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Discussion in 'Magic Forum' started by Kuzelnik, Apr 4, 2020.
Depends on whether you've learned them from You Tube or not.
Well I did
It doesn't matter that much if you judge by whether people 'catch' you out.
Again, I think you can get ECT if you're prepared to do ground-work yourself.
RRTCM is more rewarding than the ECT because it teaches tricks and sleights in a very organised, 'level-like' manner. Moreover, ECT and RRTCM have common authors, hence even they cite it as roughly 'one after the other' books.
Once again, you can get the ECT. Benjamin Earl (a fantastic sleight-of-hand magician) started out with the ECT as his introduction to magic itself!
It won't seem difficult to you if you don't let it.
PS:- Go ahead.
Thank you so much. If i get some money from easter (It’s a weird tradition in our country) then i’ll probably buy both of them. Again, thank you very much
Woth the way the youtube algorithm works thats not really true anymore since the more established and reputable people dominate the search results. The only time I've foubd really bad stuff in the past few years is by searching for specific products/tricks, and even then the better stuff is always on top if it exists.
But recognize there are still significant problems with the way many of those "established and reputable" people teach. There are very few people I would waste my time learning from. As @WitchDocIsIn said, most of it is crap and you won't know the difference until you have been exposed to better teachers... who are not on Youtube.
I've heard that argument before, but nobody ever seems to have concrete examples that aren't massively subjective. The only major criticism of Youtube I even remotely agree with is that a lot of the teaching is very "move" oriented, but even then you could make a solid argument that moves are fundamental and something you need to get down before you work on performance and routining.
Are you familiar with the Allegory of the Cave?
I'd say the problem of You Tube for me is the glossing over the minute details. Alex Pandrea is a really good teacher according to me, but even his tutorial on the Turnover Pass wasn't as fine and detailed as ECT's tutorial. He also mentioned a certain motion which might help in his hands, but generally is more prone to flashing.
With You Tube we see sleights being performed after they have been 'adjusted' to somebody's hands, we're not taught or shown the actual, raw mechanics. It's easy to think what the YT teacher is doing is the only correct way to do the sleight. That's not true of course.
Books can also influence in this manner, but to a much lesser degree.
I think the question of whether You Tube is good or bad is pretty much invalid now, because as said, the transition has already happened. You Tube has already become a primary source, there's no ''when this will happen'' or ''if this happens''...it has happened.
The question should be how to improve the quality of teaching on You Tube. I don't think people reserve the right to criticise something if they are not actively working towards changing or improving the situation. If we call terrible teaching of magic on You Tube the 'evil' then...
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
Been a while, I only remember the dim outlines of it....
I guess if I’m going to post it may as well have some substance to it. I get that YouTube is a huge source for exposure and dubious information. The few good sources on there are dwarfed by the amount of questionable sources and laypeople may not have the skills to differentiate which source is an okay one. That doesn’t mean YouTube is a total write off though.
Talented teachers and magicians do use the platform for business of teaching basic routines giving potential clients a taste of their teaching skills and showcasing their marketed effects. These channels often have sources and reading suggestions too. Adding more good channels doesn’t hurt, but it is not likely to help a large amount either. Bad channels are still in abundance and laypeople still lack the skills in general to differentiate between many channels.
I’m wondering if this will change any amount for the better or worse with so many new channels and increased content due to many entertainers going online right now. I’m hoping for an increase in quality since many workers may have free time. I’m seeing more entertainers I follow offering lessons that’s for sure. YouTube and Instagram is certainly helpful for entertainers at the moment at least in this aspect.
One way of helping the YouTube problem is making magic more accessible (cheap) like magicflix or magicstream have done. Many of the videos on those platforms give provenance for their ideas and also give reading suggestions. And while there is occasions poorly taught or unfinished material released, it’s on a smaller scale than YouTube’s pool of channels. This won’t fix the exposure problem but makes better quality teaching easier to find.
Really though is fixing the YouTube problem a reality? If the flat earthers there are not getting off YouTube I doubt crappy magic will disappear or quit being a problem from there either. Really we can only either throw our own hats in the ring and teach (if you’re qualified) and or try to direct others where quality is. I wouldn’t waste time in the comment sections of YouTube though...
To throw in two more cents...
People generally have more motivation to put in more time, effort, and care to learn something and perfect it when they've had to pay for it in some way. In my opinion, learning from YouTube is too easy and instant, whereas learning from a book that I've paid for is more motivating, more satisfying, and more permanent. It requires more discipline and prior commitment (both financial and personal investment), and having this mindset while learning and practicing is helpful for me.
Magic is already way too cheap, in my opinion. Many of the young people on the forum have entire shelves of magic materials and know very little about magic. If it were far MORE expensive then maybe people would treat it as precious, valuable, and not be giving secrets away for free on the internet.
I agree in some utilitarian sense that it is an easy way to dissuade secret seekers and in general be bought by those who will give it time, but the action puts things like this out of reach of people not based on their drive or skill, but their financial situation. That’s not me saying magic should be free, just noting something I disagree with due to the unintended outcomes. I noticed in your other post you said “...had to pay for it some way.” And I assume you are using that wording due to the issue I bring up about finances.
While the idea of taking on a poor student is talked about, it’s not often a reality due to compounding issues with being poor, nor does it pay the teachers bills. This is a large tangent here in the vein of “magic as privilege” ....I can open this can of worms if you want to continue possibly via pm if you wanted more info here, I would hate to derail this post further.
But a little more on topic...Going cheap has other benefits too other than attempting to compete with free YouTube magic, it is a way to address pirating too. If things are cheap pirates work versus reward is lessened. Raising the prices will make even basic magic pirate-able. Going cheap helped the music industry versus pirates, and it empowered many artists rather than labels.
Just to be clear....and because I’m up...my last paragraph comes off wrong. I mean if YouTube free but generally crap and for 10-15 bucks a month someone can get something that is vastly superior in general, 15bucks is not a big leap up from free and helps to steer others toward better sources...if that’s a concern. Think of it as a gateway drug.
The answer is encourage people to learn from better sources.
I think this is a significant issue. We value what has a cost, what we have to work for in some way. YouTube does devalue magic.
So how many custom decks at $8 each do those people learning from YouTube have? It's not privilege, it's entitlement and opportunity cost. Why pay for something when you feel you deserve it for free.
Not at all. Resources such as Royal Road, Bobo's Coin Magic, Original Tarbell Course and the Jinx are all available electronically legally. With those four resources, you could do a lifetime of magic. Mark Wilson's Complete Course is $15. You could easily develop a close-up show, parlor show, kids show and mentalism show just using that book. An annual electronic subscription to Genii is $35 - with it you get almost 75 years of archived issues and 25 years of Magic Magazine. If you read all of those issues, you would know more than all of the YouTubers combined.
This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Richard Bach's Illusions "You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however." If anyone has the desire to learn magic there are ways that it can be done properly at little or no cost.
I'd gladly take the challenge to develop a set of three effects from FREE resources other than YouTube and compare the result to what anyone can find exposed on YouTube.
A final note here. Notice who is critiquing YouTube in this thread. Our main critique is that the quality is lacking and it builds bad habits. Our secondary critique is that it develops an unfortunate approach to magic. Let's say you are at a magic convention and someone asks you what you are working on. If you reply "this new trick I learned on YouTube", the magician will most likely say "that's great" and walk away. Why? Because your response evidences that you don't take the craft seriously. If you reply, "I'm building a show with effects from Mark Wilson's book", the magician most likely will ask you about what you are doing, give you some advice and introduce you to other magicians.
You mean like making people aware of the flaws and giving them better sources for information?
No. At least, not until the entire structure of the magic industry is radically altered - which won't happen.
I've seen the "So poor people don't deserve magic?" argument many times. I think it's misleading at best.
Here's the thing - Magic is a luxury. No one needs it to survive. Therefore no one really has a 'right' to getting magic products. So - someone who has knowledge is, in my mind, right when requesting a certain form of compensation for said knowledge. It's up to the purchaser to determine if they think the compensation being requested is worth what they will receive.
Furthermore - many of the most successful magicians throughout history began life poor. They managed to acquire some form of resource to learn (whatever that may be), studied the heck out of that resource, performed, and earned money to get more resources.
A great example is Daniel Garcia. In an interview with The Magic News Wire he talked about growing up very poor. His family would basically get him a volume of Tarbell and he would study that volume for the next year. Because he was poor and he couldn't just consume and consume, he had to study. Which is why he's a very successful magician and consultant today.
Being poor, in this fairly specific case, is something of a blessing in disguise. It prevents the all-too-easy mistake of purchasing more than one can properly study and internalize. When one can simply buy or otherwise acquire new material more or less on a whim, there's little to no motivation to spend the time and energy to rehearse and perfect material.
Making magic easily available will NOT great more great magicians. It will, in all likelihood, change nothing in regards to the ratio of good performer to bad performer. Or, if anything, it will tip it more in the direction of bad performers - because more people will be able to pick things up on impulse, put no effort into it (because they're not really losing anything), and perform poorly at the bar that night.
I, in the not too distant past, was severely criticized for saying that I could teach someone the foundations of a career in mentalism in a single day, from legally free resources online. I may use the premise for a workshop in 2022.
This is one of my favourite quotes. It gives me hope.
It's no wonder his views on magic and ideas are so profound and often out-of-the-box. I didn't know this, but it's a brilliant anecdote. Makes me respect him even more now!
I agree, the most significant investment should be time and not money.
"May"? Oh please, TAKE MY EMAIL ID!
What I dislike is You Tube becoming this sort of barrier between two generations of magicians or two different 'types' of magicians (Max Maven predicted the future!). I'm generalising of course, there are tons of exceptions. Yet, don't like how having started anything from You Tube or having You Tube as the basic source for something in magic has become the criteria for judging a magician. It's a subconscious bias we all have, and as much as I love You Tube, if some magician comes up to me and tells me they learnt everything they know from You Tube, even I will hold it against them! Promise, I'm working on improving this subconscious habit.
When an international magic 'champion' like Shin Lim has his roots in learning through exposure videos, I think we should agree that if diligent, if perseverent, if focussed, then a student of magic will naturally seek better sources to learn from. They absolutely will, surefire, look for anything, ANYTHING better than just You Tube videos, whether it's discussions on internet forum like these, or magic downloads or books. The clause of course is, if they love magic. If they really love magic.
If they have a casual attitude towards magic, give them a Tarbell and it'll still sit gathering dust on their bookshelf.
I personally shudder to think what would happen if there were no You Tube! I'd have never discovered cardistry for one (which I discovered through magic). I'd have never realised there are entire companies selling magic tricks and helping magicians. I wouldn't have discovered so many magicians, so many ideas and views on magic! I'd have never even known the names or been aware of the existence of so many priceless sleights and convincers and what not!
Unfortunately I've got the older (and Tenkai-Pinch-less Bobo's book ), hence You Tube was the only source (along with any questions I had, posted here) for me! I can't speak for anybody else but that hasn't lessened my respect for that particular sleight in the slightest. In fact I wish more of the ''better'' magicians on You Tube had posted more tutorials on it so that I could assimilate and gather as much information about that sleight as possible. Different perspectives on the same sleight help tons.
There's a definite difference in the quality of teaching in books and You Tube of course. Not only You Tube, but any sort of video, even the most expensive downloads surprise me sometimes...
No source, till date, has taken care to mention exactly where every single finger, every single joint, every single part of your hand should be during a sleight, most books even talking about the angle of your wrists, elbows, arms and forearms while doing a sleight!
You Tube won't change anything too much, in my opinion. The argument of exposure hasn't really been brought up here but the truth is, with every generation or with intervals of several years in between, certain tricks and effects become the supposed 'public domain'. A woman cut in half might have shocked the insides out of, say, that Pharaoh who saw Dedi chop animals' heads off. But today no matter who performs it for even the biggest 'layman' today, the trick won't 'fool' and for the most part, won't amaze either. I don't think certain effects becoming exposed or common knowledge is new to this Technological Age, though of course, the process has quickened.
It is also true that You Tube's algorithm has pretty much pushed back the blatant exposure channels, which is surprising to me too! You'd think that channels claiming to constantly expose Penn and Teller Fool Us tricks would rank considerably higher!
As for bad quality of teaching, I wouldn't necessarily term it 'bad', but I would say that doing certain sleights as they have been described in books helps considerably (because these 'book tutorials' are the raw, often foolproof, mechanics of sleights and much more detailed).
But yes, if truly the idea that just because somebody has started learning magic through You Tube or maybe they learnt one particular trick on You Tube first makes people judge you, that's very unfortunate. Magic would benefit from assimilation of all kinds of skills and all kinds of sources. Sidelining any particular approach is, I repeat, unfortunate.
I label the teaching bad because of a few different factors.
1) They almost all focus on the physical moves. This is generally because these people haven't really performed much for live audiences so the physical moves are all they've learned. Probably from other poorly taught tutorials, because trading that information back and forth is a form of currency on YouTube. This means they don't touch on the 90% of magic that makes it actually enjoyable to experience.
2) The churn of "learn new trick perform at bar go home learn new trick" means no one ever perfects anything. And they have no motivation to because the time it takes to perfect a trick means the tutorial will be less valuable in terms of views.
Which brings me to 3) Every channel that does tutorials is doing it for money. They get money from views. Which is why they almost never touch on the theory, because theory doesn't get views. Feel free to ignore any attempts at altruistic sentiment, if they really just wanted to put quality teaching out there for free they'd teach the parts that actually make quality performances (that no one watches).
As a bonus 4) YouTube makes it very difficult to keep a sense of history or timeline. I was watching card flourishing videos in 2002 - it was already an established, worldwide community by then (along side pen spinning, cup stacking, contact juggling, and poi/staff/fire spinning arts). YouTube made it easier to share videos, but the skills were already being developed before YouTube even existed (which was founded in 2005).
Plan to be in Myrtle Beach, SC, USA in mid-January 2022? I probably will only do this in person.