Open for discussion, interpretation etc

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.
Bill Mullins
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Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Open for discussion, interpretation etc

Postby Bill Mullins » October 20th, 2004, 9:29 am

Originally posted by Jim Maloney:
Merely inventing a method for an effect is not reason enough to publish.
Michael Close has stated several times in his review columns that his standard for whether something should be published is if it is an improvement in "effect, presentation, or method".

Jonathan Townsend
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Location: Westchester, NY
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Re: Open for discussion, interpretation etc

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 20th, 2004, 12:02 pm

Originally posted by Bill Mullins:
Originally posted by Jim Maloney:
Merely inventing a method for an effect is not reason enough to publish.
Michael Close has stated several times in his review columns that his standard for whether something should be published is if it is an improvement in "effect, presentation, or method".
There are some classic effects for which SIGNIFICANT new methods or presentations are certainly welcome in print. The four ace assembly, the open prediction, the coins across...

I don't know if the trick on that exclusive video would qualify, as the effect was novel. I can speak from personal experience about being less than enthusiastic about novel effects being offered to the general magic pubic as "variations" even though the original is unknown in the community.

In this case, let's proceed from the position that the effect is novel. Not like doing an ace assembly with a poker hand, or taking a theme like coins through table offering a method to use a set of non-identical coins. Something novel in effect. IE can't find any obvious precedents in Discoverie, Hofzinser's Card Conjuring, Houdin's Secrets of Conjuring, Greater Magic, Stars of Magic... Okay? For the sake of this discussion, let's also take the presentation as novel.

Tom saw a version of the trick performed. What makes him comfortable in working out his own method, showing his self invented handling, and seeking to publish?
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

Bill Hallahan
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Joined: March 29th, 2008, 11:04 pm
Location: New Hampshire

Re: Open for discussion, interpretation etc

Postby Bill Hallahan » October 20th, 2004, 12:24 pm

Michael Close has stated several times in his review columns that his standard for whether something should be published is if it is an improvement in "effect, presentation, or method".
This is interesting as this is Maskelyne and Devant's discriminator for Normal Art. However, if the original routine is completely original in effect, method, and presentation, this seems a necessary, but insufficient criterion to publish whats merely an improvement.

Theres a counterargument against my belief, which goes as follows: If you cant publish improvements, how can the art of magic improve over time? My response to this is that routines that are completely original in every way ("Healed and Sealed comes to mind) should become public domain if and only if two criteria are met, i.e. the creator has died, and the creator didnt leave ownership to someone else. I dont think its necessary that they publish. I dont think anyone has the right to say that a trick they performed can never be performed again for the rest of time.

And of course, asking permission is often a viable alternative to waiting for something to move into the magic "public domain."

But what if the method is totally new, but the effect and presentation are old? That doesn't seem different to an audience so I don't think it should be performed. How can it be right to publish what shouldn't be performed?

I find it difficult to determine what's right without a specific example, and even then some issues seem subjective. When is a change significant enough? Another difficulty is that magic can be about literally anything, including intangible things such as thought, which makes it difficult to eliminate subjectivity as we all pay more attention to different things. And finally, whether an improvement actually is perceived as significant might depend on who performs a routine!

Glenn Bishop
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Re: Open for discussion, interpretation etc

Postby Glenn Bishop » October 23rd, 2004, 10:44 am

Story time again...

I remember sitting in my living room with the whole family back in the 60's on a Sunday Evening. We were all around the one TV in the living room watching the Ed Sullivan Show.

It is what we did every Sunday back then.

Back in the old days Dad was on the Ed Sullivan show when it was called Toast of the Town. In fact he was the first magician to appear twice in the same live show... He did the rope tie and produced an anniversary cake that was the intro to a number with the rocketts...

Having Dad on the show in the early Days was a real treat because he knew the producer and Ed Himself. So often we were treated to little stories while the show was on.

One time we watched a comedy magician and Dad didn't say anything after the comedy magician did his act. After the show Dad asked us kids if we liked the comedy magician and what he did?

We though he was funny... He produced a smashed rabbit from a paper bag. A hat came out of the rabbit. It was funny...

It should have been. It was the act that my Father did at Billy Roses Diamond Horseshow and night clubs across the country...

This copy cat hurt my Father a lot because he was planning a trip to New York again and was going to use the night club act - His act to make a come back to Television.

My father took it as good as you can take it. True he did not say after " he took your act - "true but he did it so well" - like Leipzig said...

But he took it as well as anyone could... Had it been me I would have been on the phone to Mark Leddy the agent that books the show!

I think copy cats hurt magic more than just a dollar amount! This is a true story!


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