How has exposure affected you?

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby Umpa Duze » 01/11/05 08:41 PM

With the recent discussion about when it is ok to expose magic, I began wondering how many people have had problems because someone else exposed a trick they were performing/selling. We have all had rude audience members shout out that they "know how it is done" but I wondered if people had other first hand experiences with the consequences of exposure that they would be willing to share. Perhaps understanding the human side of exposure would shed some light on what is and is not ok.
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Postby Brian Marks » 01/11/05 09:03 PM

I did the twisting arm effect 1 day after it was exposed on tv. No problem!
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Postby Guest » 01/11/05 10:15 PM

For me it really doesn't matter. Sort of a personal challenge you might say. They say they know how it's done. I show the effect in a way that confuses the hell out them. It's one tall mountain to climb but when you get to the top, "it is sweet".
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Postby Bill Palmer » 01/11/05 11:09 PM

I've had audience members say things like "I saw the masked magician do a show, so now I know how all of this stuff is done." But when I did the show, I fooled them, anyway. I've also seen audience members watching me do certain tricks explain to their friends that I was using a "fake thumb" when I was using other methods to accomplish the things most guys use a TT for.

So, has the television exposure affected me? Not as much as it has some other guys. But audiences run the gamut from forgetful to hardheaded. I have more problems with amateur magicians than I do with people who saw a television exposure.
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Postby Umpa Duze » 01/11/05 11:29 PM

These responses are similar to my experience, while exposure is a bad idea I have not personally suffered from it even when performing effects shortly after a television special that revealed the secret. I have to go out of town for a few days, but I look forward to reading the responses from others about their experiences when I get back.
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Postby MaxNY » 01/12/05 05:38 AM

Do you know what kills me? Magnets! What S.O.B. revealed magnets? Everything now is done with magnets.....
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 01/12/05 05:54 AM

Originally posted by eric47:
... problems because someone else exposed a trick they were performing/selling...
I have had laymen explain the Balduci levitation, Downs Palm sleights, Locking $2.85 coin sets and many other things. One even explained Marlo's Tabled Palm to me. I recall learning "Sam the Bellhop" without the false shuffles from a layman long ago.

Has this effected my ability to entertain and fool most people when using ALMOST those very same tools... yes.

People need the boxes that they are trained to think and live INSIDE. The easily accessible examples of "outside the box" mechanics that constitute the means of magic do NOT serve well to instruct in creative thinking.
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/12/05 10:20 AM

I doubt if exposures have cut into any professional performer's income or ability to get work.

Most people I have spoken to can't remember anything from the Masked Magician's shows.
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Postby Jeff Haas » 01/12/05 11:12 AM

My favorite moment was, just after using a thumb tip in an effect, someone asked me if "You ever use one of those fake thumbs."

"No, those are for kids" I replied.
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Postby AMCabral » 01/12/05 11:54 AM

I've run into enough laymen who smile knowingly, having learned one clumsy key card trick in their misbegotten youth, when I use a straight cut to place a key of any type (BTW, this is one tool that's in EVERY SINGLE book of card tricks for the laity. I've yet to see a layman show me the 21 Card Trick; they're all too busy doing the "Circus Card Trick"). Of course, they think the one way they know of is "how it's done". They know nothing of the various types of keys, the various subtleties and finesses in placing the keys...

I had, on one occasion, a gentleman watching me perform "Triumph" who had read a book once. Maybe twice. I was using a crimped key for the control. He watched me cut the cards, have the selection replaced, complete the cut, and spread the deck face-down, and a big, coprophagious grin bloomed on his face. "Aha!! I'm in on The Real Work (tm)!!", he probably thought. My next course of action HAD to be offering to have the deck cut "as much as you like", and then looking through the cards for the key... right? Isn't that how it's done?

When I cut the deck without looking and riffle-shuffled to bring the card to the top, all the color drained from his face and he blurted out "Dude, NO!! Your key card!!" Gee, thanks for the help, Malini.

I wish I could say he was the least impressed when the trick was over, but that ain't the way I heared it...

-Tony
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Postby Guest » 01/12/05 01:58 PM

Originally posted by Jeff Haas:
My favorite moment was, just after using a thumb tip in an effect, someone asked me if "You ever use one of those fake thumbs."

"No, those are for kids" I replied.
I'll never forget the time I got to thumb my nose at a guy who asked if I was "one of those magicians who uses a stupid little plastic thumb?" I told him that I stopped using plastic thumbs when I was eight years old; but then I proceeded to amaze him with a thumb tip bill switch. He said that he was glad that I was a "real magician." :D
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Postby Gerald Deutsch » 01/12/05 05:39 PM

I've never liked double standards.

On page 207 of "Close Up Illusions" Gary Ouellet says: "Don't tell them how it's done. Under any circumstances. Ever."

Yet Gary Ouellet began the "teach ins" on his TV "World's Greatest Magic" claiming he wasn't exposing, he was teaching. Well, unless someone asks to learn it's not teaching.

(And I believe this lead to the Masked Magician.)

When I objected to what Ouellet was doing and pointed out that some of what was being exposed - uh - sorry - taught - was some good close up magic the response from Ouellet's defenders were basically "Well if Ouellet does it it's okay."
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Postby Guest » 01/12/05 08:39 PM

I think sometimes we forget that the performance is 90% of the effect. I don't agree with exposure, but when they only show 10% of how it's done why should it bother us when we are left with so much to work with. Exposure hasn't lost me a dime.
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Postby Bill Palmer » 01/13/05 03:39 PM

Originally posted by AntonioMCabral:
I've run into enough laymen who smile knowingly, having learned one clumsy key card trick in their misbegotten youth, when I use a straight cut to place a key of any type (BTW, this is one tool that's in EVERY SINGLE book of card tricks for the laity. I've yet to see a layman show me the 21 Card Trick;
I had just finished a "path show" at the Texas Renaissance Festival one afternoon, when a kid approached me -- "Hey, mister! I can do a card trick you can't do! You don't take a card or anything. You just think of any card."

"You're not going to show me the trick where you deal three rows of seven cards on the table, are you?"

"How did you know!?!?"

"Every nine-year-old knows that trick."

"HOW DID YOU KNOW I WAS NINE YEARS OLD!!!!?"
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Postby Pete McCabe » 01/13/05 09:30 PM

Originally posted by Gerald Deutsch:
I've never liked double standards.

On page 207 of "Close Up Illusions" Gary Ouellet says: "Don't tell them how it's done. Under any circumstances. Ever."

Yet Gary Ouellet began the "teach ins" on his TV "World's Greatest Magic" claiming he wasn't exposing, he was teaching. Well, unless someone asks to learn it's not teaching.
Sadly, we can't ask Gary, but I believe he was referring to the extremely common practice of (almost exclusively amateur) magicians who perform a trick and then reveal the secret afterwards. The temptation to do this is quite strong, especially for the many magicians who are obsessed with secrets and methods. Often these performances have no entertainment value and are merely a puzzle. If this is done in an informal setting, the trick will almost surely be followed by a discussion of method, which the spectator will be interested in (since there was nothing else of interest presented). The performer, having nothing else to offer, will all too often be eventually encouraged to divulge the secret.

I would wager that this basic pattern constitutes the bulk of exposure of magic in the world today.

It's quite different from teaching a trick during a TV special -- as long as you're not teaching a trick performed during the special.


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Postby Gerald Deutsch » 01/14/05 04:59 AM

So let me understand so that we can have one standard.

If I do a close up routine and at the end I "teach" how some illusion works it's okay - as long as I don't explain how the effects I just performed work?
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 01/14/05 05:26 AM

Originally posted by Pete McCabe:
...It's quite different from teaching a trick during a TV special -- as long as you're not teaching a trick performed during the special.
So it's okay to teach tricks as long as those particular items are not shown on that special?

Therefore... it's rabbit season?
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/14/05 11:32 AM

Golly what dumb answers some are... :D
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Postby Pete McCabe » 01/14/05 12:41 PM

Jesus, is this really so hard to keep straight?

All I said was that Gary Ouellet's actions in teaching tricks on the WGM specials do not represent a double standard when compared with his comments on p207 of Close Up Illusions. I never said it was "okay."


If Gerald or Jonathan want to practice your Straw Man argument techniques, try them on someone else please.
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Postby AMCabral » 01/14/05 12:45 PM

Originally posted by Jonathan Townsend:
Originally posted by Pete McCabe:
[b] ...It's quite different from teaching a trick during a TV special -- as long as you're not teaching a trick performed during the special.
So it's okay to teach tricks as long as those particular items are not shown on that special?

Therefore... it's rabbit season? [/b]
I'm with Jon. Think of all the hardcore underground cardmen who will never be able to show people the "Real Work" (tm) on the 6H-9D/6D-9H trick now that Melinda first performed the definitive version on WGMI and then tipped the work.

Of course, that didn't seem to "help" back when I first started card work and was showing my then-girlfriend a bunch of poorly performed stuff that was waaaaay over my head. She was picking the tricks to pieces before my eyes ("Those are two cards, not one" "You didn't square the deck") when another friend of mine (no magician) walked up and took out the 6H and the 9D, placed them into the pack and showed the 6D and the 9H on top. I thought, "Jeeez, thanks, but I'm doing serious sleight-of-hand here..."

Not only did she not know how it was done, she thought it was more amazing than anything I'd tried to show her.

I could've blow the guy's whistle, but A) I kept waiting for the light to come on in my girlfriend's mind (never did) and B) I was too embarrassed to not suggest that it wasn't some uber-sleight-of-hand that I just needed to practice...

Of all the hundreds of thousands of people who had that trick "ruined" for them, my girl couldn't have been one of them??

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Postby Bill Duncan » 01/14/05 02:16 PM

Originally posted by Jonathan Townsend:
Therefore... it's rabbit season?
DUCK SEASON!!!
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Postby Pete McCabe » 01/15/05 01:32 AM

No no no.

Pronoun trouble.

It isn't he doesn't have to shoot you now. It's he doesn't have to shoot me now. Well I say he does have to shoot me now! Shoot me now!!!
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Postby Guest » 01/15/05 01:28 PM

Oh no, you're not going to fool me again! This time, he has to shoot me when he gets home!
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Postby Guest » 01/19/05 07:15 PM

Have you ever been to a lecture and you are shown how it is done first, and then the performer "does" the effect exactly as explained. And you sit there dumbfounded? Enough about exposure, it's performance my friends.
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Postby Guest » 01/20/05 05:04 AM

In one of the Martin Gardner trade paperbacks (I believe it's "Martin Gardner's Table Magic") there's a really nifty bit he calls 'The Eye-Pop Routine' using the 6H-9D/6D-9H principle. It wrings the strategy for all it's worth and uses it to accomplish a reversal and TWO trips from the center of the deck to the top, leaving the originally displayed cards in play at the finish. Although easy, it's certainly professional caliber magic. Anyone's been able to buy this at Barnes and Noble for years. Yet no brouhaha. Hmm.

I know it's far easier to switch on the tube than hunt for a book in a store, to say nothing of America's lowest common denominator approach to literacy, so more people are going to see Melinda than read Martin Gardner. It's the same game plan, though--both performers are pimping the workings of a great card trick for an intended audience of laymen. Yet no one is crying foul-- can it be that some of the ethics police believe exposure is decided by sheer numbers or a majority rule? How many people have to see the method of a trick described in order to consider it exposure? 10? 100? 1000?

Having said all that, I have to say a lump came to my throat when a co-worker brought me a page from a tear-off desktop calendar entitled "Learn A Really Good Card Trick" that detailed the mixed-but-similar suits principle in a couple of short paragraphs. I don't mistake this temporary shock, however, for the sad demise of a once-worthy effect. Case in point: I nailed the same guy's head to the wall later in the week with the Gardner routine. He'd either forgotten what he'd read (because I'm sure to laymen reading about a trick is far less interesting than watching one)or didn't recognize it. Either way, no worries.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 01/20/05 05:15 AM

Originally posted by Dan Huffman:
...a tear-off desktop calendar entitled "Learn A Really Good Card Trick" ...
Sounds cool. Would anyone mind if one was released that included "The Princess Card Trick", "twisting the aces" "Smith's Myth", "MacDonald's Aces", "Poor Charlie", "Point of Departure", "Premonition", "The Eleven Card Trick",...

Perhaps a move or sleight every day and a full blown trick to use them in every week.

What do you think? Color pictures too?
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Postby Robert McDaniel » 01/20/05 07:40 AM

I performed a few tricks for a group at work one day, and there was this one woman who kept blurting out how each one was done. I couldn't believe it. Finally, I just stopped, but later I asked her how she knew?

She said, "Oh, our pastor does magic and he shows us how all the tricks work afterwards."

That was enough to convince me to never expose the secret to a trick. You will inevitably burn a fellow magician later down the road.

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Postby AMCabral » 01/20/05 07:56 AM

Originally posted by Jonathan Townsend:
Originally posted by Dan Huffman:
[b] ...a tear-off desktop calendar entitled "Learn A Really Good Card Trick" ...
Sounds cool. Would anyone mind if one was released that included "The Princess Card Trick", "twisting the aces" "Smith's Myth", "MacDonald's Aces", "Poor Charlie", "Point of Departure", "Premonition", "The Eleven Card Trick",...

Perhaps a move or sleight every day and a full blown trick to use them in every week.

What do you think? Color pictures too? [/b]
First of all, you'd lose so much money on the thing because no one BUT magicians would buy it.

Secondly, I would absolutely love to see a decent explanation of any of those tricks... I mean a good solid Kaufman & Co. write-up like we all know and love, with all the tips and convincers and nuances, I mean really give EVERYTHING away... compressed onto a single 4" square desktop calendar page. Hell, I'd hand them out after every performance just to watch people try to read them.

-T
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Postby Gerald Deutsch » 01/20/05 08:00 AM

Dan Huffman wrote:
"I know it's far easier to switch on the tube than hunt for a book in a store--"

That's true - and that's the point. If someone is interested in magic he or she should be able to learn magic. For one thing, these are not classified secrets and then, if new people did not learn our art it would die. (It's a shame that Kuda Bux passed on without anyone having learned how he did his marvelous feats.)

But to merely explain to television audiences how magic is performed is not teaching but exposure.

What is curious is that those who defend the exposures that were done on the "World's Greatest Magic" are able to, at the same time, condemn "The Masked Magician." (One person told me he felt that close up magic were "dinky tricks" but state magic - well--)

And when the exposer says that he decides what is and is not proper to expose and his judgement should be respected because of his experience it seems to me that's like the head of a country saying he will decide what laws will and won't be enforced.
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Postby Guest » 01/21/05 10:17 AM

Woops--better clear up the calendar thing. The card trick was only one of 365 activities, none of the others having to do with magic.

The exact calendar Jonathan described is indeed available this year. I saw it in the cut-out bin at Barnes and Noble. It's called "Michael Ammar's Trick-A-Day for 2005".
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