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writeall
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And for my next trick, I'll make this thread disappear!

Might take a minute...
Raymond Singson
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In response to the original argument, my two cents.

The "dilemma" of exposing magic to the masses honestly doesn't bother me much, because in my opinion, it primarily only deals with magic's more trivial secrets. If you're concerned about an audience knowing how your magic works, I would argue there are much more significant issues with your performance that you should be concerned about. In my opinion, I feel that this attitude fosters the notion that magic is nothing more than a juvenile power trip where one person offers an exhibition of knowledge that others aren't allowed to know. I actually think that's foolish and more harmful to magic than blatant exposure. Think about it: exposure has been a part of magic's culture since its beginnings. Spectators don't care for such secrets as much as magicians do. At the end of the day, I don't believe spectators care for the methods behind magic as much as they care for the experience of magic.

We often complain about why magic isn't widely accepted as a mainstream craft or form of entertainment. Often, magicians are compared to clowns and jugglers or reduced to pretentious geeks while even the most talentless B-rate actors are considered mainstream celebrities. We go to the movies KNOWING that they're comprised of actors, special effects, staged sets and written scripts. And yet, when the lights dim and the screen ignites, audiences can still be brought to tears or scream in shock or laugh in joy for the protagonists and plot of the film. Audiences don't care for the secrets of film; they care for the experience of film. The same can be said for other genres like music, theater, dance, etc. In my opinion, magicians put too much emphasis on the trivial aspects of the craft instead of what actually makes it unique.

David Blaine performed the Balducci Levitation dozens of times during the filming of his first television special, Street Magic. By 1997, the Balducci Levitation was already widely revealed in magazines, children's television shows, and yes-- even the beginnings of the internet. But Blaine brought so much more to the effect; he shrouded it in mystery through his unorthodox character and built up to it using a series of high impact material. He afforded people more than just a trick-- but an entirely unique experience that allowed people to get caught up in the moment and believe that anything's possible. Once you connect with an audience at that level, the secrets are irrelevant.

I admit, that's very hard to do. And it's even harder to do originally. But I think magicians should focus more on that intangible connection with an audience instead of stressing about the hoarding of trivial information like invisible thread, thumb tips, or double turnovers. When I perform magic, I try to exhibit the message that anything is possible with a little creativity and work ethic. I think that's a message worth sharing. But unfortunately, the more common trend of doing magic is very superficial and hinges upon the fact that an entire experience is broken or tarnished if someone knows a secret they're not supposed to. If that's the single point of failure for a performance, I think there's something more inherently wrong than the fact exposure negatively affected it.

By no means am I saying that I support blatant exposure. I understand that creators' livelihoods are threatened when someone steals their hard work and gives it away. I get that it can be frustrating. But I don't see it as a valid threat to magic as a whole. I believe that magic has gone through a series of radical changes, often for the better, over the past 20 years. And I think exposure has arguably been instrumental in that positive progression.

Brian Brushwood is a character. He reminds me of that random 30-year-old fraternity brother who doesn't even go to school anymore but built a reputation by outdrinking his entire brotherhood. Yes, he's obnoxious. Yes, he's outspoken. Yes, he's giving away "closely guarded" secrets. But zoom out and see what he's actually accomplishing: he's having fun interacting with people. He has diverse audiences coming together to see him perform. He's ultimately making a living with magic. He's also affording those legitimately interested in magic to pursue worthwhile sources with solid material while giving layaudiences an innocent peek behind the curtain. He's memorable. He has a handful of threads here on the Café and several subscribers on YouTube. From what I understand, he also does live shows and tours when not publicizing himself or other high profile sponsors online. I honestly think that is a much more successful career that does much more for the sustainment of magic than many people can say here, myself included.

If magic is the art we want it to be, I think there needs to be some paradigm shifts in how we treat it...

RS.
“The purpose of art is to lay bare the questions which have been hidden by the answers.” -- James Arthur Baldwin



raymond.singson@gmail.com
MichaelKent
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Raymond - that was a hell of a post.
Dr Spektor
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Magic has a whole is a wonderful concept. Of course, the community is made of real people. Will it hurt in the long run the entire field? time will tell - but I think it can hurt individual humans.

Of course the paradigm shift I think that needs to occur is entertainers need to understand the goal is engaging people and entertaining them and being flexible and nimble to shift to plan b-z and beyond... so that the methods are really METHODS and not GOALS...

IMHO
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
gdw
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Quote:
On 2013-03-10 12:51, ©NathanaelBergenMagic wrote:
Quote:
On 2013-03-10 12:00, gdw wrote:
My wife's grandmother recently died . . . of old age. Next time anyone mentioned age, I'm loosing it!


You've clearly missed the point, let me clear things up for you: I don't think you have any reason to 'loose' it if someone mentions old age - but if someone wishes another member to die from it while discussing a magician's career, even to prove an extreme point, I think then you might have grounds for offense.


I was intentionally being absurd.

Also, "someone wishes another member to die from it while discussing a magician's career," is pretty much what happened, albeit not wishing directed at a "member" of the forum, when someone wished Brushwood dead. Stucky was clearly offended, hence his response.
The true irony of this is astounding.
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
tomsk192
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You must be easily astounded by small ironies. Remind me to show you the 21 card trick sometime.

Any chance of getting back on topic?
gdw
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Quote:
On 2013-03-12 09:22, Raymond Singson wrote:
In response to the original argument, my two cents.

The "dilemma" of exposing magic to the masses honestly doesn't bother me much, because in my opinion, it primarily only deals with magic's more trivial secrets. If you're concerned about an audience knowing how your magic works, I would argue there are much more significant issues with your performance that you should be concerned about. In my opinion, I feel that this attitude fosters the notion that magic is nothing more than a juvenile power trip where one person offers an exhibition of knowledge that others aren't allowed to know. I actually think that's foolish and more harmful to magic than blatant exposure. Think about it: exposure has been a part of magic's culture since its beginnings. Spectators don't care for such secrets as much as magicians do. At the end of the day, I don't believe spectators care for the methods behind magic as much as they care for the experience of magic.


YES! This is EXACTLY what I have been saying. Not 100% sure I agree that spectators don't care for the methods as much as they do for the experience, well, in general, yeah, maybe, though spectators are individuals of course, and there certainly are some who care more about the methods, but this is largely, as I see it, propagated by, as you said, the attitude which "fosters the notion that magic is nothing more than a juvenile power trip where one person offers an exhibition of knowledge that others aren't allowed to know."
THIS is the REAL problem that so many are ignoring, and some flat out dismissing, instead, continue their childish whining about "exposure."

Quote:
On 2013-03-12 09:22, Raymond Singson wrote:
We often complain about why magic isn't widely accepted as a mainstream craft or form of entertainment. Often, magicians are compared to clowns and jugglers or reduced to pretentious geeks while even the most talentless B-rate actors are considered mainstream celebrities. We go to the movies KNOWING that they're comprised of actors, special effects, staged sets and written scripts. And yet, when the lights dim and the screen ignites, audiences can still be brought to tears or scream in shock or laugh in joy for the protagonists and plot of the film. Audiences don't care for the secrets of film; they care for the experience of film. The same can be said for other genres like music, theater, dance, etc. In my opinion, magicians put too much emphasis on the trivial aspects of the craft instead of what actually makes it unique.


Although one could argue some of those trivial aspects are part of what make magic unique, I would absolutely agree with you here.

Makes me wonder, can one even be said to truly view magic as an art if they are complaining about the general public learning their "precious secrets?"

Quote:
On 2013-03-12 09:22, Raymond Singson wrote:
David Blaine performed the Balducci Levitation dozens of times during the filming of his first television special, Street Magic. By 1997, the Balducci Levitation was already widely revealed in magazines, children's television shows, and yes-- even the beginnings of the internet. But Blaine brought so much more to the effect; he shrouded it in mystery through his unorthodox character and built up to it using a series of high impact material. He afforded people more than just a trick-- but an entirely unique experience that allowed people to get caught up in the moment and believe that anything's possible. Once you connect with an audience at that level, the secrets are irrelevant.


That first special was, as Penn Jillette says, "the best TV magic special ever done" because of the focus on the the audience, and their experience. Simply turning that camera around was a stroke of brilliance, whether Blaine knew it or not. Often the brilliance of art is found in happy little "accidents."

Quote:
On 2013-03-12 09:22, Raymond Singson wrote:
I admit, that's very hard to do. And it's even harder to do originally.


Which makes truly artful magic that much more impressive, beautiful, and valued.

Quote:
On 2013-03-12 09:22, Raymond Singson wrote:
But I think magicians should focus more on that intangible connection with an audience instead of stressing about the hoarding of trivial information like invisible thread, thumb tips, or double turnovers. When I perform magic, I try to exhibit the message that anything is possible with a little creativity and work ethic. I think that's a message worth sharing. But unfortunately, the more common trend of doing magic is very superficial and hinges upon the fact that an entire experience is broken or tarnished if someone knows a secret they're not supposed to. If that's the single point of failure for a performance, I think there's something more inherently wrong than the fact exposure negatively affected it.


I'm getting kind of sick of agreeing with you.

Quote:
On 2013-03-12 09:22, Raymond Singson wrote:

By no means am I saying that I support blatant exposure. I understand that creators' livelihoods are threatened when someone steals their hard work and gives it away. I get that it can be frustrating. But I don't see it as a valid threat to magic as a whole. I believe that magic has gone through a series of radical changes, often for the better, over the past 20 years. And I think exposure has arguably been instrumental in that positive progression.


Though I wouldn't agree that it really 'threatens' the livelihood of individual creators, other than that, yup, I agree again.

Quote:
On 2013-03-12 09:22, Raymond Singson wrote:

Brian Brushwood is a character. He reminds me of that random 30-year-old fraternity brother who doesn't even go to school anymore but built a reputation by outdrinking his entire brotherhood. Yes, he's obnoxious. Yes, he's outspoken. Yes, he's giving away "closely guarded" secrets. But zoom out and see what he's actually accomplishing: he's having fun interacting with people. He has diverse audiences coming together to see him perform. He's ultimately making a living with magic. He's also affording those legitimately interested in magic to pursue worthwhile sources with solid material while giving layaudiences an innocent peek behind the curtain. He's memorable. He has a handful of threads here on the Café and several subscribers on YouTube. From what I understand, he also does live shows and tours when not publicizing himself or other high profile sponsors online. I honestly think that is a much more successful career that does much more for the sustainment of magic than many people can say here, myself included.

If magic is the art we want it to be, I think there needs to be some paradigm shifts in how we treat it...

RS.


A LOT of people here will probably disagree with you here, more so than anything else you posted, but, me, no surprise here, I agree.

I almost want to re-quote it just to let it all just sit out there, lol.
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
gdw
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Dammit, hit quote originally instead of edit.
Ok, here was what I meant to change.

Quote:
On 2013-03-12 09:22, Raymond Singson wrote: . . .

By no means am I saying that I support blatant exposure. I understand that creators' livelihoods are threatened when someone steals their hard work and gives it away. I get that it can be frustrating. But I don't see it as a valid threat to magic as a whole. I believe that magic has gone through a series of radical changes, often for the better, over the past 20 years. And I think exposure has arguably been instrumental in that positive progression.


Though I wouldn't agree that it really 'threatens' the livelihood of individual creators, while they certainly can, and will, get upset by it, any effect on their livelihood at that point will be of their own doing. Other than that, yup, I agree again.
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
davidpaul$
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Quote:
On 2013-03-12 09:22, Raymond Singson wrote:
In response to the original argument, my two cents.

The "dilemma" of exposing magic to the masses honestly doesn't bother me much, because in my opinion, it primarily only deals with magic's more trivial secrets. If you're concerned about an audience knowing how your magic works, I would argue there are much more significant issues with your performance that you should be concerned about. In my opinion, I feel that this attitude fosters the notion that magic is nothing more than a juvenile power trip where one person offers an exhibition of knowledge that others aren't allowed to know. I actually think that's foolish and more harmful to magic than blatant exposure. Think about it: exposure has been a part of magic's culture since its beginnings. Spectators don't care for such secrets as much as magicians do. At the end of the day, I don't believe spectators care for the methods behind magic as much as they care for the experience of magic.

We often complain about why magic isn't widely accepted as a mainstream craft or form of entertainment. Often, magicians are compared to clowns and jugglers or reduced to pretentious geeks while even the most talentless B-rate actors are considered mainstream celebrities. We go to the movies KNOWING that they're comprised of actors, special effects, staged sets and written scripts. And yet, when the lights dim and the screen ignites, audiences can still be brought to tears or scream in shock or laugh in joy for the protagonists and plot of the film. Audiences don't care for the secrets of film; they care for the experience of film. The same can be said for other genres like music, theater, dance, etc. In my opinion, magicians put too much emphasis on the trivial aspects of the craft instead of what actually makes it unique.

David Blaine performed the Balducci Levitation dozens of times during the filming of his first television special, Street Magic. By 1997, the Balducci Levitation was already widely revealed in magazines, children's television shows, and yes-- even the beginnings of the internet. But Blaine brought so much more to the effect; he shrouded it in mystery through his unorthodox character and built up to it using a series of high impact material. He afforded people more than just a trick-- but an entirely unique experience that allowed people to get caught up in the moment and believe that anything's possible. Once you connect with an audience at that level, the secrets are irrelevant.

I admit, that's very hard to do. And it's even harder to do originally. But I think magicians should focus more on that intangible connection with an audience instead of stressing about the hoarding of trivial information like invisible thread, thumb tips, or double turnovers. When I perform magic, I try to exhibit the message that anything is possible with a little creativity and work ethic. I think that's a message worth sharing. But unfortunately, the more common trend of doing magic is very superficial and hinges upon the fact that an entire experience is broken or tarnished if someone knows a secret they're not supposed to. If that's the single point of failure for a performance, I think there's something more inherently wrong than the fact exposure negatively affected it.

By no means am I saying that I support blatant exposure. I understand that creators' livelihoods are threatened when someone steals their hard work and gives it away. I get that it can be frustrating. But I don't see it as a valid threat to magic as a whole. I believe that magic has gone through a series of radical changes, often for the better, over the past 20 years. And I think exposure has arguably been instrumental in that positive progression.

Brian Brushwood is a character. He reminds me of that random 30-year-old fraternity brother who doesn't even go to school anymore but built a reputation by outdrinking his entire brotherhood. Yes, he's obnoxious. Yes, he's outspoken. Yes, he's giving away "closely guarded" secrets. But zoom out and see what he's actually accomplishing: he's having fun interacting with people. He has diverse audiences coming together to see him perform. He's ultimately making a living with magic. He's also affording those legitimately interested in magic to pursue worthwhile sources with solid material while giving layaudiences an innocent peek behind the curtain. He's memorable. He has a handful of threads here on the Café and several subscribers on YouTube. From what I understand, he also does live shows and tours when not publicizing himself or other high profile sponsors online. I honestly think that is a much more successful career that does much more for the sustainment of magic than many people can say here, myself included.

If magic is the art we want it to be, I think there needs to be some paradigm shifts in how we treat it...

RS.


The performance of magic is a different animal. You mention movies. People know it's just a movie with actors, scripts, special effects and staged sets. Yes we jump out of our seats with shock,laughter and even get emotional. You also mention dancers and musicians. These art forms DO NOT rely at their "core" on hidden secrets as their Modus Operandi.

How many times have we purchased a magic effect because we were so intrigued only to put it in the junk drawer because we said "Oh! that's how it's done." Magic at it's CORE is performing the impossible, the mysterious, making things happen that defy logic.

Should we strive to present our magic that provides a deep connection and experience at all emotional levels? Of course.

I remember going to see Paul Gertner perform his theatre show "Ten Fingers" three times. I took different family members and friends with me.
I knew the methodology behind every effect but just enjoyed the show. My motivation to going that many times was first to let others experience the show as well as (me)learning from Paul's stage presence, choreography, technique and connection with his audience. My motivation was a little different.

If the people I took (those that didn't have a love, respect and emotional/invested connection to the art) were given the secrets, do you think the mystery would have been dampened? Do you think the "WONDER" would have been knocked down a few pegs? I'll answer........YES

What about the D Lites? When they first came out WOW!! Look at that light jumping around. It's going through his head, he's pulling the light from inside his mouth. How is he doing that? Then it became available in almost any toy store everywhere. ( Mystery G-O-N-E )

Anyway...Who cares if I disagree or not. Money Talks....... Blatant/ free exposure hurts....and as I said before...we are training the lay public to focus on method as opposed to enjoying the "WONDER" magic provides.
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
bonesly
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Quote:
On 2013-03-12 09:22, Raymond Singson wrote:
In response to the original argument, my two cents.

The "dilemma" of exposing magic to the masses honestly doesn't bother me much, because in my opinion, it primarily only deals with magic's more trivial secrets. If you're concerned about an audience knowing how your magic works, I would argue there are much more significant issues with your performance that you should be concerned about. In my opinion, I feel that this attitude fosters the notion that magic is nothing more than a juvenile power trip where one person offers an exhibition of knowledge that others aren't allowed to know. I actually think that's foolish and more harmful to magic than blatant exposure. Think about it: exposure has been a part of magic's culture since its beginnings. Spectators don't care for such secrets as much as magicians do. At the end of the day, I don't believe spectators care for the methods behind magic as much as they care for the experience of magic.

We often complain about why magic isn't widely accepted as a mainstream craft or form of entertainment. Often, magicians are compared to clowns and jugglers or reduced to pretentious geeks while even the most talentless B-rate actors are considered mainstream celebrities. We go to the movies KNOWING that they're comprised of actors, special effects, staged sets and written scripts. And yet, when the lights dim and the screen ignites, audiences can still be brought to tears or scream in shock or laugh in joy for the protagonists and plot of the film. Audiences don't care for the secrets of film; they care for the experience of film. The same can be said for other genres like music, theater, dance, etc. In my opinion, magicians put too much emphasis on the trivial aspects of the craft instead of what actually makes it unique.

David Blaine performed the Balducci Levitation dozens of times during the filming of his first television special, Street Magic. By 1997, the Balducci Levitation was already widely revealed in magazines, children's television shows, and yes-- even the beginnings of the internet. But Blaine brought so much more to the effect; he shrouded it in mystery through his unorthodox character and built up to it using a series of high impact material. He afforded people more than just a trick-- but an entirely unique experience that allowed people to get caught up in the moment and believe that anything's possible. Once you connect with an audience at that level, the secrets are irrelevant.

I admit, that's very hard to do. And it's even harder to do originally. But I think magicians should focus more on that intangible connection with an audience instead of stressing about the hoarding of trivial information like invisible thread, thumb tips, or double turnovers. When I perform magic, I try to exhibit the message that anything is possible with a little creativity and work ethic. I think that's a message worth sharing. But unfortunately, the more common trend of doing magic is very superficial and hinges upon the fact that an entire experience is broken or tarnished if someone knows a secret they're not supposed to. If that's the single point of failure for a performance, I think there's something more inherently wrong than the fact exposure negatively affected it.

By no means am I saying that I support blatant exposure. I understand that creators' livelihoods are threatened when someone steals their hard work and gives it away. I get that it can be frustrating. But I don't see it as a valid threat to magic as a whole. I believe that magic has gone through a series of radical changes, often for the better, over the past 20 years. And I think exposure has arguably been instrumental in that positive progression.

Brian Brushwood is a character. He reminds me of that random 30-year-old fraternity brother who doesn't even go to school anymore but built a reputation by outdrinking his entire brotherhood. Yes, he's obnoxious. Yes, he's outspoken. Yes, he's giving away "closely guarded" secrets. But zoom out and see what he's actually accomplishing: he's having fun interacting with people. He has diverse audiences coming together to see him perform. He's ultimately making a living with magic. He's also affording those legitimately interested in magic to pursue worthwhile sources with solid material while giving layaudiences an innocent peek behind the curtain. He's memorable. He has a handful of threads here on the Café and several subscribers on YouTube. From what I understand, he also does live shows and tours when not publicizing himself or other high profile sponsors online. I honestly think that is a much more successful career that does much more for the sustainment of magic than many people can say here, myself included.

If magic is the art we want it to be, I think there needs to be some paradigm shifts in how we treat it...

RS.


Interesting points and maybe good in theory but I don't great in practice.

Unfortunately, once someone knows the secret to your effect then the experience is not the same. We may get a level of appreciation, i.e 'He is so skilful', 'He must have practised hard' etc, just like Penn & Teller do with the cups and balls.

But we will never get that initial experience of wonder, that sense of mystery which is what the art of magic really thrives on.

As magicians we have the greatest amount of exposure to secrets and can probably relate the most to the problem with exposure. Try performing your favourite ACR routine for a room full of magicians and see if you can hold anyones attention.

I'm sure as magicians we will always appreciate talent and innovation within our fields, but our experience will never be the same as the layman because we know the secrets.

Sometimes I wish I could be a layman again. I remember when I first saw David Blaine vanish the coin on that kids hand. WOW! Now that was an experience, one of those WTF moments, I miss those days. Smile

I guess as a professional magician you learn how to deal with exposure, mainly because you get to perform to so many different people. So I guess its not that much of a big deal when your playing the numbers game.

As a hobbyist or a local magician you may not be that fortunate though.

Maybe it will help us strive to be better magicians and be more original with our effects and presentations. Maybe not (some people quit).

I guess its hard to quantify the damage exposure really has until to it knocks on your own door.

So I hope that someone doesn't breakdown the secrets to your entire act, which you have been honing down for the past 5 years and posts it on Youtube or mainstream television.

I hope that you don't have a loss of income because of all the people that don't have an interest in your act anymore.

I hope that when you use a QB2 to bend a coin, no one turns round to you and says 'Thats just one of those fake pens', ($500 down the drain). Smile

I hope that all your loyal fans and supporters, who still appreciate the hard work and dedication that goes into developing an act, can still have that sense of mystery and experience the same wonder now they know your secrets.

I hope you still continue to share moments of astonishment.

If not maybe then you realise that exposure only really benefits the exposers, i.e. P&T, Val, Brian Bushwood and many more.
gdw
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Quote:
On 2013-03-12 11:05, davidpaul$ wrote:
. . .

The performance of magic is a different animal. You mention movies. People know it's just a movie with actors, scripts, special effects and staged sets. Yes we jump out of our seats with shock,laughter and even get emotional. You also mention dancers and musicians. These art forms DO NOT rely at their "core" on hidden secrets as their Modus Operandi.


Movies absolutely depend upon hiding the methods. A movie would not work if you watched it, and you saw all the crew, cameras, etc, green screens, motion-capture suits, etc. These things, in the general*, must remain hidden during a performance for the film to work.

The fact that people can still enjoy a film, while, outside of the film, having been "exposed" to the behind the scenes realities, is kind of the point. Similarly, you can enjoy a concert, even if you know the mechanics of each of the instruments.

Now, if, during a movie, you see a crew member in the background, or you see the wires suspending someone during a stunt, or catch a glimpse of a crash mat, or a stunt double, it "kicks you out" of the movie. If all you can hear during a concert is the electrical hum of the mics, or poorly oiled pistons of trumpets constantly squeaking, then you will be similarly "out" of the experience.

However, the mere knowledge of these mechanics and behind the scenes aspects do not otherwise ruin the movie, or concert going experiences

We should be more concerned with getting magic to be appreciated on a level like this, rather than complaining about the side effects of the fact that it is not viewed as such an art, which only, as Raymond Said, "fosters the notion that magic is nothing more than a juvenile power trip where one person offers an exhibition of knowledge that others aren't allowed to know."
By doing so you only give credence to this notion, and further relegate magic to a "lesser art." It's a circle which you are propagating.

Quote:
On 2013-03-12 11:05, davidpaul$ wrote:
How many times have we purchased a magic effect because we were so intrigued only to put it in the junk drawer because we said "Oh! that's how it's done." Magic at it's CORE is performing the impossible, the mysterious, making things happen that defy logic.


That's a terrible example, as you are basically pointing to bad magic, and being disappointed by such. This is much more akin to watching a bad film, and constantly being "disappointed" by bad audio, and terrible effects work. Like an Ed Wood film, but without the heart.

Quote:
On 2013-03-12 11:05, davidpaul$ wrote:
Should we strive to present our magic that provides a deep connection and experience at all emotional levels? Of course.

I remember going to see Paul Gertner perform his theatre show "Ten Fingers" three times. I took different family members and friends with me.
I knew the methodology behind every effect but just enjoyed the show. My motivation to going that many times was first to let others experience the show as well as (me)learning from Paul's stage presence, choreography, technique and connection with his audience. My motivation was a little different.

If the people I took (those that didn't have a love, respect and emotional/invested connection to the art) were given the secrets, do you think the mystery would have been dampened? Do you think the "WONDER" would have been knocked down a few pegs? I'll answer........YES

What about the D Lites? When they first came out WOW!! Look at that light jumping around. It's going through his head, he pulling the light from inside his mouth. How is he doing that? Then it became available in almost any toy store everywhere. ( Mystery G-O-N-E )


As someone who's spent a LOT of time "pitching" D'Lites at a magic theatre's magic shop, I disagree. Though there certainly was the occasional "disappointed" customer (maybe they were expecting "real" magic)the majority were quite enthralled. I would watch kids running around the theater lobby "tossing" the "light" back and forth with each other, elated by the notion of being able to do a little "magic" themselves.

Quote:
On 2013-03-12 11:05, davidpaul$ wrote:
Anyway...Who cares if I disagree or not. Money Talks....... Blatant/ free exposure hurts....and as I said before...we are training the lay public to focus on method as opposed to enjoying the "WONDER" magic provides.


"Training the lay public to focus on method" is exactly what you are doing NOW, by focusing on the exposure of methods your self. YOU are propogating exactly what you wishing to stop. It's the same as Beyonce’s publicist going after the pictures from her half-time performance: it only exacerbated the situation, and that was all anyone was talking about after.
Same with Janet Jackson's wardrobe "malfunction." The uproar from censors ensured more interest in Jackson's nipple, and it's fancy piercing.
Or the white-house demanding that no one manipulate the photo of Obama skeet shooting.

This is what you are ENCOURAGING, not preventing.


*A deconstructivist approach to film could be interesting, similar to Penn & Teller's approach with magic.
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
Glenn Morphew
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The original premise of Scam School was about learning cool bar bets and how to use them to win free drinks at bars. Apparently, Brian has run out of decent material, so the show is transitioning into Magic School.
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gdw
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Quote:
On 2013-03-12 11:46, bonesly wrote:
Quote:
On 2013-03-12 09:22, Raymond Singson wrote:
In response to the original argument, my two cents.

The "dilemma" of exposing magic to the masses honestly doesn't bother me much, because in my opinion, it primarily only deals with magic's more trivial secrets. If you're concerned about an audience knowing how your magic works, I would argue there are much more significant issues with your performance that you should be concerned about. In my opinion, I feel that this attitude fosters the notion that magic is nothing more than a juvenile power trip where one person offers an exhibition of knowledge that others aren't allowed to know. I actually think that's foolish and more harmful to magic than blatant exposure. Think about it: exposure has been a part of magic's culture since its beginnings. Spectators don't care for such secrets as much as magicians do. At the end of the day, I don't believe spectators care for the methods behind magic as much as they care for the experience of magic.

We often complain about why magic isn't widely accepted as a mainstream craft or form of entertainment. Often, magicians are compared to clowns and jugglers or reduced to pretentious geeks while even the most talentless B-rate actors are considered mainstream celebrities. We go to the movies KNOWING that they're comprised of actors, special effects, staged sets and written scripts. And yet, when the lights dim and the screen ignites, audiences can still be brought to tears or scream in shock or laugh in joy for the protagonists and plot of the film. Audiences don't care for the secrets of film; they care for the experience of film. The same can be said for other genres like music, theater, dance, etc. In my opinion, magicians put too much emphasis on the trivial aspects of the craft instead of what actually makes it unique.

David Blaine performed the Balducci Levitation dozens of times during the filming of his first television special, Street Magic. By 1997, the Balducci Levitation was already widely revealed in magazines, children's television shows, and yes-- even the beginnings of the internet. But Blaine brought so much more to the effect; he shrouded it in mystery through his unorthodox character and built up to it using a series of high impact material. He afforded people more than just a trick-- but an entirely unique experience that allowed people to get caught up in the moment and believe that anything's possible. Once you connect with an audience at that level, the secrets are irrelevant.

I admit, that's very hard to do. And it's even harder to do originally. But I think magicians should focus more on that intangible connection with an audience instead of stressing about the hoarding of trivial information like invisible thread, thumb tips, or double turnovers. When I perform magic, I try to exhibit the message that anything is possible with a little creativity and work ethic. I think that's a message worth sharing. But unfortunately, the more common trend of doing magic is very superficial and hinges upon the fact that an entire experience is broken or tarnished if someone knows a secret they're not supposed to. If that's the single point of failure for a performance, I think there's something more inherently wrong than the fact exposure negatively affected it.

By no means am I saying that I support blatant exposure. I understand that creators' livelihoods are threatened when someone steals their hard work and gives it away. I get that it can be frustrating. But I don't see it as a valid threat to magic as a whole. I believe that magic has gone through a series of radical changes, often for the better, over the past 20 years. And I think exposure has arguably been instrumental in that positive progression.

Brian Brushwood is a character. He reminds me of that random 30-year-old fraternity brother who doesn't even go to school anymore but built a reputation by outdrinking his entire brotherhood. Yes, he's obnoxious. Yes, he's outspoken. Yes, he's giving away "closely guarded" secrets. But zoom out and see what he's actually accomplishing: he's having fun interacting with people. He has diverse audiences coming together to see him perform. He's ultimately making a living with magic. He's also affording those legitimately interested in magic to pursue worthwhile sources with solid material while giving layaudiences an innocent peek behind the curtain. He's memorable. He has a handful of threads here on the Café and several subscribers on YouTube. From what I understand, he also does live shows and tours when not publicizing himself or other high profile sponsors online. I honestly think that is a much more successful career that does much more for the sustainment of magic than many people can say here, myself included.

If magic is the art we want it to be, I think there needs to be some paradigm shifts in how we treat it...

RS.


Interesting points and maybe good in theory but I don't great in practice.

Unfortunately, once someone knows the secret to your effect then the experience is not the same. We may get a level of appreciation, i.e 'He is so skilful', 'He must have practised hard' etc, just like Penn & Teller do with the cups and balls.

But we will never get that initial experience of wonder, that sense of mystery which is what the art of magic really thrives on.

As magicians we have the greatest amount of exposure to secrets and can probably relate the most to the problem with exposure. Try performing your favourite ACR routine for a room full of magicians and see if you can hold anyones attention.


I do this all the time. It's become one of my go to routines, along with my cups and balls.

Also, try telling that to a room full of magicians who have just spent hours watching Juan Tamariz. They know oil and water, and they know Mnemonica, and yet he will do nothing BUT restore your sense of wonder.

Quote:
On 2013-03-12 11:46, bonesly wrote:
I'm sure as magicians we will always appreciate talent and innovation within our fields, but our experience will never be the same as the layman because we know the secrets.


Again, see Tamariz.

Quote:
On 2013-03-12 11:46, bonesly wrote:
Sometimes I wish I could be a layman again. I remember when I first saw David Blaine vanish the coin on that kids hand. WOW! Now that was an experience, one of those WTF moments, I miss those days. Smile


Tamariz.

Quote:
On 2013-03-12 11:46, bonesly wrote:
I guess as a professional magician you learn how to deal with exposure, mainly because you get to perform to so many different people. So I guess its not that much of a big deal when your playing the numbers game.

As a hobbyist or a local magician you may not be that fortunate though.

Maybe it will help us strive to be better magicians and be more original with our effects and presentations. Maybe not (some people quit).

I guess its hard to quantify the damage exposure really has until to it knocks on your own door.

So I hope that someone doesn't breakdown the secrets to your entire act, which you have been honing down for the past 5 years and posts it on Youtube or mainstream television.


Penn and Teller seem to be still doing pretty well, despite a good portion of their show being "exposed." Not just financially; they continue to create wonder in their audiences, and to fool both laymen, and magicians.
They are also some of the few who really do take their magic to the level of art.

Quote:
On 2013-03-12 11:46, bonesly wrote:
I hope that you don't have a loss of income because of all the people that don't have an interest in your act anymore.

I hope that when you use a QB2 to bend a coin, no one turns round to you and says 'Thats just one of those fake pens', ($500 down the drain). Smile

I hope that all your loyal fans and supporters, who still appreciate the hard work and dedication that goes into developing an act, can still have that sense of mystery and experience the same wonder now they know your secrets.

I hope you still continue to share moments of astonishment.

If not maybe then you realise that exposure only really benefits the exposers, i.e. P&T, Val, Brian Bushwood and many more.


History has shown a very different outcome.

You know, it's interesting, I'm also a video editor and effects/motion graphics artist, and I've never had anyone "dismiss" anything I've done in those fields when they've been "exposed" to the behind the scenes. If anything, it usually makes them more impressed with the level of actual work.
I usually notice people seem to UNDER-appreciate the work that goes into video and film.

With magic secrets, it seems to be the opposite. The secrets make it seem all "simple" and easily "dismiss-able." "Oh, that's JUST a special pen."
I'm guess that magicians "offended" by "exposure" don't want people to view what they do as "simple," ignoring the effort that actually goes into perfecting such an "art."

The problem, as I see it, is that you are putting all the focus on the "secrets" yourselves by focusing on the "exposure." Exactly as Raymond said:
"If you're concerned about an audience knowing how your magic works[magic's more trivial secrets,] . . . this attitude fosters the notion that magic is nothing more than a juvenile power trip where one person offers an exhibition of knowledge that others aren't allowed to know."

You are "training the lay public to focus on method," essentially belittling your own efforts by focusing on exposure. If your focus is so much on "magic's more trivial secrets," then your magic will never rise above being "trivial."
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
gdw
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Quote:
On 2013-03-12 12:18, Glenn Morphew wrote:
The original premise of Scam School was about learning cool bar bets and how to use them to win free drinks at bars. Apparently, Brian has run out of decent material, so the show is transitioning into Magic School.


Nothing new. He's been teaching "magic" on it for a long time. Both Ammar and Daniel Garcia appeared and taught what were clearly magic tricks, and not just scams to win drinks. "Magic" school is definitely what it is, the "scam" angle is, and always has been, simply the hook.
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
Raymond Singson
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Gdw, I'm glad my thoughts resonated so strongly with you because frankly-- I'm entirely too lazy to carry on the worthwhile debate. And you seem to be doing so quite well for me. So thanks. Ha.

RS.
“The purpose of art is to lay bare the questions which have been hidden by the answers.” -- James Arthur Baldwin



raymond.singson@gmail.com
bonesly
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Quote:
On 2013-03-12 12:25, gdw wrote:
Quote:
On 2013-03-12 11:46, bonesly wrote:
Quote:
On 2013-03-12 09:22, Raymond Singson wrote:
In response to the original argument, my two cents.

The "dilemma" of exposing magic to the masses honestly doesn't bother me much, because in my opinion, it primarily only deals with magic's more trivial secrets. If you're concerned about an audience knowing how your magic works, I would argue there are much more significant issues with your performance that you should be concerned about. In my opinion, I feel that this attitude fosters the notion that magic is nothing more than a juvenile power trip where one person offers an exhibition of knowledge that others aren't allowed to know. I actually think that's foolish and more harmful to magic than blatant exposure. Think about it: exposure has been a part of magic's culture since its beginnings. Spectators don't care for such secrets as much as magicians do. At the end of the day, I don't believe spectators care for the methods behind magic as much as they care for the experience of magic.

We often complain about why magic isn't widely accepted as a mainstream craft or form of entertainment. Often, magicians are compared to clowns and jugglers or reduced to pretentious geeks while even the most talentless B-rate actors are considered mainstream celebrities. We go to the movies KNOWING that they're comprised of actors, special effects, staged sets and written scripts. And yet, when the lights dim and the screen ignites, audiences can still be brought to tears or scream in shock or laugh in joy for the protagonists and plot of the film. Audiences don't care for the secrets of film; they care for the experience of film. The same can be said for other genres like music, theater, dance, etc. In my opinion, magicians put too much emphasis on the trivial aspects of the craft instead of what actually makes it unique.

David Blaine performed the Balducci Levitation dozens of times during the filming of his first television special, Street Magic. By 1997, the Balducci Levitation was already widely revealed in magazines, children's television shows, and yes-- even the beginnings of the internet. But Blaine brought so much more to the effect; he shrouded it in mystery through his unorthodox character and built up to it using a series of high impact material. He afforded people more than just a trick-- but an entirely unique experience that allowed people to get caught up in the moment and believe that anything's possible. Once you connect with an audience at that level, the secrets are irrelevant.

I admit, that's very hard to do. And it's even harder to do originally. But I think magicians should focus more on that intangible connection with an audience instead of stressing about the hoarding of trivial information like invisible thread, thumb tips, or double turnovers. When I perform magic, I try to exhibit the message that anything is possible with a little creativity and work ethic. I think that's a message worth sharing. But unfortunately, the more common trend of doing magic is very superficial and hinges upon the fact that an entire experience is broken or tarnished if someone knows a secret they're not supposed to. If that's the single point of failure for a performance, I think there's something more inherently wrong than the fact exposure negatively affected it.

By no means am I saying that I support blatant exposure. I understand that creators' livelihoods are threatened when someone steals their hard work and gives it away. I get that it can be frustrating. But I don't see it as a valid threat to magic as a whole. I believe that magic has gone through a series of radical changes, often for the better, over the past 20 years. And I think exposure has arguably been instrumental in that positive progression.

Brian Brushwood is a character. He reminds me of that random 30-year-old fraternity brother who doesn't even go to school anymore but built a reputation by outdrinking his entire brotherhood. Yes, he's obnoxious. Yes, he's outspoken. Yes, he's giving away "closely guarded" secrets. But zoom out and see what he's actually accomplishing: he's having fun interacting with people. He has diverse audiences coming together to see him perform. He's ultimately making a living with magic. He's also affording those legitimately interested in magic to pursue worthwhile sources with solid material while giving layaudiences an innocent peek behind the curtain. He's memorable. He has a handful of threads here on the Café and several subscribers on YouTube. From what I understand, he also does live shows and tours when not publicizing himself or other high profile sponsors online. I honestly think that is a much more successful career that does much more for the sustainment of magic than many people can say here, myself included.

If magic is the art we want it to be, I think there needs to be some paradigm shifts in how we treat it...

RS.


Interesting points and maybe good in theory but I don't great in practice.

Unfortunately, once someone knows the secret to your effect then the experience is not the same. We may get a level of appreciation, i.e 'He is so skilful', 'He must have practised hard' etc, just like Penn & Teller do with the cups and balls.

But we will never get that initial experience of wonder, that sense of mystery which is what the art of magic really thrives on.

As magicians we have the greatest amount of exposure to secrets and can probably relate the most to the problem with exposure. Try performing your favourite ACR routine for a room full of magicians and see if you can hold anyones attention.


I do this all the time. It's become one of my go to routines, along with my cups and balls.

Also, try telling that to a room full of magicians who have just spent hours watching Juan Tamariz. They know oil and water, and they know Mnemonica, and yet he will do nothing BUT restore your sense of wonder.

Quote:
On 2013-03-12 11:46, bonesly wrote:
I'm sure as magicians we will always appreciate talent and innovation within our fields, but our experience will never be the same as the layman because we know the secrets.


Again, see Tamariz.

Quote:
On 2013-03-12 11:46, bonesly wrote:
Sometimes I wish I could be a layman again. I remember when I first saw David Blaine vanish the coin on that kids hand. WOW! Now that was an experience, one of those WTF moments, I miss those days. Smile


Tamariz.

Quote:
On 2013-03-12 11:46, bonesly wrote:
I guess as a professional magician you learn how to deal with exposure, mainly because you get to perform to so many different people. So I guess its not that much of a big deal when your playing the numbers game.

As a hobbyist or a local magician you may not be that fortunate though.

Maybe it will help us strive to be better magicians and be more original with our effects and presentations. Maybe not (some people quit).

I guess its hard to quantify the damage exposure really has until to it knocks on your own door.

So I hope that someone doesn't breakdown the secrets to your entire act, which you have been honing down for the past 5 years and posts it on Youtube or mainstream television.


Penn and Teller seem to be still doing pretty well, despite a good portion of their show being "exposed." Not just financially; they continue to create wonder in their audiences, and to fool both laymen, and magicians.
They are also some of the few who really do take their magic to the level of art.

Quote:
On 2013-03-12 11:46, bonesly wrote:
I hope that you don't have a loss of income because of all the people that don't have an interest in your act anymore.

I hope that when you use a QB2 to bend a coin, no one turns round to you and says 'Thats just one of those fake pens', ($500 down the drain). Smile

I hope that all your loyal fans and supporters, who still appreciate the hard work and dedication that goes into developing an act, can still have that sense of mystery and experience the same wonder now they know your secrets.

I hope you still continue to share moments of astonishment.

If not maybe then you realise that exposure only really benefits the exposers, i.e. P&T, Val, Brian Bushwood and many more.


History has shown a very different outcome.

You know, it's interesting, I'm also a video editor and effects/motion graphics artist, and I've never had anyone "dismiss" anything I've done in those fields when they've been "exposed" to the behind the scenes. If anything, it usually makes them more impressed with the level of actual work.
I usually notice people seem to UNDER-appreciate the work that goes into video and film.

With magic secrets, it seems to be the opposite. The secrets make it seem all "simple" and easily "dismiss-able." "Oh, that's JUST a special pen."
I'm guess that magicians "offended" by "exposure" don't want people to view what they do as "simple," ignoring the effort that actually goes into perfecting such an "art."

The problem, as I see it, is that you are putting all the focus on the "secrets" yourselves by focusing on the "exposure." Exactly as Raymond said:
"If you're concerned about an audience knowing how your magic works[magic's more trivial secrets,] . . . this attitude fosters the notion that magic is nothing more than a juvenile power trip where one person offers an exhibition of knowledge that others aren't allowed to know."

You are "training the lay public to focus on method," essentially belittling your own efforts by focusing on exposure. If your focus is so much on "magic's more trivial secrets," then your magic will never rise above being "trivial."


My point is these are two different experiences.

1)One is an experience of awe as you sit and admire/appreciate the level of skill, coupled with the hard work and dedication involved when perfecting an act. (Tamariz)

2)The other experience is the sense of mystery/wonder that you get when you witness something you believe to be a true miracle.

These experience can be similar but they are not the same. In magic the second experience is more important than the first one.

As magicians we challenge peoples perceptions of reality and hopefully make them believe anything is possible.

With regards to P&T, like the MM they became famous by branded themselves as the magicians who expose the secrets.That was controversial and controversy sells, they are what we call sellouts. They didn't do it the hard/proper way like Copperfield or Blaine and countless over magicians, who relied mainly on there ability to market there ACT.

But it worked for them and they benefited from it greatly. They made loads of money exposing magic on TV, whilst indirectly taking the potential earnings of many other magicians.

Like I said magicians have been forced to adapt and deal with exposure, but the exposure didn't help them it only helped the exposers.
gdw
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On 2013-03-12 12:54, Raymond Singson wrote:
Gdw, I'm glad my thoughts resonated so strongly with you because frankly-- I'm entirely too lazy to carry on the worthwhile debate. And you seem to be doing so quite well for me. So thanks. Ha.

RS.


Lol, thanks I guess, although not too many others seem to think so.
Oh well, time will show in the end. History has shown that those who fight progress (knowingly or not,) are simply left behind.
Paradigms shift. You can recognize it, see the future, and you get behind it, or you can just get in the way. One of those approaches will end up with you left behind.
That's the nature of progress.
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
bonesly
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Oh by the way:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/cultu......ick.html

Like I said exposers will never really understand the damage until it knocks on their own door.
gdw
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Quote:
On 2013-03-12 13:04, bonesly wrote:
. . .

My point is these are two different experiences.

1)One is an experience of awe as you sit and admire/appreciate the level of skill, coupled with the hard work and dedication involved when perfecting an act. (Tamariz)


Have you actually seem Tamariz live? You WILL experience wonder.

Quote:
On 2013-03-12 13:04, bonesly wrote:

2)The other experience is the sense of mystery/wonder that you get when you witness something you believe to be a true miracle.

These experience can be similar but they are not the same. In magic the second experience is more important than the first one.


You know, I pretty much agree, which is why you should stop focusing on "exposure" as you are propagating an attitude which is about preventing, and destroying the wonder, just as Raymond explained.

Quote:
On 2013-03-12 13:04, bonesly wrote:

As magicians we challenge peoples perceptions of reality and hopefully make them believe anything is possible.


Oh I disagree. Perhaps we can make the FEEL like anything is possible, but we should NOT be changing their perception of reality to the extent that the believe "anything" is possible. Make them feel like that in that moment, sure, but not changing their notion of reality. We should be celebrating reality.
Trying to make people believe anything is possible is more the tactic of "physics" (as opposed to mentalists) and other scam artists.

Quote:
On 2013-03-12 13:04, bonesly wrote:
With regards to P&T, like the MM they became famous by branded themselves as the magicians who expose the secrets.That was controversial and controversy sells, they are what we call sellouts. They didn't do it the hard/proper way like Copperfield or Blaine and countless over magicians, who relied mainly on there ability to market there ACT.


Lol, I'd agree about mm, but that is patently false in regards to Penn & Teller. They worked FAR
They worked FAR harder than Copperfield ever did. Not that Copperfield doesn't, and didn't work hard, but Penn & Teller have MORE than payed their dues. The controversy with their cups and balls certainly helped them, but they worked their asses off (relatively speaking, lets not kid ourselves, none of us work even half as hard as probably 2/3 the worlds population.)
Not to mention, Copperfield, and Penn & Teller consider themselves friends, and colleagues.
Not sure if Blaine and then consider themselves "friends," or more "acquaintances."


Quote:
On 2013-03-12 13:04, bonesly wrote:
But it worked for them and they benefited from it greatly. They made loads of money exposing magic on TV, whilst indirectly taking the potential earnings of many other magicians.

Like I said magicians have been forced to adapt and deal with exposure, but the exposure didn't help them it only helped the exposers.


I'd argue some people actually got MORE work due to the increased interest in magic. I know I did. As I explained before, not only did I notice more interest in magic, I was able to use audiences "knowledge" from "exposure" to fool them even more.
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
gdw
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Quote:
On 2013-03-12 13:22, bonesly wrote:
Oh by the way:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/cultu......ick.html

Like I said exposers will never really understand the damage until it knocks on their own door.


Yeah, this has bothered me. The cognitive dissonance they must be experiencing due to the conflict between their view of "secretary in magic and their antiquated views on intellectual "property."

That said, I believe Teller went after the guy for his initial "performing" of the knock off of Shadows. The guy's offer to sell an explanation of the routine was, as I am recalling, his response to Teller asking him not to perform it.
Of course I could be mistaken about the order of events, but, as I recall it, it was the "IP infringement" that upset Teller, not (necessarily, or at least not initially) the "exposure."

In my view, there's really no difference between exposure and "IP infringemen." They can both be, depending on the situation, dick things to do, however they are not inherently immoral.
Similar to burping. Nothing wrong with burping, and you have every right to burp, but it can be a rude, and dickish, thing to do depending on the situation.
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
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