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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Right or Wrong? » » Stealing or not? (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Karli
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A mentalist sees another mentalist show. Likes an idea (not a trick) from there and as he starts working on this in his mind, he asks the other mentalist if he can use this idea in his own way. The performer is offended by this and feels like his material is being stolen. Thoughts?
Dannydoyle
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Where did the first mentalist get his ideas in the first place?

It sounds as if the guy would be more inspired than stealing, but it is a fine line.

What the idea consists of matters. Is it method? Is it identical theme? There are so many factors and each case is certainly unique.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
landmark
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You asked--which was good. You got a reply--which was good. Paying attention to the response is even better.

Sometimes it might go your way, sometimes not. But ask.
Dannydoyle
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Good point. Asking and HOPING you get one response is one thing. But when you get the response you don't necessarily want then what?
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Tom Cutts
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Quote:
On Feb 17, 2019, Dannydoyle wrote:
Where did the first mentalist get his ideas in the first place?

Does that matter? The premise here is #2 saw #1 doing it and wishes to follow along. Certainly seems #1 has done the work to pioneer the idea. Having alsorands dillutes the "original", regardless of whether this is a truly unique concept, or something brought back to life from centuries ago.
Dannydoyle
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I'm sorry I was not clear. I will expand.

IF the first mentalist is using something that is public domain then he has no way to tell another they can not use it.

He does not necessarily have to direct anyone to the source, but he certainly has no way to protect it or feel proprietary about it.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Tom Cutts
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Quote:
On Feb 18, 2019, Dannydoyle wrote:
I'm sorry I was not clear. I will expand.

IF the first mentalist is using something that is public domain then he has no way to tell another they can not use it.

He does not necessarily have to direct anyone to the source, but he certainly has no way to protect it or feel proprietary about it.


I disagree. On the grounds of artistic merit, I believe the person who popularized, or brought to awareness something which has become unique unto her has the artistic right to control who then copies her, steals her thunder, and dillutes her brand.

Is there anything legally which can be done? Extremely doubtful.

Has this kind of "taking someone else's popular idea and running with it" been embraced by the commercial art world? Absolutely! Popular music and popular film has become immensly lazy, uncreative, and inartistic. It is a shame that art has been reduced to just a financial pursuit by the powers which be.

I doubt, for instance, that you would be very encouraging to someone who opened a hypnosis show in Mexico and a close-up magic show in a Vegas restaurant while calling himself Randy Diamond.
Dannydoyle
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Artistically you're right. But it is 2 different points I believe.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Tom Cutts
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Yes, two different foundations from which to make that decision. I choose to make it from an artistic foundation.

As The Rock says in his latest cameo, “Don’t worry about being the next me, worry about being the first you.”
Dannydoyle
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Oh I am not disputing that artistically you need to bring your own sensibilities to any subject. Not by a long shot.

I have seen WAY too many magicians do "their version" of whatever trick and it is very rarely an improvement. I am not disagreeing Tom. If I never see another version of Dai Vernon's Cups and Balls routine it will be 5 minutes too soon.

I certainly understand the artistic point. Tough to be considered an original artist when all you do is color in others books, using the colors they tell you to.

Also nobody will be a better you than yourself.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
danaruns
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Everything is derivative. And so many magicians value doing tricks that others have done that originality has become extraordinarily rare. That said, if you're going to ask someone if you can expand on their work and they say no, then respect that and go do something else.

But I'm reminded of an experience I had where I didn't take my own advice. I developed a lighted floating ball routine. It took me two years to conceive it, get the equipment (cost a bunch of money), and choreograph it, and another six months of work to get it to a point where it was worthy of being seen. Then some guy comes along and rags on me, telling me his wife does a lighted floating ball routine, and it's her signature piece, and that I'm not allowed to do a floating ball routine, only she can do it. I had never seen her routine, and knew nothing about it. I called and asked her for a video to see if it was so close that I ought to abandon mine. She declined to send me a video. So out of respect I put mine on hold, despite having nothing to do with hers, having never seen hers, and having put 2.5 years effort into creating mine.

When I finally saw the other lady perform hers, it was good. But it was completely different than mine, and so I started working my own again, frustrated that I had abandoned it on some blowhard's ranting. Screw that guy.

It's not always clear cut what you should do, but I try to err on the side of respecting others' work. I still believe that if your inspiration is someone else's ingenuity, and you respect it enough to ask if you can use it, and the person says no, then you have to respect that answer, too.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
Jonathan Townsend
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Is this about someone's methods or their presented story (even silent/implied)? Story stuff belongs to the writer and director. Please don't step on their toes. If you take an idea into performance and get audience feedback about the story/effect - you're very likely wind up going in a different direction than taken by the person or thing which inspired you. It's silly to say "no doing Shakespeare". And worse to read about folks working without directors, imitating particular actors performances.

Superman or Green Lantern? Thought Thief or Cognitive Security Consultant? Supernatural Productivity Specialist? Recruiting for the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or his pal Bob? Who are you to your audience and what do you want to share with them?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
funsway
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Quote:
On Feb 19, 2019, danaruns wrote:
Everything is derivative. And so many magicians value doing tricks that others have done that originality has become extraordinarily rare.


I can disagree with both statements, but realize it may just be a matter of semantics since I respect you view on most things.

Methinks you mean that "innovation" is rare. Every magician can embrace originality in several of the scripts of a routine (working, verbal, secret, etc.) and should.
Yet, to change a classic just to be different disrespects the hours of work and thought that went into the development of the trick.
It isn't a matter of giving credit or getting permission, but one of hubris in thinking your ten-minute analysis equals that of the originator/innovator.

"Change" is not a good indicator of either progress or improvement or originality.

MagicIan (Ian Garrison) and I had many discussion on non-derivative magic tricks and methods. He thrived on discovering an original method,
only to see others claim his work for themselves. (Check the forums on Ring and Spring for example)

but, if you meant that any innovation may have been seeded by an idea of another person or influenced by performing classic you are probably correct.

Etienne Lorenceau has possibly the largest collection of magic documents and books in the world - certainly the best catalogued.
He has innovated tricks and effects themes as a result of studying this material, yet considers his contributions to be original with no need for credit.
However, in publishing an effect he will bury you in references in case you wish to explore and follow.

A psychological study of magic and decision making noted that many classic effect evolved from mistakes or accidents in the field.
Since this worked, the original effect was modified by the originator or others observing the impact.

Who was the originator? Is building on a a slip or error "being creative?"

I recently post a Chop Cup idea on another forum and several notable magicians said they had never seen this idea in print anywhere.
Does that make it original or an innovation? The moves/sleights involved are not original. The combination and use with a Chop Cup is.

I now expect to find many using this idea without giving me credit at all. The first notable to publish it will get the credit.

no problem - creativity is its own reward.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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George Ledo
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Every single great actor in the world has taken a role -- Hamlet, Macbeth, Willy Loman, any role -- memorized the lines, and then made it his or her own original creation. Watch your favorite TV show or movie where an actor has replaced another actor. James Bond comes to mind, and so does Sherlock Holmes. Same character but different take on it, using the actor's skill to make the character come alive.

Mediocre actors are not able to do the above. Something is missing.

And "poor" actors just memorize the lines and go on to happily think they are acting.

And yes I know about directors. A great director can only get so far with a bad actor. That's where very careful casting comes in.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

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Dannydoyle
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Is anyone inventing new scales for music? Oh course not but those who use those ti create are indeed original.

Where do we draw the line? Is it the prop that makes one original?

This is a difficult subject. In not telling anyone they are wrong or disagreeing with anything anyone said. Just making points is all.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
George Ledo
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From what I've read here over the years, I believe people who perform magic place way too much emphasis on the props. "I made the whifflepopper out of plastic instead of bamboo. That's original." Fine, but if the audience doesn't know that a whifflepopper is involved, and all they see is the trick, then who cares?

"What's the best Square Circle, or fanning deck, or levi couch?" As I said in my first column post here, a great actor can walk into a supermarket, pick up a coconut, do Hamlet's Yorick speech, and bring down the house. A bad actor can obsess over a $5K custom-made skull, burn incense to it, and bore the audience to tears.

https://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/view......orum=173

Performers need to learn to focus on their own personas -- to make those unique and believable -- and stop using props as security blankets. A bad pianist on a zillion-dollar Galaxy or Bosendorfer will not pull off a great performance.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
Senor Fabuloso
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Quote:
On Mar 1, 2019, George Ledo wrote:
Every single great actor in the world has taken a role -- Hamlet, Macbeth, Willy Loman, any role -- memorized the lines, and then made it his or her own original creation. Watch your favorite TV show or movie where an actor has replaced another actor. James Bond comes to mind, and so does Sherlock Holmes. Same character but different take on it, using the actor's skill to make the character come alive.

Mediocre actors are not able to do the above. Something is missing.

And "poor" actors just memorize the lines and go on to happily think they are acting.

And yes I know about directors. A great director can only get so far with a bad actor. That's where very careful casting comes in.


WOW! All I can say is WOW! There is such wisdom in the post, that I'm left flabbergasted because clear examples of a thought are hardly posted on boards such as these. Thank you George, the issue is crystal, to me now Smile
No matter how many times you say the wrong thing, it will NEVER be right.

If I'm not responding to you? It's because you're a TROLL!
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