More fake reaction videos.... :(

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by obrienmagic, Aug 29, 2017.

  1. I was afraid this was going to happen. Magicians from all over the place have jumped on the fake reactions bandwagon. Just saw two more magicians doing these "people react to magic" videos where they blatantly perform at an exposed angle and in some cases even hand out the gaff afterwards. You can tell the spectator has been coached on how to handle the gaff as they do so carefully as not to expose the method.

    I understand the whole "the real audience are the viewers at home" argument. But that just isn't magic.... it is like saying WWE is the same as the wrestling you see in the olympics. Now if you are just doing this for entertainment purposes and the audience is in on the fact that it is all for fun with fake reactions to help sell it then maybe id be ok with it. But the videos portray the reactions as real..... kinda ruins the magic for people.

    A lot of people say "well the lay audience enjoys it so leave it alone." But the problem is even the lay audience is calling out the fake reactions. Just read the comments on these videos. The laymen are smart enough to understand that the people in the videos are not even reacting properly to what is happening..... :(
    Just makes the hard work I do for performances on SM even more difficult. I already get accused of using stooges and fake reactions. Now it is increasing.....

    End Rant: lol thoughts?
    CWhite likes this.
  2. May I ask who these 2 magicians are? And do you have links?

    I don't wanna accidentally throw shade without seeing it for myself (not that I don't trust you lol, but I think the "innocent until proven guilty" law/benefit of the doubt should be given whenever and wherever possible).
  3. It's very sad. I personally feel that YouTube has corrupted magic in a way that will be impossible to repair. That's no reason not to try but we must accept that the matter is out of our hands and work to distance ourselves from that type of person. I mean, no one seems to understand YouTube as a medium. It doesn't really work to perform classic tricks for others because they'll rewind it, watch it at half speed or frame-by-frame and pick it apart in the comments. If the video is popular enough, great, you've just ruined a perfectly good effect. There may need to be a certain amount of "stoogerey" involved but A: these guys are going too far, and B: they aren't doing it right.
    ParkinT likes this.
  4. Not sure who the two being referenced are but here's a couple I've seen, Paul Vu, Julius Dein and we all know about jibrizy... also I think this is seen more on platforms like Facebook due to nature of it...
  5. We can't control what everyone does on YT. Some will have ethics, others not. Some will find fake reactions acceptable, others not. Social media has a tendency to make most ideologies acceptable because one will always find someone (even a minority of people) that thinks like him or appreciate his posts, thus reinforcing his ideas as being correct.

    What can we do about it? Make the magic more powerful. Make it up close and personal for our public. If some members of our audience suspects stoogerey, make it so personal they can't believe this is an actually a possibility. In the Magic Way, Tamariz explains the best trick is engineered in a way to make the audience eliminate any possible solutions. Stoogery being one, it needs to be eliminated too.

    This means more work for magicians in preparing their tricks, and more heckler management. This should be see as an opportunity to up our game.
    Theris likes this.
  6. Oh boy, this one will be a long one for me, so I apologize in advance.

    Youtube has both damaged magic AND helped magic. We as magicians, regardless of genre of magic, are supposed to continue to amaze. Having basic tricks exposed seems to go against the magic code but in reality it forces us all to step up our game. Additionally, while I feel the craft mechanics should mostly be kept secret, I feel that if no one ever taught someone else how to perform magic, the entire art would die.

    As for the fake reactions, I was pretty disappointed when I saw Dynamo use the same technique...and I caught him because his trick involved what I actually do for a living (skateboards). I'll just say that Dynamo is definitely not a skateboarder and he didn't do research on the sport at all before putting this trick together...thus giving it away for any rider watching. The moment I saw the trick and realized what happened, I instantly knew this celebrity spectator was in on it the entire time. I'm not against stooges. We are after all in the industry of deception. However, when you see someone that gets a ton of attention like Dynamo does for doing things that are "impossible" and then you realize that something he did wasn't all that amazing, it begins to diminish the way you see them and it diminishes how skillful you perceive them as.

    ParkinT likes this.
  7. One thing is using stooges to enhance an effect for lay audience, which is a legitimate and long used technique in magic, and another thing is to coach spectators on how to react, at the same time exposing how an effect is done by letting people handle gimmicks and performing at exposed angles I think that's the main difference and the case here
    Maaz Hasan and DisasterTheory like this.
  8. It's not even just the fact that you are exposing a trick. In a close friend group, this might be permissible as if they know how a few effects work, they can then help you practice (again CLOSE friend group, not random strangers). It's the fact that you are doing this to show laymen at home reactions. If the reactions are faked, what's left? Think about it, do you watch the DB specials for the magic or the reactions? There is a very thick line between the 2.
  9. I noticed a few more pop up too. It's honestly like showing the whole world "look at these little toys you can buy that do neat things! React and pretend I'm a magician!"

    It not only discredits us as ACTUAL magicians, but it also sets this unrealistic expectation of people that don't realize these are staged - "Why can't I watch from back here, they could do it in the videos?! Are you not that good?!" I personally haven't experienced it but I could definitely see it happening.

    Or I could see doing something and hearing back - "that's cool but you oughta see this magician on instagram... he's un-f--ckin-believable."

    @obrienmagic I honestly think our best bet is to fire up our YouTube channels (me anyway, yours is already running well!) and we need to get in on Xeon's #realreactions movement. The only people who are going to flush out the fakes are the guys who actually perform and don't play that sh*t.
  10. Actually a big part of Blaine's success was being able to watch the reactions.

    But the problem here is that when you've coached the whole crowd and exposed the trick, there's no trick happening, really. At that point it's more a parody than anything.
  11. This has happened to me a few times once Blaine popped up in the spotlight. A few times was really all it took for me however. I began planning routines around it. What I began doing is trying to stay away from effects performed by Blaine or any other magician like him. Then I began figuring out ways to do a few similar effects, but "one upping" the "amazing wizard" they saw on television.

    I still treat them as hecklers and then use a heckler management technique.....there are a few ways to do Dream of Aces for example. One is face down with no gaffs, one is face up with gaffs, and then there is the "Grandpa" version. What I will generally do is the plain face down version first. Often it's enough to get the reaction. However, I will sometimes get "how do we know those are aces?" (typical heckler). So then I'll perform one of the other methods to shut them up. On a few occasions I won't wait for the heckler.

    One of the things I always suggest is to plan to outsmart the smart*ss. As soon as you see another magician perform for a prepped audience, and you foresee YOUR audiences trying to get you to do it just like that, plan for it. Plan for a different way of doing the effect that will still amaze them, one up the guy on tv, or a method to simply shut the heckler up. You may never have to use it, but will always have it in your bag just in case.
  12. Couldn't agree more. The only people they're really fooling are the people at home watching. Meanwhile they've given the method away to 20+ people to accomplish that.
  13. Nah.

    From the audience's perspective - there's always been bad magicians. And people frequently assume any videos have overblown reactions already. When someone gets called out on coaching their audience, they'll lose face. Other magicians just have to prove that they don't fake things, and it's all good.

    From the performer's perspective - it's not hard to get genuine reactions if you're even moderately talented. Which only makes the faked videos all the more sad. Magicians need to be aware of what audiences might think and script accordingly. Like DisasterTheory says, plan ahead to handle potential problems. We should be doing this anyway.

    This is a staple of my performance philosophy. If you see other magicians performing something, don't perform it. I strive to make myself unique and irreplaceable. I do a couple more popular routines, but I always make sure to do it in a way that I haven't seen anyone else do.

    This makes sure that if someone wants to see my kind of work, they have to hire me. They can't just go get any old magician to do it. This also has the bonus that I don't have people calling out that they've seen it before and this is how it's done. Because they haven't seen it.

    It really isn't hard to get good reactions. And more importantly, if you're not faking it, you can get good reactions in person, too.
    DisasterTheory likes this.
  14. Great convo guys! Another argument i keep hearing is the stooge argument. If you are going to use a stooge as a necessary element to make something impossible happen then i am ok with it. A stooge should be part of the method. If you are using stooges to enhance reactions, you are not using stooges properly. May as well just perform for a whole audience who is in on the trick and coach them to react.... MHO
    ParkinT likes this.
  15. People use the word "Stooge" incorrectly.

    A stooge is someone who helps you complete the method. Someone choosing a specific thing, or secretly lifting a table, etc. You could probably consider a completely coached audience to be "confederates". But to me, I just think it's a sign of not trying any more.
  16. I think an important factor is also presentation. If the presentation is different enough, the effect will be different enough. Blaine performed angle z. Am I not going to perform angle z just because of it? He performs switchcraft a lot (something I love to perform). He has also performed a ton of other popular effects. As long as the presentation is unique, hard hitting, And personal with the audience, it will be almost completely different in their heads, And they will almost never put 2 and 2 together. The thing about blaines style is very few people can pull it off effevtively. This makes it even easier to make your style completely different.
  17. I agree. I don't think avoiding the effects all together is an answer. I think avoiding them until it's clear your performance won't be compared (if it's a concern) would be better.
    Maaz Hasan likes this.
  18. I think the focus on reaction has become too large. For example, one of the factors in getting "good" reactions is the choice of spectators. Choosing "better spectators" does not make the trick better, but it will get you better reactions. Caring more about the reaction than the trick is what is happening in these youtube videos.

    (Side rant!) And I wish people would stop performing on video with gimmicked cards (Wow...), what is the point of watching that? Then it's just a trailer where you take all the credit for the trick!

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