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TheCigarPhysic
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Let me start by giving a little background. Many years ago I began learning magic by hanging out at the local magic shops, as well as reading everything I could on the subject. In my youth, did many small shows and venues (That I was paid for). Back in the late 70's to early 80's I got into the psychic fairs and events that were common around me and changed from doing magic shows to doing psychic readings, palm readings, tarot readings, etc. There have been a few magicians who felt it there duty to expose the "Trickery of the psychic's" and I myself have had a few sit across the table from me. Harry Houdini him self exposed many of the methods that psychic's and mediums use and seemed to have no problem with exposing the tricks.

To me, I have no issues with people exposing the methods of the tricks. Just because you know how it is done does not mean that you will see it done or that you will even catch the trickery in action. If anything, knowing how it is accomplished means that you can ignore the mechanics of the trick and concentrate on the magicians performance.

Back to the real question, do you feel that exposure is wrong because someone may catch how you do a trick? Do you think that someone knowing means that the trick is somehow no longer a good trick? I don't just ask if exposure is wrong but why you think it is wrong, what does it take away from you and have you ever experienced a time when an audience member called you out on a trick?
Remember, when you are a psychic It is not what you say that matters, it is what you dont say and how you dont say it.

I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member. -- Groucho Marx
Jeff Corn
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Are you wanting to do "tricks" or perform magic? There's a big difference.
Yes, that is my real name. Yes, I am a real person. No, you probably won't agree with me.
truthteller
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Are those the only two options?

What if someone wants to do something real?
TheCigarPhysic
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Jeff, what does that have to do with exposing how a magic trick works? The semantics of calling it "preforming magic" or "A trick" are irrelevant.

truthteller, Those are not the only two options. I am asking for others to justify in a statement as to what they believe and why. If you believe that exposure is wrong then state why.

public Exposure seems to be Ok in some instances, not ok in others. Some times it is ok because one person does it but not when some one else, etc. If you think it is wrong to expose how a trick works then lets here why.
Remember, when you are a psychic It is not what you say that matters, it is what you dont say and how you dont say it.

I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member. -- Groucho Marx
Jonathan Townsend
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For who, when, and how can one verify this? without a clear definition, a procedure for transferring data under acceptable terms and a verification procedure or even a test - it's just words typed and without merit of serious consideration.

for our newbies - look up Popper and the notions of verification and falsification. An (all x are y) statement can be shown to be false by finding one x that is not also y. The verification notion is also relatively new - that a thing which one cannot verify - ie has no distinct consequences - does not add to ones working model or universe of discourse in matters requiring evidence.

okay now for the barb. why is citing publicly available material considered exposure here in this tiny community yet considered trivia suitable for show and tell almost everywhere else in society? Just what is the source of emotional loading on this notion of 'exposure' which exists only within our community yet had no meaning to those whose ability to properly perceive our works is compromised by such? Now that you're in a corner of the box - all I ask is whether you feel the box builder has your best interests at heart.

I guess we could replace the word "secret" in our little community with "product" or "gossip" and move on.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Jeff Corn
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The words aren't irrelevant. A trick is only as complex as the method. It's point is to fool someone. Magic isn't the art of showing that you're "cooler" than someone else. It's about actually causing a moment for someone to remember and is far more than just "some stupid trick".

Truthteller, those probably aren't the only options, but the two that are most easily understandable.


Here's the problem with exposure, it dumbs magic down to being nothing more than a trick. The method is all that's explained when something's exposed. The other issue is that the people so interested in exposing magic are generally those that have given up on trying to perform magic. "Those that can't DO, teach." Not to mention that when people know the secrets, they seem to assume that there is no other reasons to watch. They don't get any entertainment out of it and instead blow it off as something silly that only kids do.
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TheCigarPhysic
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Sorry Jeff, I was using trick as a description of the underlying method not a description of the action. Heck, even your web site lists props as "Tricks". At the heart of every magic performance is trickery. If it were not there, it would be called a one man play.

I can understand your point of view, however, from my experience the people that know how something is done enjoy the performance. They do not discount everything as something silly. People love to be surprised, scared, and even tricked.

When I think of exposing magic I tend to think of people like Houdini and Randy. BTW, I bet 99% of the public that watched the masked magician could not tell you a single thing he exposed. Heck they can not even remember what there senators did but they vote for them.
Remember, when you are a psychic It is not what you say that matters, it is what you dont say and how you dont say it.

I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member. -- Groucho Marx
Mr. Mystoffelees
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Perhaps, but you can rest assured that, if they are in your audience when you do an effect they saw exposed, not only will it all come back to them, but they will have a grand time telling their friends over a beer...
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
TheCigarPhysic
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The simple fact that there are billions of methods that have been written about, more effects than any one person can remember, and multiple ways of doing a single effect. It Just means that what he may think is the method used is more than likely not. Add to this that people tend to see what they want and others there will argue that it could not have been that way because they saw xxxxx. Think about the way an actual effect looks and the way a lay person describes it.

You should also to take into account that some one who is not interested in magic will watch a show like the masked magician or read a book about magic and he or she may remember one method out of the whole book. If I hand you a book on auto repair and you read though it, do you think you would be able to tell what is wrong with your car when it will not start? How about a year later? Better yet, how many magic secrets have you read the method of, and how many do you remember how to do? Like learning a foreign language, if you do not use it in every day life you will more than likely forget it.

Heck, if we follow the logic of "Once it is revealed they will remember it when they see it" then three card monty is the most useless trick, just because EVERYONE knows how it works. So doing three card monty on the street means that no one will bet on it?
Remember, when you are a psychic It is not what you say that matters, it is what you dont say and how you dont say it.

I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member. -- Groucho Marx
Jonathan Townsend
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I once got the most amazing response from a layman after doing a card trick. She said I was very good - and I said thanks - then she said I know you are palming the cards - but you are doing it so well that they don't get bent.

So I tested their belief by doing a trick or two using the Tabled Palm to directly effect visual changes.

She then responded - that's impossible - and said nothing more about cards in my hands.

At issue here is not whether they know how it's actually done but instead that they believe they understand something about the hidden machinery behind the tricks. So why, I ask you, do you think it's okay to give them accurate reports and access to how we do tricks?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Mr. Mystoffelees
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You asked a specific question, and I attempted to answer. You didn't say you wanted it for the basis to argue. Poor form!

I find your logic a bit shallow. Reading a book on auto repair to seeing and hearing how a magic trick is done are on totally different levels. Further, one does not have to remember exactly how the trick is done to ruin it for the magician and spectators. Third, 3 card monte is a GAMBLING trick. They WANT you to think you know, but knowing is not the same as seeing where the queen went. It is a con.

You have a right to your opinion as do I. But, if your mind is already made up on the topic, why ask?

Jim
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
TheCigarPhysic
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Mandarin, Sorry If I was not clear. My intent was to discuss why people think exposure is bad. I did overstep last night in my response. Sorry about that.
Remember, when you are a psychic It is not what you say that matters, it is what you dont say and how you dont say it.

I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member. -- Groucho Marx
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2010-05-15 17:40, TheCigarPhysic wrote:... do you feel that exposure is wrong because someone may catch how you do a trick?
Do you think that someone knowing means that the trick is somehow no longer a good trick? I don't just ask if exposure is wrong but why you think it is wrong, what does it take away from you and have you ever experienced a time when an audience member called you out on a trick?


IMHO
1) no. most folks are too polite to play "catch me" and I don't invite that dynamic.

2) yes - exactly - the lingering sense of wanting to know vs just accepting as show is an important component of our craft. It's all about moving from secrets to mysteries - where our gift to them is a mystery they can enjoy describing to others.

By way of argument I point the serious student to Greg Egan's story TAP. Just what is the difference between knowing and ... ?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Mr. Mystoffelees
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No worries, mate! Soon as I get some time, I will try to give a more detailed response to your question.

Jim
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
Dannydoyle
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The question is "should magic fool people?" I think the answer must be yes to this, or you are doing something other than magic. I hope we agree magic should fool people.

So the greater question is "does exposure stop you from fooling people?" I argue that no it does not. I have seen people who know full well the monte is a scam and fall for it. Fake psychics, tarrot cards, and all sorts of scams people have watched documentaries on FALL FOR THEM! Who has more involved in wanting to remember a scam than a guy with 300 buckarinos on it?

The point is that there has been and is a dedicated effort to expose these and yet somehow they still rake in the money. Heck they are against the law and manage to live thrive and survive. My lord we are allowed to ADVERTISE!

Faith healers have had many a movie made on the process, yet they live on!

So magic can survive and will survive and I contend has not been hurt. It takes work but anything worthwhile does.

So "is exposure wrong?" I think yes it is wrong. I think in an ideal world secrets would remain secret. But remember that if they were, you would have to do 100% of things alone and every generation would start at ground ZERO. We become better than generations which preceded us because we stand on their shoulders, not simply because we ARE better.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
funsway
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Quote:
On 2010-05-19 09:56, Dannydoyle wrote:
The question is "should magic fool people?" I think the answer must be yes to this, or you are doing something other than magic. I hope we agree magic should fool people.

I do not agree at all -- neither that the purpose of performance magic is to fool people, nor that you are "doing magic" as a performing magician. Magic happens in the mind of the spectator for any number of reasons -- some never intended by the performer. Many of the best effects presented in a hope of kindling a "magic" response do not fool at all -- rather they state exactly what will happen and then deliver. When you place a ball on the table and cover it with a cup you are promising that something is going to happen to the ball. You built anticipation followed by surprise as to the form of the result, but nobody is fooled. If you claimed to be a magician and then played a trombone you would be fooling people.

the problem with exposure and with the question here is that it focuses on "the trick" or the mechanics when they are a minor part of the magic experience. When a spectator asks, "How did you do that," showing him the trick or mechanics does 'fool' him into thinking you have answered his question. He will either lose respect for you or for magic as an art. Even worse, after revealing an effect you will feel compelled to run out and purchase some other 'trick' rather than working on presentation or understanding your audience. Thus, by exposing tricks either by 'telling' or 'bad performance' you corrupt your ability to establish the rapport that good magic requires.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

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Bill Hallahan
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Funsway wwrote:
Quote:
I do not agree at all -- neither that the purpose of performance magic is to fool people, nor that you are "doing magic" as a performing magician. Magic happens in the mind of the spectator for any number of reasons -- some never intended by the performer.

Dannydoyle didn't write that "the purpose of performance magic is to fool people," he wrote "magic should fool people." I agree with him. When he used the term "magic," in his sentence, he was obviously referring to what the performer does to create the magical experience in the spectator's mind. That is one of many legitimate definitions of magic.

A magician's purpose is to astonish one or more spectators by, in a convincing fashion, to seemingly do the impossible. This is done to entertain the spectator. The spectator is aware they are being deceived, but have no idea how they are being deceived.

Without deceiving the audience, there will be no audible gasps, no dropped jaws, or no stunned silence. Theatrical magic is fine, e.g. the Harry Potter series, and it can move people's emotions, but mere theatrical magic is not what magicians aspire to create.

Deception is necessary for a magic show, and the audience must be fooled by the deception. If a spectator knows the secret, then he or she will not be astonished by the effect that was supposed to have been a magical effect.
Humans make life so interesting. Do you know that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to create boredom. Quite astonishing.
- The character of ‘Death’ in the movie "Hogswatch"
TheCigarPhysic
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I have been thinking about this quite a bit. funsway, you bring up a good point. I was thinking that it boils down to how you present the effect.

A great example is Bob Cassidy memorizing a deck of cards. I watched him do this and run through the cards stating who was holding which card. It is a great effect and he does it to perfection. Now, after watching him do this, I never once thought "How did he do that" I took his stage explanation. He gave a perfectly plausible explanation as to what was happening and even with the explanation the effect left you in ah. Take that same trick and change the patter to a simple statement of "I can memorize this deck of cards in 15 seconds" then do the effect with out the patter as to how you are doing it. The immediate thoughts of the spectator will be one of "How did he do that trick" The simple fact that a person is left wondering how an effect is accomplished is enough for them to start looking and with the internet it is easier than ever to find out.

I do agree that good magic requires rapport, it also requires that the magician suspend the disbelief of the spectator to the point that the effect is accepted. Even when they know the mechanics of the trick. I have used some very old and commonly known card tricks to show both my psychic abilities as well as the abilities of the tarot deck to absorb and radiate energies. It sounds funny to say it here but in the context of a tarot reading it is accepted as a display of the powers of the reader or the cards. This in a setting where the spectator stands to loose nothing by stating and exposing you as a fraud and everything to gain (There money back)

This is one reason that I don't have an issue with exposure. If you can get some one to believe that something magical happened when you do the "What do you want to bet the next card I turn over is yours" routine (Sorry, did not know what else to call it) then even the exposed tricks can be used and exposure is less of a problem.
Remember, when you are a psychic It is not what you say that matters, it is what you dont say and how you dont say it.

I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member. -- Groucho Marx
Bill Hallahan
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TheCigarPhysic,

Your example of memorizing cards isn't magic at all, it's a demonstration of skill. So, it doesn't apply. (And, there are even contests where people really do memorize decks of cards).

People can be astonished by great skill, but it's not the same type of astonishment as when a magician seemingly does something that the spectator previously thought to be impossible.

Once the spectator knows how it's done, they will no longer be able to experience it as being impossible, and that qualitatively changes the experience of a magic routine. That is the harm exposure can cause.
Humans make life so interesting. Do you know that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to create boredom. Quite astonishing.
- The character of ‘Death’ in the movie "Hogswatch"
funsway
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Bill says, "that qualitatively changes the experience of a magic routine." This is an interesting hook on which to hang our evaluation, for there is nothing that can say that the new experience is "bad" or "worse" than the original experience -- only different. Cigar seems to be offering that the new expereince may be "better" than the original, while we can all find examples in which a given spectator's response seems deminished. But that view is subjective to our needs, isn't it? If spectators cease to be amazed or astounded by our effects then we have to find new effects or a new audience. Just doing an effect a second time may be equivalent to exposure -- and doing an effect poorly certainly is. But the exposure is not of the mechanics of the 'trick' but of our "being less than expected." In our performances we provide hope that the seeming impossible in our lives cvan be ourwitted or overcome. By demonstration sin an entertaining (no fear) manner we might encourage a spectaor to view his own personal problems in a different light. By exposing ourselves as simple mechanics of trickery we decrease our ability to astonish and "make light of problems." It's no different than discovering your accountant is a gambler or your marriage counselor has a mistress -- we loose trust. To casually reveal the mechanical part of what we do demeans the more artistic parts.

If a person "wants" to know how an effect is done they have mnmay avenues to accomplish this -- "want" being an active verb. Do not deprive a person of the adventure or thrill of discovery or "sense of awe" by making the task too easy. In a simplistic sense the only difference between a magcian and a lay person is that the magician is willing to work at doing things the lay person is not. The difference is "effort" and not "knowing."

Check out Tim Feher's recent post of doing "Oil and Water" for his son. Knowing how to do the effect does not deminish the appreciation of the magic at all -- just makes you envious of the work he put in to be able to do this impromptu.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

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