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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Do you share your secrets? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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bishthemagish
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I sell secrets.

And I do my best to pass on the secrets to a younger generation. And many of the real secrets have nothing to do with magic. Because to me the real secret of success in magic is being simpatico!

Nate Leipzig said this when he said, "If they like you they will like your act".
Glenn Bishop Cardician

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Publisher of Glenn Bishop's Ace Cutting And Block Transfer Triumphs
Chrystal
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Hey Vinnie,

Just got back to catching up on this post and thanks very much for the kind words.

It's always been my experience that those willing to share with their peers, in which case I mean other magicians, appear to be the ones that feel confident about their material. This is not meant to offend anyone that said they don't share but usually it's a two way street, both leave learning from one another. To me, this makes you a better magician.

Chrystal
matthew leatherbarrow
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Hey,

I quite often share my secrets with non-magicians (albeit close friends and relatives).

I do this because it gives the method (and thus usually the effect) a non-magi perspective.

A particular effect may work as a whole, but when I explain the method, I may get comments such as ‘oh yeah – at that point it did look a little funny’.

While the effect as a whole worked, spectators did noticing something.

Showing the method helps iron out the kinks. They can pinpoint the exact moment they though they saw something suspicions. Then I can try and change it.

Regards,

Matt
Jeff Corn
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I will only share the finer details with close magician friends. I have no problem helping people with sleights or effects when they ask, if I know that they're serious about the art.
Yes, that is my real name. Yes, I am a real person. No, you probably won't agree with me.
Josh the Superfluous
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Matt,

Tell me you're joking....please! Iron out the kinks with a video camera or join a club. Telling non-magicians how something works is not acceptable. As you get better, and do more involved effects, you will find yourself without the tools you need (sleights & gaffs) because of you earlier exposing. You are also ruining the powerful effect of magic for your friends and family.

-Josh
What do you want in a site? "Honesty, integrity and decency." -Mike Doogan
"I hate it, I hate my ironic lovechild. I didn't even have anything to do with it" Josh #2
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2006-02-22 07:18, matthew leatherbarrow wrote:...
I quite often share my secrets with non-magicians (albeit close friends and relatives...


First, doing such a thing is offering a false intimacy. Those people would likely prefer to hear you feel about a project than get involved in its methods.

About discussing magic methods with muggles... Shirley you know that's against the rules. How can you consider accounting for the magic, what you called "invisible magic" and yet destroy the magic for muggles by exposing it, reducing the magic to a display of supposedly secret manipulations?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2006-02-22 07:18, matthew leatherbarrow wrote:
Hey,

I quite often share my secrets with non-magicians (albeit close friends and relatives).

I do this because it gives the method (and thus usually the effect) a non-magi perspective.

A particular effect may work as a whole, but when I explain the method, I may get comments such as ‘oh yeah – at that point it did look a little funny’.

While the effect as a whole worked, spectators did noticing something.

Showing the method helps iron out the kinks. They can pinpoint the exact moment they though they saw something suspicions. Then I can try and change it.

Regards,

Matt



That is really not a good idea, Matthew. Find a magician that you can work with. Don't share secrets with muggles.

If you don't understand why, take up macrame.

The rest of us will thank you for it.

You might also try the guitar.
"The Swatter"

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matthew leatherbarrow
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Hello,

I think this post has stumbled onto one of my problems with magic.

I am a student filmmaker – I mainly focus on script writing. There are if you like secrets to filmmaking (techniques and methods that require skill, and a good teacher and/or book). A good film keeps the methods (editing, ect) hidden allowing the spectators to enjoy the end product (the effect).

However, filmmakers make little attempt to hide the methods of filmmaking. This is because:

Film requires specialist tools
Film requires specialist skills
But most importantly, filmmakers know they are creating fiction (even when making a documentary). They also know that if they make a good film i.e. one that uses the methods rather than relying on them, people will not care if they know how it was constructed. Furthermore, when they do find out (i.e. DVD extras explaining how the film was made) it rarely changes a viewers perception of the film. Paul Watson, a rather successful British documentary maker said on a number of occasions when lecturing us ‘if you have a good story, it can be made with a shoelace (as film) and spit (to develop it)’.

My point is this; filmmakers care little about their secrets being released because they know the end product is about more than secrets. In fact, having a public aware of methods allows preview screenings to be more productive.

Sharing magic methods with my close (close should be emphasised) friends and relatives does two very important things. It encourages me to think beyond the simple ‘method/effect’ constraints of magic, but more importantly it gives those close to me a language with which to talk about my magic while having the perspective of a non-performer.

This combination of vocabulary and perspective is something I find invaluable in both film and magic.

‘Those people would likely prefer to hear you feel about a project than get involved in its methods.’, experience does not entitle you to omniscience. The people with whom I share methods are close to me. It is likely I will be more aware of their preference.

Bill, your post was as derogatory as it was unnecessary.

Matt
Al Angello
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I showed my sister a trick once, which she loved, and simply had to know how it was done. After I showed her how it was done the smile left her face, and she told me "that isn't magic, you just tricked me". Matt if you reveal your secrets to everyone no one will respect you.
Al Angello
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Vandy Grift
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Matt,

I'm in the same boat most of the time. I have even thought about bringing a friend into my confidence to help me work on some things. But I decided against it. For one thing, I'm not a worker, so anyone that I would show methods to is a potential audience for me. I don't want any of my friends or family to know anything. It will only ruin the magic for them.

I've joined the IBM and as yet have not really connected with anyone there to session with. So I work one my stuff alone. I send video clips for advice to my magic friends that are online or live in other towns. And I perform magic for family and friends. Yes, I have blown a trick in front of them. And I wanted to go home, fill the tub with warm water, climb in and slash my wrists. I could have shown them what I was trying to do, or tried to do the trick again, but I made the decision awhile back to not include my family or friends in any secrets. Period.

It can be tough when you don't have anyone nearby to session with. But discussing methods with "muggles" (I don't really like that word, but it's starting to creep into my lexicon, Thanks Jonathan. LOL) is out of the question for me. Just consider what some of these guys are saying.

When I speak to my friends that are involved in magic. Yeah, we talk about methods.

Vandy
"Get a life dude." -some guy in a magic forum
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2006-02-24 14:34, matthew leatherbarrow wrote:...
I think this post has stumbled onto one of my problems with magic.

I am a student filmmaker – I mainly focus on script writing. There are if you like secrets to filmmaking (techniques and methods that require skill, and a good teacher and/or book). A good film keeps the methods (editing, etc) hidden allowing the spectators to enjoy the end product (the effect). ...


I'm with you on the basic approach, and attended S. U. N. Y. College at Purchase, so had a good four years around film, theater and drama students.

Great to see you are studying film which is all about getting a story on the screen.

Muggles are a great resource for "what makes sense" and basic feedback on scripting issues.

Almost all of the time, and for almost all of the people we meet, the mechanics behind the magical effects is NEVER of interest. It comes up mostly when they (muggles) want to communicate about something they saw or to compliment your abilities.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
EsnRedshirt
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Matt- Magic is not film making, just like live theatre isn't film making. They share many of the same elements, yes, but there are fundamental differences- in actor and in audience psychology.

A real world example for you? Hunt down a stage hand who's done a production of Phantom of the Opera, and ask them to tell you how they do all those tricks. Better yet, ask them about "the mannequin" (they'll know what you're talking about.) If you're lucky, you'll get a polite, "Sorry, can't," though expect anything from icy stares to mocking laughter. Where magic is concerned, people want to be fooled. You're doing them a disservice by revealing secrets, even if they ask.

If you need to get specific feedback concerning sleights, ask another magician (I'm sure there's a magic shop somewhere around you where they'll be happy to oblige.) Relatives are good for polishing your routine, but they don't need to know the secrets. (Plus, they're usually not harsh enough critics for your purposes anyway.)

Oh, me? I only reveal my secrets to those who need to know- stagehands, assistants (and maybe professionals whom I'm working with to build/design an illusion.) And I only reveal to them the secrets they need to know (unless they're apprenticing, but that's another matter entirely.)
Self-proclaimed Jack-of-all-trades and google expert*.

* = Take any advice from this person with a grain of salt.
matthew leatherbarrow
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I have found creating a universal language between myself and a small number of non-magicians to be beneficial. I have explained why I feel this way.

I am not expecting a revolution, just sharing an experience.

I have enough magician contacts to discuss the specifics of sleights (etc) with regards to a specific effect. However I personally maintain there is a value in an open dialogue regarding the construct of an effect with non-magicians.

I will repeat, it gives those with a different perspective a better language to communicate their thoughts.

Matt
Josh the Superfluous
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Maybe it's time to up the amount of posts to get into secret sessions.
What do you want in a site? "Honesty, integrity and decency." -Mike Doogan
"I hate it, I hate my ironic lovechild. I didn't even have anything to do with it" Josh #2
Bill Palmer
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Maybe it's time to let the Powers That Be know that we have a turncoat in our midst.

In Amish communities, when there was such a person, he would be shunned. Excommunicated.

Nobody would speak to him or respond to his speech.

Matthew seems to have come to this community with the mistaken idea that he had some kind of new insight into what makes magic work. He doesn't. He doesn't know the literature, he doesn't know the history and he doesn't have the background to do anything but LEECH from us.

I, for one, will no longer respond to anything he says.

Remember, the subtitle of the magic Café is "Magicians Helping Magicians," not "Magicians helping semi-educated laymen expose our secrets to other laymen."
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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Al Angello
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The most frustrating experiences I have had here at the Café is when a newbee asks the experts for advise then makes post after post arguing with the very people he came to for advise. Maybe we should take a page from the Pennsylvania Dutch's play book, because the smart magicians are becoming quite angry.
Al Angello

PS Our friend Matt is from the UK, and may not know who the Amish are, so he will have to Google them, because Bill and I are done talking.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Josh the Superfluous
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Shunned it is. In fact all of those posts have disappeared from my screen, and my search function is back. The world is back in balance. I'm glad to see nobody here shares secrets with lay-people. That would have been really silly if someone had said they did.
What do you want in a site? "Honesty, integrity and decency." -Mike Doogan
"I hate it, I hate my ironic lovechild. I didn't even have anything to do with it" Josh #2
RandyStewart
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Quote:
On 2006-02-27 08:30, Al Angello wrote:
The most frustrating experiences I have had here at the Café is when a newbee asks the experts for advise then makes post after post arguing with the very people he came to for advise. Maybe we should take a page from the Pennsylvania Dutch's play book, because the smart magicians are becoming quite angry.
Al Angello


Al? Is that you? The juggler? Man is that all the Witness Protection Plan is handing out these days? A pair of shades and a hat? To hell with those guys ya know. They care about nothing but their own interests. Cheap and insensitive!

Now regarding newbies throwing caution to the wind with expert's advice, I'm not guilty of such but have suffered the temperament of such jaded experts. I still ask for advice even from a couple of them who seem far more bothered by me than happy to hear from me. And I don't even contact them all that much. Maybe some of them will read this and promote me in their fine experienced minds to "occasionally worthy" or better yet "Non Compos Mentis but Praiseworthy"...hey anything but their crabby ole' selves.

I can sense someone somewhere did some damage long before I got there.

Anyway, the hat and shades look good for the time being yes? Yes...
Al Angello
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Randy
Good one. I believe you have changed your avatar several times. I wear the purple shades and panama hat to scare women and children, but the only effect it has had so far is my wife says if I had a corncob pipe I would look Amish.
HAVE FUN
Al Angello
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
matthew leatherbarrow
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Bill,

I have been nothing but polite and honest with my opinion.

My sharing of a few secrets with a few people (most, if not all the secrets are of my own effects) is hardly the most catastrophic thing to happen in magic, or I imagine on this forum.

I have not advocated the sharing of secrets haphazardly; I spent time to explain my stance in detail.

Bill the nature of your post was unprovoked, mean spirited and above all else verging on being libellous.

I have kept my personal thoughts regarding you to myself. I have responded to all the posts with care.

Bill you have attacked my character because I share a different opinion to the one you hold.

I sincerely hope you feel proud because all I feel is disappointed.

Matt
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