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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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As far as I've understood what I've written - it's been consistently against open discussion of methods.
I see it as a kind of negative education where you trade curiosity and wonder for trivia.
The usual example is turning faeries into fireflies.
Doing that with other people's work, especially without their permission seems a strange act to reward in our craft.

How many here know the origin of the TT and silk bit? Or the spring flower production item? The multiplying billiards? The ace assembly trick using gaffs?

And for those who do know, of the latest versions of those items to hit print - how many are even comparable much less greatly improved (from audience perspective) to the originals?

In more open dialog I'd ask: what does a thing do for the audience?
As regards the P&T hank vanish item - what does it do for them at the show and how did that affect them after the show - what did they take home?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Mr. Mystoffelees
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Quote:
On 2012-05-22 06:18, Jonathan Townsend wrote:

I see it as a kind of negative education where you trade curiosity and wonder for trivia.
The usual example is turning faeries into fireflies.



Jonathan- priceless!

Jim
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
Brainbu$ter
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That's a good point.
I'm glad we're in agreement.
I like your name.
The most engaging virtual magic show by the stupendous zoom magician Jon Finch.
Atom3339
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I invest too much money, time and hard work (practice) to give away our secrets so easily. Let's not forget the VALUE of exclusive knowledge. No casting pearls before swine.
TH

Occupy Your Dream
Payne
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Quote:
On 2012-05-22 12:06, Atom3339 wrote:
I invest too much money, time and hard work (practice) to give away our secrets so easily. Let's not forget the VALUE of exclusive knowledge. No casting pearls before swine.


I suppose it's all relative. I too invest a great deal of time money and resources in the art and craft of magic and yet I have no issue with the supposed exposures of Penn and Teller. In fact I hold the duo in high regard for their elevation of magic in the eyes of the general public. In all my years of performing I've never had anyone come up to me after a show and tell me they knew how I did a certain effect because they saw Penn and Teller expose it. Does anyone know anybody who has?

As Jim Steinmeyer has pointed out on numerous occasions. Magician's have been guarding an empty box. The secrets of magic are long gone. Cast to the four winds ages ago. The age of exclusive knowledge is a distant memory, if it ever really existed at all.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Akil
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But think of all the people who never would have come to magic had it not been for some of the exposures. It cuts down on some of the mass hysteria too, like the people who think magi are devil worshipers. I'm not saying what they are doing is necessarily good, because they do sell out some major secrets...But, it is just one of those "necessary evils" so to speak. I think they should use a little moderation.
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2012-05-22 15:26, Payne wrote:
...As Jim Steinmeyer has pointed out on numerous occasions. Magician's have been guarding an empty box. The secrets of magic are long gone. Cast to the four winds ages ago. The age of exclusive knowledge is a distant memory, if it ever really existed at all.


Some folks get all grouchy when the methods for Jim Steinmeyer's craft and tricks get discussed. It gets even more interesting when the topic of the Hooker card act comes up. Much as I admire and respect Jarrow, Harbin and Steinmeyer's work in design and craftsmanship I still find his position hypocritical on this matter. His safe is locked, full of his work and I respect that. How do you accept his claim about an "educated" audience when he's not educating audiences to appreciate his own work?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Jim Sparx
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Maybe the solution to exposure is to invent stuff no one else knows how to do, and keep your mouth shut. My wife doesn't know how I do stuff. And she does stuff that I have no idea why she does it, other than just to aggravate me.
Payne
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Quote:
On 2012-05-22 18:14, Jonathan Townsend wrote:

How do you accept his claim about an "educated" audience when he's not educating audiences to appreciate his own work?



Isn't he? He's received a certain amount of flack in the magic community for revealing basic illusion methods in his non-fiction work like "Hiding the Elephant" "Thurston: The world's Greatest Magician" and "The Glorious Deception". Methods that he didn't originate and many of which he employs in his illusion designs.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Payne
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On 2012-05-24 00:00, spartacus wrote:
Maybe the solution to exposure is to invent stuff no one else knows how to do, and keep your mouth shut. My wife doesn't know how I do stuff. And she does stuff that I have no idea why she does it, other than just to aggravate me.


Really not possible. Pretty much anything anyone does can be backward engineered. I don't think there has eve been an illusion created that wasn't knocked off or duplicated within months of it appearing onstage.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Akil
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I'm sure that P&T aren't revealing how they do their stunts out of malicious intent...besides in many of their stage shows, they still incorporate phenomenon that is unexplained to the viewers.
Mr. Mystoffelees
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Quote:
On 2012-05-24 11:27, Payne wrote:
Quote:
On 2012-05-24 00:00, spartacus wrote:
Maybe the solution to exposure is to invent stuff no one else knows how to do, and keep your mouth shut. My wife doesn't know how I do stuff. And she does stuff that I have no idea why she does it, other than just to aggravate me.


Really not possible. Pretty much anything anyone does can be backward engineered. I don't think there has eve been an illusion created that wasn't knocked off or duplicated within months of it appearing onstage.


Nobody can duplicate Shadows... Penn said so...
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
Payne
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On 2012-05-24 21:47, Mr. Mystoffelees wrote:

Nobody can duplicate Shadows... Penn said so...



It's not the secret of Shadows that Teller (not Penn) is trying to protect. It is the duplication of his performance of the piece that he is suing over. Two completely different things. Secrets are not presentations. Or at least they shouldn't be. I fear this is why so many have such a knee jerk reaction to exposure. The secret is all they have. They foolishly rely on the secret to provide the entertainment and mystery of the piece instead of their own performing skills.
Tellers shadows isn't a particularly mystifying piece. Especially in this day of audio-animatronics, micro circuitry and remote control devices. Even though it probably employs none of these advance technologies. But still the audience will conclude (however falsely) that Teller is just timing his actions to a mechanical device of some sort disguised as a flower. He may not be fooling anyone with this interlude. But he is entertaining them. The message is more important than the mystery and not everything in a magic show needs "Deep Methods"
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Slim King
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I think there will be some EXPOSURE about Penn and Tellers involvement on May 29th. At least a nail will be placed where it had been hiding. Smile
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
Jonathan Townsend
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Exposure to whom and involvement in what?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Mr. Mystoffelees
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NOW we have something to chew on! What could it be? How 'bout some hints??

One thing of interest, looks like Penn has turned some sort of corner- several interviews on non-magical topics including politics. Perhaps he is becoming a talking head pundit... 'bout time magicians got some respect!
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
Todd Robbins
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Penn has been featured on CNN and many other channels speaking about a number of non-magic topics for years. And Teller has written a number of reviews and op-ed pieces for the NY Times and other publications.
gdw
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Quote:
On 2012-05-26 10:25, Mr. Mystoffelees wrote:
NOW we have something to chew on! What could it be? How 'bout some hints??

One thing of interest, looks like Penn has turned some sort of corner- several interviews on non-magical topics including politics. Perhaps he is becoming a talking head pundit... 'bout time magicians got some respect!


Certainly nothing new for Penn, but perhaps he is simply getting more exposure with it.
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
Mr. Mystoffelees
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Well, here we are, the 29th...
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
Todd Robbins
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Quote:
On 2012-05-25 22:36, Slim King wrote:
I think there will be some EXPOSURE about Penn and Tellers involvement on May 29th. At least a nail will be placed where it had been hiding. Smile


Nope.
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