Penn and Teller Revealing Magic?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by MOD, Jul 13, 2014.

  1. [​IMG]
  2. In academia, common knowledge does not require a reference.
    Teaching a method behind an effect in a public, is what is labelled as exposure unless it is your own effect which you reserve the right to teach. That is common knowledge in Magic. Breaking magic, does teach some classic illusions that involve science. So yep, that would be technically called exposure.

    However, being of the opinion that everyone is guilty of some level of exposure and that you gotta chill about it unless a commercial effect is being exposed...I would say I dont mind.
  3. Your post is a little hard to read because I'm guessing English is not you native tongue. I'm guessing you mean public forum. The rest I'm not sure what you mean since again it is hard to read. Now...

    Magic methods are not common knowledge. They are a secret. Part of the working knowledge of those who are part of the brotherhood of magic. Even within magic, some of these workings are not shared with other magicians to keep them out of the hands of other and from being exposed.

    Since you want to try to use academia to come off as having an educated stance on this, lets see what MIT has to say about common knowledge...
    "Broadly speaking, common knowledge refers to information that the average, educated reader would accept as reliable without having to look it up. This includes:

    Information that most people know, such as that water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit or that Barack Obama was the first American of mixed race to be elected president.

    Information shared by a cultural or national group, such as the names of famous heroes or events in the nation’s history that are remembered and celebrated.

    Knowledge shared by members of a certain field, such as the fact that the necessary condition for diffraction of radiation of wavelength from a crystalline solid is given by Bragg’s law.

    However, what may be common knowledge in one culture, nation, academic discipline or peer group may not be common knowledge in another.

    Lets look at that last part right there. What is common knowledge in one peer group may not be in another. So no magic is not common knowledge to the average educated reader. Why would they know the working of sleight of hand? So while most methods are common knowledge to magicians who are well studied, they are not known to the general population.

    You can have the opinion that everyone is guilty of exposure and well, it is not an opinion you can back up. I don't have to chill out about it. You can say you don't mind, but there is a very large section of the magic community that does care. There are tens of thousands of us who are members of the IBM, SAM, Magic Circle, Magic Castle, ect. ect. that fight the exposure of magic in open public forums.


    Yes, I missed the word "Platform" after public but the rest is grammatically correct so do not blame my knowledge and fluency of English for your lack of understanding.

    You asked for a citation, I said I did not need a citation since the following is common knowledge AMONG MAGICIANS:
    "Teaching a method behind an effect in a public, is what is labelled as exposure unless it is your own effect which you reserve the right to teach."

    So I do not need a citation to be able to make the following statement which you asked a citation for:
    "In fact, undoubtedly, some anti-exposure extremists would even label Wayne Houchin's brilliant show "Science of magic" as exposure."

    So according to the common knowledge definition of the word "exposure" among magicians, Science of Magic is exposing illusions.

    As for your "Brotherhood of magician" argument, that is a brotherhood you get into by merely "signing up on E or T11" and getting free tricks which is again exposure, just a bit inconvenient to laypeople.

    Once again, I never said magic was common knowledge, I said the definition of exposure among magicians was common knowledge.
  5. #25 Ibimania, Jul 16, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 16, 2014
    Before this thread goes astray, let me summarise the arguments:

    People saying P&T are exposers:
    1) They exposed tricks that were not entirely their own.
    2) This throws them out of the brotherhood of magicians.

    People who say it wasn't a big deal:
    1) they revealed the methods partially and their spectators didnt even understand how the tricks actually worked.
    2) their exposure was a semi-bluff to throw off the audience.

    People saying P&T are exposers:
    3) it does not matter if people understood or not, they exposed something that makes them exposers.

    People who say it was not a big deal:
    3) Well what about Jay Sankey doing a tv show spellz teaching how to do magic to kids, or birthday performers selling magic kits, or T11 and E giving away free beginner material that is not created entirely by their artists?

    People saying P&T are exposers:
    4) Well the t11 and E's exposure is fine because it requires an effort. (definition of effort here: entering your email address).

    People saying its not a big deal:

    P.S. Now that we are moving in circles with these, can someone from the super secret brotherhood of magicians that can be accessed by entering your email address add a new point or stop maligning the names of two of the best performers of this generation who have elevated the name of the art on many platforms giving newcomers a chance to be on stage and on tv and open their gigs?

    P.P.S. I do oppose exposure of commercial effects because that hurts the creator who is making money off it and his livelihood depends on it. But persecuting guys for doing a semi-exposed sponge ball routine is pointless. Sometimes you gotta show them how a french drop is done for them to appreciate your performance of Alchemy.

  6. No what you said was...

    That is what I wanted citation on. They fact that you think that those of us who are against exposure on youtube think that Science of Magic is exposure. Also not all methods are known to all magicians so not all magic is common knowledge to magicians. I have effects that I have never done with I know there are magicians where I'm working. I don't want t share them yet since I'm still using them in my working act.

    What E and T11 does is teaching in a Non-open forum. There is a difference. Someone who post a video on youtube that is not private is exposing magic. Someone teaching some basic stuff from basic magic books that are more basic than Mark Wilson in a closed setting is not exposing magic. See the difference one is public one is private. It is a sad time we live in as magicians where kids and young adults think they can get internet fame by showing how magic is done.

    To get into the brotherhood of magic take work. It takes effort. Sure you start with the five free tricks that you already learned from the books. Then you join one of the larger groups like the IBM and SAM and have your eyes opened to so much more than the latest $5 download from the wire. You start to learn the history. You start to see there is more out there than just card magic. You find out there are some effects that are only shared at local meetings. You get to interact with guys who have been magicians longer than you have been alive and find out about these great old books and magazines that have hidden little gems. You learn about how to price your act and how to stage your act in your local market. I'm sorry you don't get that magic has been and should be kept a closed loop of knowledge. I'm sorry you think it is okay to expose magic on youtube and in shows. Yes magicians were telling how effects were done on stage over 100 years ago. To the point that Mahatma has a write up in there. I have posted it in this thread.
  7. #27 krab, Jul 16, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 16, 2014
    This makes you come off as as condescending. It invalidates any argument you were trying to make.

    If your performance is so poor you have to explain the effect for someone to get it, you need to look at what you are doing. Any exposure of the working of magic in an open public forum is wrong. No you shouldn't be teaching sleights on youtube.
  8. You wanted me to back up the fact that according to your definition science of magic is exposure, right?

    IS discovery channel a private setting? Nope, its a public forum.

    Now watch this video:

    Is this effect created by Wayne? No.
    Does he teach it? Yes.

    So. Him revealing the traditional tesla coil effect on tv,
    how is that different than P&T teaching spongeballs on TV. Oh and to be noted, the spongeballs routine was still not grasped by the audience.
  9. I'll just chime in here,

    magic has always been easy to find out about. Whether just buying a book or searching on youtube, Hell even just looking up patented illusions back when people used to actually patent magic tricks. But the big thing here is: People don't really want to know (most of the time). After a trick theres what? 60 seconds? maybe 30 where the audience wants to know how it's done. I think the only reason people click on exposure videos is because they just happen to be right next to the original trick a couple seconds later, but mostly these are for tricks that don't really matter.

    Another possibility: no body cares. As magicians i think we often forgot how ridiculous what we do is. I mean it's magic tricks. Literally no one cares. If you do your best most mind melting trick for someone, is it really going to change their day? Sure they might talk about it for a while, the same way if they saw a shooting star or anything else cool. But i find what we do is only meaningful to us. To everyone else we just provide shallow happiness (not that theres anything wrong with that, in fact it's great)

    As for P&T, Yes i think they expose more than they should, And for reasons i don't know. But i'm sure they have their reasons. I was a little disappointed when i found out they revealed cups and balls, but all in all they're one of the reasons i got into magic.

    Final point has anyone ever done a trick and then heard "oh! i know how he did it! i saw it on...."?
  10. Me? No, but then again I only do original or things that are in hard to find books and magazines. Your average youtube exposure is not going to spend $400 on a book to tell people how it is done.

    Now has it happened to other? Yes there are more than a few threads about guys having people say I saw that on youtube or I saw that on the internet. Michael Ammar has even said he did something and right after someone pulled up the youtube video of how to do it.
  11. Magicians are hilarious, always attempting to violently guard and debate over secrets behind a door. Unfortunately they forget that door is not locked and anyone can go to the door and turn the handle.

    Also lets all chastize David Copperfeild For being the Founder of Magic is Medicine and all the SAM members who teach magic tricks like the crazy man's handcuffs to help ill people build finger strength. I make five thousand dollars off of that one trick, how dare they expose this for such a negligible cause. Burn them at the stake, god damn monsters!
  12. No one is chastising them for teaching, key word there teaching, kids simple magic as a way to help build self confidence and as a rehab tool in a private setting. I have been a part of one of these groups. Who we chastise are those who publicly expose on youtube, an open public forum, the foundations of magic and commercial effects for no other reasons to be cool and get likes and subs.

    There are magicians out there who will not share or release their methods to keep them out of the hands of those who might expose them. Then we have people like Teller who will openly expose magic on stage but then sue someone who sells the method to one of his effects. Why can't that person make money off of how that effect works since Penn and Teller make money on telling other how effects work?
  13. I think my sarcasm was missed, guess I didn't go over the top enough.

    "Why can't that person make money off of how that effect works since Penn and Teller make money on telling other how effects work?"

    That is broken logic bar none. Teller sued a magician who created a very similar effect to his own which happened to be protected under a copyright law. It was filed under pantomime and thus protected by law. Now if that person took that method and instead of attempting to replicate the same Shadows act and applied the method to something dissimilar, I believe the outcome would have been different. Also just as a note, Teller attempted the diplomatic methods first.

    "No one is chastising them for teaching, key word there teaching, kids simple magic as a way to help build self confidence and as a rehab tool in a private setting. "

    What is the difference between teaching and exposure? On an objective stance there isn't a difference. But it is when we examine what is ethical or moral that differences of opinions flourish. But that isn't the point of this thread either.

    Side note: I think magic is the only subculture that I know of that the secret holds more value than the actual execution and technique. That is probably why I do not consider it an art, but that is a different subject entirely.

    Penn and Teller expose methods to effects that are open source or effects that they themselves created and aren't being used by practicing performers other than themselves. They've been given the title bad boys of magic for a reason folks. But the beauty of their exposures of methods behind the madness is it showcases just how complicated a two minute routine is. Take their blast off illusion, Teller is doing a lot of work and it is fun to watch. Cups and balls still a great thing to watch, they explain it so quickly that it still looks like the balls are just magically appearing under the cups. The worst part about it too is even though they just explained how something works they find a way to fool you anyway using the same method no less.

    Laymen aren't idiots, well they maybe ignorant to methods, most have a preconceived notion that magic is just smoke, mirrors, and trap doors. Take Blast Off, it isn't a very deceitful illusion. Its clunky and just instills in viewer's minds that they are somehow using a trap door. But that isn't what makes this effect impressive, it only becomes impressive when you get to see what exactly is going on back stage. It's more interesting that the trick itself! And then they doing a bloody sawing illusion using similar principals to the one that they just exposed and no one is the wiser!

    But really if there is a lay person that cares enough to seek out the methods behind our madness I applaud them. Most of my friends whom I've exposed tricks to, non magicians, forget the method two days later because it doesn't matter to them. There curiosity has been satiated and they'll just move along. The only way that I see exposure being truly harmful is only within the magic community.
  14. This guy knows what's up, I fully agree with that except for the last bit, well kind of. Penn & Teller expose magic in such a way that the audience won't be able to replicate it and they also do it in such a way that confuses them so they're even more puzzled at the end even though the secret was "revealed". Teller did address this issue but unfortunately I cannot find the video that I saw it in again otherwise I would have posted the link. All I know was that it was on YouTube. And more importantly they're revealing their own original tricks or their own hardcore variations like the cups and balls.
  15. I think Jamy Ian Swiss accurately described when it is and is not okay to expose a method in his book, Shattering Illusions. He wrote, "If you have a sincere artistic motive, then do whatever you want and I will support you." Penn and Teller expose their tricks because that's the most entertaining act that they can come up with. It's not like when the Masked Magician exposed tricks just for the sake of exposing them. Penn and Teller perform a magic show, and they know when it is best to expose an effect. They would never expose their bullet catch, Teller's shadow illusion, needle swallowing, the fishbowl Miser's Dream, or anything similar because they decided that the exposure would make it less interesting.

    When we first start in magic, we are told these rules and we accept them as the truth. As you grow, and as you try to follow an artistic vision, you realize that these rules are really guidelines. P&T's show is about the beauty in what we can't know, what we choose not to know, and pure lies. Because they have such a clear view of that, I think that it's acceptable for them to do anything. If you read Penn's books, God, No! and Every Day is an Atheist Holiday, you can really understand where Penn and Teller come from with exposure. Nevertheless, it's okay when they do it and not okay when the Masked Magician does it because P&T are entertaining and the Masked Magician isn't.
  16. A VERY similar post has been made and has been discussed over at the big green monster. I am getting SLAMMED for my comments. Though this thread is a LITTLE different, it still brings up my thoughts on what I have done in the past.

    I have been performing magic for almost 20 years. (17 years to be exact.)...

    I am in no way an expert. But I have performed. A LOT. Walk around, parlor, stage and my favorite, behind a bar. In no way did I ever come across as having magical powers. I let the audience decide that for themselves. But there were times when I got the "how did you do that?" question. Would I tell them? Yes.

    "Well, what I did first was a classic force, followed by a riffle pass. Then after the riffle pass, I did a side steal followed by an Erdnase change." Now, I would explain it SO fast that I ended up confusing them. And they STILL had no idea what I was talking about OR how my effect was done. By me doing this, it made their head hurt and they would just stop asking. This is what I have chosen to do, because it fit MY character. Dan Hauss would ask the spectator after replacing their card, if they knew what a Pass was, AS he was executing the pass. They would always say "Huh?", and the move was done.

    So this brings me to my second point. Exposure.

    I get criticized because I have told people who REALLY show interest in magic HOW I learned. Listen, if I perform an effect, I am almost always going to get a "how did you do that" kinda response. But one time a guy came into the bar I was working at. He watched my show and asked the question above. I gave my "funny" answer and he laughed. He came in the week after, and brought some friends. Again asking the same question. The NEXT week he came in AGAIN and this time told me he had tried googling "beginner magic tricks" because he REALLY wanted to learn. Now, am I gonna tell him that what I do is real magic and it can't be learned? Or do I take him as being serious and help steer him in the right direction?

    I told him if he REALLY wanted to take this seriously, to check out Royal Road and Tarbell. I didn't see him for about a month. So, a month later, he comes back in WITH Royal Road and was excited to show me what he had been working on.

    Did I expose anything because I told him where to learn magic correctly?

    We live in a time where almost ANYTHING is but a Google search away. If people want to find out how something is done badly enough, they will. This "Code" we have needs to evolve in some way, just as technology has. If it were 1801, I could understand.
  17. You have to realise that people who kicked P&T out of magic castle probably lived through that year XD.
  18. lol...good point...
  19. When they had their contract to perform at the terminated, they were exposing effects that others were doing the week they were there. From what I understand they were told they could come back when they stopped. Neil Patrick Harris just wrapped up his time as president of the Academy and if you look at who is on the board, you will see it's not a bunch of old fuddy duddies. Then again the castle is a private club that cost around $300 to $500 a year (depends on where you live) and you have to show you have some skill to be a member of, so they can do what they want.

    Also there is someone on this forum who can tell you about getting booted from the castle for making exposure videos.
  20. Oooh, Spicy. :D

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