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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Right or Wrong? » » How do Penn and Teller justify exposing illusions? (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2012-05-17 21:25, A nice person asked about:...word for bringing to light, to the masses, something that is open-knowledge but not commonly known. ...


Like report, teach, comedy(observational), and what documentary producers/narrators do 'infotainment'

What's missing in the above is any sense of the allure of illicit or illgotten knowledge somehow cleansed of its attendant responsibility for a few dollars and a wink.

I don't see P&T seeking to despoil magic tricks by revealing the mechanics. IMHO they are both aware of the difference between presenting a fraudulent claim, a puzzle and something that is meant to be taken in like a painting or play.
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rossmacrae
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For P&T's definitive answer (and it really does answer a lot) see HIS NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC ARTICLE.

Should be a thread-stopper.
Jonathan Townsend
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I wish it were a start to many threads on "did this work for you" topics.
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Mr. Mystoffelees
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Yeah, a thread-stopper- it all makes sense now- that's what magicians should do at the end of every show...
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
Jonathan Townsend
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On 2012-05-19 09:12, Mr. Mystoffelees wrote:
Yeah, a thread-stopper- it all makes sense now- that's what magicians should do at the end of every show...


"that's" - what specifically?
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Mr. Mystoffelees
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Explain to the waiting audience exactly how each trick worked and how they were fooled... is that not what Teller did in the NG article? Would someone who read that article and then attended a magic show where those effects just happened to be on the program have the same sense of awe... or ANY sense of awe??
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
Brainbu$ter
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That article is not really a direct answer to this issue. There are some effects e ehose methods eclipse the intrigue of the effects. That is when we are seduced to expose the secret.

Most methods however are embarrassingly disappointing.

Some spectators are saddened to discover such secret. Why do you insist on depriving them of the mystery?
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Jonathan Townsend
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The NG article is more of a lecture than model of a show.
He introduces his topic, then discusses the seven ideas and then...
offers a sample effect in text - and proceeds to use a methods discussion to reinforce the ideas.
Most performer's shows are not of that format.
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Mr. Mystoffelees
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Quote:
On 2012-05-19 15:36, Brainbu$ter wrote:

Why do you insist on depriving them of the mystery?


Who is "you"?
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Brainbu$ter
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P&T. There's a difference between someone seeking out a method in the library, or purchasing the secret, or trading it within the fraternity, and P&T who promiscuously expose secrets when unsolicited and for no reason.
When a magician is asked, "How did you do that?" There are many replies which are all to the effect,
"It's a secret."
When Penn was asked this question, he simply answered with the method (not only to the questioner, but to a mixed, broad audience).
The best virtual magic show by the stupendous zoom magician Jon Finch.
Jonathan Townsend
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BB - in regards to Penn's behavior, where was this?
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Brainbu$ter
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Page 1 of this thread, by Starpower:

"I remember back in the 80's when P&T were just getting popular, Penn appeared on a Chicago radio show. People called in asking how tricks were done, and Penn explained everything asked for. I vividly recall him explaining the Broom Suspension, talking about an incident where a girl was pinched by the gimmick and started bleeding. There was no reason, there was no theatrical presentation --- he was simply dispensing secrets."
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Jonathan Townsend
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Thanks BB, I was not aware of this firsthand.
Have you seen or heard a show where either of the discuss methods in context?
Has anyone else witnessed a more recent incident of this kind of behavior?

Exposure seems an unproductive way to elicit the experience of disappointment in audiences.
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Mr. Mystoffelees
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Quote:
On 2012-05-19 23:46, Brainbu$ter wrote:
P&T. There's a difference between someone seeking out a method in the library, or purchasing the secret, or trading it within the fraternity, and P&T who promiscuously expose secrets when unsolicited and for no reason.
When a magician is asked, "How did you do that?" There are many replies which are all to the effect,
"It's a secret."
When Penn was asked this question, he simply answered with the method (not only to the questioner, but to a mixed, broad audience).


I agree totally. One has only to watch their DVD of not only exposing, but giving out the props and teaching, the thumb tip to an audience of a thousand or so chinese to be disgusted. If it were their invention, then it is theirs to give away, but I don't think they invented the thumb tip. Correction: I don't agree that they do it "for no reason", much worse- they do it for the almighty dollar...

Jim
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Brainbu$ter
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Jonathan Townsend: "Exposure seems an unproductive way to elicit the experience of disappointment."

Can you remember the way laypeople talked about David Blaine before the Balducci Levitation became a party gag?

Falling from the belief, "He floated off the ground," to "He just stood on one tiptoe," is called disappointment.

JT, am I correct in interpreting your posts that you support P&T's exposures (or disclosures) of others' secrets?
The best virtual magic show by the stupendous zoom magician Jon Finch.
Payne
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Quote:
On 2012-05-20 17:58, Mr. Mystoffelees wrote:

I agree totally. One has only to watch their DVD of not only exposing, but giving out the props and teaching, the thumb tip to an audience of a thousand or so chinese to be disgusted. If it were their invention, then it is theirs to give away, but I don't think they invented the thumb tip. Correction: I don't agree that they do it "for no reason", much worse- they do it for the almighty dollar...

Jim


I don't see the Magician's National Anthem routibne as exposure. It was a teaching moment Smile They taught a theatre full of fans a trick that they then could go out and fool their friends with. It is little different than selling slum magic in the bsack of the room after a magic show. something that hundreds and hundreds of magicians do every year. The thumb tip and little hanky was included in the price of admission so they in effect sold each member of the audience the trick. The trick itself wasn't exposed on the broadcast. At least the one I saw. But then the audience wasn't all Chinese so you might be reffering to a different telecast. The show I saw had Penn and Teller doing the vanishing hanky trick with the audience following along. They never showed the thumb tip or refered to a fake or plastic thumb. The just walked the audience through the tired old presentation with the same banal patter that far too many magicians use. It was a very clever and funny bit.
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Mr. Mystoffelees
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If that works for you- it just doesn't for me. I do not find "clever and funny" sufficient reason to expose magic. So, Teller must be suing because the other magician was not clever and funny enough? Smile
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Jonathan Townsend
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On 2012-05-21 00:35, Brainbu$ter wrote:...JT, am I correct in interpreting your posts that you support P&T's exposures (or disclosures) of others' secrets?


You have the right to interpret what you read as you please and I would be incorrect in even suggesting otherwise.

What have I written that suggests I condone exposure?
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Brainbu$ter
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On 2012-05-17 17:10, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
You can't expose anything that's on the open market. Once your uncle's second cousin can walk into a magic shop and say "i want to buy one of those" ... it's exposed. Once a self rightous reporter or lawyer takes it upon himself to set down detailed descriptions of how other people's tricks are done - the secrets are out...


This is what I was referring to. I may have misinterpreted you. Are you saying that because the secrets are out, it makes no difference whether we expose them on national tv?
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Brainbu$ter
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Jonathan Townsend,
I asked for the meaning you intended, not the interpretation that pleases me.
The best virtual magic show by the stupendous zoom magician Jon Finch.
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