AN ESSAY ON THE MORALITY AND HABITS OF THE MODERN MAGIC COMMUNITY (at least, as it pertains to the online community on Theory11) Hello, my fellow Theory11 member. Before we get started, I would like to make a rather simple request- one that some of you may ignore. I simply request that you read all of my post, every word, before replying. If you don't want to spend time reading it, then I must ask you not to leave a reply, as it will most likely be an ignorant one. That being said, thank you for taking time to read it thus far, and I hope you continue to read ahead. === There are many different problems pertaining to today's magic community. A few of the more discussed ones would be exposure and performance styles (this covers patter, audience and audience participation, etc). Now, I am not going to tell you what to do and what not to do; I am simply going to discuss these and other problems and let the individual reading this decide how to react, if a reaction is deemed necessary I'm going to begin with the topic of maturity. I remember when I first joined Theory11 - I was welcomed by a group of friendly, helpful people. When I wanted to talk with other magicians on as real of a level as you can get via the internet, I would simply open my browser and go to the forums. It saddens, and on some level angers, me that the forums are now flooded with a bunch of repeated nonsense and/or argument-inducing posts, along with the multiple posts on the same subject, the retarded replies left by Theory11's members, and the overall lack of intelligence and respect shown in the posts. I think that each member, old or new, needs to take a good look at themselves and re-evaluate their decisions and attitude. I would love to see, instead of the normal bashing and utter incompetence shown on these boards, positive replies and constructive criticism - along with answers to questions that you can answer, and not replying to posts that you have nothing constructive or helpful to say. Exposure - revealing the secrets/method to a trick. Alright, people. This topic is talked about too much, but nothing is ever resolved. We, personally, cannot control what the kiddies on YouTube decide to post. We can, however, report the video, and control the exposure in our own community/environment. If you want to know the method to a sleight/trick/etc, then purchase it and support the creator. Don’t ask for someone to reveal it to you, don’t ask to “trade tricks”, don’t post methods to things that you did not originally create. “Let’s film our magic!” Alright, I am wholeheartedly in love with filming performances. But recently (and personally, I believe this came about because of the uprise in flourishing), there are mostly only videos of performances to the camera, not to an audience. I ask myself - what are these kids doing? What is the point in wasting hours and hours, days, months, years in the art of magic if you aren’t going to go out in the real world and perform? No one is impressed by a webcam. The right way to perform - engage your audience, have an intriguing patter, don’t be a boring person, don’t be fake with your audience. I could write ten books on how to perform, and there would still be plenty of areas of performing left untouched. So, in place of ten books, I’m just going to give a couple tips for successful magic: - Be interactive with your audience. You want to engage the spectators as much as possible, while still retaining control of the trick. Don’t stare at your hands. You can’t watch the magic happen if you’re looking at your hands - try to perform without staring at your own hands! You’ll find that your spectators will also lessen their visual vice on the deck; this could greatly benefit your ability to perform some sleights that you thought you’d never personally use in a performance. -Use patter. Patter can make or break a trick - talk to the spectators! Your patter, tone, and body language ‘sets the stage’ for the spectator. You can create magical moments out of the simplest effects - just by the way you present it. - Keep it simple. Yes, complex flourishes are cool and a great way to “show off” to your fellow magicians/cardists, but it can often lessen the magical effect (because of the constant, untraceable movement of cards). Keep the “visual noise” and flourishy knacks out of your card magic performances, or at least try to keep it to a very minimum and only when it makes sense to flourish (e.g. I’ll just mix up these cards, now go ahead and pick one; something along those lines). Please, if you feel the need to respond, leave a reply or send me a PM - even if it’s a contesting one - I’m always happy to have intelligent discussions with anyone! Hopefully, some of you gained something from this post; that was indeed my goal - not to insult you, but to help you. As for now, I bid you adieu. Ben ===== ex post facto: If this were the case for the majority of camera-only performances of tricks, I would have no spark with which to light a flame of contest with the massive about of videos submitted to T11/YouTube. I see exactly where you're coming from, and I do this myself as well - though for a very select audience (private videos). Brainstorming via videos on the internet is a great way to grow in magic, and I support that side of the camera-only performances. The reason I have a problem with most of the camera performances is because they are NOT posted for critique on an idea, nor for feedback on the mechanics of sleights, nor to show an overall performance of the trick so as to obtain the opinion of people before performing it in the real world. Most of the videos that are uploaded are patter-less, filled with music, unoriginal ideas, boring performances of "the newest cool trick", etc. I agree with you. People need to stop being so focused on "their way", and see that magic effects can be achieved in an infinite amount of methods. I feel like the whole "creativity" side of magic has been lost - too often, you see an "original effect", which usually consists of poorly-planned sleights, poor handling, flourishing, and a variation of <insert daniel madison or dan and dave bucks' trick name here>.