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Magic_streak
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I refer to the previous post "We Should" by Yaniv Deautsch. He wrote a poem saying what a magician should be like and it has recieved quite a few positive feedback. I personally agree to most of what he said.

I've seen numerous posts made by angry "self proclaimed enormously professional magicians" about amateurs or what they call wusses out there begging for tricks. These people get chided for asking how an effect is done. I find these "magicians" immature and definately do not understand the art as well as they claim they do. Just because they spend a whole lot of money in magic and own a huge library of magic books and videos they think they are high and mighty. Knowing a few effects is really no big deal. You can get tons of effects on the net itself, for free! Why make so much noise when people request for help or how to do an effect? If you tell the secret to them and they practice it and perform it well to their own audience wouldn't it be beneficial to the magic community? Many, and I mean MANY, magicians turn white and turn jelly in the legs when they know that secrets are being revealed. There is no point hiding these secrets so tightly. If a fellow magician who wants to learn it I feel that we should share the secret, with discretion of course. First we should analyse what kind of person is asking the secret and whether he will seriously work on the sleight or effect and make it presentable. And trust me on this, not everyone out there is interested in how magic is done. Some people don't want to spoil the fun of being amazed, some know it is hard work and are too lazy to learn, and alot of them out there just can't be bothered. Magic is not such a great thing, especially poorly presented.

I've heard countless times magicians praising magic as an "art", a "respectable art". Yet a lot of people mention about copyrighted tricks and marketed effects. Why bring money into an art? Magicians always claim they have invented a trick or a sleight and thus they have contributed a lot to the magic community. If you really want to contribute then why bother about how much money you can get out of it? It is like those people spending years in their cellar making musical instruments out of matchsticks and when it is all done, they show it to the public for free. It is all for the art of Music. For those who are guilty of inventing stuff and expect lots of returns, ask yourself, did you invent the stuff for the money or is it the money you want? Frankly speaking, magic is truly an expensive hobby(or profession). Many of these items are highly priced for maximum profit(And I don't just mean the Ellusionist). Magic has thus become not an art, but a highly profitable commercial activity.

Under the Beginner's table of this forum and many others, I often see people saying kind words like "anything you want to know I'll be glad to help" or "just ask anything you want." to the beginners. And when another person requests for a trick they get slammed by everyone. Magic is mostly about decieving people. Is this kindness an act of deception as well? What's the point of posting any requests for help if all you get in return are people telling you what book to buy ro which store to go to? It becomes rather irritating when people refuses to share with their fellow magicians.

Many people in this business thinks they know everything but that's not all to magic. Think about the presentation! I've noticed a lot of professionals can't even speak properly! Let alone entertain! Many look like blokes who just know a lot about the technical part(which in my opinion is a VERY VERY SMALL PART) but they can't present it well at all. Yet many magicians worship them like crazy. I will not mention any names so as to not make any personal attacks. My point however is magic is all about entertaining and mystifying. It is not a boring technical skill earning for a buck. So what if you can make yourself disappear right before a group of audience when you can't even make them laugh or enjoy your show?

So to all those "magicians" unhappy about giving away tricks and stuff, do give more attention to presentation and make magic a true art instead of a community of petty selfish people that cringes upon spreading the art.

I welcome any comments or rebuttals to this post.
Thoughtreader
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Years ago, when someone wanted to be a magician they had to search, scrounge and claw to get what little information they could. They then had to learn all they could from those scarce, few sources and develop their skill levels. After they had sufficiently learned their art in that manner, they would usually seek out other magicians they could share their craft with which in turn, after they had proven themselves worthy of entry into the "inner sanctum", would be taught the real "underground" material.

Back then, it was expected of a "magician" to have a well rounded knowledge in the art itself. It's history, all branches of magic, etc., as a doctor must become a general practitioner before they could specialize, so did a magician have to have a well rounded knowledge before they were accepted by the inner circle. There is a reason that Vernon, Slydini and Marlo could do more than just card tricks!

Now a days, in our "instant gratification" culture with instant access to information, newbies are expecting to be handed this knowledge on a silver platter by merely asking for it. Many times I have seen a young magician working diligently at perfecting their second deal and yet they couldn't even begin to tell you what a dove harness is or who Horace Goldin was. And worse, there are many that take this new found knowledge and use it poorly in public, not entertaining, showing off, exposing to show how smart they are or through a poor performance exposing methodology.

There is becoming a group of magicians (and it is growing everyday) that is moving back underground where secrets are not openly shared anymore. One must earn their trust to be granted entry into thier secret lair once more. If magic is to survive into the 21st century, then magicians need to return to the ways of old, to learn ALL they can and to be worthy of moving to the next level when they are ready. I for one am one of those magicians that has moved towards the underground. It is how I was taught and how I have taught many other magicians, some of whom have gone on to become well rounded, working professionals. (Remember that one does not have to make a living to be "professional" and one making a living from poor magic is not necessarily "professional" either.)

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
Canada's Leading Mentalist
http://www.mindguy.com
AB StageCraft
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Jim Morton
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Magic_streak,

I think it's important here to make a distinction between teaching about basic sleights and tricks, and explaining the workings of a commercial effect. If you need help with your top change, I'll be glad to help. If you are upset because no one will tell you how Gaeton Bloom's Intercessor works, or how to do Jay Sankey's Paperclipped, then tough cookies. They are not mine to share. I realize (oh, how I realize!) that magic can be an expensive hobby, but that is not an excuse to steal. Smile

Jim
p.b.jones
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HI Magic streak,
I think that the immpression you get of pro's is tainted because of the nature of comunication on an online forum. People have strong opinions on certian topics and often posts do not come across with the same meaning/emotion that they are written in. I have noticed with my own posts that I have sometimes appeared harsher on re-reading than I had intended or that someone read into it a dig that I had not meant to imply.
Also as some of us post on more topics than other members. this is just because we may have been in magic longer and have opinions and knowledge/experience in more areas. it does not mean we know it all or do not listen to other points of view.
Most magic inventors do not make a lot if any money from it except in rare cases. Lecturer's have to sell something to make it worth while Lecturing. Here in the Uk Most Magic clubs would Balk at paying more than £100 - £120.00 for a lecture. Now that's a lot less than you would get for a childrens party and no where near the fee for a cabaret spot. Yet the lecturer is offering his fellow magicians material that they can use again and again to make good money.

Now you may argue that many do not perform for money. but thats not the lecturer's / inventers fault is it?

When you buy an effect you are buying the right to perform it. So why should people give it away for free. A painter might paint for arts sake, but he would not normally want to give away his work for nothing if he new there was a market for it.
A musician might write and perform for art, but if his work is desireable he (gennerally) would not hessitate to sell it.

quote:
My point however is magic is all about entertaining and mystifying. It is not a boring technical skill earning for a buck.

I agree with the first part of this. but in my opinion. "It is not a boring
technical skill for earning a buck"
is a contridiction because boring technical skill would not earn you a dime never nind a buck with a lay audience. With magicians Maybe!

Phillip
John Smetana
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Thoughtreader wrote:

. If magic is to survive into the 21st century, then magicians need to return to the ways of old, to learn ALL they can and to be worthy of moving to the next level when they are ready. I for one am one of those magicians that has moved towards the underground.

I couldn't agree more Paul, but I think we may be in the minority for the moment.

Best thoughts,
John Smetana
Stuart Hooper
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I am a newer magician, but as I become immersed in this conflict that has swept the magic community, I find myself agreeing with the two gentlemen stressing an underground type afair. While it is true that if magic had not been easily accessible to me I would not have become a magician, I have gone all the way. Many kids nowadays read magic books for a couple of months, do effects lousily and then stop. I admit, some magic secrets were lost by my inept handling in the beggining, but now I am devoted and good. However, I do believe that once we are admitted to this inner circle of magicians, we should not hesitate to share what information we have. Nowhere on the web can I find a site other than the learned pig where a backround check lets you into a world of magic secrets. Magic is a serious art. For those who believe that it is merley a collection of tricks, you are wrong. Of the many schools of magic of the "real" sorcerers of old, one was illusion. Whatever method we use to create illusion is not important. If we are good enough, and our audience believes, then it becomes REAL MAGIC. This should be nurtured, guarded, and passed on at all costs.

Smile
p.b.jones
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Quote:
Frankly speaking, magic is truly an expensive hobby(or profession). Many of these items are highly priced for maximum profit(And I don't just mean the Ellusionist). Magic has thus become not an art, but a highly profitable commercial activity.

Hi,
I continue here as I ran out of time on my last post.

Magic can be an expensive hobby but does not have to be. there are not many hobbies that you could spend say £6.00 on a book and £1.00 on a deck of cards and be able to maintain an interesting hobby for a life time. (Ok the cards would need renewing)

It is the very fact that magic is so acessable that makes it appear an expensive hobby. We see all the latest hot items for sale and want them. They are not a requirement to be a good magician/entertainer Just wants!
Yes I am fortunate that I make reasonable income from magic and I can afford to splash out a bit if I wish. but for the first 10 years or so I was in magic I probably had 4 or 5 general release magic books a deck of cards and household objects.

You would not go into say sound enginnering and expect to buy all the best and top equipment and your own recording studio in the first few months or even years, yet many magicians expect to do just that even though A large percentage never even perform never mind for money.

Phillip
Magic_streak
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Thanks for all your replies. I think Thoughtreader and Morton, you may not have fully grasped my point. I'm not criticising the availability of Magic information around. I'm not asking anyone to give out any magic effect they want. I did say that we must assess the ability of the person asking for the effect first before giving it away. But as I said, if he can learn it and go perform it real well(it is your job to see if he's willing to practise), why not? I'm not even talking about kids who treat magic as a fad. I'm talking about real serious magic lovers.

And what's with the stealing. If I invent a special sleight and many people wants to use it, go ahead! Who cares about the money? Seriously, will you really get annoyed if you see the whole magical world using what you have invented (which also means you are super famous) and you don't get any money out of it? I won't be.

I quote mithrandir:
I admit, some magic secrets were lost by my inept handling in the beggining, but now I am devoted and good. However, I do believe that once we are admitted to this inner circle of magicians, we should not hesitate to share what information we have.

Exactly my point.
p.b.jones
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Quote:
And what's with the stealing. If I invent a special sleight and many people wants to use it, go ahead! Who cares about the money? Seriously, will you really get annoyed if you see the whole magical world using what you have invented (which also means you are super famous) and you don't get any money out of it? I won't be.

Hi,
And that's very noble of you. But Just because YOU choose to give away your work for nothing that does not mean that every one has to and if indeed a person with a different view point wants to be paid for there efforts that may give you some right to question their position. but not to impose your will on them and give away their idea for free however competent the person your giving the idea to might be.

In normal life many of my friends have given me personal information and asked please don't tell anyone this. if I agree to this then I am told the info. what kind of fiend or Ethics would I have/be if I told every one that I thought was worthy of knowing?

Like it or not when you buy a magical secret you are also agreeing to certian restrictions/ethics.

Now obviously I am talking about marketed effects here not information on how to do a pass, top change, tell a story or gag, structure a performance ext.

phillip
Magic_streak
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That's exactly what I'm questioning. If these inventors claim they love the art and have contributed tremendously to it, why will they want to get paid for these efforts? There are other ways to get paid, not just in monetary terms. Like I said, fame is a kind of payment as well. Respect, recognition, passion are other forms of payment. If these people really love the art, they will give their effects for free. I'm not saying all the professionals out there are swindling blokes. I've seen and met magicians willingly teaching other magic enthusiasts what they know and they ofcourse, emphasise on the presentation more than the technical part of the effect.

As the name spells, a "marketed effect" is meant for MAKING MONEY and not to ENTERTAIN and help out your fellow magicians.
p.b.jones
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quote:
fame is a kind of payment as well.

Not to all men /women and it does not pay the bills.

quote:
If these people really love the art, they will give their effects for free

If that was the case then no one would pay for anything. You can love your art and still have the need to survive!
Phillip
Peter Marucci
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I suppose I would have to side slightly -- ever so slightly -- with MagicStreak in this argument.
There are many ways to make a "profit" in magic (as in any other art form) without converting that "profit" into dollars.
For more than a decade, I have been writing the Showtime column in the Linking Ring, freely giving away my own creations; the same with the e-zine Visions (www.online-visions.com) and, for any who ask, a number of effects right here on the Magic Cafe: No-Gimmick Scotch and Soda, the Birthday Card, Cards for Lovers, etc.
When I began in magic, more than half a century ago, I was pointed in the right direction by a retired magician, the late Charlie Roe; without his expertise, I would have spent years "wandering in the wilderness".
And so it is only fitting that I return the kindness to others who are starting out or who want to learn more.
After all, the tricks are the least important part of magic; the presentation is what makes or breaks you as a performer (and with that, I can't be much help; no one can).
Yes, the almighty dollar plays a role, but not as big a one as MagicStreak might think.
There are very few Copperfields and Burtons around; the vast majority of creative magicians do something else to pay the rent and put food on the table.
Even Vernon was never able to support himself (and his family, for a short time) solely with his (very slight) magic income.
Sure, we may teach someone who gives it up after a while; this may happen dozens of times.
But that's okay.
Maybe one out of a hundred will pursue magic as a life-long passion. And that's a much higher ratio than trying to find gold!
Personally, having been rudely rebuffed as a much younger person by some "names" (and helped by others), I find it morally required of me to pass on what I can to others who may be just starting.
But that's me.
If others want to take a different path, that's their business.
cheers,
Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com
Magic_streak
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Philip, sorry for being blunt here but if your livelihood depends on this business then you jolly well make your performances good and enjoyable so that people will queue up to watch your show. You'll be rich even if you charge only $1 per person if you have a big audience. Anyone who relies on jacking up prices on magic effects or props to survive is a downright loser.

Most of us magicians do it only part time. Many magicians have outside jobs and they only do it as a hobby, for fun, for entertaining people.

Why do so many "magicians" freak out when their secrets are exposed? It is because they are weak in the heart. If they are confident they can perform that effect better than anyone else, for eg. they can do a double even a trained fellow magician's eyes cannot detect, then they will excel. I myself have been impressed a number of times when someone showed me something I already knew but was unable to detect it because it was so well done. I very much appreciated it. It doesn't mean by giving away the effects you will not survive.

And one point I want to make it clear. When I say giving away an effect I do not mean giving it to any layman. I mean giving it to real magicians and magic enthusiasts who are willing to practice and perform it well. I myself do not give away secrets freely as you may be thinking now. I look at the person asking and decide if it is worth the dignity of the effect to pass it to him/her.

If money is all you think of then you are only cheating your fellow magician brothers.
p.b.jones
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Hi Magic streak,
First let me make it clear that I do not make money from selling/inventing magic.
I have had several articals/effects in various mags, Abracadabra, alchemy, Linking Ring ext. But these where unpaid. Yes I lecture and I charge for that and any lecture notes sold. I make 99.5% of my income from performing to a lay audience

I think the opposite to you I think that if a person gives away secrets that are not theirs to give away then they are a loser and a thief!

Why dosen't the person just come up with his own idea's and give them away?
If you do not think that magicians should sell there idea's then do not buy them. you do have a choice. Why not start your own organisation where no one buys any commersial items and gives THIER OWN IDEA'S away for free.

Qoute:
Most of us magicians do it only part time. Many magicians have outside jobs and they only do it as a hobby, for fun, for entertaining people.

Yes I agree so why do they feel that they must have the latest most professional tools?

a chap with a hobby playing a guitar would not likely own the top of the range pro guitar and if he did it would cost him.
Phillip
Stuart Hooper
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Just so you know magic streak, there are about five or ten magicians in the world who are "rich". Thats why magicians need to sell just about anything we can. I personally will help newer magicians with any trick they need even comercial ones, but there is a lot of help we can give without giving away secrets. At the moment however I'm trading non-copyrighted secrets for donations to the cafe as it is the only way I can help. Smile
Andy Leviss
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Quote:
On 2002-06-22 06:22, Magic_streak wrote:
That's exactly what I'm questioning. If these inventors claim they love the art and have contributed tremendously to it, why will they want to get paid for these efforts? There are other ways to get paid, not just in monetary terms. Like I said, fame is a kind of payment as well. Respect, recognition, passion are other forms of payment. If these people really love the art, they will give their effects for free.


Two points: (A)If you respect them, you'll respect the time they put into it and want to compensate them for letting you in on it. (B)Some folks don't refuse to share because of a desire for monetary gain, but a desire to keep their original material exclusive. They don't want everybody doing what they do, so they choose to keep it to themselves and/or a close group of associates. That's their perogative, and I respect that.

Quote:
As the name spells, a "marketed effect" is meant for MAKING MONEY and not to ENTERTAIN and help out your fellow magicians.


If anybody markets an effect in a plan to make anything more than a few bucks, they're going to be quite disappointed when they find out how little money there is to be made in selling magic. You don't get rich, or anywhere close to it marketing an effect. Most (not all, but most) magicians who market effects only make back enough to cover the manufacturing/printing/distribution/etc. costs, if they're lucky.

Anybody who thinks that you're going to get rich selling magic is either naive or living in a dream. A few guys might sell enough to get rich, but for every ITR, there are dozens of other effects that sell a dozen copies over ten years.
Note: I have PMs turned off; if you want to reach me, please e-mail [email]Andy.MagicCafe@DucksEcho.com[/email]!
Scott F. Guinn
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while trying not to be offensive or harsh, I must ask the question:

Why should I give away a trick for free if I created it? Why should I spend all the time and effort to create it, the expense to produce it, the money to market it (or you never would have heard of it in the first place), just so you can have it for free when you put no time, effort or money into making it?

For example, I sell my sponge ball routine for $15. It comes with instructions, three sponge balls, a purse frame, and a special gimmick. It costs me money to have the instructions printed, the purse frames and balls and gimmicks all have to be bought by the dozen (even at wholesale and one dozen of each, that costs me about $75) and I have to pack them, drive to the posts office (five miles away and back) and ship them (another $3.50). That's about $10 bucks I've got into the thing, and then, as often as not, the check I received in payment would bounce, costing me $15 at my bank! (Which is why I no longer accept checks.) So I either make a "whopping" $5, or I lost $10 on the deal! But I should give it away for free? I think not!

And what do the people who order the routine get? A commercial, practical routine from the repertoire of a full-time working pro. A routine that has evolved and been honed over thousands of performances--they get the benefit of my experience, sweat and effort--for $15!

The greatest painters, sculpters, songwriters, novelists of all time were compensated financially for their efforts, even though they were "art." And the people who loved the art, were willing to pay for it.

Again, this may sound insulting (which is not my intent), but in my experience, the people who gripe the most about paying for magic are the ones who have never created anything themselves, and the ones who think that magic is "easy." It is they, not the "inventors" who, IMO, do not appreciate the "art" of magic.

I respect your right to disagree, but I stand firm on these convictions.
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Greg Arce
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Let's carry this argument onto other fields: I just became a doctor so why don't all the other doctors, who have been in business years longer, why don't they give me some of their patients so I can start up my business, too. Or, I love stamp collecting so why don't the big time stamp collectors give me some of their award winning stamps so I can have a better collection? Or, Hey, I love money! How come those rich guys who struggled to make their fortunes don't just give me some money so I don't have to struggle to get to where they are. Yeah, let's make it easy for everyone to make it because, you know, getting there is not half the fun.
I hope you see what I'm getting at? I agreed with a poster who said that everyone wants things handed on a silver platter nowadays and feel they deserve it. I didn't have videos or people around me that could easily GIVE me information. I had to research information on my own and learn from mistakes.
As for marketed items to make money, Magic Streak, well, let's apply your theory to other marketed items: I like Coke. Why do they have to sell it? Don't they realize that so many people like myself love their product and that proves they are famous so why do they need to make money? Hey, I love cash. Why doesn't the bank just give me money? I don't want to work for it.
I'll grant you one thing: I never worry about magic exposure. It comes and goes and the regular public has a short memory. I did a test on friends when the Masked magician had his shows. They watched them with me and a few months later I asked them what they saw or remembered about how things were done. The answer? Practically nothing.
But when someone takes an active interest in magic I do try to help them, but I still feel they should take baby steps first before they think they are ready to run their magic marathon.
Greg
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
John Smetana
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It appears to me that Magic Streak and a few others believe" From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" Scary philosophy, in my humble opinion, and I want no part of it...Who is John Gault?

Best thoughts,
John Smetana Smile
Peter Marucci
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As in Ayn Rand's John Galt?
Actually, "from each . . . etc." is from Marx (and I don't mean Groucho), which is the very antithesis of Ayn Rand and her John Galt (in Atlas Shrugged).
Meanwhile, back on the point:
Scott(with whom I usually agree but not this time completely) asks: "Why should I give away a trick for free if I created it?"
Well, you probably shouldn't -- IF your created it completely and totally.
But, in the case you mention, you may have created the routine but not the sponge balls, the purse frame, or the concept of either.
We stand on the shoulders of others, without whom we could not do anything; therefore, where do we get the idea that we can use their work, add something of our own, and take all the credit (and money)?
Agreed there's very little money in selling magic tricks; so the logical question is: "Why do it?"
If you never got an idea from anyone else, then I can see your demanding that you should be recompensed for your work.
But you have got ideas from others; all of us have. And much of the time we never paid for it: We got it from a friend, from the Internet, from a host of other sources besides magic shops, books, or videos that we paid for.
As for those who want to "keep the material exclusive", that's a crock!
Where do you think they got the basic ideas in the first place? From someone else, of course!
And where would they be if those original people decided to keep their material "exclusive"?
But, as I said in my original post, do whatever you want (you will anyway!).
You march to the beat of your drummer and I'll march to mine.
cheers,
Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com
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