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Topic: Site exposure
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Aug 26, 2010 02:35PM)
As there seems to be an ever-growing amount of online magic shops, and mentalism is still popular amongst those pesky youths of today, I have a question...

what do you think of the exposure level within these online shops? I can find pictures of swamis pretty easily, videos of imp pads and their workings, all kinds of things that basically give the game away...and if you give away the game, where will all the fun go, eh?

(no I'm not canadian)

I feel that, especially reading the reviews/posts on places like this - all too often, the very first thing that comes out of the mouth is "yeah, but...have you got a demo of it?"

this constant full-on DEMAND of "show me...i can't understand it...or I don't believe you until you show me proof..."

"i don't trust you until you can prove it..." - which is a strange question to ask, because if we were to turn that demand on its head - I wonder how many would pass muster?

say you went to a magic shop - and before they handed over your swami and imp board, the guy or guyess (thats the right word isn't it?) - they say to you "hey...before you take these items, one question...are you....are you any good? can you prove it to me before I let you have this stuff? In fact, show me your showreel before you step back in this shop..."

then they produce a shotgun and make you dance like a pretty lady for them...before being hussled out, pantless and pink-faced...

its fair enough to make sure the description is as clear as can be expected, and a video is clear with no fancy editing (unless its to protect the method) - but do you think we have gone too far in our demanding and wanting "proof" of what we are buying, before we do so? do we really need photos of TTs, swamis, the inner workings of an imp board out in the open?

I think mentalism and magic did perfectly well for many a year before the internet came around with its promise of photon-powered toilet cleaners, hypnotic spoons and scratch and sniff binary...and I would like our online magic sites to help us protect the few secrets remaining that having been exposed by some little tic-turd on youtube, or pirated...
Message: Posted by: chichi711 (Aug 26, 2010 02:44PM)
Iain I have been saying for a few years that I believe the most damaging exposure to our art comes from the stores and shops themselves. I am all for them making money and succeeding, but I think it is time they all found a new way to market the products. I am one of a growing number that wont buy any product if it is found easily through google/youtube. I think many are starting to see why and are jumping on the band wagon. I think it is time for the shops to listen up and stop making every nic nac so easily found.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Aug 26, 2010 02:53PM)
Read any old magic or mentalism description of a "prop", device or effect - and didn't it fill you with absolute wonder?! your mind goes racing...

theres a beauty and mystery to it all...sure, there was some tripe amongst the pearls, some guts amongst the garters - but, hey...you survive...you live...you bought more..that has not changed despite the fact we video pretty much everything...

it hasn't actually changed anything...people will still have to try out every swami out there to find one for their own unique *ahem ahem*

and its in that experimentation that you may polish and condense the coal of your mind into a fine diamond...

there will never be "the best..." anything, ever...so lets get over it, and ask shops to stop showing everything they can - some sites say "well, you're paying for the secret.." - sometimes we're not! we can see the photos and video on your site and we know what to expect!"

lets enjoy hushed tones, the secrets, the mystery all over again...
Message: Posted by: Tony Iacoviello (Aug 26, 2010 03:02PM)
I find it funny. I cannot count the number of times I've read about a new effect here, followed almost immediatly by a reqest for a link the for a performance video. Nothing is being done by the shops that isn't being asked for in some way by the customers (us).

Message: Posted by: Dick Christian (Aug 26, 2010 03:12PM)
Sadly, the problem you address is part and parcel of the "contribution" the Internet has made to magic -- not the least of which is the demise of the brick and mortar magic shop. Saddest of all is that the current crop of newbies who have grown up with Internet "dealers" (who as often as not are nothing more than drop-shippers who may have little or no knowledge, understanding or experience with magic) and so are unaware of the many benefits a real magic shop provides.
Message: Posted by: chichi711 (Aug 26, 2010 03:23PM)
Magicians in general have always had to muster a lot of courage to show something they have been working on. Now they set up a camera shoot as many times as they need and then post it. Thinking they are magicians. They consider that a performance. They will quote people off the comments to tell all of us how good they are. They have never stepped out in the real world. Most don't and never will. As that is the result of "magic" these days. These people want to know exactly what they are getting and how easy it will be, so they can post it online. Notice how few people these days ask about angles, reset time, durability, etc etc. They don't ask, because they don't care. They never have to use it in the real world. A lot of magic shops have taught this new breed these things as well. I find it funny that most of these people post the video using the name of the person that created it and the effect name! I mean at least try and pass it off as some power you have, or magic words anything! Wonder how long it will last?
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Aug 26, 2010 03:35PM)
...and you others out there reading this, those that do ask for clips and photos etc, I really would like to understand why you ask this - and, do you get the points being raised by me and others?

and do you understand that magic an mentalism has survived for a VERY long time without the need for either...
Message: Posted by: parmenion (Aug 26, 2010 03:50PM)
On 2010-08-26 15:35, IAIN wrote:
say you went to a magic shop - and before they handed over your swami and imp board, the guy or guyess (thats the right word isn't it?) - they say to you "hey...before you take these items, one question...are you....are you any good? can you prove it to me before I let you have this stuff? In fact, show me your showreel before you step back in this shop..."

then they produce a shotgun and make you dance like a pretty lady for them...before being hussled out, pantless and pink-faced...

Iain, do you have a video link about that ?

Anyway, joke apart, I agree with you.
Message: Posted by: Withnail (Aug 26, 2010 03:54PM)
On 2010-08-26 16:50, parmenion wrote:

Iain, do you have a video link about that ?


Ask MagicFreak for a torrent... Sorry, I couldn't resist...
Message: Posted by: Aaron E (Aug 26, 2010 03:57PM)
I agree IAIN! I don't really see how a demo can benefit a mentalism effect. Mentalism is about the connection you make with people. It's not really a visual art form. I really think a demo is asked by those who wish to discover the method without making the purchase. I have no proof of that, it's just what I think is happening.

Message: Posted by: IAIN (Aug 26, 2010 03:58PM)
I think it would be good if we could all discuss and try and understand one another on this one, just this once...

so no fussin', fightin' and a carryin' on...(you get a gold star for knowing the song title I'm almost using there, and the artists involved)

if both sides (if there is sides) can see it from the others view, maybe we can do something about it all?

I'm serious about this - I think we're on the edge of losing it all, and mentalism is far too important to me to not try and do something about it....
Message: Posted by: Withnail (Aug 26, 2010 04:12PM)
Totally with you Iain in all seriousness. It's a valid point, but how best to address it?

Blacklist? Boycott? Maybe just an informed email to sites? I mean, Labco stuff sells purely on it's name and rep now - does its site need to be so detailed (for example)
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mindbender (Aug 26, 2010 04:14PM)
I perform in public, but on a limited basis. I do a handful of formal shows a year, and perform in more impromptu and party situations a dozen or so times each month -- so I am performing in front of lay audiences to some degree, but obviously not as much as someone who makes a living performing mentalism.

I mention all of this to qualify what I'm about to say...

It is RARE that I ever run into anyone who would spend the time to do internet searches to find out about what I perform and how I do it. Most people I perform for are in the 30's, 40's and on up, most are professionals or business people, most are just too *** busy to spend time doing searches on "Imp Pad".

I know, I know, many of you will tell stories of how people are googling while you're performing, and I don't doubt this to be the case -- but my point is, I think there's about 98% of the lay audience that can think of many better things to do with their free time than search the internet for secrets of mentalism. Heck, I'm guessing most spend their free time searching for porn!

Is easy availability on the tricks of the mentalism trade a problem and issue, absolutely, but does it put us on the edge of losing it all? My experience leads me to say "no", but again, I know my experience is limited.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Aug 26, 2010 04:20PM)
I understand MR.M...

when I say the edge of losing it all - I suppose I mean that in maybe 5 years time, or sooner - everything will be over exposed...and by exposed I mean a couple of things...

that EVERYONE who ever did any magic tricks will find it all too easy to "do a bit of mentalism"

online shops will pretty much TELL you and SHOW you exactly what it is you are buying

and by a mixture of those two things, I feel we will be losing so much...

here's an example, one of the few card effects that grabbed my attention recently was DUO-Tech II, I read the general gist of the effect - and I thought - ah! I could do it this-a-way, lets buy it to find out...

I want to know the techniques used, to see if it'll work with other things than cards - but, I'm more than fine buying it regardless, I will no doubt learn something from that purchase whether it'll work with the idea in my head...

BUT! I noticed there was a demo of it on youtube too - I didn't watch it, but I just thought.."ah, shame...", if I had watched it performed that would of killed off that little spark of imagination firing up in my hairy old head, and I wouldnt have gotten the (now) three ideas I have in my head..

all from just reading the description...
Message: Posted by: cryder (Aug 26, 2010 04:22PM)
I'm not convinced this kind of exposure is a real danger. Surely it would be more comfortable to be protected by a complete silence concerning some props, but in the end, we all know that you don't become mentalist because you saw a swami or imp pad in a shop or on a website. Our deepest secrets belongs in "how to present an effect", "how to move", "how to confuse people", etc ... And all this is way more complex than reading a marketing text about a swammi.

In the end, yes some people might know a bit better SOME mentalism principles, BUT on the other hand, most of them are easily deceived because we get so many ways to accomplish a routine than it is not hard to find a trick to confuse their little knowledge, and let them in the mist, absolutely incapable to understand how it was done.

As I don't see any possibility to change the worldwide internet business on magic and mentalism tricks, I prefer to deal with it. To my mind your analyse sounds too pessimistic Iain. It's not the end ...
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Aug 26, 2010 04:29PM)
Yeah - could well be!

but I thought we could have a proper discussion on here for a change *smiley face type picture here*

but I do think magic and mentalism sites could do with toning down the photos and some vids, keep that air of mystery there...
Message: Posted by: s3rg3 (Aug 26, 2010 04:40PM)
I do understand the concern...

Next to password protect online magic shops, I don't see what else could be done to limit the exposure.

I think that the level of exposure on sites as Youtube is much more significant compared to the "exposure" caused by Magic Shops...

Message: Posted by: Mr. Mindbender (Aug 26, 2010 04:41PM)
No, I see what you're meaning Ian. And I do agree.

Toning down the photos and videos could go a long way. I do hate the videos that go on for 3 minutes showing nothing more than audience reactions and little bits of set-up by the mentalist/magician, and truthfully, never trust an effect that's advertised that way. As mentioned above, I prefer a straight performance, edited obviously for time constraints, but that's all. I think, for example, or seeing Bob Cassidy performing Chronologue or 4DT. But I think that if your income is based on the "selling of product", then doing what you have to do to move units out the virtual door, you have a different opinion (and motivation).
Message: Posted by: chichi711 (Aug 26, 2010 04:43PM)
Iain hit the nail on the head and that is what I was getting at with the camera performers. Creativity is gone when you just watch someone do it and then repeat that exact same thing. Most the time naming the trick and creator. People do search things out. I hate that magicians have to know everything. We above all should love some mystery shouldn't we? I love it when I am fooled and fooled badly. The last thing I want to do is run to ellusionist and find out how and why. I like to read a description of an effect. Let my mind go.
Message: Posted by: J.Warrens (Aug 26, 2010 04:45PM)
I agree.

I have been against it since day 1.

Message: Posted by: chichi711 (Aug 26, 2010 04:48PM)
On 2010-08-26 17:40, s3rg3 wrote:
I do understand the concern...

Next to password protect online magic shops, I don't see what else could be done to limit the exposure.

I think that the level of exposure on sites as Youtube is much more significant compared to the "exposure" caused by Magic Shops...

I disagree. People wont sit through watching a snotty nosed 12 year old exposing something for 7 minutes. If we see an image of a NW and one sentence explaining what it is used for we can shift, misdirect, layer all we want, but all the person will think at the end is that little lead thing does that. Try passing a few out and then doing a performance and then let us know how you do. Same idea.

Along the same lines why is the Café, so easily googelable?

Started a thread asking why for anyone who cares. http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=378495&forum=40&0
Message: Posted by: hoodrat (Aug 27, 2010 01:02PM)
It's good that the Café is "google-able" because it is one way to get around the 2-minute-wait-time-inbetween-searches that is enforced here on the site. There are threads that explain how to search the Café by using Google if you don't want to wait two minutes inbetween your searches.
Message: Posted by: alpha alex (Aug 29, 2010 10:10PM)
I get what you are saying IAIN
I hate items that are easily googable.. like cigar thru quarter

yet.. I also have bought some ****ty items from stores
so, excuse me if I want to ask for a video of the performance
I don't have a magic store in my hometown.. so ill be still demanding for performances
I have been fooled so many times by bad descriptions I just hesitate a little bit more and to be real.. there´s not that many ¨honest¨ reviewers out there
althought I love what David Penn and Craig Petty do on their youtube videos so far

there´s even guys here selling ¨sold out¨ 1000 dollars items nobody has ever seen but some close friends and supporters.. so ill still be demanding for prove they do what they say they are saying.
Message: Posted by: alpha alex (Aug 30, 2010 12:51AM)

they do what they are saying
Message: Posted by: edh (Aug 30, 2010 05:34PM)
I have to agree with alpha alex. To much deception done by marketers of effects in advertising their products.
Message: Posted by: meilechl (Aug 30, 2010 06:04PM)
I try as much as possible only to buy tricks that I KNOW HOW THEY'RE DONE, or at least have a basic idea. In the few times recently when I let my emotions get the better of me, and ordered blindly, I was usually disappointed.
Message: Posted by: Dr. Eamon (Aug 30, 2010 10:11PM)
Password protection...
Message: Posted by: NexusMagicShop (Sep 2, 2010 07:33PM)
I must say I reluctantly post here as it seems that you are all carrying torches hunting the online store owner.

That said I will say Magic has always been apart of my life, I grew up around the corner from a Brick, and Mortar. That is still in operation today. Prior to owning my online store I was a working Magician, and creator of a released Magic Product. I have created others, but kept them for myself. While I do agree with some of your statements, a few were I feel unfair. Mr. Christian is correct there is a lot of online peddlers of magic that know very little of the art, and craft of magic. But that goes with the territory. We can find that in any business. And Ian you make some great points, unfortunately these videos will never go away. These videos are created by the manufactures of the products to sell, sell, sell.

The fact is the internet revolution has effected every form of business for good, and bad. It could also be argued that in the old days if we all wanted to get together and talk magic we had to attend conventions or be apart of a Guild. And certainly these numbers are down due in part to the convenience of the internet and the forums. My concerns are the Torrents and the ease of illegal duplication of magic knowledge. And also the retailers that undercut everyone with 80% of there products to push the 20% of there own retail products. That hurts the entire community of magic Brick and mortar, and online establishments. I have some discounted products, but I keep it fair.

I decided to open my store because of the beauty and art of magic. Coupled with my desire to share it with places that may not have a brick and mortar available. Most brick and mortars are building an online presence as well. And it's necessary to change with the times and grow and evolve.

I have two other jobs! My online store is certainly not to get rich. It's open because magic gave me something special that I want to share with those interested in making a change in there lives. And it's a way for me to stay connected to the community, I love so dearly.

- Jason
Message: Posted by: Absinthe (Sep 9, 2010 01:14PM)
Come up with ways to make the magic your own.