Saturday Night Contest - Roundtable with Jason England

Apr 5, 2009
874
1
26
Illinois
Jason,

thank you so much for answering my questions! that makes so much sense. man. i love it. that's why my performances where i talk about my skill with a pack of cards or somebody else tells the rest of the group watching

"this guys crazy with cards"
or
"Webs a beast shuffler" (HA!)

are so much more powerful than other performances.

Thanks,
Web
 
Oct 29, 2009
971
0
Just around
Dear (ahem) scarecrow1,

I didn't say it was impossible to have an internet handle and be serious about your magic. I just said it was hard for me to believe that they take their magic seriously.

Ask yourself this: beyond the 4 seconds of giggles you get when you come up with a cutesy internet name, what benefit is there to it?

You're probably too young to remember CB handles from the 1970s, but today's internet handles have exactly as much class, status, and sophistication.

Think what you want about them, but they hurt your ability to progress in magic.

Jason
I totally get you. And there is really no benefit to names like this, I see your point.
 
Sep 1, 2007
1,247
1
I realize this wasn't your only question, but it's one I'd like to answer specifically.

There are any number of things I'd change about magic if I had the power, but one of the things I'd change is something you actually all have the power to change yourself.

If I could give one bit of advice to people that want to improve their magic and/or knowledge, it's this: be a real person.

Drop the internet "CB handles" immediately and begin posting, performing and writing under your real name.

You have no idea how many emails I get from people that don't introduce themselves, ask a question or two of me, and then don't even bother to sign their name at the end of the email.

You know what I do with those emails? Without exception, I delete them. I refuse to answer questions of people that can't be bothered to tell me who they are. Even if I do know their names, I'll often ignore them because I can't help but think that anyone that calls themselves

amodernmagician, sirfansalot, True2Coins, TheCardician, magicman123-2, Perceptiv3CardMagic, Wildereachday, moviesandmagic3, scarecrow1, Jakeyboy, lilstunna, CardClip928, Sidekick, Cold Agent, industrialchild, Reaper, Z-Magic, cardartist23, King of Spades, tally-ho, itwasluck, or creeper

can't possibly be serious about their magic or their performances.

And I can assure you I'm not the only one. Do any of you think Steve Forte would come to the phone if his wife said, "Honey, magicman123 is on the phone for you."? Give me a break.

He'd look at her with an "Are you kidding me?" look on his face and that would be the end of it. I could name a dozen top magicians that feel the exact same way. Some of them are more tolerant than I am, but all of them roll their eyes at the notion of talking to some moronic internet handle instead of a real person.

The recipients of your emails, phone calls, posts on a magic forum and even old-fashioned letters all deserve at least one thing: an introduction up front and a signature at the end to let us know who you we're talking to.

If you're serious about this stuff, isn't it time we heard from the real you? If you're not, don't waste my time.

Jason

PS: As most of you are no doubt aware, I culled all the "CB handles" listed above from this very thread. This isn't meant as a personal attack on any of you in any way. I'm simply pointing out the fact that many of you are unwittingly putting up a brick wall that is actually preventing you from accessing the very information and people that you desire the most.


omgaw Jason England typed my SN...SWEET.

Anyways, I think your the one taking things a tad too seriously. First off, not to knock anyone, but its a friggin forum...it shouldn't be taken too seriously in the first place. Second...this forum has NOTHING to do with my magic in a professional sense. You think restaurant managers care what I go by on forums? "Well your resume looks great, but you have a silly name on a magic forum inhabited by 14 year olds...sorry I can't hire you."

Do you really think I perform under the name Creeper? Or any of those guys perform under those names? "And here we have magicman13214 with a wonderful magic routine using some sponge balls and a cup!" You must really think we're stupid.

Being someone people look up to I really can't believe your not telling people to stay away from forums...I mean seriously, I have like 2,000 posts and not a single damn thing to show for it. Juan Tamariz and Ricky Jay probably have never posted on a magic forum in their entire life, yet they are the greatest magicians alive today...same goes for your friend Steve Forte...next time you meet up with Steve, ask him how many posts he has on theory11.com...

I know it sounds hypocritical how I'm telling people to stay off forums yet I'm posting here right now...and I'll admit I'm guilty of it...they suck you in. They make you believe you will become a better magician by posting and contributing...they really don't. I appreciate all these roundtable discussions, I really do, but the bottom line is there isn't much people take from them. People just enter to win prizes and the ability to update their signature to the date they won.

The bottom line has already been stated...the greatest magicians in the world simply do not use forums...end of story.

I guess I got side-tracked by my original subject, but oh well, I needed to vent.


until next time (unfortunatly)

Nick <-----realnameomgawsh
 

j.bayme

ceo / theory11
Staff member
Jul 23, 2007
2,809
252
New York City
Nick, I think you missed the point that Jason was trying to make. His post had nothing to do with the validity of forums, message boards, or anything of the sort. I'm willing to bet that Jason sees forums as just what they are - just another place to absorb information by peers within an industry. That's all they are. These forums are a great way to learn a lot and network a little. Why would anyone recommend staying away from forums where some of the most knowledgeable professionals in the field dish out free advice on a daily basis?

A serious student of any subject has a hunger for information, regardless of it's medium - forums, books, magazines, DVD's, manuscripts, lectures, and of course - mentors. Networking is important in order to collectively grow, advance, and innovate - it's the same reason why dentists, doctors, filmmakers, and world leaders gather in conferences, and the same reason why Magic-Con was founded this year.

Jason's point wasn't about any of that. It was about standing behind what you post. If you truly seek to be a respected, professional member of an online community, it's a bit difficult to fully do so while having a fake name. But does a username REALLY matter? Yes, it does, and I think I'm a good case study of it. I remember several years ago when I set up the original Ellusionist forums (way back on eZBoard forum days), I was posting under my own name from the start. I was in eighth grade. I was 13 or 14. I had many goals in life and in magic - performing especially - and I posted a lot in the forums to meet other magicians, ask questions, answer questions, and learn from those wiser than I.

Because and only because I was posting under my real name - my permanent, never-gunna-change name - I had to stand behind my words. If I was wrong about a fact, I would be deeply, deeply embarassed in front of my peers. If I was dishing out an opinion, I sure better back it up with my logic (right or wrong) and rationale. Had I been posting under the name MagicBoi1414, my words would have no effect on me. The next day, I could have changed my name to ConjurerBoi1515, and shazam! I could start all over again. No embarassment. No worries. No accountability. What's wrong with that?! Nothing, unless you take your artform seriously.

Because my name was tied to me, my words were mine. I had to stand behind them. They had a face and a persona behind them. Conversely, it's also the same reason why YouTube comments are notoriously juvenile - because there's no accountability and nothing to stop JamaicaPlaya91 from posting "yoooo suck!!!" with no respect, no professionalism, and no point.

I certainly don't speak for Jason, but I think his point can be summed up in five words: stand behind what you say. Back it up. Mean it. Be professional. Be courteous. Be respectful. And your reputation - and the community - will benefit as a result.
 
Sep 1, 2007
1,247
1
I understand what your saying, and I agree to some degree, but Jason said anyone with a "fake" name most likely isn't taking their magic seriously. I highly disagree. I'm not here to make friends online, I don't need a reputation on a forum as a cool guy...it isn't essential to becoming a better magician. I'm not saying I shouldn't be respectful, that goes without saying.

Like I said before, the real workers out there, the Ricky Jays, the Juan Tamariz', the David Blaines...they didn't have the internet...and they didn't need it to become the best.
 
Sep 1, 2007
557
2
32
Porthcawl, Wales.
Nick, I think you missed the point that Jason was trying to make. His post had nothing to do with the validity of forums, message boards, or anything of the sort. I'm willing to bet that Jason sees forums as just what they are - just another place to absorb information by peers within an industry. That's all they are. These forums are a great way to learn a lot and network a little. Why would anyone recommend staying away from forums where some of the most knowledgeable professionals in the field dish out free advice on a daily basis?

A serious student of any subject has a hunger for information, regardless of it's medium - forums, books, magazines, DVD's, manuscripts, lectures, and of course - mentors. Networking is important in order to collectively grow, advance, and innovate - it's the same reason why dentists, doctors, filmmakers, and world leaders gather in conferences, and the same reason why Magic-Con was founded this year.

Jason's point wasn't about any of that. It was about standing behind what you post. If you truly seek to be a respected, professional member of an online community, it's a bit difficult to fully do so while having a fake name. But does a username REALLY matter? Yes, it does, and I think I'm a good case study of it. I remember several years ago when I set up the original Ellusionist forums (way back on eZBoard forum days), I was posting under my own name from the start. I was in eighth grade. I was 13 or 14. I had many goals in life and in magic - performing especially - and I posted a lot in the forums to meet other magicians, ask questions, answer questions, and learn from those wiser than I.

Because and only because I was posting under my real name - my permanent, never-gunna-change name - I had to stand behind my words. If I was wrong about a fact, I would be deeply, deeply embarassed in front of my peers. If I was dishing out an opinion, I sure better back it up with my logic (right or wrong) and rationale. Had I been posting under the name MagicBoi1414, my words would have no effect on me. The next day, I could have changed my name to ConjurerBoi1515, and shazam! I could start all over again. No embarassment. No worries. No accountability. What's wrong with that?! Nothing, unless you take your artform seriously.

Because my name was tied to me, my words were mine. I had to stand behind them. They had a face and a persona behind them. Conversely, it's also the same reason why YouTube comments are notoriously juvenile - because there's no accountability and nothing to stop JamaicaPlaya91 from posting "yoooo suck!!!" with no respect, no professionalism, and no point.

I certainly don't speak for Jason, but I think his point can be summed up in five words: stand behind what you say. Back it up. Mean it. Be professional. Be courteous. Be respectful. And your reputation - and the community - will benefit as a result.
Extremely well said and I whole heartedly agree.

Great Post.

Lloyd

(Maybe this could be stickied at the top of the forums so people that are about to join can read and make a decision.)
 

Luis Vega

Elite Member
Mar 19, 2008
1,796
190
35
Leon, Guanajuato Mexico
luisvega.com.mx
omgaw Jason England typed my SN...SWEET.

Anyways, I think your the one taking things a tad too seriously. First off, not to knock anyone, but its a friggin forum...it shouldn't be taken too seriously in the first place. Second...this forum has NOTHING to do with my magic in a professional sense. You think restaurant managers care what I go by on forums? "Well your resume looks great, but you have a silly name on a magic forum inhabited by 14 year olds...sorry I can't hire you."

Do you really think I perform under the name Creeper? Or any of those guys perform under those names? "And here we have magicman13214 with a wonderful magic routine using some sponge balls and a cup!" You must really think we're stupid.

Being someone people look up to I really can't believe your not telling people to stay away from forums...I mean seriously, I have like 2,000 posts and not a single damn thing to show for it. Juan Tamariz and Ricky Jay probably have never posted on a magic forum in their entire life, yet they are the greatest magicians alive today...same goes for your friend Steve Forte...next time you meet up with Steve, ask him how many posts he has on theory11.com...

I know it sounds hypocritical how I'm telling people to stay off forums yet I'm posting here right now...and I'll admit I'm guilty of it...they suck you in. They make you believe you will become a better magician by posting and contributing...they really don't. I appreciate all these roundtable discussions, I really do, but the bottom line is there isn't much people take from them. People just enter to win prizes and the ability to update their signature to the date they won.

The bottom line has already been stated...the greatest magicians in the world simply do not use forums...end of story.

I guess I got side-tracked by my original subject, but oh well, I needed to vent.


until next time (unfortunatly)

Nick <-----realnameomgawsh



I really agree with Jason England...I changed my username sometime ago...before it just says Vega...now is my full name Luis Vega...the reason? I don´t want to hide behind a facade and when I post something here (wrong or right) I want everyone to know that it was me, not a weird username...

sometimes I read sometime really useful from some members here and when I read those things I want to remember the name of who said it, not the nickname, even for that the name are useful...

Are you kidding me? I really appreciate that Jason England is posting in this forums and answering our questions and he is a really great magician, but sometimes I really wish more artists would post in forums, but I think that the reason they don´t go into forums could be more that one...

-They are very busy performing and when they have some free time, they prefer to chill out with their families than come here and argue with people like you

-they have personal opinions about some topics of magic than many of us may not agree because of our experience

...and many more reasons...and please speak for yourself when you say that people only come here to win prizes and stuff...is very rare of me to participate in SNC´S because I´m out performing and spreading my magic here in my city...and a lot of peole here does the same...yes, I agree some people here just are here for the prizes...like the winner of the SNC Win a trip to Magic-Con...yes, it was a great submision but I don´t agree that somebody that never, ever has posted and contribute anything here, just come here and post just to win the prize...I think it would have been more fair than somebody that is around here would win the prize, this guy has only 1 post!!! in my personal opinion, that´s so unfair!!!

anyway that my opinion in this thing...at yes, it was me LUIS FABIAN VEGA MENDOZA who said this, not "put funny nickname here"
 
Apr 5, 2009
874
1
26
Illinois
Nick, I think you missed the point that Jason was trying to make. His post had nothing to do with the validity of forums, message boards, or anything of the sort. I'm willing to bet that Jason sees forums as just what they are - just another place to absorb information by peers within an industry. That's all they are. These forums are a great way to learn a lot and network a little. Why would anyone recommend staying away from forums where some of the most knowledgeable professionals in the field dish out free advice on a daily basis?

A serious student of any subject has a hunger for information, regardless of it's medium - forums, books, magazines, DVD's, manuscripts, lectures, and of course - mentors. Networking is important in order to collectively grow, advance, and innovate - it's the same reason why dentists, doctors, filmmakers, and world leaders gather in conferences, and the same reason why Magic-Con was founded this year.

Jason's point wasn't about any of that. It was about standing behind what you post. If you truly seek to be a respected, professional member of an online community, it's a bit difficult to fully do so while having a fake name. But does a username REALLY matter? Yes, it does, and I think I'm a good case study of it. I remember several years ago when I set up the original Ellusionist forums (way back on eZBoard forum days), I was posting under my own name from the start. I was in eighth grade. I was 13 or 14. I had many goals in life and in magic - performing especially - and I posted a lot in the forums to meet other magicians, ask questions, answer questions, and learn from those wiser than I.

Because and only because I was posting under my real name - my permanent, never-gunna-change name - I had to stand behind my words. If I was wrong about a fact, I would be deeply, deeply embarassed in front of my peers. If I was dishing out an opinion, I sure better back it up with my logic (right or wrong) and rationale. Had I been posting under the name MagicBoi1414, my words would have no effect on me. The next day, I could have changed my name to ConjurerBoi1515, and shazam! I could start all over again. No embarassment. No worries. No accountability. What's wrong with that?! Nothing, unless you take your artform seriously.

Because my name was tied to me, my words were mine. I had to stand behind them. They had a face and a persona behind them. Conversely, it's also the same reason why YouTube comments are notoriously juvenile - because there's no accountability and nothing to stop JamaicaPlaya91 from posting "yoooo suck!!!" with no respect, no professionalism, and no point.

I certainly don't speak for Jason, but I think his point can be summed up in five words: stand behind what you say. Back it up. Mean it. Be professional. Be courteous. Be respectful. And your reputation - and the community - will benefit as a result.

i love it. great stuff.

JB whenever a thread pops up {explicit}-ing about this community, i think you should pop in and give them the how-to and what-for. who better to know whats wrong, than the originator? i honestly believe a little bitty sermon like this one could solve a few problems.

keep it up man, everything i see theory11 do thats outside the norm. that isnt a part of the system. blows my mind.
 

JasonEngland

theory11 artist / card mechanic
Nov 7, 2008
158
23
Las Vegas, NV
Jason said anyone with a "fake" name most likely isn't taking their magic seriously.

Mr. Creeper,

Either you can't read or you are intentionally mis-representing what I said.

Which is it?

I made no statements regarding the likelihood of someone being serious about their magic based on their screen name. I simply said that my gut feeling is that they aren't serious. That doesn't speak to whether or not I'm right, just that it's tough for me to bother with anyone that advertises their juvenility so blatantly.

And incidentally, with every post you continue to make my point for me.

Jason
 
Apr 5, 2009
874
1
26
Illinois
guys, dont ruin this amazing opportunity and gift that were getting here.

dont make it so that jason doesnt want to return and continue sharing his brilliance
 
Sep 1, 2007
1,247
1
Mr. Creeper,

Either you can't read or you are intentionally mis-representing what I said.

Which is it?

I made no statements regarding the likelihood of someone being serious about their magic based on their screen name. I simply said that my gut feeling is that they aren't serious. That doesn't speak to whether or not I'm right, just that it's tough for me to bother with anyone that advertises their juvenility so blatantly.

And incidentally, with every post you continue to make my point for me.

Jason



You basically just said your opinion isn't valid...what I'm getting is you don't think your right...mmmk

And you also didn't really say anything. You wrote a coupke sentences, yet didn't say a single thing. Correct me if Im wrong, but this is what I got from that post.

"I didnt say that. Thats my opinion. Which might not be right. But I think it is"

Now Im confused...maybe its because I can't read...

Oh and I can read pretty well...and trust me I have better things to do with my time then pick a fight with you...which if memory serves me correctly I never called anyone stupid or acted rudely in anyway...Im looking like the bad guy here when your the one calling me stupid and being rude
 

JasonEngland

theory11 artist / card mechanic
Nov 7, 2008
158
23
Las Vegas, NV
Even if I do know their names, I'll often ignore them because I can't help but think that anyone that calls themselves by an internet handle can't possibly be serious about their magic or their performances.

Mr. Creeper,

I'm certainly not trying to pick a fight with you either, though I will continue to call you out whenever you put words into my mouth or mis-quote me.

In the quote above, replace "think" with "feel" and perhaps it'll make more sense. I'm not claiming that anyone that posts under a screen name isn't serious. In fact, I know a few people that are definitely serious, but that post under screen names for various reasons. Some of them have valid reasons, others just enjoy the freedom to say stupid things that hiding behind an internet mask provides them.

To reiterate my original point, many top magicians are turned off by the prospect of having an online conversation with a blank wall, and that's exactly what talking to a screen name feels like. Therefore, whenever I get questions or have to respond to emails from people with these names that my immediate, gut-level, innate reaction is: don't bother. I don't always refuse to respond, it's just my initial instinct. Obviously I'm responding here, but it's tough to shake the feeling that I'm spinning my wheels and not getting through to many of you. (sigh)

I feel very strongly about being yourself and standing behind what you think and what you say. If you have something to say, you should strive to also have the courage to say it with a name attached to it. If you're right, you get the credit. If you're wrong, you get corrected. Even if you get smacked-down, you've learned something.

My goal in telling you all this wasn't to just rant about people using screen names. The goal was to illuminate an area of their magic lives that might be hindering them. This particular issue just happened to be the first thing I mentioned.

But, there are others. I'll mention two.

Posting clips on YouTube (or elsewhere) for anyone to see. It's especially stupid to ask for advice from the masses. If you post clips just to stroke your ego, there's not much more I can do to help you. We clearly aren't even remotely after the same things in life or in magic. But, assuming you're sincerely looking for improvement, there is a much better way to go about it. Have a "brain trust" of 4 or 5 people that you really respect and admire. People you know will tell you the truth about what they see. Let them view the videos privately, and take your medicine from them about how good or bad it is. This should go without saying, but I'll say it anyway: the people in your brain trust should be vastly superior to you in skill and experience. It doesn't do you much good to just ask a close friend that isn't much more knowledgeable than you.

The last thing concerns how you communicate on web forums and emails. Go back and look at all the words I've written in these last few posts, or in any other posts I've made for that matter. In fact, look at the Magic Cafe for every post I've ever made, you'll find hundreds.

You'll also notice something if you look closely. There are very, very few misspelled words, very few grammar mistakes, and I try very hard to either capitalize, bold, or place into italics the name of any book or DVD that I mention.

What's the point, you might be asking. The point is not that I'm an English major (I'm not), or that I'm a great speller (I'm not), or that I am trying to look like some sort of genius that never makes mistakes (I do). I make spelling mistakes all the time, I constantly catch myself typing things that violate basic grammar rules, and I've screwed up just about every rule in the book at one time or another.

But....

By setting a very high bar for myself, I've over time developed a reputation as a straight-shooter that says what he means in a clear, concise manner and doesn't mince words. I've also become known as a guy that pays attention to the little things, like setting off book and DVD titles using some sort of formatting, even if it's just all caps. (These days I think simple italics looks the best.)

When it's all said and done, these little things cause me to slow down, take my time, and review what I've written. Often, I find sentences and phrases that I don't like and I replace them with better words. When I finally hit the submit button, I've vetted the quality of my writing (and therefore, the quality of my thoughts) before I subject anyone else to them. It's a sign that I respect you; that I'll go to the trouble of not making you read things full of mistakes and misspelled words.

Obviously non-English speakers get a pass here, and are doing the best they can. The rest of us have no excuse other than simple laziness.

Basically, my approach is simple. Look around you. Figure out what the idiots are doing, and do the opposite. It won't make a bit of difference to you in the short run, but it will pay off handsomely in the long-run, I can assure you.

If they're posting under silly (and pointless) user names, adding a new terrible clip to YouTube every 3 days, and can't put together a coherent sentence, you should strive to set yourself apart from them at all costs.

That's the way to get noticed, taken seriously, and hopefully, respected in the community.

Jason

PS: For those of you that are just here to indulge in a fun hobby, that's fine too. This thread has probably bored the piss out of you, since you're just looking for the next kewl trick to come down the pike. I apologize that said trick isn't forthcoming from me, but I hope the serious ones reading this have learned something or have been given food for thought.
 
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Apr 5, 2009
874
1
26
Illinois
I see a minor flaw.

People don't know me.

People don't know who Web Gehring is.

So there's no credibility at stake. 10 years down the road if scarecrow and I meet up at a convention and he rocks me world with his monster muscle pass which will probably be a 5 feet by then. and he introduces himself by his real name, i'm not gonna remember him even if he does tell me his real name now. i'm not gonna think

"oh this is the grade-a ***** ******* ******** ******* who made all kinds of rude crude vile child-like comments to me on a forum when i was in high school." (those are just random asterisks I'm no where near that good with swear words)

he's not gonna lose any credibility even if he does go by his real name. but if Daniel Garcia came on the forums. People DO know him. so if he says something to me no matter how small

if he says "your double lift sucks kid. work on it"

I'm gonna remember that forever and someday if we meet up somewhere I'm gonna immediately show him my double lift. and ask his opinions. his credibility as a person is at stake.

but Scarecrow1 and myself our reputations, our credibility as respectful people, our street cred. aren't at stake in the real world. sure we might get added to a few "ignore lists" but thats about it.
 
Dec 18, 2009
399
1
Worldwideme while that is true, you are also implying that none of us will go as far as Garcia (unintentionally I'm sure) Any of us have just as much a chance of going pro as they do. I'm going to attempt to quote someone's signature here... If I remember who it is I'll give credit where it is due. "every artist started out as no more than who we are today. If they can do it why not us?" I'm sure that by no means you meant to offend "Scarecrow", but I think you are selling all of us, yourself included, a little bit short. Don't uderestimate us or yourself.

Corbin
 

pnmilton

Elite Member
Aug 31, 2007
25
0
Phil,

I don't care what the spectator thinks of my magic in an intellectual way. I'm after emotional impact, not logical or intellectual conviction. Darwin Ortiz disucsses this at length in his Strong Magic.

Just like Steven Spielberg isn't trying to convince you that dinosaurs are real or that aliens have landed, I'm not trying to convince anyone that what they're seeing is real magic.

Of course, by "convince" I'm referring to intellectual conviction. I definitely want emotional conviction, i.e. that moment of astonishment or wonder. Similarly, Spielberg wants terror, or drama, or humor, or awe, or whatever. I occasionally want these things too, which is why I (and other performers) inject humor or dramatic tension, etc, into our routines.

If you think these things aren't separate, you're crazy. Ever been scared in a movie? Why? Your intellect "knew" the situation wasn't real, but your emotions reacted as if it were. Likewise with humor, dramatic tension, sadness, etc. Our immediate emotional responses to a theatrical input are separate from our intellectual reactions and analysis abilities. The intellect will catch up in a bit, but the emotions typically react first to a theatrical stimulus.

Consequently, I "shoot to kill" in the moment when I'm performing, and I hope I get them right where it counts, in the emotions. The primary emotion I'm gunning for (and most magicians are gunning for) is wonder or astonishment. Later, during the drive home, I don't really care if they figure it out or not, anymore than Spielberg cares if they begin discussing the acting, the special effects, etc.

I already had 'em when (and where) it counted the most.

I hate it when amateur magicians prattle on about "real magic" and how being a sleight-of-hand expert "lowers the impact" when they perform. Every time I hear that I just smile and shake my head, knowing that they have no idea what they're talking about. Incidentally, they are almost invariably NOT sleight-of-hand experts themselves, and I often suspect they justify not being so with this line of ridiculous reasoning. Just my experience.

Don't be that guy.

Jason

Jason,

Firstly, thank you for the reply and for participating in this thread and sharing your thoughts and opinions.
My original question may have come across as a little naïve, but I think you may have misinterpreted it (my fault for not being clear not yours for not being a mind reader).
I don’t believe for a second that acknowledged and obvious skill with which ever object a Magician chooses to perform with undercuts the power of the magic. In fact, as you mentioned in a different post, it can aid greatly in creating that moment of wonder or astonishment we’re all striving for by making our audiences look closely when there is nothing to see (I believe you used Out of this world as an example).
Nor do I expect my audiences to believe what I am doing is real magic. Yes, I want them to experience that initial moment of astonishment and I want to do all I can to extend it for as long as I can so they can really enjoy it but I don’t expect (or really want) them to actually think what they saw was real when they get home and think about it. I just want them to enjoy it and maybe even appreciate it.
I’m afraid the intent of my original question was far less interesting, although I’ve never been quite so glad to have been misunderstood, reading your thoughts has really helped clarify my own. So thank you.

My question was simply trying to get at how you choose to present your card magic (non gambling demos)? I often find myself wandering down a gambling/cheating themed presentation even if I’m not actually presenting a traditional gambling demo and was interested in how you (as someone with so much knowledge and experience in methods of cheating with cards) present card magic (if and when you don’t present it with a gambling theme)?

I hope that clarifies the original intent of my question and thanks again for your answer.

Phil
 
Apr 5, 2009
874
1
26
Illinois
Worldwideme while that is true, you are also implying that none of us will go as far as Garcia (unintentionally I'm sure) Any of us have just as much a chance of going pro as they do. I'm going to attempt to quote someone's signature here... If I remember who it is I'll give credit where it is due. "every artist started out as no more than who we are today. If they can do it why not us?" I'm sure that by no means you meant to offend "Scarecrow", but I think you are selling all of us, yourself included, a little bit short. Don't uderestimate us or yourself.

Corbin

that's true. if we do hit the big stage. at first we might be remembered in the forums. but do you really think people who talked with JB on the Ellusionist forums back in the day, still think of him as the little 13 year old who posted in their forums?
 
Jun 1, 2009
1,068
6
Wow, there are some fantastic reads on here, I'm glad I actually read through this thread. I'm responding to a few things: First, this whole username debate. I would like to put my thoughts into it. Second, I have a few questions for Jason I hope get answered.

Usernames: I don't want to start putting my real name down immediatly after reading this arguement on it for the sole reason of jumping on a band wagon. People who I have talked to, in private on here or in person (only one person really) knows that I'm serious about studying and performing magic. I love performing and discussing magic with those who offer valid and beneficial points.
I'll just go ahead and toss out another example here. Morgician is a highly respected member of this community, yet I highly doubt Morgician is his real name or the name by which he performs. After reading even one of his essays, one can tell he knows what he is talking about and takes his craft very seriously. If you, Jason, saw the name Morgician in an email and immediatly disregarded it, some potentially very informative words have just gone to waste. I'm not saying Morgician has more credibility than you, but a conversation with him gives great insight on magic (saying from personal experience.).

If I start posting Jacob at the end of my posts now, what does that say about me? A few things in my eyes.
1. I wish to have more respect on this forum because I'm using my real name and not a character from The Princess Bride.
2. I jumped on the bandwagon in order to be seen in a higher clique in the eyes of a true master at this craft (no sarcasm or disrespect intended here).
...To which I say that I refuse to jump on a bandwagon and could possibly start being addressed by my real name if I feel the time comes for it, or I might not. This is just a forum. If I email or PM you or someone else of more credibility than me in this art, I would sign at the end with my real name, because you deserve at least that amount of respect to know who you are talking to. The email username might not be me, but the name at the end of the message will be. That I can assure you.

Moving on to questions.
1. You are regarded as one of the finest card mechanics of the present day. Even you say so yourself. How do you know when you are at that level of mastery, not just from being announced by it (because people could just be being nice). In addition to knowing when you are very refined at your craft, how do you (personal, or as a whole) stay humble with that knowledge but still have the confidence to amaze audiences?

My opening paragraphs were not ment to be offensive or disrespectful in any way, just merly my own thoughts on the subject. I see valid points on both your (Jason) and Creeper's sides, and am just trying to find a balance. I hope you are not put off too much to give me insight on the current topic as well as my question.

Thank you for your time.
Jacob
 

JasonEngland

theory11 artist / card mechanic
Nov 7, 2008
158
23
Las Vegas, NV
I see a minor flaw.

People don't know me.

People don't know who Web Gehring is.


Web,

There is no flaw, because there have been no promises made. I'm not claiming that posting under your real name is going to change your life for the better beginning immediately. I simply pointed it out as something that many internet forum regulars do without thinking about the possible ramifications.

My guess is that when you signed up on this forum (or any other forum for that matter), you simply picked a screen name that was either humorous, or nonsensical, or sounded good, or whatever. But, I also bet that you gave it virtually zero thought. You didn't fret over your decision for hours, days or weeks on end, and once it was done you never looked back.

Therein lies the crux of the problem, if you want to progress beyond the amateur stage in magic...you did something without thinking, and without considering whether it was a good idea or a bad idea.

Where else in magic do you allow yourself that kind of ambivalence? Do you do tricks without thinking about them? Do you buy books and DVDs at random? Do you read the threads on the forum and respond on a whim, or just when you have something to contribute? Do you practice things at random?

If you won't allow yourself that type of carefree attitude in any of the other areas of magic, why would you allow it in this area? You're communicating and interacting (albeit electronically) with a lot of people. You're sharing ideas, discussing things with others, and sharing thoughts on something you claim to be passionate about.

And yet you do it all with a mask on. We never get to know the real you, and find out what you are all about. In the short run, that's not an issue. But in the long run, it might be, depending on where you go in life.

If the above doesn't convince you, perhaps a simple "costs/benefits" analysis will:

A well-respected, well-known magician who rubs shoulders with dozens of other top pros and is genuinely trying to help you advance has warned you about the possible consequences of remaining functionally anonymous online.

Those are the potential costs.

What were the benefits again?

Jason

PS: You said in your quote that people don't know you. Any guesses on what I'd recommend you do to make sure it stays that way?
 

JasonEngland

theory11 artist / card mechanic
Nov 7, 2008
158
23
Las Vegas, NV
1. Even you say so yourself.

I do? Christ, I hope not, at least not in public.

Okay, kidding aside, you know you're reaching the upper echelon of card moves when you rarely run across a move you can't handle. This is especially true of the notoriously difficult moves like the false deals, the false shuffles, passes and riffle shuffle work (to include tabled faros).

I believe I read this quote in a John Carney book once, but I can't actually remember the source right now. I'm paraphrasing.

"It's okay to think that you're good. Just never allow yourself to think you're "good enough."

That quote pretty much sums up what I think of my abilities with a deck of cards.

But that only covers the moves. The presentational side of performing is a much tougher thing to judge, and unfortunately it's one of those things that you often only realize in hindsight.

I can tell you this: non-magician, non-repeating, regular people are your best barometer. Combine their instantaneous feedback with your own personal insights into what makes an effect or a performance good/great and you have a potent combination. Great, established magicians can also be a valuable source of feedback, but the average magician is worthless as a guide. Incidentally, this isn't a knock on "average magicians" -- after all, I was one for about a decade. It's simply because their insider's knowledge of mechanics and trick workings cloud their ability to step back and be "real people" long enough to provide meaningful input. There are some exceptions to be sure, but they're very few and far between.

Jason

PS: Changing your screen name is either the right thing for you to do or it isn't. If it is, no better time than the present, and to hell with what anyone thinks of you "jumping on the bandwagon." Another way of looking at it is: you were given a piece of sound advice, and you were smart enough to realize there was no real downside to acting on it immediately.
 
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