On the green place (magic cafe) Benji has gotten most of the pros upset because what he writes WILL get you in trouble. He advises people to crash corporate events at hotels. He doesn't say that you can be prosecuted for doing that, the hotel WILL throw you out and if you persist prosecute you for either trespassing or "public Nuisance." He has other suggestions just as wrong as that.
magicman222 seems to think that we should only post things that are complimentary & all kissy. Sorry! My post was to get out all the facts. When someone is posing as an expert and giving out suggestions that are WRONG and will cause harm to those that follow his suggestions, it is our duty to post all the facts. That's what I did and I stand by it.
Thank you, for agreeing with me on that. Benji, however, encourages his students to just crash the dam thing and doesn't tell them of the consequences. Also he is using Joel Baurer (spelling??) as his model, which would be good if Benji was old enough and had the experience to draw on the Mr. Baurer has. The general consensus is that Benji learned some magic and is in a rush to cash in on it. Even going as far as forging references, claiming to have the small room shows with high prices and limited seating and then call the fictional sessions a success.
Paddy, you seem to believe that there is only one path by which to venture in the world of magic. Excuse me for saying so, but I believe that is a foolish notion. It is a limiting perspective and, in my experience, has only led to stagnation and a bitter lack of advancement. Lessons learned from experience are often far more valuable to the individual than are those about which he may only read, thereby forcing him to learn them with a vicariousness that will not instill within him the truth of the message!
Magic is about adventure. One of the legends of magic history, Harry Houdini, was a prime example of the entrepeneur in the world of mystery entertainment. Had he not risked his reputation and well-being on numerous occasions, he would never have learned many of the things he did, nor would he have enjoyed all the adventures along the way. As the clichè saying goes: "No pain, no gain." Though the safer of two paths may lead to security, the more treacherous often leads to more rewarding insight. There is nobody with enough authority (nor hopefully enough arrogance) to say that one magician lives within the lines of propriety while another is to be shamed. I would venture to guess that, were Houdini to stand in front of you now, you would dare not scold him! After all, who are you to tell him how to live his own life? You are probably asking yourself at this moment, "Who is this Satanica, that he has the audacity to tell me off?!" I don't make any pretense of authority; I wish only to offer my own perspective. I do wish to ask, though, how can you justify using the word "wrong"
to describe one man's advice
? You say it is "[your] duty to post all the facts,"
and yet you offer your opinion (e.g. that Benji is "posing as an expert"
and his advice is "WRONG"
). That is a direct contradiction of logic. As well, you say that, "The general consensus is that Benji learned some magic and is in a rush to cash in on it."
You ought to offer factual statistics to reinforce such statements.
It is perfectly understandable that you should be concerned with regard to the risk involved in the practice of attending conferences, banquets, ceremonies, etc. to which one is has not been invited. Yes, you are correct in saying that the hotel very probably would throw such an uninvited guest out, and could very well prosecute such a person. You are correct. Your experience is just as valuable as anybody else's, as is your input. However, just as one shouldn't live out his life in a safe room 50 meters below the ground with 5-foot thick steel walls simply for the sake of avoiding death by some random act of happenstance, so should one avoid limiting himself to the confines of the least risky approach. Perhaps the experience of attempting to take Benji's advice would prove to be more beneficial than harmful. Undeniably, it has been for Benji.
Furthermore, with the proper level of confidence and social engineering, a savvy performer can make great bounds by attending particular social functions and gatherings simply to make connections without bringing any harm to himself, the attendees, or the establishment. Steve Jobs attended course lectures in college for which he was not enrolled, and Harry Houdini was famous for waltzing into police stations to perform escapes (among countless other jeopardous activities). Both of these men put a lot at risk, but they did so to great effect and without incurring damage.
So much of the value in life comes out of living! I wouldn't call sitting in a room afraid to busk because I don't know if I am ready a real life. That is a life of would-be. It's a life of "I wish," and it's a life lacking boldness of any kind. I lived that life for many years because people said, "You aren't ready! You'll get eaten alive!" When I threw caution to the wind, packed myself up and hit the street, I discovered what an acting lecturer named Richard had once told me: "Performing on your feet, you will learn 100 times more than you would from sitting and reading about it."
On a final note (correct me if I am wrong), I believe that the man you are speaking of is named Joel Bauer
. He is the author of a publication called Hustle Hustle: The Magic of Business
, which is about managing a career as a magician, and how to do so successfully. Here is one more interesting bit of related information: Mr. Bauer claims that he has supported himself professionally performing magic since the age of nine
. Paddy, I can only imagine
what you would say about a nine year-old performing professional magic!