Shoot Ogawa or "Houston, we have an ethics problem."

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby Guest » 07/17/03 10:27 PM

I just watched Chris Capeharts wonderful 3-Ring Routine DVD, and cant help but wonder once more why Shoot Ogawa is still getting a total pass from the Magic Castle and the greater magic community. When Valentino did three exposure specials on TV we made him a pariah. When Shoot did three exposure specials we put him on the cover of Magic Magazine.

If you remember the March 2003 cover story, Magic didnt seem to have much of a problem with Shoots past, but then again, who did Magic get to write the hard-hitting expose? Shoots touring companion Apollo Robbins. Robbins wrote, "many members of the worldwide magic community misinterpreted his intent." Really? Not only did they not appear to misinterpret his intent, for the most part they dont appear to have cared or even noticed. But what of Shoots intent? According to Robbins article Shoots profit making mission to "educate" and "raise the perception of magic" should be seen and accepted as a much more noble and honorable endeavor than Valentinos questionable goal to inspire magicians to come up with new methods. For those who missed the video of Shoots TV work, apparently "raising the perception of magic" involves exposing the Classic Force, Muscle Pass, Thumb Tie, Professors Nightmare, Estimation, Lapping and the coin Matrix to name a few. God forbid we should stoop to raising our audiences perception of our craft by entertaining and amazing them.

Robbins went on to say that "many of the professional magicians in Japan" saw Shoots specials as visionary and stated that only a "small group of amateurs" saw it otherwise, though this is clearly not the case. Working pros, very reputable working pros, had serious and justifiable problems with the specials and Shoot knows it. I suspect Robbins does too, but if he doesnt, maybe Magic should have had someone with a little less bias write the article.

Theres no question that Shoot is a talented guy, and from all reports a really nice guy as well, but the uncredited ring routine is not the first time Shoot has been accused of publishing, and profiting, off of other artists work. Look, I dont know Shoot, and I have nothing personal against him, but unless Ninja is Japanese for Chris Capehart it appears to me that we have a serious, and serial, ethics problem that nobody wants to address. Long after the Fox specials have ended Valentino remains a pariah, but even with this latest breach of ethics Shoot is still cashing in and appears to be on his way to winning FISM. Anyone care to explain?

Curiously yours,

Ray
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Postby Guest » 07/18/03 04:11 AM

Ray;
Always follow the money for clues and answers. I would suggest that you look at the person promoting and making money off of Shoot DVDs (another MAGIC cover boy). He recently rewrote the history of his holdout development by writing Todd Lassen out of the string of events. He rewrote history obliterating the promise that only 200 U3Fs were to be made (after selling 1000). Now it appears that he would like to rewrite history again by obliterating any knowledge of or credit to Chris Capehart. This promoter is a "big name magic insider" who apparently can do no wrong within the magic community - though it has clearly been shown what type of person he is. People in the magic world are snowed by this guy and refuse to see what he is really doing. I submit the possibliity that no one really cares - except those being wronged. This promoter apparently will do just about anything to line his pockets while the magician "sheep" will fall into line and support his hype. In my opinion, most of the insult to Chris Capehart has been done by this promoter who merely could have said "shame on you" to Shoot rather than promoting him. But there were quick and easy bucks to be made. I'm sure we'll see many more such instances of wrongdoings by this promoter in the future. After all, he can rewrite history any time he chooses. And I'm sure the magic community will fall into line and support this very promoter who openly diplays very questionable ethics. 'Tis a sad state of affairs.
Jim
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/18/03 08:31 AM

"The Ninja Rings" routine and its accompanying moves are not the creation of Shoot Ogawa, but of Masahiro Yanagida, his teacher in Japan. So, the accusations about lack of credit are best directed toward Yanagida (who has also been known to pilfer the material of Japanese magicians, which is why few of the magicians in Japan outside of Yanagida's own "Wizard's Inn" group have anything to do with him). I'm not going to defend Shoot on this issue other than to say it seems unlikely to me that he would have been exposed to Capehart's ring routine. If he believes what his teacher says, then he believes that his teacher came up with the moves in question.
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Postby Steve Bryant » 07/18/03 08:42 AM

I purchased the Capehart Stars of Magic routine years ago, read through it once, and tossed it aside, not quite understanding why it had been elevated to Stars of Magic status. I am thrilled to learn that the new DVD will answer that question, and I will dig out the old mss with renewed interest. When I saw Shoot perform the Ninja rings last year, I was blown away both by the routine and by Shoot's charm. I later purchased the rings and video and am happy with what I received (can't DO it, especially the spinning crash link) and was unaware that I had encountered any of it years ago. This doesn't necessarily excuse anyone, but I can certainly understand it happening. Biggest surprise in all this was remembering Capehart as a cool looking young guy in the mss and now seeing him on his web site with white beard. It happens to all of us!
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Postby Guest » 07/18/03 08:43 AM

Shouldn't the star of the DVD and marketer have some accountability for this?

HR
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Postby George Olson » 07/18/03 10:30 AM

Harley:

Absolutely!

No one has addressed the teflon coating around Mr. Ogawa. I too have met him and found him to be a likeable guy, however so was John Gotti.

I admire anyone with talent, but the "ethics be damned attitude" and character assination of a nice guy from Iowa, and an equal nice coinwork maven from the Northwest really puzzles me as does the double standard with regard to who's in and what's out.

GO
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Postby Guest » 07/18/03 12:01 PM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
"The Ninja Rings" routine and its accompanying moves are not the creation of Shoot Ogawa, but of Masahiro Yanagida, his teacher in Japan. So, the accusations about lack of credit are best directed toward Yanagida (who has also been known to pilfer the material of Japanese magicians, which is why few of the magicians in Japan outside of Yanagida's own "Wizard's Inn" group have anything to do with him). I'm not going to defend Shoot on this issue other than to say it seems unlikely to me that he would have been exposed to Capehart's ring routine. If he believes what his teacher says, then he believes that his teacher came up with the moves in question.
Richard,

Fair enough, when it comes to stealing from Capehart's ring routine I'll concede that Yanagida is more guilty, but that doesn't leave Shoot, or Bob Kohler for that matter, blameless. They both put thier names on the product, they are both continuing to profit from it and the both bear a level of responsibility. Let's not forget how hard Kohler came down on Reed McClintock when he lectured on "Defiance," Reed's handling of the Ninja Rings. Reed took the high road and was very classy to both Kohler and Shoot when he wrote about the incident on this forum, but I've seen all the emails and the fact is Reed clearly had Shoot's and, according to Shoot, Yanagida's permission to teach his handling in his lectures. I've also seen Kohler's email to Reed where his attitude toward copyright appears now to be more of a "do as I say, not as I do" approach. For example, Kohler wrote, "The DVD will contain proper credit for each and every move that Masahiro Yanagida created." And it did. The problem was it contained no proper credit for the moves Chris Capehart created.

But we can agree to disagree. That still doesn't explain why no one seems concerned with the exposure specials. As far as I can tell Shoot is a very friendly, likeable and talented guy whose actions regularly hurt other magicians.

Still, no one seems to care. I don't get it.

Ray
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Postby Jeff Eline » 07/18/03 12:10 PM

What are the details about the exposure? Was it broadcast? Here? In Japan?

I hadn't heard about his. I don't read Magic - I read Genii. :D
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Postby Guest » 07/18/03 02:13 PM

Originally posted by Jeff Eline:
What are the details about the exposure? Was it broadcast? Here? In Japan?

I hadn't heard about his. I don't read Magic - I read Genii. :D
Jeff,

About three years ago Shoot did three television specials that aired in Japan. He was 25 and had been winning magic competitions for a dozen years so you'd think he'd have known better, but...

Here's what Robbins wrote:

"Inspired by the commercial succuss of the exposure shows created in America by Fox and the Masked Magician, the Japanese networks followed suit and copied this irreverent ratings-boosting formula. One producer decided to create and "educational program" that would give magic the respect it deserved while educating children. To do this they needed a skillful magician. "

According to Robbins the "obvious choice" was Shoot. In this country the "obvious choice" would be someone like, say, Copperfield, Burton or Blaine, but of course they wouldn't do that kind of an exposure, I mean, educational program. So here we'd have to get someone like, say, Valentino.

Each program would have Shoot performing a trick like the Professor's Nightmare, then there was a "clear and concise teaching of the method and details of its performance" followed by the child then performing the effect for the televison audience. See it's educational, not exposure. I don't speak Japanese so it's possible they began each program by having the children swear to never reveal how a trick is done, but like I said, I don't speak Japanese.

Robbins wrote:

"However, this format was soon followed by another more investigative program that delved into the limits of magicians' abilities. The producers asked, "What are magicians truly capable of? Do they really possess true skills, or is all the trickery accomplished with mere props and gimmicks?" (we all know how much Shoot and Kohler are above ever using "mere props and gimmicks" like key rings or gimmicked coins, but I digress.)

Robbins continues:

"They (producers) demanded on-camera demonstrations of Shoot's true magical capabilities."

Now it's been a year since I watched the video clips, and I wouldn't have a problem if Shoot had just demonstrated his abilities, but he also chose to expose the methods. Why? I can only assume that was part of his deal.

Again, I don't speak Japanese, but I recall seeing detailed explanations of the muscle pass, lapping, the Classic Force (with an exposed camera angle from under the deck) and estimation. I also recall a clip where Shoot performed, then exposed the method for bending a spoon.

Like I said, it's been a year, but I'll see if I can dig out the links to the video clips.

Ray
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Postby Jeff Eline » 07/18/03 02:43 PM

Wow! Thanks for the details... :(
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Postby Guest » 07/18/03 03:58 PM

The clip marked 200X is the spoon bend and the first three in the second group, the three named ????!???, are from the program I remembered. I found it was easiest to save the links to my desktop and view them with Windows Media Player. Two of the other clips are perfomance only and the third has Shoot doing one of the tricks he explains in the program mentioned above. I remembered another clip, but I don't see it on this link.

Ray
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Postby Guest » 07/19/03 06:43 AM

Wow. I really liked Shoot's Ninja Rings DVD and have always been very impressed when I met him in person, but those clips are distressing.

JMT
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Postby Guest » 07/19/03 07:27 AM

Well well well...........

I don't know about others, but as a magic consumer, I will be keeping these facts in mind when I am making purchasing decisions in the future. I know one company that will not see any of my money in its coffers.

Jeff
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Postby Guest » 07/19/03 08:07 AM

"Houston, we have an ethics problem."

Hey, just call me Opie.

Why don't we ask Shoot to join us and respond to these attacks?

Signed: Opie Houston from Austin (It gets confusing sometimes)
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Postby Guest » 07/19/03 08:14 AM

Just my two cents in support of Chris Capehart. We were friends back in the late 1970's when he and I were working the same stretch of 45th street, and I watched him develop that routine, refine the moves, etc. I don't think he ever heard of Masahiro Yanagida and I'm sure I hadn't.

As for putting the routine aside, if you had ever seen him do it, you wouldn't even think of that. I don't think I've ever seen a linking ring routine with that kind of audience impact; both because of the construction and because of Mr. Capehart's perfect execution.

As for Shoot Ogawa and the exposure issue, I think a lot of us care, and are distressed by this. But what exactly are we to do about it? I don't know. Any suggestions?

Best,

Geoff
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Postby Ian Kendall » 07/20/03 06:36 AM

Hello all,

I think watching the clips will give us all a bit of an idea, but until we are all fluent in Japanese we are unlikely to know the whole story.

It seems obvious that Shoot knew what he was doing (that is to say he was aware of the 'revealing' camera shots at the time) and I'm sure this will bring up the whole debate again (how long before someone reminds us that Vernon was involved in a little public exposure, too. Oops).

I think too many 'Big Names' have gotten behind Shoot as the next Wonder Kid to let this dent his reputation. I really can't see everyone saying 'Whoops, we got it wrong. Have a safe flight back to Japan...'

Take care, Ian
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Postby Guest » 07/20/03 01:01 PM

As for Shoot Ogawa and the exposure issue, I think a lot of us care, and are distressed by this. But what exactly are we to do about it? I don't know. Any suggestions?

Best,

Geoff [/QB][/QUOTE]

A suggestion on what to do: Make the person or persons responsible for this exposure/etc., a pariah in the magic community. You can be cordial,however, don't purchase their products, don't attend the lectures or shows, offer no help whatsoever to any of them. This is what I will do.As far as I'm concerned these people don't exist. Will my efforts stop them... probably not, but only because most of us are unwilling to take a strong stand. As in almost every case of this nature, the reactions depend on whose ox is being gored.

Best thoughts,
John Smetana
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Postby Guest » 07/20/03 02:48 PM

Before we start banning his products, and lectures I think it would be good to have someone that knows Japanese and has seen most of the exposure shows discuss it. From the few clips that I saw the main messege of the show was the opposite of the masked magician specials. Mr. Ogawa's specials seemed to show that magicians do things that are very difficult and take a great deal of work.
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Postby Guest » 07/20/03 03:33 PM

Noah, no offense, but there's nothing to discuss. Any five year old knows the first rule of being a magician. Just ask one.

"A magician never reveals his secrets."

Not to the laity, anyway. And certainly not to 20 million of them at a pop.

While informing the public of the fact that there can be art in magic is a laudable goal, I don't know that it can be done without breaking that first rule. I wish that weren't true, but in over thirty years I haven't found a way around it.

Best,

Geoff
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Postby pduffie » 07/20/03 03:35 PM

There was a thread about this in the past. Mentioned then was, that it's part of the Japanese culture to exhibit skill (hidden or otherwise). Has Mr. Ogawa done this in a Western country?

There were magicians in the vaudeville & music hall era (USA & UK) who would perform immaculate manipulations with billiard balls, and such like, then expose the sleights to even greater applause.

I have a feeling that if Shoot Ogawa were marketing the products himself, there would be a slightly different tone to some of the posts in this thread.

Regards

Peter
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Postby Guest » 07/20/03 05:18 PM

Mr. Latta I am not defending Mr. Ogawa but I personally would like to exercise caution in making judgments about something that happened thousands of miles away for a different culture in a different language that I have only heard about from people that have heard about it. I'm pretty sure I just made a lot of grammatical errors sorry about that.

Noah Levine
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Postby Guest » 07/20/03 07:59 PM

With all due respect, I am not remotely concerned with what's acceptable in other countries or cultures. In some cultures it's ok to kill people who do not subscribe to your religion, burn your wife alive when you're tired of her, etc. To have to accept another's cultural world-view when you perceive that, in your culture's world-view, they have done something wrong, just leads to a kind of horrible moral relativism that makes the words "right" and "wrong" meaningless and useless.

In this culture, my understanding is that magicians aren't supposed to reveal their tricks to laymen. Period.

As for dance hall and vaudeville performers who exposed magic methods to lay audiences for "extra applause", I think they were wrong to do so and "two wrongs..." etc.

I am not attacking Mr. Ogawa. I haven't seen the clips. I am attacking exposure.

As to whether he did this here or there, I can only say that since the advent of video, and especially since video on the internet, there is no "here" or "there". Record it, and there's a good chance that at some point it will be everywhere. In fact, once it's on the net, it is everywhere. And available to anyone at all. This is why I don't think there should be any publicly accessible magic videos on the net. Just my opinion.

Finally, if he were marketing it himself, that might change the tone of the replies (though I don't see that that has much to do with the core issue) but as far as I can tell, all that that would really do is make him a smarter businessman.

Regards,

Geoff
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Postby Guest » 07/20/03 08:15 PM

"I am not attacking Mr. Ogawa. I haven't seen the clips. I am attacking exposure. "

This clarifies things, my statements we're aimed towards those that have attackted Mr. Ogawa.

Noah Levine
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Postby Guest » 07/20/03 08:16 PM

It always has, and always will, boil down to pretty much one thing...*Who* is it doing the exposing?

There's money to be made in Shoot Ogawa. Ninja Rings to be sold, paid ads in magic magazines to do the selling, etc. As long as there's money to be made, the rightness or wrongness of anything Shoot-related won't be seriously questioned.

When exposure benefits the wallets of people who make their livings selling magic to hobbyists and performers, or people who want to sell tickets to magic show tours, there will be no questions asked. No one turned their back on Mac King because, while he definitely exposed, it was with with official sanction. Valentino? Different story.

As in so very many things...follow the money.

TP
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Postby Guest » 07/20/03 10:42 PM

In 1911 Maskelyne and Devant wrote "Our Magic" for the general public:

"One notable feature of this work, which should, we believe, serve to prove the faith that is in us, consists in our unhesitating disclosure of original devices, and the modus operandi of original experiments in magic. So far from feeling any reluctance toward letting the general public into the secrets of our procedure, we are most anxious to educate the public in such matters. In order that a proper understanding of our art may be disseminated among its votaries and patrons. The point is this. Tricks and dodges are of comparatively small importance in the art of magic."

Cardini published photos exposing his sleight-of-hand moves with cards, including split fans, backpalming of cards, billiard ball acquitments, etc. in Life Magazine.

Most of the great illusionists, including Blackstone, Thurston, and Dante sold magic booklets in the lobby during the intermissions of their shows. These explained tricks to anyone who wanted to pay a buck.

I saw the shows that Shoot did in Japan. I would have personally preferred that he had not shown Professor's Nightmare and a couple of other things that I use or might use in my own routines. On the other hand, these things are certainly available in any magic shop, and in many books for the general public. The real question is, is the exposure on these shows harmful or helpful to magic?

These shows were very respectful of magic and magicians, and actually created a youth craze for magic in Japan. Kids would compete with each other for speed and height with the muscle pass. People gained respect for the intense training and skill needed to do magic. Even magicians who do not have this kind of skill receive the benefit of the general population thinking they do.

The worst thing about the "Masked Magician" exposures was not the exposures themselves, but the demeaning and belittling attitude toward magic that was expressed by the host and implied in the explanations: "It's easy when you know how."

I think that the only time people are interested in exposure is when magic is very popular and has drawn a lot of attention. During the "golden era" of magic, magic illusions were exposed on the back of cigarette packages. The Masked Magician appeared when magic popularity was again very high. Did these exposures diminish the popularity of magic? I don't think so.

I don't think exposures are nearly as significant a problem as most magicians seem to think.

Most exposures are not very entertaining or interesting, and do not have much hold on the audience's attention or memory. If the method were more interesting and entertaining than the effect, then that is probably what we should be showing the audience in the first place.

These shows might, however, spark an interest in magic in some viewers. These become intrigued and "hooked," and become our next budding magicians--thereby increasing the "popularity" of magic.

Everything depends on what one decides is "good" for magic. The fact is, it is the very popularity of magic that has made its secrets so very available to the general public. When you couldn't make much money from selling secrets, there was not much incentive to do so.

Magic shops had a different attitude back in the 50's when there were only a few. You had to know what you were looking for to get any of the "good stuff."

Now that there is a magic shop in every decent sized town, and hundreds on the internet, they are practically proselytizing magic, grabbing people off the streets, in the mall, or in the casino to show them how easy it is to be a magician.

I think that the shows Shoot Ogawa did on NHK were much better for the general public's appreciation of the art of magic than the attitude expressed by many magic shops and online stores that "Anyone can do magic. It is easy, once you know how."

I'm not sure that great popularity is the best thing for the art of magic, but it has allowed many more people to make a living performing or selling magic than probably should be, people who probably don't have the skill and the art to be able to survive when the market is as thin as it was in the fifties and sixties.

Some of the fruit of this popularity is the interest that the public has in magic exposures, and I think the exposures actually increase the awareness and popularity of magic.

It is part of the public dialogue about magic, exactly the same as audience members of varying degrees of knowledge of the art discussing what they have seen in a magic performance. This will become more likely in the future, and will come more quickly.

As television and the internet combine, you will find people discussing in chatrooms what they are watching the magician do on television. Some will figure things out, others will know and tell, some will reach out with search engines and find what they want to know. Some magic shop will be hovering ready to sell a book or video to those who have just been fooled.

This is going to happen. It may eventually begin to hurt magic--the magic that is performed on television--because the tricks are being spoiled so quickly. By killing magic on television, it could lead to a lessening of the overall popularity of magic in the society.

Does exposure help or harm magic? That depends on what you consider is helpful or harmful... ;)
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Postby Guest » 07/21/03 05:12 AM

Mr. Hadyn speaks truth. Exposure can be done lovingly or sneeringly. The "Don't let magicians fool you!!" tack taken by the Masked Magician shows is both ludicrous and contemptuous of the art. But in measured snippets, exposure can give magicians an opportunity to share with others the wonders, horrors, and staggering boundlessness of human credulity. That kind of exposure, which used to be a staple of Penn & Teller's work (and maybe still is...I haven't watched them in years), can serve as both an art appreciation lesson and a public service. Where Shoot's stuff falls on this continuum, beats me, although the tales of a thousand Japanese hobbiests blooming are heartening.
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Postby Guest » 07/21/03 05:33 AM

Maybe I can boost my income from my restaurant work by selling the patrons a manuscript explaining the tricks I do. I would do it lovingly.

Does anyone think that this is a good idea?

Mike
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Postby Guest » 07/21/03 06:09 AM

I certainly don't. I'm just echoing the point that the issue of exposure is not quite as cut and dried as we often make it out to be.
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Postby Guest » 07/21/03 07:40 AM

Mr. Hayden makes several excellent points in his post, which also point up the double-edged sword of exposure.

Back in the early part of the 20th century, Henry Hay published the Amateur Magician's Handbook. We regard this book as a classic, today.

Back then, there was a firestorm of protest about its publication and Mr. Hay caught the brunt of it, full in the face.

Blackstone was chastized for showing tricks in Life, as was Cardini. Thurston caught flack for his lobby books and look at Bruce Elliot's work for, I believe, a cigarette company. All took major hits from the "bretheren" for these works.

Here's an acid test: Next time you are doing close up, or a trick for a few friends, ASK them about the Masked Magician. ASK them what trick methods they remember.

You will be surprised at the answers, folks. The public doesn't CARE all that much about how we do what we do! It's just not that all-consuming a deal to them.

Sure, many of us run into a few people with big mouths in the audience - I had it happen to me with a Leslie Deck at Medieval Times when a dozen high school kids statred calling off the names of the cards during my performance. Why? Because ONE of them had bought a deck at Magic Masters that afternoon and tipped it to the rest of them.

Six months later, the same group came to Medieval Times again. I used the deck on them again (as an experiment) and NOT ONE of them spotted it, let alone was able to READ it.

The Professor's Nightmare was tipped a few years ago in cereal boxes, for crying out loud! Does anyone remember that?

Nope.

Memory is a fickle thing. We only recall about 2% of what we see after 2 weeks unless there is a strong emotional tie to the information or more than one sensory system is involved.

Also, the intent of an exposure makes all the difference as well. When someone shows how a trick is done with the intent of showing how beautiful or difficult or classy the method is, with the intention of getting the audience interested as practitioners (as Blackstone, Hay and Elliot did), then the damage is probably minimal to the performers and the benefit to magic would probably be pretty great as new people get interested and involved.

But exposure is a double edged sword. The damage done by the elements who expose with only the intent of becoming the next magic millionaire by shoving professional-level secrets down the public's throat in a pitchman style, for either inflated prices or for a pittance - these are the people who are harming magic.

It's one thing to tune in BY CHOICE, to see magic done in a manner that allows the viewer to appreciate the expertise, training and sheer work involved in even the simplest (technically speaking) trick. It's another thing, altogether, to push professional secrets as though they were slum items at a pitchman's suitcase table.

Perhaps there IS a difference between "good" exposure and "bad" exposure.

My guess is that it will be a decision that each of will make for ourselves.

But I could also be dead wrong, too.

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
http://www.leedarrow.com
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Postby Guest » 07/21/03 03:49 PM

Uh, yeah. Devant wrote an exposure book, and got kicked out of the Magic Circle for it, but they had to let him back in because he was Devant. My point exactly...it depends on *who* you are when it comes to exposure.

If you're famous enough or beloved enough in the magic community, you can expose to your heart's content and someone will pop up with "Yeah, but he did it lovingly...and that makes all the difference," which sounds suspiciously like enabling to me.

Oddly...or maybe not so oddly...it's the people who are in the business of selling magic in the form of tricks, books, tapes, and magazines who seem to go easiest on exposures. People who make their livings performing don't seem to care for it.

Funny, that.

TP
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Postby Guest » 07/21/03 04:33 PM

I didn't know it was okay to expose material that is not of your own invention to the public.

Is that the new litmus test? If magicians are doing the trick and pretty much all have bought the trick, it's now okay to expose the trick?

I didn't realize John Cornelius's work on the muscle pass was open for exposure. Or the professors nightmare. Or lapping and the revolve as per Slydini.

Given what seems to be approval for these acts of public exposure, ... what then was the issue we had here recently with a mechanical version of my coins across?

Is our sense of right and wrong as sophisticated as our gaffed coins? As artificial and a mere means to some end? If so, what end?
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Postby Guest » 07/21/03 08:11 PM

I have a solution...why doesn't someone post the handling of the Ninja Rings, and some of Shoot's other material online...doesn't that make it all even..

He did expose other people's material...so if his is exposed "lovingly", isn't that ok?

Rosie
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Postby Guest » 07/21/03 08:30 PM

A few points with regard to everything that was said.

First, I find it curious that given the argument about Capehart's routine, no one has attacked Dan Fleshman. He released the routine on tape long before Shoot did. I also think Shoot's teacher should be getting more flack that Shoot in this situation, as he had to ok the production of the dvd. It isn't easy contradicting your teacher.

If display of skill was the goal of these shows, I do have a question. In the context of demonstrating skill, I can understand the display of the muscle pass, estimation, and perhaps even the classic force. One the other hand, I am puzzled by this same justification being applied to the thumb tie and professor's nightmare. These latter two display a certain amount of cunning and ingenuity, but I think as a display of skill choosing these tricks shows a lack of sound judgement. It seems that it would be much more beneficial to prove skill as being involved in magic by showing an extreme display of dexterity (not necessarily overt). As a result, I believe there are many tricks in the literature that would achieve the proposed goals much more effectively than those chosen. This is not meant as an attack on the concept of the show, as I admit that I do not know enough about Japnese culture to have knowledge of the cultural consensus on exposure and skill, but rather to question the judgement of what was performed in light of the claims.

As a side note, the manufacturer of Shoot's DVD seems to have conflicting opinions on television exposure. In the description of his upcoming holdout is the following: "The legal safeguards that we have chosen to employ give us the power to keep our secrets from being exposed on television. We will fight to keep our secrets out of the hands of dealers who will sell anything to anybody.

In Las Vegas its virtually impossible to use invisible thread to levitate an object because the secret is sold and pitched to thousands of non-magicians every day. Fred Kaps would turn over in his grave if he knew that one of magics best close-up effects was in the hands of guys who sell motor homes for a living. We would very much like to see professional secrets controlled so that they can remain professional trade secrets for years."

Seems like anything is justifiable. I make no judgements. I leave that up to you.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 07/21/03 11:24 PM

I wasn't aware Dan did an exposure show...be it loving or not. Of course being from the 'show me' state perhaps it would be culturally acceptable.
Steve V
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 07/22/03 03:50 AM

Some secrets, once blown, are blown indelibly. This is true of invisible thread-based levitations, although why the floating dollar would fool anyone who's ever seen a spider levitate is beyond me. Perhaps SAM, IBM, and FISM should launch a joint worldwide spider-eradication program...those damned Masked Arthropods!

As Lee Darrow notes, most good secrets, once exposed, are promptly forgotten except by those who take enough interest in them to arguably qualify as amateurs, or at least hobbiests. Does that mean that we should tip our stuff to anyone who asks "How'd you do that?" Of course not. I qualified the term "loving" exposure with "measured snippets" for a reason.

What's an example of "loving" exposure? How about Slydini's "Paper Balls Over the Head"? In one sense, since flipping things over a spectator's head is not a "real" secret applicable elsewhere, Slydini wasn't "tipping" anything. On the other hand, you could argue that, by demonstrating his smoothness, timing, and interpersonal misdirection, Slydini was actually giving spectators a window into his deepest "real work." Not enough of a window to prevent them from being fooled by his (or anyone else's) other material, but enough to give them a sense of the true depth and context of his art. A measured snippet.

Of course, Shoot Ogawa's TV appearances were something else altogether. My feeling is that he crossed an unacceptable line, cultural relativism notwithstanding. But from what I can gather from the clips, at least he did it with an enthusiasm for magic rather than the MAGICIANS ARE FAKES!!! attitude of the Fox specials. That may not be enough, but it's something.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 07/22/03 12:05 PM

Good posts...particularly Ralph's last one...

The question I would impertinently pose to anyone who exposes magic in public media is:

"Would you have done this pro bono?"

Those who promiscuously seek celebrity will generally accept any kind of publicity, personal appearance opportunity, photo op, interview, or possibility to "hook up" and "network" with the movers and shakers that are tapped into the primo cash-flow.

Television Exposure, for some, is just another venue.

Is Thread Dead?

I've never floated anything, not even a loan. When I first heard about Kap's Cork, the buzz suggested "real magic" and not just another string thing. When I saw it, I was curious and puzzled, assuming air, magnetism, or....?

Me now thinks that using "invisible thread" for anything BUT floatation is the way to go...Bloom, for example, understands how to cleverly use it.

Otherwise, the ITR is ready for the time capsule.

Onward...
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 07/22/03 12:40 PM

This is really to those who have anything to expose, though may be interesting to all.

What of YOURS would you like to publish into the public domain?

Reading this thread made me notice and wonder about the way those with material that could be taken and exposed are so protective of secrets in general, while there are others who may be doing more material for the public who seem less protective.

We don't see David Roth showing the hanging coins on an afterschool special. Perhaps some might have complained if the masked magician exposed macdonald's aces? Or the princess card trick?

The really knowlegable though not so mechanicly/technically creative magicians also seem protective of the work of other magicians. They seem to understand that their access to timely and quality information depends on respecting the value of what they get to the person who did the work.

Somewhere there's an idea connecting magical means and intimacy among the members of this community.

I'll close this post with the simple question asked at the start:

What of YOURS would you wish to give away to the public?
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 07/22/03 12:43 PM

Originally posted by Aaron Shields:
A few points with regard to everything that was said.

First, I find it curious that given the argument about Capehart's routine, no one has attacked Dan Fleshman. He released the routine on tape long before Shoot did. I also think Shoot's teacher should be getting more flack that Shoot in this situation, as he had to ok the production of the dvd. It isn't easy contradicting your teacher.

If display of skill was the goal of these shows, I do have a question. In the context of demonstrating skill, I can understand the display of the muscle pass, estimation, and perhaps even the classic force. One the other hand, I am puzzled by this same justification being applied to the thumb tie and professor's nightmare. These latter two display a certain amount of cunning and ingenuity, but I think as a display of skill choosing these tricks shows a lack of sound judgement. It seems that it would be much more beneficial to prove skill as being involved in magic by showing an extreme display of dexterity (not necessarily overt). As a result, I believe there are many tricks in the literature that would achieve the proposed goals much more effectively than those chosen. This is not meant as an attack on the concept of the show, as I admit that I do not know enough about Japnese culture to have knowledge of the cultural consensus on exposure and skill, but rather to question the judgement of what was performed in light of the claims.

As a side note, the manufacturer of Shoot's DVD seems to have conflicting opinions on television exposure. In the description of his upcoming holdout is the following: "The legal safeguards that we have chosen to employ give us the power to keep our secrets from being exposed on television. We will fight to keep our secrets out of the hands of dealers who will sell anything to anybody.

In Las Vegas its virtually impossible to use invisible thread to levitate an object because the secret is sold and pitched to thousands of non-magicians every day. Fred Kaps would turn over in his grave if he knew that one of magics best close-up effects was in the hands of guys who sell motor homes for a living. We would very much like to see professional secrets controlled so that they can remain professional trade secrets for years."

Seems like anything is justifiable. I make no judgements. I leave that up to you.
Aaron,

Thanks for supporting my view on the pitchman-types that infest malls and the major hotels in large convention cities. They are, IMPO, far more damaging to magic as exposers than anyone who has done a TV special.

With regard to your comments on contradicting your Sensei in Japanese culture, you are correct in that such is a serious breach of ettiquet and very definitely NOT in the general game plan if one wants to keep studying with that Sensei in the future. The Sensei/Shosei relationship is far more than the terms teacher/student would relate in English. It is more of a Master/Apprentice or Father/Son relationship with a level of filial piety pretty much unknown in the US of A. Tough to break that kind of cultural limitation, frankly.

I also agree with you in the IT issue. Dead bird. And too well known, not due to TV exposure, but to the mall rats and the poor performers walking around with playing cards and dollar bills wobbling off their hands.

I take the start of that exposure back to a certain floating "steel" bar effect, back in the late '70's. That was when the iceburg cracked open, IMPO. It was followed by a floating "metal cube" and so on. From there, ITR, Thread Boss, and more. Kapps did his best to keep the secret, but secrets based on scientific principles lodged in basic physics, don't stay secrets long.

Ask Enrico Fermi.

But, like all magic secrets, things come and go - and usually come back again. Look at stacks - they were "out" for years. Now they're all the rage.

Maybe if we wait long enough, this stuff will all be "new" again. ;)

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
http://www.leedarrow.com
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 07/22/03 09:13 PM

The floating cork was not invented by Fred Kaps. He made it famous. Fred Kaps was a great magician. The floating cork was very expensive. It sold for $25.00 when the Kornwinder car sold for $10.00. The price kept it exclusive.
Few magicians did it because it did not use IT. The secret gimmick was quite visible so the instructions said it was a great trick at the right time at the right place.
The floating "steel" bar that supposedly ruined IT magic was my Wunderbar. However Wunderbar was the first magic trick to use IT. And I released it in the early 70's not late 70's.
There is a big difference it the types of IT sold by magic dealers. I actually studied, tested and searched for the right type over a period of years. I still do and after over 30 years have not found anything better than my original IT. Most magicians get caught because the IT itself and their handling make the gimmick visible. The handling usually makes the method obvious. That is why I used a heavy looking prop and start the routine with the rod in a corked test tube. The "steel" rod seems too heavy for IT to be used. I can also hand a heavy steel rod to the audience immediately at the end of the routine. The IT is covered by the handling and it is not above the object that is floating.
Since my Wunderbar was the first IT trick it must have been all of the variations and rip-offs that followed Wunderbar that ruined the effectiveness of making tricks float. I still use Wunderbar and no one ever accused me of using IT. My handling and hook up is completely different from the floating cork. Most of the other floating tricks are copies of the Kaps handling.
By the way, my Wunderbar is now made in India and all the magic dealers know they are selling a copy of my trick. Lots of other dealers make it too. The magic dealers often copied Ken Brooke's exclusive line of magic but they didn't copy the Floating Cork. It was not as good a close-up trick as the legend makes it.
This is not a sales pitch. Please don't place any orders for my Wunderbar or my IT. It is not as easy to do as other floating trcks.
Best wishes,
Steve
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