First of all I believe that there is no such thing as a bad trick. I submit my script "Johnny's Angels" from my book Theatrical Magic
as proof. It's a script for a horrid trick - the color changing feather wreaths - but I am 100% certain that my script turns it into theatrical magic gold. Read it and see if you don't agree. (available at www.theatricalmagic.net
So we'll have to agree to disagree. I firmly believe it is persona FIRST, repertoire second. Again, the reasons are spelled out in The 12 Step program in Theatrical Magic
. Once you read that you'll understand perfectly.
I appreciate and support your longtime work against exposure. I think though that even if Valentino did expose every trick in the magic catalogue, it would have little effect because of the dilution of the TV audience. Statistically speaking nobody will even see this.
However, the danger here is that it seems to give any performer permission to expose at the drop of a hat. Worse, it actually encourages mediocre magicians to remain so. Who cares if the magic is exposed through a poor performance? They already know how it works anyway...
Which brings me full circle to my original arguement - persona/character. A strong persona can draw the audience in and make them forget about methods and mechanics (because magic doesn't happen with methods or mechanics - it happens in the hearts and minds of the audience), and focus on creating magic.
John B. Pyka
"Big Daddy Cool"