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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Hey I am 16 and I am putting out Lecture notes and a DVD...Cool huh? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Justin N. Miller
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This as gone on long enough. Children (11-21) of magic please listen up as this is directed to you. I first met Calin Lauber at The Twin City Magic convention this past year. Myself and Danny Garcia really took a concentrated interest in this young man. Calvin has some great chops, not the best or even close to that but a good start in sleight of hand magic. He showed myself and Danny some neat stuff, once again not ground-breaking magic but some neat stuff. The convention ends and about 2 months later or so I received in my e-mail Calvin's lecture notes. My first reaction was that of...What? I then found out that Calvin was going to be releasing a DVD called Traverse where apparently he had some "ground-breaking" new way of making four coins travel in a Matrix style routine...nothing could be further from the truth. Hence the latest MAGIC magazine and Peter Duffie's review of Calvin's DVD.

Now I must point out right away that Calvin and I are still friends and we have had numerous conversations about what I am writing and I am happy to say that Calvin has taken mine and Garcia's advice to heart and he has pulled this DVD and will not be releasing any further material until he has approximated enough experience and war wounds in the line of duty.

Which is why I am writing this lengthy essay. Like Calvin there are a plethora of young men out there that think that they can just put "lecture notes" together, or slap a DVD together using a nero-esque type program and start getting "'famous" in the world of magic when in reality they have no idea how to be a real magician!

You young guys think that just because you have this "creative brain" that whatever comes out of it must be original! Are you kidding me? You guys spend more time on how to "get Stuff" that is not even yours to begin with, out in the magic buffet of what we call the market, and try and sell people that you are some creative genius because you figured out a way to make a sharpie vanish or have a coin travel from one side of the table to another.

Your generation is filled with pride. And you think that just because you have some good chops you have the right to put together lecture notes?

Do you not understand that the only reason someone is allowed to lecture or put out lecture notes is because they are considered a master at that subject or field.

How amazingly ridiculous would it be if a student who had just started to attend med school his first week he decided that you were the one he was going to try his new operating technique on...no thanks!

Bottom line is this... I do not care how long you have been in magic, how much "passion" you have for the art, how many times you have fooled you family with your amazing ability to force a card, if you are between the ages of 11-21 you have no authority in putting out lecture notes or a DVD for any reason whatsoever. You have not had enough experience, enough times of getting slammed by real paying audience members, and enough jam sessions where your fellow peers says "that was horrible". I am sick and tired of you young guys thinking you have something that the rest of us do not have at your young age...the reality is you are deceived and unless you take off your rose colored glasses you will only end up hurting yourself and hindering your own advancement in this wonderful art of ours. You are the future of magic so get your acts together and and stop "trying" to make yourself famous. I will tell you what I have told all of my students. If you try and get famous you will ultimately fail, but if you really do have the chops, the presence, the presentation, and the persona..it will happen naturally. I am not saying just sit back and relax if you are gifted, but work with the grace that has been given to you to complete the desired outcome.

But I would not be reporting the full facts if I did not also take shot at the magic companies that are enabling you to "think you are the next David Blaine"
Shame on you as well, I understand that part of show is business, but at what cost? The life force of our young up and coming magicians. You also need to stop this and start screening your intake more regularly.

Now I know I will get a ton of flack from both sides...thats ok, I expect it.

"Wisdom went out looking for those to touch but alas all have hid from her..do not worry ignorance is secure in his plundering".

I write this to those of you who actually care about the future of our art young and old...it is time to take a stand against the pollution that is corrupting the minds of our future in magic.
If you desire to lecture someday to the rest of us then do what we have all done...worked!

Justin N. Miller
michaelmystic2003
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Thanks so much for this Justin! Just want to know, the review of Calvin's DVD IS a negative one, correct? I also have some connection to him, as we both independantly created the Airstep levitation. However I beat him to it so he graciously and without anybody asking him changed the description to fully credit myslef. Great guy, bad decision here.
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ASW
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No, the negative comment is directed at ALL kids who want to release lecture notes and videos before they have any experience or serious knowledge. Reread the thread, especially this comment:

Quote:
Bottom line is this... I do not care how long you have been in magic, how much "passion" you have for the art, how many times you have fooled you family with your amazing ability to force a card, if you are between the ages of 11-21 you have no authority in putting out lecture notes or a DVD for any reason whatsoever. You have not had enough experience, enough times of getting slammed by REAL PAYING audience members, and enough jam sessions where your fellow peers says "that was horrible". I am sick and tired of you young guys thinking you have something that the rest of us do not have at your young age...the reality is you are decieved and unless you take off your rose colored galsses you will only end up hurting yourself and hindering your own advancement in this wonderful art of ours.


Even those older than 21 should seriously consider whether they have anything of serious value to contribute before going to print and video.
Whenever I find myself gripping anything too tightly I just ask myself "How would Guy Hollingworth hold this?"

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"I would respect VIPs if they respect history."

Hideo Kato
Justin N. Miller
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I applaud Calvin for his change of heart in this matter..he is to be commended for doing the right thing.

Justin N. Miller
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Dead on about the pride thing, Justin. Kids get it backward, they think that the performer/lecturer became famous because they put out a video and lecture notes. They don't realize that it is the performers years of experience, performance, lecturing, and development that resulted in their information being in broad enough demand that they finally did a video or lecture notes. The internet and modern media tend to give people the idea that they can be overnight stars with no paying dues. They don't realize the overnight successes had a 20-40 year long night. Bravo!
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
Justin N. Miller
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Check this responce at Theroy 11..

I think what we're seeing here from justin is sour grapes. just like how lots of old people now will tell you how ANY change is bad. he just doesn't want the next generation stepping on his toes or taking up the limelight.

how immature Justin! a lot of older magicians in general take this supercilious rhetoric tone, with its ridiculous absolutist statements about how EVERY person from this age to that age just has NO business releasing their material.

ive heard from a lot of people that said they wished they hadn't wasted the money on Justin's LOOPS volume from the DVD series, does that mean I should go online and make a huge diss post about everyone in his age group?

lol
ASW
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Well that post from the other joint illustrates your basic problem right there: lack of experience, knowledge, maturity and cognitive ability. Basically a complete inability, due to age, to actually really understand what it is you're saying.

(shrugs) It's why they shouldn't be allowed to vote, drink or drive.
Whenever I find myself gripping anything too tightly I just ask myself "How would Guy Hollingworth hold this?"

A magician on the Genii Forum

"I would respect VIPs if they respect history."

Hideo Kato
mrunge
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Personally, I don't think it's pride the young ones have that drives them. If it were, they'd have pride in themselves and their actions and be more responsible in how they talk, act, relate to others and present themselves.

Instead of pride, I think it's more arrogance. For someone to think they have the chops and skills needed to "lecture" to others, without the road time behind them to back it up, is a slap at those before them who have paved the way for others to actually learn something.

Listen kids, young and old, sit back, listen, learn and grow up. Then, you might actually have something to teach others. It just takes time and patience of which you have plenty of the former and none of the latter. Everything today is instant gratification. Too bad!

Mark.
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Great points Justin.I also wish more shops refused to stock what they consider to
be junk.
''In memory of a once fluid man,crammed and distorted by the classical mess'' -Bruce Lee
matthew leatherbarrow
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The first part of this is a direct response; the second is something I copied from another topic that I think is more relevant here. Also let it be no secret that I write this at the tail end of 21 with published material. Finally, I am writing this assuming that your post was targeted at young people publishing anything, not just lecture notes and DVD’s. If this is not the case, then my post has limited relevance. So on with the show...

Firstly, what real tangible damage does the mentioned problem cause? The consumer
of lecture notes/DVD’s/tricks produced by 11-21 year olds is most likely to be the 11-21 year old demographic. I think the constant circulation of money within the magic community/industry is a good thing. I also think that during the ages described many changes occur within a person, I don’t think anything as universally arbitrary as releasing magic lecture notes/DVD/tricks will have a profound effect on a person in their later career.

Now the copied bit...

This is something that crops up every now-and-then in various forms. Normally I would just watch the same old arguments unfold, but since I have firsthand experience, I might as well contribute.

I had a trick published through JB Magic when I was 18, I had developed it when I was 16/17. Heaven forbid.

I had sent a demo for the trick to Mark Mason and about a year later he e-mailed me saying he’d like to release it. A little while later is was on his website in a fancy packet. When he got in touch the first time, I’d actually forgotten I’d sent it to him.

This was about four years ago, just before the BIG flood of DIY magic.

Now think what you may about Mark Mason, but few would argue his expertise and knowledge of magic. If he was willing to put his brand to an effect (not to mention money) you can bet he thought it was original and good.

This is just an account of my young(er) magic career; make of it what you will.

Now the issue of ‘experience and knowledge’ with regards to younger performers…

I do not think age necessarily prefigures experience. There are many things I can do that my grandparents and parents can’t do.

Within magic; no I have not performed on stage in front of an audience of 1000. I have however performed for drunk students after being outed as a magician by other students at the Union bar. Handling a swelling crowd of rowdy youths is definitely an experience – not to mention a skill.

I do however agree that people should do some research before deciding something is ‘new’ and releasing it.

A couple of other points worth raising, or reiterating…


Quote:
________________________________________

Truth is, if we didn't see so many established names continually putting out material, we wouldn't have the young ones trying to follow their example.
________________________________________


While I wouldn’t blame my releases on ‘following examples’, I do have the following to say:

When certain ‘names’ in magic release tricks monthly, most of which are utter pedestrian drivel (aimed squarely are the youth market I might add), is it any wonder that kids think “I can do that”?

I actually sent an e-mail to one of these ‘trick-a-month’ ‘names’ asking for advice, he said he ‘couldn’t offer any advice as the market is over saturated’. I thought ‘yes – because of you’!
My point is this, you can vote with your wallet, don’t buy youth magic if you don’t agree with it. But if you want to see change, well that starts at the top.

Also, the magic shops are as much to blame.

This is SO cynical and shameful!

http://www.ellusionist.com/html/invent-m......icks.htm

Some choice extracts:


Quote:
________________________________________

How will I do it? First of all, believe us, you CAN. All you have to do is let your mind go and open up to everything and ANY possibility. Try to imagine if you could really do magic — you could make cards move — crush things till they disappear — find someone's card in an impossible manner
________________________________________



Quote:
________________________________________

What's a good bet?

- Levitations of any kind
- Visual vanishes (like Revolution)
- Unique, nothing like it on the market
- Sudden appearances or changes
- A prop that helps in magic
- Maybe it's just an incredible IDEA for something, or for this web site
- Got some incredible footage? Old footage from long ago? Send it in!
________________________________________



Best,

M
gardini
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Justin, Considering the amount of garbage on the market, most of me belives if they had more experiance in the art, read abit more about the art we would all be better off. Then I thought wasn't Copperfield teaching magic at NYU at 16, and Andrew Mayne was quite young too, the Professor himself was blowing people away as young man to. Point being that we never know who will end up being the next Copperfield or Professor, with the right encourgement.

Scott
Jaz
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Older folks thinking they have something unique to publish should listen to Justin too.

If it's new stuff you think you have then take the time to talk to other magicians about it, check similar resources, work your stuff in front of an 'real' audience.
Put those egos and the quest for a quick buck aside and do the work.

Sad thing is that those over 21 and fairly well known are sometimes just as guilty.
matthew leatherbarrow
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Quote:
the quest for a quick buck aside and do the work.


That's a joke right? There's no such thing as a quick buck. Anyone small scale doing it for money is mad. Quick money... just not going to happen.

Ego... maybe Smile

Quote:
Sad thing is that those over 21 and fairly well known are sometimes just as guilty.


Sometimes indeed.
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On 2007-10-28 10:29, Jaz wrote:
Older folks thinking they have something unique to publish should listen to Justin too.

If it's new stuff you think you have then take the time to talk to other magicians about it, check similar resources, work your stuff in front of an 'real' audience.
Put those egos and the quest for a quick buck aside and do the work.

Sad thing is that those over 21 and fairly well known are sometimes just as guilty.


Darn you for beating me to it!!!!! As usual right on the same train we are.

I agree and the ease with which stuff can be "published" today is laughable.

I remember when a lecture was in general a guy who worked on his act for 20 or so years, in front of people and then when he got older wanted to share with the community.

Not any more man it is business! There is money in encouraging kids to make you tube videos that can not be done for people.

When did it become magic to work in your living room for a camera only?

The very concept of "street magic" so popular among the children today is laughable.

The frustrating thing becomes this, they want to speak to me as if they are my peer. It is crazy!

Oh and anyone who is in another performance art who learns a few magic or mentalism tricks and starts to release them in about 2 years time is also on the radar here.

BRAVO for the essaay.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
tommy
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Just to be contrary: Smile

Uninformed and incompetent people leading others who are similarly incapable might be good for the performing business. Since the informed and competent will be left with more work, so let the blind lead the blind over the cliff.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Dannydoyle
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Others business practices do not affect me in one way or the other actually.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Jaz
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Quote:
On 2007-10-28 11:12, matthew leatherbarrow wrote:
That's a joke right? There's no such thing as a quick buck. Anyone small scale doing it for money is mad. Quick money... just not going to happen.
Ego... maybe Smile


Mad or not, a couple of hours making a PDF file, having a PayPal account and a web site makes things a lot quicker and is happening.
Cody Comet
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Justin, your advice is good, but it seems offensive that you seem to think that all young magicians are like that. I'm 14, and I'm not like you say us young magicians are. I know that it takes a lot of experience to do a lecture, release a DVD or even to write a book about magic. I know that success doesn't come over night. I know that what pops in my head probably isn't original. I don't want to be the next David Blane, Criss Angel, I don't wan't to be the next anybody. I want to just be myself, driven by passion, not arrogance, willing to become good by not steping on other peoples success, willing to take advice as long as it isn't sterotypical like your advice, while worthwhile, is. And I also know that the future of magic is is our hands as young magicians and I respect that well, and most other young magicians that I met do too. I will take any advice from you in the future, even the advice in this post. But just do me a favor and stop sterotyping us young magicians as arrogant kids that are full of ourselfs.
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ASW, regarding the criticism: Yes, Justin's post was directed at anyone from teenage years to 21 and also applies to anyone who is a relative newby to magic.

What you did not realize in your first post was that there was a review of Traverse in the November Magic magazine that was not only negative, but almost ripped the poor young man completely apart. The only saving grace was that the review made no mention of Calvin's age, saving him the hassle of more people ripping into him.

I sincerely hope that Calvin doesn't quit this fine art due to this experience. If anything, I hope that it inspires him to work and improve himself to the point that at some time in the future he will have something to say and contribute that people will pay attention to.
Magic! The quicker picker-upper!
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Justin, beatiful essay. Thanks for taking the time to share those "seasoned" thoughts with everyone.

You rock baby!!!
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
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