On a couple of forums, I've recently seen people get in an uproar about magic exposure. Some people are convinced that the exposure of magic will lead to the death of this art. What they don't understand though, is that magic isn't in the trick, it's in how we present it.
Some of you may remember when Fox aired a set of specials called Breaking the Magicians' Code: Magic's Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed. There were magicians who were quite upset with this; some even claiming that it would ruin them. Yet, it's been nearly a decade, and magic is still thriving. Those shows ended up being a benefit to the magic community, as it forced people to update their illusions. It forced people to become more creative, and better their magic.
Today, we have a new form of exposure; the internet. However, it's not as bad as some people try to make it out. The simple truth is, learning magic has been easy. Go to a book store, and you're sure to find at least one book on magic. Go to a library, and again, you will find books on magic. In various stores, you can buy magic gimmicks or magic kits. This is especially true during the holiday season. Anyone can go to a magic shop and buy a few effects. It's not hard to get sources on magic.
The truth though, is that the majority of people do not want to know the secrets. By knowing the secret of a magic effect, it ruins it. All of the mystery, the enchantment, the wonder, is taken away. Especially since the actual secret is generally ugly. The secret is quite disappointing.
Also, the majority of people who do end up looking for magic exposure, or who do pick up these sources to learn magic, are interested in the art of magic. Most people, after seeing an entertaining magic effect, or show, do not go home and try to figure it out. They are amazed by what they've seen. They know its trickery, and sleight of hand. But they don't want to know the method, because it destroys the amazement. It destroys the effect itself.
The other people, who search for magic exposure, are people who have seen an effect, and instead of it being presented in an entertaining way, it's presented as a trick. For the most part, this is with kids. Younger magicians haven't learned that the true secret of magic is presentation. The actual effect is not as important as they think. A true magician works on presentation. They work on entertaining the audience. They want to make the audience have fun. They aren't out there trying to fool the audience; because they know people don't like being fooled.
The real victims of exposure aren’t the general magician. It's the creators of magic who are suffering. They are the ones who are loosing a lot of money, and having their effects exposed. Exposure is basically the equivalent of spitting in their faces. And because of this, many magicians are thinking twice before releasing new effects.
In my next post, I will discuss a pioneer of internet exposure, Tarquin Churchwell
Bismarck, North Dakota
Magician, Comedian, Entertainer.