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Magic-FX
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I wrote this during a rather boring night shift at work, 3.00AM if my memory serves me correct. Thanks for reading....! Bare in mind it's nothing more than a "winge"!

“A Plea to the Young Magician… From a Young Magician!”

As a young magician, one of the first things that I notice when meeting a fellow member of the craft for the first time is the lack of mutual respect. Many of the older generation seem to be unable to see past the stupid kid who wants to be the next David Blaine, and better yet thinks he is Pro because he has performed at Little Jimmy next doors Birthday Party and got paid 20 Pounds for doing so.

Why is this?

It usually doesn't take long for the person that I am "Chatting" with to realise that I have a great love for the art of magic, and that I have - in certain areas - a vast knowledge of sleights, techniques and even magic history. So I ask you the reader again. Why is this first impression more often than not a bad one?

Since I left school and joined the "working world" I have been able to devote much more time to my craft. Books such as "Modern Coin Magic" and Richard Kaufman’s "Coin Magic" have become no less than Bibles to my studies.

It was upon answering a question that was posted on one of the many online forums of which I am a member, about a common coin palm, that my first point about the young magician hit me. As a whole, we don't read!

If this previously mentioned 'magician' had read Bobo's - or any of a wide range of books on coin magic for that matter - he would have found the answer to his question relatively easily. When discussing this issue with him, the point was raised that he didn't need to read Bobo's because he owned almost the complete collection of the David Roth's "Coin Magic Made Easy". That's all very well; these are good videos. In-fact I own a few of them myself. However they obviously didn't teach him everything that he needed to know.

It is my personal belief, that videos should supplement books. I own a fair collection of videos and DVDs covering a range of different topics within magic. Now it is great to see each effect being performed, however if I solely watch David Roth performing the 'Hanging Coins' surely when I come to perform this effect I will run the risk of presenting the effect exactly as he would?

One of the major advantages of reading is its influence on the use of the imagination. How many young magicians have you seen recently that speak the same patter as David Blaine when performing Street Magic?

Creativity is something that is a big problem within the younger community. Is this directly linked to what I have mentioned about reading? Unfortunately this does not bode well for the future of magic.

My second point is aimed at those younger magicians who think that they know it all, of which I have to admit I have been know to fall into myself in times gone by. I am not claiming that there is nothing to be gained from listening to the small guys. I would like to think after all that even at the young tender age of just 20 that I have something to contribute to the art of magic.

What I would say however, is don't claim to be the expert after reading a book written by someone else. Or worse still, watching the DVD.

To counter this however, often the young magician suffers from what I like to call the "I'm older" syndrome - "I'm older so therefore I know better than you...!" It is probably not a good idea for me to go into detail on a topic I feel so passionate about in this article. I will leave that for another. I urge you to consider this point however. Is this always the case? Does age mean wisdom?

Moving on to my final point about the young magician. "Trik-O-Holics"! Although we are all at risk of falling into this category, Young and Old! Why is it more common amongst young magicians?

I used to claim that I knew and could perform thousands of magic tricks. Okay sure, I could probably list over 2000 different tricks. But do I know them well enough to perform them? And if so, would that performance be convincing enough to be considered good?

When building a new strolling routine, I decided it would be best to list the effects I perform the most, that I know inside out, and get the best reactions from the punters. Let me assure you, the list was far from the 2000 mark. However I knew that if my routine was built from these effects that it would be to the highest standard that I was capable of at that time. From this list, I work onward and upward, adding more effects once I feel that I have got them to almost perfection.

I guess the point that I am trying to make is that knowing 2000 tricks will not make you a successful magician; however performing 2 or 3 to an exceptional standard will put you on the correct path to success.

And so in conclusion, my plea is this.... If you are a Young Magician and fall under the fore mentioned. Then please stop giving the rest of us a bad name and do us all a favour.

Do it right.... or don't do it at all!

Scott Watson - A Young Magician
Kipp Sherry
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Some good points here. Some bitter extract as well.

Quote:
As a young magician, one of the first things that I notice when meeting a fellow member of the craft for the first time is the lack of mutual respect. Many of the older generation seem to be unable to see past the stupid kid who wants to be the next David Blaine, and better yet thinks he is Pro because he has performed at Little Jimmy next doors Birthday Party and got paid 20 Pounds for doing so.

Why is this?

Ego. It's extremely prominant in all the performing arts.

Quote:
It usually doesn't take long for the person that I am "Chatting" with to realise that I have a great love for the art of magic, and that I have - in certain areas - a vast knowledge of sleights, techniques and even magic history. So I ask you the reader again. Why is this first impression more often than not a bad one?

About 95% of the people who ask "How did you do that?" are asking only to know how you did that so they can appear to be the know-it-all around their friends. They have no intention of pursuing the art and they are not asking the question as a means of being mentored. Most older magicians usually respond to people as if they are a member of the 95 percentile until the young aspiring magi shows and effect or two they have already learned. At this point, most magicians are glad to continue a mentoring program or at least point them in the right direction.

Quote:
Does age mean wisdom?

No! But often wisdom come with age. There are however exceptions to this rule.

Quote:
Moving on to my final point about the young magician. "Trik-O-Holics"! Although we are all at risk of falling into this category, Young and Old! Why is it more common amongst young magicians?

Every magician has to try several stand alone tricks before they can even hope to develop a routine of tricks. I think this is a very natural stage for young magicians to go through. Those who move beyond this stage move closer to being a professional magician.

Quote:
And so in conclusion, my plea is this.... If you are a Young Magician and fall under the fore mentioned. Then please stop giving the rest of us a bad name and do us all a favour.

Do it right.... or don't do it at all!

Careful Mr. Scott Wilson. With statements like that you may very well be turning into the person that you dislike most. Unless you fall into the category of a young magician giving young magicians a bad name, don't take it personally. And your final statement is not encouraging at all. Better to point a young magician to classes, a club, or some fine book to help them do it right. It is better to mentor than to discourage.

Just my thoughts,
Kipp Sherry
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Magic-FX
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What is it with this forum and my name LOL! Smile

Scott Watson! Lol!

Thanks for you post Kipp, Interesting reading!
MagikDavid
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QUOTE:
"As a young magician, one of the first things that I notice when meeting a fellow member of the craft for the first time is the lack of mutual respect. Many of the older generation seem to be unable to see past the stupid kid who wants to be the next David Blaine, and better yet thinks he is Pro because he has performed at Little Jimmy next doors Birthday Party and got paid 20 Pounds for doing so.

Why is this?"

Since I fall into that category of "the older generation," I'd like you to know that I don't paint all young magicians with the same brush. However, mutual respect is something that should be earned. Just because a kid shows interest in magic, it doesn't mean that he automatically deserves the same respect that a 'seasoned' performer deserves. He also doesn't deserve to be ridiculed for wanting to be the next 'David Blaine.' (keep in mind that many 'older generation' magicians don't consider David Blaine to be an accomplished magician.) Although I've never been that impressed with Blaine... I have to respect his ability to captivate a following of young people and interest them in performing magic. I also respect his ability to market his craft through elaborate publicity stunts (like Houdini did.) Over all, this is good for magic in general. Unfortunately, many young people believe that his in-your-face style of performing is the only way to go. David Blaine 'commands' respect on the street, whether he's earned it or not. That's his style and he does it well. When a young magician learns a few tricks and tries to pattern his style the same way... he may not be able to command that same respect. More than likely, he'll appear to be arrougant, egotistical and self-rightous. Maybe this is the disconnect that happens between the 'older generation' and the 'newbies.' In a local club that I belong to, there are many old-timers and large number of young people. There's no disconnect... we all learn from each other. Some of us are street performers... others are stage performers. As long as everyone keeps an open mind, we all learn a little regardless of style. I've learned some great effects from some of these kids... and I'm not ashamed to admit it.
One good thing about being wrong...
Is the pleasure it brings to others.
calexa
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I think the problem with "youger" magicians is something that is common with most of the younger people: they get excited very quick, and loose the interest in the same speed. Therefore oder people are more cautious.

Magixx
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rikbrooks
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Scott, at first I penned a very well thought out (and long) explanation that would answer your questions for everybody but you.

The short answer is this: You have the passion but it's misplaced and is firing about like a garden hose with the water on too fast. It sprays around creating nothing but frustration.

You will need that passion, so foster it. As you mature you will find that you become more focused. Add focus to passion and you will gain skill.

Magic, my dear Scott, is so much more than being able to do tricks or effects. There is a large component of psychology as well. Beyond that there is a fair amount of physics. There is drama and directing. There is so much more than even these, but, should you maintain your passion in magic, you will find out for yourself and you don't need a doddering old man to tell you.

So, here is my advice, Scott, The next time you face the old magician in your club, understand that he knows where you are because he's been there. You have no idea where the old man has been. He has an advantage over you. No matter how badly his hands shake or how bent of back he is, there is knowledge in that aged body that will take you years to gain. Even if he TOLD you everything he knows, it won't sink in until the time is right.

He knows that because he's lived his life seeking knowledge that he already had, just wasn't ready for. Those mements where he became ready are known as epiphanies.

You didn't ask for advice but I'm going to give it to you anyway. Pay attention. You are in for one heck of a ride.

Ummm, that's it, 'Pay Attention', that's the advice.
Magic-FX
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I don't mean to put a bee in anyones bonnet with anything I'm about to say, but guys it was 3AM in the morning. I had just finished 4 hours of night shift and still had 4 to look forward. Plus I had been up since 2 in the afternoon anyway. Boo Hoo for me I know!

This was a kind of impulse piece of writing to keep me awake for the next few hours that's all. I am glad it has got everyone thinking however.

Thanks for all your posts!

Scotty
abc
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Respect is a mutual thing as many have said above. I do find that older magicians respect young magicians the moment they see that the young magician is really trying to gte things done the right way. Unfortunately, like has been mentioned before as well, EGO is the biggest problem for young and old magicians as well as other arts not only performing. You should play the guitar in a band to see how quickly egos can ruin things or even worse arrange an art exibition to see how two artists can argue over placement of their work etc etc etc. It is much worse than magicians. Trust me. I am yet to find one guitarist say to another one out of the blue "let me help you with that riff or whatever" but I have seen many magicians do that. We are working in a great group with a few people that may or may not belong here but time will make us all wiser.
Magic-FX
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As a fellow guitarist ABC I have to agree with what you said. Other hobbies don't seem to pull together as much as magicians do. I guess we can all be proud of that in a sense!
Lynne Kelly
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Although I have been doing some stuff for a good few years and been interested for decades, it is only the last two years I have been really serious about magic and giving it a lot of work. I am not young by a long shot.

One of my ex-students (of non-magical themes) is about 23 and one of the best card magicians I know. The roles are now reversed and he is teaching me. He is one of the most respected members of the magic club, because of the enormous effort he puts into thinking about every detail of the art as well as performing it.

So the respect is nothing to do with age. It is all to do with attitude and ablity.

Lynne
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Plus...you'd be surprised how far most "older" (either in years or experience, or both) Magicians are willing to go to help a younger Magician who is sincere about learning his/her craft.
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I am fortunate enough to know lots of magicians who are incredibly giving of both their time, their effort and their experience to us lesser experienced ones who GENUINELY want to learn.

I don't think there is another profession in which this happens to the same extent or with the same freedom.

It seems to me that the world of magic has many things to be proud of - not least the willingness of the more experienced magicians to pass on to other less experienced ones what they themselves know.

Good job too, because I think we all know that some things really cant be learned from JUST reading a book!

One of the first EVER responses I received on the MC was from Richard Osterlind - what a real gentleman - how good can it get!!

Best
ML x
MagikDavid
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BRAVO... TO THE LADIES... The ladies have hit the proverbal 'nail' on the head! This ol' geezer will share anything he knows with anyone who has a serious interest in learning, for the purpose of performing magic and furthering interest in the art. Sometimes it's hard to weed out those who are merely 'curious.' But, most of us old-timers have learned to spot the ones who's interests are genuine. After all, we were once from the same mold.

Dave
One good thing about being wrong...
Is the pleasure it brings to others.
Magic-FX
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Thanks for all the posts folks! I agree that respect has to be earned, however it is often the case (not all the time but definately often) that there isn't even a chance for that respect to be earnt.

But again thanks for all the reading, Im glad my bordom at work has got everyone typing!

Scotty
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I have come across this attude myself Magic-FX . As I agree that respect should be earned I also believe that there is a basic level of respect that all people should be entitled to. What I'm talking about here is givin the time to earned that higher respect by first givin a chance.

Not being type casted to a group and if something is wrong then at least an attempt of something being shown to correct it. If after all that the person still does not show the quiltys that damand your respect then other actions may be taken. But the basic level needs to be established first.

Magically

AUs
jack_is_dead
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I think the subject magic is not something that can be freely discussed with someone you don't know..knowing that the secret is wat keeping magic alive and giving food for the older magicians..the magic secret should never be revealed to anyone other than those who is very serious about the art..i think that's the reason the experienced magicians don't want to help the younger..they might just be another jerk wanting to know all and expose it to his friends showing he knows all!so if you be true and commited you will be helped and treated well..the first move should be yours..
one eyed man is the king in the blind land
John Bowlin
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And the older magician will say "why is it that every time I try to share my wisdom of the importance of reading, performing, routineing, and learning the body language that makes miracles they look at me like I'm speaking mandarin. They just want the new secret move or gimmick that will fry everyone?" It's a two way relationship that can either spawn new prejudices or break some barriers. Each of us sets a precedent for the interaction that follows us.
jack_is_dead
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Nicely said johnyb!!
one eyed man is the king in the blind land
Bob Johnston
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Many people do not learn well from reading. There are many David Roth routines that can be better learned from his videos.

I am visually impaired and I know a young student that can not read well but learns very well from video.

Al Schneider is one of our best writers on magic. However, his set of DVD is better and more complete than any of his writing.

Vernon does not do a good job in explaining the wand spin in his book. Michael Ammar’s video is far better.

Bob
alson
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I think an older magicians will give someone respect , information , and his time to help them if they show a true interest . I had two great mentors ,but
by no means did they take me right on .First they were both busy performers and
they did go though a checking out period with me since I was so young . That did
not change the way I felt about magic. I went on trying to get better , and slowly
both start helping me to become what I am today. I am now the older magician and when I see a person ,who I feel is really trying I help where I can. My mentors
have pass on and I feel they gave me information to pass on and so at the right
time I do.
Alson
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