Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.
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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Chris Aguilar » February 17th, 2015, 7:19 pm

erdnasephile wrote:In terms of published literature on the drunken poker type plot, I think Paul Cummins published a good sized reference list of such routines in his initial write-up of "Punken Droker" on cogitations.net. (I believe the earliest reference he found was in a Stewart Judah routine that was recorded in "The Lost Notebooks of John Northern Hilliard".).

When I get home, I'll pull the list and check the references to see if any correspond to the routine in question.

Yes, Paul had over 20+ references. Though I'm going to refrain from posting all that here without Paul's permission. He does say that he was strongly influenced by Scarne's book.

"Scarne's Drunken Poker Deal," may be found on page 124 of the 1st edition, seventh printing of Scarne on Card Tricks, John Scarne, 1950, Crown Publishers, Inc., New York.


And (wanting to work the trick up again now that I've forgotten the particulars) I remembered that it's taught on Josh Jay's "Talk about Tricks" dvd set.

For members of my conjurenation forums, Paul posted a very complete write up (with the aforementioned references) that can be found in an eleven year old thread here.

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 17th, 2015, 7:47 pm

Am I correct in remembering that Diaconis either claimed or is sometimes given credit for this plot?
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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby erdnasephile » February 17th, 2015, 9:26 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Am I correct in remembering that Diaconis either claimed or is sometimes given credit for this plot?


Yes: the majority of published references give Dr. Diaconis credit for developing the plot of drunken poker mixed with triumph. Dr. Diaconis' routine remains unpublished. Given that Mr. Jay and Dr. Diaconis are confidants makes me wonder if the routine in the video is closely related to the Diaconis routine; however, that is pure speculation on my part.

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Chas Nigh » February 17th, 2015, 9:29 pm

I am dreading the day when I perform Alaskan Poker and some layman shouts "THAT'S RICKY JAY'S ROUTINE!"

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 17th, 2015, 9:31 pm

I don't recall the earlier published handlings of this plot (I'd be surprised if Dr. Daley didn't have one!), but do they use riffle shuffles? Or are the earlier handlings using other types of mixing?

By the way, there's a very good version of this by Larry Jennings in The Skinner Tapes.
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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Denis Behr » February 18th, 2015, 3:55 am

Daley recorded a method in his notebooks, see http://credits.denisbehr.de/doku.php?id ... poker_deal

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Brad Henderson » February 18th, 2015, 11:57 am

Chas Nigh wrote:I am dreading the day when I perform Alaskan Poker and some layman shouts "THAT'S RICKY JAY'S ROUTINE!"



No, you're not.

If you have no problem doing it in your own conscious, what does the opinion of an outsider matter?

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Bill Mullins » February 18th, 2015, 1:05 pm

Chas Nigh wrote:I am dreading the day when I perform Alaskan Poker and some layman shouts "THAT'S RICKY JAY'S ROUTINE!"


What you should dread is someone seeing you do the routine, and saying "Man, Ricky Jay does that, and he's so much better."

If you someone else's material, someone as good as RJ, then the best you can hope for is second best.

If you do your own unique material, you are the best person doing it.

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Bob Farmer » February 18th, 2015, 1:10 pm

There is a very clever version with two deals devised by George Schindler and explained by Frank Garcia in SUPER SUBTLE CARD MIRACLES. See, "Poker Dream," pp. 128-129. The write-up refers to the "Drunken Deal Principle."

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Chas Nigh » February 18th, 2015, 2:00 pm

Bob, the Schindler routine. is excellent. I used it for a number of years.

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 18th, 2015, 2:32 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:What you should dread is someone seeing you do the routine, and saying "Man, Ricky Jay does that, and he's so much better."

If you someone else's material, someone as good as RJ, then the best you can hope for is second best.

If you do your own unique material, you are the best person doing it.


Bill, that makes no sense. Laymen can't recognize one trick from another most of the time, and they certainly cannot differentiate between different handlings of the same plot. So, by your standard, any Drunken Poker Deal will elicit an unwanted reaction from spectators. This is simply not the case.
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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Bill Mullins » February 18th, 2015, 2:45 pm

True 90% or more of the time. But shouldn't he aim to impress his sophisticated spectators as well as the ones who don't see much magic?

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 18th, 2015, 2:46 pm

From a layman's point of view, it doesn't matter what handling of the particular trick is used. They all look the same to most laymen.
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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Brad Henderson » February 18th, 2015, 3:47 pm

it's not the handling that's inportant. it's the big picture.

most people never see magic but those who do are the type of people who end up in places that have magic, and as such are likely to see it more than once. So why chose an item which automatically invites comparison when there is so much material out there?

the reason is because we are motivated not by giving our audiendes unique and deep magical experiences but our own self pleasure. del ray taught me that magic is not a commodity, that when lay people see magicians do the same thing it detracts from the idea of magic - as something special and unique.

Both Conover and I have written about what I call motivational theft. Why We want to do a trick plays a role in the ethics of the act.

Sam the bellhop and kornwinder car were both sitting there on the shelf for years. Worlds greatest magic comes along and now everyone is doing it.

it wasn't tbeir artistic vision which led them to those pieces. Malone and Tamariz had that vision and did the work. They took the rock and turned it into a gem.

when the reason You want to perform a trick stems from seeing another magician perform the trick then the ethical thing to do is seek permission, even if the trick isn't the magician's and already published.

many magicians spent countless hours and thousands of dollars finding material that sets them apart from others. Is it to much to suggest asking if its ok to build on their work?

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Roger M. » February 18th, 2015, 4:57 pm

Ricky Jay is quite a high profile guy.
He's on TV, he's in movies, he's a respected author, and of course (for our discussion) he's definitely a magicians magician.

He's also incredibly good at each of those things above that he does, especially when it comes to creating moving pieces of original magic.

So it's no surprise really, that when a mediocre or lazy magician see's Jay doing an effect that appears to devastate the spectators, said magi desperately wants to figure the trick out and copy it. They desperately want just a bit of that Ricky Jay card magic mojo.

As Jay has never really published any of his creations, the "figure it out and copy it" part is a given, and sort of where this thread started off.

What I've never understood though, is when a plethora of material is available, 98% of which isn't being performed by anybody, why bother to steal a routine that has been shown (potentially to hundreds of thousands, if not millions) on TV or in a popular video?

An example might be Stewart James, and those three big books of his (primarily) card magic. If you look through those books, you realize that there are effects contained within that not only aren't currently being performed, but that also have likely never been performed outside of James house in Courtright when he created them.

Find an unperformed and unknown Stewart James effect (for example) and make it your own, you'll amaze people and likely be the subject of some future thread here in the Genii forum when some lazy miscreant see's you doing this amazing, and totally unknown effect - and then proceeds to copy your exclusive piece verbatim and post it to U-tube.

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 18th, 2015, 5:57 pm

Brad, I reject the notion that I would have to seek permission from Tamariz to perform the "Koornwinder Kar" or Bill Malone to do a rhyming patter card trick while dealing through the deck.
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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Brad Henderson » February 18th, 2015, 6:16 pm

I didn't say you had to seek permission from them to do those tricks.

I said, if the REASON you want to do those tricks is because of seeing them, because of the work and vision they had - not YOU, THEN the ethical action is to seek permission from them.

I mean, why not?

(of course now that both men have released their handlings to the magic world it is different. Ethically you can buy the dvd's which conveys their permission and approval. But prior to then, I do feel that those who "discovered" sam the bellhop post WGM were benefiting from Bill's work, work he had not necessarily agreed to share with other magicians. And doing a story deck is different from lifting THAT story deck, after seeing someone do it. Different situation.)

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Brad Jeffers » February 18th, 2015, 6:22 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:For Nigh to use Jay's material is damaging right now to Jay.

Really? I don't see how.

Chas Nigh wrote:... thanks for the tips, however I do Darwin's routine
... Card School by Peter Duffie has a routine called Stacking For Real
... the Schindler routine is excellent. I used it for a number of years

Chas Nigh seems to be a serious card guy who is working his way through various handlings of the Alaskan Poker plot. Or is it the Greek Poker plot?
Perhaps one day, this will lead to the ultimate handling of this effect - Chas Nigh's West Paducha Poker.

Roger M wrote:He's (Ricky Jay) also incredibly good when it comes to creating moving pieces of original magic.

I wholeheartedly agree, however Alaskan Poker is not one of them.

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 18th, 2015, 6:56 pm

Brad, you are not "lifting" anything if it has already been published or on the market.
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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Brad Henderson » February 18th, 2015, 7:03 pm

Yes, you are. You are lifting their vision. They saw the value in the trick, not you. They read it and realized they could make it come to life, and figured out how to do it, not you.

You are benefiting from all of that - their vision, the years they spent honing it, the hours and dollars they spent finding something you over looked. All of that has value.

But what am I really asking - that you take a single moment of your life and reach out to the person whose work you are choosing to build on, is that too demanding? Why wouldn't you ask them? I know many magicians won't because they are afraid they may be told to buzz off. But that's not the only response. Sometimes you get oodles of help and advice and ideas for different directions to explore.

To do otherwise seem to be incredible disrespectful to the performer who inspired you and belittles the value of the REAL world that goes into building and defining a professional and or artistic repertoire
.

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Roger M. » February 18th, 2015, 7:19 pm

Brad Jeffers wrote:
I wholeheartedly agree, however Alaskan Poker is not one of them.


When you quoted my post, unfortunately the word "pieces" didn't come through as both italicized and underlined.

The reason I both underlined and italicized the word was to highlight the fact that, although specific elements of a routine may have shown up elsewhere previously, they can (and very often are) combined to create a new, exciting, and original piece of card magic, highly unique to the person (in the case of Alaskan Poker, Jay himself) performing it.

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby erdnasephile » February 18th, 2015, 7:26 pm








It's easy to look askance at guys like this, given their blatant thievery and utter lack of originality.

However, I'll bet that's exactly the way the professionals I respect would look at me if I performed their unpublished stuff without their permission.

More importantly, that's the exactly the way I'd look at myself if I did so...

...which is really all that matters most to me.
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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby erdnasephile » February 18th, 2015, 7:41 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:...But what am I really asking - that you take a single moment of your life and reach out to the person whose work you are choosing to build on, is that too demanding? Why wouldn't you ask them? I know many magicians won't because they are afraid they may be told to buzz off. But that's not the only response. Sometimes you get oodles of help and advice and ideas for different directions to explore....


If I wish to use someone's published material, I contact the author to ask permission. I have never been told to buzz off when I've made many such a requests in the past. In fact, Brad's last sentence has been more the rule in my experience than the exception.
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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Bill Mullins » February 18th, 2015, 9:03 pm

Brad Jeffers wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:For Nigh to use Jay's material is damaging right now to Jay.

Really? I don't see how.


If what has been written so far in this thread doesn't convince you, then I doubt anything I could write would. However,

Image

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby JHostler » February 18th, 2015, 9:14 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:
Brad Jeffers wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:For Nigh to use Jay's material is damaging right now to Jay.

Really? I don't see how.


If what has been written so far in this thread doesn't convince you, then I doubt anything I could write would. However,

Image


That means absolutely nothing. The magician using a sequence of sleights similar (or even identical) to what Ricky Jay used for Alaskan Poker means nothing. If the script is copped and used for an actual audience (doubtful), or the magician claims to have "invented" that sequence of moves, well... maybe then his actions can accurately be characterized as "defacing" Mr. Jay or lifting his work (or, more specifically, the work of others that served as the foundation for "Alaskan Poker"). Until then, most of the criticisms levied against the OP are a bunch of self-righteous HOOEY.
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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 18th, 2015, 9:53 pm

Here, here, Mr. Hostler. HOOEY!
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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Brad Henderson » February 18th, 2015, 10:10 pm

erdnasephile - yes. as I rule I have learned that asking opens more doors than not asking.

why are people so incensed at the notion that if you see a performer do something you want to do that you ask them?

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 18th, 2015, 10:34 pm

Because you're inviting them to say "no" when they don't have that right.

If it's an original trick, or original patter, or an original combination of two previously existing things, then, yes, you need to ask and be prepared to get "no" as an answer.

But if you are inspired to do a trick by someone who has popularized something previously printed, or which belongs to someone else, there is no need to ask anyone anything.
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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Bill Mullins » February 18th, 2015, 11:16 pm

But the original poster explicitly said "I want to do RJ's routine". Not a similar sequence of sleights, not a generic drunken poker deal. He wanted to copy what someone else had put together.

Yes, if you are inspired by another, and modify it to suit your own persona, skill set, taste, etc., you can get far enough away from the original that you don't need permission. But if your starting premise is "I like what he does, I want to do what he does and get the same approbation he does" then you are almost certainly on the wrong side of (an admittedly not-well-defined and not-enforceable) ethical line.

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Roger M. » February 19th, 2015, 2:36 am

Go do your own thing you bunch of unoriginal, crappy, lazy, boring magicians.

There, consider that comment a "service". It had to be said in short, concise form, as the folks performing in the kinds of videos shown above obviously have no ability to parse subtlety.

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Marty Demarest » February 19th, 2015, 11:04 am

While I think I understand Dustin's basic point, I need to disagree with this statement:

I do not believe anyone else should use the patter for “The Exclusive Coterie” from Erdnase since he has become so identified by it, particularly since it suits his character so well.


I do perform "The Exclusive Coterie," using three different methods--Erdnase's original method, my adaptation of Erdnase's original method, and the method used by Jim Steinmeyer in his "Stand Up for McDonald" routine. Sometimes I use Erdnase's original patter, and sometimes I use my adaptation of Erdnase's original patter. (I do not use Jay's adaptation of Erdnase's patter, nor do I use his method.)

Interestingly, the ONLY people who have ever mentioned Ricky Jay in conjunction with my performance of that routine have been magicians. For 99% of laypeople, he's not associated with that routine. I'd go so far as to say that, until recently, Ricky Jay is far better known as being a minor character actor. ("That guy from Boogie Nights?")

And if someone did recognize it as "Jay's" routine, I don't see how magic could be hurt be being perceived as having literary, performing and interpretive legacies. Most arts do.

I think magicians have a skewed sense of "ownership" of routines and performances. If someone can do something and make it their own, then they own it. More power to them. And more power to the person who comes along and is subsequently inspired by their work. There's an anxiety of influence that drives artistic progress.

I think magicians' fear of this is one of the reasons magic seldom approaches art.

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Roger M. » February 19th, 2015, 11:11 am

Not to get into any sort of disagreement with you Marty, but I think, in the terms used for the discussion underway, it's important to understand clearly what the word "influence" actually means in terms of its use in art.

Influence means what most folks believe it to mean, it doesn't mean stealing major elements of another magicians hard work and calling it "influence" of a "homage".

Ripping off a guys patter or routine more often than not is just simple theft, most often due to the thief's utter laziness, or their lack of the ability to construct an original idea.

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Marty Demarest » February 19th, 2015, 11:14 am

Good point, Roger. Sometimes "influence" is a step on a journey. Sometimes it's the endpoint.

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Roger M. » February 19th, 2015, 12:05 pm

I see a major truth in your post Marty, and consider it unfortunate that (IMO) 95% of all those who exercise the practice of magic, quite simply aren't artists, and further will never be artists (e.g.- see videos above).

The fallout from my statement above is simply that, for these folks, it's utterly impossible for them to be "artistically influenced" in any sort of meaningful way, or any way at all really.

As a group, these folks tend to purchase pre-packaged tricks with lengthy training DVD's that do all the thinking for them, and/or simply rip off whatever original piece they happen to see an actual artist (like Ricky Jay) perform for his audience.

Admittedly, this is the same group that keep magic magazines, trick doctors, and magic distributors in business. And I'm not disparaging a creators right to sell something of their own creation to other magicians.
This group is an entire and very real subset of magic, and definitely magic's largest single base of practitioners.

I believe I'm not alone though, in my belief that something seriously isn't working in the magic world, such that (with rare exceptions) one never really see's anything close to actual art being presented if the word "magic" is attached to it.

I don't expect anything will change soon though, it's unfortunate.

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Jonathan Townsend » February 19th, 2015, 12:40 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:
Brad Jeffers wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:For Nigh to use Jay's material is damaging right now to Jay.

Really? I don't see how.


If what has been written so far in this thread doesn't convince you, then I doubt anything I could write would. However,

Image


Clearly a hint for the extra-terrestrial/grey crowd that we have been visited before.

Marty ... art and influences? I feel the magic market is closer to the "unusual end papers" TV ad for a book club than to having discussions about utility, novelty and merit in relation to the sum total of work to date.
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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Aaron Sterling » February 19th, 2015, 12:56 pm

Roger M. wrote: and further will never be artists (e.g.- see videos above).

Imagine if, when you were growing up, cameras were everywhere, and if you didn't post pictures and videos of yourself online, you would be ostracized from a social life of your peers. A tremendous amount of inartistic things -- and idiotic things -- you did would be preserved for eternity. Maybe not in your case, I don't know, but I know that would have been true for me.

I think it's unwise to use words like "never" when people are expressing themselves by using the only tools they know. You're only seeing a snapshot of that person's magical development, and life development. This judgement occurs, I believe, because a lot of people who grew up before video social media think that posting a video online is ethically and morally equivalent to performing on a main channel's television program. But it isn't, neither in intent, nor in practical consequence.

You might recall that you and I disagreed about exposure on this board. Since that conversation, I've spoken to several people who would probably qualify as "heavy hitters" about exposure and its effect on the performance and art of magic. Opinions were wide-ranging, to say the least. But it made me clear about something. Concern about video exposure (or other forms of what this thread is calling artistic theft) is over-emphasized, and a desire to educate and to develop magical maturity is under-emphasized.

Why not look at a video like that, or an Opening Post like the one on this thread, and say, "That's great that you've come this far. Think of what more you could do if you studied X Y and Z?" Remember how many people, who would have been mentors right now, died early; and how difficult it is to purchase a magic library in an economy that provides mainly low-paid service jobs to young people. I see most of these YouTube videos as a request for others to participate, along the lines of, "Acknowledge me please, and help me get better."

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Brad Henderson » February 19th, 2015, 1:16 pm

as my trumpet teacher said: if you can listen to doc severinson and yourself and hear the difference, with work you someday may become a trumpet player of equal caliber. If however when you listen you doc severinson and yourself and you CANNOT hear the difference ....

Aron, you suffer from the illusion that everyone experiences the world in the same manner as you. Many/most/a lot of you tube posters are NOT seeking help, they are doing it for their own glorification and based on responses to comments it is clear that they are fully aware of how great they already are.

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Aaron Sterling » February 19th, 2015, 1:23 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:based on responses to comments it is clear that they are fully aware of how great they already are.

That's an extremely common defense mechanism among young men. It has nothing to do with magic in particular. There's an educational skill required to get past that, but a lot of it boils down to respecting the person as a human being, so they're willing to drop the defense.

For example, regarding the OP, which approach do you think is more likely to get someone to listen to you? (1) "You're a lazy thief!" or (2) "Cool, if you can reverse-engineer one of Ricky Jay's routines, you've got a real head for this. Would you like to hear my thoughts on ways to come up with routines of your own?"

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Bill Mullins » February 19th, 2015, 1:36 pm

Aaron Sterling wrote:For example, regarding the OP, which approach do you think is more likely to get someone to listen to you? (1) "You're a lazy thief!" or (2) "Cool, if you can reverse-engineer one of Ricky Jay's routines, you've got a real head for this. Would you like to hear my thoughts on ways to come up with routines of your own?"


Given that the OP has posted elsewhere of being active in magic in the 1960s, and as such is deep into his fifties (at least), I think that directly challenging his ethics rather than approaching him as a student who is ready to be mentored is not unreasonable. If he was 14, I'd be inclined to agree with you.

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Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Postby Aaron Sterling » February 19th, 2015, 2:03 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:Given that the OP has posted elsewhere of being active in magic in the 1960s, and as such is deep into his fifties (at least), I think that directly challenging his ethics rather than approaching him as a student who is ready to be mentored is not unreasonable. If he was 14, I'd be inclined to agree with you.

I wasn't familiar with the message board history, so thank you for letting me know. I'm not sure it makes much difference what someone's chronological age is. A lot of people get stuck in artistic development because they never internalized the skill of accepting criticism. Someone might be 50 in earth years, and still be magically 14.

You've probably noticed that Brad Henderson lights into me a lot here. On the one hand, I can't say I find reading his posts fun. But, compared to the critiques I receive in real life from people who like me and know my credentials, his posts are sweet and nice. Accomplishing something worthwhile requires ruthlessness toward the objective, and the willingness to set one's ego aside. And that skill of accepting criticism is hard to learn. I don't see anything to be gained by attacking someone's ego when they're trying to show me something they are working on, until they trust me enough to give me permission to. Instead, I assume they haven't learned that particular creative skill yet.


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