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Topic: How do Penn and Teller justify exposing illusions?
Message: Posted by: todsky (Jan 14, 2007 09:18PM)
I was shocked when they exposed the superb [b]Mismade Lady[/b]. What is their philosophy in doing this, or is it simply to annoy other magicians? And why are they still respected in magic circles when they practice exposure? Are they just the 'bad boys' of magic? What gives?
Message: Posted by: mrunge (Jan 14, 2007 10:14PM)
I think they do it for the money. They could care less about what they expose. If they did, they would not be doing it.

I've also heard they have been kicked out of the IBM and SAM, but do not know this for a fact. If they have not, in my opinion they should.

It's sad they are now thumbing their noses at the art and disrespecting all of those who enjoy magic and abide by the magicians oath. I guess they now have their own code to live by. Sad.

Mark. :(
Message: Posted by: silverking (Jan 15, 2007 10:04AM)
I've never understood why magi don't roast Penn and Teller for their continued exposure.

They're considered magic "insiders" (as per Penns intro to the Eric Mead book) but sell out magicians everywhere on a nightly basis, getting rich selling secrets that DON'T belong to them.

I find them lame and rather sad. Perhaps Silvio's thought about being a failed legitimate magic act has some legs to it.
The drag is that once an act gets their big show in Vegas, they become somewhat legitimate and people stop questioning what they're actually DOING every night for magic.
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (Jan 15, 2007 12:21PM)
The reason magicians don't "roast" them is the magic magazines don't tell them to. In general, magicians are followers. They don't know if an act is funny unless they are told it's funny. Mac King can walk out on stage and they'll laugh their butts off. Another act, maybe even funnier than Mac, can work for the same audience and not get a strong response because he hasn't been on the cover of a magazine.

It's the same with exposure. Since they are told by the "Good Ol' Boys" network that P&T are the "bad boys" but they're okay, it's just an act and they really respect magic, they'll give them a pass. I remember back in the 80's when P&T were just getting popular, Penn appeared on a Chicago radio show. People called in asking how tricks were done, and Penn explained everything asked for. I vividly recall him explaining the Broom Suspension, talking about an incident where a girl was pinched by the gimmick and started bleeding. There was no reason, there was no theatrical presentation --- he was simply dispensing secrets.

P&T are great performers, and Teller in particular is a very talented magician. But the bottom line is they tend to do what's in the best interest of Penn and Teller, regardless of the affect is has on others. So, IMO, they and their supporters are nothing less than hypocrites. Perhaps they should point that ******** camera at themselves once.
Message: Posted by: Magicque (Jan 15, 2007 01:21PM)
That's well said! Good job Starrpower. Don't see their act, don't talk about them!
Message: Posted by: jamieallan (Jan 15, 2007 02:46PM)
When did they exposed the Mismade Lady? Is the video on youtube?

JA
Message: Posted by: gulamerian (Jan 15, 2007 07:12PM)
Perhaps they expose because they are not very talented.
Message: Posted by: todsky (Jan 15, 2007 07:16PM)
It would be nice if they just exposed themselves in public, and then they could work on their escape act from jail.

JA, I forget where I saw the Mismade Lady exposure.
Message: Posted by: Silvio Solaris (Jan 15, 2007 08:58PM)
If there would be more camaderie, codes and a tight net of magic(ians) associations keeping the secrets 'really' secret by penalty of perjury this exposure would not happen. Penn & Teller or any of those that expose magic on youtube and wikipedia would not dare to do it.

My two cents and honest opinion.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Jan 15, 2007 09:24PM)
Hi all!

I've never cared for P & T's act. Gillette comes across as obnoxious. He's a better game show host, in my opinion. That suits him WAY better.

Teller is brilliant. A true magician, in my opinion, but I digress...

If this is true (Mis-Made Lady exposed), I'd be really digusted, but I believe Penn Gillette is the main force behind the act. Don't blame Teller...I'm sure he's not behind it...hey I could be wrong, though...

My $.02

Doug
Message: Posted by: todsky (Jan 15, 2007 10:01PM)
I found the link:

http://francois.ravaillac.free.fr:80/video/revelation.php
Message: Posted by: Joey Stalin (Jan 15, 2007 10:12PM)
You aren't talking about that "Blast Off" thing they have done on the muppets, America's Got Talent ect. are you? Please... That was nothing, hardly exposure. Just like their clear cups and balls, which got them thrown out of the magic castle, is hardly exposure of the cups and balls.

[url]http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=173861&forum=177&start=180[/url]

Yeah read through that if you want. Or do some searches.

People have no memory when it comes to magic secrets. Why? Cause they don't care. And they cannot apply one thing to other effects. You could expose a TT vanishing silk and then do a bill switch or vanishing sugar and they won't know how it is done.
Message: Posted by: freefallillusion1 (Jan 15, 2007 11:07PM)
P&T DID expose secrets on their last T.V. special where they were at a resort with a big aquarium. They BLATANTLY EXPOSED an underwater version of million dollar mystery. They exposed their finale of vanishing a submarine. Worse than the actual exposure, however, was the way that the exposure labeled magicians as mere con artists "out to get'cha", as this type of thing always does- complete with the narration along the lines of "See how easy it really is? Can you believe you were fooled by that?"! I have heard for years that magicians were outraged by P&T exposing, only to see for myself that things like the clear cups & balls aren't really exposure. After seeing their latest "effort" (I'm being really generous there), I no longer associate them in the same class with us. They don't care about anyone but themselves. As for Teller, I have never met him, but he seems like a magical genious. His actions speak for themselves, though. He has chosen to carry on with this type of act. These guys are not real magicians.

BTW, thanks for reading my rant.

Phil
Message: Posted by: Caveat Lector (Jan 15, 2007 11:47PM)
[quote]
On 2007-01-16 00:07, freefallillusion1 wrote:
P&T DID expose secrets on their last T.V. special where they were at a resort with a big aquarium. They BLATANTLY EXPOSED an underwater version of million dollar mystery. They exposed their finale of vanishing a submarine. Worse than the actual exposure, however, was the way that the exposure labeled magicians as mere con artists "out to get'cha", as this type of thing always does- complete with the narration along the lines of "See how easy it really is? Can you believe you were fooled by that?"! I have heard for years that magicians were outraged by P&T exposing, only to see for myself that things like the clear cups & balls aren't really exposure. After seeing their latest "effort" (I'm being really generous there), I no longer associate them in the same class with us. They don't care about anyone but themselves. As for Teller, I have never met him, but he seems like a magical genious. His actions speak for themselves, though. He has chosen to carry on with this type of act. These guys are not real magicians.

BTW, thanks for reading my rant.

Phil
[/quote]

Hey Phil,
Just a note for you about the underwater special. I do agree that they should not have exposed the loading for the million dollar mistery. But, just to correct you, they did not expose how they vanished the sub. That was a CGI effect and not even cose to being realistic. Basically every performer gets into entertainment because they want to get payed, that is the nature of show business. The reality is that they perform for laymen and not for magicians, that is where their bread and butter is. So you can hate them all you want and throw them out of any of the national orginizations. I am pretty sure they just don't care about mine or anybody elses opinions other than the people who buy tickets and sign their checks.
Message: Posted by: Thommy Razor (Jan 16, 2007 07:01AM)
On the same underwater special, if you can, go back and watch the beginning again. Teller exposes "plans" of sawing a woman in half. Then watch them saw her in half. What they exposed is not what they performed. What they exposed is something I think every magician would laugh at. I've noticed them doing this a lot, like in the instance of the vanishing sub exposure. Its just enough to make people think they know how its all done, which leaves them all the more baffled when they see a serious magician perform it with a different method.
Yeah, a part of me wishes they didn't have to expose some of my favorite effects, but a bigger part of me knows that its mostly magicians that watch their specials, and as said before, laypeople don't have the inclination to hold onto explanations like we do.
Personally, P&T are major heroes for there Showtime series, BS, which I think is the most brilliant investigative journalism ever to hit the airwaves. And I like obnoxious people.
But exposure still makes me wince.
Message: Posted by: Joey Stalin (Jan 16, 2007 07:31AM)
GENII magazine March 2006 said:

GENII: Were you and Penn in the editing room or did NBC edit in isolation?

TELLER: I edited a version of the Underwater Standup Routine. I presented our producers and NBC with what I thought was, from a magic point of view, the best edit of that sequence. But keep in mind that editing yourself on video is virtually impossible because you know what you intended. You can't seen what is really on the screen in the pure way an editor can. That's why we have editors and directors. So that someone with a fresh eye can look at what you are doing and know the difference between what you wish you did and what you did for real.

GENII: Would you say that at some point in all of this you lost control of the show? It's happened to well-known Hollywood stars and directors....

TELLER: You can't lose control of what you never had.

GENII: Were you aware that you did not have the final cut?

TELLER: Yes, absolutely, there is contractual language that stated that NBC had the final cut. So I went in with one vision and came out with another. Something which happens in every word of art.

GENII: In this case, that resulted in camera shots that exposed two illusions.

TELLER: When we went into it, we had designed some tricks to be shown from the magician's point of view. Neither the Metamorphosis nor the Million Dollar Mystery were intended as such segments. Because in both, we believed, the effect would be stronger than the explanation. But, as I said, cameras were rolling all the time from every angle during the shoot. And when Star Prince went in assemble it, he saw the backstage footage of those two tricks and found them more dramatic and interesting than the effect themselves. I saw the first cut with laymen. They assume they were seeing tricks that could work only underwater. I couldn't imagine when looking at us swimming around a cage and relating that to, say, the Pendragons' spectacular version of the Metamorphosis. And I think it would take and expert magician to realize that the tu**el going into the Million Dollar cabinet was covered with mi**ors. It wasn't really until Johnny Thompson looked at it and was concerned that I had any qualms at all. Johnny's been defending us for years on a couple of artistic points, one of which is that we virtually always invent the tricks that we expose. There is no one I respect more than Johnny. So I took his concerns to NBC. NBC said, "No, we like what we have; it's a really good part of the show."

GENII: They wouldn't budge?

TELLER: They were willing to bend a little on the particulars. They allowed us to rewrite the narration to direct the viewer's attention to Penn and Teller's discomfort and stupidity, rather than to the parts of the method that overlap with standard technique. that's how we came to put so much attention on the weight of the helmet and our hidden wire to support it - which evidently worked, since you asked about it. In the Million Dollar we emphasized Penn's Clumsiness and Teller's bad disco dancing and deftly removed the word "mi**or* from the text of the script. We also switched in some angles which looked funnier and more strenuous - and, coincidently, showed no reflections in the mi**ors. By the time we were done, the sequence was, I believe, a little funnier and more dramatic. And even if a lay spectator were to finish watching Off the Deep End and go right to a magic show featuring Metamorphosis and Million Dollar Mystery, he would be clueless. Of course, my frank opinion is that no exposure ever gets in the way of magic.

GENII: Do you think that because of the way in which the pendragons do metamorphosis that the public simply wouldn't believe that they could be doing what they had seen exposed?

TELLER: I don' tthink the public sees it as even remotely related. They public saw a show of underwater magic, not a trunk trick. But even specific discussion about tricks seems to have no effect. There's been lots and lots and lots of detailed speculation about our "Bullet Catch" all over the internet. And yet we do it nightly and everybody's amazed.

GENII: Does anybody know how it's done? I think it's a pretty well-kept secret.

TELLER: It's a pretty *** good trick, but that doesn't stop people from coming up with explanations, some of which I believe are right.
Message: Posted by: Matthew W (Jan 16, 2007 07:38AM)
I actually like penn and teller. The way they expose a lot of things is extremely fast. I saw them do an act on the seven principles of magic. I couldn't even follow it and forgot the bits about palming and simulation trying to keep up with them. Imagine how it is for an audience member.

Yeah, the blast off illusion is blatant exposure, but it is entertaining. All I hear is how entertainment comes first.

Exposure is wrong, but when it is entertaining, you forget about what they are doing.
Message: Posted by: mrunge (Jan 16, 2007 08:43AM)
Exposure for entertainment purposes still does NOT make it right. Go back and reread "The Magicians Oath."

"I promise I will always guard against exposing the secrets of magic, whether through lack of practice before performing, or through explanation to any person not entitled to know the secrets. I make this promise seriously, realizing that in violating it, I am not only violating my word of honor, but I am violating the trust and rights of all other magicians who, by the very nature of their form of entertainment, are entitled to the preservation of the secrets of magic."

Where does it say anything about exposing to people NOT entitled to know the secrets, regardless of how big or small that secret might be?

In my opinion, laypeople watching these "specials" on television are NOT entitled to know the secrets as they are NOT involved in magic.

Mark.
Message: Posted by: silverking (Jan 16, 2007 09:52AM)
The exposure of The Million Dollar Mystery should have P&T kicked out of every magic association everywhere, and shunned by magicians worldwide.

..........but instead they get what is usually considered an honour, which is being asked to write introductions to other magicians books.
Message: Posted by: JoyJoy (Jan 16, 2007 11:04AM)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tOs37FwjDw
Message: Posted by: bp (Jan 16, 2007 11:08AM)
P & T have been doing Blast off for year and I mean years.

As for the exposure of The Million Dollar Mystery, the whole show was a wash with Magic and illusions etc etc, most people I have talked too (that have nothing to do with Magic) did not see the exposure at just brush it to one side, ALL clueless at the end.

that's my take on it...
Message: Posted by: silverking (Jan 16, 2007 11:34AM)
The failure of SOME laymen to understand exposure doesn't make the exposure "OK".

That's sort of like stealing but not getting caught, and feeling that it's OK and all in the past.....so you're now clean.

Wrong is wrong, equivoque doesn't make it right.

P&T practice BIG TIME exposure, selling out secrets that belong to ALL magicians. They've broken every historic oath magicians have taken.

They are at least as bad, and in many ways far worse than Valentino ever was. Valentino seems to have stopped what he was doing whereas P&T carry on every night of the week at the Rio selling out magicians, and magic, without shame.

That this type of behaviour gets you onto the cover of the worlds largest magic magazine is a mystery to me, and speaks volumes about why exposure of magical secrets belonging to ALL magicians in return for money continues to thrive.
Message: Posted by: Slim King (Jan 16, 2007 11:55AM)
:cheers: silverking!!!!!!!!!!
No truer words spoken!
Message: Posted by: Joey Stalin (Jan 16, 2007 12:29PM)
Ah the masked magician. I was cruising through youtube the other day. Got sidetracked on clips of the masked magician. I wasn't as impressed with it as I was when I was a child. Why? Cause I now know how it is done? No. Because they were poor versions of illusions. His expose of metamorphosis was of a horrible version of that illusions. Again show that to a laymen then show them metamorphosis by the pendragon's or Criss Angel's super fast version. They will be shocked and confused at how that could be done. Or his walking through a wall compared to David walking through the Great Wall. Again no comparison. I can ask 10 people about the masked magician and 9 of them will say "masked who?" Oddly enough I could do they same about P&T. Although after America's got Talent, perhaps a few more people know about them. Still, P&T aren't well know to the general public.

Ah P&T. Sorry to say they don't really expose much. Clear cups and balls = exposure? Hardly. Show someone that then show them Jason Latimer's clear cups and balls, or Ricky Jay's cups and balls, he has that final load of pennies right? They will have no clue how they do that. There are multiple ways to show loaded cups as empty. There are multiple ways to load cups, vanish or produce balls. What P&T did was one basic, fast version. Even with clear cups they are still 1 ahead on the audience. If your cups and balls routine is haulted by P&Ts clear cups and balls. Then you should stop making excuses and look at your own presentation. Or their "blast off" routine. I think some snob on here was complaining saying they exposed a deceptive base. Please! What they used was at least 2 feet thick. Hardly a deceptive base. Show them that then a good mismade girl, they'll have no clue.

And there is exposure in every stage act on the planet. There is always going to be some odd angle in the audience that shows the specs what is happening. But that is a small percentage of the crowd. if you fool 900 people and 100 saw how it was done, well then that is a job well done.
Message: Posted by: SWNerndase (Jan 16, 2007 12:45PM)
"Blast Off" was created by Penn and Teller specifically to lampoon the traditional magic act. They put together a stage illusion where the method (original) is part of the effect. The "exposure" has nothing to do with effects used by other magicians, and is a series of funny visuals ridiculing certain aspects of traditional magic acts. To complain that it is exposure is to miss the point entirely. Same with the clear cups and balls. Same with the piece where Penn narrates as Teller "exposes" the 7 principles of magic. Same with the crate escape they called "Honor System." All original pieces with their own methods on display-which is very different than what people like the masked magician or Herbert Becker have done.

The TV thing on NBC? Well, that was unfortunate, but I accept Teller's explanation (excerpted above) that NBC had final cut and they did everything they could to minimize the exposure of methods not their own. And in my view it worked, as not one person I spoke to after the show aired remembered or cared about the exposures.

More to the point though, Penn and Teller have done more in the last 20 years to raise the public perception of magic as an art form than anyone else I can name. The general public responds to them like no other magic act. No, they are not universally loved by all, but again that's hardly the point. They are taken seriously in acedemic and artistic circles as writers, thinkers, performers, and yes, as magicians. They have a large and dedicated fan base of people who never would have cared about magic if P&T hadn't re-written the rules and carved this unique niche for themselves.

Read the three Penn and Teller books written for the public. They are teaching books of mostly original magic that say a great deal about deception, self expression, dedication and art, from a unique point of view. I include "How to Play With Your Food" in my short list of good books for beginning magicians. There is a level of respect for the art that is rarely seen in "how to" magic books.

Read Teller's commentary throughout "Abbot's House of Mystery." It is a tour de force of insight, knowledge and depth of understanding. I believe it reveals Teller as one of the greatest magical minds of our time.

Finally, make an effort to go see their live show. You will be amazed, you will laugh, you might be outraged, but you will come away feeling really good about being a magician. I've seen it many times, and believe it to be one of the most important and outstanding achievements in the field.

I can't help but think that anyone who seriously examines their body of work will conclude that the "bad boys of magic" have been very good for all of us.

SWN
Message: Posted by: Laszlo Csizmadi (Jan 16, 2007 01:00PM)
This is the second revealing thread what Todsky started in two weeks. He should do a search before he posted. I just don't get it why people still talking about this issue. No one can do anything about revealation but posting links where the people can find revealing videos just as bad. Same goes for those who wrote down the names which illusions were revealed because you forget that not just magicians come to the Cafť.

Best

Las
Message: Posted by: Servante (Jan 16, 2007 01:01PM)
I saw the underwater stuff. Of course, I knew how it was all done in the first place, but it seemed to me that the detail they went into would be boring to the layperson.
In fact, from time to time it bored me...and I love to watch other magicians work.
I walked away a few times. I'm guessing the laypeople switched channels.

In the past, their "revealing of secrets" has been almost a parody of the Masked Magician stuff...and not at all the way a thing is really done...or stuff that's so old lots of people know...and don't care.
Cups and balls? My kid had a plastic set he bought at Toys R Us.
All that techy stuff is boring to laypeople.
Everybody knows how to do a French Drop.
But they're still flummoxed at Jay or Vernon.
And, the point has been made above...people FORGET this stuff. Even the stuff I watched closely I couldn't call to mind now.

I met these guys once when they came through town. Their passion for the art...and Penn's passion for the history of magic and carnival and ballyhoo...is almost palpable.

I've also worked some television and have produced a number of videos and even one or two TV shows...and I've seen those contracts...and signed a few...and, believe me, I know how a person can be betrayed in the editing bay.

I'm giving these guys the benefit of the doubt.
Message: Posted by: bp (Jan 16, 2007 01:32PM)
What is Valentino doing now ??????
Message: Posted by: todsky (Jan 16, 2007 05:48PM)
[quote]
On 2007-01-16 13:29, Joey Stalin wrote:
Or their "blast off" routine. I think some snob on here was complaining saying they exposed a deceptive base. Please! What they used was at least 2 feet thick. Hardly a deceptive base. Show them that then a good mismade girl, they'll have no clue.
[/quote]

I don't think it matters the quality of method that was exposed, the point is they tell audiences one method for accomplishing an illusion, and from then on a spectator seeing a similar illusion will likely assume they know the method, even if they know the wrong method. Even worse, I think, is that P&T present magic as a puzzle to be worked out, which in my opinion lessens the art and experience of magic. Not to say they aren't very entertaining: I do enjoy their shows, but I wish they didn't have to resort to 'disillusionment' and to lambasting other magicians who do not perform in the same cynical style as they do.

And I am aware that most specs will forget what they have seen after a time has passed, but I don't think this justifies exposure and the tearing down of the experience of illusionment.
Message: Posted by: Silvio Solaris (Jan 16, 2007 05:52PM)
Thank You Mark for posting this and reminding us magicians of our oath which is an oath of honor!!! Not by obligation connected to a mere fraternity, but its idiological roots embedded inside pure ethical value of ones 'self', the magic entertainer.

"I promise I will always guard against exposing the secrets of magic, whether through lack of practice before performing, or through explanation to any person not entitled to know the secrets. I make this promise seriously, realizing that in violating it, I am not only violating my word of honor, but I am violating the trust and rights of all other magicians who, by the very nature of their form of entertainment, are entitled to the preservation of the secrets of magic."

That is what WE stand for. Our secrets are trade secrets which make our magic astonishing and entertaining, besides our input and presentation. WHAT THE @#&*
HAPPENED TO OUR, THIS VERY OWN OATH !!!!????

I am disgusted about Penn & Teller and they should be cooked in magicians wax and feathered at it's best. I will for sure attend and applaud this ritual and afterwards revealing how it was done.

sincerely,

Silvio Solaris
Message: Posted by: todsky (Jan 16, 2007 06:03PM)
[quote]
On 2007-01-16 14:00, laci200 wrote:
This is the second revealing thread what Todsky started in two weeks. He should do a search before he posted. I just don't get it why people still talking about this issue. No one can do anything about revealation but posting links where the people can find revealing videos just as bad. Same goes for those who wrote down the names which illusions were revealed because you forget that not just magicians come to the Cafť.

Best

Las
[/quote]
Strange as it may sound, it was only recently that I saw a couple of the 'exposure' videos by P&T, and that's why I was worked up. Perhaps you make a good point about the danger of listing those illusions that have been exposed, and posting a video link here, but it's likely that anyone who is interested enough in methods can just google Penn and Teller and find the stuff for themselves.
And I'm not worked up on this thread about exposure in general, because I know it's been happening for eons, I'm really more curious about Penn and Teller's magic philosophy, their dedication to magic, their propensity to expose and belittle, and how this all fits together into the package of what they are. As was previously mentioned, they have written some books, so I think I will follow up by reading some of what they have written.
I guess I'm just not quite sure what to make of them, if I like them or not, if I think they are doing a dis-service to magic or a service. Nevertheless, I do find them entertaining and curious and annoying.


Posted: Jan 16, 2007 7:11pm
-------------------------------------------
Silvio, perhaps the only way to acceptably expose magic these days is to make it seem over-the-top, cool, and with a middle finger raised. If you blatantly thumb your nose while doing it, then people will think, "Wow, he's so rude and loud about it, and seems to believe so strongly in his contempt for the experience of being amazed, I guess he must know what he's doing."
Message: Posted by: Payne (Jan 16, 2007 06:12PM)
[quote]
On 2007-01-16 18:52, Silvio Solaris wrote:

Thank You Mark for posting this and reminding us magicians of our oath which is an oath of honor!!! Not by obligation connected to a mere fraternity, but its idiological roots embedded inside pure ethical value of ones 'self', the magic entertainer.
[/quote]
Oath? What Oath? I've never taken an Oath and what makes you think Penn and Teller have as well.
Sure I've got a slew of magic books that give lip service to "The Magicians Code" but simply owning a book that says "A Magician Never Reveals How A Trick is Done" is a great deal different than taking an oath.
What do you swear this oath on anyway? The Amateur Magicians Handbook? Erdnase? Royal Road To Card Magic?
I get a kick out of magicians who think that they'll get back at P&T by kicking them out of magic organizations they probably don't belong to or by ostracizing them from social gathering the don't attend. Magicians whining that they're giving away the farm only gives them more publicity and plays right into their popular with the public Bad Boy" image.
Love them or hate them P&T have developed a schtick that works very well for them. Together they have done more than their fair share to elevate the perception of magic in the public's eyes.
Message: Posted by: todsky (Jan 16, 2007 06:14PM)
[quote]
On 2007-01-16 19:12, Payne wrote:
Love them or hate them P&T have developed a schtick that works very well for them. Together they have done more than their fair share to elevate the perception of magic in the public's eyes.
[/quote]

How do they elevate the perception of magic in the public's eyes?
Message: Posted by: ChristopherM (Jan 16, 2007 06:25PM)
On a related note, why does Derren Brown expose several secrets on TV?
Message: Posted by: Payne (Jan 16, 2007 06:54PM)
[quote]
On 2007-01-16 19:14, todsky wrote:
[quote]
On 2007-01-16 19:12, Payne wrote:
Love them or hate them P&T have developed a schtick that works very well for them. Together they have done more than their fair share to elevate the perception of magic in the public's eyes.
[/quote]

How do they elevate the perception of magic in the public's eyes?
[/quote]

By showing that magic can be hip trendy and relevant and that it is no longer the domain of the geeky sequined lapeled dove puller.
They are also fresh innovative and highly original. Something your typically musty hackneyed magician can't comprehend.
Positive or negative their performances evoke a strong emotional response which is a clear sign that they are doing something right and elevating the public's perception of magic into the realm of art.
Message: Posted by: todsky (Jan 16, 2007 07:14PM)
Payne, I would say that Penn comes across as the jumbo geeky type, and sequined dove conjurors are more of the 'disco' type. Just because someone evokes a strong emotional response does not make them good. Jack the Ripper evoked strong emotional reactions, but I wouldn't consider him good.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Jan 16, 2007 07:36PM)
After viewing that clip...somehow...I don't feel so bad...that was NOT Mis-Made Girl...thank goodness...

I'm STILL not a big fan of P & T...just a personal taste thing...

It LOOKS like exposure...and some principles of a few working illusions ARE exposed there...but, as stated before, the public will probably NEVER remember the details.

And, I'll add...I took an oath in 1976, along with three other magicians...NO EXPOSURE...no behavior that will bring disgrace to our art...and to continue to elevate and add to Magic, so that future artists will have a foundation to build on.

This is a new era...us old fogies are NOT going to be comfortable watching the likes of P & T "make(ing) it seem over-the-top, cool, and with a middle finger raised..." as Todsky eloquently put it...yes, I agree...Penn seems "rude & loud"...definitely not my style.

My $.02

Doug
Message: Posted by: todsky (Jan 16, 2007 07:51PM)
I have to apologize, even though it wasn't the Mismade Girl they exposed, it seemed to me the same type of illusion (at least in the minds of the layman). Also, I didn't know the name of it, so I just assumed it was a variation on Mismade. Just wanted to clear that up.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 16, 2007 08:20PM)
Oh, boy! Another whiny thread about Penn and Teller.

Even though I am very outspoken about exposure (in case you missed the web site, I'm against it), there is nothing that we can do about Penn and Teller and their "so-called exposures of illusions."

There is nothing illegal about exposing an illusion.

There is nothing immoral about exposing an illusion, unless you have taken an oath not to do so.

Go over that last part again and fix it firmly in your mind.

Here is the absolute flat out truth. The ONLY punishment that you can levy on someone for exposing magic is throwing them out of the magic club. That's it. Period. End of story.

They don't belong to the IBM. They don't belong to the SAM. They don't belong to the Magic Circle of London. So what are you going to do?

There is a simple answer.

Nothing.

Or you can whine.

Almost everything they have actually exposed has been something that they worked out themselves. So who are they hurting -- they aren't even exposing the hackneyed old cr*p Valentino exposed.
Message: Posted by: todsky (Jan 16, 2007 09:28PM)
Bill, I have formed the Fine Whine Magic Club, and I just kicked out Penn and Teller.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 16, 2007 10:26PM)
I can go along with that.

Bear in mind that I don't appreciate their exposures. Something that all of us need to bear in mind is that most of their exposures are over 10 years old. Their cups and balls exposure is so swift that it is nearly impossible to follow live.

Incidentally, nobody seems to be upset about Franz Harary's exposure of his vanishing submarine, which was not a CGI thing.

I should add this. Part of the fight against exposure is figuring out which battles are worth fighting and which ones are winnable.

This one is neither. Or at least that's how I feel about it.

The only way you can win it is by voting with your wallet.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Jan 16, 2007 11:15PM)
[quote]
On 2007-01-16 22:28, todsky wrote:
Bill, I have formed the Fine Whine Magic Club, and I just kicked out Penn and Teller.
[/quote]

How can you kick them out if they never belonged?

First make them honorary members, heck make them lifetime members! Why not go for broke. Make up a nice certificate for your club with their names prominently displayed, mail it to them (registered of course). Then you can kick them out of your clib.
Message: Posted by: Joey Stalin (Jan 17, 2007 01:51AM)
[quote]
On 2007-01-16 18:48, todsky wrote:
I don't think it matters the quality of method that was exposed, the point is they tell audiences one method for accomplishing an illusion, and from then on a spectator seeing a similar illusion will likely assume they know the method, even if they know the wrong method. Even worse, I think, is that P&T present magic as a puzzle to be worked out, which in my opinion lessens the art and experience of magic.
[/quote]

Please. So if I invent some crazy super complicated way to vanish a rabbit, that has nothing to do with any other way in use or created, that only works on TV, I would be doing wrong? Please....

Last I heard telling specs a false explanation is great misdirection to hide the true method.

People always make guesses about how an illusion is done. They already make assumptions as to how it is done. Usually they are wrong. Sometimes they are right. Yet this hasn't done damage to magic at all. And sorry to tell you but people, adults anyway, always see magic as a puzzel to be solved. What is the first question they ask you after your do and effect? "How did you do that?" Kids younger than 10 may believe in magic, but sorry to tell you, adults don't. They know there is a real explanation to what they saw.

Did you read what I typed up from that issue of Genii?
Message: Posted by: nabil (Jan 17, 2007 02:34AM)
Cheers Payne! And thanks to the guys who posted the [b]oath[/b], I needed a good laugh. A few questions to the oathers: first, what entitles [b]you[/b] to carry this knowledge? What is it about people who don't perform the art that makes them unentitled to have that knowledge? How does one gain entitlement? Common guys... the entitlement mentality?!? Are you serious?


Posted: Jan 17, 2007 3:38am
-------------------------------------------
And to the guys out there who figure Penn & Teller, Mac King, and Derren Brown must not be very good or they wouldn't need to expose...[b]What?!?!?![/b]
Message: Posted by: todsky (Jan 17, 2007 08:20AM)
[quote]
On 2007-01-17 02:51, Joey Stalin wrote:
[quote]
On 2007-01-16 18:48, todsky wrote:
I don't think it matters the quality of method that was exposed, the point is they tell audiences one method for accomplishing an illusion, and from then on a spectator seeing a similar illusion will likely assume they know the method, even if they know the wrong method. Even worse, I think, is that P&T present magic as a puzzle to be worked out, which in my opinion lessens the art and experience of magic.
[/quote]

Please. So if I invent some crazy super complicated way to vanish a rabbit, that has nothing to do with any other way in use or created, that only works on TV, I would be doing wrong? Please....

Last I heard telling specs a false explanation is great misdirection to hide the true method.

People always make guesses about how an illusion is done. They already make assumptions as to how it is done. Usually they are wrong. Sometimes they are right. Yet this hasn't done damage to magic at all. And sorry to tell you but people, adults anyway, always see magic as a puzzel to be solved. What is the first question they ask you after your do and effect? "How did you do that?" Kids younger than 10 may believe in magic, but sorry to tell you, adults don't. They know there is a real explanation to what they saw.

Did you read what I typed up from that issue of Genii?
[/quote]

Well said, but my point was influenced by my recent reading of Magic and Meaning by Burger and Neale, which got me thinking that magic is more powerful and meaningful to the spectator if it is presented in story form, and doesn't directly challenge the spec to figure out the method. In other words, does magic have more impact as a puzzle or as a dramatic experience? P&T are just presenting a puzzle, and then solving the puzzle for the audience. Entertaining yes, but not magic that is a moving experience, except to some magicians who view their exposures and have an uncontrollable urge to move their bowels.

What is that Genii article you're referring to?
Message: Posted by: todsky (Jan 17, 2007 08:23AM)
[quote]
On 2007-01-16 23:26, Bill Palmer wrote:
Incidentally, nobody seems to be upset about Franz Harary's exposure of his vanishing submarine, which was not a CGI thing.
[/quote]

I haven't seen this one. I may have to give Franz an honorary membership in the Fine Whine club, and then kick him out as well.
Message: Posted by: Joey Stalin (Jan 17, 2007 09:22AM)
[quote]
On 2007-01-16 08:31, Joey Stalin wrote:
GENII magazine March 2006 said:

GENII: Were you and Penn in the editing room or did NBC edit in isolation?

TELLER: I edited a version of the Underwater Standup Routine. I presented our producers and NBC with what I thought was, from a magic point of view, the best edit of that sequence. But keep in mind that editing yourself on video is virtually impossible because you know what you intended. You can't seen what is really on the screen in the pure way an editor can. That's why we have editors and directors. So that someone with a fresh eye can look at what you are doing and know the difference between what you wish you did and what you did for real.

GENII: Would you say that at some point in all of this you lost control of the show? It's happened to well-known Hollywood stars and directors....

TELLER: You can't lose control of what you never had.

GENII: Were you aware that you did not have the final cut?

TELLER: Yes, absolutely, there is contractual language that stated that NBC had the final cut. So I went in with one vision and came out with another. Something which happens in every word of art.

GENII: In this case, that resulted in camera shots that exposed two illusions.

TELLER: When we went into it, we had designed some tricks to be shown from the magician's point of view. Neither the Metamorphosis nor the Million Dollar Mystery were intended as such segments. Because in both, we believed, the effect would be stronger than the explanation. But, as I said, cameras were rolling all the time from every angle during the shoot. And when Star Prince went in assemble it, he saw the backstage footage of those two tricks and found them more dramatic and interesting than the effect themselves. I saw the first cut with laymen. They assume they were seeing tricks that could work only underwater. I couldn't imagine when looking at us swimming around a cage and relating that to, say, the Pendragons' spectacular version of the Metamorphosis. And I think it would take and expert magician to realize that the tu**el going into the Million Dollar cabinet was covered with mi**ors. It wasn't really until Johnny Thompson looked at it and was concerned that I had any qualms at all. Johnny's been defending us for years on a couple of artistic points, one of which is that we virtually always invent the tricks that we expose. There is no one I respect more than Johnny. So I took his concerns to NBC. NBC said, "No, we like what we have; it's a really good part of the show."

GENII: They wouldn't budge?

TELLER: They were willing to bend a little on the particulars. They allowed us to rewrite the narration to direct the viewer's attention to Penn and Teller's discomfort and stupidity, rather than to the parts of the method that overlap with standard technique. that's how we came to put so much attention on the weight of the helmet and our hidden wire to support it - which evidently worked, since you asked about it. In the Million Dollar we emphasized Penn's Clumsiness and Teller's bad disco dancing and deftly removed the word "mi**or* from the text of the script. We also switched in some angles which looked funnier and more strenuous - and, coincidently, showed no reflections in the mi**ors. By the time we were done, the sequence was, I believe, a little funnier and more dramatic. And even if a lay spectator were to finish watching Off the Deep End and go right to a magic show featuring Metamorphosis and Million Dollar Mystery, he would be clueless. Of course, my frank opinion is that no exposure ever gets in the way of magic.

GENII: Do you think that because of the way in which the pendragons do metamorphosis that the public simply wouldn't believe that they could be doing what they had seen exposed?

TELLER: I don' think the public sees it as even remotely related. They public saw a show of underwater magic, not a trunk trick. But even specific discussion about tricks seems to have no effect. There's been lots and lots and lots of detailed speculation about our "Bullet Catch" all over the internet. And yet we do it nightly and everybody's amazed.

GENII: Does anybody know how it's done? I think it's a pretty well-kept secret.

TELLER: It's a pretty *** good trick, but that doesn't stop people from coming up with explanations, some of which I believe are right.

[/quote]

This is what I was talking about.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Jan 17, 2007 10:10AM)
[quote]
On 2007-01-17 09:20, todsky wrote:

Well said, but my point was influenced by my recent reading of Magic and Meaning by Burger and Neale, which got me thinking that magic is more powerful and meaningful to the spectator if it is presented in story form, and doesn't directly challenge the spec to figure out the method. In other words, does magic have more impact as a puzzle or as a dramatic experience? P&T are just presenting a puzzle, and then solving the puzzle for the audience. Entertaining yes, but not magic that is a moving experience, except to some magicians who view their exposures and have an uncontrollable urge to move their bowels.

[/quote]

This is one way to present magic, but as Burger has oft times said "The house of magic has many rooms" or more colloquially "There's more than one way to skin a cat".
Magic can be awe inspiring, funny, poignant, dramatic, touching, frantic, morose or any other style you can think of. P&T may not be doing "Story Magic" but many of their pieces have a very strong message attached to them. Their commentary on Flag Burning and the Essence of Freedom comes to mind. They use magic as a soap box to espouse their ideology. Which is one of the reasons you love 'em or hate 'em. They definitely have a world view and they make sure you know about it. Coincidentally there is a very good essay about this very type of performing in Eric Meads new book.
Message: Posted by: freefallillusion1 (Jan 17, 2007 12:05PM)
[quote]
Please. So if I invent some crazy super complicated way to vanish a rabbit, that has nothing to do with any other way in use or created, that only works on TV, I would be doing wrong? Please....

Last I heard telling specs a false explanation is great misdirection to hide the true method.

People always make guesses about how an illusion is done. They already make assumptions as to how it is done. Usually they are wrong. Sometimes they are right. Yet this hasn't done damage to magic at all. And sorry to tell you but people, adults anyway, always see magic as a puzzel to be solved. What is the first question they ask you after your do and effect? "How did you do that?" Kids younger than 10 may believe in magic, but sorry to tell you, adults don't. They know there is a real explanation to what they saw.

Did you read what I typed up from that issue of Genii?
[/quote]

Well, I never thought that anyone in the audience truly believed that I was doing real magic, nor did I want them to. The gripe here, which I fully agree with, is the way Penn and Teller PROMOTE the thinking that it's a puzzle to be solved. DC simply presents a good magic show. Look at the audience as they finish watching a routine by DC, and then P&T. Which one makes them say "Whoa...." and which one is more likely to make them say "Heh heh heh, now we know better"? P&T have some brilliant routines which don't qualify as exposure, but they also have exposed some good stuff FOR NO REASON- not to teach others some beginner close up tricks or anything like that, but TO EXPOSE. TO SAY "HERE'S HOW WE DID IT". Yes, I've read what Teller said in Genii, but I also realize that Penn DID in fact provide narration for the explanation of million dollar mystery. So, they're innocent? Please...

By the way, if you invent something that can actually be used to fool the audience for entertainment, you are wrong in exposing it. And this does not mean things like the "backstage milk vanish" or any comedy routine where the secret is "apparently" exposed, only to totally fool the audience later. What I'm referring to are things like Franz Harary's sub vanish, an illusion he created. The audience doesn't care who created what. All they see is someone who calls himself a respected magician, and then is exposing magic. Bottom line: When did blatant exposure cease to become wrong? It doesn't matter whether the audience remembers it later or not. Isn't exposure still wrong? What am I missing here?

Phil
Message: Posted by: Thommy Razor (Jan 17, 2007 12:22PM)
[quote]
On 2007-01-17 03:34, nabil wrote:
Cheers Payne! And thanks to the guys who posted the [b]oath[/b], I needed a good laugh. A few questions to the oathers: first, what entitles [b]you[/b] to carry this knowledge? What is it about people who don't perform the art that makes them unentitled to have that knowledge? How does one gain entitlement? Common guys... the entitlement mentality?!? Are you serious?


Posted: Jan 17, 2007 3:38am
-------------------------------------------
And to the guys out there who figure Penn & Teller, Mac King, and Derren Brown must not be very good or they wouldn't need to expose...[b]What?!?!?![/b]
[/quote]
We are entitled to this knowledge for the same reason a plumber is entitled to his: We payed for it. We took the time to learn it. We spent years perfecting it. Its a knowledge the general public doesn't have, but we sought it out. At some point in our lives we decided THIS is what we want to do, and the preservation of our secrets is detrimental to the art. I believe in the oath, and it's something I do live by. I've not sworn on Mark Wilson's book, but I've decided in my own life to never expose a secret. That is important to me. Other people ARE entitled to this knowledge, IF they buy it, study it, memorize it, work on it, re-work it, perfect it, and perform it. If'n ya wanna be a plumber, ya gotta study it and work on it.
Just my 2 dollar bill.
Cheers!!!
Message: Posted by: nabil (Jan 17, 2007 03:07PM)
Thommy wrote: "I believe in the oath, and it's something I do live by."
Great men live by what they believe in. But if we never challange our beliefs, we would all go around believing exactly what we believed as children, and never grow...
Yes, if you wants to BE a plumber, you would need to study and work on plumbing. No doubt...But what if you want to LEARN about plumbing? Perhaps you'ld like to be able to handle small plumbing needs on your own. Or, maybe you just like learning lots of different things. After all, aren't we living in the information age?

Michael Ammar recently posted:

"At no point in history has it ever been a good idea to make quality information hard to come by. No topic has ever benefited by making the good information scarce or hard to access. I know the arguement -- if it is too easy to get, then people won't appreciate it. While that may be true to some extent, I don't think it holds up in the long run.....I also wondered if the need for secrecy hasn't been the very thing that has held back the global advancement of our Art. With past magicians telling people to burn their secrets and props when they die, every new generation had to basically reinvent the wheel. Magic is supposed to be such an ancient art form, but to me it doesn't seem to have developed nearly as much as dance or other forms of theater has over the last 300 years, and I think secrets play a large role in that."
(Its here http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/search_post.php?topic=160142&forum=195&post=4550992 . )
Much more recently, Phil wrote: "Isn't exposure still wrong? What am I missing here? "
Once upon a time I said the same thing. I think a good quality thing (or person) can't be EXPOSED. It can be revealed, taught, explained, shared, sold, given, etc. Some bits of knowledge may cause disappointment, others bit may fascinate. "Exposed" is a word better suited for things or people of very little value, that are being wrongly perceived as more valuable then they really are. So for me, EXPOSURE is not wrong, never was wrong, and never will be wrong. It benefits society. Just think of all the people helped by groups like the Better Buisiness Bureau and shows like Penn and Teller's show BULL****. Exposure is fair, exposure is just.
Bad magicians and bad magic, on the other hand, is our true enemy (we are often our own worst enemy). Check out Jamy Ian Swisses book "Shattering Illusions" for a great essay on this subject. Let's all keep our focus on trying to consisently improve ourselves and our performances!
Message: Posted by: Joey Stalin (Jan 17, 2007 04:50PM)
Yeah, poor performance expose much more than P&T and Valentino combined. If I invent some effect I am free to do with it what I want. If I want to do it on national television and then expose how I did it, I am free to do so. That is what P&T most often do, expose things they create.

As fore the "HERE'S HOW WE DID IT" comment, yeah that is true. That is how THEY did it. Which usually has no relation to other methods.

And like that old saying "Necessity is the mother of all invention"
Message: Posted by: JoyJoy (Jan 17, 2007 07:11PM)
[quote]
GENII magazine March 2006 said:

GENII: Were you and Penn in the editing room or did NBC edit in isolation?

TELLER: I edited a version of the Underwater Standup Routine. I presented our producers and NBC with what I thought was, from a magic point of view, the best edit of that sequence. But keep in mind that editing yourself on video is virtually impossible because you know what you intended. You can't seen what is really on the screen in the pure way an editor can. That's why we have editors and directors. So that someone with a fresh eye can look at what you are doing and know the difference between what you wish you did and what you did for real.

GENII: Would you say that at some point in all of this you lost control of the show? It's happened to well-known Hollywood stars and directors....

TELLER: You can't lose control of what you never had.

GENII: Were you aware that you did not have the final cut?

TELLER: Yes, absolutely, there is contractual language that stated that NBC had the final cut. So I went in with one vision and came out with another. Something which happens in every word of art.

GENII: In this case, that resulted in camera shots that exposed two illusions.
[/quote]
So they are not able to control their contracts? Didnīt they be long enough in the business, so they could guess what nbc will doing with such a noobie contract? They knew what nbc will do for fast money... well seams like P&T also only wanted fast money than.
If DC is doing a special - his guys will look at the final cut and give it free or not, if itīs not perfect like he wanted it.
Message: Posted by: silverking (Jan 17, 2007 08:55PM)
I've never read so many lame excuses explaining why exposure is OK in my life.

Seems like a group pretending to understand what magic is all about, but in reality understanding absolutely nothing about it.

Stealing other magicians creations and exposure both are driven by the desire for fame and money, but practiced by those lacking the skill and/or ethics to make it on the square.

Quite sad really.

The IBM, SAM, and places like the Magic Cafť and Genii forums ALL refuse to tolerate exposure, so one must presume that the majority of those who practice magic are against exposure.

It appears it's a small group of outsiders doing the damage with little recourse for ethical magicians but to call them to task when the miscreants ply their trade of marketing secrets not belonging to them for a small handfull of change.
Message: Posted by: freefallillusion1 (Jan 18, 2007 01:46AM)
[quote]
On 2007-01-17 16:07, nabil wrote:
Much more recently, Phil wrote: "Isn't exposure still wrong? What am I missing here? "
Once upon a time I said the same thing. I think a good quality thing (or person) can't be EXPOSED. It can be revealed, taught, explained, shared, sold, given, etc. Some bits of knowledge may cause disappointment, others bit may fascinate. "Exposed" is a word better suited for things or people of very little value, that are being wrongly perceived as more valuable then they really are. So for me, EXPOSURE is not wrong, never was wrong, and never will be wrong. It benefits society. Just think of all the people helped by groups like the Better Buisiness Bureau and shows like Penn and Teller's show BULL****. Exposure is fair, exposure is just.
[/quote]

O.K., DO I HAVE TO DEFINE WHAT I MEAN BY EXPOSURE?????? I MEAN SPILLING THE SECRET BEHIND MAGIC!!! I really can't believe that actual magicians are debating this. ISN'T IT WRONG FOR A MAGICIAN TO REVEAL HOW IT'S DONE (tell the secret, tip the method, spill his guts to the lay public...)? Wasn't it always wrong? Has something changed now that some of us apparently see no problem with it?

Confused now,

Phil
Message: Posted by: mrunge (Jan 18, 2007 02:02AM)
I agree. It's more a matter of personal ethics and individual values than anything. The art of magic and those who enjoy it have, historically, taken great efforts to protect it's secrets.

How many times have you started to do an effect for others to enjoy, only to have some knucklehead in the group yell out, "I know how he does it", "it's in his hand" or something else along those lines and taken all the fun out of it, not just for you, but for those you're trying to entertain?

We all know that magic is an illusion. It's fun and games. But it takes a lot of time, patience, persistence, determination, money and practice to learn. Shouldn't there be some sort of payoff for all that effort?

There has been a long understanding, call it an unwritten rule, in the magic community and among those who study it, to guard the secrets in order for others to enjoy it. Some are right. The world will not end, civilization will not cease, etc...if the secrets are exposed. But what about the enjoyment being taken away from others due to a handful of people feeling a need to expose the secrets that many have tried so hard to learn in order to share amazement with others?

Sad. And all for a buck.

Mark.
Message: Posted by: NicholasC (Jan 18, 2007 02:25AM)
Don't forget Herbert L Becker. He revealed some illusion on Maury years ago.
Message: Posted by: Scott Imler (Jan 18, 2007 09:59AM)
Although I am not a basher of P & T as some of their stuff is very clever I will say this, I wonder if the shoe was on the other foot how P & T would feel. In other words how would they feel if someone in the audience sat through a performance and screamed out the methods to some of their creations.
Food for thought.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Jan 18, 2007 10:12AM)
[quote]
On 2007-01-18 02:46, freefallillusion1 wrote:

O.K., DO I HAVE TO DEFINE WHAT I MEAN BY EXPOSURE?????? I MEAN SPILLING THE SECRET BEHIND MAGIC!!! I really can't believe that actual magicians are debating this. ISN'T IT WRONG FOR A MAGICIAN TO REVEAL HOW IT'S DONE (tell the secret, tip the method, spill his guts to the lay public...)? Wasn't it always wrong? Has something changed now that some of us apparently see no problem with it?

[/quote]

This is nothing new. The exposuer debate is most likely as old as the practice itself and there are valid arguments on both sides of the issue. At the turn of the previous century David Devant felt that the art of magic couldn't be fully appreciated unless the audience had an understanding of the method. He was of course kicked out of the Magic Circle for his beliefs (and actions).
It is not a cut and dry issue as we all have a different definition of the word. Some feel any tipping of a method to a non magician is verboten while others are comfortable with "Teach a Trick" segments on network magic specials. Some feel false explanations such as Vernon's French Drop revelation in his cups and balls routine or the display of the egg feke in the silk to egg routine are harmful to the craft while others don't. Exposure is a line drawn in shifting sand.
But in the end there is nothing you can do about it. If you are upset about those who you feel expose or so-called secrets then don't support them. Don't go to their shows, purchase their books or buy their tricks. Voice your discontent on Magic Message Boards because frankly that's all that you can do. For all your ranting and raving and gnashing of teeth those that expose will continue to do so whether you like it or not and frankly the bigger stink you make about it the more attention you bring them.
Message: Posted by: todsky (Jan 18, 2007 11:16AM)
Nicely said, Payne.
Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (Jan 18, 2007 01:11PM)
I'm not going to get into the P&T debate, but the "Exposure of Secrets" issue is an interesting one. Almost every magic book warns against the exposure of secrets and for the most part, magicians blindly accept this adage. But has anyone spent some serious time to think about what the secrets of magic really are and why we need to protect them?

Surely, it must mean more than maintaining some type of monopoly over methods. Since the beginning of the 20th century (or earlier) anyone could walk into a magic store and become entitled to the secret of a trick just by laying down a few dollars on the counter. Even magicians such as Houdini published and sold instructional pamphlets to the general public. With the advent of computers and the internet, access to secrets has become easier and easier. For the adage to have any historical or substantive meaning, it must go beyond methodology.

The more I think about it, the more the argument seems to revolve around the spectator. If you've ever performed a beautiful feat of magic for a spectator and then explained how it was done, you will see the disappointment in the spectator's eyes. The simplicity of most methods is not only anti-climatic, but an insult to most spectator's intelligence. They should have been smart enough to figure it out themselves.

As magicians, it is our job to create a theatrical piece of entertainment for the spectators without making them look or feel stupid. I forget who once said that, "Audiences do not mind being fooled, so long as they are being fooled by a gentleman". Exposure violates this rule by slapping the spectator in the face with the ulimate "Gotcha".

But, think about the circumstance of exposure in this case. It contemplates showing a spectator a trick, exposing the method, and in the process (intentionally or unintentionally) making the spectator feel foolish for not deciphering the simplicity of the method. That is very different from the distribution of secrets to customers purchasing items from a magic dealer. In the latter case, the recipient of the method is not made to feel foolish (especially if you are dealing with a reliable dealer who takes an interest to ensure you are buying the right product for your needs. Admittedly, this is becoming harder to find).

This seems to coincide with the thoughts of Jamy Ian Swiss in his book "Shattering Illusion". In one of his essays therein, Mr. Swiss suggests that the method to a trick is nothing more than a theatrical tool. He compares the exposure of magic methods to Steven Speilberg's exposure of how the light sabers worked in Star Wars. Did it take away from the acting? the script? the overall audience appreciation for the theatrical piece of entertainment? No. [But I do note that even Mr. Speilberg refrained from interrupting the movie to show how the sabers were made, for that would have destroyed the temporary suspension of disbelief].

Mr Swiss goes on to suggest that the exposure of methods may be acceptable if properly presented in the context of theatrical entertainment and not just for the sake of exposing an effect. Admittedly, I've had a hard time accepting this. I was brought up on the take no prisioners code of "don't tell the secrets". But if Mr. Swiss is correct, what does it really mean? Does it mean that exposure of methods is tolerated if it contributes positively to the entertainment value of the theatrical piece (and implicity therein refrains from making the spectators feel foolish for not having figured out the method themselves) without destroying the temporary suspension of disbelief?

I wish I knew the answer. For now, I'm having a hard enough time even grasping the question.

kent
Message: Posted by: Servante (Jan 18, 2007 01:33PM)
And people are always disappointed when they find out!
That, to me, is one of the [b]big[/b] reasons for not exposing method.

From time to time, over the last number of decades, I've had to reveal something about method to an assistant...or have taught a student or two the rudiments and then sent them to the library...or, in a couple of cases, have written and produced full stage shows that have required that lay people know about these things.
And every single time, when the method is revealed, the response has been, "Oh. Is [b]that[/b] all?"
And they've looked disappointed.

They really don't [b]want[/b] to know.
But some of them want to [b]guess.[/b]

Look, it's like crossword puzzles. People love working them...but see no sport in filling one out if the key is printed next to it.

Most of my adult audiences have been curious, but not adamant. Many of my kid audiences have tried to suss things out.

But I think the point, with adult audiences, anyway, is that the guessing is a tiny part of the process...and if they find out, they're not happy.
Maybe this is another reason that so many of the revealed methods are forgotten.

Just a postulation.
Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (Jan 18, 2007 02:04PM)
Hmm... now you've got me thinking.

When a person goes to see a movie and the actor sheds a tear in a particularly heart-wrenching scene, what is the audience thinking at that time? Is the audience thinking, "How does that person shed a tear on demand?" or is the audience simply allowing themselves to be swept away by the emotions of the moment? In the latter case, that would seem to be the temporary suspension of disbelief.

In other words, unless it is the intention of the theatrical piece you are presenting, the spectator shouldn't care about method. The spectator should be pulled into the entertainment theme of the moment. For me, if a spectator is more concerned with how I did a trick than simply enjoying the moment of magic, then I have failed to create a temporary suspension of disbelief.

O.K. ... time to stop thinking ... my head hurts. :)

Kent
Message: Posted by: Servante (Jan 18, 2007 04:23PM)
Well, I think that's true. And I think most people don't [b]want[/b] the answer handed to them, though they don't mind [b]guessing[/b] about it (like that crossword puzzle).

And I think, also, as you've said, if you're doing your job, sussing the thing out is not in the forefront of the audience member's mind.

Now...I am a magician and an actor and a playwright. In fact, I make the bulk of my income as a playwright...so I watch a movie or a play or a magician in a different way, perhaps, than most audience members would. I [b]do[/b] tend to watch technically.
But that's me. And most of the people here, I suspect. It is not, as a general thing, our audience.
Message: Posted by: nabil (Jan 18, 2007 11:33PM)
[quote]
O.K., DO I HAVE TO DEFINE WHAT I MEAN BY EXPOSURE?????? I MEAN SPILLING THE SECRET BEHIND MAGIC!!! I really can't believe that actual magicians are debating this. ...Confused now, Phil
[/quote]
Sorry to upset you Phil. For some of us, this is a friendly, philosophical discussion. Its great to read other's thoughts, because they make us consider things from many perspectives, which hopefully leads to a better understanding of magic (what is it, really?).
Sometimes it is good to really examine the definition of the words we use, because language seems to shape thought. In our case, we have learned to use the word EXPOSURE to define the explanation of a method. I was just calling the psychological effect of that word into question, in the same way that many have called into qusetion the psychological effect of the word TRICK. My thought was that the words TRICK and EXPOSE can have similar effects on the way that we, and others, think about what it is we are doing.
By the way, I'm not suggesting that anyone banish the word EXPOSE from their vocabulary, like many of us refuse to use the word TRICK. Refusing to use words tend to keep people "in the box", and one might end up becoming a wizard, spelling magic with a k, and generally weirding people out. (By the way, if you're reading this and you just got back from a ritualistic magick camp, please keep doing what you are doing. You are the color in the "A Fun Magic Coloring Book" of the world, and I love you precisely BECAUSE you weird me out.)
I'm a huge, huge fan of people who come out and do things radically different. Which brings us back to Penn and Teller. They call into question a lot of things for a lot of people, especially with their cable show. If you look at history and the people who have really helped masses of people, it is usually the same people who ****ed off the most people.


Posted: Jan 19, 2007 12:37am
-----------------------------------------------
Oh yeah, to those who keep using the words "suspension of disbelief" in regards to magic, I recommend "Strong Magic" by Darwin Ortiz. He has some GREAT thoughts on that, and the whole magic=theater thing.
Message: Posted by: Servante (Jan 19, 2007 01:58AM)
Yeah, but the whole phrase is WILLING suspension of disbelief." Magic, like all theatre, is a contract between audience and artist.

Now didn't THAT sound high blown! :D
Message: Posted by: nabil (Jan 19, 2007 06:45AM)
"a contract between audience and artist"...I like that. Never heard magic or theater referred to as such. I've come to think of magic as violent dance ice dance..no wait, that's hockey. Might I still suggest you check out the book? Darwin basically postulates that magic is more strong when people do [b]not[/b] willingly suspend there disbelief. It's an interesting take.
Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (Jan 19, 2007 09:52AM)
Ortiz's book is extremely thought provoking. It's interesting to see how an experienced close-up performer views his role as opposed to, let's say, a stage performer. The performing situations and the demands upon the performer are quite different. That, in itself, is very eye-opening.

Another important element that I have often heard reference to is the Temporary Suspension of Disbelief. When a person leaves a movie, they know that the actors making that movie are different from the characters they portrayed. That's another essential term of the "contract".

When this translates into magic, the spectator's eventually need to be released from the spell we cast during our performance. To do otherwise would be a betrayal of the trust the spectators place in us.

Kent
Message: Posted by: r1ch-oxford (Jan 20, 2007 08:14PM)
It's quite simple. Penn & Teller really don't like other magicians. If the things they do **** you guys off, then it was supposed to.

Just my thoughts,

Rich
Message: Posted by: Holtzclaw (Jan 21, 2007 03:04PM)
With the rampant misspellings and misinformation in this thread (It's Jillette, not "Gillette", and TELLER wrote the intro to Mead's book, not Penn.), I can see good reason to not like magicians. We can come off as cagey misanthropes who think that the audience is stupid, rather than simply uninitiated. Name another modern, popular magic act that respects the audience's intelligence like Penn and Teller. If David Blaine or Criss Angel are written up in the Times or the New Yorker, it's merely to comment on the sad state of today's entertainment.

The audience does enjoy being let in, just a little. Oh, and guess what? Vernon showed how a false transfer works almost every time he did the Cups and Balls. Is that same audience going to be impossible to fool with the same move later, or are they going to think they know just a little more?
Message: Posted by: Blair Marshall (Jan 21, 2007 03:52PM)
70 postings, over 1300 views. As a marketing approach to self-promotion you boys must admit their efforts/strategy/hard work has paid off in T.V. specials, world travel, Vegas shows!!! Perhaps we should all study, why they are successful, and what could we do to make ourselves stand out from the crowd (which Teller defines so well in his interviews)and appeal to our target audience....lay folks!. They have p.o.'d a small niche group (magicians) to enable them to appeal to the masses, and the niche group helped them do it by squealing loud, long (and continuously!!!).

This topic should have been in a marketing/business section, would much rather be discussing "Grand Illusion", then helping P&T fill their pockets.

Oh yes, I do not particularily like what they did (are doing!) re. exposure, but as has been said many time before, the lay audience has very short memories, and if a few million in N.A. see their shtick, that leaves me the other 300 plus million to work for,that have not seen or heard of P&T. Work to appeal to these folks, and you will have the last laugh.

Another thing, why do we (magicians) not refer to "them" as just P&T, and quit giving them free time??

Just my few cents! (I am sure there will be another 70 plus posts, and a few 1000 more views before this topic moves down the list!!!)

Blair Marshall
"ShaZzam!"

(Another p.s., haven't magicians since the 1800's try to include a sucker trick in their shows - ie. Backstage with a Magician, and many others, even the lowly spot card! etc.)
Message: Posted by: Cain (Jan 22, 2007 12:28AM)
[quote]
On 2007-01-21 16:04, Holtzclaw wrote:
The audience does enjoy being let in, just a little. Oh, and guess what? Vernon showed how a false transfer works almost every time he did the Cups and Balls. Is that same audience going to be impossible to fool with the same move later, or are they going to think they know just a little more?
[/quote]

I'm not sure what type of explanation Vernon offered for the false transfer, but I can tell it's something most people know exists. I performed several card tricks for a fellow student in a grad class once, and of course, general discussion about magic followed. He mentioned coin tricks and said the problem with coins is that if it's not in one hand, then it's in the other (not entirely true given there are relatively sophisticated ways of apparently showing one's hand as empty). But I'd say he generally got it right. People still get fooled by false transfers all the time, objects get palmed, but the public knows about these things.

There are lots of problems with Penn and Teller. I do like how they, following in Randi's footsteps, help expose psychic frauds, but I'm not at all fond of their libertarian politics and ultra-capitalist agenda. Nor am I big fan of the fact that their hook is ******** on magicians and exposing secrets to lay people. You're an ambassador to magic, whether or not you've literally taken an oath.

Here's an anecdote. I was doing magic for some fellow students before a seminar when a person in our little emerging clique arrived late. It was the first time I had shared my magic with them, and the group immediately urged me to do something for her. ("You gotta see this!") She coldly goes through the motions, and shortly into the effect she confesses, "I hate this stuff." Great. Although everyone else was amazed, she reacted with indifference, maybe a tinge of contempt, all the while exuding the whole "get-on-with-it-magicboy" attitude.

A month or so goes by, and again, I had broken out the pasteboards for another person and my impromptu set came to an end. Sitting, feeling bored, she asks to see something. So now, I'm a monkey who's going to do "something" to pass the time? I already had them out, and I didn't want to be rude, but I did explicitly ask, "What's the point if you hate this stuff anyway?" She asked a couple more times over my weak-hearted protest, and so I reluctantly obliged. In this one-on-one situation, she became difficult. Why persist in asking me to show you a trick if you're going to be a !@#$% about it? One of those spectators where the selection process takes five times longer than it needs to, and then there's the replacement process, which is even more challenging. Four Aces are clearly displayed, put face down on the table, and she's supposed to put her hand on top. "Can I look at them?" Me, in my head: "Why? I just showed them to you!! No, you can't look at them, ***." So I have to make some lame excuse to grab them back, show 'em as four Aces again, and come up with an impromptu recovery to segue into something else, all the while pretending nothing has been compromised. She's burning my hands, interrupting me so that she can more clearly burn my hands, and the final effect ends up being less than thrilling. And since it is less than thrilling, since she's not very impressed (although I don't think she fully clocked the method for whatever I ended up doing), this is taken as "victory" in her mind.
In this perverse prize fight she set up in her head, she won because she wasn't truly fooled (she knows some "move" happened at a crucial moment). So now basking in this quasi-triumph, she discloses how her cousin showed her all types of magic (with cards: "showing two as one," "forcing" a spectator to pick a certain card, compelling a controllable replacement, making sure she shuffles immediately afterward to negate a control, etc). The worst part about her friendly sharing is that she offered this knowledge from the position of a gracious winner. I'm not sure if that exposure in some way validated an already contemptuous view toward magic she has always held, or what's the story.

In the meanwhile, I did manage to set up Bannon's Play It Straight, false shuffled, put the cards away. As an extemporaneous, noncommittal afterthought, I asked if her highness could be bothered to see one more, knowing that her highnesses, in all her highnesses' infinite wisdom, could easily deduct the method. This time she was lulled into a sense of ease and selected one of the thirteen force cards. I did the whole magician in trouble schtick (one gets flustered performing before royalty) and saw her try to contain her surprise and emotional response to the revelation. People say revenge magic is not satisfying, but that was very sweet at the time. We've now been married for six months. Yeah, right. The romantics among you wish. I never did another trick for that crazy !@#$% again.

Ah, back to my point. I think a person needs to take into consideration the interests of other magicians and lay people. The thing I "expose" for teenagers and men is the bubble peak of the bottom card. "This is the glimpse gamblers use to gain an advantage." They think it's "cool."
Message: Posted by: BlackShadow (Apr 22, 2007 03:41PM)
Vernon's explanation of his false transfer fake exposure was misdirection. People thought they were getting the real deal on something which had just baffled them, which made a cast iron cover for his final loads. He then goes on to prove that his fake explanation was rubbish by which time he's got his finals in without a so much as a hint to anybody.

Vernon had reservations about his mini exposure but it was a means to a harder hitting climax. That's what Penn and Teller do. It's not the end but the means to entertainment.

People get too tangled up with codes or oaths. Magic is not supposed to be an old boys club, it is a performing art, practiced to generate entertainment
Message: Posted by: purplemonk (Apr 22, 2007 04:05PM)
To Penn & Teller, I say Why the heck not?! It isn't like IBM, SAM, or any other Magician organization will do anything --- except Ban you from their group...but who really cares? Honestly! Unless you like to hang out and treat your magic as a social club than who really cares if you get banned. I don't! I'm in magic to make money -- plain in simple...I'm in it to make MONEY...nothing more...

As far as legal issues...is this really a concern? Most illusion secret are very loosely guard by patent laws and such...if any. I think we need more Penn & Tellers...more Mask Magicians. The whole Ethics in Magic is stupid...I couldn;t care less abotu what my fellow magician think --- I perform for my audience...and if that means given them something they want...even if I have to steal that routine from someone else...I will!
Message: Posted by: The Hitchhiker (Apr 22, 2007 06:32PM)
Hip trendy and relevant, not sure about that.
Message: Posted by: Terry Holley (Apr 22, 2007 07:37PM)
[quote]
On 2007-04-22 17:05, purplemonk wrote:
The whole Ethics in Magic is stupid...I couldn;t care less abotu what my fellow magician think --- I perform for my audience...and if that means given them something they want...even if I have to steal that routine from someone else...I will!
[/quote]

Quite an admission. Thanks for the warning!

Terry
Message: Posted by: Darth Ewok (Apr 23, 2007 06:02PM)
I'm going to quote Jim Steinmeyer, "Magicians guard an empty vault" all these secret we claim to have and protect can be gained by [b]anyone[/b] that walks into a magic shop. as DC says the magic is in the performance. all this worry of exposure hurting the art is a little silly. most people that enjoy magic don't want to know the secret.

Let me give you an example. I remember seeing Copperfield perform the Origami box. I was amazed at this trick. Even after I became a magician I didn't want to know how this trick worked. Of course it didn't take long before I figured it out, but the point is for awhile it was real magic to me, and that is what magic fans want.

BTW, lots of people mention P&T on America's got Talent. First of all "Blast Off" is so over the top that no one would connect it to any other illusion. And am I the only one... figured out they did "Blast Off" on the show as a dig at Criss Angel's exposure on his show? Heck, Penn even dedicates the trick to Criss saying, "Show em how it's done buddy" in a very sarcastic way.

I saw Penn do an interview once (not sure where) where he said P&T only expose tricks that they design to be exposed. Look at their clear cups & Balls. They go so fast with the clear cups than some magicians would have trouble following it. And the [b]point[/b] of the trick isn't to expose, it's to set up the effect of still fooling the audience with the final appearance of, in Penn's words: "the **** potato!"

Just my opinion on everything. Feel free to bash me. I got to go work on my darn snap production
Message: Posted by: kcg5 (May 21, 2007 01:47AM)
Whatever. They are funny, and if they interest more people in the art, go for it.

In the mismade lady clip, I love how he dedicates it to Criss Angel!
Message: Posted by: Gabriel Knight (May 21, 2007 11:08AM)
Oath, you assume that everyone takes the oath or will play by the rules.

With Internet now, heck, a 13 year old kid is on YouTube exposing every single DVD trick he can get his hands on. If you want to keep a secret, don't sell it. Or, don't sell to people who aren't SAM or IBM members. This would limit your income on any product. While Criss Angel runs out and sells a version of Icarus for 1/3 the cost and calls it his own, then it is exposed directly off the DVD produced by Criss Angel where he admits he uses camera tricks.
And the movie CLICK, or the thumbtip is exposed in MAINSTREAM movies after they walk into a magic shop. And tell me 100's of millions didn't see those movies...
Message: Posted by: noxas (May 21, 2007 12:52PM)
It was stated on a one-off TV show in the UK (50 Greatest Magic Tricks) that Penn and Teller only reveal the effect if they are the original creators of the effect, or if the secret is actually more interesting than the effect... How true that is, I do not know.
Message: Posted by: Gabriel Knight (May 22, 2007 11:12PM)
I very much wonder how Penn and Teller would feel if someone exposed their Bullet Catch trick. OH, gee, I figured it out, meaning I must have invented it, just like Cups and Balls.
Message: Posted by: Vick (May 23, 2007 09:07AM)
Long story short

or

Let the music do the talking

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETiXXf0ZqRQ
More relevant for Americans...

When you come up with work that good, I'll gladly pay to see you too, and even be a fan.
Message: Posted by: mr majik (May 25, 2007 08:29AM)
A lot of sore and bitter magicians. Whether they exposed the real tricks or pretended to, I think all this stuff has to stop. Over the past 10 years, magicians have exposed, and pretended to expose, more and more tricks. I, and many of you, don't agree with this. Even when we falsely expose a trick as part of a routine, we are coaching the audience to look for something. And now, more and more lay people aren't just astonished by "magic", they're astonished by a feat of sleight of hand or some great engineering. The lay audience is less interested in "magic" and more interested in how it's done. Over time, WE have taught them to look for the secret. Now, somehow, WE have to un-teach them.
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (May 25, 2007 10:26PM)
There is no "gray" area with P&T. They have blatantly exposed magic for the pure purpose of creating the "Bad Boys" image...and not just their own magic. It's that simple.

Is it wrong? Yes. Are they jerks for doing it? Yes. Do they give a rip what we think? No. Can we stop them? No.

But despite what some of you think, this is still a worthwhile discussion. It makes us think and evaluate our own opinions, as well as support them. Hopefully, it will also make those of us who admit they'll steal from others think a little ...
Message: Posted by: joshlondon17 (May 26, 2007 01:31AM)
I just got done reading a part in Richard's Almanac that I stumbled upon purely by mistake. The article was about P&T and how Richard saw their performance and was horrified by the exposure.

He made a point that was very interesting: What if a magician stood up in the middle of their show and told how P&T do the needle swallowing or Teller's effect with the rose? (Forgive me, I do not know what's in their current show. I saw it years ago, but you get the idea.)

Josh London

P.S. Found this from P&T. What if we spoke up?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPhje8wepyg&mode=related&search=
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (May 26, 2007 09:48AM)
[quote]
On 2007-05-26 02:31, joshlondon17 wrote:

P.S. Found this from P&T. What if we spoke up?

[/quote]

We are...right now.

The problem is, we are not together on this. Magicians CLAIM they don't want exposure, but they are not united -- and, in many cases, are hypocrites. The same bigmouths who spouted off through WAM can be regularly seen associating with P&T.

Sure, it's kinda hard to shut them down now; they are unreasonable and arrogant. But way back when they were nobody, a lot of magicians helped them, put them on magazine covers, included them on shows and TV appearances, attended their shows, watched them on TV...the list goes on. It's easy for them to ridicule magicians now, but back at the beginning, magicians took the opinion that "It's just an act" and still associated with them.

Mostly, I suppose, the reason magicians give P&T a pass is that magicians have no integrity. They want to be part of something successful and will sell their souls to the devil to do it. The same guys who complain that someone's knocking off an illusions think nothing of justifying P&T's slaps at magic.

Personally, I would much rather see someone knock off an Origami, where they are just hurting Jim Steinmeyer, than allow P&T to expose magic, which hurts us all. I'm not suggesting that either is proper, but which one garners the most outrage?

Magic builders [i]could[/i] refuse to build for P&T, but they won't. They want the money. They want the visibility of a high-profile client.

But none of this is a surprise to anyone, is it?
Message: Posted by: Vick (May 27, 2007 10:05AM)
After reading these comments I'm glad I'm not a magician

I'm a performer who engages audiences with fun and thought provoking illusions


If we all got off our soapboxes (me included) and put this energy and effort into our work ....

..... everyone would be better off



With that in mind please allow me to close by quoting Storm Constantine

".... once you realize that your belief may be founded upon fear, fear of nothing and of no purpose, then conflict ends, fear ends, belief ends and knowledge starts"
Message: Posted by: Magic Patrick (May 28, 2007 07:49PM)
I guess PT have made this an open forum by exosing secrets. I don't really care but I think that they aren't talented enough to make it on their own performance and that is why they expose it is the path of least resistance to astonishing the audience. Unfortunately it is only a hit to that audience one time. You will have to make up more stuff to expose for repeat customers. Does anyone know PT newest show? Any of their current tricks? If you know how they work let me know. I am going there in August and will stand out front and let the passer bys know how they work. Just kidding. Seriously, if the gloves are off why don't we start stealing their routines for ourselves. Oh, that is right none of their routines are worth copying. I think that this will all blow over if we don't make much of it. They are just a couple of two bit magicians that have found it more marketable to expose others secrets. It is easy to destroy something, anyone can do it. It is much harder to create something, not everyone can do this. Peace out!
Message: Posted by: gulamerian (May 29, 2007 06:31PM)
They are the masked magician without the mask.
Funny how he was ostracized by the magic community and these clowns {PT} they bow down to.
Message: Posted by: Adam Milestone (May 31, 2007 05:18PM)
To all of you who think exposure is ok, then please allow an experienced magus to follow you around as you perform, letting everyone in on what you're REALLY doing so they can barrage you with giggles. As a great thinker once said regarding flashing: "don't do that; they'll laugh at you and walk away!" I didn't take an oath in the beginning, but instead made a promise to a friend that I would NEVER reveal the secrets he so kindly shared with me. Moreover, they were amazing secrets that allowed me to make a selected card rise from the card box, make a borrowed coin mysteriously move and clink whilst atop a pop bottle, cause a borrowed bracelet to float into the air and even gave detailed instructions on how to construct a magic wand. For every trick learned, I made a new promise; solidifying the previous ones. As I grew older and more experienced I still kept up the promises for each effect I learned, as it was a way of strengthening and renewing my promise first made so many years before. I was seven and even at that age I understood the reason you were not to tell how it's done. Over the years I decided that I wanted to further my commitment to the magical arts by making a 2nd promise. I promised that I would let my audience be amazed. I mean really, isn't that at the heart of our venture into the world of magic, to entertain through amazement? If you take away the amazement you have nothing! IMO the most useless thing in magic is a magician who can't keep a secret. Let your audience by amazed and they will be.
BTW the friend I made the promise to first was Mickey, as in The Mickey Mouse Magic Book; my first book of magic. If I find it reasonable as a child to keep the secret, then surely all who consider themselves adults can understand the reasoning behind it.
Message: Posted by: Nick Wait (Jun 1, 2007 03:39AM)
For me they only really expose a magic trick, when the actual seret is more entertaining/interesting than the effect i.e. the blast off routine is a quite ingeius method for a trick that is a bit so-what. Secondly aspointed out, they do tend to revela there own secrets and thirdly you have to forgive them for the pressure the ***s at The Tele Networks put on them. I like there material, I like there performance(in paticular Tellers) And I like them¨!!!
Peac Out
Nick
Message: Posted by: tnscot (Jun 1, 2007 10:25AM)
[quote]
On 2007-05-26 02:31, joshlondon17 wrote:
I What if a magician stood up in the middle of their show and told how P&T do the needle swallowing or Teller's effect with the rose?
[/quote]

But that's not what they're doing. They don't stand up in anyone's show. They do it during their own. Every performer here has the right to expose the secrets of P&T's routines during his own show. ;)
Of course to do so would violate the oath/code that keeps getting mentioned. :yikes:
So doing this would indicate that the person doing it believes that the oath/code is breakable as long as he feels that the reason is good enough. :worry:
Once you've establised that, the only thing left to discuss is whose reasons are valid and whose aren't.
Either one believes in protecting the secrets from the uninitiated at all costs, or thhe doesn't.
If I'm a curious 12 year old kid with $20, I can buy a book that tells me every basic principle of magic, which have gone into the effects that are being created today.
How would that be any different than an adult who likes to watch magic paying $75 to see a Vegas act where a couple of effects are reavealed as part of the act?
The bottom line is: Were do we draw the line? And who gets to decide where it should be drawn? :hmm: It sure isn't me.
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (Jun 11, 2007 08:36PM)
[quote]
On 2007-06-01 04:39, walsall wrote:
For me they only really expose a magic trick, when the actual seret is more entertaining/interesting than the effect i.e. the blast off routine is a quite ingeius method for a trick that is a bit so-what.[/quote]

Except, Nick, you are wrong. That is NOT the only time they have exposed secrets.

As I already pointed out, Penn spent a long time on the Steve Dahl radio show in Chicago explaining every trick that callers asked about. There was no entertainment value -- just shock value to get their names known (this was about the time of the PBS special.)

I agree that there is little or nothing we can do about their callous attitude and actions ... but neither should we make excuses for them and pretend they didn't do what they did.
Message: Posted by: Peter Cuddihy (Nov 11, 2007 09:58PM)
These two men have exposed effects that many magicians rely upon to make a living. While their conduct might be interesting and bold to some in the magic community, it is also disrespectful to those who perform the effects. However, they have thrived on the publicity that their conduct has gotten them. To date, my inclination has been to ignore their very existence and not respond to any questions posed to me about them. After this post, I will continue to do same. Nuff said!
Message: Posted by: Andy the cardician (Nov 13, 2007 09:27PM)
Peter, I second that.
Message: Posted by: Banester (Nov 14, 2007 08:56AM)
It cracks me up to hear people say that laymen don't know what is going on or won't remember it, do you really believe that? Someone talked about Val performing the exposed tricks poorly so that is ok? Also, Fox had record numbers of viewers so you don't think the public was interested!?!?!? That was the buz aroudn the streets for weeks about how this was done or how that was done. People will ALWAYS have a basic idea of how it was accomplished even if they don't remember the exact gimmick/sleight/mirror. In Copperfields "Flying" can you tell me what he said or how about you give me the birds name? I bet you can tell me he flew though can't you.

Why is it that some Magicians beleive that even if people know how it is done they still have to catch me? Do you show people how the trick is done and then do the performance and see if they can catch you? Why don't you? Isn't that what you are basicly endorsing?

Magic provides a sense of wonder and anytime we expose our secret it takes away from that. Many of our secrets may be called cheesy/simple and often so simple it is overlooked. Once you expose our methods you are taking away that sense Magic/Wonder.

Also, on whomever stated that it was Penn & Tellers own trick so they can expose it if they want to. Was the concept thier original idea or was it based on age old concepts which are used in other tricks? And that load of it was the producers that exposed it. Who signed the contract! I don't recall any of Doug Hennings or David Copperfields illusions being compromised, you are just buying thier load of BS!
Message: Posted by: JackScratch (Nov 14, 2007 02:34PM)
I have yet to see or hear a realistic example of an effect that Penn and Tellar have exposed. Agreed they tell there audience that this is what they are doing constantly. They never do. Just like no one really cared what they were doing till they told them that magicians hated them, so some of them decided it must be true and did. I agree someone is buying into their BS, but it isn't who you think it is.
Message: Posted by: Banester (Nov 15, 2007 09:16AM)
Here Jack:

http://www.flixya.com/video/143007/Penn_&_Teller_Explain_Sleight_of_Hand

Even if they did not use those particular moves (during that trick)they are explaining and showing you a basic idea(method)of what goes on. The people who saw the act now think they know what happened, isn't that enough? Copperfield claims he has several ways to do each illusion. Does that really matter to the public? Once they see a method that takes that sense of wonder away whether it is the one you used to complete the trick or not.

Do we expose slieghts for the sake of entertainment? Why expose a method? I don't care whether it is how you accomplished the "trick" or not, it is a method so why the need to show it? You think the method is entertaining? You bet it is, look at the ratings Fox received. I just don't see the need for it and that's my opinion.
Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Nov 15, 2007 09:54AM)
I agree. There are many tricks in the magic repertoire that uses phony exposes of tricks. I think itís dangerous to do this. First, you are educating the audience to methods they probably didnít think of. Second, you are putting the audience in a challenge mood which is not good unless you are ready for that kind of thing. Once the audience is in that mood, they question everything and slow down the entertainment.

I had someone last week that grabbed everything I did and did not get a chance to enjoy what I was doing. He thought he saw the gimmick to the Arne card rise. He wanted to see the cards. I palmed off the gimmick and gave him the deck. He did not see me take it away, but he was insisting that there was something there even though he couldnít show me.

It doesnít matter that he could not prove it. The doubt is there and thatís all that is needed.

Penn and Teller justify their exposure because they think that audiences are not as dumb as we magicians think they are. If they have problems with this, then why are they doing magic? If they donít like that kind of deception and want to be honest, then they are in the wrong profession. Let me have their show at the Rio. I wonít complain.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Nov 15, 2007 10:15AM)
So by this logic (or lack thereof) anyone who does the fake palm and placement explanation in the cups and balls is guilty of exposure. Those who reveal the hollow egg and a method of palming it in Egg to silk need to be shunned by the magic community. Heck even those who show the fake methodology of What's Next are exposing a methodology.
But it really doesn't matter. those who get it understand what Penn and Teller are doing those that don't will continue to jump up and down and scream exposers.
In the end though it really doesn't matter what magicians think of their act or behavior. They have a very successful career and have maintained a popularity level amongst the non-magic community that keeps their theater in Vegas as full as there bank accounts.
I really don't see any harm inflicted by them upon the magic community. They've been performing their style of magic for thirty years and magic has never been more popular than it is today. I've yet to hear of a single magician who went bust because of Penn and Tellers supposed exposures.
Message: Posted by: Banester (Nov 15, 2007 11:24AM)
You are correct Payne. Valentino has a nice fat savings account too and I hear he has gigs all over Japan and South Africa. He helped bring Magic into the spot light, remember those high ratings I was talking about. And ya know, I can't think of anyone who went bankrupt because of Val either. I guess my lack of logic got in the way there.

I have never jumped up and down screaming Penn & Teller are exposers. I don't feel the need to show the secrets or our trade to promote it. Bravo to those guys for making it into the big time! Do you think they could stay there without showing some of that stuff? Sure they could, they have a lot of talent I even enjoy watching some of thier stuff, but I cringe when they show some of the slieghts.
Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Nov 15, 2007 12:18PM)
You missed my point. When you use an exposure theme in your act, then it makes it tough to use a magical theme later. If you use the exposure later, then it discredits any magic theme you did earlier. Doing a bit for the sake of the affect on the audience needs to be thought out.

Judy Carter mentions in her book on comedy, if you get a laugh on a joke, then say just kidding, then the audience questions every joke that comes afterwards. She is not saying not to do it, she is just stating how the audience reacts if you do.

The same is true in magic. I always think twice when I do a fake exposure in my act. If I canít fit it in with my theme, I leave it out no matter how good it is. This has led me do rework some routines. I ended up with some good routines this way.

Penn and Teller gets away with it because they have a carney kind of feel to their presentation. They donít do magic theme kind of routines. The only problem I have is insulting those that likes to use a magical theme in their act. Also, I donít like exposures of tricks that the rest of us use.

I have fooled people that know the TT to make a silk disappear. But, there are times when no matter how much you try to convince them, as soon as you bring out the silk, they are already at that danger zone. Then everyone else has to wait while to cater to that spectator.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Nov 15, 2007 12:57PM)
[quote]
On 2007-11-15 12:24, Banester wrote:
You are correct Payne. Valentino has a nice fat savings account too and I hear he has gigs all over Japan and South Africa. He helped bring Magic into the spot light, remember those high ratings I was talking about. And ya know, I can't think of anyone who went bankrupt because of Val either. I guess my lack of logic got in the way there.
[/quote]

Apples and Oranges. Valentino exposed magic for the sole purpose of revealing how tricks work. Penn and Teller expose (which isn't nearly as often as people believe) in the context of a theatrical performance. After the Camel Cigarette exposure ads in the the Thirties Blackstone started out his linking ring routine by showing the audience the key ring. He then would say this is how some people did the trick but not him. He then would proceed into his ring routine using a second key ring. Is this exposure for the sake of exposure or is this exposure in a theatrical context to strengthen an effect?

[quote]
I have never jumped up and down screaming Penn & Teller are exposers. I don't feel the need to show the secrets or our trade to promote it. Bravo to those guys for making it into the big time! Do you think they could stay there without showing some of that stuff? Sure they could, they have a lot of talent I even enjoy watching some of thier stuff, but I cringe when they show some of the slieghts.
[/quote]

We each need to find our own voice in the world of magic. Penn and Teller found theirs. Would they be as successful as they are today if they had chosen a different path? Hard to say. The style they developed worked for them in the context of their performances. The audiences responded well to it, probably more so than if they had adopted a more traditional style of magic.

Posted: Nov 15, 2007 2:06pm
Quote:


On 2007-11-15 13:18, mtpascoe wrote:
You missed my point. When you use an exposure theme in your act, then it makes it tough to use a magical theme later. If you use the exposure later, then it discredits any magic theme you did earlier. Doing a bit for the sake of the affect on the audience needs to be thought out.



You are then forcing us all to adopt a Magic is mysterious and magical presentation style. Sorry that doesn't work for all of us. My performing persona is that I do tricks. I'm not out to invoke a sennse of wonder or mystery in my audiences. I'm simply after trying to entertain them by performing tricks.

Quote:


The same is true in magic. I always think twice when I do a fake exposure in my act. If I canít fit it in with my theme, I leave it out no matter how good it is. This has led me do rework some routines. I ended up with some good routines this way.



As you should. Fr me the fake exposure gags work well as that's my persona when performing. If they don't work for you then by all means leave them out of your act.


Quote:


Penn and Teller gets away with it because they have a carney kind of feel to their presentation. They donít do magic theme kind of routines. The only problem I have is insulting those that likes to use a magical theme in their act. Also, I donít like exposures of tricks that the rest of us use.

They have found a style that works for them and I really don't see them insulting magicians who employ a magical theme in their acts. They are insulting magicians who fail to employ a magical theme (or any theme whatsoever) and are simply the horrid hack, magic out of the box, type of performer that unfortunately are all too common in our craft.
Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Nov 15, 2007 01:35PM)
I have seen them make fun of others style on stage. Itís alright if they donít do that style, but donít put down others that do. Copperfield style works. Maybe not for them, but the audiences that attends those shows, like that style. He doesnít name magicians, but you can tell who they are making fun of.

It also gives them a superior attitude. We are better than those other guys. Like I said, carney style. It works for them. But, if they canít take criticism, then they shouldnít dish it out.

Also, Iím not saying that you should conform to my idea of magical a theme. I am just saying that if you use a magical theme, you should think twice about using exposures.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Nov 15, 2007 01:39PM)
[quote]
On 2007-11-15 14:35, mtpascoe wrote:

It also gives them a superior attitude. We are better than those other guys. Like I said, carney style. It works for them. But, if they canít take criticism, then they shouldnít dish it out.

[/quote]

I've never heard that they can't take criticism. Quite the opposite. they seem to thrive on it
Message: Posted by: JackScratch (Nov 15, 2007 09:26PM)
Well I'm sold, break out the torches and pitchforks. At the end of what is a truly beautiful routine the audience knows nothing of any substance what so ever, but why let a little thing like that get in the way. I say crucify them. String em up. We will have a trial and them hang em, all legal like.

I stand behind what I said before, and believe now, as I did before, that there are many many people who do not, and will not understand.
Message: Posted by: MagicMan11 (Nov 15, 2007 11:27PM)
They should put a stop to them. They've exposed some great tricks many of us perform.
Message: Posted by: Micheal Leath (Nov 16, 2007 01:49AM)
[quote]
On 2007-11-16 00:27, MagicMan11 wrote:
They should put a stop to them. They've exposed some great tricks many of us perform.
[/quote]

Really, which ones? Oh yeah, they exposed a deceptive base in their Blast Off routine right? Well, if anyone thinks that, then maybe they have a little more to learn. They are probably the same "magicians" that think they are fooling anyone with their bases that look thick enough to hide 5 people in. How about the Thumb Tip? You realize how many people already know what a fake thumb is, but they are still fooled when used by a good performer? Go ahead, tell me exactly what you think they've exposed.
Message: Posted by: Banester (Nov 16, 2007 09:40AM)
Micheal didn't you just give examples yourself? You assume everyone knows about the thumb tip or misdirection or palming or deceptive bases. LOL, how many more examples can you come up with? You take for granted that people know about these things. I had a dozen people say "oh that's how you make things disappear" when Ben Stiller showed everyone the thumb tip in Night at the Musuem. So here people think that anything small I make disappear it goes into a thumb tip. haha great when I use a sleeve pull or Reel right? Wrong, they are trying to catch me with a thumb tip and they really could care less about any story line, they just want to catch me!

Would it matter if I had a 6' high base and made someone disappear from on top of it? It now gives people knowledge. Sure we may think it is silly and I think we take that for granted.

[quote] At the end of what is a truly beautiful routine the audience knows nothing of any substance what so ever, but why let a little thing like that get in the way.[/quote]

LOL, ya they didn't see that palm when he told them or that misdirection/slieght combo. Any watchers are now NOT looking for it they still think he pulled it out of mid air.
Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Nov 16, 2007 09:52AM)
Itís not fun to entertain, (and yes I use the word entertain) someone when they are constantly harassing you about secrets. Now, you may like it, but I donít. Donít get me wrong, itís the nature of the art. But, Iíd rather have them intellectually try to figure it out than already know the secret.

Laypeople know about sleeves, mirrors, and trap doors because some nit wit magician revealed it. Now we know it as common knowledge. Many magicians try not to use such items because itís the first thing the audience suspects. If we arm them with more, now we have even less devices to use.

I know there are some whoíll say, Itís these kind of exposures that forces us to invent better devices. But, unfortunately, we havenít. Iíve been doing magic for thirty years and when I open a catalogue, I see the same tired tricks. No one is coming up with earth shattering methods except Paul Harris.

So in the mean time, let us who cannot afford to hire a Jim Steinmeyer or any other magical adviser to come up with new effects for us, continue to use our tried and true routines.

Posted: Nov 16, 2007 11:03am
Another point. Whit brought up a point in a different post saying that when you do something that seems probable, it is juggling not magic. As he put it, ďthe dilemma is weakened on the side ĎI know this couldn't have happened.í "

If this point is true, then if an audience is armed with knowledge like a TT, then what you do is explainable. Then it ceases to become magic, but a display of juggling as Whit put it. Then the moment of astonishment as Whit and others are trying to instill become weaken.
Message: Posted by: JackScratch (Nov 16, 2007 10:03AM)
Every single time Penn and Teller "Expose", they give things away in indigestible quantities and forms. That's the whole point of what they are doing. It's a shell game, a short con. The audience, and some magicians it would seem, think they have learned something, but they haven't. How can you people not see that? I am regularly astounded by what people are unable to understand when the decide they don't wish to understand it.
Message: Posted by: Banester (Nov 16, 2007 10:30AM)
What is there to understand? Ya we know that they are showing a TT, but they actually use a pull or whatever. What we are talking about is why even show the TT? Just do the trick and don't explain anything else. You keep saying they haven't learned anything. They haven't learned how the trick was really done, but they have learned a method that we may use in something else. Well ok, maybe not the cigarette in the ear. But why, why tell them anything!?! Would the trick be weak without that added into it? No, I don't think so.

And yes Payne I understand there are tricks out there that have something like that built into them. A really good one is "Backstage". I will have to go back and review that one, but I don't think it actually shows you a method, could be wrong though.
Message: Posted by: Micheal Leath (Nov 16, 2007 03:42PM)
[quote]
On 2007-11-16 10:40, Banester wrote:
Micheal didn't you just give examples yourself? You assume everyone knows about the thumb tip or misdirection or palming or deceptive bases. LOL, how many more examples can you come up with? You take for granted that people know about these things. I had a dozen people say "oh that's how you make things disappear" when Ben Stiller showed everyone the thumb tip in Night at the Musuem. So here people think that anything small I make disappear it goes into a thumb tip. haha great when I use a sleeve pull or Reel right? Wrong, they are trying to catch me with a thumb tip and they really could care less about any story line, they just want to catch me!

Would it matter if I had a 6' high base and made someone disappear from on top of it? It now gives people knowledge. Sure we may think it is silly and I think we take that for granted.

[/quote]

Banaster, even if the audience knows a method, you can still fool them with that method. Haven't you ever seen a magician "prove" he isn't using a certain method when in fact that is the very method used? I see you still think they exposed a deceptive base in their Blast Off routine. That is not a deceptive base! Yes you can still fool them with a well built base. In fact, they might even say they saw P&T do something similar, but that method can't be used in what they just saw because the base is way too thin.

The only magicians that their "exposures" will hurt are the ones who fool themselves more than they fool the audience. Then again, they don't need P&T to hurt their show, because those magicians do enough harm to themselves.
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Nov 16, 2007 04:12PM)
I agree with Drew, 100%.

Unbelievable!

But I agree with Drew.

100%.

(Unbelievable.)

Jeff
Message: Posted by: MagicMan11 (Nov 16, 2007 04:40PM)
Michael, that is not the point. The point here is that they are exposing! Who cares if they still get fooled. Sooner or later more and more people will know the methods. I hope you don't support what they do becuase that would be very sad.
Message: Posted by: Micheal Leath (Nov 16, 2007 07:01PM)
Yes, I support what they do. Show me how they have hurt anybody's career by what they supposedly expose.
Message: Posted by: JackScratch (Nov 16, 2007 10:36PM)
Better still, show me any evidence, what so ever, that they have hurt magic or the audiences perspective of it.
Message: Posted by: Ray_Mago (Nov 16, 2007 11:08PM)
I don't care if Penn and Teller Expose, they are a great comedy act with magic, don't mix that up with serious magic.

Those guys are funny.
Message: Posted by: erlandish (Nov 16, 2007 11:13PM)
I'll try to find the relevant video clip. In the meantime, here's the general idea...

I remember once where they performed a stage illusion and then exposed it. The stage illusion was pretty interesting all the way through... Teller is placed upright in a box, the box is chopped up, rearranged and with all the pieces of Teller apparently responsive, and then reassembled with Teller intact. The music was fun and the audience seemed to have a really good time.

They then exposed the illusion by removing the shield from the mobile stage underneath -- because of the plexiglass window you could see how Teller had dropped through the floor and was crawling around underneath before popping up through trapdoors into one box after another, showing the body part as required for the presentation. The song changed its lyrics, too, with the line "It's no mystery/It's just trickery" in the exposed version. In the pause right after that specific line, Penn shouts out "You got that right!" or something similar.

The audience reaction to that presentation told the whole story. The initial illusion was pretty good and humourous. It could have probably stood on its own merits in most magic shows.

Once the exposure begun, there was that usual reaction that often happens whenever people learn the secret behind a magic trick that's baffled you... They go "Ohhhhhh..." and might even express admiration for the cleverness or skill involved. The problem was that in keeping with the choreography of the original presentation, that moment of epiphany came and went shortly into the exposed performance -- the audience of non-magicians didn't really need to see the effect all the way through to its conclusion, and the feeling of growing ennui was palpable, as if they were thinking "Ok, we get it. You made your point." At least in the clip, it was. It was uncomfortable in the sense that they were continuing to drive home a point that had already been registered and accepted.

I think there was a lot of artistry in the way they exposed the principles of magic in that cigarette manipulation routine. In this stage illusion exposure, though, I think they missed the mark. Seeing it through to the end the way they did actually felt malicious.
Message: Posted by: Micheal Leath (Nov 16, 2007 11:21PM)
Erlandish, the routine your talking about is Blast Off. Again, if you think they exposed a Deceptive Base during that routine, you're fooling yourself and you need to learn what a real deceptive base is.
Message: Posted by: erlandish (Nov 16, 2007 11:30PM)
Michael,

Don't know much about Deceptive Bases, but unless they were using different methods to accomplish each half of that presentation in that specific routine, I'm not sure what your point is.

Come to think of it, even if they were using different methods, I don't know that it applies. The audience's curiosity about the method used for the initial presentation was satisfied very early in the exposed version. Judging from the audience's reaction, they got all the pleasure they were going to get from watching the exposed version straight away, but by continuing to finish the routine in the manner that they did, they seemed to show indifference to non-magicians (and contempt for magicians) who were watching.

Whether or not somebody else in the magic world can no longer do a routine using similar methods is a moot point. The manner in which the routine was played out seemed to be taking the point "Magic is all about trickery!" and rubbing it in everyone's faces long after people had already gotten that point.

Posted: Nov 19, 2007 8:36am
A quick apology for my last couple of posts. I came into the discussion late and didn't realize Blast Off had been discussed already.
Message: Posted by: JackScratch (Nov 19, 2007 08:07AM)
[quote]
On 2007-11-17 00:30, erlandish wrote:
Michael,

Don't know much about Deceptive Bases, but unless they were using different methods to accomplish each half of that presentation in that specific routine, I'm not sure what your point is.

Come to think of it, even if they were using different methods, I don't know that it applies. The audience's curiosity about the method used for the initial presentation was satisfied very early in the exposed version. Judging from the audience's reaction, they got all the pleasure they were going to get from watching the exposed version straight away, but by continuing to finish the routine in the manner that they did, they seemed to show indifference to non-magicians (and contempt for magicians) who were watching.

Whether or not somebody else in the magic world can no longer do a routine using similar methods is a moot point. The manner in which the routine was played out seemed to be taking the point "Magic is all about trickery!" and rubbing it in everyone's faces long after people had already gotten that point.
[/quote]

I'm sorry you got that. I found the point to be the entertainment of the audience. My observation was that the audience was entertained. The theme was, to a very small subtle degree, the spoof of the absurd rigidness of the attitudes of the magic community. That spoof would not have been entertaining, had it not been true, to one degree or another. At the very least, perceived to be true by the viewing audience. Then again, that is a good portion of Penn and Teller's on going theme.
Message: Posted by: erlandish (Nov 19, 2007 08:21AM)
Jack,

I get that. In the version that I saw, though, something was lost.

It might be that the illusion works well when in the context of a Penn and Teller show. If anybody else is doing magic that night, though (I believe this is what was going on in that Youtubed performance?) suddenly you've got something potentially damaging.
Message: Posted by: JackScratch (Nov 19, 2007 08:57AM)
I disagree, but at this point in the subject we are both just speculating. What Penn and Teller do is not a direction I would go, but that's the thing about art. The best is often the most extreme.
Message: Posted by: Tina I (Nov 21, 2007 05:40AM)
My dad is of the 'i know it all' type. He is not a magician but he know a fair bit of magic secrets. He know the TT, he know about the concept of palming and misdirection and like to brag about it. However, to this day he can't understand how I vanished a silk 'inside' a playing card. He finds a well performed billiard ball routine absolutely mystifying. This is because although he know the 'secrets' he have no idea when they are applied.

Way back when this Valentino guy was seen as the end of magic I did my three-ring linking ring routine unaware that he had 'exposed' it. After my show one of the spectators told me about it and said: "But I liked your rings better."

Knowing 'secrets' is not enough. You need to know how to use the secret to create the effect. And for the lay people it's even harder because they have to deduce the secret from watching the effect.

And I have yet to hear about a magician being forced to get a real job (Oh... I couldn't resist that one :P ) because of Valentino or P&T or any other exposer...

Tina
Message: Posted by: JackScratch (Nov 21, 2007 08:18AM)
Only thing I disagree with there is putting Penn and Teller in the same category and Val. Penn and Teller are true artists. Val is just desperate.

What Penn and Teller do would be exposure, if they did it differently. They do present the mechanics of effect, but they do it in a way that is less observable, less usable, than a magician performing an effect badly. Like I said before, it's a short con, a shell game, and sadly many magicians are their biggest patsies.
Message: Posted by: Tina I (Nov 22, 2007 12:22AM)
I just watched P&T do the cups and balls with the clear cups and I have to say I thought it was fantastic. A true study in misdirection. If it hadn't been for the fact that they pitch it as an exposure in their patter no one would have seen it as such. They reveal absolutely nothing. It's simply just a marvelous twist on the C&B.

Tina
Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Nov 22, 2007 12:44AM)
Even though I am a critic of Penn and Teller, this is the duo at their finest. They are good performers. They just get on tangents that takes away from their performance. No one can take away that they are very good entertainers.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Feb 24, 2009 07:19PM)
"No one can take away that they are very good entertainers."

But, is that the point?

Dillinger was a good shot. OJ could really run the ball. Jack the ripper was probably a gifted surgeon. Madoff was good with numbers.

We seem to have become a star-struck society- and the stars can do no wrong because there will always be those who worship.

I realize my ethics flow from a time long past, that my values are becoming obsolete. For now, however, in my opinion, Penn and Teller expose magic- plain and simple. It is wrong. They do it to enhance their particular agendas. And, I don't give a vermin's posterior that some find it entertaining.

Jim
Message: Posted by: JackScratch (Feb 25, 2009 10:38AM)
So now something that may or may not be exposure is on par with murder? Is it possible we are lacking perspective here? Find me someone who has actually learned how an effect was executed by just watching a single Penn and Teller performance under perfectly normal conditions, and then, maybe, we will have a discussion. Until then, this is mostly magicians being exactly what Penn and Teller are saying they are.
Message: Posted by: longhaired1 (Feb 28, 2009 04:16PM)
There exists a giant chasm between what I hear Pann and Teller are doing and what Penn and Teller are actually doing.

I've read posts on the Cafť that tell me Penn uses profanity and obscenity throughout their stage act. They actually make a point of not using any profanity in their show. Blasphemy yes, profanity no.

I first saw their show at Ballys, before they had a permanent residency here in Vegas. What struck me within the first 10 minutes of the show was that they were doing an actual magic act, not what I was expecting based on the limited things I had seen on television and heard from other magicians.

I would suggest seeing their show before passing judgement, or at the very least don't fool yourself into thinking you know what they do before actually seeing it first hand.
Message: Posted by: dyrwolf (Mar 1, 2009 07:27AM)
Ditto to the above. Lance Burton and Penn & Teller are the two must see shows in Vegas.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Smith (Mar 1, 2009 01:59PM)
Over the years P & T have exposed magic (NOT legitamate methods that harm others)to many new folks who have become fans and life long supporters of our art.
Message: Posted by: jackstevens (Mar 16, 2009 03:19PM)
Does anyone remember the issue of Genii with Penn and Teller on the cover. They were pictured on a busy street with a sign that read ASK ME ABOUT THE THUMB TIP and Johnny Thompson was looking at them with an expression of shock on his face.
Message: Posted by: Todd Robbins (Mar 16, 2009 08:56PM)
[quote]
On 2009-03-16 16:19, jackstevens wrote:
Does anyone remember the issue of Genii with Penn and Teller on the cover. They were pictured on a busy street with a sign that read ASK ME ABOUT THE THUMB TIP and Johnny Thompson was looking at them with an expression of shock on his face.
[/quote]

Yes, that was a great cover. It was Penn & Teller at their best, making fun of things like this thread.
Message: Posted by: jackstevens (Mar 17, 2009 02:39PM)
Great cover, great issue, one of the greatest Geniis ever published.
Message: Posted by: noble1 (Apr 7, 2009 08:24PM)
Penn and Teller are the best of the best, why does anyone evr give them a hard time for doing a few presentations on the idea of exposing?
Message: Posted by: thehawk (Apr 16, 2009 12:22PM)
I saw them once at Bally's and was not impressed with their show. Would not go to see them again.
Message: Posted by: Todd Robbins (Apr 16, 2009 08:10PM)
They are not to everyone's taste.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Apr 16, 2009 11:33PM)
But are really tasty when covered in secret sauce :)
Message: Posted by: Ray Haining (Apr 17, 2009 12:23AM)
But not so tasty without?
Message: Posted by: msmaster (Apr 17, 2009 02:24PM)
Some should keep their taste in their mouth.
Message: Posted by: noble1 (Apr 17, 2009 04:22PM)
If everyone enjoyed them then by definition they might be considerd average.
Message: Posted by: Ba Ba Booey (Apr 26, 2009 07:04PM)
Penn & Teller put on one of the most entertaining shows in Las Vegas. It's one act I would see again. Go see their show before you say they aren't magicians.

Saying P & T aren't magicians is like saying the Masked Magician is a magician. Have you seen that guy?
Message: Posted by: entropy (May 5, 2009 04:26PM)
I think I've finally realized what irks me so much about the masked magician. It isn't necessarily that he exposes tricks(though that doesn't help), it's that he exposes trick in the dullest, most unimaginative way possible. With all of this ridiculous gesticulating and no showmanship.

Couple that with the fact that the narrator continuously mocks magic, as if to say that magicians are only trying to swindle you and shouldn't pay money for a show since you already know how the tricks are done.

Watching the MM is like having someone come up to you at the video store and say, "Bruce Willis is a ghost, Verbal Kint is Keyser Soze and Soylent Green is made of people".
Message: Posted by: edh (May 5, 2009 07:43PM)
Argggggggg!!!!!! I was going to rent those movies!
Message: Posted by: Financial Planner (Aug 4, 2009 03:36PM)
The message I get from these "exposures" is not one of malice toward magicians, nor simple rebellion. Instead, each exposure seems to serve a direct artistic function in one of the few truly intellectual, original magic shows I've seen.
In an interview with Magic Magazine, Teller claims that he and Penn started with the goal to never insult the intllegence of their audiences. As was pointed out in earlier posts, few truly believe a magician is capable of real miracles. They know there is a secret, whatever it may be, and oftentimes crave it. And when revealed, those same secrets are often dissapointing. So by doing this, what do we learn from Penn and Teller? Secrets are only a small part of what makes magic an experience; Magicians who rely only on the intrigue of "How is that done?" fail to understand that secrets are only a miniscule fragment of the art. What do secrets say about the performer, his world view, his opinions? Nothing at all. Secrets are among the least artisitic and perosnal elements in magic.
Look at several of the pieces which may be considered magical sacrilige. In their flag burning, they expose the intial vanish of the flag. But this exposure says so much about their appreciation of the first ammendment and the American tolerance for ambiguity. Without this exposure, I feel the piece would be greatly diminished.
When Teller does the floating ball,Penn tells the audience it is done with thread. This does not diminish the audience's appreciation for the piece. Instead, we discover that this knowledge is incidental. We know there is a thread, but we still appreciate the beauty and the dexterity behind the piece. The audience realizes, at least on a subconcious level, that secrets are not the most important thing.
Take even the effects without a direct message (not an example of exposure, but serves to drive my point home). Teller's shadow illusion is among the most aestheticly pleasing performances I have seen in any act, magic or otherwise. Performed without distracting music or "bits of business", this is one of the few pure effects in magic, where the effect is the only thing on display. Shadows is such a powerful image, I don't care what the method is. I honestly don't care. The magic is so powerful, it transcends the desire to know "how it's done".
Exposure for exposure's sake is undeniably bad. Damaging? Probably not to the extent that most magicians believe. But the exposures in the Penn and Teller show are carefully calculated, and has a purpose, whether it is to satire other magicians, show the banality of secrets, or show their world view. Penn and Teller transcend these secrets, because the show is about them, their opinions, their passions, and not some store bought tricks and hastily memorized stock lines. To me they are far more meaningful and artisitc than those who hide behind the method, performing "safe" routines verbatim and contributing nothing to this craft. To me, this intellectual and artistic laziness does far more damage than any of this so called "exposure."
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Aug 4, 2009 04:05PM)
If the method is more entertaining than the effect, perform the method.
Message: Posted by: Bill (Aug 4, 2009 06:11PM)
[quote]
On 2009-08-04 16:36, Financial Planner wrote:
The message I get from these "exposures" is not one of malice toward magicians, nor simple rebellion. Instead, each exposure seems to serve a direct artistic function in one of the few truly intellectual, original magic shows I've seen.
In an interview with Magic Magazine, Teller claims that he and Penn started with the goal to never insult the intllegence of their audiences. As was pointed out in earlier posts, few truly believe a magician is capable of real miracles. They know there is a secret, whatever it may be, and oftentimes crave it. And when revealed, those same secrets are often dissapointing. So by doing this, what do we learn from Penn and Teller? Secrets are only a small part of what makes magic an experience; Magicians who rely only on the intrigue of "How is that done?" fail to understand that secrets are only a miniscule fragment of the art. What do secrets say about the performer, his world view, his opinions? Nothing at all. Secrets are among the least artisitic and perosnal elements in magic.
Look at several of the pieces which may be considered magical sacrilige. In their flag burning, they expose the intial vanish of the flag. But this exposure says so much about their appreciation of the first ammendment and the American tolerance for ambiguity. Without this exposure, I feel the piece would be greatly diminished.
When Teller does the floating ball,Penn tells the audience it is done with thread. This does not diminish the audience's appreciation for the piece. Instead, we discover that this knowledge is incidental. We know there is a thread, but we still appreciate the beauty and the dexterity behind the piece. The audience realizes, at least on a subconcious level, that secrets are not the most important thing.
Take even the effects without a direct message (not an example of exposure, but serves to drive my point home). Teller's shadow illusion is among the most aestheticly pleasing performances I have seen in any act, magic or otherwise. Performed without distracting music or "bits of business", this is one of the few pure effects in magic, where the effect is the only thing on display. Shadows is such a powerful image, I don't care what the method is. I honestly don't care. The magic is so powerful, it transcends the desire to know "how it's done".
Exposure for exposure's sake is undeniably bad. Damaging? Probably not to the extent that most magicians believe. But the exposures in the Penn and Teller show are carefully calculated, and has a purpose, whether it is to satire other magicians, show the banality of secrets, or show their world view. Penn and Teller transcend these secrets, because the show is about them, their opinions, their passions, and not some store bought tricks and hastily memorized stock lines. To me they are far more meaningful and artisitc than those who hide behind the method, performing "safe" routines verbatim and contributing nothing to this craft. To me, this intellectual and artistic laziness does far more damage than any of this so called "exposure."
[/quote]

Oh Brother....... How's it go....You can put lipstick on a pig but it's still a pig.
When Pinhead and Tell-all use comments like "Cheesy Birthday Magician" and "Nerds" it an attempt to make magicians laughing stocks,and demean the art, they reveal just who they are....pigs.
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Aug 5, 2009 07:20AM)
[quote]
On 2009-08-04 17:05, Whit Haydn wrote:
If the method is more entertaining than the effect, perform the method.
[/quote]

Oh...that was nice. Very nice.
Message: Posted by: Financial Planner (Aug 5, 2009 08:31PM)
"Oh Brother....... How's it go....You can put lipstick on a pig but it's still a pig.
When Pinhead and Tell-all use comments like "Cheesy Birthday Magician" and "Nerds" it an attempt to make magicians laughing stocks,and demean the art, they reveal just who they are....pigs."

The important distinction here is that they do not demean magic. They demean magicians.

The show reveals a great attention to detail that clearly communicates a respect for the craft (I don't believe their form of exposure degrades magic. My reasoning is in my above post). All satire tends to be directed toward practioners of the art, whether it be fraudulant pyschics or the magic community overall. This mockery is not unfounded; When magicians in general stop being "nerds" or "cheesy birthday magicians", then we can be offended (This is not to say that all magicians are this way, there is a reason that the stereotypical magician is portrayed as incompetant and socially awkward). Until then, it is their show and their preogative to critique who they please.
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Aug 5, 2009 09:03PM)
[quote]
On 2009-08-05 21:31, Financial Planner wrote:
The important distinction here is that they do not demean magic. They demean magicians.
[/quote]

Very perceptive and right on the money. More correctly, they demean lame and cheesy magicians (which by our own admission is a rather large number!)

They've found that the impression of cheesy and dysfunctional magicians resonates with a lot of their audience so it has stayed in their act. Stereotypes don't evolve out of thin air. When we as a whole stop creating that impression on the public, it will no longer work as a vehicle for humor.
Message: Posted by: Todd Robbins (Aug 6, 2009 08:25PM)
This is off topic, but I hear Teller is working on a new theater show with a guy in NYC. I wonder if there will be any exposure in that show.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Aug 6, 2009 08:31PM)
[quote]
On 2009-08-06 21:25, Todd Robbins wrote:
This is off topic, but I hear Teller is working on a new theater show with a guy in NYC. I wonder if there will be any exposure in that show.
[/quote]

The production of Macbeth did not stop to reveal any tricks - so why expect exposure from non P&T projects?
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Aug 6, 2009 09:36PM)
[quote]
On 2009-08-05 22:03, Ray Pierce wrote:
[quote]
On 2009-08-05 21:31, Financial Planner wrote:
The important distinction here is that they do not demean magic. They demean magicians.
[/quote]

Very perceptive and right on the money. More correctly, they demean lame and cheesy magicians (which by our own admission is a rather large number!)

They've found that the impression of cheesy and dysfunctional magicians resonates with a lot of their audience so it has stayed in their act. Stereotypes don't evolve out of thin air. When we as a whole stop creating that impression on the public, it will no longer work as a vehicle for humor.
[/quote]

Respectfully, I disagree. They are not exposing magicians, they are exposing magic. Further, I would posit that you can not demean one without likewise the other.

"Further than that", who are these "cheesy" magicians? I have watched a lot of magicians and, with very few exceptions, have been amazed at their skill and poise. Not to mention, P&T have exposed magic that Copperfield has done. Cheesy?

I know for a fact that there is a lot of skill to a good cups and balls routine. Much practice. But I have seen P&T trash this effect and, by inference, everyone who does it. Cheesy? Not the magic, just the magicians?

I realize that a lot of magicians kneel at the alter of P&T and revel in how entertaining they are. But to me, they demean all of magic, not just "cheesy" magicians, and they do it for the money. Anyone of reasonable imagination could come up with ideas that would bring in the crowds, it just depends where you are willing to set the bar.

They did not invent magic, nor bring it to the point it is today. They are using it, and on the backs of giants. At least the Masked Magician does not seem to need the "mask" of entertainment...

Jim
Message: Posted by: Bill (Aug 6, 2009 11:06PM)
[quote]
On 2009-08-06 22:36, mandarin wrote:
[quote]
On 2009-08-05 22:03, Ray Pierce wrote:
[quote]
On 2009-08-05 21:31, Financial Planner wrote:
The important distinction here is that they do not demean magic. They demean magicians.
[/quote]

Very perceptive and right on the money. More correctly, they demean lame and cheesy magicians (which by our own admission is a rather large number!)

They've found that the impression of cheesy and dysfunctional magicians resonates with a lot of their audience so it has stayed in their act. Stereotypes don't evolve out of thin air. When we as a whole stop creating that impression on the public, it will no longer work as a vehicle for humor.
[/quote]

Respectfully, I disagree. They are not exposing magicians, they are exposing magic. Further, I would posit that you can not demean one without likewise the other.

"Further than that", who are these "cheesy" magicians? I have watched a lot of magicians and, with very few exceptions, have been amazed at their skill and poise. Not to mention, P&T have exposed magic that Copperfield has done. Cheesy?

I know for a fact that there is a lot of skill to a good cups and balls routine. Much practice. But I have seen P&T trash this effect and, by inference, everyone who does it. Cheesy? Not the magic, just the magicians?

I realize that a lot of magicians kneel at the alter of P&T and revel in how entertaining they are. But to me, they demean all of magic, not just "cheesy" magicians, and they do it for the money. Anyone of reasonable imagination could come up with ideas that would bring in the crowds, it just depends where you are willing to set the bar.

They did not invent magic, nor bring it to the point it is today. They are using it, and on the backs of giants. At least the Masked Magician does not seem to need the "mask" of entertainment...

Jim
[/quote]

Right on Mandarin. Well said, and I couldn't agree more.
Message: Posted by: magicnorm (Aug 6, 2009 11:10PM)
Analysis paralysis, we can !@#$% about PT forever but the fact is they keep magic in the publics minds. Like what they do or not ( they are not my cup of tea ) surely we can all realize that there is entertainment out there that we may not like, period. That does not make it void of content or quality. If what they did sucked then their shows would not sell. I've been performing for a long time ( selflless plug ) and have never- repeat never- run into a spectator saying to me " hey I saw PT do this trick and I now know the secrects of magic" let alone " I saw PT and I think lesser of magicians since seeing their show" Holly crap!! They are mega successful at what they do ( give them the credit they deserve ). Use it to your advantage. There's a thought.
Norm
Message: Posted by: Financial Planner (Aug 7, 2009 12:05AM)
Jim,

While I see your point, it is important to distinguish between magic and magicians. Magic, as well as all art forms, has a neutral connotation. It is neither good or bad until a magician performs it. By potraying magicians as "cheesy", they poke fun at those who abuse their craft. Conversely, they support magicians that they feel elevate the art.

I am puzzled when you say that Penn and Teller have "trashed" the cups and balls. Are you refering to their clear cup routine? If so, every layman friend who has seen that trick could not follow the sequence at all, so I feel this can hardly be considered exposure.

As for who these cheesy magicians are, they are plentiful. As Ray Pierce pointed out earlier, if this image did not resonate with the public, P&T would stop mocking them. The magic community is supportive and inclusive, which is both a blessing and a curse. While this atmosphere helps many grow, it also festers a tolerance for incomptetance and even plagirism. This was exemplified by an incident at a convention I once went to, in which someone performed a blatant rip off of another magician's routine. The audience of magicians all knew of the creator and have seen him perform the trick, but they all laughed and applauded at this blatant theivery. There is a point when being supportive hinders artistic growth, and it is this attitude of universal acceptance that creates magicians oblivious to how the public may perceive them. Too many feel entitled to call themselves magicians just because they know the secret, which is no accomplishment at all. (I honestly don't want to start a debate on the faults of the magic community, and realize that these comments are provocative, but I felt this epitomizes the reason that magicians have gained a reputation for being "cheesy").

Magicians repeatedly have said that performance is more important than method, and that presentation is what matters to an audience. Yet, these same people often become horribly upset at those who expose their precious secrets while they use stock lines and standard routines. This lack of originality brands magicians as "cheesy"; It is this laziness that stagnates the art, not any exposure. Penn and Teller show incredible respect for magic through their innovative presentations, as anyone who has seen Shadows, the Flag Burning, Polyester, etc. can attest to. If anything, they change an audience's preconceived notions of cheesy magicians by showing that magic can be an intellectual, artisitc form of entertainment.

Financial Planner
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Aug 7, 2009 07:17AM)
Financial Planner:

I see your point as well, and hope I didn't come across as not being willing to give P&T their props. They are great showmen, and as with many issues there is a lot of grey in the middle of the black and white on this one. And thanks, Bill, for your comments!

Jim
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Aug 7, 2009 12:40PM)
Penn and Teller have been a tremendous asset to magic.

They are very fine magicians and artists--among the best in our artform.

I am truly amazed that so many magicians fail to appreciate the thought, creativity, skill and devotion with which they have approached all of their magical presentations.

I am a big fan.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Aug 7, 2009 06:11PM)
I don't disagree at all with the notion that P&T are very fine magicians and artists.

However the heading is "Right or Wrong" and the question is "How do Penn and Teller justify exposing illusions". I am not at all convinced that asking this question indicates a failure to appreciate their good points. I, for one, concede that they are well-liked, well-known, popular, very fine magicians making more money off the art than most of us could ever dream of.

So, is what they do NOT exposure? Or is it ACCEPTABLE exposure in light of the good points?

Jim
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Aug 7, 2009 06:50PM)
I don't see any reason for Penn and Teller to "justify" to the magic community anything that they do...

I have no quarrel with any of the so-called exposures they commit. They are successful artists doing work that meets repeated success.

We should all be learning from what they do that is working so well; rather than criticizing it.

I think that the so-called "exposure" stuff they do is both good entertainment and good magic.

I think the complaints about it are all misguided and from a narrow and inartistic point of view about magic. It is that narrow vision that they are questioning and needling. The lay audience gets it. I don't see why magicians don't.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Aug 7, 2009 07:33PM)
Anyone who sees the show will come away with a differing point of view. Most of the nagging and complaining comes from those who think they expose for a living.

The show they do is tremendous on so many levels it is tough to comprehend! Forget the misdirection, skill, timing and all that magic stuff we chatter endlessly on about. Their skills in theater are second to none in magic and few outside.
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Aug 11, 2009 04:33AM)
[quote]
On 2009-08-07 19:50, Whit Haydn wrote:
The lay audience gets it. I don't see why magicians don't.
[/quote]

Hm. Makes ya kind of wonder, don't it?
Message: Posted by: lebowski (Aug 11, 2009 07:41AM)
Likely the person who started this thread never saw a Penn and Teller show, perhaps they saw a TV appearance and got the wrong idea about what they actually do.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Aug 11, 2009 08:10AM)
[quote]
On 2009-08-11 05:33, stoneunhinged wrote:
[quote]
On 2009-08-07 19:50, Whit Haydn wrote:
The lay audience gets it. I don't see why magicians don't.
[/quote]

Hm. Makes ya kind of wonder, don't it?
[/quote]

Simple... the audience LIKES exposure...
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Aug 11, 2009 11:42AM)
[quote]
On 2009-08-11 09:10, mandarin wrote:
[quote]
On 2009-08-11 05:33, stoneunhinged wrote:
[quote]
On 2009-08-07 19:50, Whit Haydn wrote:
The lay audience gets it. I don't see why magicians don't.
[/quote]

Hm. Makes ya kind of wonder, don't it?
[/quote]

Simple... the audience LIKES exposure...
[/quote]

Mandarin, I don't think you could be more wrong.

The audience doesn't go to Penn and Teller to find out how tricks work. Exposure is not what they are up to. They fool their audiences badly. They don't insult the intelligence of the audience. They are fine entertainers and very fine magicians--as good as any I have seen.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Aug 11, 2009 02:45PM)
Anyone who thinks Penn and Teller do "exposure" is in despirate need of seeing the show they do in Vegas.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Aug 12, 2009 09:45AM)
Well, Danny, I HAVE seen the show they do in Vegas (this past December), and in Columbus, and their World Tour Vids (for God sake get rid of that music), and various YouTube vids, and I own their "Playing In Traffic" book. I don't just think SOME of what they do is exposure, I have seen it with my own eyes.

Whit, I have earlier conceded that P&P are "fine entertainers and very fine magicians" to use your words. However, that is not what this thread is about and we need to move beyond it and further away from ad hominem.

Please, folks, I am not debating this for practice. I really believe some of what they do is exposure. To my mind, this fact can not be mitigated by their entertainment or magician skills, any more that a great sport's star, let's say, should get off easy for a speeding ticket.

I also believe those who rise to "Star" status have a palpable influence on the young or otherwise impressionable and, therefore, a responsibility for the possible effects of their actions while performing.

I would posit that were their act peppered with smoking cigarette magic, for example, there would be a hue and cry about its influence on the young.

I really think I have a valid point, and that it is not "misguided", from a "narrow and inartistic point of view" (although I fail to see what is wrong with that), or "more wrong" then what I could come up with given an effort in that direction.

Since I have neither the experience nor the stature of those with whom I spar, and seem to be quite alone in my opinion, I shall quit the contest and sink back into the lurking mode. Please allow me to do that...

Thanks, guys.

Jim
Message: Posted by: Donal Chayce (Aug 12, 2009 02:34PM)
[quote]
On 2009-08-12 10:45, mandarin wrote:
Since I have neither the experience nor the stature of those with whom I spar, and seem to be quite alone in my opinion, I shall quit the contest and sink back into the lurking mode. Please allow me to do that...
[/quote]

Permission granted. ;)
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Aug 12, 2009 04:35PM)
[quote]
On 2009-08-12 10:45, mandarin wrote:
Since I have neither the experience nor the stature of those with whom I spar, and seem to be quite alone in my opinion, I shall quit the contest and sink back into the lurking mode. Please allow me to do that...

Thanks, guys.

Jim
[/quote]

No need to do that. Just tell us EXACTLY what they do that is exposure, that is any worse than say a gambling demonstration.
Message: Posted by: MickeyPainless (Aug 12, 2009 09:33PM)
I think P&T's cups and balls routine is one of the most entertaining I've seen!

MMc
Message: Posted by: gkfreed (Aug 13, 2009 05:55PM)
Vernon did it on a small scale in his Cups and Balls, exposing the fake vanish of the small ball then blowing the audience away. Penn&Teller do this on a grander scale.

Do you think the audience comes away from a P&T show thinking, now I know how that's done? Or do they come away thinking, they were just toying with me on the explanantion and now I have NO idea what happened?



These men are master magicians and truly entertaining performers.

But as Dennis Miller so perfectly put it "But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong"
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Aug 14, 2009 08:00AM)
[quote]
On 2009-08-12 17:35, Dannydoyle wrote:
[quote]
On 2009-08-12 10:45, mandarin wrote:
Since I have neither the experience nor the stature of those with whom I spar, and seem to be quite alone in my opinion, I shall quit the contest and sink back into the lurking mode. Please allow me to do that...

Thanks, guys.

Jim
[/quote]

No need to do that. Just tell us EXACTLY what they do that is exposure, that is any worse than say a gambling demonstration.
[/quote]

Well, would their very recent "show" on AGT qualify?
Message: Posted by: markmiller (Aug 14, 2009 01:46PM)
No it doesn't. They actually fool the audience with the method they exposed. Think about it.
Message: Posted by: MickeyPainless (Aug 14, 2009 03:15PM)
[quote]
On 2009-08-13 18:55, gkfreed wrote:

Do you think the audience comes away from a P&T show thinking, now I know how that's done? Or do they come away thinking, they were just toying with me on the explanantion and now I have NO idea what happened?

[/quote]

YES, I think they either come away just as baffled OR some may even be inspired to learn magic themselves because of the fun the experienced watching P&T!

MMc
Message: Posted by: Donal Chayce (Aug 14, 2009 04:57PM)
As an aside, I'm driving to Las Vegas a day early for Magic Live specifically to see P&T tomorrow night. I've been eager to see "The Red Ball", Teller's take on the David Abbott floating ball trick.

P&T are truly artists.
Message: Posted by: MickeyPainless (Aug 14, 2009 05:57PM)
Have FUN and drive safe Donal!
Message: Posted by: noble1 (Aug 14, 2009 05:59PM)
You won't be disappointed the ball is unbelieveable, espescially if you are familiar with the Abbott book you will see how many new innovations are in the routine, impossible to follow.
Message: Posted by: Donal Chayce (Aug 14, 2009 11:33PM)
Thanks, Mickey!
Message: Posted by: Beaulieu (Aug 20, 2009 01:06PM)
Hello everyone,

As a new magician, I can say that P&T definitely sparked my interest in getting involved with magic. I don't know much about their exposure (other than the cup and ball routine) but know that without them, I would not be pursuing magic with the intensity I am now. It appears to be a rough issue with strong feelings on both sides. *sigh* Us new magicians will just sit back and watch. I haven't decided where I sit yet.

~Ben
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Aug 20, 2009 02:20PM)
[quote]
On 2009-08-06 22:36, mandarin wrote:
"Further than that", who are these "cheesy" magicians? I have watched a lot of magicians and, with very few exceptions, have been amazed at their skill and poise. Not to mention, P&T have exposed magic that Copperfield has done. Cheesy?
[/quote]

Well... to them and their audience, yes. They've said as much in shows. "... those cheesy magicians like David Copperfield"

Now, let's look at why that happened.

If you're competing for market share you need to find a way to separate yourself from the pack. When they were starting, David was the golden child of magic and ripe for parody with the carefully manufactured image and wind-in-the-hair iconic poses. They simply said what some of the country was feeling and found an ever increasing audience for their point of view. In other words if it didn't work, they wouldn't have kept doing it.

Would they mock the type of magic I was doing at the time? If I was more well known, of course they would have. They were going after the sacred cows of our time as a calculated gamble in PR. If it didn't work they would have shifted gears and mounted a different approach, but in fact it worked very well for them.

Comedians have frequently mocked magicians... especially when they are on top. In the 80's and 90's when magic was at its peak in Vegas there were merciless comedic attacks on magic and magicians because they were on top and the topic of the decade. Now that magic has faded more from the top spots it is on the decline. You might hear the occasional comedic routine on Criss Angel or David Blaine, but not too often.

This burlesquing of magicians (and yes, even some magic) has evolved into part of the fabric for Penn & Teller's show although their show is a lot more than that, of course.

Yes, they are "using magic" for commercial profit. I actually believe they care a lot about it as well and are passionate about what they do as performers. I don't want to defend any exposure, I just want to be realistic and gain perspective on motivation. I've never seen them expose anything for the sake of exposure. I have them seen them routine an effect where the audience is misdirected by an explanation and is eventually fooled as the result. Is it right to do this? Vernon did, many others have as well. You have to decide this for yourself as it is a personel opinion.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Aug 20, 2009 06:01PM)
Ray-

Your cogent response to part of a post of mine compels me to thank you, notwithstanding that I had back-pedaled out of this debate.

Good to read well-stated and thoughtful opinions, and I can not disagree with what you say.

Regards,

Jim
Message: Posted by: todsky (Sep 2, 2009 08:19PM)
[quote]
On 2009-08-11 08:41, lebowski wrote:
Likely the person who started this thread never saw a Penn and Teller show, perhaps they saw a TV appearance and got the wrong idea about what they actually do.
[/quote]

Well, I never saw them live, but I've seen a few of their performances on the tube. I think I have a good idea about what they actually do: they entertain, and very well.
Message: Posted by: Close.Up.Dave (Sep 6, 2009 11:24AM)
[quote]
Yes, they are "using magic" for commercial profit.
[/quote]

So is every other magician in the world when they do a magic show and get paid. P&T simply use the secrets for profit, which ironically magicians all over the world do too. But in that case its magicians selling secrets to other magicians.

What I love about Penn and Teller is they come across as, "Yes we're magicians but we don't take ourselves so seriously." That to me is what makes their show so unique. If you've ever heard Penn or Teller speak they have a lot more intellect and reasoning behind their magic than most of the people in magic today. I understand why their magic isn't for everyone, but I do think it is something that should be appreciated regardless of whether you like it or not.

I hate to break it to everyone but the public doesn't have the greatest view of magic and magicians. You could have the best slieght of hand and amazing effects but people could walk away feeling like you have insulted their intelligence. Obviously not all feel that way, but the name of the game is entertainment and a lot of people miss that aspect of it. Or, people think of magic as something for little kids and that they are above it.

Human beings involve magic in everyday life. Religion, movies, making wishes, daydreaming are all forms of magic that we interact with almost everyday. But, then why are adult audiences harder to get interested in magic? Obviously we as magicians are doing something wrong. I think P&T show adult audiences how they are secretly interested in magic and why it is fun to like magic. It's hard to find a magic act that addresses these aspects of life because magicians are way more interested in showing off what they can do.

Penn and Teller obviously keep entertainment as their first priority. They break the "fourth wall" and invite their audiences to take a different perspective of magic, which I think, lets their audience have more respect for magic. They are nothing like the masked magician, which is all about saying, "haha magician you can't fool me!" They are magicians who are doing a magic act, why would they want to destroy magic? It's funny to think of it like this, but what's the point of having a show if everyone likes it?
Message: Posted by: base851 (Sep 25, 2009 08:45PM)
I'm with Beaulieu. I've had a fascination with magic ever since watching Doug Henning on TV as a little kid (kind of dating myself there). I've watched a lot of performers in various settings. But if I were to name one act that got me the most interested in actually learning and performing magic, it's would be Penn & Teller.

Why?

In a nutshell... because they're DIFFERENT. They don't take themselves (or anything else) seriously. They're this wild mixture of vaudeville, comedy, magic, social commentary, gross out humor, all rolled into one.

I've watched them on TV and seen their act in Vegas. Comparing them to the Masked Magician is completely ridiculous. Valentino's act IS exposing magic. The only tricks I've seen exposed by P&T are cups & balls, Blast Off & the 7 basic principles. And the last one is debatable because it's clearly a routine they developed specifically for the purposes of showing how it's done.

P&T exposed nothing in the show I saw, nor in the vast majority of TV appearances I've seen them do. The tricks they did were mind blowing and hilarious at the same time.

Now, before people get mad at me, please understand I am NOT saying exposing tricks is OK. Nor am I saying I personally would. I'm saying that as a spectator, as a fan of magic, I absolutely loved all three of the "exposure" routines I listed above. The way they did it made it just that much more entertaining not because they gave away a secret, but because of the way they did it. Cups & balls with clear plastic cups? I've watched that routine over and over and I'm still blown away by how smooth it is and how many I STILL miss. Blast Off is great just because you see Teller frantically scurrying around like he's in a habitrail. The 7 Principles is another one where you're still impressed because of how smoothly and effortlesly it's done.

P&T are that rare type that somehow knows how to find where a line is and walk right up to the very edge... occasionally stick a toe over... but not quite cross.

The Masked Magician seems to want to take the magic away from magic. P&T, even when showing you how a trick is done, somehow manage to make the experience even more magical.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 26, 2009 05:08AM)
The bad news is that more and more people seem to carve "being entertained" rather than finding ways to entertain themselves. This creates and insatiable maw that will be fed by someone -- if not by P&T, then by another. The problem isn't exposing magic, it is people allowing their cravings to run amuck.

The good news is that people watch these shows purely for entertainment. They will also watch the re-runs of P&T and the Masked MAgcian even though they know the outcome. It is a form of senility brought on by boredom rather than old age. Everyone knows how some moves of lInkiong Rings and Cups and Balls are done. They will still watch the re-runs.

The real problem IMHO is that fewer and fewer people will be inerested in doing the work required to become a good magician, when being a bad magician for the sake of entertainment pays better. (bad not having anything to do with skill. Fortunatley, there are those like Whit Haydn who can do good magic and be entertaining -- but he works at it.
Message: Posted by: Todd Robbins (Nov 2, 2009 07:56AM)
I HATE those bad magicians that are entertaining. I like those good magicians that are not entertaining. That's what it is all about.

[quote]
On 2009-09-26 06:08, funsway wrote:
The bad news is that more and more people seem to carve "being entertained" rather than finding ways to entertain themselves. This creates and insatiable maw that will be fed by someone -- if not by P&T, then by another. The problem isn't exposing magic, it is people allowing their cravings to run amuck.

The good news is that people watch these shows purely for entertainment. They will also watch the re-runs of P&T and the Masked MAgcian even though they know the outcome. It is a form of senility brought on by boredom rather than old age. Everyone knows how some moves of lInkiong Rings and Cups and Balls are done. They will still watch the re-runs.

The real problem IMHO is that fewer and fewer people will be inerested in doing the work required to become a good magician, when being a bad magician for the sake of entertainment pays better. (bad not having anything to do with skill. Fortunatley, there are those like Whit Haydn who can do good magic and be entertaining -- but he works at it.
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: Rigonally (Nov 22, 2010 04:20PM)
My goodness. This isn't a thread, it's a tapestry (though that makes it sound a bit more elegant than most of the comments here). All that I would like to add is that Joey Stalin, SWNerndase (and some others) get it right.

Penn and Teller are a couple of the performers who save magic for me, because what they do is smarter, more sophisticated and more experimental than what 90% or more of the other professionals come up with (including those who belong to every prestigious or seemingly prestigious magic club/group around). Their clear cups and balls and blast off acts are some of the only well-conceived, self-reflexive magic pieces that I've seen.

It's a good thing that we have avant-garde artists in magic like Penn and Teller. They force us to think harder about magic as a performing art and about all of its complexities.
Message: Posted by: msmaster (Nov 22, 2010 07:23PM)
Penn and Teller's worst bit is better than just about any other magician's material.
Message: Posted by: Todd Robbins (Nov 23, 2010 12:08PM)
Who are these Penn & Teller guys? Never heard of them.
Message: Posted by: noble1 (Nov 25, 2010 09:19AM)
They're a couple of eccentric guys who learned to do a few cool things..
Message: Posted by: Payne (Nov 25, 2010 04:00PM)
[quote]
On 2010-11-23 13:08, Todd Robbins wrote:
Who are these Penn & Teller guys? Never heard of them.
[/quote]

No reason you should. They're a couple of failed wannabes who can only find work in a major Vegas casino and occasionally on network television. If they were really good at doing magic they'd be out there on that all important lecture circuit or headlining at magic conventions instead of appearing on Letterman or their own Showtime series.
Message: Posted by: Jack Baines (Nov 25, 2010 10:49PM)
Wow, just read this entire thread from start to finish. Mainly for procrastination purposes.

Some people have said some interesting things on here, one or two magicians actually accusing P&T of causing their audience to question everything they do, and ruining the 'magic' of their show. It would seem other magicians either don't have this problem, or more importantly know how to handle or avoid those situations to begin with. Others claiming to have seen many shows and many TV shows of P&T's, giving them authority to discuss them, yet making many factual errors in their descriptions of P&T's performances, almost as though they were lying...

There are clearly two sides to this (duh) and I fall on the side that likes P&T. If it weren't for them, or for Sadowitz, or for other magicians who are also comedians magic would just be stale and boring. Their reveals may irk those who use similar effects in their shows, but I truly doubt it makes any difference what so ever to your audience. Believe it or not the same people who enjoy P&T can also enjoy a good cup and balls or mismade lady routine. If the audience isn't responding in the way you want, its not the fault of people exposing a similar trick, its your presentation. Either that or its a tough crowd, they do exist for every performer of every type.

Magic is an art of many forms, and not all forms will be to everyone's taste. They Don't expose your secrets, its just part of their stage persona. And you may not like this but their the reason most people in their mid 20's to late 30's are into magic today (I haven't taken any surveys, but certainly in the UK it was them and Paul Daniels on TV when I was a kid. I loved Paul Daniels, but P&T made magic far more interesting)

I really get the impression that those who think P&T are exposing secrets that should stay hidden need to see them perform, and if you have, watch it again with an open mind, and if you still think the same, your either one of the cheezy stuffy magicians their taking the **** out of, and don't have a sense of humour. Or you just don't get it, in which case, believe me, their not harming your trade, but you might be by taking your audience for fools.

You cant stop your audience trying to work out the method, and in some cases you will get the smug guy who thinks he knows everything, your performance should be able to handle this, they are at every performance and you will encounter them. They weren't planted there by P&T to destroy you, they are the hecklers at the comedy gig, they are the boo'ers at the music gig, they are the people who say "well I could have done that!" at the art gallery, they are the people who put down special effects in movies "that's obviously not real blood!", they are the people who will rain on everyone's parade, the party poopers, the haters. They are the people who just cant have a good time and think it makes them look smart to tell the performer, or host, or anyone who will listen how stupid they think they are and spoil things for everyone else.
Most people on the other hand are there to enjoy themselves and wont give you any trouble, learn to identify the trouble makers and avoid them, or do something so amazing they cant help but be impressed.

Also people are putting what P&T do in the same boat as copyright issues, this is completely unfair. P&T create acts which use a reveal as part of it, revealing nothing more than what the spectator already knew (the balls get swapped under the cups, of course they do, they don't actually appear by magic, but were not shown the method of the sleight. Teller was running about under the boxes and sticking limbs through, of course he was, he wasn't actually cut into 3 bits and then put back together again. Props made differently will not have the same effect and will still baffle), someone stealing a method, or a performance (using it and pretending its their own) is very wrong, and illegal. As is sharing peoples work without permission of the owner, or giving the secret of a method away (ie. exposing it) if it is original and clearly able to be attributed to an inventor AND specific to someone else's original trick.
These aren't hard and fast rules set in concrete, just my opinions. Also those who have brought up the magicians code; magic performance has moved on. Magicians are illusionists, and we all know it. I'm sorry but you seem to be clinging onto some sort of 1920's mystical notion that while may still be relevant to your performances, are not relevant to most of the magic audience. Most good performance is a battle of wits between the performer and the audience that the performer has to be good enough to win.

Rant over.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Nov 26, 2010 02:27PM)
Jack-

Welcome to the Cafť, and thank you for a thought-provoking post!

Your points are well written, and show a good deal of thought. However, there will always be those who see the situation in somewhat different light.

I think the OP brings up a worthwhile question. I would really like to know why Penn & Teller, seriously good magicians and entertainers, who could play to packed houses until they retire, resort to exposure and degrading of fellow magicians when it is apparently not necessary.

Are there "hacks" in magic? Of course, they are everywhere. Does it help their "fellow" magicians to put this burr under the saddle-mind of a magicians spectator? Without a reason, no. So, what is that reason?

My uncle used to tell me, "anybody can be rich, just depends on what you are willing, or unwilling, to do".

Many would posit that P&T would be wildly popular even without the exposure. That being conceded, then why do they do it ???

Jim










Jim
Message: Posted by: Jack Baines (Nov 26, 2010 08:04PM)
[quote]
On 2010-11-26 15:27, Mr. Mystoffelees wrote:
Jack-

Welcome to the Cafť, and thank you for a thought-provoking post!

Your points are well written, and show a good deal of thought. However, there will always be those who see the situation in somewhat different light.

I think the OP brings up a worthwhile question. I would really like to know why Penn & Teller, seriously good magicians and entertainers, who could play to packed houses until they retire, resort to exposure and degrading of fellow magicians when it is apparently not necessary.

Are there "hacks" in magic? Of course, they are everywhere. Does it help their "fellow" magicians to put this burr under the saddle-mind of a magicians spectator? Without a reason, no. So, what is that reason?

My uncle used to tell me, "anybody can be rich, just depends on what you are willing, or unwilling, to do".

Many would posit that P&T would be wildly popular even without the exposure. That being conceded, then why do they do it ???

Jim
Jim
[/quote]
Thank you for the welcome. And I must say what I've seen of this forum, so far it seems excellent.

Please bear in mind, I made that post after about 2 hours reading through the entire thread at some ridiculous time in the morning here in the UK, putting off some work I had to do for my seminar this afternoon, which as it turns out I was the only one who turned up to, so its a good job I eventually did the work :)

Yeah, I may have been more considered had I been in a normal state of mind. I do understand the arguments against. I do also stand by that some people are giving their opinions on something they only have here say evidence of, and that is most likely on both sides. I personally find P&T very entertaining and for me, their performances in no way demean other magicians. And their insults to other types of performers, while they may be genuinely felt by P&T, are only aspects of THEIR stage persona's.

I suppose it all comes down to whether you have a set in concrete principle of the secrets of magic, ie. die hard magicians coders.

I do disagree with what you say about anyone can be famous, it all depends on what your willing to do (with respect of P&T, in general the statement is certainly true). Look at Derren Brown, he tells his audience that there is no such thing whatsoever as psychic power, and that everything he does he does by subliminal suggestion. The premiss of his act is "look at how skilled I am! This is more amazing simply because there is no psychic power involved!". Then at the end of his shows he exposes his method, leaving out enough, and blatantly lying in some cases for the performance to be amazing for the audience, so much so that he sells out everywhere he performs.

I see a huge parallel between this and P&T. They tell their audience that there is no such thing as real magic and show enough of their method to make what they do seem that much more amazing to the audience, and they too sell out time and time again.

For me this doesn't damage the 'art of magic' but actually adds to it. I suspect that if the Magic Castle had taken this view years ago and not immediately thrown them out for their brilliant cups and balls routine, they would never have become so provocative towards other magicians in their performances.

So yeah, I can see that for many people who hold a certain magic ideology, what they do is completely against the grain of what the magic industry is all about.

For me this is not the case, they are fantastic to watch, and hilarious and add to the art of magic, not detract from it.

Jack

[EDIT]

I remember further back in the thread someone saying they recall Penn on a radio show revealing the method to any trick callers phoned in about. If this is accurate, I certainly cant defend that.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Nov 27, 2010 08:09AM)
Jack-

You are the kind of person with whom I like to debate- articulate, reasoned, not sarcastic- thank you.

My quote was not about fame it was "anybody can be rich, just depends on what you are willing, or unwilling, to do". What I was trying to imply was that, if you substitute "entertaining" for "rich" you come to my quandary with P&T. They ARE entertaining, very much so, so why do they resort to any exposure at all since they don't need to?

I really do not mean to be on their case. I like them, respect them, have seen them be so kind with audience members. In thinking about this, I have concluded it is not P&T that I am responding to, rather those who insist they DO NOT expose. In my opinion they do, and I can't believe it is not blatantly obvious.

Regarding the deprecating remarks, I would be happy if they would just remove "cheesy magicians" from their lexicon. But then, they don't give a rip if I am happy or not so I won't wait for that boon.

I really need to find out more about Derren Brown- I have seen a couple of things, and he looks like he really has a great style. As my hands get stiffer, I think of mentalism as a future destination...

Good to converse with you, Jack...

Jim
Message: Posted by: Jack Baines (Nov 27, 2010 09:32AM)
Its great to debate with people such as yourself too Jim, articulate, reasoned, not sarcastic are all words which describe your debating style as well, and I appreciate that.

It seems clear that people with different tastes and/or principles will never agree on this. Their style is not purely magic, their blast off routine for example, magic at first, then pure slapstick. Teller could be the Buster Keaton of the comedy circuit :)

So different strokes for different folks I guess.

I wonder how many people would be into magic these days if it wasn't for people such as P&T, or even the masked magician (who I'm not particularly keen on) or people giving away the odd secret. I think it shows people that magic is accessible, you can do it too sort of idea.
Not good for people who want to feel their part of an exclusive club, great for people like me who would almost certainly never have got an interest in the art otherwise. I suppose it all comes down to balance, and people will always draw the line in different places. No bad thing.

Jack.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Nov 28, 2010 09:07AM)
No bad thing at all, Jack.

The Buster Keaton comment is spot on- I had not thought of it before, but Teller even has that Keaton smirk!

Jim
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Nov 28, 2010 10:25AM)
[quote]
On 2009-11-02 08:56, Todd Robbins wrote:
I HATE those bad magicians that are entertaining. I like those good magicians that are not entertaining. That's what it is all about.

[/quote]

What's most interesting to me about this thread is not the issue at hand, but those pearls dropped by the giants (in my book) like Whit and Todd.

This sentence will give me a whole evening of thinking material.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Nov 28, 2010 05:18PM)
So, what does it say to you?
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Nov 29, 2010 10:20AM)
Do you mean Todd's statement? It says that if one is a good magician, the entertainment is the magic itself, rather than something "added on" in a misguided attempt to be "entertaining".
Message: Posted by: AsL (Nov 29, 2010 12:14PM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-06 12:24, Close.Up.Dave wrote:
[quote]
Yes, they are "using magic" for commercial profit.
[/quote]

So is every other magician in the world when they do a magic show and get paid. P&T simply use the secrets for profit, which ironically magicians all over the world do too. But in that case its magicians selling secrets to other magicians.

What I love about Penn and Teller is they come across as, "Yes we're magicians but we don't take ourselves so seriously." That to me is what makes their show so unique. If you've ever heard Penn or Teller speak they have a lot more intellect and reasoning behind their magic than most of the people in magic today. I understand why their magic isn't for everyone, but I do think it is something that should be appreciated regardless of whether you like it or not.

I hate to break it to everyone but the public doesn't have the greatest view of magic and magicians. You could have the best slieght of hand and amazing effects but people could walk away feeling like you have insulted their intelligence. Obviously not all feel that way, but the name of the game is entertainment and a lot of people miss that aspect of it. Or, people think of magic as something for little kids and that they are above it.

Human beings involve magic in everyday life. Religion, movies, making wishes, daydreaming are all forms of magic that we interact with almost everyday. But, then why are adult audiences harder to get interested in magic? Obviously we as magicians are doing something wrong. I think P&T show adult audiences how they are secretly interested in magic and why it is fun to like magic. It's hard to find a magic act that addresses these aspects of life because magicians are way more interested in showing off what they can do.

Penn and Teller obviously keep entertainment as their first priority. They break the "fourth wall" and invite their audiences to take a different perspective of magic, which I think, lets their audience have more respect for magic. They are nothing like the masked magician, which is all about saying, "haha magician you can't fool me!" They are magicians who are doing a magic act, why would they want to destroy magic? It's funny to think of it like this, but what's the point of having a show if everyone likes it?
[/quote]

After quickly skimming through this topic, I really enjoyed this post...
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Nov 29, 2010 03:50PM)
[quote]
On 2010-11-29 11:20, stoneunhinged wrote:
Do you mean Todd's statement? It says that if one is a good magician, the entertainment is the magic itself, rather than something "added on" in a misguided attempt to be "entertaining".
[/quote]

Yes, I was asking about the quote in your post. Thanks for your response.

Jim
Message: Posted by: Jack Baines (Nov 30, 2010 07:54PM)
[quote]
On 2010-11-29 11:20, stoneunhinged wrote:
Do you mean Todd's statement? It says that if one is a good magician, the entertainment is the magic itself, rather than something "added on" in a misguided attempt to be "entertaining".
[/quote]

Surly though magic can be just one part of a performers entertaining repertoire. And if whatever else is part of that repertoire (not "added in") is successfully entertaining people then it is not misguided, but a good routine which people will enjoy, and therefore the performer is a good performer.

And bare in mind that audiences are intelligent, and want to be entertained. That is why they pay their money.

To me the quote was being sarcastic, mocking an earlier post which discussed magic skill vs. entertainment and took a dim view of people who would rather see a show to be entertained. Todd's statement to me said that obviously no one will want to see a magician, no matter how skilled, if they are not entertaining over another performer who is entertaining, however skilled they may be. And I agree.

I apologise right now if I have misrepresented anyone's views. If I have, please correct me.

Jack.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Nov 30, 2010 10:11PM)
On 2009-11-02 08:56, Todd Robbins wrote:
"I HATE those bad magicians that are entertaining. I like those good magicians that are not entertaining. That's what it is all about."

An oversimplification, perhaps, but that seems to leave:

(A) bad magicians who are not entertaining, and
(B) good magicians who are entertaining.

Is this a fair assumption?
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Dec 1, 2010 05:18AM)
Here's a question to ponder...

If the Masked Magician was really entertaining, would what he did then be ok?
Message: Posted by: AsL (Dec 1, 2010 09:42AM)
[quote]
On 2010-12-01 06:18, Pakar Ilusi wrote:
Here's a question to ponder...

If the Masked Magician was really entertaining, would what he did then be ok?
[/quote]

I don't think anybody's going to agree with that answer. It's safe to say that he'd be given more credit from magicians than he currently is. If nothing else, we'd all have the "entertainment" process in common....something he lacks with magicians but excels with the lay audience.
Message: Posted by: Jack Baines (Dec 1, 2010 09:56AM)
[quote]
On 2010-12-01 10:42, AsL wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-12-01 06:18, Pakar Ilusi wrote:
Here's a question to ponder...

If the Masked Magician was really entertaining, would what he did then be ok?
[/quote]

I don't think anybody's going to agree with that answer. It's safe to say that he'd be given more credit from magicians than he currently is. If nothing else, we'd all have the "entertainment" process in common....something he lacks with magicians but excels with the lay audience.
[/quote]

But they 'lay audience' are intelligent. And are they not the ones who we are magicians are supposed to entertain? If magicians were only entertaining to other magicians what would be the point? If that's the case they should stick to magic seminars because their clearly not doing their job as a performer properly.

And to the other post, it's an oxymoron. If the masked magician was entertaining he would have an act other than just exposing magic tricks, but he doesn't. If he did then I would debate it. And if he did yes, I would far rather watch him than a very skilled magician who has no performance ability's, but again, he doesn't so there is no use in debating it.
I honestly think pretty much no one knows who he is except magicians.
Message: Posted by: Jack Baines (Dec 1, 2010 10:03AM)
[quote]
On 2010-11-30 23:11, Mr. Mystoffelees wrote:
On 2009-11-02 08:56, Todd Robbins wrote:
"I HATE those bad magicians that are entertaining. I like those good magicians that are not entertaining. That's what it is all about."

An oversimplification, perhaps, but that seems to leave:

(A) bad magicians who are not entertaining, and
(B) good magicians who are entertaining.


Is this a fair assumption?
[/quote]

Presumably it can be taken for granted that people like good magicians who are entertaining and don't like bad magicians who are not entertaining. But if a magicians job is entertainment, which of course it is, then should we really hold entertaining bad magicians in a lower regard than non entertaining skilled ones?
Message: Posted by: Jack Baines (Dec 1, 2010 10:10AM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-26 06:08, funsway wrote:
The bad news is that more and more people seem to carve "being entertained" rather than finding ways to entertain themselves. This creates and insatiable maw that will be fed by someone -- if not by P&T, then by another. The problem isn't exposing magic, it is people allowing their cravings to run amuck.

The good news is that people watch these shows purely for entertainment. They will also watch the re-runs of P&T and the Masked MAgcian even though they know the outcome. It is a form of senility brought on by boredom rather than old age. Everyone knows how some moves of lInkiong Rings and Cups and Balls are done. They will still watch the re-runs.

The real problem IMHO is that fewer and fewer people will be inerested in doing the work required to become a good magician, when being a bad magician for the sake of entertainment pays better. (bad not having anything to do with skill. Fortunatley, there are those like Whit Haydn who can do good magic and be entertaining -- but he works at it.
[/quote]

This is the post Todd was responding to. I think we have perhaps taken an off the cuff comment, simply meant to point out that this was an ill thought out post which made little sense and was also fairly inaccurate (I'm sorry funsway, but I do feel this way about your assessment of the value of entertainment) and ran too far with it.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Dec 1, 2010 11:17PM)
I think that the whole question of justifying any exposure is moot really...

Everyone does whatever they want anyway with no repercussions whatsoever.

Why should P&T justify anything? To whom? The "rest of us"? For what?

Really, think about it.
Message: Posted by: TonyB2009 (Dec 3, 2010 09:44PM)
[quote]
On 2010-11-29 11:20, stoneunhinged wrote:
Do you mean Todd's statement? It says that if one is a good magician, the entertainment is the magic itself, rather than something "added on" in a misguided attempt to be "entertaining".
[/quote]
Or perhaps Todd was just being ironic?
Message: Posted by: Todd Robbins (Dec 5, 2010 01:02AM)
I would probably vote for that ironic thing. Maybe even adding in a bit of sarcasm.

[quote]
On 2010-12-03 22:44, TonyB2009 wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-11-29 11:20, stoneunhinged wrote:
Do you mean Todd's statement? It says that if one is a good magician, the entertainment is the magic itself, rather than something "added on" in a misguided attempt to be "entertaining".
[/quote]
Or perhaps Todd was just being ironic?
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Dec 5, 2010 02:33AM)
Todd, your vote doesn't count. Since you said it, you can hardly interpret it.

Think about it.

I vote for my interpretation. :jump:
Message: Posted by: HerbLarry (Dec 5, 2010 01:51PM)
[quote]
On 2010-12-02 00:17, Pakar Ilusi wrote:
I think that the whole question of justifying any exposure is moot really...

Everyone does whatever they want anyway with no repercussions whatsoever.

Why should P&T justify anything? To whom? The "rest of us"? For what?

Really, think about it.
[/quote]

:applause: :applause: :applause:
Message: Posted by: Brainbu$ter (May 17, 2012 02:44AM)
So he doesn't take himself seriously. That's wonderful.
But the problem is that he's not telling HIS OWN secrets.
He didn't invent the Mismade Lady, or the Cups & Balls.
When performers go on to Fool Us, and at the end Penn just
spits out all the jargon and methods (sounds to me like he's bragging that
he caught the magician out), Penn himself wouldn't be able to survive that after
his Las Vegas show.
What if, after every effect P&T do in Vegas, the audience can chime in, discuss
how they think it's done, and walk up on stage and examine all the props. Really?

How would they feel if I exposed their Bullet Catch secret?
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (May 17, 2012 04:10PM)
You can't expose anything that's on the open market. Once your uncle's second cousin can walk into a magic shop and say "i want to buy one of those" ... it's exposed. Once a self rightous reporter or lawyer takes it upon himself to set down detailed descriptions of how other people's tricks are done - the secrets are out... and available in the papers and then in Dover paperback.
You can show what is described, illustrated etc in a book that's on the shelf in your local bookstore, library ... not a biggie aside from how that might affect other tricks you do later using that principle. Similarly giving a non-performer any information about how any item is done can propagate the information very far very quickly and you may well wind up hearing about it the next time you perform a trick. Nothing like being asked about light up thumb thingies by a stranger at the bar who just heard you do magic as a hobby.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (May 17, 2012 08:25PM)
"You can't expose anything that's on the open market."

I am not sure I agree, but give us your word for bringing to light, to the masses, something that is open-knowledge but not commonly known. Disclose, perhaps...
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (May 17, 2012 08:56PM)
:D I hear The Electric Company exposed the mystery of the number that is one more than three. Terrible! How could they give away for free what's in my "mystery of the number that is more than three volume one" secret files available only to select subscribers. :D

IE - just who is claiming what is a secret (to be kept by who and from who?) ?? ;)

The way I think about it in context is to imagine the Secret brand deodorant commercial slogan playing while listening to reading magicians discuss "secret" product. Strong enough for a salesman ... but kept from a magician.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (May 17, 2012 09:48PM)
[quote]
On 2012-05-17 21:25, A nice person asked about:...word for bringing to light, to the masses, something that is open-knowledge but not commonly known. ...
[/quote]

Like report, teach, comedy(observational), and what documentary producers/narrators do 'infotainment'

What's missing in the above is any sense of the allure of illicit or illgotten knowledge somehow cleansed of its attendant responsibility for a few dollars and a wink.

I don't see P&T seeking to despoil magic tricks by revealing the mechanics. IMHO they are both aware of the difference between presenting a fraudulent claim, a puzzle and something that is meant to be taken in like a painting or play.
Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (May 18, 2012 04:42PM)
For P&T's definitive answer (and it really does answer a lot) see [url=http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/Teller-Reveals-His-Secrets.html]HIS NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC ARTICLE[/url].

Should be a thread-stopper.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (May 18, 2012 05:16PM)
I wish it were a start to many threads on "did this work for you" topics.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (May 19, 2012 08:12AM)
Yeah, a thread-stopper- it all makes sense now- that's what magicians should do at the end of every show...
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (May 19, 2012 08:30AM)
[quote]
On 2012-05-19 09:12, Mr. Mystoffelees wrote:
Yeah, a thread-stopper- it all makes sense now- that's what magicians should do at the end of every show...
[/quote]

"that's" - what specifically?
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (May 19, 2012 09:08AM)
Explain to the waiting audience exactly how each trick worked and how they were fooled... is that not what Teller did in the NG article? Would someone who read that article and then attended a magic show where those effects just happened to be on the program have the same sense of awe... or ANY sense of awe??
Message: Posted by: Brainbu$ter (May 19, 2012 02:36PM)
That article is not really a direct answer to this issue. There are some effects e ehose methods eclipse the intrigue of the effects. That is when we are seduced to expose the secret.

Most methods however are embarrassingly disappointing.

Some spectators are saddened to discover such secret. Why do you insist on depriving them of the mystery?
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (May 19, 2012 02:50PM)
The NG article is more of a lecture than model of a show.
He introduces his topic, then discusses the seven ideas and then...
offers a sample effect in text - and proceeds to use a methods discussion to reinforce the ideas.
Most performer's shows are not of that format.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (May 19, 2012 03:00PM)
[quote]
On 2012-05-19 15:36, Brainbu$ter wrote:

Why do you insist on depriving them of the mystery?
[/quote]

Who is "you"?
Message: Posted by: Brainbu$ter (May 19, 2012 10:46PM)
P&T. There's a difference between someone seeking out a method in the library, or purchasing the secret, or trading it within the fraternity, and P&T who promiscuously expose secrets when unsolicited and for no reason.
When a magician is asked, "How did you do that?" There are many replies which are all to the effect,
"It's a secret."
When Penn was asked this question, he simply answered with the method (not only to the questioner, but to a mixed, broad audience).
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (May 19, 2012 11:43PM)
BB - in regards to Penn's behavior, where was this?
Message: Posted by: Brainbu$ter (May 20, 2012 05:33AM)
Page 1 of this thread, by Starpower:

"I remember back in the 80's when P&T were just getting popular, Penn appeared on a Chicago radio show. People called in asking how tricks were done, and Penn explained everything asked for. I vividly recall him explaining the Broom Suspension, talking about an incident where a girl was pinched by the gimmick and started bleeding. There was no reason, there was no theatrical presentation --- he was simply dispensing secrets."
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (May 20, 2012 11:26AM)
Thanks BB, I was not aware of this firsthand.
Have you seen or heard a show where either of the discuss methods in context?
Has anyone else witnessed a more recent incident of this kind of behavior?

Exposure seems an unproductive way to elicit the experience of disappointment in audiences.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (May 20, 2012 04:58PM)
[quote]
On 2012-05-19 23:46, Brainbu$ter wrote:
P&T. There's a difference between someone seeking out a method in the library, or purchasing the secret, or trading it within the fraternity, and P&T who promiscuously expose secrets when unsolicited and for no reason.
When a magician is asked, "How did you do that?" There are many replies which are all to the effect,
"It's a secret."
When Penn was asked this question, he simply answered with the method (not only to the questioner, but to a mixed, broad audience).
[/quote]

I agree totally. One has only to watch their DVD of not only exposing, but giving out the props and teaching, the thumb tip to an audience of a thousand or so chinese to be disgusted. If it were their invention, then it is theirs to give away, but I don't think they invented the thumb tip. Correction: I don't agree that they do it "for no reason", much worse- they do it for the almighty dollar...

Jim
Message: Posted by: Brainbu$ter (May 20, 2012 11:35PM)
Jonathan Townsend: "Exposure seems an unproductive way to elicit the experience of disappointment."

Can you remember the way laypeople talked about David Blaine before the Balducci Levitation became a party gag?

Falling from the belief, "He floated off the ground," to "He just stood on one tiptoe," is called disappointment.

JT, am I correct in interpreting your posts that you support P&T's exposures (or disclosures) of others' secrets?
Message: Posted by: Payne (May 21, 2012 11:28AM)
[quote]
On 2012-05-20 17:58, Mr. Mystoffelees wrote:

I agree totally. One has only to watch their DVD of not only exposing, but giving out the props and teaching, the thumb tip to an audience of a thousand or so chinese to be disgusted. If it were their invention, then it is theirs to give away, but I don't think they invented the thumb tip. Correction: I don't agree that they do it "for no reason", much worse- they do it for the almighty dollar...

Jim
[/quote]

I don't see the Magician's National Anthem routibne as exposure. It was a teaching moment :) They taught a theatre full of fans a trick that they then could go out and fool their friends with. It is little different than selling slum magic in the bsack of the room after a magic show. something that hundreds and hundreds of magicians do every year. The thumb tip and little hanky was included in the price of admission so they in effect sold each member of the audience the trick. The trick itself wasn't exposed on the broadcast. At least the one I saw. But then the audience wasn't all Chinese so you might be reffering to a different telecast. The show I saw had Penn and Teller doing the vanishing hanky trick with the audience following along. They never showed the thumb tip or refered to a fake or plastic thumb. The just walked the audience through the tired old presentation with the same banal patter that far too many magicians use. It was a very clever and funny bit.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (May 21, 2012 03:31PM)
If that works for you- it just doesn't for me. I do not find "clever and funny" sufficient reason to expose magic. So, Teller must be suing because the other magician was not clever and funny enough? :)
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (May 21, 2012 04:15PM)
[quote]
On 2012-05-21 00:35, Brainbu$ter wrote:...JT, am I correct in interpreting your posts that you support P&T's exposures (or disclosures) of others' secrets?
[/quote]

You have the right to interpret what you read as you please and I would be incorrect in even suggesting otherwise.

What have I written that suggests I condone exposure?
Message: Posted by: Brainbu$ter (May 21, 2012 11:54PM)
[quote]
On 2012-05-17 17:10, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
You can't expose anything that's on the open market. Once your uncle's second cousin can walk into a magic shop and say "i want to buy one of those" ... it's exposed. Once a self rightous reporter or lawyer takes it upon himself to set down detailed descriptions of how other people's tricks are done - the secrets are out...
[/quote]

This is what I was referring to. I may have misinterpreted you. Are you saying that because the secrets are out, it makes no difference whether we expose them on national tv?
Message: Posted by: Brainbu$ter (May 21, 2012 11:57PM)
Jonathan Townsend,
I asked for the meaning you intended, not the interpretation that pleases me.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (May 22, 2012 05:18AM)
As far as I've understood what I've written - it's been consistently against open discussion of methods.
I see it as a kind of negative education where you trade curiosity and wonder for trivia.
The usual example is turning faeries into fireflies.
Doing that with other people's work, especially without their permission seems a strange act to reward in our craft.

How many here know the origin of the TT and silk bit? Or the spring flower production item? The multiplying billiards? The ace assembly trick using gaffs?

And for those who do know, of the latest versions of those items to hit print - how many are even comparable much less greatly improved (from audience perspective) to the originals?

In more open dialog I'd ask: what does a thing do for the audience?
As regards the P&T hank vanish item - what does it do for them at the show and how did that affect them after the show - what did they take home?
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (May 22, 2012 08:46AM)
[quote]
On 2012-05-22 06:18, Jonathan Townsend wrote:

I see it as a kind of negative education where you trade curiosity and wonder for trivia.
The usual example is turning faeries into fireflies.

[/quote]

Jonathan- priceless!

Jim
Message: Posted by: Brainbu$ter (May 22, 2012 10:36AM)
That's a good point.
I'm glad we're in agreement.
I like your name.
Message: Posted by: Atom3339 (May 22, 2012 11:06AM)
I invest too much money, time and hard work (practice) to give away our secrets so easily. Let's not forget the VALUE of exclusive knowledge. No casting pearls before swine.
Message: Posted by: Payne (May 22, 2012 02:26PM)
[quote]
On 2012-05-22 12:06, Atom3339 wrote:
I invest too much money, time and hard work (practice) to give away our secrets so easily. Let's not forget the VALUE of exclusive knowledge. No casting pearls before swine.
[/quote]

I suppose it's all relative. I too invest a great deal of time money and resources in the art and craft of magic and yet I have no issue with the supposed exposures of Penn and Teller. In fact I hold the duo in high regard for their elevation of magic in the eyes of the general public. In all my years of performing I've never had anyone come up to me after a show and tell me they knew how I did a certain effect because they saw Penn and Teller expose it. Does anyone know anybody who has?

As Jim Steinmeyer has pointed out on numerous occasions. Magician's have been guarding an empty box. The secrets of magic are long gone. Cast to the four winds ages ago. The age of exclusive knowledge is a distant memory, if it ever really existed at all.
Message: Posted by: Akil (May 22, 2012 03:16PM)
But think of all the people who never would have come to magic had it not been for some of the exposures. It cuts down on some of the mass hysteria too, like the people who think magi are devil worshipers. I'm not saying what they are doing is necessarily good, because they do sell out some major secrets...But, it is just one of those "necessary evils" so to speak. I think they should use a little moderation.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (May 22, 2012 05:14PM)
[quote]
On 2012-05-22 15:26, Payne wrote:
...As Jim Steinmeyer has pointed out on numerous occasions. Magician's have been guarding an empty box. The secrets of magic are long gone. Cast to the four winds ages ago. The age of exclusive knowledge is a distant memory, if it ever really existed at all.
[/quote]

Some folks get all grouchy when the methods for Jim Steinmeyer's craft and tricks get discussed. It gets even more interesting when the topic of the Hooker card act comes up. Much as I admire and respect Jarrow, Harbin and Steinmeyer's work in design and craftsmanship I still find his position hypocritical on this matter. His safe is locked, full of his work and I respect that. How do you accept his claim about an "educated" audience when he's not educating audiences to appreciate his own work?
Message: Posted by: Jim Sparx (May 23, 2012 11:00PM)
Maybe the solution to exposure is to invent stuff no one else knows how to do, and keep your mouth shut. My wife doesn't know how I do stuff. And she does stuff that I have no idea why she does it, other than just to aggravate me.
Message: Posted by: Payne (May 24, 2012 10:25AM)
[quote]
On 2012-05-22 18:14, Jonathan Townsend wrote:

How do you accept his claim about an "educated" audience when he's not educating audiences to appreciate his own work?

[/quote]

Isn't he? He's received a certain amount of flack in the magic community for revealing basic illusion methods in his non-fiction work like "Hiding the Elephant" "Thurston: The world's Greatest Magician" and "The Glorious Deception". Methods that he didn't originate and many of which he employs in his illusion designs.
Message: Posted by: Payne (May 24, 2012 10:27AM)
[quote]
On 2012-05-24 00:00, spartacus wrote:
Maybe the solution to exposure is to invent stuff no one else knows how to do, and keep your mouth shut. My wife doesn't know how I do stuff. And she does stuff that I have no idea why she does it, other than just to aggravate me.
[/quote]

Really not possible. Pretty much anything anyone does can be backward engineered. I don't think there has eve been an illusion created that wasn't knocked off or duplicated within months of it appearing onstage.
Message: Posted by: Akil (May 24, 2012 11:56AM)
I'm sure that P&T aren't revealing how they do their stunts out of malicious intent...besides in many of their stage shows, they still incorporate phenomenon that is unexplained to the viewers.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (May 24, 2012 08:47PM)
[quote]
On 2012-05-24 11:27, Payne wrote:
[quote]
On 2012-05-24 00:00, spartacus wrote:
Maybe the solution to exposure is to invent stuff no one else knows how to do, and keep your mouth shut. My wife doesn't know how I do stuff. And she does stuff that I have no idea why she does it, other than just to aggravate me.
[/quote]

Really not possible. Pretty much anything anyone does can be backward engineered. I don't think there has eve been an illusion created that wasn't knocked off or duplicated within months of it appearing onstage.
[/quote]

Nobody can duplicate Shadows... Penn said so...
Message: Posted by: Payne (May 25, 2012 11:33AM)
[quote]
On 2012-05-24 21:47, Mr. Mystoffelees wrote:

Nobody can duplicate Shadows... Penn said so...

[/quote]

It's not the secret of Shadows that Teller (not Penn) is trying to protect. It is the duplication of his performance of the piece that he is suing over. Two completely different things. Secrets are not presentations. Or at least they shouldn't be. I fear this is why so many have such a knee jerk reaction to exposure. The secret is all they have. They foolishly rely on the secret to provide the entertainment and mystery of the piece instead of their own performing skills.
Tellers shadows isn't a particularly mystifying piece. Especially in this day of audio-animatronics, micro circuitry and remote control devices. Even though it probably employs none of these advance technologies. But still the audience will conclude (however falsely) that Teller is just timing his actions to a mechanical device of some sort disguised as a flower. He may not be fooling anyone with this interlude. But he is entertaining them. The message is more important than the mystery and not everything in a magic show needs "Deep Methods"
Message: Posted by: Slim King (May 25, 2012 09:36PM)
I think there will be some EXPOSURE about Penn and Tellers involvement on May 29th. At least a nail will be placed where it had been hiding. :bat:
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (May 26, 2012 12:03AM)
Exposure to whom and involvement in what?
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (May 26, 2012 09:25AM)
NOW we have something to chew on! What could it be? How 'bout some hints??

One thing of interest, looks like Penn has turned some sort of corner- several interviews on non-magical topics including politics. Perhaps he is becoming a talking head pundit... 'bout time magicians got some respect!
Message: Posted by: Todd Robbins (May 27, 2012 09:45PM)
Penn has been featured on CNN and many other channels speaking about a number of non-magic topics for years. And Teller has written a number of reviews and op-ed pieces for the NY Times and other publications.
Message: Posted by: gdw (May 28, 2012 04:44PM)
[quote]
On 2012-05-26 10:25, Mr. Mystoffelees wrote:
NOW we have something to chew on! What could it be? How 'bout some hints??

One thing of interest, looks like Penn has turned some sort of corner- several interviews on non-magical topics including politics. Perhaps he is becoming a talking head pundit... 'bout time magicians got some respect!
[/quote]

Certainly nothing new for Penn, but perhaps he is simply getting more exposure with it.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (May 29, 2012 07:51AM)
Well, here we are, the 29th...
Message: Posted by: Todd Robbins (May 31, 2012 08:17AM)
[quote]
On 2012-05-25 22:36, Slim King wrote:
I think there will be some EXPOSURE about Penn and Tellers involvement on May 29th. At least a nail will be placed where it had been hiding. :bat:
[/quote]

Nope.
Message: Posted by: Todd Robbins (May 31, 2012 08:19AM)
[quote]
On 2012-05-29 08:51, Mr. Mystoffelees wrote:
Well, here we are, the 29th...
[/quote]

There was a hope by some that the 29th would be the day JREF came tumbling down and take Penn & Teller with it. I think these people also created teh Mayan calendar.
Message: Posted by: gdw (May 31, 2012 09:45AM)
[quote]
On 2012-05-31 09:19, Todd Robbins wrote:
[quote]
On 2012-05-29 08:51, Mr. Mystoffelees wrote:
Well, here we are, the 29th...
[/quote]

There was a hope by some that the 29th would be the day JREF came tumbling down and take Penn & Teller with it. I think these people also created teh Mayan calendar.
[/quote]

:rotf:
Message: Posted by: Payne (May 31, 2012 11:12AM)
[quote]
On 2012-05-31 09:19, Todd Robbins wrote:

There was a hope by some that the 29th would be the day JREF came tumbling down and take Penn & Teller with it. I think these people also created the Mayan calendar.

[/quote]

They didn't create it, but probably believed in it. :)