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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Stage Illusions » » The Secrets of Magic? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Kent Wong
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Inner circle
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
2458 Posts

Profile of Kent Wong
I just purchased an illusion that cost about $600.00 USD. I did extensive research before I made my purchase through my local magic shop and so, I knew exactly what I was getting. As far as the effect goes, I was not disappointed whatsoever. It is very well build and will suit my performing needs precisely.

The only disappointment I had was in the instructions that came with it. I only received one page of instructions that looked like it was cranked out on someones manual typewriter. No illustrations. Nothing.

Now, the instructions did allow me to figure out how to perform the effect, but that's not the point.

I have always believed that 90% of the value to any effect lies in the secret. If that is so, shouldn't there be an equal amount of care and attention in producing/publishing the secret?

By not doing so, the inventor and manufactuer is sending out a message that it is the product that matters, more than the secret. Maybe that's one of the reasons why the secrets of magic keep getting exposed. Now, this is just a passing thought I had, and I don't think it is THE reason for exposure, but it may be ONE cause for it.

I'm also not trying to suggest that this problem exists with all effects. In fact, some effects have extremely detailed and professional instructions that accompany them.

O.K. - I'm done venting now. I'll just take the little yellow pill and go back to my happy place Smile
"Believing is Seeing"
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Jeremy Greystoke
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Dublin, Virginia
58 Posts

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You're not alone in your feelings. I've been puzzled for years about the fact that some props have wonderfully written instructions and others have a scrap of paper with a paragraph or two. And it seems to have nothing to do with the price of the prop!

I've bought some fairly expensive items which had minimal instructions, and other quite inexpensive props which came with heavily detailed instructions. The old Supreme Magic Company from England would usually put out comprehensive instruction sheets for their tricks, regardless of how much it cost. I remember marvelling over the four or five detailed sheets of instruction I'd get with a $ 2.00 trick! Smile

And the late Ken Brooke also issued amazingly detailed instructions for his offerings. They were always a joy to read (for me, anyway....I've heard complaints from others that they were often *too* detailed).

I've noticed a trend in the recent past that a decent number of effects (both large ticket as well as small) are being released with extensive and well-produced instruction sheets. In some cases, it could even be described as an instruction *manual* or a full *training course* (some of the Bob Kohler offering certainly fit into that category).

I guess I'm with you on that one...if I purchase an expensive illusion, I'd enjoy having an Owner's Manual to go along with it. We expect it with cars, electronic equipment, and other stuff. Why not props?

I know Stan Allen put out a detailed book with the version of the Broom Suspension he marketed years ago. Any other builders ever take that route?

Jeremy
troller
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Loyal user
276 Posts

Profile of troller
Quote:
On 2004-12-02 16:16, magicman845 wrote:
I just purchased an illusion that cost about $600.00 USD....

I have always believed that 90% of the value to any effect lies in the secret. If that is so, shouldn't there be an equal amount of care and attention in producing/publishing the secret?

By not doing so, the inventor and manufactuer is sending out a message that it is the product that matters, more than the secret.


If the secret was more an important factor then you would not be able to purchase the effect and thus it would be kept secret till someone needed the money!

Think about it, the magician creates a trick and he performs it for a crowd. The are amazed. Now there are only so many performances that can take place within a life time. However, imagine selling it to every one interested and viola, your able to afford to buy a mansion, get out of debt and not have to perform anymore!

If you are buying it in a store, then definitely the main objective is to make money.
MajesticWizard
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New user
Lakewood, WA - USA
57 Posts

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$600?! That sounds insane. I don't know what goes into the pricing for magic secrets, but I will say that the art itself is quite expensive. So often, I've been tempted to buy something in the way of tricks, just to see how it works. In those its a waste of money. But if you actually plan on using the trick, then its money well spent.
- Shawn

"Explore your world, its waiting for you".
nucinud
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Inner circle
New York, New York
1297 Posts

Profile of nucinud
You have to understand that you are also paying for the rights to use the trick.
That is part of the price.
"We are what we pretend to be" Kurt Vonnegut, jr.



Now U C It Now U Don't

Harry Mandel

www.mandelmagic.com
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