The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Do we have the right to know how effects are done? or should some secrets be kept (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Hypnotic Winter
View Profile
Special user
Ireland
720 Posts

Profile of Hypnotic Winter
Something I have seen debated the odd time is to do with mentalist keeping secrets.

Some people say that we shouldn't be so greedy keeping secrets to ourselves and release them others say we should not be letting all this material out.
I personally think that we ahould keep at least a few things to ourselves, to me it keeps the mystery.
Take Mr Osterlinds coin bend as an example, he has dumbfounded magicians and mentalist with it yet I believe it has driven a lot of us to invent our own way of accomplishing the same effect with our own methods and yet none of the mystery is lost.
It is certainly true that when we have a lot of origional secrets built up there might be a good reason to release them.
I have found that being mystified myself and not learning the explanations has spurred me on to think Effect first much more.

Do you guys's agree on keeping at least a few secrets or do you feel it's a right to have great mentalist effects released to our commun?

H.W
When your only reality is an illusion, then illusion is reality.
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27123 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
I like to believe that if I asked, I would be directed to the inventor or the source material and could then find out.

I don't ask about stuff unless it inspires a desire to do something similar. Then, it's not so I know the secret, it's so I can offer that same feeling I have for a thing, to others.

Hope this helps
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Samuel Catoe
View Profile
Inner circle
South Carolina
1255 Posts

Profile of Samuel Catoe
It is NOT a right to know the how. It is a PRIVILEDGE!!! So many people feel that just because they are in this hobby that they have the right to know how it is done.

I have heard it before and will hear it again "I should know" "I'm a magician, you can tell me", etc., etc. I will tell them the same as I have always: The knowledge is found not in the telling but in the finding. If you really want to know FIND IT! I did. Buy the book, the video, the trick, the whatever. Just because you like the effect does not mean you have the right to know the how. You probably don't even have the need to know. But if you want to know, find it. And if the creator hasn't told anyone yet, let him/her have their creation. They earned it, they worked for it, and they DESERVE it. What about you? What did you do for the knowledge? See the trick? Like the trick? Want to copy it for yourself? So you ask and say you have the right to know. Guess what. NO, YOU DON'T!! Earn it and don't steal someone else's idea. Create your own or pay for it proper. Just my thoughts.

Samuel
Author of Illusions of Influence, a treatise on Equivoque.
PM me for details and availability.
psychic
View Profile
Veteran user
337 Posts

Profile of psychic
I usually only tell secrets to those I think 'deserve' to know and for me one of the deserving qualities would be someone who would not I believe as cassidy puts it 'prostitute' the routine and secret.

As to mentalism, knowing the secret is not even 50%, the rest is showmanship. So I couldn't care less if too many people are being exposed to those secrets because they won't be able to perform it convincingly anyway. And I don't think any advice no matter in what form will match those of performing experience.
dr.strange
View Profile
New user
95 Posts

Profile of dr.strange
Hi all

I feel that all magicians, no matter what discipline they practise, should have at least one effect that no one else knows the secret, take osterlind coin bend as an example, I believe that he should not ever release the method. This, as hynotic writer has said, can inspire other magi to greater things, and through this practice of not revealing secrets,the Art of Magic can hold onto, arguably regain, its air of, for want of a better word, .......MAGIC.

P.S As I mentioned it in my post, do you think that the ART of magic, in this day of commericalism where secrets are easier come by than ever before in the arts history, has lost its MAGIC.

Yours in Magic

dr.strange
Richard Osterlind
View Profile
V.I.P.
2213 Posts

Profile of Richard Osterlind
You guys got me to thinking about something I had not before.

When I was a kid, I didn't have any books or magic kits at first. (Well, a couple of items I got at the circus) When I saw a magic trick on TV (yes, they DID have TV back then!) I would try to do them right away. I would work out something or other and just do it.

I think maybe that has helped me all these years to keep an eye on effect first, then method.

Richard
oxygen
View Profile
Regular user
Paris
186 Posts

Profile of oxygen
I like the fact that some secrets are kept.

When I've been totally fooled and amazed by an effect, I will after a while wonder how it could have been achieved, and sometimes, I come up with A solution, and I say A and not THE solution.
That's why I agree with many of the previous posts. Not knowing the method leads you to find your own method and can even lead you to new things that will fool other mentalists. And that is something 1000 times better than just having the method offered on a silver plate (I don't know if the silver plate reference exists in english language lol).

As said before, take every single method offered to you as a privilege and not a right.
chanor
View Profile
Regular user
New York City
140 Posts

Profile of chanor
A portion of the general public refused to watch the TV Masked Magician series, as they felt that the sense of wonder, theater, imagination and release from the mundane world would be shattered.
John LeBlanc
View Profile
Special user
Houston, TX
524 Posts

Profile of John LeBlanc
This is a subject I've been working on for another entry into my blog, but here are my opinions on this:

Quote:
On 2004-10-20 18:36, Hypnotic Winter wrote:
Somthign I have seen debated the odd time is to do with mentalist keeping secrets.

Some people say that we shouldn't be so greedy keeping secrets to ourselves and release them others say we should not be letting all this material out.


Well, this goes to the heart of the value of an idea, which is interesting to me because that's also at the heart of the ethics issue (which I won't mention any further except to say we can agree an idea has value.)

In my other life as part of the music business I run across as divergent opinion as you can imagine in the world of magic and mentalism. There are producers on one side (including writers, artists, recording engineers and producers), and on the other are those who believe music should be free. Sound familiar?

The arguments parallel some we hear here about magic secrets: information should be free. Any time you see or hear the word should, ask yourself "According to whom, and why?" Why should information be free? The answer most often is that "it's just information; you can't own information." This completely misses the concept that information has value, and that value is ascribed to the author. This is why we have copyright and patent laws; governments recognize the value of ideas.

Apparently some people recognize that, also, because they use the word "greedy" in reference to a magician who won't share the secret to one of their tricks. I'm at a loss at how Magician A withholding from me the secret to one of his tricks is somehow his being greedy. It looks to me like "preserving the value" of one of his tricks. I can't find fault with that.

As to the second part of your statement, the part about not letting material out, that falls in line with respecting the opinion of someone else.

I don't think anyone is in favor of magic secrets being published on the computerized billboards in Time Square. But if Magician A decides to release his trick to the magic community, it seems to me it's entirely his call how he wishes to do that. Some will only submit tricks to be published in one of the magic periodicals. Some will only release them commercially. Some, a combination.

To me it seems awfully presumptuous for someone to dictate to the owner of the secret how he should dispense that knowledge. The argument that it somehow diminishes the art rings hollow for me. I can see only benefit in providing performers lots of choices and points of view. In fact, the more choices from which a performer can chose, the less likely he is to limit the width and breadth of his repertoire.

Quote:
I personally think that we ahould keep at least a few things to ourselves, to me it keeps the mystery.


Well, that depends upon your point of view and what audience to which you refer. Largely, normal people (lay audiences) don't much care who originated a trick and, in the case of most all professional performers, each piece will, by default, be attributed to the performer. There is no mystery to protect since his entire act is mystery.

On the other hand, when referring to those inside the community, an inventor who demonstrates a trick for other magicians and doesn't explain it personally or in print, faces The Marlo Effect. Ed Marlo would take an effect -- that is, what a trick looks like when performed -- and think out every possible method. Sometimes he published them. Marlo was a sharp cookie and often noodled out the actual working. What happens if he publishes that handling before the inventor did?

Quote:
Take Mr Osterlinds coin bend as an example, he has dumbfounded magicians and mentalist with it yet I believe it has driven a lot of us to invent our own way of accomplishing the same effect with our own methods and yet none of the mystery is lost.


Just my opinion, but we really should be doing that with anything we perform for others anyway. Knowing the secret -- whether that's from personal instruction, reading in a magazine, book or purchased trick or DVD -- just gives us one particular handling from which to start.

Quote:
Do you guys's agree on keeping at least a few secrets or do you feel it's a right to have great mentalist effects released to our commun?


I've been given a few really great tricks with the proviso that I do not perform them for other magicians. In many cases I think that's both sage and sad.

John LeBlanc
Escamoteurettes, my blog.

"One thought fills immensity." -- William Blake
Tom Jorgenson
View Profile
Inner circle
LOOSE ANGLES, CALIFORNIA
4452 Posts

Profile of Tom Jorgenson
I think a large percentage of magicians are more Seekers of Secrets tan anything else. Somewhy, a secret, something that they do not know drives them nuts. I also thikn that many of them are in magic only because there are so many secrets to know.

Many times, revealing to these people is harmless, these magicians will never perform these tricks/ effects, never screw them up, never perform them badly...they just want to know more secrets. Intellectual curiosity. It moves them forward.

Lets say I am most curious about a drawing duplication effect, or better yet, Ted Lesley's $300 Simpatico thing. It would be harmless for me to know the skinny on it, as I would never do the effect (I presume). So, if I want to buy one at $300 for my own curiosity, so much the better. It would benefit Mr Lesley, as one more Mss. would be sold, and one less magician performing it. I would NOT have the right to inform other curious magicians about the secret...not mine to give. So, when Mr Curiious sees the Mss in my library and asks about the secrets and methods, I would have to say 'Get your own, not mine to divulge.' I would also NOT ask for the secrets from someone else...

However, if I have an instantaneous open-handed no gimmicked sponge ball appearance that I have discovered I can freely show anyone I want...they'll either love it and do it, or not like it and not do it...either way, the secret is safe, the trick is safe. Most magicians reject performing 95% of the secrets they learn anyway.

I think we certainly should have great mentalism effects released to our community, as 90% of the mentalists are simply not creative in that particular line of thinking, cannot invent their own stuff, but simply love performing the work...hence the popularity of Mentalism in general....but it's not a right, as said,its most always a kindness of the mentalist to release his favorite effects.

My 2 cents....
We dance an invisible dance to music they cannot hear.
Joshua Quinn
View Profile
Inner circle
with an outer triangle
2048 Posts

Profile of Joshua Quinn
I agree with John that this is an odd place to use the word "should." Maybe this is just the Libertarian in me coming out, but IMO there is no "should" in regards to sharing an original method with others; it's the creator's intellectual property to keep, sell, or give away as he/she pleases -- end of story. If Richard Osterlind decided to sell his coin bend to one person for five million dollars, or to give it freely to all and sundry with a box of cracker jacks, it would be nobody's business but his own.
Every problem contains the seeds of its own solution. Unfortunately every problem also contains the seeds of an infinite number of non-solutions, so that first part really isn't super helpful.
John LeBlanc
View Profile
Special user
Houston, TX
524 Posts

Profile of John LeBlanc
Quote:
On 2004-10-21 16:29, Quinn wrote:
I agree with John that this is an odd place to use the word "should."


Holy cow, you read that far? Smile Most of the time I figure I'm just exercising my fingers.

John LeBlanc
Escamoteurettes, my blog.

"One thought fills immensity." -- William Blake
Caleb Strange
View Profile
Special user
Manchester UK
676 Posts

Profile of Caleb Strange
It is not my intention, at all, to 'have a go' at H.W. as he raises an important question. However, like John, I am puzzled by the use of the word 'greedy' when refering to those who create and then decide to limit access to their intellectual property.

There is greed, I would say, in this neighbourhood, but in my experience, it is usually to be found on the other side of the fence.

Regards,

Caleb Strange.
-- QCiC --
Bill Hallahan
View Profile
Inner circle
New Hampshire
3222 Posts

Profile of Bill Hallahan
I will try to make a comprehensive response, although the next sentence applies to every case I have ever heard of.

In general, nobody should be required to give their artistic creations away.

And now for the caveats, albeit perhaps silly and contrived caveats.

The only time a method should made available is if it will result in a major social improvement, such as a technical method that also happens to cure cancer. Even then, it can be ethical to charge for it as long as it will be made available.

So far, I'm not aware of any trick methods in this category that aren’t already known outside of magic and mentalism.

But mentalists actually do use some methods in this category, e.g. relating eye motion to cognitive processes came from neurological research. This information is useful when diagnosing brain damage. (Because of people’s innate ability to pick up patterns, some people were probably subconsciously using such cues long before they were understood, but understanding eye motion actually changed some performer’s scripts). There are other examples.

I don’t think mentalists are likely to get ahead of researchers with regard to critical social information, so I don’t think this will ever really be an issue.

Compilations of statistics on both behavior and appearance are another tool of mentalists. I can’t think of any ethical reason any of this information would have to be released, at least not for anything a mentalist would use it for. Again, most of this information comes from outside research.

I suppose during the investigation of a serious crime, such as murder, any performer might be ethically compelled to give up the method for a trick, although the situation I have to construct to justify that is so contrived that I can’t imagine it happening anytime soon.

I am sure someone else can come up with other exceptions that either will never happen, or will happen extremely rarely.

This is typical ethical and legal issues. One sentence describes 99.99%, if not 100% of the cases, and one can write pages of exceptions. I suppose that’s why lawyers exist.
Humans make life so interesting. Do you know that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to create boredom. Quite astonishing.
- The character of ‘Death’ in the movie "Hogswatch"
Hypnotic Winter
View Profile
Special user
Ireland
720 Posts

Profile of Hypnotic Winter
Caleb,
Please excuse my use of the word greedy , I was actually thinkning back to posts I have seen in the past and I'm sure I have seen the word come up before, granted it is strong how ever my intent was to show the two extremes so as the get peoples genuine opinions.
I have to admit I have always thought every one to have the total right to keep their material to themselves should they choose.

what I don't like is those who attack other for keeping material to themselves, I also don't like any one to taunt other because they have somthign that other person does, once or twce in the past I unintensionally mentioned som rare or origional effect I had and relsied that it was far better to stay quiet.
I think to make other people jelous on purpose is as bad as sticking your toung out at them and calling them names, better to be humble and stay quiet unless you can actually help them get the effect also.

H.W
When your only reality is an illusion, then illusion is reality.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Do we have the right to know how effects are done? or should some secrets be kept (0 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.17 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