We Remember The Magic Café We Remember
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Good Magic Gone Bad » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Burt Yaroch
View Profile
Inner circle
Dallas,TX
1097 Posts

Profile of Burt Yaroch
This began as a response to comments made under Pick a card: 52 Thoughts but I thought it warranted its own forum.



Quote:

On 2001-09-22 12:37, greatscott wrote:

Here is a short essay I wrote about card magic that sums up my thoughts on the subject. It is the "Last Word" from "Great Scott! It’s card Magic!



There is a filthy lie circulating throughout magicdom. I used to believe it myself.

“Most people hate card tricks!”



Then one day, I saw a good Card Trick performed by an accomplished and entertaining magician. It was one of the most magical things I’d ever seen (a version of Curry’s “Out of this World”)! I decided I wanted to perform that sort of magic. I began sifting through the vast literature of card magic, learning principles, finding gems and making them my own. I discovered that there are a lot of bad card tricks out there, and quite a few people had been forced to sit and watch them. I came to a conclusion.

“Most people hate BAD card tricks!”



I thought that was the answer. Just weed out the bad tricks and you’re fine. Then one day I witnessed a young man with incredible skill perform some mind-boggling card effects beautifully. It was one of the worst things I’d ever seen. He was such a jerk! He was a braggart and a show-off, and seemed to get a thrill out of making his audience feel stupid and inferior. I heard one lady say as she walked off, “I hope I never see another magician again!” Oh, my poor, sweet, wonderful magic! What a beating you took that day! I came to another conclusion.

“Most people hate GOOD card tricks performed by a jerk or a hack!”



So I decided that this must never happen to me. I wanted people who saw me perform to walk away saying, “That was great! You just can’t see enough good magic! That’s the most fun I’ve had in a long time!” I worked long and hard on my technique, and equally long and hard on routining, patter, misdirection and presentation. When I’m performing in one of my restaurants and I pull out a deck of cards, invariably someone will say something like, “You thought that other stuff was good, wait until you see what this guy does with a deck of cards! This stuff is great!” And I have come to another conclusion.

“Most people LOVE good card tricks performed by someone who cares about magic as an art and his audience as people!”



This is, in my opinion, the ultimate truth in card magic; the “anti-lie,” to coin a term. If you aren’t willing to work as hard on your presentation and people skills as you are on your technique, or if you have a wonderful persona but hate to practice and you show people tricks you really haven’t learned properly, please return this book to me for a full refund. Because this material deserves better. I deserve better. Your audiences deserve better. And MAGIC deserves better!













Tom Cutts then went on to add, in part, "Most beginners learn card tricks and do them badly."



And here begin’s my soapbox tirade:



Who amoung us did not perform badly as a beginner? That is precisely what makes one a beginner and not a pro.



I think if those ’in the know’ would spend more time educating our beginning magicians and less time criticizing, there would be far less to criticize and our art would be better for it.



So I emplore you to take the time to pull these beginners aside regardless of if they be hack or jerk. Take the time to introduce yourselves. Complement their act where warranted (find something!) and then tactfully critique them on their shortcommings. Let them know what you overheard their audience saying. They will respect your opinions as a fellow magician and, if not, they’ll respect you as an elder Smile . It is easier to just walk away,(who, after all, likes confrontation?) But you have a duty and responsibility not to.



If that isn’t enough to motivate you, just think about how many others this hack turned off to magic because you walked away.



"That’s just my opinion. I could be wrong."-Dennis Miller
Yakworld.
Steve Brooks
View Profile
Founder / Manager
Northern California - United States
4741 Posts

Profile of Steve Brooks
In ’theory’, you are correct Dennis. The old timers should try and help the newbies.

In my experience, they usually do...if approached.



The guys we’re talking about are neophyte’s who start doing shows a week after getting into magic, and usually it’s card tricks that they are showing...and BADLY. Smile



I’ve heard young magicians (in magic a few months) talking about "their lecture notes".

Or the "book" they are working on.



Funny thing, it’s really not the beginner’s own fault...at least not entirely.



Magic shops and the Internet help promote the idea of "Instant Magic"..."Learn in minutes"..."Get girls"..."Amaze your friends"..."Just like Blaine"..."Easy to do".



I’m sure most of those sound familiar. Even the magazines have played a part in this.



Many of todays magic youth are arrogant and have real attitude problems, not a rumor, just facts...I’ve seen it many many times at conventions.



You can be sure that the ’true’ student will be helped by the older, more seasoned pro, sooner or later.



Magic is easy to get into, but it will take a lifetime to do well. Just some thoughts. Smile



_________________

Life is not a problem to be solved...

but a mystery to be lived.
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
Burt Yaroch
View Profile
Inner circle
Dallas,TX
1097 Posts

Profile of Burt Yaroch
We can get girls? Smile Smile Smile
Yakworld.
Magicman0323
View Profile
Special user
Just outside parts unknown.
713 Posts

Profile of Magicman0323
Magic is how I got my girl, even if she won't admit it. Smile
You'll wonder when I'm coming, you'll wonder even more when I'm gone. - Max Malini
Scott F. Guinn
View Profile
Inner circle
"Great Scott!" aka "Palms of Putty" & "Poof Daddy G"
6583 Posts

Profile of Scott F. Guinn
Listen, the references I made were about specific people. I’m not saying that all beginners are hacks and jerks.



The problem is that jerks don’t want help and hacks don’t think they need it. You think I haven’t approached these people and offerred my help? I have. But the people in question are so sure that they are already much better than I’ll ever hope to be, they scoff at my offers.



I’ve been called to the carpet on this before. But I’ll stand by what I said. And I’ll add this: Magic isn’t in a sorry state because experienced magicians won’t help beginners. It’s because most beginners don’t want help--they think they are already better than the "pros!" And you can’t help someone who doesn’t want or won’t accept help.



I get criticized a lot for attacking beginners, and I usually let it slide. But just for the record:



-I have given courses twice in gospel magic for beginning magicians--free of charge.



-I have taught magic classes in community ed programs many times--free of charge.



-I have put together the only truly active magic club in the state of Idaho, have the meetings at my house, book the lectures, plan the events--all free of charge.



-I have given private lessons to a number of students, both in magic and ventriloquism--again, free of charge.



-I have personally mentored four people for a period of years now--yes, free of charge.



I say all of this, not so people will say, "Wow! You are a truly wonderful person!" Rather, I am stating it here for the record because many people read some of my articles and accuse me of "magical snobbery" or thinking that beginners don’t deserve to be in magic, and that is simply not the case.



Also for the record: I am much more upset about those who’ve been in magic for years, who should know better, but still commit these grievances (mentioned in the above article) against the art I love. And if you read the entire article in context, you will see that it is the final page in one of my books, and I’m imploring people to commit to magic and to learn it and present it well in a manner that will enhance rather than detract from it’s reputation. I will stand by that until the day I die.



_________________

Scott F. Guinn

Great Scott! It’s Magic!
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
My Lybrary Page
Tom Cutts
View Profile
Staff
Northern CA
5798 Posts

Profile of Tom Cutts
Yes, it would be wrong to assume we have done nothing but criticize. I certainly have seen enough of those type of cremudgeonly critic folk. I dispise them as much as those who think their mere technical competance is entertaining enough without any personality.



I have hosted my share of puzzle vs magic "discussions". When I can get to a spectator with one routine so deeply that they forget every trick they have ever seen, that is proof enough and reward enough for me.



I don’t think anyone who peruses this board could come to the conclusion that Scott or I are unhelpful. I’m not even sure that was your intent. Our communities know our contributions.



You took my statement out of context in your post. You, yourself, admit most beginners are bad performers. My point was most of them are doing card tricks and thus card tricks get the bad rap from their audiences.



I believe everyone needs a place to safely get better technically without detracting from the art. Unfortunately, too many beginners run right out to "entertain" anyone who crosses their path.



Bad musicians don’t run out to the coffee house to play before people, claiming it is the only way they are going to learn. Well, most that is Smile



Once one has learned the technical aspect of a trick, then they can start to sculpt a routine. No, I don’t think one needs to run out and make every mistake themselves. Yet that is what so many magicians do. They claim it is their right. Those who don’t learn from history....



One can learn some of the real secrets of magic by truly routining the most simple of tricks into something original as opposed to learing the next trick, and the next, and...



None of which, I should state, am I accusing you of. But we all know them.



_________________

Tom Cutts

Your Newest Moderator!

Publisher, AM/PM...About Magic, Performing Magic
Burt Yaroch
View Profile
Inner circle
Dallas,TX
1097 Posts

Profile of Burt Yaroch
Scott, I hope you (and Tom) do not read my comments as a personal attack. I included your post because I felt it was germane to the point I was trying to get across. That being that if there is a problem with this art that we all care so deeply for then it is our responsibility to fix it. If magic is in “a sorry state” you certainly can’t blame the beginners. We only have ourselves to blame, if for no other reason then we have failed to look to ourselves for the solution. “If you aren’t part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”



I have, quite obviously, waded into a problem that has existed in magic for some time now to receive such a passionate response. This is terribly distressing, especially because I am on the “new guy” end of the spectrum. If there is this animosity between the pros and the beginners, perceived or otherwise, whose responsibility is it to bridge this gap? The cocky new guy who won’t even realize the d**age he has done until he is looking back from where you are now? Come on. It is the responsibility of those in the magic community who have the prestige and respect given to them by their peers. It is the responsibility of the pros to tell these new guys that they are d**aging the art of magic. They may not listen and may tell you right to your face what you can do with your opinions but rest assured they heard what you said and if they continue to hear this, time and again, as they mature they will understand.



Youthful arrogance is a constant fact of life. If you were to tell me that you weren’t like that I would have to say you just don’t remember. It may not have been in magic but there was some time when you thought you knew a little more than you did. This overconfidence will always be. You can’t blame it. You can’t possibly hope to change it. What you can change is how you deal with it. Smile
Yakworld.
Tom Cutts
View Profile
Staff
Northern CA
5798 Posts

Profile of Tom Cutts
Did I read that right? You think it is the responsability of those who have dedicated their lives to an art to humble themselves before those respectless beginners who exhibit no grace toward the art or its artists.



Please clarify.
Steve Brooks
View Profile
Founder / Manager
Northern California - United States
4741 Posts

Profile of Steve Brooks
First, you must also realize there are those who HAVE tried to help, but maybe got an arrogant newbie who really has "Hurt" this seasoned performer to the point he never helps another...that’s a human with feelings, and they do get hurt.



But I think Tom and I agree somewhat here.

First, a pro in any field or art is not obligated to help newbies, just go to hollywood and try and break into films. Smile



Many experienced magicians feel (and rightly so), that one need’s to "Pay their dues" as it were. I agree. We have all had to do this.

That’s the way life is.



If your lucky, someone will help, if not?...then you keep at it until someone does.



I’m sure many "wanna’ be rock stars" have thought; "Why don’t the established bands help the newcomers?



You made a comment about the experienced magicians needing to educate the beginners.



Education is not a given thing, it really is a luxury, if you think otherwise, I invite you to travel to some third world countries.

And like school or college, education takes time and is very costly.



Magic is really no different. It is a subject to study. It will take time, and it sure ain’t cheap. Will other students help?

They might, but then again they might not.



Should the teacher’s help for free? That’s a personal choice that only they can make.



All I can really say is read, study, hang out at place’s like the cafe, and sooner or later it WILL happen...I promise. Smile



P.S. By the way, I never was arrogant or cocky like some of the young magicians I see walking the streets these days. I was brought up respecting my elders, and I made use of common courtesy and good manners.

Times sure are a changin....



_________________

Life is not a problem to be solved...

but a mystery to be lived.
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
Burt Yaroch
View Profile
Inner circle
Dallas,TX
1097 Posts

Profile of Burt Yaroch
When I said that the vets must educate the beginners I was specifically referring to correcting behavior that was d**aging to magic, not that you must take them under your wing as their personal tutor. Let me try to make this point clear. I’m not asking you to help their career, their act, their performance of a certain sleight. I’m asking you to help repair the “sorry state” that you claim magic is in by helping the newbies understand how their cavalier attitudes are affecting magic.



As for getting your feelings hurt, as I said, it’s always easier to walk away. (Get back up on that horse cowboy!!)



Tom, come now. How hard did you have to squint to see the word humble in there? If anyone can read into my syntax the word “humble” I would have to say therein lay the problem. If you feel correcting magic’s “sorry state” by putting a few attitudes in check is beneath you (how I read your usage of humble) then that is precisely why there exists this animosity, because some of the newbies are too cocky and none of the pros are letting them know. Instead the pros complain about it, shake their fist in the air spewing, “Back in my day…” (Right, that’ll fix it.)



Yes back in our day the times were much simpler. Children truly did respect their elders. The nuclear family was a way of life not just a funny catch phrase. But the times they are a changin’. We are now living with the fast-paced, dot-com, I want it all and I want it now generation. You claim some from this generation are hurting your art. Well then fix it. Yes Tom, I think those who have dedicated their lives to this art would be precisely the ones who would want to eradicate this infestation that is bad magic. (No longer specifically addressing Tom) But if you’re (read pro’s in general) not willing to fix it because you’ve paid you dues and now magic owes you, then let me be the first to tell you that you might be the one who needs an attitude check. Newbies aren’t the only ones who can get to big for their britches.



Oh, and I am all too well aware that I am possibly committing ‘magical suicide’ with my comments here (I can hear the groans from the last paragraph echoing from the peanut gallery). I respect Scott and Tom both very much (as is evident by my tip-toeing), in fact I would go so far as to say I’ve become a big fan of Scott’s (you can too! http://www.online-visions.com) (blatant plug/suckup). And if my comments here serve to ostracize them from me, I will surely be the one who has lost. But this wasn’t about me. It was about magic.



In retrospect had I known this was a 55 gallon drum of worms I would have never gone near it. But since I opened it, might as well jump up and down in it. Smile Smile Smile Smile





"And that's all I have to say about that."-Forrest Gump
Yakworld.
Steve Brooks
View Profile
Founder / Manager
Northern California - United States
4741 Posts

Profile of Steve Brooks
After reading and re-reading this entire thread, it has become very obvious (at least to me), that it is not going in a 'positive' direction.



Some final thoughts...



I think that the elders of magic should help, when and if possible. Most do.



Can we change the personalities and attitudes of others? We can try, and hope for the best.



I think all in all we need to always try and find the 'positive' in everyone and in everything that we do, it's not always possible, but we can do our best.



It's like teaching your children, you can lay out the ground rules of life, guide them in the right direction, but in the end, your children will decide their own fate.

And so it is with magic my friends, as it is with life.



Do we all agree? Probably not. But that is the way of things, for good or bad.

Each one of us must decide the course we take with our life's and with our chosen careers. Only the future will reveal the results. Thanks for some interesting food for thought guys. Smile
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Good Magic Gone Bad » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2020 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.32 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL