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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Magicians Copying Your Tricks (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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BryanKelly
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Quote:
I wonder if magic is the only art where this could happen or this type of thing happens also in different arts (music, drawing etc.)


Mencia or Cosby?
KC Cameron
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I think we would be a lot happier if we stopped worrying about things we cannot change. Maybe I just have not experienced the problem as much as most.
magic4u02
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I mainly strive to just continuely push myself all the time to be creative, stay creative and continue to design new creative acts and routines. It is what fuels me and allows me to create new things for the show. It helps me to stay fresh and o always grow in the art of magic.

Does it bother me when someone steals my presentation for a routine or act? Abslutely it does. However, I combat it a bit differently then most. I developed a lecture all on creativity in magic and a workshop that goes along with it. I feel I can at least try and educate folks and tech them the techniques they need themselves to learn to be creative. So far it has been going well.

Kyle
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Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2008-06-27 04:24, Gerry Walkowski wrote:
Years ago I owned a very unique magic trick which no one else in my region had ever seen. I rememeber performing it at a magician's banguet and it actually brought the house down.

A few months later I was in shock when a very well known magician in the magic world (and who lives in my area) went out purchased the exact same trick. Since we work different markets, I probably wouldn't have ever heard about it. Oddly enough, though, he called me up to tell me all about this. I was in shock to say the least. I never called him on the table for this as that really isn't my nature. Inside, though, I was very hurt by this.

Has this ever happened to you? How do you handle a situation like this?

Gerry


If he bought it from a dealer or he got it out of a book, then he has every right to perform it. If he is using YOUR personal presentation, then you should ask him not to do it.

I worked up an original presentation of a standard Kid's trick. It was a really neat routine with an excellent punchline. I performed it at one of the public libraries, and after I finished, the librarian came up to me and asked if any of us did anything besides those tricks I had done. I asked her why, and she told me that a fellow had been in the week before with the same material. So I asked her specifically about this one trick. She said he had done the same trick with the same lines and everything.

I asked if she knew his name, and she showed me his business card. It was a friend of mine.

The next time I saw him I said, "Hello, Bartlfartblaster (not his real name) I understand you have been doing some of my material." He got all embarrassed looking. "That's not a problem. But you should know that I have copyrighted my act as a play. There is a mandatory $25 royalty for the performance of it or any portion thereof. So use it freely. Just keep a record of how many shows you use my material in, and we can arrange payment on a quarterly basis."

He never did my stuff again.
"The Swatter"

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magic4u02
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Bill.. That is BEAUTIFUL my friend. hehehe I LOVE how you think. I also have no problem with someone doing the same trick or effect as I am. Everyone has the right to buy the same tricks I do. However, I do have a big problem when people steal my presentations. I strive to spend a lot of time developing creative routines that fit me and who I am on stage. People need to spend more time learning how to be better creative thinkers and less time stealing ideas from others.

Kyle
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Joseph_Then
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If a person copies my act 100% and makes it better, I will shut up and work harder with a new act...
-----



Joseph Then

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magic4u02
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Not to be mean... but that is really quite sad. That basically is admitting to the person that you are ok with them stealing your creativity and hard work. I am not sure about many others, but what I create and my creativity does NOT belong to anyone else but myself. I own my creativity. It is not for sale and it certainly is not available for someone to steal.

Kyle
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Joseph_Then
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Well, if I am always able to create something new, it doesn't really bother me. Of course, it ****es me off when I see people copying another guy 100% and if they do it badly, it reflects badly on them.

But if they do it better than me, I mean they have fine-tuned the routines better, they done something to make it better.

If so, should I complain? Yes, copying is bad but copying is everywhere. There are people who live their life copying people's act and they are not going to last long with their act because they are just 'chasing after the wind'.

I just keep on creating new acts so that I am always ahead of my competition.
-----



Joseph Then

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Darryl Hutton
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I do a very original "Elvis-themed" routine with the linking rings, and a friend asked if he could do the routine in a lecture he was giving in Ireland. I gave him permission as long as he gave me full credit for the routine. I hadn't planned to go to Ireland to lecture with the routine so it didn't matter. Later , the friend performed the Linking ring routine at a ring meeting, but the Elvis theme "had left the building" and he used his own routine which suited his personality better and he felt comfortable with it as he had been doing it for the last 30 years. An audience,of even magicians, can sense if you are comfortable performing a routine and after the performance a young magician said I love the routine , but it's just too much work to learn. No copying here!
Bill Palmer
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I worked for about a dozen years at Galveston's Dickens on the Strand. I had a character named "Professor Palmer," who became a fixture at this show. I got fed up with the blatant disregard some of the people on the board of directors at DOTS had for the performers and decided not to work the show any more.

The next year, I went down to watch some friends of mine perform, and one of them who had been an assistant of mine told me that someone had copied my act, trick for trick, line for line, and he was doing it WRONG. I went over to catch his show, but he seemed to have disappeared. The fellow who was the gatekeeper indicated that the man was really bad at doing my act.

I got back to Houston, went to the local magic shop and asked the counterman if he knew this guy. He did. I told him to pass along a message which was basically that if I ever HEARD of him doing my material again, I would cause him a LOT of bodily harm.

The fellow left the area. I didn't hear from him for many years. Then one day I got an e-mail from him. Out of curiosity, I opened it and it was an apology for what he had done. He explained that he had moved to the New Orleans area, and that he had taken up magic again as a hobby. But he found that every time he performed, he thought of what he had done to me and he couldn't do a single trick. He asked Jon Racherbaumer what to do, and Jon suggested that he send me an apology.

I was both touched and impressed. So I accepted his apology. He didn't realize that stealing my material was not a "tribute to Professor Palmer." I accepted that, too. Then I told him how I developed my act, so he could use the same technique.

It was very simple. I didn't write my act. My characters wrote my act. I would get into character, costume and all, and start working with the props. Suddenly my character would become inspired and would go into areas I wouldn't normally think of when I was not in character.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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Al Angello
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Bill
This is a two year old thread, did you just get that letter?

What kind of a guy would be silly enough to think that they could do a good Bill Palmer, or a good Tricky Ricky? LOL
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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Comedy Writer
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This discussion is a good reason to teach both ethics and creativity for performers.
Better magic helps us all
Starrpower
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I just use Walt DIsney's philosophy: I try to steal material faster than other magicians can swipe it from me.
magic mccurry
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Although I try to not purchase or use the same tricks and routines as magicians in the area, its almost impossible not to duplicate some. However, my presentation,personality, and routining makes it different from others. Make yours unique with your own style.
magic4u02
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Mccurry: you are exactly right. It is not the trick or the prop that amkes the magician. heck people go out and by cars that are exactly the same. Are we to get upset and scream that a neighbor buys the same Toyota I did? They have a right to do so.

What is most important is what you DO with that trick, effect or prop that changs it entirely. suddenly it is not about the prop any longer. It is about the entertainment value you create based on a creative routine that is unique to you.

Kyle
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vincentmusician
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I have not had much problem with Magicians showing up at my public gigs to copy me. However, with newer smaller cameras, it is difficult to stop people videotaping me. However, a lot of my Magic Shows includes Magic Props that are unavailable and not made anymore. I also have many shows, each designed for different ages. So if someone tries to copy me, they cannot get a lot of my props and they will only get one show. I have at least 5 repeat shows for customers who want to book me for the same audience. I also have a Public Magic Show and a different one that I do for Private Audiences.
gregg webb
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Yes it happens in all fields. Welcome to life. And it happens when it is someone you think you knew. They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery but really, imitation is the greatest form of imitation. The best way to avoid it is to not show any of your best stuff to other magicians. In your case, it is a trick you bought from a magic shop and the other guy could go buy it too. Instead develop a very personal style or with skills that take a while to learn, and write your own material.
But people will steal your best lines too. Listen to stories comedians tell. Milton Burl was asked if he thought so-and-so was funny and he said, "I was laughing so hard I almost dropped my pencil". Jack Chanin used to keep files of what tricks he did at each show so he'd do something different the next time.
Main thing...if you develop a style that is really based on yourself...they won't really be able to copy it. Also, don't buy tricks...look in the million or so old books and find things no one is using.
Gerry Walkowski
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Wow, that's one of my very old threads from 2008.

Today, it would be quite difficult to copy my act as most of my material is custom made.

Gerry
Ken Northridge
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That was a fun read down memory lane.

I don't understand all the people that have said 'Don't do your A material for magicians.' That would be diservice to my client if I withheld my my best material. I always try to put my best foot forward, no matter what the situation. Besides, I don't have the time or energy to worry about the competition. My biggest competition is my own laziness.

Having said that, I do know what its like to have a magician take an obscure routine from my act and put it in his act. I understand the emotion. I try to take it as a compliment and continue to work on new and better routines. Look at the big picture. One obscure routine wont make or break anyone.
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
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