Is exposure a significant problem in magic?

Discussion in 'Magic Forum' started by kingdamian1, Jan 1, 2018.

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  1. How big of a problem is exposure in magic today? Especially, with You Tube exposure? Is it significant enough?
  2. No.

    P.S. this was already established in the previous thread you made.
    Antonio Diavolo likes this.
  3. Hmm...knowing how many replies your previous thread generated, I think this topic has been THOROUGHLY discussed, for the time being.

    Yet for the sake of replying maybe...Exposure is not a problem at all in magic. I have seen people who see magic tutorials (click-bait,they did not ask for it) and should know about the DL, even they get fooled by the simplest of tricks heavily employing a DL. They may find out WHAT can be done...but they will never find out WHEN it is done. Simply because magicians don't always employ a sleight for the same purpose.
    The thing is that exposure does not harm anything. It may change things, but change is pretty good when you think about it. :)
  4. I didn't go into this part too specifically in the other thread, so I'll explain why I don't think it's as big a problem as it is sometimes made out to be.

    First point, most people actively looking for tutorials, are magicians already. Laymen don't actually care about magic methods all that much, unless a magician has challenged them to figure out a method (which, sadly, does happen frequently).

    The human mind is very good at recognizing patterns. So good, it will sometimes see patterns where there are none (Pareidolia). However, it's also really bad at seeing parts of a pattern outside of the known context.

    Laymen tend to think of every trick having a unique method. So the same method, but with a different presentation, will not register as the same trick to someone who isn't knowledgeable.

    What this means is that if a laymen watches a tutorial, they will think, "That's how -that- trick is done." And if a performer uses the same scripting, and the same presentation, that will trigger the memory of that tutorial. However, if the script isn't the same, it won't trigger that memory as easily.

    So the simple solution is to create unique presentations to every trick you do.

    So, exposure is, by default, "Bad", but any good performer has nothing to worry about from it, because they will be creating unique and memorable experiences that will not trigger memories of exposure tutorials.
  5. I think that is an important point that makes a lot of sense. Besides, why would we want to imitate someone else or their presentation of an effect? If I try doing that (which I did early on in my development as a performer) it will never come off that well or ring true, because it is not the authentic me, and people can sense that. In my opinion, a huge part of evolving as a performer is finding your own natural character and persona. That's one of the many great things about magic or mentalism; it is a road to self-discovery, if we allow it to be. And that can make us more self-assured and successful in other aspects of life, as well. It gives us the opportunity to be creative and unique. We are the writers, the actors, the producers, the costume designers, and directors all in one. That's exciting!
    Antonio Diavolo and kingdamian1 like this.
  6. We must copy to learn. That's human nature. We imitate, we learn, then we can innovate. The problem is the number of people who never make it past step 1.
    Antonio Diavolo likes this.
  7. For me there is a difference between exposure and tutorial. Exposure is the revelation of a method. Tutorial is intended for you to perform.

    For example, you can watch a documentary on how brain surgery is performed.
    But that is completely different from learning how to perform surgery
    Karo-K54 likes this.
  8. I can see where you are coming from. IMO exposure is only really harmful if yo do not have the rights to expose what you are exposing (said exposure too many times there lol) so for example if I teach “invisible card” by Blake Voght on my channel and did not get permission from him to do is it is unethical. However if I create something original I have every right to expose it to whoever I want eve cause I created it (again as long as it is original.)
    Karo-K54 and Antonio Diavolo like this.
  9. I don't see youtube as much of an exposure problem. As others have mentionned before, most people who search for tutorials / methods / sleights on youtube are people who are either already magicians OR are interested in learning the craft. Which brings me to where I see a huge benefit of youtube which is availability. Sure there are tons of crappy tutorials on youtube, but back in the days, there were also tons of crappy books which could end up being people's first glimpse into magic.

    Youtube makes it easy for someone who is interested in magic to get his feet wet and, even if he starts with bad stuff, get to performing quickly and in the long run, learn to see what is bad and what is good.

    I am such an example. I have been fascinated by magic all my life and now, at 40, something (not a youtube video) finally triggered in me the urge to jump in and become a hobbyist magician. I first dabbled into simple tutorials on youtube, learning to do a double lift, seeing reveals of a few David Blaine tricks and starting to practice them. Slowly I moved on to other stuff and ended up realising that some youtube sources are aweful while others I deeply respect.

    Fast forward a few months, I have become the "magic guy" in my circle. I perform from time to time for friends and family and have started daring to approach strangers with tricks. I am neck deep into both online content AND books, combing through Royal Road and dipping my toes in expert card techniques for particular stuff. I have bought a ton of playing cards, some tricks, some gaffs and a few gimmicks thus supporting this industry...

    Would all of this have happened if the barrier to entry was "go buy a book" without knowing which ones are good instead of "hey I have heard the term double lift, let's google to see what it is and how it can get me started!"

    TL;DR: Bad stuff exists on youtube. Most laymen won't see it anyway or won't care if they see it. Youtube is an awesome tool to get young passionate people to start.
  10. If YouTube required someone to actively search for the tutorial, that would be one thing. That would actually make it like a library. But it doesn't - it gives suggestions. So imagine I heard about this guy on Fool Us who did a good job, all I have is a name. I do a search, and look what comes up:

    YT Suggestions.png

    In this hypothetical situation, I'm not looking for methods. I want to watch a performance. But 30% of the results are trying to show me how it's done. That's exposure.

    And to be totally clear - I don't worry about exposure and I don't worry about YouTube. As said on other threads, I think we're at a point where most people are getting their start on YouTube. That being said, as far as I have seen, the whole of the available knowledge on YouTube is less than what's in any single good magic book, because they all miss the point.
    Maaz Hasan and Antonio Diavolo like this.
  11. Definitly a fair point/concern. That being said... I think that's pretty inevitable. This is not limited to magic, Youtube has democratized access to a lot of skills / knowledges. There are tons of things around the house (plumbing, minor electrical work, etc.) where I used to call people to do that I now can easily learn to do myself.

    Magic is weird in that it is the only performance art where the method being hidden is (arguably) so important. Like, no one goes watch Avengers and comes out saying "pffft! I know the Hulk was not real! That's CGI!" Or "Pfff! I know he did not fly for real! There were using a harness and cables!"

    The future is interesting... that being said, my point of view is definitly that of a hobbyist, not the point of view or someone trying to make a living.

    Another side effect of "youtube" and the internet at large is that it gives us easy access to performances by the best of the best. This can create huge expectation and make it doubly hard for other professional to amaze people.

    Bad example but... how can a simple color change impress someone once he's seen Shin Lim's 52 shades of red? (bad example but I think you guys understand what I mean... you're all pretty smart after all ;) )
  12. Wow! I've never seen something like that. Almost half is trying to reveal Shin Lim.
  13. It is inevitable, unfortunately, and in the case of magic - the reason it is inevitable is because of the way the magic world operated for so long. There was so much focus on the secret for so long that as soon as the internet facilitated the free and open exchange of information it was bound to include information on magic secrets. The magic world is currently failing to cope with that change.

    There's always been levels of interest and dedication in magic, as there are in all things. What you get from YouTube is a sort of off-shoot of the beginner level. Because there is limited amounts of information on YouTube, once one has spent some time putting effort into finding that information it's very easy to get an over inflated of the level of knowledge one has. "I can't find anything I don't know, so I must know it all". Considering how little information is actually on YouTube, it doesn't take long to spot these people if you actually have studied for a while.

    Those people either self-insulate on YouTube, or they expand out and step up to better sources of information.

    Better sources meaning ones that include performance theory, theatrical skills, story creation and telling, and when applicable, the business side of things.

    I went to a convention over MLK weekend and attended an all day lecture (9 am to about 6 PM, with breaks) by Aiden Sinclair. Not one trick was taught, and I think it may have been one of the most valuable experiences I've ever had. He talked about constructing shows that are effective for an audience, how to approach venues, what it means to do TV, etc. I'm still processing the lecture a week and a half later. This is the information that separates the proverbial men from the proverbial boys.
    Antonio Diavolo and RealityOne like this.
  14. Umm... Actually I don't know what to think... Most of the time, I have thought of exposure as bad... But here is something. I am a proud Wikipedian. Wikipedia is NOT focused on exposing magic tricks. But if there is a RELIABLE source it will publish the method. I removed some of the methods, thinking that someone had just put them there (unencyclopedically, if I may)...

    However, the people there explained, that there have been numerous discussions about this, and it is ok to publish methods to tricks that are available and documented (NO GUESSING)!

    What is wrong with this? Some people want to know how tricks are done. Who are we to tell them how should they find out about magic?
    There is nothing legally wrong... These are tricks available for masses in libraries (if you are gonna tell me that libraries require devotion, that is still the same as being for masses, you do NOT see classified FBI documents in libraries because only an agent would look them up) ...

    So in short, I kind of have had a change of heart.

    Do I believe in the magician's code? My question is what code? Sure, I do not tell EVERYONE how the tricks I perform are done. But this is not because I have a blood oath with my magic fraternity. No! I just do not want to ruin it for THEM! However, if they want to know, shouldn't this knowledge be available to them... To be honest, as a magician, it is a liberating feeling to not care about exposure... Go ahead, know how it is done. I mean what is wrong with this? There are movie spoilers. If people want to know how it is done, it is their right to know! ESPECIALLY, if the information is out there. We cannot be telling people... You know what, the info is out there, but I think this is the way for you to learn that information.

    Magician's code, in its strictest sense existed in the centuries where magic and witchcraft were synonymous. You know, the Reginald Scott days! Where, magicians did not issue books and were seen as oracles.

    No magician has gone out of business (as far as I know)... I think that we as magicians should not care about exposure that much at all! I do NOT personally add magic methods to wikipedia... But, if there is a RELIABLE freely available source, why shouldn't people be able to have that knowledge for free?

    Exposure does not affect me. It NEVER has... And probably never will... i just can't imagine how?

    To get back to what I was saying... Why would you disagree with what I said above?
  15. This IS a bit tiresome.

    If it doesn't affect you then why do you care? And why should anyone else care about you not caring?

    And BTW...thread bumping much?
    Antonio Diavolo likes this.
  16. Well it's not like you guys are exactly hospitable... Your rules are DRACONIAN to say the least... MY THREADS get blocked for merely having the same tone
  17. I would say that most, if not all, of your respondents have been quite hospitable and extremely patient.

    The rules are not mine. They are, however, the rules of the forum and everyone who participates is expected to abide by them.

    If I am off base on my comments I am sure that others will correct me and I will accept their criticism and promptly apologize and then shut up.
  18. Hey guys let’s make sure to keep the peace. I don’t want to lock this forum in case anyone else has anything further to add, but please keep the thread bumping to a minimum. There is a bit of repeating of ones self on here to make a point. Again, not going to lock the thread but please make sure that the conversation stays civil. Cheers!

  19. @trapeze - the thread bumping rules apply to mindlessly bumping your own thread with a post like "IDK - what about Wikipedia" or resurrecting five year old threads saying "I have this problem too." I understand and share your weariness with this discussion. However, we want everyone to have an opportunity to say what they want. I'd rather that @kingdamian1 keep all of his discussion of the various aspects of exposure in a single thread. That is why I closed the other thread. You are free to join the discussion or ignore the thread. Joining the discussion may move the thread toward something that is meaningful or insightful to you. Ignoring it will have the thread drop to the bottom of the recent threads list.

    I think we have been incredibly hospitable. You have gotten a tremendous amount of well thought out responses that addressed exposure at a level of detail you probably haven't and won't see on any forum. We have gone beyond the simple "all exposure is bad" and "we should be able to learn tricks for free" arguments. The reason I closed your thread is that we don't want 10 threads discussing different aspects of exposure to clog the forum. We want other threads to get attention. You can continue to post your thoughts here. I think you above post addresses different aspects of exposure than your prior posts. That is fine. I understand you are looking at this from various angles. However, refrain from bumping the thread with posts like "What do you guys think?"
    obrienmagic and Justin.Morris like this.
  20. As we've discussed in our PMs, there is a difference between teaching and exposure. Teaching assumes the other person is a magician, exposure makes the secrets available to anyone. Wikipedia is making the secrets available to everyone. That is exposure. If someone goes to see a magic show, the can look up the secret to a sawing in half. The next time they see it, they can yell out "there is a second girl hiding under the bottom half of the table!" We have thoroughly discussed why this type of exposure is bad for magic. If you are learning magic from Wikipedia, you are only learning the secrets - there is no teaching of how to perform the effect. Again, that goes toward Wikipedia not being a teaching source, but being exposure.

    With that said, there are many more secrets that will never be exposed on YouTube or Wikipedia because those secrets are not shared with people who would post them or people who think that posting them is acceptable. Anyone who is serious about magic should reread that last sentence. The moment you say you learn from YouTube at a magic convention or other meeting of magicians is the moment that those of us who are serious about magic find a reason to move on to talk to someone else. On the flip side, you mention you are working thorough Revolutionary Card Technique and were wondering if there was an easier way to do something that Marlo teaches in that book.... the person you are talking to will grab their buddy who is the expert on Marlo and everyone will pull out a deck and start sharing methods with you.

    Based on your posts and the nature of your questions and responses, I believe that you have always wanted to justify learning from YouTube and other exposure venues. I've seen this from hundreds of new magicians over my almost ten years on the forums. Ninety five percent of them aren't around after six months. They burn out on exposure videos and performing the effects as they are taught. They wonder why they get "caught", wonder why they don't get great reactions, the secrets become meaningless and they move on to something else like grumpy cat videos. The five percent that realize there are better ways to learn, progress as magicians. Right now, you are on the first path.

    When I started out as a magician, I had someone ask me to do an effect for them. I did something simple and she was truly amazed. I then explained how the effect works to them. The look of disappointment on her face made me realize that the illusion is better than the secret.

    It is not a question about knowledge being available, it is a question about who it is available to. The knowledge should not be available to everyone, but only to those who want to learn magic. We have already discussed what is wrong with non-magicians knowing (affects attitude toward magic thinking it is a question of figuring it out, ruins performances of those who use those secrets) and magicians learning from poor sources (bad habits, bad presentation, learning a very limited body of knowledge and assuming they know everything).

    Simply put, there are some secrets that you have to earn the right to know. YouTube, Wikipedia and other exposure sources has actually had the effect of taking those secrets and pushing them further underground. That means the creators either charge in excess of $100 to $200 for the books or videos or gimmicks or the produce manuscripts that are not even advertised for sale anywhere.

    People who expose published (either on video of in books) magic effects actually make purchasing those effects more expensive for the rest of us. That is, if it costs $10,000 to produce a DVD and you want to make a $10,000 profit, you have to sell 1,000 at $20. However, if there is a likelihood of exposure and, as a result, you will only sell 500 - the price is $40. So every time you buy a legitimate magic product, you are paying the cost of exposure. But let's say the product will only sell at a $30 price point. That means the creator, who earns his living and pays his bills based on the effort he puts into producing his teaching materials, only earns $5,000. That means his income from that project is cut in half.

    Go out and perform for a while and then get back to us on that.
    Justin.Morris and DominusDolorum like this.
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