The first rule of magic is – never tell how an effect is done.
Don’t you think this ALSO applies to Magicians? Sure, magic is an artform that has been passed down from apprentice to student by word of mouth since the ages, but in the world that we live in, where so much information is free, it seems the secrets we do have – we should keep them!
Of course, the environment I am talking about is the internet. People you don’t know ask you how effects are done. You think to yourself, “But they are magicians….” Are they? How do you know? If I saw a magician at a night club on the weekend, I could do a simple web search and be a member of a magic community by Tuesday.
Now, of course for my critics…not EVERYONE does that, and I am sure it could be a slim few. But a lot more self-proclaimed magis are hobbyists or noobs who will fall out of magic in a year due to attention span or magic not just being their calling.
But we share secrets with those people also.
Most of the time, the requests that I see on the internet or what aspiring magis send me in email is blatant theft. Sadly, it comes from the same online mindset that says that “downloading music, file sharing, and burning video games is ok” all of this is theft and this world is slowly evolving into a place where theft is the “norm.”
If these magicians love magic so much, or they claim to be serious about their craft.
Why do they steal effects?
Why do they take money from the hands of magic creators?
I hear that magic tricks are expensive – that’s’ true. But there is answer to that.
1. Buy tricks you can afford
2. Get a job
But the argument comes back, but I want the awesome $30 card tear! I don’t want the tricks that I can afford.
Guess what? I want a Hummer H2, but I bought a Kia…
Let’s pretend the internet was an actual mortar and brick magic store. The $30 card tear DVD is sitting their on the shelf…you can’t afford it….so, you steal it and run out?
What’s the difference? Some magicians use their screen name as a ski mask.
Let’s look at the flip side of magic theft for just one more second. Ok, so you find a guy who is willing to share his $30 secret with you (which is also dumb, if I paid $30 for a DVD. Why would I share the secret with a stranger for nothing?) or worse you are going to “trade” him for it. (So now two creative magicians are being ripped off)
He then “writes” up his description of the trick ….yuck. That doesn’t help very much. Not everyone is a good or clear writer. Plus, a DVD is sold for a reason….pictures! When you steal magic, you get a poor man’s copy of the effect.
My advice….(a.k.a. “My opinion”)
Give people advice and assistance…not answers. In other words, point people towards books, websites and online magic stores that can help them find what they want.
If people need help with certain effects, a lot of times the website that sold it to them has a forum with administrators who will help them. Better than that – a lot of effects now days come with the creator’s email address or website – point people with questions back to their creator of the effect.
If people need help with locating effects or sleights, recommend helpful books to them. Part of the process of growing as a Magi is self-discovery. When we “help” people by answering all of their questions, we rob them of that journey.
I welcome your comments and input.
David Kenney Magic
- New effects every week!