Does Exposure Harm Magic?

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mrgoat
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Re: Does Exposure Harm Magic?

Postby mrgoat » January 25th, 2003, 3:34 am

Originally posted by Ray Haddad:
I started this thread to see what people's opinion on exposure was (seems about 50/50), not attack you in anyway.
Damian,

I don't take it as an attack. I simply find it difficult to understand that you are asking for opinions, which are neither right nor wrong by definition, and then proceed call even one of them nonsense.

I was specifically addressing only one sleight but for the sake of discussion, I will use your example. Any sleight, including a double lift, can be exposed and skillful handling can overcome the mechanical issues of a spectator seeing you execute that sleight. As Richard Kaufman pointed out, a well executed pass can be a miracle.

All that being said, if a spectator THINKS he knows how you did a trick and announces that theory to everyone present, that is clearly how it was done. If he states that you took a card from the deck and put it on top, then he is right. Even if you did a pass or double lift, he is still right because that is a solution even though it is a wrong one.

Going to your example of a double lift, if he thinks you did it by having two of the same card, he is correct even if he is wrong. In order to counter his exposure, even if he is wrong, you have to stop, show that there are only 52 different cards, and then resume. Or, you have to show him how you are really doing it. "See, I'm not using a second card. I am doing a perfectly executed double lift."

A persistant heckler can actually get physically involved by grabbing the deck from you. I have seen that happen to more than one magician.

Ray, maybe I wasn't clear if you are still confused over this. I call your opinion of card sleights nonsense, because it is nonsense, at least in the UK. Maybe an example from another thread will help illustrate why.

So it can be taken that everyone has heard of bottom dealing. This is a given. It was used in the OJ trial! Yet when gambling perfomers work, do people cry out "you are bottom dealing"? No. Why? Hmmm.

I am not one to give patronising advise usually, but...using the ambitious card example, if you have a card signed at the start it rules out duplicates and the problem you imagined happeneing. Something many magicians realised.

I don't think a spectator has *ever* tried to grab a deck out of my hands. Maybe the magi you saw this happen to was no good at crowd control?

Anyway, I understand your thoughts and opinion on the matter now Ray. I sincerely hope you don;t think I was attacking you personally at all now. Obviously we are never going to alter each others opinions on the matter, so there is no point at all arguing.

Thanks for your contribution to the thread.

Seems about 50/50 in conclusion.

Goaty

Ray Haddad
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Re: Does Exposure Harm Magic?

Postby Ray Haddad » January 25th, 2003, 6:05 am

Originally posted by mrgoat:
Ray, maybe I wasn't clear if you are still confused over this. I call your opinion of card sleights nonsense, because it is nonsense, at least in the UK. Maybe an example from another thread will help illustrate why.
It is not nonsense. It is an opinion. Just like yours. While I disagree with you, I don't call your opinion nonsense.

So it can be taken that everyone has heard of bottom dealing. This is a given. It was used in the OJ trial! Yet when gambling perfomers work, do people cry out "you are bottom dealing"? No. Why? Hmmm.
Some do. Hmmm...

I am not one to give patronising advise usually, but...using the ambitious card example, if you have a card signed at the start it rules out duplicates and the problem you imagined happeneing. Something many magicians realised.

I don't think a spectator has *ever* tried to grab a deck out of my hands. Maybe the magi you saw this happen to was no good at crowd control?
Unblock your personal e-mail and I will send you his name.

Anyway, I understand your thoughts and opinion on the matter now Ray. I sincerely hope you don;t think I was attacking you personally at all now. Obviously we are never going to alter each others opinions on the matter, so there is no point at all arguing.
I don't know that you do understand but I'll let it drop. I don't want to change your opinion. That was never my intention. I offered you my opinion and expected that, since you had requested it, you would simply accept it for what it was. I never expected to have to defend a simple opinion or, as you seem to think, "argue" with you about my opinions.

You truly don't have to "alter" my opinion or yours. I hope you see now how that works.

Ray
Best Regards,
Ray
http://www.rayhaddad.com

David Alexander
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Re: Does Exposure Harm Magic?

Postby David Alexander » February 16th, 2003, 7:27 pm

In the many years I've been a working pro I've learned a few things about the public's relationship to magic.

It is a fact that if a booker hires a bad singer, bad comic, or a bad musician, they'll hire another. However, if they hire a bad magician it will be a long time before their hire another because, for their group, they think "magic doesn't work." Bad performers drive out good performers both in quality of work and price.

Years ago Dunninger's act was being sold in magic shops. He deliberately exposed his own material in a national magazine - without his name attached, of course. The sales for his act dried up and Joe kept working. According to the story related by Al Mann, Dunninger was asked by a friend if he was upset by the exposure. Joe asked if his friend had seen the article in the same issue about the five-tube super hetrodyne circuit? His friend replied that he had no interest in that sort of thing and hadn't looked at the article.

"Exactly my point," Dunninger is reported to have said.

The damage the exposure TV shows do is not so much in the secrets, but in the idea that the "magic" is in the box and if you had the box, you too could be as good as any stage magician. This, I think, is the real damage, the cheapening of a theatrical art form.

Guest

Re: Does Exposure Harm Magic?

Postby Guest » February 17th, 2003, 5:06 am

To slightly change an old quote:

Debating the effects of exposure on magic is a bit like dissecting a frog: Nobody much cares -- and the frog dies.

cheers,
Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com

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Re: Does Exposure Harm Magic?

Postby Guest » October 21st, 2003, 12:31 pm

The lack of practice amateur and the out of practice professional, by bumbling, fumbling and mumbling thru a series of unrelated effects, are as guilty of exposing as the writer who explains the levitation in a magazine article. The magic dealer is the next greatest exposer. Any curious passer-by may walk into the nearest magic store and learn these so-called priceless secrets for a few bucks.

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Re: Does Exposure Harm Magic?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 21st, 2003, 1:52 pm

Originally posted by mrgoat:
Originally posted by Ray Haddad:
I started this thread to see what people's opinion on exposure was (seems about 50/50
Two simple reason why it's not a good idea much less a benefit to our community.

1) Most likely whatever is exposed undermines the feeling and presumption of legitamacy the audience holds about the properties used in performance. Once you know trick coins exist... any and all coins used in magic become trick coins.

2) Most likely the ideas and routine being exposed are NOT the sole invention of the person doing the exposing. Thus the legacy of what can be considered effective methods is diminished.

Consider what would happen if someone published detailed explantions with diagrams of;

The 'Thin Model' base/Owens Base
The Dove harness and steal
The topit and the basic moves to use it.
Let's add in the classic palm and Elmsely's count just to make sure the closeup guys don't feel left out.

Consider the implications of this being shown on the news and explained in publicly advertised media.

If you've followed this thought experiment so far... you will have some sort of feeling for what is at stake.

I choose to believe each of us will at least respect the possibility that such actions would actualize the discomfort felt here just thinking about the matter.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: Does Exposure Harm Magic?

Postby Guest » October 21st, 2003, 2:06 pm

Gentlepeople, we are missing the problem.

<RANT - ON>

The problem is not TV. People only remember 2% or so of what they have seen after a period of a week or so.

The REAL problem in exposure is the number of dealers who are willing to sell professional effects at grossly inflated prices, to anybody and everybody that they can rope in with their pitchman programs!

When I perform at a professional event - a party for high school musicians convention - and get nailed by over THIRTY kids calling off the names of the cards on a Leslie Deck - there's a problem.

It's even worse when they ADMIT that they bought ONE deck and SHARED the secret amongst themselves - with the EXPRESSED INTENT OF DISSING THE NEXT MAGICIAN THEY SAW!

That's damnable exposure if there ever was such a thing! Selling a professional level and well-kept magic method to a bunch of high school kids (for $30! no less!!) who has said AT THE TIME OF PURCHASE that they were going to use it to dis the next magician they saw - well, words fail, sports fans!

Yeah, this is a rant and yes, I did handle it by doing stuff where I didn't need to know the identity of the card in play, but it was VERY uncomfortable AND the little *&^%@ tipped the marking method to the CROWD!

Need I say more?

If ANY of these firms are members of the MDA, they ought to be drummed out on their ears.

This is not the first time I've had professional level stuff tipped by kids who bought something in a mall shop for inflated prices - and it on't be the last.

These guys are killing some VERY sweet material - all in the pursuit of a buck - at the expense of the working pros and diligent amateurs and part-time pros out there.

<RANT OFF>

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

Guest

Re: Does Exposure Harm Magic?

Postby Guest » October 21st, 2003, 2:47 pm

If the selling of high quality professional level props to the great unwashed disturbs you then you are not going to be a very happy camper here real soon. I was just in the FAO Schwartz store in Vegas this last weekend to see if they had their Fantasma Magic section up yet, and boy do they ever.
The store itself was way down on stock. The Star Wars Cantina Bar was filled with overstocked Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer merchandise, The collectable fashion doll section was decimated and the store had that "were not doing real well so we can't buy any new stock" feeling to it.
But boy did they have a big Fantasma Magic section, a whole wall of it gleaming in it's silver and gold boxes. Two, count them two demonstrators were present and very willing to show, even the most slightly interested, a magic trick that they could purchase for their very own. They had the requisite svengali and invisible decks (though they sported different names). They even carried marked and stripped decks but that is where the similarity to your average slum magic section ended. Among some of the miracles that will be available to the general public this Christmas are, Chameleon Coins (using real coins for under 25.00), a mechanical rising card deck (which I assume is a Devano style deck and again under 25.00) and a kicking Himber wallet for under 20.00. And this is just the tip of the iceburg, these guys are putting out quality first class professional effects.
Before you get your knickers in a knot and wonder why someone isn't doing something about this rampant exposure they already have. Each and every box of Fantasma Magic sports a "Endorsed by the I.B.M" sticker on it.
Is this bad for magic?
We shall have to wait and see.

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mrgoat
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Re: Does Exposure Harm Magic?

Postby mrgoat » October 22nd, 2003, 3:22 am

Originally posted by payne:

Is this bad for magic?
We shall have to wait and see.
how can selling tricks to the public be bad for magic

we aren't freemasons, we are entertainers

it's like suggesting you shouldnt sell tap shoes in public in case someone can't do a very convincing timestep

or juggling clubs

or (and this is a good thing) diablo

:D

Guest

Re: Does Exposure Harm Magic?

Postby Guest » October 22nd, 2003, 9:38 am

I for one don't think that selling effects to the general public is a bad thing and in the long run it is good for magic as a whole.

Who among us didn't get their start, or at least nudged further along the road of magic by buying a trick or two at a toy store or tourist trap shop.

I also think it's great that Fantasma Magic has raised the bar and moved beginners magic away from the old magic block and the imp bottle.

But I know that there are going to be those in the craft who will be quite upset that many of the classic effects of old are becoming the slum magic of today.

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John Smetana
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Re: Does Exposure Harm Magic?

Postby John Smetana » October 22nd, 2003, 5:02 pm

Regardless of the spin..Gratutious exposure trivializes magic.


Best thoughts,
John Smetana

Bill Duncan
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Re: Does Exposure Harm Magic?

Postby Bill Duncan » October 22nd, 2003, 7:00 pm

Originally posted by John Smetana:
Gratutious exposure trivializes magic.
John,
I certainly does.

But not so much, I think, as the magician who doesn't think about his script, or his audience or why he's doing the trick or what the trick might be saying about himself or about magic in general.

I dislike exposure for the same reason I dislike the show Jackass: it's pathetic that someone needs to sink to that level to get attention.

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Re: Does Exposure Harm Magic?

Postby Guest » October 24th, 2003, 9:46 am

Originally posted by payne:
I for one don't think that selling effects to the general public is a bad thing and in the long run it is good for magic as a whole.

Who among us didn't get their start, or at least nudged further along the road of magic by buying a trick or two at a toy store or tourist trap shop.

I also think it's great that Fantasma Magic has raised the bar and moved beginners magic away from the old magic block and the imp bottle.

But I know that there are going to be those in the craft who will be quite upset that many of the classic effects of old are becoming the slum magic of today.
Wait until it happens to you when you perform.

You will change your tune, instantly. Trust me.

The event I described actually happened. The kids TOLD the dealer what their intent was - to dis the next magician they saw and no other reason.

THAT alone should have kept the dealer from tipping them something as good as the Leslie/DeKraam deck. If not, then something is seriously wrong with THEIR ethics.

My opinion, my experience. We'll see how you deal with when it happens to you.

I see no problem with selling magic to the public PROVIDED the public is genuinely interested IN the magic. If you want to run a pitch table, be my guest. Sell Svengali decks and pocket mice, Red Snapper and Magic Blocks.

But don't go around pitching CSB sets, Leslie Decks, Sun & Moon sets and Copenetro! Heck, one outfit is even selling a floating, glowing ball trick, based on an IT manager described in "Who's Afraid of IT!"

Do I need to say more?!

It's exposure of the damaging kind - pushing magic secrets on people who could care less and just want a souvenier to take home to the kids - or to use to dis the next magician they see!

I have no problem with someone who genuinely wants to learn our Art purchasing anything their heart desires and their wallet can handle.

But when it comes down to selling professional level material to people who say they just want to use it to give the next magician they see a really hard time, then I have an issue with that dealer.

And I think the MDA should, as well.

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

Joe Z
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Re: Does Exposure Harm Magic?

Postby Joe Z » October 24th, 2003, 11:15 am

Originally posted by mrgoat:
how can selling tricks to the public be bad for magic...we aren't freemasons, we are entertainers
It's too bad the magic community isn't more like the freemasons. The magic community of the past (with a few notable exceptions) epitomized the kind of secrecy that is inherent in an organization like the freemasons.

Sure, there have always been magic shops that sold simple tricks to the public and general books on magic available in the corner library. However, in the past, being a student of the craft meant having to earn the right to enjoy the more advanced concepts and thinking about mystery performance -- a kind of journeyman or guild concept. This secrecy in itself engendered a mystery about the craft that was reflected in the public perception of magic in the early part of the last century.

It's most disappointing to me when I read about (or actually witness) certain professional conjurers defending/supporting proponents of exposure, whether to "save the public," garner attention, or whatever convenient reason they may invent to justify their actions.

Sometimes I wonder if, indeed, there is no honor among conjurers?

Joe Z.

Guest

Re: Does Exposure Harm Magic?

Postby Guest » October 27th, 2003, 10:52 am

Originally posted by mrgoat:
Originally posted by payne:
[b]
Is this bad for magic?
We shall have to wait and see.
how can selling tricks to the public be bad for magic

we aren't freemasons, we are entertainers

it's like suggesting you shouldnt sell tap shoes in public in case someone can't do a very convincing timestep

or juggling clubs

or (and this is a good thing) diablo

:D [/b]
Damian, did you READ my post about what happened at Medieval Times?

Well, it has happened again! Different trick. This time it was CSB! Hummer's Spinning Card is being hawked by everybody TO anybody, so that's out.

Shall I go on, or are you willing to wait until every good gimmick out there is in the hands of the rich kids - who then tip the method to all of their friends - just out of spite?

Than's what's happening out there.

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

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John Smetana
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Re: Does Exposure Harm Magic?

Postby John Smetana » October 27th, 2003, 1:25 pm

Originally posted by Joe Zabel:
[/qb]
It's too bad the magic community isn't more like the freemasons. The magic community of the past (with a few notable exceptions) epitomized the kind of secrecy that is inherent in an organization like the freemasons.

Sure, there have always been magic shops that sold simple tricks to the public and general books on magic available in the corner library. However, in the past, being a student of the craft meant having to earn the right to enjoy the more advanced concepts and thinking about mystery performance -- a kind of journeyman or guild concept. This secrecy in itself engendered a mystery about the craft that was reflected in the public perception of magic in the early part of the last century.

It's most disappointing to me when I read about (or actually witness) certain professional conjurers defending/supporting proponents of exposure, whether to "save the public," garner attention, or whatever convenient reason they may invent to justify their actions.

Sometimes I wonder if, indeed, there is no honor among conjurers?

Joe Z. [/QB][/QUOTE]

Joe..I'm ready to sign up. Well said brother..

Best thoughts,
John Smetana

Guest

Re: Does Exposure Harm Magic?

Postby Guest » October 27th, 2003, 2:17 pm

On another online forum (yes, I know I should get out more) I chipped in my two cents by stating my opinion as "Those who see no wrong in exposure are not true magicians at all". However, it appeared, at that time, that mine was the minority view.

The hobbyists don't care (I do), as they think it doesn't effect them, as their living isn't in danger. They fail to see the bigger picture, which will eventually place it's hand on their shoulder.

The pros who don't seem to care defend their viewpoint with "It's not the method that's important, it's the presentation." arguement. Until one day their working repetoire is laid bare in exchange for cash and then it's U-turn time.

On another thread Ricky Jay was berrated for keeping secrets. But, like it or not, he's right!
If there were more of the mind of Mr Jay, magic would have a higher artistic respect then it currently enjoys. More power to him!

The accessability of magic trivialises a beautiful gem. Personally I find it much more fun, and a better education, not to know. It makes me think harder for myself about what I am doing, rather than having it handed to me on a plate.

Guest

Re: Does Exposure Harm Magic?

Postby Guest » October 30th, 2003, 3:37 am

This is a GREAT topic - one that has bothered me for many years...

Both sides I see clearly - so I ask, what can be done about it NOW?

I yern for the days of Hollywood, the studios that took young starlets in and trained them from the ground up to be "stars" - those days are now sadly gone.

Has this happened to magic, too?
:confused:
Have the days of "earning the right" to be a magician, long gone?
:(
Where did we loose control of this?
Through the Magic Shops?
The Magic Clubs?
Can we regain the "Rights of Magic" as we knew them back then, or has society forced these magical rights into the public eye for good?
:eek:

Tiny "The-sky-is-falling,The-sky-is-falling" Bubbles

Guest

Re: Does Exposure Harm Magic?

Postby Guest » November 7th, 2003, 5:38 am

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
I don't care what technology comes along: when I have someone freely take a card from a borrowed and shuffled deck, sign it, and they put it in the center and then I pass it to the top, that will always be something that can only be accomplished using the Pass.
Since the Pass is hard as hell, most people will never be able to do it.
Since the Pass is invisible, even if it's been exposed, no laymen will know I've used it.
I wish my Pass were invisable. When I lift the top half, it skews around in my fingers. When I pull down with my left hand, my right fingers wiggle so much it looks like I'm waving and to me it just looks like I'm cutting the deck! Visably! In actual practice, I'll use the Blackstone Pass from The Amateur Magician's Handbook, but I keep playing with the Classic Pass, desparing of my ability to ever really conquer it. :(

Guest

Re: Does Exposure Harm Magic?

Postby Guest » November 7th, 2003, 9:09 am

Originally posted by Tiny Bubbles:
Where did we loose control of this?
Through the Magic Shops?
The Magic Clubs?
Can we regain the "Rights of Magic" as we knew them back then?
:eek:

Tiny "The-sky-is-falling,The-sky-is-falling" Bubbles
Weren't magic shops and clubs available in "those" days as well?

In that case, what about TV magic shows "back then"? You think they did not inspire people to get into magic like todays shows do?

Certainly, todays shows have more "exposure" but lucky for us, unless your a magician, the publics memory of what they have seen is always different than what actually happened. Sometimes the publics explanation of how things happened is better than the actual trick.

Regain the Rights of Magic? What about...Regain the right of magic being done right. That should be the true angle.

www.JeffEzellMAGIC.com

Guest

Re: Does Exposure Harm Magic?

Postby Guest » November 14th, 2003, 12:18 am

Jeff;
I was told by "old timers" that in "the good ol days" Magic Shops were a private affair - hidden away and someplace you LOOKED for - not sitting out and banging a drum looking for business as it seems to be today...

(Although, I must admit - times have changed - you can't get a coke for a nickle or find "penny Candy" anymore, either!)

What about...Regain the right of magic being done right. That should be the true angle.
Jeff - I AGREE! It just seems like to many shops tend to "sell you anything" just to make the sale...

I was once told by a shop owner in Wisconsin,
(and he is STILL in business today, I expect for the following way of thinking and running his business...)
He says "Come in and talk with me. Tell me what you are wanting to do. I will match you up with a trick at your level of skill.

AND...
(here's the unheard of "kicker")

IF you have purchased a trick from somewhere else, andyou can not perform it - PLEASE bring it in to me and I will take the time to TEACH you how to perform that trick!

Now think about that. He is willing to take time out of his day, to teach someone a trick that someone ELSE sold and made the money on!?!

WHY?

He feels that if a person buys a trick, takes it home and can NOT perform it, it gets thrown into the back of the closet, never to be played with again!

The next time the subject of "magic tricks" comes up with that person, that person will shy away from it all due to his first bad experience with it!

If he(The Magic Shop) can get that person re-interested in magic tricks, he (The Magic Shop) may have created a new lifetime customer for himself!

Pretty simple.
;)
Tiny


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