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Darcy Brown
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Melbourne, Australia
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Not sure if this is the right section to post this in.

I was visiting a local magic shop recently, and noticed that magic videos were being shown on a large screen behind the counter. Fair enough, I thought; performances by good performers are nice to see. I was somewhat less glad when the video was allowed to run into the "explanations" section. Admittedly the volume was kept fairly low, yet the visuals were pretty direct; exposure of card moves, under-table gimmicks (I believe one act shown was Jean-Pierre Vallarino's), etc.

I have visited that shop several times in the past few months; every time, without fail, the explanations sections of instructional videos are being shown.

Would it be worth my while, or even ethical, to approach the owners of this shop about this? Is such indirect exposure on par with yelling secrets from the rooftops?

Darcy Brown
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Melbourne, Australia
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Okay, two points that will hopefully make my qualms a little easier to understand:

1). The magic shop in question is separated from an extremely busy shopping thoroughfare by floor-to-ceiling glass windows, i.e. anyone passing by and window shopping has a direct view of magic instruction.

2). The shop serves mainly as a joke/novelty store, with the majority of customers either there through impulse upon passing the shop, or looking for stink bombs and fake dog poo. As such, people with no genuine interest in magic as an art form are effectively being spoon-fed a curiosity; an amusing expose of magician's tricks.
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Jupiter, FL
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Nothing wrong with a mention to them IMHO. If they are at all into magic, they'll appreciate (but perhaps not agree with, which is their right) the intent.

I suspect it's one of three things....

- (I hope) It's that they let it run, and the DVD is set up such that it just "goes into" the explanations section, and having someone try to be a DVD "DJ" to make sure only the performances show is a hassle

- They just don't care, and want something running.

- They think that letting the explanations go as well with either drive in more (curiosity) traffic or help them sell stuff to people who likely will never use it, but just buy it to discover how it's all done, which is pointless exposure to just get them more $$

The last two I think are pretty bad reasons to let the explanations show, especially if it is primarily a joke/novelty shop and if so, your comments would fall on deaf ears.

If the first, as I hope, perhaps they might consider other videos that let the performance only "chapters" play in a loop, or even have them dub just the performances to a VHS to let them play without the solutions (which could border on copyright laws, but given the good-intent, I doubt anyone would have any major problem with it)..

I'd say something in a non-threatening way, and feel em out...

Just my $0.02...

What's the difference between a magician and a deck of cards? A deck of cards has FOUR suits...
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Profile of engineer_star
In a "kind way" I would definitly say something!
Mr. Mystoffelees
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The magic shop in my area does the same thing, I think more to entertain the owner than anything else. I find that, even at my level of knowledge and interest, I can not get much from watching the middle of an effect.
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
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St. Louis, Missouri, USA
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Profile of Hushai
Some years ago I visited a famous magic shop in another city, a shop which is now no longer in business. I was shocked to see that the man behind the counter demonstrating tricks which the shop had for sale was also casually explaining the method of the trick to anyone who happened to be standing there. I was amazed. I thought magic dealers were supposed to be protective of secrets -- ? They usually insist that the secrets are their stock in trade, and they will only SELL them, not give them away. Apparently not all dealers feel that way -- ??
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Profile of CyrusTX
The Reel Magic DVDs and performance only DVDs that are put out, I think there should be no reason to show the explanation portion of the DVDs.

I have, from time to time, shown the explanation to something for a valued customer who is asking a question about something. But would never let it just run. I think most dealers who do this are watching the DVD when a customer comes in and they just leave it running.

Yes,magic dealers are suppose to protect the secrets but again, when I have a good customer and I know what they want and what they do, if a trick isn't going to work for them then I usually will tip something...(method or moves, etc.)

Yes,we are to protect the secrets...but I would rather lose a sale and keep a customer happy. After all, this is what makes bricks and mortar shops different than Internet stores.
T. Sebastian
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Ozark Mountains, USA
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Cyrus, what you do is cool.
I would appreciate that kind of customer service.
It lets your customers know that a)You remember them, and b)You care about them.
But what these shops in question do, letting the explanations run for all to see, is not cool.
One shop that I used frequent has a sign that reads "You are paying for a secret. No returns" or something like that. They won't even let you open something up to see how it works in the store. Even after you've paid and it is rightfully yours.
As a result of this I have several items that I never use.
It's actually turned me off to magic store toys altogether. Well, mostly.
Still love my scotch and soda.
So sorry I soiled your precious eyes.
Bill Palmer
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I agree with you completely. There are several magic shops I deal with that I usually approach this way:

I explain my working conditions. I tell them what I expect from the trick in question.

If they say the trick will work under my working conditions and that it will fulfill my expectations, I order it and put it on my credit card.

I'm usually willing to cut a dealer a certain amount of slack; however, if I am certain I have been lied to, this is the way the conversation goes:

"Hello, this is Bill Palmer. I ordered the Whiz-bang card rise from you last week. I asked specifically for red Bicycle Rider Backs. You furnished it with Tally Ho's. Your ad specifically said that the card rises from the middle of the pack. It rises fourth from the front. That's not the middle. And if I perform this with people any closer to me than three feet with the cards in an opaque container, they will see that the gadget is not a deck of cards at all. I would like to return the item."

"Well, you pay for the secret, so you have to keep it. That's our policy."

"Ah, that's true, but as I recall it, I told you exactly what the mechanism was when I called, and stated that I had been looking for a card rise that used that specific mechanism, where the cards 'rose out of the middle of the pack.' Besides, you said you would furnish it with red Bikes. You didn't."

"Glue a card over the one on the back of the deck."

"Okay. Let me put this another way. You have misled me. You lied to me. Your print ads were misleading. If you don't take the deck back, I'll be forced to file a mail fraud complaint and contest the charges on my VISA."

They took it back.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."
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Good for them. They should have taken it back!
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Bill Palmer thanks for the words. I will use that approach if someday I get caught with the same shop reply!
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