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Nathan Hastings
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Minneapolis, MN
78 Posts

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The magic world is always changing, just like it is with any other art. Recently I've become a little bit worried about the direction in which the majority of the magic community is heading. For example:

1. David Blaine and Criss Angel. Is the popularity boost they give magic beneficial or does it give people the wrong idea about who magicians really are and what they're capable of?

2. YouTube. Anyone with a computer with internet access is free to gobble up the secrets of many classic magic tricks, either from tutorial videos or just by watching crappy performances. Plus, if it's free material that aspiring magicians are looking for, they are being taught the wrong methods, the wrong terminology, and they have no exposure to magic theory or proper scripting.

3. It's becoming harder and harder to find solid, tangible, real magic shops now that the internet is starting to take over. And I've learned from experience that the stuff that magic sites sell you is terribly overpriced, overhyped, and has no real quality. I can't tell you how much money has been shelled out for crappy tricks which are filled with useless sleights and aren't at all practical for the real world.

As you can see, I'm a little concerned. I have no idea where we'll all be in the next 20 years.

What's you people's opinion? Are we headed in the right direction, or are we in a terrible nosedive here?

N!H
"As my plastic surgeon always said: If you gotta go, go with a smile."

-the Joker
PirateJohn
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Anaheim, CA
156 Posts

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If an aspiring actor tried to learn how to act by going on the internet as opposed to spending the money and endless hours learning from professionals, how good an actor do you think he would be in the end? He might know some of the lingo and techniques, but he wouldn't know how properly to apply it. No matter how much internet searching he did, he'd still never know what he's doing, and audiences would certainly know the difference.

It's really no different with magicians. People who think they can amaze their friends with methods culled from the internet may know how the trick is done, but that doesn't mean they really know how to DO it. And, like I mentioned on the thread I started a few days ago, even their friends will respond in a lukewarm fashion, because for all the secrets they've learned, they haven't learned the most important secret of all, which is that what makes a trick "magic" is the performer, not the trick.

There are still lots of magic shops around. And if you can't find brick-and-mortar shops near you, there are plenty of mail-order magic sellers that are very reputable. And there are things like SAM around that give young magicians the ability to team up with a mentor so they can learn all the most important secrets that can't be found on the internet.
THEGUY26 (Will Swanson)
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Minnesota, USA
2379 Posts

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Magic was much, much better when I was stsrting. There weren't any little beginner Ellusionist kids posting videos on Youtube. Youtube didn't even exist then, or Ellusionist. It was much simpler, and felt a lot better.
Steven Leung
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found the Magic Rainbow after
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If that were the direction of magic, we cannot do anything about it. I have discussed ethical issues and business issues with many members here, and the result is quite negative and there is no way to prevent it.

It might be a good thing when something is too popular than it used to be then suddenly make it underground for a decade or two...
Most memorable moment - with Maestro Juan Tamariz & Consuelo Lorgia in FISM Busan 2018.

"Being fooled by a trick doesn't always mean they are having a good time" - Homer Liwag

https://hhpresents.com/
https://www.glitchstudiohk.com/
GamingNinja
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Hayward, CA
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I'm a beginner as well, but I'm not that young. (28)
The whole 'extreme magician' thing going on just doesn't appeal to me, and seems like a way to rake in a couple buck from a bunch of kids that want to be David Blaine. Yes, street magic is cool, but I'd rather play with cards or spongeballs, and I get better reactions that way. Plus its more of a pride thing for me I guess.

The youtube group.....I can prolly do without those lame tutorials. The tricks are half-assed(can I say that?) and in most cases, just thrown together to tick off magicians. You see a magi ask him to take it down for exposure and you see that magi go up in flames.
There's a few on youtube that are great, but they won't reveal at all. Those are the one I don't have a problem with at all.

There is one shining ray of hope. Fads die out. So right now its cool to be a street magician, so everyone is hopping on the bandwagon. But in a year or so, will that be the case, or will something else be the new craze?

It reminds me of skateboarding. I was so into it as a kid/teen/adult, but all of a sudden it went from an underground pastime to being thrust into the mainstream. Now every kid around is trying to be Tony Hawk. Thankfully its starting to die down a bit, the harcore are still here and the wannabe's are thinning.

I'm thinking the same thing will happen with magic, so all we can really do is stand our ground and keep making people go 'WOW'. They'll see for themselves who is real and who isn't.
Jaz
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NJ, U.S.
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1. David Blaine and Criss Angel. Is the popularity boost they give magic beneficial or does it give people the wrong idea about who magicians really are and what they're capable of?
I don't know how beneficial thier popularity is nor do I think there is a wrong idea about who magicians are or can do. B and A do their thing. Mentalists, Comedy Magicians, Illusionists, Bizarrists, etc, do theirs.
What we are capable of doing and our level of magic ability is up to us. We don't have to be able to do what TV magicians do.


2. YouTube. Anyone with a computer with internet access is free to gobble up the secrets of many classic magic tricks, either from tutorial videos or just by watching crappy performances. Plus, if it's free material that aspiring magicians are looking for, they are being taught the wrong methods, the wrong terminology, and they have no exposure to magic theory or proper scripting.
That's thier problem then, isn't it? We all have be selective in what tools, words, etc, we will use.

3. It's becoming harder and harder to find solid, tangible, real magic shops now that the internet is starting to take over. And I've learned from experience that the stuff that magic sites sell you is terribly overpriced, overhyped, and has no real quality. I can't tell you how much money has been shelled out for crappy tricks which are filled with useless sleights and aren't at all practical for the real world.
I miss the brick and mortar shops. Things have changed a lot in my 55 years on Earth. We just have to adapt and make the best of it.


Magic will endure.
Spellbinder
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The Holy City of East Orange, NJ
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As a Wizard, Mentalist, Seer, Sage, Prophet, Forecaster and so forth, I KNOW what the future of magic will be like. Would you like to know? Cross my palm with silver and I shall reveal all.

Oh, all right, be stingy. I'll tell you anyway.

In the future, there will be a few celebrity magicians, lots of hard working professionals (mainly doing kid shows), even more amateurs, and a few wannabees. Just like there is now. They will moan and complain about the good old days when they could go on the Internet for free, talk and hob knob with fellow magicians, get free magic books, watch videos of all types for free instead of having to pay an Internet fee, Pay-Per-View Time fees and Internet taxes on everything bought and sold or watched. They will worry about exposure of secrets and wonder if magic is dead or dying, and wish things would never change. They will be jealous and envious of the celebrity magicians and say bad things about them whenever they can. Each will think he or she is the absolute best example of what a REAL magician should be, and that they alone know the right way to do things, if only everyone would listen to them.

Ah, the fog is rising and the mists are wiping away the visions of the future. If only you had crossed my palm with silver as I first suggested, your session could go on longer, but now it is at an end. Please don't trip on the door sill going out. Next!
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

http://www.magicnook.com

Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
GamingNinja
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Hayward, CA
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The nearest storefront from me is Misdirections over in SF. Its a good 45min drive from Hayward, but well worth the visit when I can make it. Its NOT cheaper than the internet though, its a bit more expensive. I shrug off the extra price because I'm getting what I can't get from the internet - a teacher. I bought a dvd, and he showed me how to perfect my force, and helped with Red Hot Mama. The SF crowd here knows what I'm talking about. Smile
I hope nothing happens to that store, its the best one around.
The Amazing Noobini
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Oslo, Norway
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I agree with GamingNinja that it may well be a fad. Magic has had huge popularity before, hasn't it? It's like the JoJo. Coca Cola brings it out again every fifteen years and it then goes away again by next summer.

Although I do see the problem, I am personally grateful for YouTube because that is where I discovered magic. On the other hand, the second time I ever tried to do a trick for someone he said "yeah, that's great. I've seen that one on YouTube".

BTW, GamingNinja. When was skateboarding ever an underground pastime? I'm 39 and we even had skatebords here in Norway around the time you were born. Everybody has had one, for several decades. It's like the biggest most widely spread commercial pastime since the basketball. 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)
GamingNinja
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Hayward, CA
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Indeed, but in the 80's it became huge, then died down again, and then rose up again in the 90's when the Tony Hawk videogames came out, and got the title 'xtreme'.

I had to go to a shop to get my board, now you can buy them at Wal-Mart. Its more mainstreamed than it was before. I live in California, so its always been pretty popular, but now skaters (and their wannabe cousins) are everywhere.
Kids in my class got teased for being a skater, now you teased if you don't. lol

I've had the youtube thing happen to me. A guy I work with looks up every trick he can think of just so he can say, 'I know how you did that'. If he doesn't know, he goes online to find out, then comes back again. Its to the point where I won't perform for him anymore. >_<
The Amazing Noobini
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Oslo, Norway
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I feel an even stronger incentive to make up my own stuff in situations where everybody does and knows the same things. Some things in life simply cannot be done anymore due to over exposure, like playing Stairway to Heaven in a guitar store. This isn't necessarily a bad thing only.

I would love to take something I know someone has seen on YouTube and then stick a completely bizarre new ending on it.

I must confess to feeling a little worried about the future when something like Lennart Green's Snap Deal is becoming common knowledge.
"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)
Erdnase27
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I make up my own stuff and routines and don't share them. ANd yes that's the result of the youtube generation
"He must be content to rank with the common herd." - S.W. Erdnase
Andy the cardician
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A street named after my dad
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We shape the future
Cards never lie
Jay Austin
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Magic has been around for thousands of years. During that time, there have been many things that have "threatened" the art. Magic has survived them all. It will survive the exposure and such going on today.

Quote:
3. It's becoming harder and harder to find solid, tangible, real magic shops now that the internet is starting to take over. And I've learned from experience that the stuff that magic sites sell you is terribly overpriced, over hyped, and has no real quality. I can't tell you how much money has been shelled out for crappy tricks which are filled with useless sleights and aren't at all practical for the real world.

That is another issue altogether. You should take a routine and make it your own. By that I mean come up with your own patter and presentation. Change things around. Do not be afraid to experiment with a trick. Learn how to look at a trick as a spectator instead of a magician. Support your local shops if you have one close by. Look for material that is not just one trick. Take the time to perfect the trick. It is just sad to see someone do a trick word for word and like a mirror image of the person on a DVD. It needs to fit your style. Make it yours.
Jay Austin

http://austin-computer-solutions.com/
Hire a tech, not a geek.
gaddy
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Agent of Chaos
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Yesterday I was setting up shop on the streets of my town, San Francisco, and I was struck by the bizarre milieu I found myself in...

Within a 3 block radius I saw the rich and the poor alike; I saw Japanese kids with PSP's and Sidekick IIs, old hippies wearing brand new Birkenstocks and other designer clothes, homeless bums without shoes, investment bankers and other assorted yuppie-types, tourists from all over the 4 points of the globe, and even a few street performers like myself.

I was struck by the idea that out of all of these diseperate peoples and walks of life >>>I<<< was the one who was able to make a connection with each and every person that ran across me and my little table and decided to stay a few minutes. I was the magician.

Kind of a humbling realization, actually.

Despite all the real-life technological wizardry that supplants and dilutes the impact of our brand of "unreal" magic; the need for magic, as we practice it, will remain.

Don't get caught up in "flavor of the moment" magic, make the magic you perform your own, connect with your audience and make them part of the magic, and you'll have no problems with the "future" of magic.

Oh... That, and don't forget to support REAL magic shops, brick and mortar or otherwise...
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
pradell
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Alaska
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Magic is now more popular in modern culture than it has been in a long time. After vaudeville, magic died out a bit, as people went to movies and television and live shows were not the only way people got to experience performance. But lately magic has become much more mainstream once again. Even Hollywood has gotten on the bandwagon. Movies like the Illusionist, The Prestige, Next (Nicholas Cage as a magician) Scoop (Woody Allen), etc. are now featuring magicians as lead characters. Magic is everywhere. Magic is an art form, yes, but it is also a form of entertainment. And magicians are entertaining more now than ever. Young people are flocking to magic as never before, and it's not for only for nerds or dreamers; with the new stars it's really "cool" to be a magician. These are good for the arts, good for the entertainment industry, and good for magic, which will continue into the future as an art form.
:magicrabbit:
kosmoshiva
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Canada
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There's something about an accomplished presentation that makes people believe that they're witnessing the real goods. Their excitement is contagious and will never go out of fashion. In my opinion, this 'rush' can only be gotten live. Those who think it's all about the secrets and the howd'youdothat's have been fooled by one of the best misdirections ever ...

As for bricks and mortar stores, it's up to us to keep them open, yes?
Don't forget to breathe.
Hideo Kato
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Tokyo
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At least in Japan, one of the worries Nathan Hastings-san mentioned seems happened.

Japanese TV showed too many magic programs in a short period. It seems TV magic boom completely ended after a book was published in which the most of recent editted magic was clearly exposed. It is a 4 dollar book which you can buy at any book store.

Hideo Kato
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