May 2009 :: YouTube : Angel or Demon

Discussion in 'Cerca Trova' started by d+M, May 4, 2009.

  1. Youtube : Angel or Demon

    Just a few days ago I read a post from Jason Soll in the General Forum, which has had partial inspiration behind this month's topic and something that we all have an opinion of… YouTube

    YouTube offers anybody with a camera, a computer and an idea, a platform for broadcasting to a worldwide audience free of charge. For magicians, YouTube offers a wonderful resource centre for watching those magic effects that we’ve heard about, but never seen, and watching a video of the performance could ultimately help us decide whether or not we want to invest in the product. It’s also a good place to see the magic shows, or clips of them, that we missed on TV or discover new magicians that we would have never heard of otherwise. YouTube allows us to share our performances with each other so that we can learn from the feedback of our community as well as show how we’ve developed as performers.

    Although I could keep listing positive things that I can think of about YouTube, I know you’re all just waiting for the negatives, one negative in particular that applies to magicians and the industry we work from, and that negative is exposure.

    Exposure is a wide-open subject for us as magicians. The power of a magic trick lies in one place; the method, so when the method is exposed, the magic dies, as does the spectators belief in magic and the magician.

    There are two forms of exposure I’d like to hear your thoughts on… Exposure to the audience and exposure to the learning magician, I’d like to hear how YouTube has affected or helped you in your magic and what you think the future holds for magic on YouTube. What ARE the positives? How can we try to reduce the negatives? And finally, in summation of your points - is Youtube a net positive or net negative factor in magic?

  2. Hi daniel, nice thoughts.
    But I think exposure to the audience and exposure to the magician is actually the same thing.
    Let me explain this in detail, the tricks that are revealed on youtube are mostly just the big illusions, like you can see in national tv, the masked magician with his tv special.
    The youtube is a source where laymen can look up those videos, but lets say a magician looks for tricks that the audience don't know or the artist name never heard, for example indecent by wayne houchin.
    There are a lot of indecent tutorials I fouind when I watched some perfromanced of this effect.
    So my point is this: If a magician would really like to learn a trick then he (she?) buys the dvd of the trick.
    If a magician look tutorials up on youtube, I think he wouldn't learn something about the trick, ok, he knows the method, but what's about the psichology behind each trick?
    So to say it in a few sentences, if a magician looks up tutorials, then he isn't a real magician, he's maybe someone who isn't interested in magic anymre, but want to know what the method is to don't get fooled.
    So that's my point of view, and I definitely will look up this topic often to see what other magicians think about it.
  3. My thoughs:

    -exposure for spectators: I think spectators only go see that kind of videos for two reasons: curiosity and try to discover how that magician trow a coin inside the bottle (or whatever).

    -exposure for the learning magician: that's a true problem; for the guy wich want to get into magic, that a totally bad place to look. I'm saying this for one simple reason: you never who is behind. for example: it can be that 12 years old kid teaching the bottom deal, or it can be that 40 years old man wich as more than half of his life of expirience with that move.

    YouTube still help me with my magic, but mainly about product questions and that kind of staff.Is a nice place to look for perfomances.
    YouTube acttualy helped me discover Theory 11! and that's an awsome thing!

    I can't think on a method to reduce the negatives aspects, is the exact same thing as the Masked Magician.
    Anyway, we all can learn a few things from YouTube exposure: be original.

    that's all!
    YouTube gives you a problem and you got resolve it. The only thing you have to do is switch methods or switch presatations; by presenting magic in a diferent way (a original way) spectators can't think is the same thing they saw on YouTube last week; and if you switch a break for an in-jog, for you is the same thing, for spectators not.
    it's like magic should be: SIMPLE
    simple aspects need simple solutions

    So my final point is : YES, I think YouTube is a good factor in magic exept for the learning magician, in that case it can turn into a bad place.

    remember: YouTube is a chalenge. Have fun with it.

    If you need help, this forums will give you everithing you need.

  4. I dont think you can slap a label on youtube: good or bad. I think that its
    more of a Jekyle and Hyde type thing.

    The Jekyle:

    -It gets people started in magic

    -It gets you noticed

    -You are able to see tricks otherwise impossible to veiw

    The Hyde:


    -Bad performances-which lead to exposure

    Just my two cents,
  5. It's a bittersweet kind of thing.
    The negative side should not be blamed solely on youtube; it's the people on youtube revealing the tricks. Guns don't kill people, people kill people. Youtube doesn't expose magic, kids expose magic.
  6. Well exposure is going to be out there no matter if it's youtube or not. Even before youtube, exposure was still an issue.

    I haven't been a magician for too long BUT when I first started out I(sadly to say) learned magic off of youtube. I know look back and I was just like, "why in the world did I ever do that?????"

    I have been in a postion before where I'll perform a trick to someone and afterwards they are like, "That was awesome, I'm going to look up that trick on youtube to find out how to do it." and I think we all know that feeling when someone says that.
    By the way, I always think it's funny that they say that they will look it up on youtube because, well they don't now the name of the trick, most of the time, so how do they expect to find it? :p

    At the same time, sometimes exposure isn't always a bad thing, sometimes it helps us push ourselves to exteame limits to the point where we come up with better, my creative things, so in a way it's help evolving magic.

    We also shouldn't blame youtube for exposure, because it's not youtube that exposes it, it's the people that expose it.
  7. Jason compared the magic industry and the music industry. They are both faced with a similar situation that involves free exposure to their material. This causes musicians to perform more because they cannot make their living on selling albums alone anymore. And this situation causes the same thing for the magic industry, more performing. I agree with him 100% here that it's good that it forces magicians to perform more because there isn't enough of that.


    I agree with him to a point about youtube, but magic has an essence of "secret" that music doesn't have.

    So magic tricks are getting trafficed around for free just like music is. When I want to get a new song, I simply just go and get it. So musicians are being forced to perform more and in a sense magicians are too.

    But when a musician performs, there isn't a "secret" behind their talent. Musicians and magicians can be equally talented in their respective categories, but free music isn't exposing musicians in any way nor is it hurting their reputation.

    When people seek out free music, it's almost in a sense flattery. Someone really likes the song, then starts to really like the band, then listens to them and likes them more and more.

    It isn't the same with the magic industry. The exposure magic gets on youtube hurts magicians reputation. People don't respect the art as much when they know how everything is done. "Oh I've seen that before you just have two of the same cards" or "He just has two cards there when he does this" They get away from the awesome baffling experience they get and their attitude turns more towards "This guy's stupid" rather than "Wow that's really awesome!"

    So I understand in a sense how he's comparing the music industry with the magic industry in terms of it forcing magicians to perform more, but you simply can not compare the free exposure both of the industries get because they are in no way the same situation.

    The thing that Jason said that makes youtube great is something I've never thought of before. And yea it encourages younger magicians to show their stuff yada yada yada. None of this can compare to the badness youtube brings. The lack of respect it brings to the magic community.

    My verdict: Youtube, Demon

  8. Despite what some of us may think, none of our spectators are going to go on youtube to see how you did a trick, and if they do, it's their loss.
    I am yet to see a tutorial video in which the kid's voice has broken. It's just a phase that some young magicians go through, each of them only reveal one or two tricks, and then let it die.
    These videos shouldn't matter to the individual. Youtube has never caused a problem with my performances.
    The only way I can think of that youtube would hurt your magic is if you perform regularly for young teenagers. Adults don't even know what youtube is :D So there's no problem there.

    Youtube = Demon (But we shouldn't really care) :D
  9. im sorry but i dont really agree with that
  10. No no, that's fair enough. I don't many people would
  11. I too think that people tend to get paranoid regarding this whole "exposure on youtube" topic. I think only a small number of your spectators will actually go to youtube afterwards searching for explanation. And of that small number only an even smaller number will actually find something usefull for them (unless of course you tell them the name of the trick you perform, which of course you dont right?! :rolleyes:).
    And on a sitenote: Of those few that actually manage to find a usefull explanation, not all of them will go like "ohcomeon thats just lame..." A few of them might also say "ohgosh that is bloody brilliant!! What an amazing idea i wish i came up with that!" (Thats what I thought for example when i started out learning. I did it from a book thouh). I mentioned that last part only to show you that your reputation doesnt necessarily get destroyed by an exposed trick. But yeah it might change your reputation from a great magician to a great sleigth-of-hand guy or something. :rolleyes:
    And I am certainly not defending exposure on youtube. I would like to see MUCH more positive usage of youtube for magic than I do right now. For example more real perfomances for real people instead of these "performances" of a single, amazingly uncharismatic guy in front of a webcam.
    But for example I dont mind some small tutorials for some simple tricks there. That is how people get started in magic. Some may argue that whoever wants to learn something about magic shall read a book. But I dont really see a big difference there. I learned my first simple tricks from a book that i found in the library...and didnt pay anything for it too. ;)
  12. For the spectators it can destroy the "magic" of the effect. But it seems like most people who look for exposure on youtube are also the hecklers. I've had a few occasions we one of my spectators says, "I know how that's done, he.." and some one else stops him because they don't care to know and don't want to. However, this is not to say that only hecklers look for exposure it also seems to be the young folk. The ones who don't quiet understand what it is that their doing or choose to over look it.

    As far as me, it's caused me to be original. There are great effects out there and some aren't exposed yet. But creating your own effects that you don't publish or sell it makes that routine unique. The when people see it, its new and something they don't forget because it went against the norm.
  13. YouTube isn't that bad of a place in regard to the magic community. Yeah, sure, it exposes tricks, but what's the chance that one of your spectators just happened to be looking up magic tutorials before he/she saw your effects? There is a chance that might happen, but not a big one at all.
    Every now and then I do get that comment, "Well you know what, I'll just look it up on YouTube!" and yes, I get that horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. But if you think about it, it's their loss. First of all, they don't know the name of the trick and can't look it up on YouTube if they tried. I'm not sure anything will come up if you search "That card trick where you have four cards and none of them were mine but then suddenly one turned into mine". And even if they do manage to find that specific trick, the magic is gone for them. One person now knows the method, and the magic isn't there anymore. In the end they'll most likely wish they never looked it up.
    Another good thing about it, as I'm pretty sure someone else mentioned, are the product reviews. You just heard of an effect, and you want to see it. You go onto YouTube and there it is! No exposure in this, just a review and, if it's good, a recommendation.
    So in all, I don't think YouTube's too much of a bad place, some people may disagree. Those 11 year olds can keep making videos titled "BEST MAGIC TRICK EXPOSED BY ME, A PROFESSIONAL MAGICIAN", and I'll keep performing these effects to spectators that want to be amazed
  14. I agree with polymon. Even though there are thoudands or maybe even more people on youtube who upload magic exposure videos, very few laymen gets to see this. And besides, the people who whatch these are mostly magicians or at least aspiring magicians
  15. Exposure is a good thing but too much is a bad thing in my opinion. Let me explain, if someone is genuinely interested in magic they might go looking for books first which is easier to get to in some cases. With the advent of internet, people are able to get a visual aid via Youtube and video sharing networking and sites. If this person goes online and looks up a double lift video, they might stumble on an exposure video that explains the double lift very well. This person might compare notes and notice something that he/she was doing wrong.
    Furthermore exposure done with malicious intent is not a good thing. If someone buys a trick and thinks it is trash, then puts an exposure video on the interweb just to make them feel better is not the brightest thing to do; not to mention it is an un-needed Spam of Youtube.

    Youtube really hasn’t affected me as a magician, but it did make me feel that the magic world was closer then ever. So many different performs, I would never have heard of half of the magicians that I have found on the interweb. Plus technology is evolving so that magicians can have an actual virtual jam session without actually being in the same room. Come on that is awesome, pretty soon you might be able to do an entire magic show live over the interweb.

    Youtube magicians have a lot more information available to them then when I was starting out in magic. Furthermore the information they have access to is free. No this is not an ethical discussion don’t go there. Therefore since the information is available to them, they might be able to take the information and turn it into something great. I am looking forward to the future of magic, it may hold some pretty wonderful surprises.
  16. Hey dM, great question.

    Exposure to the audience: Now I have been performing magic for 4 years now, and it was only yesterday (that I remember truely of) did I receive a comment about the things that go on in their minds when they saw someone perform an effect, whether real life or tv. The group I performed for were curious ones, if they saw an effect, instantly in their minds they would go into "figuring out" mode. Most audiences are like that, only if you perform without prestiege - that you present your magic as mere trickery, the aura you give off is not a mystique one, one that doesn't bring them much respect or acknowledgement. The group made a comment of how they came about figuring out an effect, and the most brutal tactic they use is youtube (if they are not satisfied with whatever they conclude with). Which made me realise, the majority of the newer generation also use this tactic. And it saddens me. Because they were too hasty in the search for good quality magic.

    Audiences who are exposed to exposure on youtube are at big loss, as they build barriers from what they have saw and understood. And the madness of exposure on youtube (performance wise and method wise) is demoralising. I believe that it is bad for audiences to be able to have acess to exposure.

    Exposure to the learning magician: For the learning magician exposure is only a short positive out. Although material is free and acessable, if these learners do not turn away from them, then their road to desolation begins. We must take pride in keeping the art of magic a secret one - that is the soul of magic; without it's mystique, what's left?

    If they do not learn to invest their time searching for good quality magic then, they will only go so far as a learning magician (so they like to think).

    Also, not only exposure to methods of effects is bad, but performances of bad quality magic kills. Most are there to show off, giving no help to further the art of magic at all. Especially with the wave of teens performing only for the camera. For the learning magician who strives to learn, they will have little sucess from this kind of material. Like mentioned, there should be more of live performances, for real people, real time. That is one good way to save the quality of magic on youtube. For the Greater Good. Thus I have learnt. Although these problems never obstructed me as a performer, I know that most unlucky ones suffer from this.

    Youtube has it's negatives, but we should not dwell on that. Infact, we should use the negatives to spread more positives. Youtube has already been sucessful as a source of promotion, motivation, inspiration, establishment. Hopefully, we would all strive towards the Greater Good, and encourage those who stumble upon the correct path to a better community.
  17. Some great responses here, there's a sour yet interesting obstacle in the way of trying to stop exposure, and to some extent even bringing the subject up, as doing either brings attention to it and even offers exposure an indirect advertisement, so those who may have been unaware or ignorant to it may now be intrigued or happy to discover magic exposure.

    We'll always face challenges in life through whatever it is we do and every industry will face similar problems, but for us, it's important that we don't lose sight on what it is we do and why we do it, and as long as we're working toward the same goal of keeping magic alive, and an art that we can be proud to have been a part of, we can't go too wrong, and challenges such as overcoming exposure will fall as a blessing in disguise, as we can only learn from our challenges. In my eyes, YouTube is an angel; I think we should appreciate and pay focus to the positives and simply accept that wherever there is an angel, there will also be a demon close by.
  18. There are definately downsides to YouTube, but there are also awesome upsides to it also.

    Youtube is a great place to advertise products because it's easily accessible and most of the general population has heard of YouTube or has a YouTube account.
    Fame can also come from just YouTube, I mean think about Cyril Takayama. YouTube is the main reason why his fame has escalated through the roof in 2007 I believe.

    For the most part, most people don't search on the internet about exposure of magic tricks. Generally, people don't do that. Also, the number of people that do "exposure" videos is relatively small. And even if they do stumble upon these videos, it gives more advertisements to the company that made the exposed tricks. The regular laymen who do witness these exposure videos rarely take it upon themselves to practice from these videos.
    YouTube is not only a place of video sharing, but it's a community itself. Magicians are allowed to get together and critique one another, and it's nice to get comments from lay people who watch performance videos once in a while.

    YouTube has made a huge impact on magic definately. But it's so awesome that magicians have taken advantage of this tool rather than shunning it because of a few minor problems that is blown out of proportion at times.
  19. I am going to say demon, if I need to choose one or the other.

    The majority of Youtube tutorial videos teach how a technique is accomplished. They do not truly teach how to accomplish the effect. They absolutely do not teach how to perform anything.

    Nearly every YouTube complaint I have seen involves some variation of the YouTube-educated spectator shouting "I know how that's done!" There is a reason the YouTube-educated spectator is rarely the one even attempting the effect.

    I don't want to chime in as much on the performance videos - some of these people have a lot going for them and might very well put me to shame. But by and large there are a lot of terrible clichés, and all of them make nearly all of these videos unwatchable.

    For that reason, I don't really fear exposure from a bad performance. Not a lot of people will be watching that anyway.

    There's an old quote that I can't seem to properly attribute. One modern incarnation is as follows: "Those who can, do; those who can not, teach."

    That about sums up YouTube exposure.

    What to do about it? It would be nice if some group could discreetly contact someone at YouTube and detail the problems. If YouTube could at least require attribution and deal with the misuse of copyrighted music, then a lot of concerns might be addressed fairly easily.
  20. I would have to go with Demon as well.

    Exposure to Audience: Horrible. I would agree that most spectators don't go and look up how a trick was done on YouTube after they saw it performed, however for those who do, they get the magic completely ruined, and then they may tell friends, family, or other people who saw the same trick how it was done. Plus, as far as big illusions go, there are only so a small amount of principles that are used on stage, and once you know a couple of them, you can figure out how many illusions are done. This isn't always bad, because a lot of magic is in the presentation as well, but it doesn't give you the Magical feeling.

    Exposure to Magicians: Almost as bad in my opinions. I don't know if it's just me, but when I buy a trick, I have high expectations, and am usually very excited to receive any tricks I may have ordered online or bought in a store. It gives me a kind of excitement that I have a new method that I can play with a tweak to make even better, but when you see it revealed on a forum or on YouTube, the magic of learning the secret is gone. I personally believe that learning the secret the real way is special, because only the select people that are truly into magic and invest time and money in it get the DVD's/Booklets etc., but anyone can learn how to find someones selected card on YouTube. I think it takes the magic out of learning a secret. Also, the creators of the effects/illusions being revealed lose money from potential sales due to kids on YouTube who think nothing of how the magicians rely on that money coming in.

    Sorry for the long post, but this is an issue I feel needs to be discussed. :)

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