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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magic...at a moment's notice! » » How do you keep the secrets of magic (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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tony2514
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Yorkshire, UK
162 Posts

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My personal favourite is to show someone a classic but simple trick - lets say for sake of argument the French drop, but it could be anything.

Once they have done it I will then do a more advanced version of the same trick. For example, a French Drop but then I'll clip the coin in a rear thumb clip showing both hands empty and say something like

"that's the difference between learning a trick and doing real magic!" or "The real secret to doing magic is to always stay one step ahead of the other guy"

You have fulfilled your part of their request and maintained your mystique or whatever...
Bill
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and Pretty Nice Guy
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I remember talking about this with Brad Burt. He said that he tell's them that he swore an oath not to divulge magic secrets. And that to do so would be breaking his word.

I can't imagine any boss, or anyone else for that matter, that wouldn't respect that.
The Amazing Noobini
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Inner circle
Oslo, Norway
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Do you guys feel that belonging to a circle or union makes it easier to look someone in the eyes and say that you cannot break the oath of secrecy? Without feeling like a jerk or having them think that you are one?

I think that without having sworn a real oath or being a part of something, one would perhaps just feel like a regular guy who is trying to sound mysterious. When he doesn't in fact have any more credentials than having spent a lot of money on books and DVDs.

To me, it feels like there may be a psychological difference. What do you think?
"Talk about melodrama... and being born in the wrong part of the world." (Raf Robert)
"You, my friend, have a lot to learn." (S. Youell)
"Nonsensical Raving of a lunatic mind..." (Larry)
Bill Thompson
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Mississippi
422 Posts

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"As a magician, I promise never to reveal the secret of any illusion to a non-magician, unless that one swears to uphold the Magician's Oath in turn. I promise never to perform any illusion for any non-magician without first practicing the effect until I can perform it well enough to maintain the illusion of magic."

Or some variation there of... I read that to myself, and I promised it to myself. I hold it dear and true. Unless the person is another magician, I don't reveal squat. If they want to learn magic bad enough, there are sources (magic books, magic shop, Internet) that will satisfy that need. If their need is truly great enough, they will eventually become a true student of magic.

My journey didn't start with me bugging some magician to "teach me a trick." I decided I wanted to learn magic, so I found a book on magic and became a sponge soaking up everything I could. Reading, learning, and eventually buying tricks and apparatus from both a brick and mortar shop and online. Eventually, I met other magicians and was invited to join a club. Anyone who really truly wants to learn magic can and will, without you having to teach them a trick.

I remember the first time my wife and I went to the Fun Shop together... Doug did Triumph for us. After making my purchase and on our way out, my wife asked me if I could get him to show me how to do that trick. I told her I would figure out what that trick was and how to do it on my own. I don't do Triumph yet, but I know what book to get to learn it when I have my basic sleights learned. I am still working through Royal Road right now.
"To let understanding stop at what cannot be understood is a high attainment.
Those who cannot do it will be destroyed on the lathe of heaven." - Chuang Tse
The Amazing Noobini
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Oslo, Norway
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Great post, misterbill! Sounds like we are on the same leg of the journey.

I was thinking about joining a local magic ring here, but I don't think I will now. At least, not yet. I have been swinging back and forth between wanting to and not. Here, it costs over $100 for a year's membership. Things are expensive in my country, and the fee is entirely reasonable really. But considering what I can get in books and cards for that kind of money, it doesn't seem like a reasonable choice for me just so that I can feel that I belong to a group to which I have sworn an oath. I don't blend easily into groups anyway, so I would probably just sit at the back and feel out of place.

Besides, if they rejected my application, it would probably kill what little self esteem I have.

But swearing an oath to yourself seems like a good idea. Although to curious spectators who want things exposed, it would probably not seem like reasonable excuse. One could, of course, just lie and claim that an oath has been sworn under serious circumstances, but I find myself curiously unwilling to do that.

As I will possibly be performing a Simon Aronson effect next week, I actually thought about sending him an e-mail in which I swear not to reveal his stuff. That way I could say that, "I have sworn to the magician who taught it to me not to reveal it," which would be completely true, as he taught it to me in one of his books.

But I felt that such an email might be too corny, so I didn't send it.
"Talk about melodrama... and being born in the wrong part of the world." (Raf Robert)
"You, my friend, have a lot to learn." (S. Youell)
"Nonsensical Raving of a lunatic mind..." (Larry)
Bill Thompson
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Mississippi
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I think an oath sworn to one's self has just as much validity, if not more, than any other oath.
"To let understanding stop at what cannot be understood is a high attainment.
Those who cannot do it will be destroyed on the lathe of heaven." - Chuang Tse
Simon Aronson
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Yeah, but I have powerful friends, and you don't want to mess with them.
"There's a world of difference between a spectator's not knowing how something is done versus his knowing that it can't be done."

Shuffle-bored (1980)



http://www.simonaronson.com
Bill Palmer
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Eternal Order
Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
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My father was an amateur magician. He was really parsimonious with the secrets. He never told, at least not until I belonged to the IBM.

Even after his membership in the local club had lapsed, he felt very adamant about not revealing secrets.

One afternoon, he and my mother were at the Texas Renaissance Festival watching my show. I was doing the Linking Rings, and he heard the fellow behind him explaining how they worked to the lady he was with. So, Dad turned to the fellow and said, "You seem to know a lot about magic. Are you a magician?"

"Why, yes, I'm a magician. I belong to the IBM."

"Really! They must have changed a lot since I was a member. Back then, we weren't allowed to reveal secrets." The fellow shut his mouth.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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Tom Fenton
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Leeds, UK (but I'm Scottish)
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A few years ago, I swore an oath to myself that I would never reveal the secret to any effect.
When anyone asks how something is done, I tell them about my oath and how the secrets aren't mine to tell.
This usually has the required effect; if not, I walk away.

Tom
"But there isn't a door"
The Amazing Noobini
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Oslo, Norway
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Well, I swore an oath to myself the other day as well, after reading misterbill's post.

I actually felt really corny doing it. Although, I was sincere. The thing is... I have broken promises to myself a great many times in life. I guess I have a lot lower respect for myself than others. Smile

Mr. Palmer, although clearly a man of strong principles, it sounds like your father almost took his oath a little too seriously if he was reluctant to teach you things even after you had embarked on serious studies of magic. Great story, though. And you appear to have done fine in any case. Smile
"Talk about melodrama... and being born in the wrong part of the world." (Raf Robert)
"You, my friend, have a lot to learn." (S. Youell)
"Nonsensical Raving of a lunatic mind..." (Larry)
NickJegor
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Elite user
Lithuania
466 Posts

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Tell the oldest version.

"Can you keep a secret? ...So can I!"
Nikolajus Jegorovas
Kaunas, Lithuania
Web: http://www.nicholaskin.com
sleightofand
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London, UK
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How do I keep a secret.....that would be telling!!!!!
Carlo Conjurana
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I agree the oldest version: just say

Can you keep a secret ? so can I !!!

Give your trick away you become a NOTHING !!!!!
they sometimes see you as a fool ? diminishing LOL

keep the OATH and you will go far and if someone is intrested he WILL go about buying books and tricks simple as that.

Magico
La Strega
mysto59
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Bethalto, Illinois
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I did Slow Burn for a friend of mine the other day and naturally he asked how I did it. I went into this really drawn out explaination of how I had hidden tiny mirrors in the walls that reflected the image of the money onto another mirror that was attached to a hidden rope under the table etc. etc.

He figured out fairly quick that I was not going to tell him how I did the trick and he got a good laugh too...
It's not the size of the wand that matters, it's the "magic" in it...
Danny Borneo
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Teach them the 21 card trick, I think all magicians can safely say "We're done using that one, the laypeople can have it."
cheesewrestler
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Chicago
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Show them a couple of betchas from Zenon's book or something. Somebody who just "wants something to impress his friends with" isn't (at that point) showing any interest in magic.

And BTW, the 21 card trick, the piano trick, etc, all still have plenty of mileage on them for those who know how to present them.
jquackc
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JC - Denver
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Quote:
On 2008-02-12 11:04, Danny Borneo wrote:
Teach them the 21 card trick, I think all magicians can safely say "We're done using that one, the laypeople can have it."


I still want it.
JC

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myspace.com/jquackc

It's coming...QUACK... a new ebook from the fallible mind of JC... April 2048... groundbreaking material... limited edition... only 200 will be sold. Starting at $47... Preorder your copy toda
Kex
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Twin Falls, ID
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Since I mainly work with cards when asked to teach something. I ask them if they know anything... most people actually know something very basic and simple. I just compoiment them on that and give them pointers on presentation. They feel like they have learned something and I have given nothing away. Except to clue them in that magic is really a performance art.
Danny Borneo
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It was a joke of course Smile
andolini
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norwood,ma
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If you would like to learn some magic.Go to a magic store and buy royal road to card magic.They wont.
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