Food For Thought ....

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magicam
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Food For Thought ....

Postby magicam » June 25th, 2005, 9:55 pm

I hope this is a topic that performers and collectors alike can weigh in on.

Over a decade ago, Bob Lund, a highly-respected collector, spoke to members of the Magic Collectors' Association. He made several observations, one of which is summarized below through the following excerpts:

Collectors are not very important in my view of the world. The real thing, if you have an interest in magic, is to be a performer. The performer is everything and the only thing and all else is imitation of life, all else is second best.... Has collecting been given a stature, has it attained an acceptance ... where the passive viewer regards himself as the equal of the active performer? Magicians are the only first-class citizens in our small world and the rest of us are second-class and that is the best that can be said about us.

Do you agree with Bob?

Clay

Bill Mullins
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Re: Food For Thought ....

Postby Bill Mullins » June 25th, 2005, 10:47 pm

I think you and Bob are/were trying to stir up a big stink.

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magicam
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Re: Food For Thought ....

Postby magicam » June 26th, 2005, 12:07 am

Bill:

You obviously dont know Bob Lund. While it wasnt a life-changing topic (how many of those are raised in this forum anyway?), Bob was raising what he thought was a legitimate issue, and he certainly had the experience and standing to make that judgment. The very group he spoke to and absolutely skewered (the collectors) gave him a standing ovation at the end of his speech. Obviously, something he said touched them and seemed very relevant. Since this is a forum, you are entitled to your opinion. Ive read some of your posts here so I know you are seldom one to rudely and summarily dismiss somebodys post. The folks on this forum frequently contribute some thoughtful ideas and responses. Ive given some consideration to Bobs speech and I just wanted to raise the issue in the hopes that some thoughtful responses might follow. All due respect, but if you are going to be the big stink police, then based on such a low stink threshold, youre going to be busy responding to and dismissing a bunch of other posts. But why bother? If this topic turns out to be a turd, so be it. But one thing I wont do in response to any of your posts is demean and dismiss you.

Clay

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Re: Food For Thought ....

Postby Guest » June 26th, 2005, 8:15 am

You have raised an issue which is as undefinable as the solidity of whipped cream. Who is a perfomer? the twelve year old kid who handed me his card specifying that his specialty was childrens magic? He was -- by his own claim -- a professional, hence by some definitions a perfomer. Or perhaps you mean to include the doddering character at the local magic club who goes to the magic shop the afternoon before the club meeting and buys an effect which he will then perform that evening with no further practice nor rehearsal than a quick run through of the instructions. He is, of course, probably the president of the club by virtue of throwing a big party for all once a year. I have seen that character win the annual competition for performance purely (and I use the word advisedly) on the strength of his having the most expensive toys while lacking in the rudiments of showmanship, charisma, or skill. He will certainly be among the first to condemn as "second class" those who have devoted a life to the study of the history of magic, who are better judges of what is successful with an audience.

I should say that any attempt to classify along the lines suggested is self-defeating. Each group will consider itself and its members to be superior. Of course, while this goes on the real successes will move on with their lives leaving the squabbling to those who may indeed be "second class".

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Re: Food For Thought ....

Postby Steve V » June 26th, 2005, 12:33 pm

If it helps I agree with Bob. It is the performer that adds value to the 'collectable'. It reminds me of someone who has one of those Elvis scarves he would use then toss out to the audience. The scarf was used by Elvis, it was his experience of being on stage it represented. To the person who caught it it represented the experience of being at the show and catching it. To the collector it is just an item representing something he will never have, either of those experiences. I understand collectors because I was a history major (wanted to teach) at one time and look at items for what they represent and what they were a part of. Possessing them doesn't make one a part of that event though.
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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Food For Thought ....

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 26th, 2005, 1:56 pm

In our field, collectors and historians tend to be either the same people or in the same group of people. Without collectors and historians our art would be severely diminished.

There is very little relation between a performing magician and a collector, though one can, of course, be both simultaneously. Many collectors and historians are not performing magicians, or they were at one time and are no longer.

These two groups don't interact with one another very much, which is too bad.

Both could learn from each other, and both are vital to the continued vitality of our art.

Performing magicians ignore the past at their peril.

Collectors and historians ignore the present at their peril.

I disagree with Bob Lund.
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magicam
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Re: Food For Thought ....

Postby magicam » June 26th, 2005, 3:24 pm

Tonga (and perhaps Bill M.):

Is it the absolute nature of Bob's statements that you find problematic? If so, I agree with you. But that doesnt always have to prevent one from looking behind the statements and seeing/discussing whats there or what one finds there, as Steve V and RK did. I spent some time talking to Bob about his statements and came to the conclusion that he did not subscribe to the full literal force of what he said. In essence, I think he used such forceful language because he was trying to get through to some of the thick heads and egos amongst magic collectors. He wanted to humble us and remind us of the kinds of things Steve V mentioned.

I am writing a rebuttal (for lack of a better term) to Bobs opinion to be published sometime in the future, but I didnt want to offer my opinion on Bobs statements in advance because I didnt want to poison the well. But it seems that this has backfired and resulted in some posts which worry about the offensiveness or incomprehensibility of the statement rather than what it could mean. In essence, I think Richard is on the right track.

Clay

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Re: Food For Thought ....

Postby Erik Hemming » June 26th, 2005, 4:22 pm

I don't know about many of you, but I enjoy ping pong games. They are a pleasant pastime. They are innocuous, and fundamentally meaningless...but fun. While in the midst of one, I can be quite passionate and invest myself in whacking that little ball to the theoretical detriment of my opponent. But it really doesn't mean anything other than a moment's pastime. The feeling of the moment may carry into larger life...but why bother. It's a ping pong game.

In some ways, arguing about the relative importance of collectors versus performing magicians is intellectual ping pong: Fun to play with, interesting to argue, capable of rousing strong feelings...but ultimately a simple game, as the dichotomy is fundamentally a false one.

What I find REALLY interesting and enlightening is that many of our most thoughtful and gifted performers are also active and thoughtful collectors and historians. Their practice as magicians is grounded in a larger life and a deeper context.

Arguably, Ricky Jay is more renown for being a collector and historian than a performer. Within the magic community, Mr. Jay has considerable cache because of his substantial skill with a deck of cards. But is that really what's most important to the community of performing magicians as a whole...or collectors, or historians, for that matter? I doubt Mr. Jay thinks about his activity in these terms.

I would argue that Mr. Jay--insert any of the dozens of other names here--Teller, Norm Nielsen, David Copperfield, John Mullholland, Dai Vernon--is important because of a deep understand that performance is informed by something--history, technique, emotional, intellectual and cultural context. Bringing that deep understanding to the stage is a wonderful gift. Perhaps that was what Mr. Lund was paying rhetorical homage to. But at the same time, bringing a deep understanding to either collecting or history is, equally, a gift.

But I suspect something else. I suspect that what Mr. Lund said is simply an expression of a common feeling that what we do in daily life is less interesting, is less worthy of merit, than what the other guy is doing. I think we commonly feel that way due to something akin to psychological extinction.

We know our stuff, inside and out. As a lifetime progresses, we get more bored--and more comfortable--with our lives and more interested--and more removed--from the lives and pursuits of others. It becomes easier to dismiss ourselves and lionize others...especially if we have devoted a lifetime to aggregating memorabilia.

But I digress....

Collectors and performers and historians are all of a piece. They are intellectual categories that have no intrinsic dominant or subordinant relationship. Instead, they live in service to a larger thing that moves among them, fleetingly resting here and there, a brilliance that visits some longer than others, but is shared by all.

In short, collectors, performers and historians usually range their collection, performance or history around some concept that informs their activity. For us, "Magic" is a key. I think Richard is right. The conversation about the central topic is the crux of the matter. Establishing a dominance hierarchy is beside the point. Some may enjoy the game...but it's just a game.

Sincere thanks to Clay for offering the first serve....

Gordo

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magicam
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Re: Food For Thought ....

Postby magicam » June 26th, 2005, 6:46 pm

Thanks to those who have taken the time to offer their thoughts in the course of this thread. Let me go a little further in my analysis and pose a question, the answer to which, I think, tests the validity of Lunds claims.

In Bobs magic world paradigm, there ere two classes: performers and non-performers. Non-performers include not only collectors, but also historians, biographers, publishers, and writers, etc. What do we do with Angelo Lewis and Modern Magic in Bobs paradigm? Lewis wasnt really a performer (although he did perform sometimes), he was a writer. In Bobs world that puts him in the non-performer class. Again, using Bobs paradigm, do we put Lewis into the pretender group? If so, why is Modern Magic widely acknowledged by performers to be so important and influential, indeed its publication a watershed event in magic? Why is Lewis in magics pantheon, taking a position next to the performing greats? The answers seem (to me at least) to speak to the validity of what Bob was saying. The answer is that Lewis had as much an effect on magic as any single performer has. If thats correct, then Bobs theory fails, because in the course of lauding only those who do the act of performing, Bob has ignored those non-performers who are crucial indispensable to the health and progress of magic. Taken literally, Bob would see nothing wrong with all the magicians in the world performing the Cups and Balls until time stopped. But we know that if magicians only performed the tricks that have been with us for the past 500 years, the art and craft of magic would be moribund. As I told Bob in 1993, its a worthy thing to remind us that magicians bring a sense of wonder to audiences, but its erroneous to say and mean that they are everything and the only thing when it comes to magic as a whole and its vitality.

Clay

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Brad Jeffers
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Re: Food For Thought ....

Postby Brad Jeffers » June 26th, 2005, 8:17 pm

Clay, hasn't this topic just recently been covered in THIS THREAD ?

Who is "more important" is an unanswerable question, but at the heart of it all is this - had there never been any performers of magic (magicians), then there could be no collectors, as there would be nothing to collect. However, if collectors never existed, we would still have had people performing magic throughout the ages, and to this day and beyond.

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Re: Food For Thought ....

Postby Bill Mullins » June 26th, 2005, 8:37 pm

Clay -- First of all, let me apologize for expressing myself rudely. That was not my intention, and there was a tongue in my cheek as I typed that did not come across in my post. I'm sorry to have been offensive.

You are right, I do not and did not know Bob Lund. All I knew of him at the time I posted was what you had relayed in your post. I am sure he is much more than your short quote. But if all I have to judge him by is that quote, my judgement is that he is arbitrarily trying to label people by an "either-or" process that is unfair to both sides, and further, sets them one against the other.

Just about all magic performers I know have a magic collection, and most magic collectors I know do some performing. The dichotomy is false.

If Bob (and/or you) wanted to make the point that performing is in some way more important to the public (or to the craft -- usually "art" is too strong a word -- of magic) than collecting; or that collecting is only important to the extent that it reveals performers; or that the collectors that Bob knew were greedy, acquisitive jackasses compared to the performers of his acquaintance, then I would say those are all defensible, or at least arguable, points, and discuss them.

But to set out one part of the magic fraternity as "first class" and another as "second class", is a statement whose only usefulness is to stir the pot. Hopefully a good stew will result, but it is entirely possible to end up with muddy water.

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magicam
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Re: Food For Thought ....

Postby magicam » June 26th, 2005, 8:44 pm

Egads.. Brad, you're correct. I must be getting old, but as I've been writing on this recently, it was on my mind. Glad I "reposted" this question, though, as a few more people have chimed in.

I agree with your observation, but as stated above, collectors aren't the only "non-performers" and the issue as I see it goes to the vitality of magic and the interrelationship among the people who serve various functions in the world of magic. As somebody has written before, performers are the "face" of magic, but I believe they (performers) need and depend on many others to do their work in a way that best serves magic.

Bill, apology accepted. I didn't think your post was characteristic of your other posts, and now that you have elaborated, I understand why you might think the way you do. Alas, I couldn't type all of Bob's speech into the post, so context can make a difference. Some of the other posts here have looked behind the excerpts (as I had originally hoped) and addressed some of the issues I think Bob was raising, but I recognize that excerpts can sometimes do a disservice to the issues at hand, but such are the limitations of time.

Clay

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Re: Food For Thought ....

Postby Ken Trombly » June 27th, 2005, 8:10 am

I remember when Lund gave that speech at one of the Chicago collectors' conventions, when he was the "honored guest" that year. I think that the point he was making was not so much to 'put down' or subordinate collectors, as to underscore, by comparison, the importance of the performers and their personalities as the essence of magic ...and in light of Bob Lund's insatiable appetite as a collector - so much stuff acquired over the years that he built his own museum - there certainly was a bit of self-deprecation (as in "I don't deserve this award...")in the comment as well.
He also observed, in that same talk, something to the effect that the most popular book for youngsters was not a book of secrets but a biography of Blackstone - again underscoring the fascination with the people who do the magic, not just what what they do.

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Re: Food For Thought ....

Postby Jonathan Townsend » June 27th, 2005, 10:13 am

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
...These two groups don't interact with one another very much...
Most of what I hold valuable in magic comes from my interactions with those who keep our history and those who keep the methods/mechanics available for inspection and further evolution.

From David Roth's recommendation of Robert-Houdin and Conus, which were only available to me in French back then... to Charley Kalish who had a basement full of antique treasures.

The path to new magic seems to start with things that have deep roots in our literature and many clever artifacts from our history. For example, when was the last time you could walk into a magic shop and buy a Thornton Windlass or Lightning Pull?

Has anyone updated the Hofzinser or Germain tricks?
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: Food For Thought ....

Postby Andy Hurst » June 27th, 2005, 3:36 pm

I'm trying to be good and nice. I really am.

But... I am finding Clay's continued pleas for acceptance and validation to be very juvinile. I don't expect everyone to be a performer but are there really people who ONLY collect and can't do anything at all? That's just sad.

Posting on a forum and repeatedly asking for others respect is even sadder.

I bet even Eddie Dawes can do a paddle trick or something as simple.

I guess most collectors are happy to sit spanking their monkey over a set of 2000 brass cups with bells on.

What defines a historian/collector of magic? Is it someone who buys the Klutz book of magic and decides its beyond them so they just buy every magic book they can instead of performing? Surely it would be cheaper to look in the phone book for the phone number of the Samaritans?

Andy.

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Tabman
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Re: Food For Thought ....

Postby Tabman » June 27th, 2005, 4:44 pm

Performance is a right now thing. I'm not sure what the "now" of collecting is. Is it the moment when a prize is located??? It also looks like to me that some builders become known in their own right and are collected on that basis alone. It does seem like the known builders got that way through association with a happening performer or is this not always the case??

-=tabman

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Re: Food For Thought ....

Postby Guest » June 27th, 2005, 4:55 pm

Probably the biggest sale of antique magic was

bought a few years back by the most prosperious

magician , David Copperfield. He bought Dr. Albo's

collection for 2.2 Million Dollars according to

Archetical Digest Magizine. If he spankeed his

minkey it was that he had $2.2 Milliom to spend

and plenty more and didn't have to worry that it

was going to rain Sunday and he couldn't do

magic in the park and make eating money next

week or have to listen to screaming kids in

Chucky Cheese all night making less than the

bus boy to pay the rent.........Mike Walsh

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magicam
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Re: Food For Thought ....

Postby magicam » June 27th, 2005, 8:36 pm

There have been some thoughtful comments on this thread. Thank you.

My definition of a historian is one who, in Eddie Dawes words, collects, collates, and communicates. Collecting qua collecting (i.e., mere hoarding) doesnt further the history of magic (as some have suggested here), although it may preserve something which can later be put into magic historys jigsaw puzzle by a more productive collector/historian. Real magic historians contribute mightily to magic.

Some here express disdain towards the collector. Perhaps its because of the hoarding and doing nothing else thing, or perhaps because the items collected are indeed only shadows of the real thing, and the perception is that collectors collect because they cant do anything else (like perform) and depend solely on their acquisitions for their status in the magic world. All of these reasons have an element of truth to them in my experience, and Bob Lund addressed these points in his speech.

Tabman, performance is indeed a right now thing. And collecting does focus on the past, I suppose. And one of the now elements of collecting is probably the thrill of finding something that is evidence of magics past, as well. But collecting, done in a manner like Eddie Dawes and others have done it, is not so much finding the prize (although that is fun). But really, its putting the prize into the context of magic history.

You raise an interesting point when you mention inventors, their relationship with performers, and their resulting notoriety. Im not an expert on what happens behind the scenes of magic performance, but if I understand correctly, there are builders who manufacture props and illusions to order, i.e., they are basically builders, like a framer who builds a house according to plans hes given. And then there are builders who invent or create; they are asked by a performer to come up with something new and proceed to offer an idea. Alan Wakeling comes to mind. In the case of Alan and the performers he worked for, is it fair to say that the performers got their fame because of the likes of Alan and not vice versa? Although I dont know for sure, my guess would be that Alan was a magic historian of sorts he was familiar with the illusions and principles of the past and proceeded to create something new based on his knowledge of the past. To my mind, this relates to what Richard Kaufman wrote: Performing magicians ignore the past at their peril. In other words, without some knowledge of the past, creativity suffers. Id wager that somewhere in GF, a performer or two has extolled the virtues of reading old books (looking into the past) as a great source of inspiration to modern performers. And if not here, that point has certainly been made elsewhere in the literature or in lectures.

This point relates to what Brad Jeffers observed, when he wrote that if collectors never existed, we would still have had people performing magic throughout the ages, and to this day and beyond. I agree with Brad, so far as his point goes. But returning to RKs point, what of the vitality of magic without real collectors those who collect, collate and communicate and the increased participation of other non-performers, notably writers? Indeed, what Hoffmann did was exactly to collect, collate and communicate. As I suggested before, look how revered Hoffmann is today. So is it just coincidence that the flourishing of magic coincided with the advent of collecting and the relative explosion of quality magic textbooks in the late 1800s? Compared to the last 130 or so years, magic prior to then was not very creative. So in answer to Brad, yes we would have had performers without collectors, but how interesting would the magic of today be in the absence of writers performing the role of collectors like Hoffmann? The progress of magic today depends in large part on its past. So those who document the past or memorialize the present seem to play a vital role in the health of magic, as I believe Richard Kaufman is pointing out. Or, as Gordon Corbin has said, Collectors and performers and historians are all of a piece.

And last and certainly least, to Andy. Good and nice have nothing to do with this thread. But staying on point in a civil manner does, and if my hope for a respectful exchange of ideas on this forum translates (to you) to repeatedly asking others for respect, then I gather that you have no respect for this forum, since you are apparently comfortable with wasting peoples reading time with irrelevant (and inaccurate) insights. But one thing can be said about your post: you have indeed highlighted juvenile behavior and the downside to real time web forums, thus degrading the integrity of GF. Good job, Andy. Now that you have enlightened your fellow GF readers about me (someone youve never met or talked with) and my insecurities, and have managed to insult Eddie Dawes, who doubtless has contributed far more to magic than you have or ever will, I trust that you have gained the desired level of satisfaction, have proven yourself to be the one with superior perspective, and can now return to being a productive member of the GF community and worrying about the best grip for dealing seconds. This thread should have nothing to do with validation. It was intended to foster some discussion about the various roles that people play in magic, in this case, performers and productive collectors, and how they depend on one another for the vitality of magic. Why the desire to have such an exchange should be subject to ridicule is beyond me. But then again, maybe I dont understand because Im too busy pleading for acceptance, validation and respect.

Clay

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Re: Food For Thought ....

Postby Kent Blackmore » June 27th, 2005, 9:51 pm

I settled back earlier, and didn't reply to Andy H's posting, on the basis that snapping back in haste would be counterproductive. Clay's reply probably says it nicely.

However, I'd point out that Bob Lund was not someone who "couldn't" do magic. He was just sensible enough to realise that he didn't have the personality or skill to be an entertaining magician. He took a step that many magicians aren't prepared to take ... he stopped performing and started contributing in other ways. And, as someone who was regularly consulted by movie makers, cultural historians and professional performing magicians, Bob Lund was clearly not a "sad" character nor one to be derided. I dare say there are more performers "spanking" over the latest four-ace trick than there are collectors drooling over an old poster.

Lund wasn't stuck in the past either. One of the highlights of Bob's guided tour of his museum was when he showed off a gorgeous piece of apparatus used by the Le Grand David troupe, and pointed out the beauty of the artwork inside the prop; artwork which would never be seen except by the performers themselves.
Bob was in the business of promoting magic as an vital and artistic endeavour. While the professional performer was out there toiling in the field, Bob was pointing at them, saying "look at what these people are doing ... it's important. Don't miss seeing the beauty of what they are doing."

I happen to agree with Bob's quote. He wasn't saying that collectors are unimportant , he was saying that performance is the more important. Clay hit the nail on the head - collectors and historians are only of value when they share their knowledge. That's why Bob Lund and Eddie Dawes are respected beyond measure by those who have been privileged to make their acquaintance.

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Re: Food For Thought ....

Postby Jim Riser » June 28th, 2005, 12:35 am

I never set out to be a collector - it crept up on me over the years. Being a collector is still not "my thing". When I was younger and doing shows to pay the bills, I ended up buying several Merv Taylor items to use in my act. I liked them because they were made right and would last for years. Another advantage was that they were more expensive than the usual items seen in magic shops. This meant that other magicians in the area would most likely not be doing these effects in their acts. Unexpectedly, I had become a Merv Taylor collector even though this was never my intent. Anybody need a nice card sword?

Over the years I have swapped cups with many other cup makers/suppliers. Once again, through no fault of my own, I became a collector of cups. I used to be happy with my old set from Irelands. Anyone need a cup collection?

My main reason for buying anything today is for information or as an appreciation of superior workmanship (or clever design).

Mostly I buy books today. As a result of the hoarding and collecting of others, I am able to now purchase wonderful sources of information from the likes of Todd Karr, Mike Caveney, Jim Steinmeyer, and our own Richard Kaufman. This info would have been lost or unavailable to me were it not for collectors. The downside of this is that I am now becoming a book collector in my quest for information. Jeeze - will it never end?

Since I am always seeking out ideas for new items to make, I have especially appreciated how many collectors have opened up their collections to me for examination or shared "secrets". These collectors hold the keys to many of the newer better made/designed items on the market today - and in the future. I do not covet these collections - I marvel at the time required to make many of the items that I have examined and merely appreciate the originality/dedication of the creators. Many were made before electricity powered the necessary machines. The workmanship and thinking are outstanding on many (not all) old items. If these items had not been salvaged by collectors, they might well have been lost over the years. I have heard many horror stories of what has happened to magic items after the death of the owner. Collectors help to prevent such horrors.

I will also point out a fact of magical life that most magicians probably do not realize. From a purely business perspective (a business created to produce quality magic items), it is a fact of life that many of the better designed and made items could never be brought to market were it not for the collectors. In order to recoup the investment in time and research funds required to produce a quality item, a certain number of the items must be made and sold to keep the price reasonable. By adding the collectors to the mix along with the performers, a larger quantity of the items may be produced. Thanks to the collectors' buying power, the price on exclusive items will be brought down for the performers. If only a very limited number of performers were the market, items would be prohibitively expensive - they cost enough as it is.

I would say that performers owe collectors a huge debt. And likewise, collectors owe performers a huge debt - for without the performers there would have been no demand for "new" items and nothing to collect.

I appreciate the roles of performers, collectors, historians, and even hobby magicians in the world of magic. Somewhere in that mix must surely belong the designers and builders :D Actually, we are all necessary parts of the magic community.
Jim

Now back to collecting more machines for making magic. Apparently, collecting never ends...but I do also perform with them :eek:

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Ryan Matney
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Re: Food For Thought ....

Postby Ryan Matney » June 28th, 2005, 12:45 am

I don't think you guys understood what Andy meant if you think he was insulting Eddie Dawes or saying he held collectors or 'collectors that couldn't do anything' in disdain. I believe he meant the entire subject is sad...but I'll let him clear up his own point if he wants.

As for me, I think this boils down to a respect for each other as individuals, and understanding that their is a difference as Max Maven has pointed out, don't you? For example, I'm a huge movie buff and collector and I understand the thrill of finding something unique and obsessing over details. But, I wouldn't approach Steven Spielberg and ask him if he thought I should be treated better because I'm preserving his work and without me there would be no record? As a fan, I try to understand my place in the scheme of things.

Now, I respect Eddie Dawes tremendously and always look forward to his writings. I'd love to sit down and talk to him! And, Clay, I'm SURE you know more about magic history than I do and I could certainly learn something from talking to you and maybe you could learn something from me. I don't know what you can do or what you know but I've never thought highly enough of myself to dismiss anyone because they couldn't do what I can...which is not a lot!

I think we can all pretty much agree that anyone that dismisses another person simply because of their lack of historical knowledge, or technique, or performing ability, is short sighted. That's obvious to every open-minded person here isn't it?. And having said that then...why is this a topic you continue to bring up Clay if not for yourself?

I don't agree collector's SHOULD be second class citizens of magic.
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Re: Food For Thought ....

Postby Ryan Matney » June 28th, 2005, 12:54 am

I should add, I think that ANYONE that performs magic and wants to do it well should be a collector/historian on some level. All the best magicians are both. Even if it's on a small scale.
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magicam
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Re: Food For Thought ....

Postby magicam » June 28th, 2005, 4:31 am

Ryan:

Perhaps you know Andy and believe him to be more thoughtful than represented in this thread. But he wrote what he wrote, and, as you say, if he wants to clear things up, he can do so on his own. As it stands, his post makes him look like an ass.

Based on what you wrote, Im not sure you understand the reason for my initial post. This results, perhaps, from when a jackass barges in and feels the need to muddy the waters by steering off point and getting personal. Then I respond to that post because I dont feel compelled to take crap from an idiot. And so it spirals downward. Now that, my friend, IS sad. The only place where respect plays into this thread is showing respect for the people all the people who are trying to have an exchange of ideas on a civil level without the interruption of unproductive and knuckleheaded comments. From the conciliatory tone of your post, Im sure you would agree with that. So this thread is not at all about better treatment for anyone or any group, really at least that wasnt my intention. If you have concluded this because I inadvertently brought up the same topic twice on this forum, it is a mistaken inference. Heck, in the final analysis and as harsh as it sounds, I cant worry about what anybody on this forum or in the magic community thinks of me I do what I do in magic because I absolutely love it, and when I participate in the magic community, I try to do so in a positive way. The people in the magic community who I count as my friends and the people who will become my friends over time are all that count. Period. End of story.

I tried to be crystal clear on the reasons for starting this thread: This thread should have nothing to do with validation. It was intended to foster some discussion about the various roles that people play in magic, in this case, performers and productive collectors, and how they depend on one another for the vitality of magic. Ryan, Im not angry with you and agree with many of your points, including the one where we can learn from each other. And thats the point of a good thread learning from each other right? But to learn from one another, we have to read what the other person says and give it some thought. But somehow, Ryan, even though I stated very clearly what my intent was in this thread, you conclude (or suggest) that this topic is about respect and dismissing people and somehow is for myself. With all due respect, thats not at all the case as Ive said before.

This thread represents the best and, Im sorry to say, the worst, of Genii Forum. Some people get it, and some dont, and sadly it seems, as a Talking Heads song goes, same as it ever was, same as it ever was ....

Im done with this thread.

Clay Shevlin

Jonathan Townsend
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Re: Food For Thought ....

Postby Jonathan Townsend » June 28th, 2005, 5:23 am

Originally posted by Ryan Matney:
I should add, I think that ANYONE that performs magic and wants to do it well should be a collector/historian on some level. All the best magicians are both. Even if it's on a small scale.
Such "shoulds" tend become obstacles instead of positive goals.

Consider YOUR reaction to a statement like "coinmen SHOULD master the material in Kainoa's book Coins on Edge if only to move the general level of coin manipulation into this century as opposed to where we are now in general, stuck in the late 19th century"

If that makes you happy and motivated to learn Edge Grip Mechanics, fine. For most readers that should is not a happy thought. Believe it or not, most here have likely not read Robert-Houdin's books or Ponsin or Decremps or ... well you get the point.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time


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