Exposure in the UK Press

Discussions of new films, books, television shows, and media indirectly related to magic and magicians. For example, there may be a book on mnemonics or theatrical technique we should know or at least know about.

Postby Jon Allen » 12/16/07 06:09 AM

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/16/07 08:25 AM

I only read the first three items, but it seems like the kind of thing that may interest some folks in magic and perhaps increase our ranks. No doubt the Magic Circle will get their knickers in a twist and throw the poor guy out (unless they already have :) ).
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Postby Guest » 12/16/07 09:31 AM

Never trust a magician named after a rare gas. ;)
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Postby Matthew Field » 12/17/07 04:07 AM

The 100 tricks reprinted by The Observer/Guardian are taken from Royal Road, Bobo and other public domain and good books, plus some tricks from a general-interest magic book, used with permission. The first 25 tricks carried an introduction by David Blaine.

The Zenon material in the Times is excerpted from his book. I do not know whether the reprint permission came from him or his publisher. Obviously it is to the publishers benefit (and obviously Zenon's as well) to have the publicity for Paul's book. Would a publisher know which tricks were OK to print in a newspaper? I doubt it.

Zenon's excerpt exposes the Center Tear, Pull, Spoon Bending and Magnetized Cards, as well as a bunch of other stuff. The things I mention specifically are, to me, the damaging ones.

Jon Allen commented on this in a post to a Magic Circle unofficial mail list. He said, citing "Designing Miracles" and I agree, that when you give spectators methods you remove much of the magic from magic. I am paraphrasing.

The point is that there are ethical ways of inviting people into the world of magic by teaching them tricks, and then there is wanton exposure. When you expose material that many magicians use in their acts, you destroy the opportunity for them to provide the experience of magic to those in their audience.

That's why The Magic Circle gets their knickers in a twist over this sort of thing.

One final note -- I am constantly amazed by the high profile magic has in the UK. Every non-magician knows what The Magic Circle is. Magic is an acceptable entertainment at adult (as well as children's) parties. There is magic on TV and Derren Brown has a new TV series about to debut, plus a new stage show he'll be touring. I love it!

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Postby Guest » 12/17/07 10:54 PM

At least they didn't excerpt pp. 46-49 which graphically detail the cigarette through coin using the Pressley Guitar gimmick.
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Postby Ian Kendall » 12/18/07 01:22 AM

Paul posted a reply to the vitriol on Magic Bunny last night; the gist is that he had no say in the piece (it was his publisher's call) and that he did a certain amount of damage limitation.

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Postby Guest » 12/18/07 04:47 AM

I thought there was very little vitriol!
Someone did say that Paul was unknown outside the
u.k. which is a pretty fair thing to say.
He mentions how Dai Vernon and Lewis Ganson were
involved in exposure which is strictly true but with the internet now the exposure is much greater.I still think it was a shame to put the work of the great coin engineers [Pressley,Gibson
and Lassen] in his book.It could easily have wound up in the Times Online as well.
Since Mr.Zenon has done the coin thru' on t.v I
guess he feels he is done with it!
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Postby Ian Kendall » 12/18/07 06:56 AM

Mark, the vitriol was in the other thread, to which Paul was replying.

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Postby Jon Allen » 12/18/07 08:24 AM

There are a lot of magicians who think that as long as you can entertain people with your magic, the strength of the magic is not that important. By giving them a little knowledge they can appreciate the performance a little more. That's just a load of (insert fave term here).

There is also the 'argument' that people will easily forget what they have read or seen when it comes to exposure so why worry? How these people know this is always the case is a mystery to me.
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Postby Guest » 12/18/07 10:50 AM

Originally posted by Jon Allen:
There are a lot of magicians who think that as long as you can entertain people with your magic, the strength of the magic is not that important. By giving them a little knowledge they can appreciate the performance a little more. That's just a load of (insert fave term here).

There is also the 'argument' that people will easily forget what they have read or seen when it comes to exposure so why worry? How these people know this is always the case is a mystery to me.
I don't think I have read anyone say that exposure is ok as it allows people to enjoy the performance more when armed with some knowledge.

I do however completely agree that the presentation of the magic is what is important and makes something entertaining, not the strength of the magic behind it.

And people that say laypeople forget are right. They simply do not CARE about how it really works so forget. Also they just don't put 2 and 2 together. So if they read how ambitious card works using a double lift, and you then did The Fingerprint trick, or something else using the double, they wouldn't realise.

I have done linking rings at a gig and had someone come up to me afterwards saying that he had seen a masked magician explain how the rings work, but the ones they used had a big hole on one of them. He said he loved my version as he had no idea how it could work without a big hole. (Mine do have a hole and aren't posh Porper locking rings or anything)

It really is nothing to worry about at all. No harm will come, no loss of revenue.

It may encourage new people to start in magic and added to which, it was not Zenon, but his publishers that sold it.
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Postby Guest » 12/18/07 01:42 PM

I would have to agree with mrgoat:

"And people that say laypeople forget are right. They simply do not CARE about how it really works so forget. Also they just don't put 2 and 2 together. So if they read how ambitious card works using a double lift, and you then did The Fingerprint trick, or something else using the double, they wouldn't realise."


I can remember several occasions where I have been caught on a trick. (I'm sure we all have)Although being caught and showing someone how to do it are different, exposure is exposure. One time I was doing a hummer card effect, and a good friend of mine decided to quickly reach out into the space between my hand and the card snapping the thread. This has not stopped me from showing other pk effects to this guy even though his guess was I was using string the first few times after that. I used different methods and even explained I do not need to use a thread to move something, but that is just one of the many ways. I even went to the extent of allowing him to check for string the first few times after that and now he never knows when I use thread or don't. It seems as though the method is no longer important to him yet he remains entertained.

JDC
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Postby Guest » 12/18/07 02:21 PM

Originally posted by mrgoat:


I do however completely agree that the presentation of the magic is what is important and makes something entertaining, not the strength of the magic behind it.
I completely agree. That's why guys like John Carney and the late Tommy Wonder only use self-working or simple tricks like "Color Monte" and the plastic ball and vase that you get at magic shops for a buck. It's all about the presentation!

No, wait. The opposite of what I said. What the hell was I thinking?
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Postby Guest » 12/18/07 02:31 PM

Yeah the aritcle on Potassium Zenon was good, but how did everyone do on the King Alfred quiz about 1/4 of the way down? I got them all right !!!
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Postby Guest » 12/18/07 03:48 PM

If they have a clue what's going on - you aren't doing you job as a magician.

If they have a care about how you're really getting things to happen - you aren't doing your job as an entertainer.

Now quit trying to despoil innocent eyes by showing them the mechanics of guile. That - as was pointed out above twice - is something they truly don't want to care about as it takes away what trust they have in the world as it seems.
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Postby Guest » 12/19/07 10:17 AM

Originally posted by Jonathan Townsend:
If they have a clue what's going on - you aren't doing you job as a magician.

If they have a care about how you're really getting things to happen - you aren't doing your job as an entertainer.

Now quit trying to despoil innocent eyes by showing them the mechanics of guile. That - as was pointed out above twice - is something they truly don't want to care about as it takes away what trust they have in the world as it seems.
Wouldn't you agree that no one has 100% control over what a spectator does? What does one do when a laymen forcefully does something that reveals a method?

I remember a time I was caught on something involving my performance of ACR. I had done a change keeping the card (I passed off as the spectators) outjogged and face down. The spectator actually had the nerve to bend over to look at the card and see it wasn't his. Although I felt like kicking him in the face I just said you caught me. I then proceeded to tell him since he was so good at watching my hands I would show him something even slower. I then executed a pass, but all the spectator saw was me waive my hands over the top of the deck making the signed card appear at the top. He had no idea about how I did that or the next few sleights. All I did was adjust myself according to that persons prior actions even if it meant exposure. It seems lame to deny it when your caught or to just walk away.

I feel that a true magician should be able to move on without skipping a beat just the same as a musician who hits the wrong note in a song does.

I DO feel it's wrong to expose a method of a trick like the one mentioned in the UK article. That is something the magician had complete control of regardless of whether spectators remember it or not!
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Postby Guest » 12/19/07 10:33 AM

Originally posted by J.D.C.:
...no one has 100% control over what a spectator does? What does one do when a laymen forcefully does something that reveals a method?

I remember a time I was caught on something involving my performance of ACR. I had done a change keeping the card (I passed off as the spectators) outjogged and face down. The spectator actually had the nerve to bend over to look at the card and see it wasn't his...
Before we get into audience management and the use of tasers...

We really do want to look at how we frame those moments when we turn a card face up, show it, turn it face down and then do something hinky leaving the audience to wonder if their card's really still there. That's both a methods and routining problem.

From the methods/scripting side - ordinarily they aren't concerned about the card you put asidewhen
a) they trust you and
b) they are thinking about something else and
c) your actions were congruent to your purported purpose (they know why you put the card down that way)
* then they are far less likely to jump up and feel a need to check things.

And of course there's not too much to do (after the fact) when a child rushes up all wide eyed to look at the props - or an adult who you've either regressed to that childlike state or one who's not not socialized and does not have the basic restraint of most adults.

This kind of thing really calls for simple distraction. Clapping your hands and offering a child the card case may work. But if you've successfully provoked an adult... that's beyond my expertise and maybe the more experienced can offer some insight about the use of humor and perhaps tasers.
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Postby Guest » 12/19/07 11:19 AM

QUOTE]...a methods and routining problem.

From the methods/scripting side - ordinarily they aren't concerned about the card you put aside when
a) they trust you and
b) they are thinking about something else and
c) your actions were congruent to your purported purpose (they know why you put the card down that way)[/QB][/QUOTE]

I definitely have C) down by always giving a reason why I do something.(Leaving no room to ask)
The guy that caught me on my ambitious card routine was a complete stranger I met on the street.

What would your advice be on gaining a strangers trust and being able to verify that trust?

Also, what do you mean when you say: "b)they are thinking about something else"?

JDC
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