Spraying to all fields (except Matt):
Okay, the topic of exposure is old and still arouses passionate debate, perhaps because its nearly impossible to draw a bright line rule or definition. It seems that what constitutes exposure is very dependent on the context, and a million hypothetical contexts can be conjured up to discuss and argue the concept of exposure. Graham Nichols
If secrets are revealed to laymen/women, where the purpose is to 'entertain' them with the method of the effect, this is exposure.
Perhaps its not perfect, but I like Grahams pithy definition.Jonathan T.
That is a tough one in and of itself. I doubt any of us has done every item we've tried so well that we have not flashed or exposed something to someone in our audience at some time or place. Maybe we can avoid that slippery slope for now?
Good point. Although Jonathans comment was in response to Tongas comment on performance by thoroughly incompetent folks, it applies to even the best magicians. But why avoid discussing it because of the slippery slope problem? The whole topic of exposure seems filled with slippery slopes, which is why defining exposure is so difficult, IMHO.
Just for fun, what do we say about stage magicians who reveal part or all of the secret to a trick to lay assistants (not stooges) in the course of performing an effect? Let's assume that the magician has no choice but to bring the audience member(s) into his/her confidence because of the nature of the trick. Are such magicians exposers or do they get a "pass" under the means/ends test? Bill Duncan
I have to believe that if an effect is available for a fee, in any recorded format, that it is by that very fact impossible to expose it.
Selling magic tricks to someone who is only interested in the props is exposure no matter how you justify it.
Bill, I respectfully disagree with both comments. I disagree with the first comment because it seems to ignore the distinction between magician and layperson. Isnt one of the primary concepts behind exposure the fact that non-magi are given access to secrets? I suppose you could argue that if a secret is shared with other magicians who arent supposed to have access to that secret, thats exposure as well, in which case it would seem that a key component of exposure is the fact that an unauthorized person is made privy to a secret. Take Harbins book, where purchasers were required to sign a non-disclosure agreement when they bought the book. Harbins book is a good example of secrets being available for a fee in a recorded format. But if an owner shared the secrets in that book with a layman (or perhaps, you may argue, another magician), wouldnt that be exposure?
As to your second comment, there are plenty of magic apparatus collectors who dont perform. They buy the trick only because they are interested in the props. It seems a bit extreme to say that someone who sells props to a non-performing but bona fide magic apparatus collector is exposing secrets, and seems to push the concept of exposure far away from the core concepts which prompt the exposure debate. Im not suggesting that your statement be dismissed, but I do think that if it is to be accepted, its relationship to the general concept of exposure should be clear and well-connected.Jolyon Jenkins
As I say, I thought our emails were private, but clearly Bill thinks otherwise... He obviously suspected a sting (though this would have been contrary to all BBC editorial rules).
Maybe Ive missed something here after a couple of readings of Bills posts, but Im having trouble finding Bills breach of your privacy here. He never quoted anything you wrote, and only said that you e-mailed him and asked him to teach you a trick. Generally, we want/expect privacy in one-on-one exchanges because of the deeply personal or sensitive nature of the communication. But your request was neither not even close. Its easy to give Bill the benefit of the doubt on this one, for I think that only the most rabid of privacy freaks would (1) consider Bills passing reference to your e-mail to be an invasion of privacy and (2) be able to draw the conclusion Bill clearly thinks your e-mails were not private. This privacy issue is a straw man, and seems especially so in light of the fact that your post exhibited the very conduct you criticized: you too shared some of your private e-mail exchanges with Bill. Moreover, you chose to quote him, which should be more suspect than merely paraphrasing a request in passing (as Bill did).
You may be a journalist with the highest of integrity, and may indeed strictly follow the BBC editorial rules. But to suggest that Bill should not have been guarded when it came to his dealings with you, a journalist, is to ignore the pervasive misbehavior of journalists these days. No doubt there are honorable journalists in this world today, but there are plenty of dishonorable ones who would have done to Bill exactly what he feared. How was he supposed to know that you are one of the good guys?
Mention of one of the good guys is a nice segue way to weave in a response to some comments in Ian Keables post. I tried to listen again to the BBC broadcast but, alas, it is gone from the archives (or at least I cant find it). I wanted to see if the broadcast was as biased as Ian suggests. Oh well. But I can offer two thoughts: first, I too thought that the title of the show a bit inappropriate to its content, and remember thinking that the title was just one of those journalistic devices to titillate. Second, all due respect to Ian, but I doubt that the fact that a U.S. resident was asked to discuss the general concept of exposure somehow confused the Brits and left them less informed on the general nature of the exposure debate. I dont think our cultural differences extend that deeply (at least I hope not!). To those who do not know Ian, I do not believe that he was suggesting that Bill Palmer was unqualified to speak on the topic of exposure just because Bill wasnt British, although it might read that way to some of you. Ian can clarify things, of course, but I think what he might have been saying was Hey, if this is about The Magic Circle, then ask an official representative of The Magic Circle to address the matter. Who knows what comments from Alan Shaxon were left on the BBCs digital cutting floor.
Although I couldnt find the broadcast, I did find the lead-in summary on the BBC website. Here it is:
Trouble in the Magic Circle
The Magic Circle celebrates its centenary this year. Membership of the world's premier club for conjurors is highly sought after, but in recent years the Magic Circle has been grappling with the problem of those members whom it accuses of breaking the first rule of the society - do not give away the secrets. Jeremy Vine, himself an amateur magician, investigates why the Magic Circle has been expelling some of the best magic talent in the business, and asks whether it is ever acceptable to spill the beans.
If Ian is correct (and I think he probably is) about the fact that there is little debate in the membership when it comes to exposure on television, then the BBC teaser that TMC is somehow grappling with members who expose is nonsense and perhaps just naked sensationalism. Finally, is it true that some of the best magic talent in the business was expelled? Or is this just more BBC hype? It seems that even the BBC teaser is misleading or, at the least, confusing.