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Topic: What is wrong with magicians sharing their secrets?
Message: Posted by: cafeinst (Sep 24, 2009 10:51AM)
I'm not so new to magic; the first time I did magic was maybe 35 years ago. I learned then that a magician shouldn't give away his secrets. I never really questioned this principle until now. What is the reason for this?

Isn't sharing knowledge a good thing? For instance, you can learn pretty much anything on the internet, except magic secrets. Granted, many tricks have been exposed on the internet, but most have not.

Craig
Message: Posted by: zippyfix (Sep 24, 2009 11:04AM)
In my oppinion it all depends on who and why you share. If I meet a fellow magician who honestly wants to learn a trick that I know I will usually show them how its done. Of course if its a trick that requires a gaff I will normally point them to the place I got the trick so that they can purchase it themselves. I wont ever teach anything that have bought because I don't have a right to it.

Now to a lay person I would never show how to do a trick. To show them is to remove the magic and mystery to the trick. I feel the heart and soul of magic is that it appears well magical. That something that shouldnt happen did and they don't know why.

Do you remember when you were a child and your parents told you a certain jolly fella wasnt real. I still recall that, and my world became less magical, less special.

So yes sharing knowlege with people that want to learn magic for the right reasons is a good thing. Sharing just becasue someone wants to know how a trick is done is not.
Message: Posted by: Johnny Butterfield (Sep 24, 2009 11:16AM)
To a layperson, "magic" is outside of normal cause and effect - its cause is outside nature.

To reveal the cause changes it from "inexplicable event" to "mundane, sneaky thing."

It's miraculous if coins go from one hand to the other with no possible cause within nature.

It's mundane if the coins go from one hand to the other due to some technique.

That's how I see it, anyway.
Message: Posted by: B Hackler (Sep 24, 2009 12:09PM)
So you mean to tell me that the jolly fella isn't real? (LOL)

I totally agree with everything said about not exposing the secrets. If all of the secrets were out what would be the point of being a magician. Lay people look at magician as sombody that can make the impossible happen. Well without secrets the impossible can't happen.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 24, 2009 12:27PM)
Whiel in agreement, it is sometimes a good idea to teach an audience how to do a trick -- something simple like Aair's Butterflies, that si a puzzle rather than a trick. At a party of 12 yr olds you can send each home with a special memory and might plant a seed of magic for their entire life. This also diverts any request of how to show them something else as they all sware not to reveal how thier new trick is done.
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Sep 24, 2009 12:33PM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-24 12:16, Fman111 wrote:
To a layperson, "magic" is outside of normal cause and effect - its cause is outside nature.
To reveal the cause changes it from "inexplicable event" to "mundane, sneaky thing."
It's miraculous if coins go from one hand to the other with no possible cause within nature.
It's mundane if the coins go from one hand to the other due to some technique.
That's how I see it, anyway.
[/quote]

That's basically the answer from an entertainment perspective. If the audience is simply watching you manipulate things, magic loses most of its entertainment value. It's different than watching a good guitar player - there I am only enjoying his technique and the results; in magic, they don't want to see or even know about the technique. It's like seeing the wires when Superman flies - you are jarred out of your word of wonder.

From a business perspective, there are people who sweat blood and invested great time and energy into creating and publishing tricks and routines. Don't they deserve their just due profits? If you believe this, you'll honor them by not giving away their creations for free.

Third, there is much to be said for not giving it all up even to someone who claims to be a magician. We tend to value what we work for much more than what we are simply given. Sometimes it's better to point them to a book or other learning resource and require them to "pay their dues". If you have to dig the method out of a book and work at refining it to fit your performing method, it will be "yours" much more than if someone just gave it to you.

And that part about making it fit "your" performance helps new magicians by (a) helping them to figure out who they are and why they are doing _that_ move, and (b) moving them away from simply being a copy of someone else.

Ed
Message: Posted by: scaevola (Sep 24, 2009 02:55PM)
"Third, there is much to be said for not giving it all up even to someone who claims to be a magician. We tend to value what we work for much more than what we are simply given. Sometimes it's better to point them to a book or other learning resource and require them to "pay their dues". If you have to dig the method out of a book and work at refining it to fit your performing method, it will be "yours" much more than if someone just gave it to you.
"
That hits the nail on the head for me. I spend hours, weeks, years working on my shift. If someone asks me how I do it, I could just say "I cut the cards when you weren't looking." But that is a trivializing of a lot of dues that have been paid.
Message: Posted by: Brad Burt (Sep 24, 2009 04:11PM)
The rule enjoins us to not give secrets up to those who are 'not' in the craft. Magic is the only art and craft that is not helped by exposure to the public at large. Secrets are kind of the point really. They form the bedrock upon which the exoskeleton of ENTERTAINMENT is then attached. Someone who both 'fools' folks AND entertains them is called a 'magician'.

The sharing of secrets within the craft takes place all the time. Once one has 50 posts here on the Café access is discovered to a stunning number of things magic and related to every aspect thereof.

The reticence of some online to 'help' a newcomer is just the way we try and make sure that we are not 'giving up' our hard earned knowledge to the merely curious.

That's the real problem with telling a layperson 'how' something is accomplished. Mere curiosity is simply not a sufficient reason to assuage their desire to 'know' how something that amazed (fooled) them was done.

"Keep your friends close", the old magi said to the younger, "...and keep your secrets closer." Or, something like that.

Best,
Message: Posted by: DWRackley (Sep 24, 2009 11:45PM)
I’m starting to write before I read anyone else’s reply, because I don’t want my answer to be influenced by others whom I respect. I believe there are a number of excuses put forth as reasons, but here’s my thinking on it.

You shouldn’t reveal how a trick is done because truly, your audience doesn’t want to know. Oh, they’ll beg and cajole, and maybe even try to trip you up to catch a glimpse. But if you actually show them how it’s done, the magic is gone. In fact, they might actually be insulted or embarrassed that you fooled them so easily. Let’s face it, much of magic isn’t really that hard to figure out, once you understand a handful of basic principles.

No doubt, you’ve experienced this yourself when you buy a new trick, hyped up on the sales pitch, and then discover “That’s it?!?” I already knew that. Or it’s just like (fill-in-the-blank). Or (worst of all) I could have gotten that at Wal-Mart!

And the really tragic part of it is that at that exact moment, YOU are transformed in their eyes. You are no longer a maker of miracles, or even a carrier of clever conundrums. You are no more than a juggler, less than that if your tricks depend on gimmicks. In their minds, all they have to do is go to the shop where you bought your toys, and they will have all your “powers”.

If someone REALLY wants to learn to do magic, it’s not that hard, but he does have to put forth SOME effort. That’s what separates us from them. If they were interested on the same level you are, they’d know how it’s done, and they’d know why you don’t tell. But to the casual “observer’, it’s just for fun anyway. And knowing the answer, they move on to the next “fascinating” thing. (You spent HOW MANY HOURS practicing that flourish?!? You should get a life!)

All those other “reasons” put forth, are valid as well: You spoil it for other magicians, it takes the fun out of it, it cheapens the genre, etc. But the origin for all of that, IMO, is what happens in the mind of your audience. It’s too high a price.

Burt...
[quote]Magic is the only art and craft that is not helped by exposure to the public at large.[/quote]

...well, it's not the ONLY one, but if I told you the other, we'd have to kill you...[img]http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o248/Web_Eagle/224_animated_ninja_disappearing1.gif[/img]
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 25, 2009 05:09AM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-25 00:45, DWRackley wrote:
If someone REALLY wants to learn to do magic, it’s not that hard, but he does have to put forth SOME effort. [/quote]

Is that not true of every field if endeavor today? Too many people want the rewards without putting in the effort -- in relationships, careers and personal development. The desire for instant gratifiation with a total lack of accountability is destroying much of what is good in our culture IMHO. So, it is more important han ever for magciains not to cave into the 'gimmy' mentality. Even as a mentor I will teach one effect at a time. You don't get a second one until you achieve some mastery in the first. The key is that is that if magicians do have integrity, why should they expect that of the audience? It's a matter of respect -- which is what you said above, of course.

Good post!
Message: Posted by: zippyfix (Sep 25, 2009 03:13PM)
Im glad to see we are all of simular mind

I would never show a trick to anyone that "claimed" to be a magician. I would either make them prove it to me by showing me a trick or make sure it is in a setting where lay people arnt around (an IBM meeting for example).

Maybe it's just me but I really never "get" a trick when its just in a book. I know I must be dense or something. But I learn by doing, and to have someone show me how its done. I can then take what I learned and make it my own. So I guess that's why I don't mind showing someone else the ropes as well.

I will even confess to having watched the "Masked Moron" because I delight in the how its done parts. For me its differant though Im not "ruined" on the trick to me it just stirs my imagination, gosh I think I could do that. Maybe if I just tweeked this it would look even better etc

Ive even watched a illusion that has been exposed and that I know the secret to. And Im still in awe for the most part. Im watching an atist at work, just because I know what kind of paint and canvas was used doesn't mean I can paint the Mona Lisa. Im still in awe of how much I have to learn

That being said I feel it still wrong to inform the public. I have magic in me. I have since I was a small child. Most people really don't care how a trick is done. They want to know simply to see if you will show them.

I like the term "craft" by the way. It brings me to my point, Magic is beautiful because you are seeing things that inspire you, that make you think. You are watching a true "Craftsman" at work.

Magic should stay magical
Message: Posted by: RobertlewisIR (Sep 26, 2009 02:41AM)
I tend to agree.

Think about a trick you purchased. I know we've all done it. The video advertising it online blew you away and you just HAD to learn the secret behind this trick. Or the guy at the magic shop blew you away, and it was the same story. Or whatever. And then you get it hope, look at the gimmicks or read the instructions or watch the DVD, and you get that disappointed look on your face. "Oh," you sigh, "so THAT'S how it's done."

Honestly speaking, there are very, very few effects with elegant methods. They look good when all the secrets are covered up, but exposed to the light of day, they're just clever (sometimes not even very clever) manipulations. The real magic is in the mystery.

As conjurors, we tend to have a higher level of appreciation for cleverness of gaffs or methods. We see effects in a different way, and can feel a certain sense of wonder, or at the very least respect, when we see something particularly clever. Laypeople view our art in a completely different way. Without the background of studying the craft even just a little bit, even the methods that we think are elegant will seem horrendously mundane to the average spectator.

So if even we are sometimes unimpressed upon learning the secret to an effect, just imagine what the layperson would think!

Allow me to try to make my point in another way, by using a very good friend of mine as an example. In addition to being a conjuror, I'm also a writer (primarily horror). My friend is also a writer, and is not a conjuror. I would be willing to bet that a large number of you enjoy a good novel from time to time, and I would further be willing to bet that most of you are probably not authors.

When you read a good book, the sort that pulls you right into the story and makes you forget everything else, a sort of magic takes place. You're brought into another reality, completely divorced from the reality we inhabit from day to day. You enjoy the ride, but most people who aren't writers don't have the foggiest idea what actually goes into the creation of that novel, and would be bored to tears listening to a group of writers discussing their craft. That's because, like in magic, the actual work behind writing a novel is not particularly sexy, nor is it interesting to laypeople.

Back to my friend. As writers, we can discuss literature from a certain perspective that non-writers cannot. We can discuss the craft of writing, pick a novel apart, put it back together, and discover the secrets behind the magic that is literature. But my friend is not a conjuror, so he has absolutely no interest in learning the secrets behind my other art any more than those of you who don't write would care to listen in on one of our lengthy debates on plot and characterization or the merits of adverbs.

My friend is honest enough with himself to realize this. When he first learned I did a bit of magic, he said, "you'll have to show me something, but I don't want to know how it's done." Of course, I wouldn't have told him anyway, but I appreciate that he's content to just enjoy the magic and not try to figure it out. Most laypeople (yes, even the ones who will beg and scream and cry and offer their first born son to get the secret) are actually just the same, but too stubborn to admit it. Once they know the secret, the magic is gone, and what's left is the sort of mechanical knowledge that's only interesting to another practitioner.

Magic requires mystery.

However, to this I will add another thought: that perhaps too much emphasis is placed on the keeping of secrets. If all you have are secrets, you're not a performer of magic, you're a worker of tricks, a manipulator of apparatus. To be truly magical, you must transcend the secrets and achieve a level of artistry. When you can fool someone even though they DO know the secret (or at least entertain and amaze them despite this knowledge), THEN you've got something really magical.

I think Penn & Teller's cups and balls routine is a perfect example of this. When they do the trick for a second time with the clear plastic cups, everyone sees the secrets. And yet, despite this extra knowledge, the audience is still fooled to a point, and amazed even more. Because even though the audience can tell when they execute the moves, the audience still can't actually see most of the moves taking place. Their skill and presentation creates an experience that, in my opinion, is even more magical than their first time through the routine with the opaque cups.

So I would say that disclosure of secrets to a lay audience is sometimes, but rarely, acceptable. The condition is that it must be done in such a way as to enhance, rather than undercut, the magical experience.

I would also add that disclosure of secrets being used to harm or defraud the public is not a matter of artistic merit, but one of human morality. So if someone is standing on a stage pretending to talk to the deceased relatives of their audience members (and claiming to really do so, rather than just as part of an act), or cheating someone out of money with a Three Card Monte routine, I feel that it is our duty as legitimate entertainers to expose the secrets (or at the very least, the nature) of their operation simply as a public service.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 26, 2009 04:37AM)
It is great to have a new person wade in with valuable things to say, and the willingness to do so. Perhaps it the willingness to do things that others will not is the hallmark of a magician. I hope so.

Welcome and well met.
Message: Posted by: Strange Tasting Fish Sticks (Sep 26, 2009 10:52AM)
It's simply. Revealing a trick reveals the mystery, the excitement and wonder one gets from seeing a trick. I remember when I first learned the paddle move (the hot rod was my first trick when I was 7) I thought it was such an amazing trick and its secret had to be really hard or advanced like a button or something. When I learned the secret, I was disappointed, because its secret was so simply. A lot of magic is really simple, such as sponge balls too.

People don't want to know how tricks are done, they want to keep that feeling of wonderment and amazement and revealing a trick ruins that.
Message: Posted by: JustLoco (Sep 26, 2009 10:52AM)
When I was in the 5th grade my teacher showed us a trick where he made a silk vanish into thin air. I was amazed and wanted to learn it, the next day he show us how it was done using a TT. I was furious that he revealed it to the whole class, because my plan to learn it and perform it was now ruined. Sure I learned the trick, but who was I suppose to perform it for now, everyone else knew it too.

Secrets of magic, just like the secrets of all other arts should be reserved for those who seek the secrets, and have taken the oath.
Message: Posted by: john5d (Sep 26, 2009 03:05PM)
I think ALL secrets are already on internet. You just have to know where to look.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Sep 26, 2009 07:28PM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-26 16:05, john5d wrote:
I think ALL secrets are already on internet. You just have to know where to look.
[/quote]

There are many secrets in my new eBooks that are not on the Internet --
yet!
Message: Posted by: Drake (Sep 26, 2009 07:41PM)
It just seems to me that giving away the secret to the lay audience would just undercut the entire reason that they either come or stop and watch, which is to be entertained.

Being able to see the illusion and experience that suspension of disbelief I think is truly at the heart of many people who enjoy watching a magician practice their art. Not to immediately have that feeling killed by the magi showing how it was done. Just seems to me it would cheapen the whole art that you just made for your audience

Your mileage may vary
~D
Message: Posted by: othelo68 (Sep 26, 2009 10:37PM)
What about revealing well known tricks with a surprise alternate handling like the kevin james trick where he reveals a card with a popped balloon then offers to reveal how the trick was palmed and shows the card visibly penetrate the balloon. I'm sure there are other examples of this type of trick and I think it adds to the effect
Message: Posted by: lynnef (Sep 26, 2009 11:26PM)
Check out Penn and Teller's cup and balls, using clear cups! It's still amazing, because of the skills of the performers. The 'secret' is not the key thing in a magical performance. HOWEVER, I don't believe magic tricks should be revealed. Fish Sticks previous post was right in saying that the audience wants to keep that 'wonderment and amazement' to themselves.
I would add a proviso that the magician should not take advantage of a person's gulliblity or emotions (eg talking to a dead relative).
Penn said something that stuck in my mind... that the audience (for the most part) knows that some object (eg a sponge ball) didn't disappear into thin air. Yet they still love the effect.
The real secrets of magic do not lie in the gimmicks or gaffs, but in the performance itself.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Sep 26, 2009 11:45PM)
Hmmm kinda true in the same way as audiences like to watch seals play the horns without worrying about who's conducting at the Met.

IMHO audiences don't want to know. They wallow in uncertainty and call it other names.

Maybe they just want to know that it's okay not to know.

BTW, what secrets are yours to tell?
Message: Posted by: joseph (Sep 27, 2009 06:10AM)
I showed a friend (layman interested in learning magic) at work a basic 21 card trick, and told him when he learns that one, I will show him another...That was 10 years ago, and he still has not shown me anything....I guess he just wanted to know secrets... :) ...
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Sep 27, 2009 08:08AM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-26 23:37, othelo68 wrote:
What about revealing well known tricks with a surprise alternate handling like the kevin james trick where he reveals a card with a popped balloon then offers to reveal how the trick was palmed and shows the card visibly penetrate the balloon. I'm sure there are other examples of this type of trick and I think it adds to the effect
[/quote]

But it still exposes the original effect. How is that any more respectful of magic than someone who simply shouts out the secret? Just because it is more entertaining? What if I am trying to make a living with that effect? What if someone worked for months to come up with the idea? I think it is fine to reveal a trick YOU created, but not something you have no right to reveal. Anybody ever see Teller reveal his "Rose" trick?
Message: Posted by: othelo68 (Sep 27, 2009 09:43AM)
Intellectual property is a sticky situation. how do you determine who created what? have you ever had an idea for a revolutionary product or trick only to see it appear in a commercial or a magazine a month of two later? did you create it just because you thought of it? There really are no new effects in magic. there are only different routes to get to the same conclusion.
Don't get me wrong I don't think you should reveal the secret to any tricks. It simply disappoints the audience. I disappoint myself every time I learn how to do a new trick. I love the way it sounds or looks but once I get the mechanics down I hate the fact that I know how its done. it might almost pay to have my whole frontal lobe removed so I can experience life anew on a daily basis. but this involves other problems.
I digress my opinion is that you shouldn't reveal the secrets to tricks. people will ask because they don't like to be tricked but they honestly don't know. find and out do another trick or walk away whatever works. do you want to see how superman flies in the movies? or I'll tell you but you wouldn't respect me in the morning!
Message: Posted by: Renaldo (Sep 27, 2009 11:41AM)
I spent the better part of the 90's doing technical support for various online companies. For two of those years, I ran new employees through a 2 week training class, teaching them how to do tech support for our customers. I would tell them from the start that I'm going to show them how to solve 90% of the problems they come aross, the other 10% is unteachable. That other 10% requires experience, knowledge and understanding that can't be taught to them in 2 weeks, and that they were responsible for learning the rest on their own throughout their career. I told them that in the mean time, they should take those unsolvable problems to an experienced tech.

Some people got and understood this, but for some others it preturbed them, like I was holding back secrets that would keep them from being successful at their new job, "just because". I would tell those people that no problem they dealt with was unsolvable, but some required indepth knowledge of networking protocols, troubleshooting, etc. and that if they didn't have that yet, no amount of information I could give would be useful, because they just didn't yet have the knowledge base to support it. A lot of times people would then ask what they could do to start learning what they really needed.

The answer was simple: RTFM. (Read The, um, Flipping Manual). I'd tell them there's a reason libraries and bookstores have large technical sections. People actually read them and that's where your knowledge base is going to come from.

This is pretty much how I approach magic. RTFM, learn the theories, learn the whys and the hows. The layperson asks how to do a trick, you might be able to show them the move that makes it work, but they couldn't begin to understand or appreciate the levels happening below that, so it's pointless. I tell people there's no easy answer, they'd have to take the time to learn it; most people accept this answer. If they don't, I tell them which book they can find the information in.

Keep in mind, I consider myself a complete noob when it comes to magic. I can do a few tricks; IMHO, poorly. I'm still RTFM'ing and trying to build that knowledge base. I know I could go buy $100 worth of self working packet tricks, learn them well and be a semi-talented hack in a matter of months. I'd rather 'pay my dues', RTFM, study and maybe in a few years I'll call myself an amateur magician.

The exception (all good rules have them, right?) is that I bought a Svengali deck for my best friend at work, and keep one in my desk for myself. I showed him the basics of it, and we occasionally entertain ourselves by trying to out-do each other with 'new' tricks we make up (which I'm sure are old and in any 101-Tricks book lol). Just don't ask us why every card ends up being the 3 of Clubs or 10 of Diamonds!
Message: Posted by: AtticusGreen (Oct 3, 2009 05:55PM)
I don't mind showing a trick or two to my audience but I would never show something they couldn't easily figure out on the internet. If they ask to be taught a trick then I'll teach them the most basic card trick that involves use of a key card. Then I'll follow up their lesson with another trick and show them I'm not using a keycard but am still able to get their card, or I'll use a keycard trick and make a point of showing them the keycard and then use sleight of hand to move the selected card away from the keycard. Basically, I think it's fine to teach them a simple trick, especially if you then use their knowledge of that trick to fool them with an even better trick.
Message: Posted by: The Big Q (Oct 3, 2009 09:45PM)
I will show someone who is interested/learning a move...but not a trick - and certainly not an audience...if fact I find for every person who begs me to show them how a trick was done, there are at least two who loudly proclaim that they don't want to know.
Message: Posted by: DaleTrueman (Oct 5, 2009 10:22PM)
I'm not a magician by anyones standards yet. Just someone with some aspirations and a dozen or so tricks up my sleeve. I still have to develop an act as such.
But I do agree with a lot of what has been said and thank you all for the valuable advice.

I do find learning about magic sometimes a little dissapointing. Something I thought must be incredibly complex and requiring special equipment turns out to be so dam simple I kick myself for not seeing it before. I found this made it hard for me to perform the trick itself as it seems way too obvious how it is done. But I forget how baffling it was before I learnt the secret. Which brings me to how important the overall showmanship must be. Would I be correct in assuming that the staging, presentation and patter etc is actually a major part of any illusion? In fact it seems that these things are a way of distracting the audience from what you are actually doing.

I think it is fine for someone like Penn and Teller to show the occasional method to their audience. Admitting that it is not actually "magic" helps to expose those who perform under the guise of actually have special powers (which I loathe). But please don't tell us too much, it ruins the magic.
Message: Posted by: Johnny Butterfield (Oct 5, 2009 11:37PM)
[quote]
On 2009-10-05 23:22, tiggod wrote:
... Which brings me to how important the overall showmanship must be. Would I be correct in assuming that the staging, presentation and patter etc is actually a major part of any illusion? In fact it seems that these things are a way of distracting the audience from what you are actually doing. [/quote]

In his book Carneycopia, John Carney says that good technique is insurance, in case the misdirection does not take full effect.

The misdirection is too important to leave to chance - it's vitally important to have the dirty work covered by bringing the audience's focus away from 'what they cannot know'. Nobody's technique is good enough to withstand constant scrutiny.

The staging (synonymous with 'blocking'?) is important because at some angles, the audience can see 'what they cannot see'. It's also too important to leave to chance. And there's a bunch of ways to direct an audience's attention, and these really have to be worked out in advance to avoid feeling contrived.

Patter can direct attention away from the dirty work, and a guy talking is usually more interesting than a silent guy.

Make them look where you want them to - away from the sleight, right at the effect.
Message: Posted by: DaleTrueman (Oct 6, 2009 12:13AM)
[quote]
On 2009-10-06 00:37, Fman111 wrote:
[quote]

The misdirection is too important to leave to chance - it's vitally important to have the dirty work covered by bringing the audience's focus away from 'what they cannot know'. Nobody's technique is good enough to withstand constant scrutiny.

Make them look where you want them to - away from the sleight, right at the effect.
[/quote]

Thanks for that advice, It had sort of dawned on me but I was until recently concentrating almost solely on the method.

I was just looking at the Penn and Teller cups and balls clip and there is a little moment where Penn juggles the balls seemingly for no reason...... lol.
Message: Posted by: jusakarman (Oct 6, 2009 04:41AM)
I learned something from my buddy in south africa...i ask him why you so kind to share all of your trick to other magician....??
he just answer this..
" that's no matter to me to let they (magician) know the secret, because they can learned the trick but only one who perform this trick like me.."
Message: Posted by: mkmager (Oct 6, 2009 07:55AM)
People are intrigued by magic because they are seeing things that they cannot easily explain. Try explaining all of your bits to your audience before hand and see if anyone enjoys the show. I bet not.
Message: Posted by: Johnny Butterfield (Oct 6, 2009 09:48AM)
[quote]
On 2009-10-06 01:13, tiggod wrote:

Thanks for that advice, It had sort of dawned on me but I was until recently concentrating almost solely on the method.

I was just looking at the Penn and Teller cups and balls clip and there is a little moment where Penn juggles the balls seemingly for no reason...... lol.
[/quote]

All part of the learning curve, my friend. You've just taken a giant step.
Message: Posted by: MagiCol (Oct 7, 2009 03:59AM)
Practicing magic is a craft, and has a heritage. My concern about sharing and tutoring another is "Is the person worthy?" Worthy in the sense that they have a genuine interest in magic and have put forth effort and can show how to perform some magic. Worthy in the sense that I believe they will keep the secret to within the magic fraternity.
Message: Posted by: ottphd (Oct 15, 2009 06:05AM)
Not only a craft but an art!! Somethings are rich in historical tradition. In respecting the ghosts of the past, I beleive it should remain a mystery well into the future!! Just my thoughts.
Message: Posted by: PROINWA1 (Oct 18, 2009 10:04PM)
Almost everyone asks me how a particular effect is done. I stopped saying "Promise not to tell; well so did I" a long time ago. I think that is slightly smug, with a little bit of "I am better than you are." I want everyone I do magic for to go away delighted and talk about what they saw with their friends reliving the wonder over and over. I have had people who I did card tricks for see me years later and pull out of their wallet the card they initialed and I ripped apart and restored. I wonder how many times they relived the joy they felt when I performed that trick. I have had people stop me in the street and ask me to do that "professor's trick" (professor's nightmare). Of course I don't carry ropes with me, but I always have some type of impromptu magic with me for these occasions. I guess my point is we rob these people of a joy in life, the joy of wonder, a joy they can live over and over again. If we tell them how an effect is done they are robbed of this joy.
Message: Posted by: DN777 (Oct 19, 2009 01:27AM)
It pushes us to raise our standards, it also disrespects the art of secrecy. It's a double edged sword.
Message: Posted by: somecorner (Oct 21, 2009 02:35PM)
As a (very) new person to learning magic, I love the fact that the secrets are not easily given away and shared.

What drew me into starting to try and learn this myself was wanting to give other people the same feelings I get when I see tricks performed well. I'm well aware that in many cases each technique used would probably seem mundane if explained, but the combination of them and the method of presentation can often bring a huge smile to my face. Making things somewhat difficult to find helps reinforce how the overall effect is a mixture of method/technique and delivery, and not just an explanation of a sleight.