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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magic names and the media » » Houdini Museum in Appleton (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Wayne Hackler
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I just watched my morning news, and was appalled with the Houdini Museums disclosing of the trunk exchange trick. I'll be ***ed if the news didn't show exactly how it was done. I've been following the story of the planned disclosure, but I thought it might only be limited to being shown in the museum. To see the solution while drinking my morning coffee, has rendered me speechless. And the retard morning hosts thought it was so great to reveal the secret.

This has ticked me off so much, I just had to vent. Has tv gone too far? First the Fox network specials and now this. What's next? Is anything sacred?
christopher carter
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The Chicago Tribune offered a lovely half-page photograph of the exposure, courtesy of the Houdini Museum. Some have suggested that it's when magicians make a big noise about exposure that people sit up and take notice, but it looks to me as if the museum has worked mighty hard to shove things in the public's face.

Now obviously the craft of magic will get through this, but here's a story of how exposure can impact real people: Years ago, when the first masked magician special aired, I was showcasing at a college conference. Also showcasing were an illusionist duo. They did Modern Art and a Metamorphosis illusion in their showcase. They were a big hit and many colleges expressed interest. That evening the Masked Magician exposed the Zig-Zag and the Metamorphosis (using a ludicrous method that nobody actually uses). The next day several of the colleges cancelled their contracts with these performers, citing the fact that the students would know how their tricks were done. The particular tricks the couple actually used were not the same method as the tricks that were exposed, but it didn't matter. Real people get hurt in real ways by exposure.

--Chris
John Clarkson
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On a CNN program called "360", Anderson Cooper ran a piece about the controversy in Wisconsin. He carefully outlined the issues, giving both the museum's position and the position of those magicians who have opposed the exhibit. He did not reveal the methodology and ended the piece with the statement, "For our part, we prefer to leave it a mystery." I sent him a congratulatory e-mail. I encourage you to do the same.

:nose:
John D. Clarkson, S.O.B. (Sacred Omphaloskeptic Brotherhood)
Cozener

"There is nothing more important to a magician than keeping secrets. Probably because so many of them are Gay."
—Peggy, from King of the Hill (Sleight of Hank)
David Todd
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Quote:
On 2004-06-03 10:07, John Clarkson wrote:
On a CNN program called "360", Anderson Cooper ran a piece about the controversy in Wisconsin. He carefully outlined the issues, giving both the museum's position and the position of those magicians who have opposed the exhibit. He did not reveal the methodology and ended the piece with the statement, "For our part, we prefer to leave it a mystery." I sent him a congratulatory e-mail. I encourage you to do the same.


Good for Anderson Cooper . I will send him an email appreciating his good taste and discretion.

Unfortunately the CNN/AP story that went out yesterday to many websites and newspapers included a description of how the trick works and a photograph of the smiling museum curator stepping out of the secret panel in the trunk.

And to think that one of the defenses she made for the many months prior to the exhibit opening was that "only those who are truly interested in Houdini and who take the trouble to travel all the way out to Appleton, WI will see how the trick is done" . She strongly implied that the museum would not be doing a mass exposure of the sub trunk principle in the media , so that only paying patrons of the museum would see how it worked, IF they wanted to . (apparently the museum was supposed to post signs "warning" people that if they did not want to see the secret then they should not enter a certain curtained-off area of the museum........ but what's the point if they are going to have photos of the illusion exposed in widely distributed AP news stories ? )

It has become clear to me now that the museum curator doesn't care about Houdini, doesn't care about magic, but is only doing this as a cheap publicity stunt to generate more traffic to the museum . It's pure greed .
(though I wonder if the exposure of the trunk principle in the news stories that have appeared over the last two days will hurt them in a way ; why would anyone make the trek out to the museum to pay to view the exposure when it's already been shown for free in the mass media ?
I realize there are many other reasons to visit the Houdini museum , but in terms of using the exposure of the sub trunk as a draw I wonder if they have shot themselves in the foot ? )
Robert Sixx
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I made a post in "Did You Hear The Latest", but it is listed on the MSN Home Page as well. Here is a link to the story.

http://entertainment.msn.com/celebs/article.aspx?news=160030

Sixx
Catch me on Twitter @RobertSixx or Facebook -- Robert Sixx
christopher carter
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John,

Thanks for the info re: Anderson Cooper. I will send a congratulatory email.

--Chris
Kevin Ridgeway
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Wow, that is a shame.
In another thread I was blasted for stating that we as the magic community have yet to figfure out how to deal with this. That we give it more publicity that it would have had on its own. That Copperfield, Pendragon, etc just fueled the fire.

Well now that it has turned into this monster, it is now receiving front page headlines, on the news ticker at MSNBC and now they are showing how it is done right on TV and in the newspaper. Far worse than just in the museum of a small Wisconsoin town. Look how big we have made it.

Well guess by attackers were right...Copperfield, Pendragon and all the others that made it front page news handled this the right way....whatever.
Living Illusions
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christopher carter
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Kevin,

I'm sorry, I don't understand the point you are trying to make. If you are saying that Copperfield and those who expressed opposition to it are responsible for getting this thing splashed on the national media, I'm not at all convinced that that is correct. The wire service story that was in the Chicago Tribune made scant reference to any controversy and was mostly devoted to showing a picture of the exposed effect. I haven't seen other depictions, so I can't speak to them, but I don't think the opposition from magicians had any significant impact on the attention national media have given this. I think it has everything to do with the pictures.

--Chris
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