Okay David I'm going to be one of the few people here who somewhat agrees with some of the things you said. And I'll post it in a fashion you have displayed to your liking:
YOU SAID: "Practice that effect until you can do it flawlessly"
I totally agree. As a magician everyone should practice every effect that they learn until they are 100% confident that they could perform it anywhere.
YOU SAID: "as Blaine (your hero) showed you..."
When I was performing levitations and such I did the Balducci. There I got it off my chest I did the Balducci. However I never considered Blaine to be my hero. The only person that I have admired in magic ever since I began was Apollo. It was the second person I had seen perform magic since I can remember and I wanted to do things like him. And yes he performed magic, he didn't only ever pickpocket people. And apparently you don't understand the full definition of a hero.
1: a man distinguished by exceptional courage and nobility and strength; "RAF pilots were the heroes of the Battle of Britain"
2: the principal character in a play or movie or novel or poem
3: someone who fights for a cause
4: Greek mathematician and inventor who devised a way to determine the area of a triangle and who described various mechanical devices (first century)
5: (classical mythology) a being of great strength and courage celebrated for bold exploits; often the offspring of a mortal and a god
6: (Greek mythology) priestess of Aphrodite who killed herself when her lover Leander drowned while trying to swim the Hellespont to see her
7: a large sandwich made of a long crusty roll split lengthwise and filled with meats and cheese (and tomato and onion and lettuce and condiments); different names are used in different sections of the United States
Blaine hardly is distinguished for his exceptional courage, nobility and strength, the 'and' by the way indicates that they must have all three traits. While I do know that Blaine used to belong to a performing arts school I doubt that now he is the principal character in a play, movie, novel or poem. People who fight for causes are called activists. They are the people you see strapping themselves to trees in the forests and, although I hate this particular group of people, they are the PETA members who throw paint on your fur coats. He is certainly not a greek mathematician. Maybe Blaine is celebrated for his bold exploits but he is hardly the offspring of a god. Again Blaine is not the preistess that they are referring to. And if Blaine were a hero sandwich I think he'd have past his expiry date by now.
YOU SAID: "Magic is Magic"
And as sirbrad showed, I agree with you, magic is magic.
YOU SAID: "I’m not saying levitations are not cool, but they are incredibly difficult to pull off and then be believable"
1) When referring to this quote later on you didn't use the entire sentence because using the entire sentence would have not as strongly made your point.
2) If you think a levitation like the Balducci is incredibly difficult to pull off and be believable then you are not doing what you said people should be doing and I quote "Practice that effect until you can do it flawlessly – so that you can do it in your sleep." However in your favour the others can be considered harder to pull off. But keep practicing and you'll get it as I, in my time of levitations, amazed many people doing the Balducci correctly. It is, in my opinion, not all about the trick and making that believable but 90% about the patter that makes a trick like the Balducci believable.
YOU SAID: "your audience says, “Oh yea. I saw that guy on TV do that.”"
I will not be like sirbrad and say I have rarely heard someone say that, but I will say this (and you can do your 'YOU SAID or YOU WROTE' thing on this). I HAVE NEVER HEARD ANYONE SAY THAT AFTER I DID THE BALDUCCI LEVITATION FOR THEM. Go ahead quote me on that, I don't care this place is like a school for me, a way to learn how others percieve our art.
But now as I have said that I see how you percieve the art a little better. I'm sure you are a great magician in your own rights but if a beginner thinks it is cool to do a levitation for a couple of people because it makes them go nuts then that's cool. Mostly they don't do it because Blaine did it, they do it because they want people to react to their magic like people did to Blaine's magic. And don't say that because that person started to do the Balducci because Blaine did it that they are stealing his magic, that is what we all do. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US GOT OUR START BY STEALING SOMEONE ELSE'S EFFECTS. There I said that too.
Now don't forget after all this ranting that I did support some of what you said because some of what you said is accurate but contradicting yourself gets you into a mess like this. Obviously you are passionate about this subject because the last time you did a 'YOU SAID' thing it was in red, which is a colour of passion.
But go ahead and pull the 'you said' thing on me, it won't phase me at all.