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Jack Baines
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On 2010-12-08 16:10, DCMagicEnt wrote:
Neither one of us are too good at making comedy bits.


Then he is unlikely to be able to pull off a comedy routine. If he can't write comedy, why not stick to what he is good at?
Mr. Mystoffelees
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On 2010-12-10 13:28, Dick Christian wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-12-09 17:00, Andrewzuber wrote:
Aren't we in this because we want to be creative and original?


Ah, if only that were true. The fact of the matter is that while that may be what the serious working pros strive for, they comprise but a tiny minority of the magic community. The overwhelming majority are amateurs and hobbyists who don't give a rat's patootie about creativity or orginality. They are often the ones who can't sing, dance, play the piano or tell jokes but nevertheless would like to be the center of attention and life of the party so they believe the ads in the magic magazine that proudly proclaim the three most dangerous words in magic "no skill required."


As someone who could not be considered a "serious working pro" I am offended by this global paint job. I am (or was) proud to be a "member" of the magic "fraternity". Although I have built a successful career on the creator's gifts to me of creativity and originality, it has not been in the area of traditional magic, as I came to that later in life. One thing I know for sure and for certain, I have never stolen the work of another magician. Another is that I can hold my own with anyone in the area of rope magic, skill required.

So, why do organizations like SAM or the Magic Castle take our membership, just for the bucks? What would the magic profession look like if it consisted only of "serious working pros"? Is a "serious" amateur better than a not-serious working pro?

Another thing I know from a life of many experiences, in any group of substantial size, ANY, you will find the good, bad, ugly, cheats, users, samaritans, saints, smart, clever, etc. etc. etc. By my definition this even includes "serious working pros".

I know some great amateur magicians,, and I object to them being degraded in this way.

Jim
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
Jack Baines
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As someone who could not be considered a "serious working pro" I am offended by this global paint job. I am (or was) proud to be a "member" of the magic "fraternity". Although I have built a successful career on the creator's gifts to me of creativity and originality, it has not been in the area of traditional magic, as I came to that later in life. One thing I know for sure and for certain, I have never stolen the work of another magician. Another is that I can hold my own with anyone in the area of rope magic, skill required.

So, why do organizations like SAM or the Magic Castle take our membership, just for the bucks? What would the magic profession look like if it consisted only of "serious working pros"? Is a "serious" amateur better than a not-serious working pro?

Another thing I know from a life of many experiences, in any group of substantial size, ANY, you will find the good, bad, ugly, cheats, users, samaritans, saints, smart, clever, etc. etc. etc. By my definition this even includes "serious working pros".

I know some great amateur magicians,, and I object to them being degraded in this way.

Jim


Magicians and scuba divers. The 2 most elitist groups I have come across. Where people who consider themselves members of the old school look down from their ivory towers with dismay, condescension and distrust. "You were not hand picked by me to be part of this group! You have no right to be here."

Fortunately it would seem that despite how vocal they are, they are not in the majority. As most of the magicians I have met are enthusiastic and keen about the next generation, not bitter about them.

Jack.
Jonathan Townsend
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Jack, I don't know how it is in scuba diving but I do know a little about this craft/art and have some experience with other arts/crafts. - so while this next has to be IMHO - it's a fairly well informed opinion.

There are those who see something and want to do what they saw done - whose source of inspiration is not the artist but the artist's work, and there are those who see something and want to use that idea or prop or production design notion in some work of their own conception - who take direction from the muses and inspiration and cues from fellow artists/craftsmen.

I prefer to discuss means and themes with members of the latter group- those who take direction from the muses - where I am simply helping them realize their own vision of what might be done in this craft. Those who wish to imitate and 'tribute' living artists without the direct support and consent of the artist seem creepy to me. Those who wish to offer tribute to past artists by channeling them before audiences who never saw or heard of the artist in question also leave me feeling uncomfortable. That goes as far as even the "history channel" approach to presenting tricks. I really don't care if it's a time honored trick or routine - unless you can make it play as meaningful to them, the audience, in the present tense and circumstance - I feel it's awkward.

Once upon a time I was a judge at a magic competition. I favored the person who used a squeeker in his sponge ball routine over the one who was able to competently perform both 'two shufles harry' and 'the hanging coins' which only hit print a few weeks before - and took issue with my peer judges who wanted to award the latter with points for originality.

That in mind - IMHO - those who work for the muses are welcome to about anything I know or direction to those who are the keepers of a thing that I know (or know of) while those who seek to offer imitation and whose work is about themselves rather than the audience and/or advancing the craft are not so welcome. To be blunt I see the latter as cash cows for the lowest commercial side of the market for goods in this craft.

So is that elitist? Not IMHO. Is that ageist? Again, not even a factor IMHO. To be blunt - quite a bit of what I write is directed at those who are young or new to the craft so they can see what options are available to explore, and hopefully do so before they believe someone who tells them to start worshiping the classics before they get to find out why and how a trick works for audiences and what practical and logistical matters have made it a classic.

Kapish?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Hawkan
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You´re only fooling yourself if you copy someone else, be it a whole routine or a joke, thinking you´ll be as good, funny and clever. The more you create and put YOU into, the better you will feel. Don´t be an intellectual dwarf. Don´t be lazy.

Hawkan
:wavey:
Mr. Mystoffelees
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Well said and true, Hawkan...
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
Jack Baines
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On 2010-12-12 12:02, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Jack, I don't know how it is in scuba diving but I do know a little about this craft/art and have some experience with other arts/crafts. - so while this next has to be IMHO - it's a fairly well informed opinion.

There are those who see something and want to do what they saw done - whose source of inspiration is not the artist but the artist's work, and there are those who see something and want to use that idea or prop or production design notion in some work of their own conception - who take direction from the muses and inspiration and cues from fellow artists/craftsmen.

I prefer to discuss means and themes with members of the latter group- those who take direction from the muses - where I am simply helping them realize their own vision of what might be done in this craft. Those who wish to imitate and 'tribute' living artists without the direct support and consent of the artist seem creepy to me. Those who wish to offer tribute to past artists by channeling them before audiences who never saw or heard of the artist in question also leave me feeling uncomfortable. That goes as far as even the "history channel" approach to presenting tricks. I really don't care if it's a time honored trick or routine - unless you can make it play as meaningful to them, the audience, in the present tense and circumstance - I feel it's awkward.

Once upon a time I was a judge at a magic competition. I favored the person who used a squeeker in his sponge ball routine over the one who was able to competently perform both 'two shufles harry' and 'the hanging coins' which only hit print a few weeks before - and took issue with my peer judges who wanted to award the latter with points for originality.

That in mind - IMHO - those who work for the muses are welcome to about anything I know or direction to those who are the keepers of a thing that I know (or know of) while those who seek to offer imitation and whose work is about themselves rather than the audience and/or advancing the craft are not so welcome. To be blunt I see the latter as cash cows for the lowest commercial side of the market for goods in this craft.

So is that elitist? Not IMHO. Is that ageist? Again, not even a factor IMHO. To be blunt - quite a bit of what I write is directed at those who are young or new to the craft so they can see what options are available to explore, and hopefully do so before they believe someone who tells them to start worshiping the classics before they get to find out why and how a trick works for audiences and what practical and logistical matters have made it a classic.

Kapish?


First of all I take issue with the tone of your comment. It is sarcastic and not necessary. Kapish?

Second..

"those who work for the muses are welcome to about anything I know or direction to those who are the keepers of a thing that I know (or know of) while those who seek to offer imitation and whose work is about themselves rather than the audience and/or advancing the craft are not so welcome"

This is exactly what I was talking about. You hand pick those who are worthy, not only of your own support, but you take it upon yourself to speak for the entire magic community. What you think "advances the craft" may not be to everyone's taste, and those you think seek only to "offer imitation" may be doing something your missing, or just don't much like, but other audiences do, and other magicians can get excited about.
So is your HO you have expressed here elitist, in my honest opinion, yes. Is it ageist? Well I never mentioned age in my first comment so I don't see why you bring it up Mr. Townsend. If your referring to the "old school" comment, I was talking about a certain mentality, not anyone's actual age. But since you asked the question, and since you wrote "quite a bit of what I write is directed at those who are young or new to the craft" I will say, in my honest opinion, yes, I think your comments are ageist, otherwise you would only have said "new to the craft". Give those who are young a chance to spread their wings a little before you condemn them. They have only just walked through the door of the magic shop, they need a chance to feel their way around, to learn the rights and wrongs and sense of ethics and integrity. Guide them, don't immediately hound them about their ethical codes.

And just a reminder, be more careful about the way you word your messages. We can disagree and discuss things perfectly reasonably without being rude to one another. Wakarimasuka?
Jack Baines
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On 2010-12-13 15:12, Hawkan wrote:
You´re only fooling yourself if you copy someone else, be it a whole routine or a joke, thinking you´ll be as good, funny and clever. The more you create and put YOU into, the better you will feel. Don´t be an intellectual dwarf. Don´t be lazy.

Hawkan
:wavey:


This is a much better way of expressing what I was trying to convey in an earlier post. I agree entirely.
.
Jonathan Townsend
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Sorry, you lost credibility with the projection of sarcasm. The rest of the issues are your own as well. Did someone hold back some secret from you like the way the way the NYC folks held back how HPC worked from Slydini for a while?

You have an issue about whether I choose not to enable copyists - to be complicit in their diminishing the work of others? I have to choose whether or not to give away anyone else's work - especially if it's not in print.

It's not my job to guide anyone unless they ask for guidance.

Old school? Like I ask anyone to tell me their working translation of the Emerald Tablet? Right, you either get that joke or don't. My guess is you don't.

Yes Jack, I drop things into posts for innocent eyes, before they get contaminated by no the clean hand, it's a standard trick... or don't forget to point - that stuff. IMHO if they read primary sources before what's offered on sale today they might find their way more easily later. Lots of goodies in the old books.

Do you have any published works I might look up Jack? What I've read of you here does not leave me with a good feeling about your attitude. Maybe your online expression appears borderline hostile to me today but your works would show me a person with whom I'd like to discuss magic? I was thinking you were a Wimshust proxy but Andrew usually does not give advice unless requested - and his advice is often sage.

My French is bad enough - won't try to speak any Japanese - well perhaps very slowly. Smile I wonder how it goes over with an Australian accent.

Posted: Dec 13, 2010 10:36pm
Aha, I forgot to directly address a thesis - and common presupposition Jack referenced above.

IMHO if you want to learn about magic - the LAST place to go is a magic shop.

When/if you want to get the tools readymade to go out and perform magic - walk on in and enjoy the fun while there.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Dick Christian
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Mr. Mystoffelees,

Please read my words again. I wrote:

"The fact of the matter is that while that may be what the serious working pros strive for, they comprise but a tiny minority of the magic community. The overwhelming majority are amateurs and hobbyists who don't give a rat's patootie about creativity or orginality. They are often the ones who can't sing, dance, play the piano or tell jokes but nevertheless would like to be the center of attention and life of the party so they believe the ads in the magic magazine that proudly proclaim the three most dangerous words in magic 'no skill required'."

It was not my intention to paint all amateurs or hobbyists with the same brush -- only those who "don't give a rat's patootie about creativity or orginality." While I have met and know a number of dedicated, talented and extremely creative amateurs and hobbyists, many of whom have made significant contributions to the are and some of whom are also accomplished performers in their own right, unfortunately they are vastly outnumbered by those who lack not only creativity and originality but most of the other traits required of an "entertainer" as well.

I have not accused you of stealing the work of another magician, nor am I prepared to challenge your claim that you can hold your own with anyone in the area of rope (or, for that matter, other) magic, skill required. Nor do I disparage those who study and enjoy magic for their own amusement or those who join and attend join clubs like the S.A.M, I.B.M. or Magic Castle (which, of course, are primarily social organizations for those who share a mutual interest in the magical arts and, although they may include many professional performers among their members, should not be mistakenly confused with professional societies).

You ask "What would the magic profession look like if it consisted only of 'serious working pros'?" Doesn't the very act of referring to it as a "profession" imply that it IS comprised of 'serious working pros'? It is also possible, as you suggest some "serious" amateurs may have skills surpassing those of some working pros -- even "serious" ones? Nevertheless, I think it would be safe to argue that creativity and originality are traits that are GENERALLY more common among the serious working pros than the typical amateur or hobbyist.

In retrospect, the point I was trying to make would have been clearer if I had written "The overwhelming majority OF amateurs and hobbyists . . ." instead of "The overwhelming majority are amateurs and hobbyists . . ."
Dick Christian
Jack Baines
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On 2010-12-13 21:47, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Sorry, you lost credibility with the projection of sarcasm. The rest of the issues are your own as well. Did someone hold back some secret from you like the way the way the NYC folks held back how HPC worked from Slydini for a while?

You have an issue about whether I choose not to enable copyists - to be complicit in their diminishing the work of others? I have to choose whether or not to give away anyone else's work - especially if it's not in print.

It's not my job to guide anyone unless they ask for guidance.

Old school? Like I ask anyone to tell me their working translation of the Emerald Tablet? Right, you either get that joke or don't. My guess is you don't.

Yes Jack, I drop things into posts for innocent eyes, before they get contaminated by no the clean hand, it's a standard trick... or don't forget to point - that stuff. IMHO if they read primary sources before what's offered on sale today they might find their way more easily later. Lots of goodies in the old books.

Do you have any published works I might look up Jack? What I've read of you here does not leave me with a good feeling about your attitude. Maybe your online expression appears borderline hostile to me today but your works would show me a person with whom I'd like to discuss magic? I was thinking you were a Wimshust proxy but Andrew usually does not give advice unless requested - and his advice is often sage.

My French is bad enough - won't try to speak any Japanese - well perhaps very slowly. Smile I wonder how it goes over with an Australian accent.

Posted: Dec 13, 2010 10:36pm
Aha, I forgot to directly address a thesis - and common presupposition Jack referenced above.

IMHO if you want to learn about magic - the LAST place to go is a magic shop.

When/if you want to get the tools readymade to go out and perform magic - walk on in and enjoy the fun while there.


Thank you for this response. I would dissect it in detail and tell you where you are entirely wrong about your projections of me, and your misinterpretation of the comments I have made. Your opinions are yours to have and since it is clear you are unable or unwilling to engage in reasoned debate I won't attempt to. I do not wish to engage in a slagging competition.

Kind regards,

Jack.

PS. To answer your questions, No I didn't get the joke. I haven't come across the Emerald Tablet before, but it has made for some interesting reading. So thank you for that.
And no, I do not have any published works in magic. The feeling of attitudes is mutual.
Mr. Mystoffelees
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Dick-

Thank you for your response and explanation. I feel much less cranky now...

Jim
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
Dick Christian
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On 2010-12-14 15:40, Mr. Mystoffelees wrote:
Dick-

Thank you for your response and explanation. I feel much less cranky now...

Jim


Good, no one wants to see a cranky Santa . . . that IS you in the photo isn't it?
Dick Christian
Jonathan Townsend
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Instead of going and borrowing...

There are plenty of routines set in print by living performers which are well worth trying out as written just to find out what works for you and what does not - by way of audience feedback (much easier to get than directors notes I assure you). There are longer routines in print you can trim down to just what works for you and shorter items you can introduce or combine in to a routine when you find the ones people respond in the way you'd like. Between audience feedback and your own selections of effective material you'll be doing your own routines quicker than you might have expected. Sometimes audience members can observe or make suggestions about what they thought you did or were going to do - valuable feedback and perhaps worth searching out options to make happen in your shows as novel routines or even effects.

Another way to learn is to go and see the local performers and watch their sets a few times as occasions permit - and learning to notice what they seem to like about their own routines and what their audiences seem to respond to when they perform. Learning to watch audiences rather than performers is a useful skill when exploring what might work for yourself when you perform.
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Mr. Mystoffelees
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Dick-

Hale, yeah (I am the one that is Santa...)
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
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