I saw Ian's clip of the Cascade Control with the monster flash and figured, what the hell, here's another kid with a digital camcorder and a DVD burner who just learned a move and wants to show off.
I don't really like that, because of my belief that teachers of anything should be experts, not just folks who have just learned something themselves.
What made this different was the fact that Ian said he had only released the video "after obtaining permission from Paul Chosse."
Now, Paul is someone I respect, and it's his version of the Charlie Miller move which Jon Racherbaumer wrote up in "Card Finesse II" in 1992. So -- did Paul Chosse's permission mean that Ian had learned the move from Paul and was given the permission by Paul to teach it because he had mastered it to a high standard? Or did it mean that Paul had said, "I don't care. It's in print. Go ahead and make a video if you want."
So I talked to Paul Chosse this morning, and it's the latter. In fact, Paul hasn't even seen Ian do the move.
I applaud Ian for contacting Paul for his permission, even though he didn't have to (since the move is in print) and I'm not accusing him of anything.
But I'll reiterate my belief that, when making a video (or writing a book, lecture notes or anything, for that matter) which is teaching something to someone, that you know what you're talking about. That means not simply being able to perform a move but to have examined all its components, the areas in which a student might get hung up, possible pitfalls. These are usually things which are discovered only through years of study, performance, and living with a move.
I haven't seen Ian's video. I'd like to, because the Cascade Control is a difficult move to master.
I am put off buy a guy sitting in his chair in bare feet that I, the audience, has to look at. I don't care if that's the way Ian normally sits. In show business, which is what making a video is, you put what the audience sees first, not your comfort. Second, I am dismayed by Ian's statement that he included the flash because he didn't notice it and he was "short of time by that point." The video Ian is offering is not free; one has to wonder -- what else didn't he have time to "tidy up," as he puts it, in his teaching video?
The demonstration on his site is so poor that I got an indignant e-mail from a good magic friend of mine, a well-known magician who knows what he is talking about. He was actually incensed at the demonstration.
Moral: Don't teach on video that for which you have not attained the level of master teacher.
Let me reiterate -- I have not viewed Ian's video and I am writing only about his demo movie and the accidentally implied Paul Chosse imprimatur.