pay the fee.

The first time I visited Las Vegas I walked into a Houdini Magic shop. It was amusing to me to see the Grippo book on the shelf - for sale - to anyone who happened to be walking through the casino's shops.

Frank Garcia and George Schindler (Dean of the SAM) released Magic with Cards through Reiss games which was sold by either Sears or JC Penny. It came with the book (soft cover) and a deck. I got it for my tenth birthday. That's where I learned Out of this World, Belchou's Aces, and the Ashes on Arm revelation. I closed my shows in 6th grade with that trick.

Schindler (DEAN of the SAM) also released Magic with Everyday Objects, a book intended for "ANYONE".

Dai Vernon shot an expose of loading the cups in the cups and balls routine which aired on a PBS segment on magic. He performed the routine, and then showed the entire loading sequence.

Want to try again?


Brad beat me to it. Every one of the guys listed sold books / tricks or gave lessons or both to "non magicians" willing to pay their fees.
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mumford
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Tricks and "how to" books are available st the Magic Castle and Magicopolis where the public goes to watch shows. Some go home with a few tricks they can do themselves. Exactly how many ways are there for new people to get started and possibly become tomorrow's greats?
Jonathan Townsend
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On 2010-05-11 20:03, mumford wrote:
.... Exactly how many ways are there for new people to get started and possibly become tomorrow's greats?


mumford - do you really want the sort of response your post deserves? It's trivial to prove that magicians and this craft would be fine if there were not and never were any of the books and toys made available to the public. But that's not what you are asking about nor is it what your post is designed to address.

Going back from serious and insightful to playful but still helpful response mode let's address your question as stated. Exactly? Gee - likely a countable infinity at first guess. Let's go with Aleph nul.

So what is it that you believe and what did you want to ask to address your belief?
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ed rhodes
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I know the Tarbell course gives away the thumb tip and wand shell and it was a "correspondence course" that anyone could order.

I know that Mark Wilson's Course in Magic gave away illusions at the end. (Oddly enough, the condensed version; Mark Wilson's Encyclopedia of Magic kept the Moth Illusion which no beginner was ever going to be able to do and discarded the Witch and the Farmer illusion which was actually doable.)

I believe there was a book called "The Boy's Book Of Magic" (I could be wrong on the title) which the author himself claimed he wrote to shake magic out of its doldrums. Oddly enough, it wasn't the established magicians that broke out of their mold. They just kvetched about the exposure. It was the newcomers reading the book who came up with new presentations or techniques based on what they had read.
"He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad." - Rafael Sabatini, Scaramouche
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