Why don't you attend local magic clubs?

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.
User avatar
erdnasephile
Posts: 3796
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Why don't you attend local magic clubs?

Postby erdnasephile » October 8th, 2018, 7:44 pm

All:

I have a question I'm curious about after receiving an email from a national magic club.

If you don't attend local magic club meetings, may I please ask: "What keeps you from participating in your local magic organization?" Is it cost, time, format, usefulness, or some other factor(s)?

(I know Stan Allen hosted a national meeting to address these things, but the GF group is not your typical magician focus group, so I was wondering what your take is on this issue.)

Tom Gilbert
Posts: 716
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: NH
Contact:

Re: Why don't you attend local magic clubs?

Postby Tom Gilbert » October 9th, 2018, 9:02 am

I don't have one nearby, that I know of. When I saw Goshman lecture he thought they weren't worth the time. Not sure if this is on video or not but the story went, he hadn't been to a club meeting in many years, and when he did they were doing the same tricks in the same sloppy way. I'm sure not all clubs are like that, as you'll probably get responses from those that love their meetings.

Chris Aguilar
Posts: 1754
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Sacramento
Contact:

Re: Why don't you attend local magic clubs?

Postby Chris Aguilar » October 9th, 2018, 11:42 am

I'm sure that a good number of people (myself included) just aren't into joining clubs (any kind of club) in general.

I still enjoy going to the occasional convention or hanging out informally with other magic enthusiasts if the opportunity presents itself.

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 24360
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Why don't you attend local magic clubs?

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 9th, 2018, 3:22 pm

When I was a teen, the local IBM ring in New York City was the greatest place in the world. It had about 150 members and incredible lectures each month. All went well until the treasurer skipped out with all the money (and it was a lot). Bastard.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

User avatar
Gordon Meyer
Posts: 310
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: Why don't you attend local magic clubs?

Postby Gordon Meyer » October 10th, 2018, 11:30 am

Location, location, location. There are several good clubs in the Chicago area, but they focus their activities to be convenient to suburb dwellers.

User avatar
luigimar
Posts: 226
Joined: March 14th, 2008, 8:48 pm
Location: Mexico

Re: Why don't you attend local magic clubs?

Postby luigimar » October 11th, 2018, 1:15 pm

The local group meets on Tuesdays which makes it very difficult to attend (I have to help my children with their homework and I work very early on weekdays)... I've asked for a change of day but they say they are used to meeting on Tuesdays. I go to an occasional meeting whenever there is no homework and the following day is a holiday or if it is during vacations).

I just started meeting with some friends in magic who are in the same position (they can't go to a meeting on Tuesdays) and we are meeting on Fridays... We'll see if we get some more people who like magic to meet with us when they find out how much fun we are having...
luigimar

User avatar
Peirceman
Posts: 10
Joined: July 20th, 2018, 3:28 pm

Re: Why don't you attend local magic clubs?

Postby Peirceman » October 19th, 2018, 5:32 pm

The local IBM ring in Atlanta made me feel like joining was going to be a giant pain in the a$$. They didn't know me from Adam, but when I inquired about joining, I got a bunch of rigamarole about coming, watching, and if I wanted to, auditioning for membership. I've done magic for a living in my 20's and have been an avid amateur ever since. When I got the response I could only think about the beginner who had a book and a trick deck and a truck load of passion who would be intimidated by "auditioning".

I decided not to go. Those guys can circle shuffle without me.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

MagicbyAlfred
Posts: 863
Joined: June 7th, 2015, 12:48 pm
Favorite Magician: Bill Malone
Location: Myrtle Beach, SC

Re: Why don't you attend local magic clubs?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » October 22nd, 2018, 2:25 pm

i am sure there are good things to be learned from other magicians by going to the club meetings and events. However, I learned a long time ago that laymen are my best teachers. Magicians aren't generally into the patter or story, so their reactions are not necessarily helpful. But it's always useful if someone (anyone) can let you know themes are smooth, or whether you are flashing, or whatever.

User avatar
erdnasephile
Posts: 3796
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: Why don't you attend local magic clubs?

Postby erdnasephile » October 22nd, 2018, 10:53 pm

Here are a few potential barriers to attending local clubs these days (offered just as food for thought):

1. Time and opportunity costs: Between family, church, work, other hobbies, etc., adding another time commitment is tough. I think this is especially true before the nest is empty and during the upward trajectory part of your career.
2. Internet substitutes: It used to be you'd have to go to a club meeting if you wanted to see famous magicians. Now, they are a click away from your screen at a time/place of your convenience. While there is no substitute for one-on-one teaching, Skype consultations and live on-line sessions help close the gap somewhat. Even boards like this help provide a place to ask questions, share an opinion or two, and catch up on the gossip. I've enjoyed communicating with several of you here (since I've got no local magic buddies.)
3. Lack of a welcoming atmosphere: I mentioned in another thread that magic clubs seem have grown rather monolithic in terms of their membership. When I've attended in the past, I hate say it, but the members virtually ignored me. It's not their fault necessarily--maybe I appear intimidating or unfriendly. (David Ben has a horror story about this when he first wanted to know what an Elmsley count was---he was rescued by none other than Bob Farmer). I just think it's naturally hard to reach out to strangers who are different than you and it's a lot easier to just huddle into the small groups you are comfortable with. However, if clubs want to grow, it seems like it might be incumbent on them to have an intentional, organized way to reach out to visitors and to be extra welcoming to those who wander in if they are interested in growing their numbers. Sadly, the notion of "Us four and no more" is one that may lead to extinction eventually.
4. Lack of perceived value: This one is related to the last point. When I was a kid, I got a lot out of the LB Mystics gang and I felt like I learned something every week. These days, it's more hit or miss in the times I've been around bunches of magicians. Several I've met have skill and knowledge but some of their weird, off-putting behaviors/personality quirks can be pretty daunting to get past. I have asked myself if it's worth putting up with the untoward stuff to gain the knowledge and expertise. Also, if a lot of the meeting ends up being about discussing club business instead of magic or if there is no honest, constructive feedback to members, the time/value equation begins to take a left shift.

I know there are great clubs (and magicians) out there, and I also realize if I really wanted to benefit from these types of gatherings, I need to bring something to the table as well as it requires effort and outreach on the part of the individual to become a useful member to a club. I also don't mean to come off as super-judgey, but I know I probably have. However, the above are some of the challenges I think some magic clubs face.

performer
Posts: 2837
Joined: August 7th, 2015, 10:35 pm

Re: Why don't you attend local magic clubs?

Postby performer » October 23rd, 2018, 5:01 am

There are advantages and disadvantages to magic clubs. The main advantage is a social one. The main disadvantage is that they are breeding grounds for bad magic and low standards.


Return to “Close-Up Magic”