Online magic and High quality effects: The Good and The Bad

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Bryant_Tsu, May 16, 2015.


What do you think?

  1. I agree!

    3 vote(s)
  2. I disagree!

    4 vote(s)
  3. Undecided

    1 vote(s)
  1. With the release of Sub-Rosa drawing near I started thinking about online magic as a whole. Now don't get me wrong, online magic companies are great for magicians around the world. Magicians from places without magic shops, or those who want specific effects have a great place to buy great, quality content. However as I have mentioned in other threads there are different types of consumers who frequent the online magic shops: There are people who are new to magic (they may buy a couple tricks and continue, or they may quit), There are enthusiasts (they may buy a decent amount of magic material, by now they are dedicated to magic), and there are professionals who know many different tricks (as they may do magic part time or full time).

    When it comes to something truly great and powerful (like Sub-Rosa) is it responsible to make it available to everyone? I know everyone starts somewhere but it feels wrong by releasing something that was once a very obscure secret known only by the dedicated magicians, to everyone. If everyone has access to it a strong powerful trick will eventually end up in the wrong hands.

    You may have heard of the saying "With great power, comes great responsibility" and the same applies to magic tricks. True magicians have the methods of many tricks locked away in their head. They are also respectful to the art and will not share it. To contrast if a laymen discovers Sub-Rosa and thinks "that's neat, I can use that for my weekly poker game" or "I'll show my friends that trick" and they buy it, the company has unwittingly armed the inexperienced or the abusive with a powerful effect. Where this could lead is self explanatory: the inexperienced may end up revealing the method due to lack of practice, and the abusive will disregard the responsibility given to them and use it for the wrong things.

    Now, yes this is a long and highly opinionated rant but I wanted to see if anyone agrees or disagrees. If you agree help me out and state why or what could be done about it, If you don't feel free to tell me what you think. Posting reasons would be more helpful, but if you choose to save time vote above!
  2. I can certainly see what you're trying to say, but I think because of the points you raise, what you think may not be the case. I think in all likelihood, Sub Rosa will not be "truly great and powerful", "Very obscure and secret" or whatever. Jason England's knowledge is infinite, and I'm sure he would not release something like that on a platform that is marketed towards young and inexperienced magicians, if something like that even exists. Magic feels real until you know the secret,. even for magicians, I'm sure Sub Rosa will be the same, even if it hasn't been published much at all.
  3. The one who has the secret to eternal life and doesn't share it, dies alone...
  4. Here's the thing. Jason mentioned in the podcast that a situation arose in which Sub Rosa was going to be released to the market anyway. Mr. England, being passionate about card work, decided to do the move some justice and do a tutorial the way he believes would be the best way to teach it.
    In a perfect world, all magicians would keep known secrets within certain circles. But we don't, and I believe that Sub Rosa being released to the public was because of an integrity issue on a magician who was in the know of Sub Rosa. Regardless, it's up to us to make sure we can learn the move and do it right and keep Sub Rosa a secret on our part, like we would any other secret.

    As far as the move itself, I think it's going to have the difficulty of Clipshift but a much much can more subtle handing. As far as how powerful it CAN be. Jason has said its a 'utility' move. In which utility moves aren't powerful by themselves, but more of the routine (scripting, patter, character, presentation) that it's a part of.

    I'm a bit disappointed that everyone gets to learn a move that was a well kept secret, as I worked in communications security for several years and know how important secrets are and permitting access to select groups to those secrets.

    I all honesty, I think it's a move that about 1 out of every 5 people who get it will actually practice and utilize it, going off of how Mr. England states that it's 'going to be frustrating'. I'm not worried about people abusing it--at least that the number of people who will actually get the move right AND THEN abuse it will be abysmally small.
  5. First off, don't buy into the marketing hype -- ever. Secrets kept for hundreds of years? The most powerful magic effect ever created? A miracle that requires absolutely no skill? Got it. Nobody sells magic tricks by saying, "Something so difficult that nobody can perform it well enough to use it in a performance." "An application of a principle found in Tarbell that is so simple you'll kick yourself." "Something I came up with last week and never performed, but it looks great on Youtube." "If you know nothing about magic, this will astound you." Truth in advertising. ;)

    I probably fall into the catagory of a professional who "knows" many different tricks. Despite having over a hundred books and at least 50 DVDs and all the lectures I've attended - I still use methods from Mark Wilson's Complete Course for three effects in my routines. If you want real secrets, get a copy of the Jinx from for $15 or get a Genii subscription with access to the Genii archives. Better yet, visit Bill Kaulish at the Conjuring Arts Research Center in New York.

    My process in deciding what to buy isn't the advertising or the hype. It is two simple questions: 1) is this something I will use in my shows? OR 2) Is this something that adds to my knowledge in a way that is commesurate with its price? The first question is tough because it would have to replace a current effect that I perform. For one trick wonders or single concepts, the answer to the second question usually is no. For the price of two tricks, I can get a book full of methods.

    Finally, secrets don't let people figure out what you are doing. Magic should look magical. I remember seeing Greg Wilson perform and the explain the effect. He then performed the effect again and even though I knew what he was doing, I couldn't detect any hint of the method by watching his performance. I remember Christian Engbloom telling the story about how another performer at the Genii convention floored him by using the Cooler. Think about it.... floored by his own utility device. My wife knows how the secrets for the effects that I perform but she still thinks they are magical when performed correctly (and, well, tells me when the I flash or screw up).
  6. exclusivity in the magic community is highly disturbing, and sadly it's becoming more about money versus progressing the art of magic and the community. we are all we have, we can't go to the public for techniques or "Secrets" we heave each other, and to claim that not everyone should have access or that only a "Select Few" is disturbing.

    we represent Magic/Mentalism when we perform, and by that we represent each other... one would want to believe that we are for elevating the arts
  7. So someone else was going to release it, and now its seen as Integrity for another person to release it first? Even though neither of them created it? Like RealityOne said, don't buy into the hype.
  8. In short - Yes. When one person has a lifetime of experience actually using the concept, and underground expertise gleaned from countless hours with the greatest card men alive, in my eyes I feel that it is perfectly okay.

    When learning anything, consider the source. Do you want to learn how to do open heart surgery from a Harvard trained cardiologist, with Ivy-League credentials and thousands of hours of expertise — or someone who learned the basics from YouTube and fiddled around with it for a few months?

    Our goal is pretty simple - to release the most powerful, practical magic taught from the most qualified, competent, experienced sources. As an educational resource, it’s our responsibility to make sure that instruction is executed properly, with due credit, qualified instructors, and most of all - GOOD content with a focus on quality over quantity.
  9. Hey guys,

    Jason is one of the best card handlers alive, and this is one of the ideas that he held extremely close for many years. He chose to release the idea with us so that he can be sure there is a source out there where people can learn the technique properly, from someone who has years of experience with it.
    Opinions on Subrosa will depend on what you like to perform. But without question, it falls into the "truly great and powerful" category. But to each his own. Hold off on judgement until you can see it. As far as card magic goes, this principle is extremely deceptive and very powerful. It allows you to do with ease something that is simply not possible under normal circumstances. Watching the video for the first time I was not 100% convinced. That was until Jason wrapped up with the initial explanation of the idea and then jumped down the rabbit hole into the deeper workings.

    Obscure and secret? This is a very obscure, widely unknown secret that - although published previously - has never seen much light of day. As mentioned in his podcast on theory11, Jason showed this to Teller (of Penn & Teller) several weeks ago - a very well read, extremely knowledgeable magician - and even he was unaware this existed. Subrosa is simply an idea that most people gloss over without considering. Some of you may already have read it and understand how it works. The difference here is that Jason and a close knit group of people have been using this for years, and are well aware of how powerful it has the potential to be.

    Lastly - to the question of whether this is TOO good to release? Perhaps, but as an educational resource, we’d much rather be a source of content that some may argue is TOO good than a source of content that isn’t good enough.

    Check it out when it is released. It is everything we are saying. You will understand better when you watch Jason's introduction to the trick.

    // L
  10. I absolutely agree with the points both of you raise, however I think what I was trying to say originally is a little different. Also, as far as I'm aware I know nothing of the history of the technique, or what occurred for Jason to decide to release it, so we have understandably different perspectives on the matter.
    So, yes if only a few people know about it, and Jason is one of them, I have no doubt that he will do the technique justice in releasing it, probably more so than if someone else released it (Especially, if thats what caused Jason to decide to release it), though I disagree that this is integrity. If its some big ancient secret of magic, its always going to be bad integrity to release it, particularly if the person releasing it didn't create it, and even if you do a really good job of it. But as has been said "To each his own", this is just one way of looking at it, I'm sure its a good thing that Jason is releasing it, as opposed to not releasing it, or as opposed to someone releasing it, blah blah blah, good maybe, but integrity by definition, this is not.

    To be honest, in re-reading Brett's post it was never really said that this is integrity anyway, I apologise, the discussion is still valid however. Is there ever integrity in releasing magic? Is it integrity to charge money for magic secrets? In what proportion is the value of the secret and the value of the time and effort taken to produce the video compared to the cost of the download? What value is money anyway? How do magnets work? Do the camera operator and editing team have to pay the cost of the secret, or do they just get it for free?
    Obviously I am half joking with the questions, but we are walking in very grey areas here, so the answers are not too clear.

    As for hype, "truly great and powerful" and "very obscure and secret". I think yes, it may be a truly great and powerful technique, but it may not be. What determines truly great and powerful is much more than the technique itself, perhaps even more important is how it is applied, which in itself is a very broad topic. Are the double lift and a thumb tip not truly great and powerful? These things are laughed at these days. To me it seems as though Bryant has been drawn in a bit by the hype, and I was trying to explain why.

    Its very rare I buy things like this anymore, however I think my interested has been picqued this time, you can expect at least one sale.
  11. It was never directly stated that it was an integrity issue. Considering that Sub Rosa was known by an inner circle of sorts for many many years and then, all of a sudden, was going to be released for amateurs, hobbyists, laymen, etc. to see. Either someone found it, or someone from inner circles decided to release it. Neither of which are out of the question, but going off of Occam's Razor, I believe someone in the know released it. Something that guarded/top secret doesn't immediately go to 'unclassified' without a breach. In the case of Sub Rosa, I think the original creator is unknown, so that makes it more of a tricky issue. I believe that something like it would need to be mulled over in the inner circles to see if it really should be released or if its worth keeping a secret anymore (if other people are onto it, for example). Especially going off of Jason's hesitation to release Sub Rosa; I think that Sub Rosa would have been passed down into larger circles before it would be released to the public. But going from inner circle to civilians--that's a helluva jump.

    Ask ICP.
  12. This Technique has been around for "X" amount of time, and people have been using this Technique prior to this release. i wonder if people will be disappointed to learn they already knew it before purchasing this. it's a vague description...

    but that happens within a lot of Marketed Effects, we purchase to Book/DVD/Download to discover we already knew the techniques/Methods/Moves Etc... are we paying for the Instruction? and if so should Techniques be common knowledge and accessible to all Magicians?
  13. Often enough magicians know hundreds of principles but are not able to make use of it in a creative way. You may be aware of the 'Gilbreath Principle' for example , but how many are not able to use it to its full extent due to lack of creativity ? . Vernon and other well known magicians were fooled by their own creations because a principle alone isn't worth anything without a proper context and designed routine. In my mind it's more valuable to know how to use it effectively than just beeing aware of the principle behind it.
  14. Totally possible, but unlikely. Out of every magician we work with that has seen this - from Dan White to Blake Vogt to myself and beyond - exactly 0% already knew it. Some had read about it in passing. Some had seen it mentioned a few times in print, perhaps. But precisely none already used it, nor were familiar with the power and applications it presents.

    As Lyle mentioned, Jason himself showed this to Teller (of Penn & Teller) - one of the most well-studied, successful performers alive - and even he was unaware. It is, inarguably, a very obscure, underground concept that some have read about, few have used, and most - like me - were blissfully, absolutely, 100% unaware of. You'll love it - and it's something applicable to pretty much anyone that uses a deck of cards. VERY excited to bring this to light.
  15. Agreed, my statement may have came off a bit Shady, but it was meant more as a conversational statement.... what are we truly purchasing the Techniques that we may already know, or the person giving their opinions on performance, instruction, application etc? and what outweighs it's worth?

    that is one of the main reasons i have not marketed any of my Effects/Techniques/Experience/insight etc... even though it has gotten praise by do i place a value on it?

    Many Magicians study different things and resources, if this was a technique passed over, why? without exactly knowing what this technique may be (and i may by another name) has Jason England been one of the few that has successfully been able to apply it to a workable performance situation, Application, angles etc

    either way it's a discussion worth having when dealing with any effect purchased, and i'm confident that i will purchase this likewise

    Again though, i'm not throwing shade :)
  16. I agree this isn't easy. A principle, technique or effect that is like the holy grail to me may be totally useless for others.
    No matter how good your product is, you will not satisfy 100% of your customers. Never ever. But that's ok.
  17. Yes!

    that is why there is no one true "Way" or path to achieve ones Magical Goal. experience and advice is invaluable to share and instruct, but isn't the only way, because personal preference and atmosphere leads you.

    I can't say "This is how you should perform" but i think many fall into that trap of learning and adopting without reflection

    We can both know 10 of the same techniques that may be considered the "Best" and yet we may only use 11 and 12 respectively

    On a side note, i love discussions such as this :)
  18. I so can't wait to see what you all come up with once you master the technique. I have been using this for about 2 years now in a gambling set.

    Jeremy Hanrahan
  19. I wouldn't use the word integrity so much as respect for magic as an art or craft. Jason loves this stuff. You can see his heart and love for it when you talk to him. Things you love, cherish, and deeply respect, you make sure they are taken care of, treated with care, and you would defend them with ferocity against slander.

    I cringe at most magic on YouTube because they don't have respect for magic - what it is, why it exists, and why it's so meaningful. It is something you learn and grow into. It used to be that magicians going through an early stage of learning were only affecting their direct circle of influence, now YouTube is like a window into so many early learning stages. As one grows in respect, they take great care how and when they share - because of what Magic IS.

    Jason sharing all he does is done form a place of respect and love for the art and craft of magic. I would imagine that he desires others would treat it with the same dignity, however there are no guarantees -so if you want something done right...

    Eric Mead and Ricky Jay have some wonderful things to say with regards to this topic too, and were pretty eye opening for me as I was learning.

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