Jim (et al)
That notion - that one tends to describe what one experiences by way of one's values and knowlege base is a fairly well accepted basic notion in psychology.
Getting to your example of Nate Leipzig; I came across this some years ago on another webpage but found it just now for citation:
I was greatly excited when I heard that a Professor Stork, a magician who had come to Detroit recently and had opened a magical depot, would give a performance at a local hall. Of course, I made it my business to see his show which was very good, the one trick that was outstanding to me, was that in which he had three men in the front row, draw cards from a deck. The cards were returned to the deck and one of these men was asked to hold the cards in his hands. At that moment a telegraph boy came running into the hall shouting: "A telegram for Professor Stork." The professor opened the telegram and found the three cards that had been drawn by the three spectators and an examination of the pack proved that those three cards were missing from it. The trick impressed me greatly and as I understood the modus operandi I decided to do it at my next performance.
Just at this time a young cousin of mine had come from Sweden to live with us. He was about fifteen years of age, quite tall and at the awkward stage, but he was a nice boy and we all liked him and he very soon picked up our language. When I booked another date for the Clawson Hall and was anxious to do this new card trick I enlisted the services of cousin Sam. I carefully coached him in his part, he was to stand in the back of the hall and at my signal he was to come to the platform and deliver a letter to me. I had to make it a letter as I had no messenger boy's suit for him. The cue was that as soon as I returned to the stage, I would fold my arms. Well the trick proceeded all right up to this point and I faced the audience with my arms folded but nothing happened. Embarrassed, I held the position until I saw him coming up the aisle towards me with the envelope in his hand, his face as white as a sheet, he looked at me, then at the exit which was right next the stage and, without a word of warning, he dashed out and never stopped running till he got home. I could never remember what happened to me after that. Everything went blank in front of me. I think I got through a few more tricks and got out of the hall as quickly as I could, for I couldn't possibly face them. I never attempted that trick again for I never did like to use confederates.
from here: http://www.miraclefactory.net/mpt/view. ... les&id=129
(short version: I saw a trick I liked, copied it, got sick to myself and did not do that again)
The above has some potential morality to it if you're willing to project/imbue in that way. That such would carry into his works as distinctive rather than copied is something I look forward to exploring as more about him comes to print with Jim's project.