the devil pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist! I always liked that quote, and I hoped the subject got your attention - as I really want you to read my post. What you are about to read speaks ot the the changes that have occurred in magic over the past years – it used to be in magic that there was an order. This order has changed – and the effects to magic overall are noticeable. When I was a teenager (18 years), I would be at the magic shop – and a working close up professional would walk into the shop and it was like a hush fell over the shop…everyone wanted to spend time with this working pro. He was equal in prestige to those that created the magic - after all, many creators were usually not good performers and he was an example of the goal, to do magic for lay people full time – it was all magicians aspire to– having vast knowledge and experience of effects and performance…so much so, that someone would PAY to see us…REGULARLY to see what minor miracles we had in store for them – a working professional in close up magic. We would watch what he bought…and listen to his advice like it was religious ideology. It wasn’t that he was a God, as much as we respected that he was doing something that we aspired to, and respected that he was good enough to make a living doing it…he was good, so that helped – as we knew bad magicians that made a living…but they never really made THAT good of a living. People can tell bad magic when they see it, but mediocre, they need a chance to see better to compare…but I digress. Why did we want to perform first and foremost? Because we knew that the audience was the true judge of who was good and who wasn’t – how many quotes have you heard stating the audience IS the magic? We were magicians that wanted to fool and entertain those that mattered, that didn’t know how great magic could be until they saw it…and didn’t know that there was SO much great magic. Magicians weren’t a dime a dozen then, actually, there were few of us, at least compared to now…we didn’t compete with each other, or do each other’s most popular effects when we could avoid it, we foster each other with the goal of great magic. Sure, there were still bad magicians – 50% sucked…30% were okay…10% were good…5% okay…and 5% GREAT! Then along came David Blaine…closely followed by Angel…and magic in the media with Harry Potter – and the concept of magic became HUGH – too big for itself – the percentages stayed the same – but the numbers were larger – so even though half the magicians still sucked at magic…and a small percentage were GREAT…well, now we had a few more names in the business…but at the expense of MORE bad magicians. You think the increase would have been a good thing for magic that more minds, more creativity, more of all the good stuff (supply and demand)…but something happened that was not accounted for. Technology - Not long ago, before magic “knowledge” (and I use that term loosely) was dispensed from a click of a button – it was shared amongst the brethren…and sure – a VHS was dubbed here and there – but it was not talked about, as it was really frowned upon. When you learnt something – you cherished the secret and you respected it enough to NEVER show it to anyone without making sure it was perfect, you wouldn’t show it to anyone…especially on video - because getting caught was not only embarrassing, but was everything you didn’t want magic to be. See a theme, a lack of respect occurring, due to the lessen perceived value? Because magic was so easy to get – it shifted the pecking order, from those who know and have put the effort into reading and studying magic to those that supplied the magic knowledge – as the former was now assumed, often incorrectly, with publication - a large increase in magic material…some good…most bad, became available on the market. This created a new bread of magician – they didn’t respect those that were working or doing magic for a long time – because so many guys were billing themselves and working doing bad magic – this criterion no longer was a convincer on those that were good enough to command respect from their achievement. Even though, the majority of those people were from the same school of magic that they were representing – supposedly learning years of material in months and feeling they were “professionals” – all the technique, with NONE of the performance or technical theory behind it. They continually and metaphorically stand on one leg representing magic. Now you have those that have achieved the ability to perform strong magic for people in hopes to create new lovers of magic, well, they get to fight an uphill battle, constantly having to educate the public on what magic REALLY is; versus the pop culture form of magic that has overrun web sites and forums. After all, how many times do people see live close up magic in their life – I NEVER stop hearing, “You are the first live magician I have ever seen”, and over 10 years into my career in magic. However, they have seen “Youtube”, “Angel” “A novice magician” or “that guy that floats” and have preconceived notions of the negative PR magic has developed. “I saw how it was done when I watched it over again”, “He swears and uses stooges”, “It was sloppy and awkward” or “I saw how it was done on a TV special” – another trade off happening because of the speed of growth and the worker has to fight against. The new breed of magician worships the guy that creates the magic, regardless of how good or bad it is – I often here on this forum how great someone is, despite his work being reviewed poorly and being impractical to perform – but the focus is feeding the hunger, so they only respect the guy that is feeding them this stuff in hopes to find that NEW and AMAZING effect. This is the magician as the audience impact in magic – YOU the magician are becoming the new audience, with magicians wanting to be famous amongst magicians – rather than with lay audiences. The cliché used to be – I don’t try to fool magicians, because they don’t pay the rent – but now everyone is selling notes…regardless of it’s originality – like a cannibalistic ritual to take money from each other – because nobody wants to learn and do magic for the public anymore…because you aren’t respected amongst other magicians unless you have a book, dvd or marketed effect! Why isn’t the focus making magic for people, not just the new tricks you see…but the classics? How about reading a book without tricks in it, so you can THINK about your magic? Nope – it’s too hard – I bet few even make it through this post…after all, it will take focus and dedication to read a few paragraphs…and I don’t have a DVD or Book out yet, so why bother? However, these same guys will post on the forum his opinion or beliefs on a move or performance…even if they have NO experience doing either of the two? What is wrong when someone that has a DVD says something, people take it at face value – when someone has been studying and doing it professionally for MANY years makes a recommendation, and 20 kids post their opinion over it? This has forced new magicians to try and be creators…the creations weren’t natural growth to offer originality and make magic an art – no it was a forced creation for the purpose of status and financial gain. I feel the focus in on the wrong spot. Everyone is SO hungry to get their name out there – but I DON’T see magicians equally as hungry to do magic well…put on a memorable show. Do you want to get your “name” out there…so people will take you serious? What is it that makes people care more about putting bad magic into circle, than doing good magic for the mainstream? Please don’t mistake this post as a rant – as I am not saying don’t create or that this part of magic is not important, but I do believe that because of this shift – we have taken the focus off of equally important goals – Is coming up with a new move, more important than sharing and doing of magic…creation shouldn’t be held in such high regards that it is consider the apex of our craft, but rather part of the process – and it CERTAINLY should not give you more status or make your opinion more qualified than someone that hasn’t created something or shared something in print. I want you to think about it – if I put out my book tomorrow and it became as popular as Jerry’s Nuggets…would you search my name and read all my posts? Print them off and consider them biblical truths (You probably should look up any thread I have started)? Would I be taken more seriously? Would that change the value of my thoughts? How about yours? Why are the creators of magic getting so much status, but those that do it professionally or are experienced/educated have overlooked thoughts and recommendations on forums? It is one of the reason that many pro’s don’t post on forums – Your thoughts (like others that have studied the art well) are equally as important as a guy that has a few coin tricks out or invented a transposition! The goal should be the same as before this shift - It wasn’t about being known by all…it was about being remembered by the few (or many) that were fortunate enough to see, no experience, close up magic in a way that changes them forever, that makes them love it as much as you do – there is more money in that than selling a typed up set of lecture notes…and far greater the rewards!