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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The October 2011 entrée: Alain Nu » » Systems of Transforming... » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

dmoses
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...learning.

Hi Alain.

I attended your Metal Bending workshop and it was an amazing experience.
Can you write a little about your thoughts on sharing information, the Master/Apprentice relationship (if you have any) and its place in the age of the Internet.

Best always,

Dave
"You're a comedian. You wanna do mankind a service, tell funnier jokes."
TPR by Dave Moses and Iain Dunford
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Alain Nu
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Dave,

GREAT to hear from you, sir!

And thank you for mentioning STM-- and truly, thank you for asking this question! For many, I'm sure, at $1500 for an one-day, eight hour workshop, it is seen as a pricey event.

But there is a way that I came upon the decision to do this, and at that fee. I generally explain all this at the beginning of every STM workshop, but now's a good a time as ever to make that explanation!

So here it is plain and simple:

First, our art is about displaying abilities, behind which there is a secret. Similar to software development, master-chef recipes, and advanced martial arts technique, high level secrets can and have been sold at higher prices. So there's that, but for a true "master" of an ability, it's not about the money. It's about having a "sign and a seal." That is what maintains the integrity of the secret. Those who practice high-level Gracie Jujitsu understand what I'm talking about. So with STM, the money and the non-disclosure agreement is my way of establishing the seal. It is symbolic of a trust that should be valued and not be broken. Such is the value of my work on bending metal.

But the sign seal is also MY OWN that promises to look after your practice as long as you maintain an interest. Once that seal is made, it's made for life. You will then be forever able to access me regarding that which I have taught you, and I will always give you the respect that any good teacher gives to their alumni. Also, ANY FUTURE STM workshop becomes FREE for past attendees to refresh their chops and re-learn subtleties they may have missed after their first visit.

I came upon the decision to charge $1500 based on the fact that I never wanted too large a class, only serious students, and knowing that work-shopping one-on-one puts more spirit, soul and integrity to the art-form than any DVD or book will ever achieve. Some secrets, IMO, should be only passed from mouth to ear.

Some may disagree with this, but it is one of my personal ways of maintaining such traditions.

Alain
Mephisticator
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Alain,
Thank you for using the martial arts metaphor here, as an instructor (and student!) of martial arts it rings very true. Most martial artist spend years and thousands of dollars learning the secrets of their art. When it come to the "secrets" idea what has become clear to me, in this "age of the internet" as Dave aptly puts it, is that the real value comes from the nuances and detail that you recieve learning from a real master. Anyone can learn the physical movements of a technique from Youtube, but they do not grap the context, or bigger applications of it. They also miss nuances: why certain angles are taken, why certain steps, or motions are performed as they are... The devil, as they say, is in the details.

Now, of course, I want to take one of your seminars...

Cheers,

Kirk
adolphus
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I've had the privilege of seeing Alain perform his bending routine dozens of times - sometimes while standing right over his shoulder.

Yep...I should sort'a "know what to look for..." by now.

But nope...I can hardly ever "catch him" at anything!

It may not fit the concept of "supernatural," but it flirts an awful lot with being nearly "superhuman!"
"Unlike the mere Conjuror, the Mentalist reaches into that space which a hat normally covers. And from there, he withdraws something more fleeting - and at times, far fuzzier - than any rabbit"
Alain Nu
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Adolphus,

I think your take has most likely become over-analyzed from years of knowing me and being my friend-- watching someone bend metal is never about "catching" anyone do anything. Of course, it's obvious that because you've seen me present this so many countless times, the human inclination inevitably switches to whether there is anything that can be spotted with regards to "secret technique." The "metaphysical" effect of bending metal, however, which in my opinion is the most important thing to understand, can be seen as what ends up transforming in oneself or one's audience as a reflection of the visible transformation of the spoon or key or coin, and then what is left of the object becomes a physical reminder of that which was felt to transform. For with those who believe, no further explanation is necessary... reality has been penetrated.

Alain

PS-- Kirk: PM me your e-mail, and I will put you on my list of people to notify about STM! Thank you for your interest! Metal bending can be for kids and adults.
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