If you're a magician, you probably knew what this essay is about as soon as you read the title. And, for the most part, what it is going to say. Many magicians and lay people alike are aware of the fact that, in recent years, there have been websites, books, and even television shows devoted entirely to the exposure of magic.
Have you ever seen a magician perform an effect so powerful that you logged onto your computer as soon as you got home... just to see how it was done? Odds are you have. Now think about this: every time you do this, yes, you are hurting the magician that performed the effect, but who else is this hurting? The answer: the creator. The creator put in hours of researching, development, and probably a nice chunk of change to offer this effect to the magic community, and they just lost a possible sale. Now, how many more sales will they lose when you tell your friends how it's done? Probably quite a few.
Do you know who the so-called "bad boys" of magic are? Penn and Teller, who have been banned from nearly every magic organization in the world, expose practically every trick they perform. Not a very smart desicion on their part.
How about Val Valentino? Have you ever heard of him? You probably have, but you know him by a different name... The Masked Magician. In case you don't already know, this man hosted four television specials, revealing the methods of over thirty effects. During the fourth special, Valentino unmasked himself, and handed the show over to a new host. Valentino is now shunned by the magic community, but still performs magic for a living.
Next on my list is Targuin Churchwell. Although you probably have not heard of him, he is, in my opinion, the leader of internet exposure. He has created countless sights exposing magic, including one by the name of David Blaine Sucks. He claims that he is helping magic by bringing in new, young magicians, but also takes pride in saying that he taught David Blaine. Ironic? I thought so, too.
Another person that is involved in the exposure of magic is Herbert Becker. To be quite honest with you, I don't know much about the guy. But with just a quick search on Amazon, I found 8 books all written by him. And guess what they were about? You guessed it... exposing magic. Sorry I didn't cover him much, but I'm sure a quick search on Google will provide you with more information about him than I could ever give you.
And last, and probably the worst of all exposers... the YouTube kids. Countless number of kids and teens buy effects, and think they are the most amazing person ever. They then get out their camera, and video tape themselves doing the effect horribly, and pretty much expose the effect. Others just plain tell you how it's done. And still some have no respect for copyright laws at all and post the exact video from Penguin straight onto YouTube.
Of course, if I were to play the devil's advocate against myself, I could, in theory, present a pretty good argue against the opinion that exposure is wrong. And it is exactly that that I shall attempt to do.
Exposure does not devalue the art of magic, nor is it ethically wrong. It promotes interest in the art, and brings new magicians into the art. You probably disagree with me, but what about all the poor kids that really want to perform magic, but don't have the money nor the materials to do so? The only way for them to learn is the internet. That makes it ok, doesn't it?
I, for one, can see the points that the people who preach the above paragraph to me are bringing about, but that doesn't mean that I agree with them. Honestly, I don't care if you're the poorest person in the world, or the richest person in the world... you shouldn't contribute to exposure. As for bringing "publicity" and new magicians into the art... yes, it does, but it also gives them a false set of ethics, in which exposure is ok, and is seen as the "supreme" way of learning.
Although these three (not including the YouTube kids) are possibly the most famous, there are hundreds upon hundreds of people on this planet who think it is ok or "cool" to expose magic (those would be the YouTube kids) . Exposure of magic in any form, anywhere, anytime, is wrong. It is unethical, and devalues our art. Hopefully you share this opinion.[/b]
Last edited by adjones on Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:22 pm, edited 8 times in total.