Continuing Magic

Discussion in 'Magic Forum' started by Kuzelnik, Apr 4, 2020.

  1. Very, very true. I have indeed seen magicians becoming more move-oriented, when often they end up making the method the trick (however, there are also those times when the move itself is done terribly. Come on, if you're doing something wrong, at least wrong magic correctly!)

    Are you calling out ScamSchool? :D
    That particular channel didn't really start out as a serious magic-teaching channel, it was for Brian to practice his hosting skills (in my opinion, Brian taught the world of magic its finest secrets when he released his correspondence with Teller. Nobody can top that sort of teaching!). However, it has definitely started focussing more on the theory compared to its yester-years.

    That being said, it's the You Tube algorithm's fault partly, which favours quantity over quality. Hence if say, I would want to make ANY difference, I'd need an audience. If I want an audience, I have to conquer the YT algorithmic-woes. For that, I have to focus on quantity. The world is ironic.

    Are you referring to the XCM?

    Did you hear that?

    It was the sound of my dreams being shattered. Now if you'll excuse me, I'll gather up the pieces.
     
  2. Giobbi's Card College does that. I have coin magic books that do that.



    As I've said in other posts, exposure only hurts those who learn through YouTube. If you delve into magic's secrets, you will find methods that are not exposed. Want to keep a secret.... publish it in a book. As @WitchDocIsIn said, Danny Garcia studied Tarbell. I can pull stuff out of Tarbell or Greater Magic or any older book and it would fool most magicians.

    Not even close.



    I don't think that is what people judge magicians on. I don't care how you got into magic or where you started learning magic. What I do care is that some people persist in making the argument that YouTube is a good way to continue to learn magic.

     
    Al e Cat Dabra likes this.
  3. I've also said this before - I know most people today will start with YouTube. That's just how it works these days. There's nothing wrong with that. That is the sort of dipping of one's toes into the water to test whether it's enjoyable.

    But I will always recommend that as soon as someone determines that magic/mystery arts is something they want to pursue with any degree of seriousness, they should abandon YouTube for pretty much all purposes other than seeing how a sleight they just can't quite wrap their head around is done. And viewing performances, of course, if that's your thing.

    As with many things it's fine to start with the cheap stuff but once you upgrade it's very difficult to stomach going back to the poor quality offerings. To stretch a metaphor, consuming too much of the cheap stuff can also poison you. In this instance, the "poison" would be the bad habits that are ingrained and have to be unlearned later.

    Perhaps. I wasn't thinking of them specifically as I haven't really paid attention to Brushwood for easily five or six years. When he started Scam School he taught side show stunts (his own material, I will point out), bar bets, and brain teasers. Or he'd pull someone in to teach their material. He claims to always have gotten permission for anything that he taught that was still on the market, and I have never heard contrary to that. Eventually it turned into something I wasn't really digging but overall I think his efforts were largely benign, and he did genuinely get quite a few people into magic on a serious basis.

    Or only teach it in person in workshops.
     
  4. Most of us have an agreement on the overall points and are just rehashing them and a few straggling misunderstood parts here and there. I’ll try to flesh out a part or two if I can find a good starting point....
    Pretty sure I explicitly said “that’s not me saying magic should be free...” so I’ll assume your speaking in general.

    I agree there is affordable to free sources out there. However I alluded to compounding issues with being poor. Poor people often have less time and resources (like finances but also say transportation or etc.) to invest their time into such hobbies. Focusing on a single aspect such as finances makes the quotes like Bach’s seem good, but being poor often means more “work” or hurdles to put in than a wealthy person is likely to have. We are all not given equal “...power to make it true.” even if everyone has to work for it and even if there is financially affordable books.

    What you describe is entitlement and opportunity costs of buying products, But it’s missing the point I am making. How’s this....how many poor people take up skiing, or horseback riding lessons? Look at the olympics and see who is fencing, ice skating and so on. Sure, there may be a few exceptions to this but generally those folks started wealthy and had free time or the ability to schedule free time to learn those skills. The poorer people who excelled in those areas had to jump hurdles the general practitioner didn’t have in their way.

    Magic is often a sign of not only disposable income but also opportunity. It’s true we can make our own opportunity, but it’s not true that opportunity is on equal terms. In this way magic can be viewed as privilege or a sign of it. Of course there are exceptions to the rule.




    “....so poor people don’t deserve magic” misses my point, see my bit above. Magic is often a sign of wealth or opportunity in some way.



    I think your generalization about “many of the most successful magicians throughout history began life poor” is focusing on the outliers rather than the general curve. It’s like pointing too Obama when saying anyone can be president. Sure there is always those that can make it like Garcia, but I highly disagree with saying him being poor was a “blessing in disguise” keeping him from “over consuming”. If that were true we would see many more poor magicians (or ones who started poor) than we do today. I would attribute his success to his work ethic and the opportunities his family helped him make.


    How many of today’s famous magicians went to a magic camp? Heck many of those that did talk about going to the same magic camp as other famous magicians. The average magician came from a somewhat comfortable background where they had time and resources. Magic is a luxury type item or skill.

    I have agreed several times now that this doesn't mean it should be free. Really I am against making magic in general more expensive. I feel the lower cost resources are fine in quality and there is room for higher end more expensive products. I just don’t think raising prices to fix magics buying problem will work, it just moves the problem up the financial ladder while adding more hurdles for the poor.



    Just to give some background, I’m a 40something Native American who grew up poor in a poor area. The blessing in disguise type comments sound good to people not with my background, but fail miserably to many of those who lived it. Many of those free or cheap opportunities are hard to get where I am from, and the compounding issues I touched on above are usually not on other people’s radar when these discussions come up. I do realize I am often coming from a different perspective than those who grew up differently than me, and trying to get others too empathize with this has always been a challenge when people do not have similar experiences to abstract from.

    I have a decent income now and often am seen as the outsider in many ways (often philosophically is the second thing people notice where I differ from them) in many of my new groups I attend where disposable income has influence. Be that gaming, magic, or sports.
     
  5. When I started in magic I was living in California. My dairy warehouse job earned me enough to pay rent, eat, pay utilities, and not much else. I didn't even own a car, and had to ride a bicycle the 7 miles to work every morning, for which I had to get up at 2:30 AM so I wouldn't be late, carrying the three meals plus drinks my 10 hour shift would need because I couldn't afford to order food from the restaurant across the street. This was a job that meant dragging heavy materials around in the sun all day, steam cleaning trailers in the broad daylight in a desert, and otherwise physically demanding tasks.

    I don't talk about this stuff because I'm not looking for pity. I got myself into that situation and I got myself out of it.

    When I got into magic I had enough money to get two decks of Bikes and a cheap copy of Royal Road. I studied that book for 8 months straight, learned everything in it. I picked up a couple other resources and learned enough variety of material to make a 15 minute busking show. Took that to the farmer's market and honed it until I could bring in more money to get more resources.

    I'm much better off now but I still work a full time day job as well as two performance jobs, as well as having written two books and teaching workshops/lectures.

    I'm not speaking from ignorance. I believe these things are true because that's what happened in my life. Being forced to study the material I could manage to save up for taught me to respect the material and look for ways to squeeze value out of every purchase.

    As I said before - Magic is a luxury. We agree on that. I think where we are disagreeing is the following part of what I said there - Because magic is a luxury, the people who are selling it have every right to charge whatever they please. The people who want to buy it (and this includes me) have to decide if they think that price is worth what that person is offering. I don't think there's anything wrong with using price as a purposeful barrier. That form of barrier keeps the idly curious away - but here's the big secret: If you build a relationship with the creator who's material you're coveting, there's a good chance they'll end up teaching you stuff for less or even free. That is, assuming you're genuinely building a relationship and not just angling for freebies.

    There are several creators who have given me free stuff because I took the time to build a relationship with them. There are plenty of people I have taught for free because they took the time to build a relationship with me.

    If you look at the magic industry and only see prices, you're missing the community part of it.
     
  6. Uh huh. Have you ever read articles about explaining white privileged to poor whites? I ask you this because from your previous postings I am going to assume you have. Just trying a shortcut here. Stories of transcendence will not change that raising the price on even basic magic has an unintended consequence that is inherently classist and that will effects certain groups more than others.

    As a person that hails from a portion of that group that bears unequal outcomes due to societal instances I will be hard pressed to sacrifice similar groups based on income. I understand others will value this to a lesser degree.

    I play miniature war games too. Warhammer and Infinity. People in the hobby often complain of unpainted armies and people who own many armies. Not everyone paints well, and there is more to the games than painting. I see very wealthy people with unpainted armies...or they pay others to paint. I see unpainted 600 dollar models more than I see painted ones. Raising the prices (it’s happening the past 20 years) hasn’t stopped the unpainted or multiple armies from happening. It’s just narrowed their market to those that can afford or want it enough. It has also made the knockoff market on eBay more profitable.


    Now for magic. Yes I agree you can charge whatever you want. And in some cases that is worth it. I think you agree though the market is full of pretty mediocre magic. “Kids owning lots but understanding little” is in part because of yeah they buy more than they can consume, and part in how magic is marketed.

    In general places sell piecemeal magic, moves or small routines. How many versions of coins across can you find for under 10bucks....how many of them are extremely similar, many cite the same source (Williamson’s Wonders gets mentioned quite often)...now how many of them go into theory or are audience tested? There is a lot of repetition on the market especially for this type of goods rather than theory heavy books. You can’t resell the same theory repackaged again very well (I know some people say Eugene Burger just kept rewriting the same book). It’s rare that a book or download checks all the boxes and if it does it usually doesn’t cost 10 bucks.
     
    Al e Cat Dabra likes this.
  7. We are all given equal power to make our dreams come true. That power is determination and drive. Everyone has different obstacles to overcome and yes, some obstacles are greater than others. There is another great quote from Richard Bach's book - "Argue your limitations and they are yours to keep." If we decide that something is impossible, due to whatever circumstance, it really becomes impossible. The greatest "privilege" I had growing up is parents who taught me to believe that I could do anything I set my mind to.

    Those are all valid concerns about magic. But "free" magic "tutorials" on YouTube doesn't solve any of those concerns.

    Reread this thread. My original advice was to get Card College if the original poster could afford it. If not, I recommended a bunch of books priced less than $15 and then directed them where they could get many of those books legally and ethically for free. If you are able to sign on to the forums, you can have a free magic library from the Learned Pig Project at lybrary.com at your disposal.

    @scottbaird's comment about paying a price for learning is evident in the answer to the following question: who would be the better magician in two years - the kid who reads, studies, struggles and thinks about everything on Learned Pig Project and other free resources, the kid who just learns from YouTube or the kid whose parents buy him 30 single trick downloads?

    Second question - who do you think I'd be more likely help develop a show if they asked me to on the forums?

    @WitchDocIsIn addressed why there isn't any "free" theory on Youtube - because it doesn't generate clicks. That is one reason Youtube is not the best tool. Where can someone find discussions and advice on magic theory? Right here on these forums. Pay attention to who are encouraging people to learn from resources other than YouTube. They are the ones on this forum that patiently teach the theory of performance. We don't get paid for that. Why do we do it? Because we love magic and want to see people learn to perform it correctly.
     
    ChaseC6 and JoshL8 like this.
  8. Misses my point and glosses over that while we all can have equal determination and drive, our opportunities are not equal. My Olympic bit was to illustrate that, not a lot of fencers horse riding etc. comes from a poor background. Other Olympic sports have slightly different backgrounds...if magic were an Olympic sport its participants would likely not come from poor backgrounds, this is due to unequal opportunities. How many people ice skate poorly? Most of the people....making it more expensive will not fix this. Offering mentor ship to poor people doesn’t change the additional hurdles they may encounter that wealthier may not have or fix this unintended outcome of increasing prices.

    Too many people abuse or don’t appreciate wine. There is cheap and expensive wine, will increasing the price fix how people abuse or under appreciate it? It will certainly do wonders for illegal trade...

    Sure, I already agreed those were appropriately priced and mostly accessible. Again though this is hurdles that are easy for people with more money to access. Being poor is more than not having lots of money, time is affected and ability to access even free stuff at the library.

    Yup, already agreed that YouTube in general is bad. You seem really hardcore about the bad outweighing the small amount of good, or even acknowledging a sliver of good on there. Not sure why we’re still beating that horse. I kinda don’t wanna throw out the baby with the bath water, but we couldn’t if we wanted to anyways. YouTube is here to stay, either more channels swim against the stream pointing people out of the cave or they somehow find their way here via other outlets.

    See above. YouTube bad. To be clear if there is a diamond in a piece of crap I don’t throw it all away, nor do I keep it all. Hopefully teaching people how to avoid the crap and keep the diamonds is the better way to go, that’s not the same as saying YouTube is a good source.
    Sure, agreed. I was just pointing out that the one of the reason theory isn’t taught on you tube is similar to why there are so many similar products for sale cheap. It’s easier to get paid for a variation of a trick rather than re explaining nuances of theory several times. It’s not just YouTube feeding this issue, although I would hazard a guess YouTube is the largest source of the issue.
     
  9. Honestly if you look at the things I generally post, I consistently recommend sources that are very affordable and more importantly, cost effective.

    Mark Wilson's, some creativity, and the willingness to seek out and listen to guidance in regards to the theatrical side is all anyone needs. Everything beyond that is bonus. So to that end, there's already plenty of decent resources available to folks who don't currently have the resources to splurge on the more expensive stuff.

    That also allows the creators to actually earn enough from products to make it worth their time to put them out.
     
    JoshL8 likes this.
  10. Oh no! Well... Since I can't edit my original post there, this is what I meant...

    No source OTHER THAN BOOKS mentions those intrictae details. (That's what I meant)

    I agree.

    I agree with this to. Having an 'obstruction' (using this term loosely) and talking about having the benefits of an 'obstruction' are two different things. But poverty isn't the only issue here. There issue is also availability in different countries, there relative prices in different places, which sounds like grumbling, but it isn't a nice feeling when one has spent years learning magic and somebody else who has an inferior knowledge of magic overall (not just sleights) trumps the former just because they managed to get their hands on the latest amazing trick sold by companies or people.

    I'm not saying everything should be free. I'm saying that it's a fact that certain people have to deal with this problem and honestly, it isn't as exciting to deal with as pointed out above.

    Which reminds me, even gameplay videos on You Tube attracted a lot of negative press and criticism, because they were revealing everything about the game, some gamers were accidentally discovering and thus showing everybody cheat codes, and whatnot. But to this date there hasn't been a gameplay video I've watched which hasn't made me want to play that same game!

    I'm aware this analogy applies better to magic performances, but as far as I see it, it applies to magic-teaching videos too.

    True.

    I have this type of parents too, the only difference being that mine add a modification to the advice:-

    "If your set your mind to it, you can do anything---you can become a doctor, and engineer or a civil service officer!"

    :p

    The kid with the greatest love of magic.

    It isn't really. It's just a tool.

    I actually disagree. In my opinion, you and the other helpful people on this forum whose help I and many others have often used, are more knowledgable due to more experience. I wouldn't think it's a direct result of discarding You Tube as a source entirely.

    Also true. I'm here to exploit all sorts of crap and get all those diamonds! :D

    (Not talking only about You Tube however. Some books are pretty outdated too.)


    My idea is this You Tube vs Magic argument, though a huge reply-and-post-generator on all forums and comment sections, is a discussion I'm waiting to expire completely (like the -cardistry is not magic -discussion ).

    The people who use You Tube as the only source won't suddenly discard it, the ones who use You Tube occassionally won't start using it full-time or discard it completely, there will still be exposure videos on You Tube and those who view it, the people who dislike You Tube won't suddenly start hailing it as the mother of all sources of knowledge.

    And it doesn't matter.

    Because it DOESN'T MATTER.

    The way I'm viewing it as, (if we personified magic) Magic sitting and laughing/bored that us puny mortals are even treating this as an issue. Because to me, it makes no difference.

    The only reason why this debate should crop up is when somebody's creations are unfairly used/stolen, and they wish to bring it to people's notice and take action. Other than this, dear topic, please die.

    :D
     
    JoshL8 likes this.
    • I am late to this party, but I have read and thought about the original OP's post, "just wanted to ask if anyone has any recommendations where to continue in magic. Cause what i learned is just from youtube and i want to change on that . So i wanted to ask where do i continue. Any book or video recommendations?" And I have read all the thought-provoking responses and comments to that sincere question.
    If I may humbly offer my own thoughts. I have learned that no matter how many books or videos (including YouTube videos) one studies, nothing will bring about real progress and greatness as a magical performer as much as performing. No book or video will ever teach the lessons learned from experience which, as the old adage says, "is the best teacher."
     
    RealityOne, MohanaMisra and JoshL8 like this.
  11. @JoshL8 I don't think anyone is advocating to raise the cost of magic to price out people based on financial status or to put any obstacles up to prohibit financially disadvantaged people from learning magic. I know @scottbaird and @WitchDocIsIn and that isn't the type of people they are. What I think we are saying is that those who succeed in magic (as in other areas of life) are the ones who have something invested in learning it.

    There are a lot of different ways of being invested. It could include reading through old stuff and struggling to understand it. It could include working or doing chores to earn money to buy magic. It could include working with a mentor who has you master one effect before teaching you another. It could include deciding not to go out to a bar but instead save up to buy an expensive book. I'm full of platitudes today, so I'll go with one more - nothing worthwhile in life comes easy.

    There are ways of not being invested. One is having their parents buy you every download and gimmick that comes to the market regardless of whether they are going to use it. Another is just watching YouTube video after video to learn secrets or sleights without putting the effort in to achieve mastery necessary for performances.

    I acknowledge there are some good channels, but my point is that there are better ways to learn magic. Many of those ways are affordable and many are free. My opinion is just based on what I think is the best way to learn magic.

    They are right....

    My point (especially with the reference to the cave allegory) is that magicians who learn only from YouTube don't know the value of other resources. The fact that those of us that know the value of other resources, recommend those resources over YouTube should indicate something.
     
  12. Good , I don’t think that either...I explicitly said it was an unintended consequence. It just happens to be deal breaker for me because of that. I list the other faults (increased piratability etc.)that are probable consequences to raising the price of even affordable magic because I know my personal reason won’t translate well to others, especially the general magic audience.

    Sure. We are in agreement here and you have been understood. But It’s easy to agree on certain extremes such as people only learning from YouTube etc. but the reality is it’s just one more of the many tools people use. I would agree it’s overused especially by newer or the younger crowd.

    Think of this, you want to steer people away from YouTube, how do you reach them?
     
  13. So as to become one of those three only? Meh.
     
  14. I can't speak for anyone else, but - I don't.

    If someone asks for advice, I will generally give it. If they don't ask for advice, they are probably not going to listen to unsolicited advice, so I don't waste time trying to give it.

    There are many rooms in the house of magic. I'm happy to stick to the room(s) for similarly minded folks.
     
  15. Honestly I think this is fine. You and RealityOne kind of fish this spot catching a few here and there. I just was thinking if the people on YouTube is someone’s concern reaching them there would be easier than catching a few stragglers. With the current situation being what it is and entertainers needing to still stay relevant to their audience I was thinking there would be less aversion to the platform. I don’t expect everyone to agree on that, just from a business standpoint during these times YouTube is a low cost tool.

    I can currently think of only 1 maybe 2 channels that are decent concerning magic in general, it would be nice if that were to change. I realize the bad channels and vids will always dwarf the good ones.
     
    RealityOne likes this.
  16. I have actually reached out to several channels in the past in an attempt to help them see the light. The response was the same from all of them. They thought they were doing nothing wrong and that their offerings were perfectly good.

    It just isn't worth the time and energy, really. I just focus on improving my knowledge and performances and if people want to ask me questions that's fine.
     
  17. Well yeah, it’s incredibly hard to change anyone’s mind and adding more difficulty to that is trying to change minds within the echo chamber of current channels. I was more thinking new better quality channels rather than trying to change existing ones.

    I understand some forms of magic just don’t lend themselves to the platform, and that is the hard part for many that I’m sure dissuades any progress in that area. I’m having trouble envisioning something new that would work better, just saying I don’t have an answer is all. More just thinking aloud....
     

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