Weekly Magic Failure?

Sep 1, 2013
305
15
South Africa
So I recently came across this website which basically rips and destroys the reputations of any magician who tries to make a difference out there, you may think what I'm saying is harsh but if you've seen this, you know what I'm talking about. Initially this didn't bother me until I saw the website, or whoever it is, start degrading Peter Turner and his work because his effects are not strong enough and he isn't a good mentalist, this disturbed me a little. If any of you are familiar with Turners work then you know that one would pay to learn his philosophy on mentalism over the effects he has to offer and quite a few performers think this too, I am in no way just covering up for Peter Turner but this is just an example of many that can be found on this site.

This is just my opinion but I am really shocked to see that such a community even exists in the world of magic as this is breeding a new culture of hate for budding new ideas and magicians, if any of you have actually read the things this person has to say then you will know that these 'reviews' are extremely one sided and is just pure hate. What do you guys think about this? I am just asking for opinions and I am in no way trying to create an argument. Let me know what you guys think.
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,740
2,854
Weekly Magic Fails is just a way for the guy to vent his jealousy that other people have success. The individual who writes it is nothing special in regards to performance, and as frequently happens in the magic world (And probably elsewhere) it's easier to try to tear others down than build oneself up. Particularly when one sees that they have a crowd who agree with them (such as others who wish they were doing better).

A direct quote: "You could argue in his defense that it is not the tricks that make Peter Turner. It's the meaning he puts into them. His endless talking to make the trick meaningful and personal. In my humble opinion the tricks should do that themselves."

So, basically, he's saying his idea of a great performance is standing there, showing off what he can do. Horse pocky.
 

Lyle Borders

vp of operations // theory11
Staff member
Aug 5, 2008
1,567
794
Seattle, WA
www.theory11.com
Negativity like this has no place in the magic community. There is lots of room for constructive criticism, but we should not make room for people who simply want to put everyone else down. When you see someone or something like this, just leave. Don't give it the attention the creator's want, simply walk away and do something to build up the magic community instead. I don't know who that guy is, and I don't particularly care to know. What I do know is that I don't want to be around him.

Jamie D. Grant, international man of mystery and one of the most positive people I know, just posted this a couple days ago:

My tip for the week: Avoid nagativity at all costs. Eliminate it from your life and those that spread it. Don't let yourself get brainwashed into thinking you can't improve without it, either. Kindness can also lead to greatness.

I would love to see someone create the opposite of that site, a site that highlights the best in the magic community every single week. Wouldn't that be something?

// L
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,740
2,854
Negativity like this has no place in the magic community. There is lots of room for constructive criticism, but we should not make room for people who simply want to put everyone else down. When you see someone or something like this, just leave. Don't give it the attention the creator's want, simply walk away and do something to build up the magic community instead.

I agree with this entirely.
 
Sep 19, 2007
21
0
The site is a classic case of internet trolling. It really is a shame that someone devotes their time to publicly insulting their betters, and they are all his betters. The writer if the site is guilty of defamation, hypocrisy, and outright lying. Ignoring the site and not even giving him the click through traffic is really the best thing to do.

Lyle's advice is gold.
 
Sep 1, 2007
733
2
There are several examples on his site, you can search the magic community websites for specifics. The blog has been around a long time, and most magicians have come across it at one point or another. If you want examples, dig for them. If you're not willing to dig for your answers, you deserve the level of information you receive.

I read it for a bit until I started recognizing the people on them, and how wildly inaccurate the accusations were. One friend apologized, but the way "Ronald" wanted him to apologize was essentially bowing their head before Ronald.

Then I just started feeling bad for the person who writes the blog.
Maybe if we ignore him he'll get his life back on track. Being that angry is a sad way to live.
The website reads like peanut butter, cheeto dust, and sweat.
 

Bryson G.

Elite Member
Jun 13, 2013
47
19
Constructive criticism is a powerful and important force in any creative field, including magic. Constructive criticism keeps us moving towards perfection and prevents us from moping around in pools of stagnation. Constructive criticism reveals to us the imperfections that we may not be able to see for ourselves. This is incredibly important in magic because sometimes things can look very different from the audience's points of view. In a craft such as magic, where even a simple double lift can get a positive reaction, we need other magicians to tell us if something isn't good enough. Now, I cannot speak for Mr. Henning as I am not him, but I think that this is what he was going for. Mr. Henning wanted to criticize other magicians because he didn't want mediocre to pass as anything but, well, mediocre, and that might not have been the worst objective.

On another note, the above does not mean that I condone Mr. Henning's words towards other magicians. Occasionally he does seem to go overboard and turns constructive criticism into time-wasting anger. Part of this may be Mr. Henning trying to be entertaining for his viewers, as it is a blog, but still I believe magic should be a supportive community, and sometimes, Mr. Henning's posts don't quite fit that mold. This doesn't mean, however, that we should start making personal accusations about his character or motives for doing this. Instead, it may be better to use some of that constructive criticism that I mentioned earlier. Please take these words for what they're worth and with all due respect to Mr. Henning.

Thanks,
Bryson G.
 
The owner of that website is not without honor. I was called out as a Magic Failure a few years ago when the owner did not know the full story.

I emailed him and explained things for what they were. Not only did he apologize but he also posted a retraction.

He admitted he was wrong on his own site. So he's done all right by me.

He's fair and open to having his opinion challenged, and even changed.
 
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Sep 2, 2007
1,188
16
39
London
I sometimes think that we treat magic as if it's some fragile heirloom which could fall apart if we look at it the wrong way. As a craft and artform it's survived for thousands of years, weathering superstitious fears, religious persecution, systematic exposure, public apathy, terrible practitioners and many other potentially destructive perils along the way. Magic's still here, though, and not as part of an almost-forgotten tradition, but in the mainstream, on the stages of theatres, on TV screens and in virtually every other performance venue you could care to name, even in performance venues where no other artform has penetrated (you don't see strolling painters, jugglers or knife throwers in restaurants). Given that, surely if someone wants to be a bit satirical, or even downright cynical, about some aspects of magic, it's not going to do any harm. Magic can stand it. And even if we disagree with the particular arguments being presented then so what? Perhaps, by giving a moment of credence to viewpoints other than our own we stand to learn something, perhaps modifying our opinions or strengthening them in the process.

Magic's a big, clever, grown-up form of performance art. It can take criticism.
 
May 21, 2014
127
6
Staunton, VA
I sometimes think that we treat magic as if it's some fragile heirloom which could fall apart if we look at it the wrong way. As a craft and artform it's survived for thousands of years, weathering superstitious fears, religious persecution, systematic exposure, public apathy, terrible practitioners and many other potentially destructive perils along the way. Magic's still here, though, and not as part of an almost-forgotten tradition, but in the mainstream, on the stages of theatres, on TV screens and in virtually every other performance venue you could care to name, even in performance venues where no other artform has penetrated (you don't see strolling painters, jugglers or knife throwers in restaurants). Given that, surely if someone wants to be a bit satirical, or even downright cynical, about some aspects of magic, it's not going to do any harm. Magic can stand it. And even if we disagree with the particular arguments being presented then so what? Perhaps, by giving a moment of credence to viewpoints other than our own we stand to learn something, perhaps modifying our opinions or strengthening them in the process.

Magic's a big, clever, grown-up form of performance art. It can take criticism.

This guy. I like this guy. I was finally gonna post something on this thread, and this dude took the words right out of my mouth. Well done.
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,740
2,854
I sometimes think that we treat magic as if it's some fragile heirloom which could fall apart if we look at it the wrong way. As a craft and artform it's survived for thousands of years, weathering superstitious fears, religious persecution, systematic exposure, public apathy, terrible practitioners and many other potentially destructive perils along the way. Magic's still here, though, and not as part of an almost-forgotten tradition, but in the mainstream, on the stages of theatres, on TV screens and in virtually every other performance venue you could care to name, even in performance venues where no other artform has penetrated (you don't see strolling painters, jugglers or knife throwers in restaurants). Given that, surely if someone wants to be a bit satirical, or even downright cynical, about some aspects of magic, it's not going to do any harm. Magic can stand it. And even if we disagree with the particular arguments being presented then so what? Perhaps, by giving a moment of credence to viewpoints other than our own we stand to learn something, perhaps modifying our opinions or strengthening them in the process.

Magic's a big, clever, grown-up form of performance art. It can take criticism.

Expressing one's opinion is fine. I don't waste my time with it, because it's excessively negative and I don't need that kind of negativity in my life. Particularly not from someone who isn't even that well informed.

The more negativity you look for in life, the more you find. The same is true for positivity. I choose to look for positives in my life and this blog is nothing but the negative rantings of someone who must not have anything better to do.
 
Sep 2, 2007
1,188
16
39
London
The more negativity you look for in life, the more you find. The same is true for positivity.

I agree completely. I suppose my attitude is that, if someone's getting enjoyment out of this blog (which presumably they are), and it's not doing any harm (which I don't believe it is), then that's all good, let them have at it!
 
May 6, 2013
148
5
www.Ibimania.com
On this very forum we have magicians (including myself) bashing the likes of Criss Angel, David Blaine and so on. I think it is hypocrisy if we then call Mr. Henning a negative person, if he goes ahead and bashes say Peter Turner. Now before you reply saying Peter Turner is well-respected, has created so and so, bla bla bla, let me remind you...I am not comparing Magicians, All I am saying is that you and I are talking ill of magicians that IN OUR OPINION are bad the community and Mr Henning is also talking about magicians that HE THINKS are bad to community. Then HOW in the world is his blog a danger to our fragile community and this forum not?

All I am saying is, he has his opinions, and we also have negative opinions about certain magicians and we go ahead and post them here or elsewhere...it is unfair to then single out the creator of this blog.
 
Sep 1, 2013
305
15
South Africa
I disagree with this 'bashing the likes of' as you say. A lot of us have stated, and there is proof of this, that these magicians like David Blaine and Criss Angel have some very positive sides to them as their presentation and entertainment purposes and they have been praised for that and it's not well to say that we are bashing them as there is no hatred for these performers as everyone can appreciate what they do. The website that was aforementioned does not praise any magicians as for what i have seen on that site so the members on this forum do not bear any resemblance to the aim of that website, or to that extent that I have not seen any hatred being exprssed on this forum.
 
Apr 17, 2013
886
4
The website that was aforementioned does not praise any magicians as for what i have seen on that site so the members on this forum do not bear any resemblance to the aim of that website, or to that extent that I have not seen any hatred being exprssed on this forum.

If you you look you will see that he does point out good things in magic as well.
http://weeklymagicfailure.blogspot.com/2011/04/bizzaro-optical-illusionist.html
http://weeklymagicfailure.blogspot.com/2011/04/ponta-smith.html
http://weeklymagicfailure.blogspot.com/2011/04/doc-eason.html
http://weeklymagicfailure.blogspot.com/2011/04/darwin-ortiz.html
http://weeklymagicfailure.blogspot....ilure.blogspot.com/2011/04/harry-lorayne.html
http://weeklymagicfailure.blogspot.com/2011/09/get-gigs-keep-clients.html
And there are many other post like this on there.
You will also see he owns his own close up theater and looking at his website it is doing pretty well.
 
May 6, 2013
148
5
www.Ibimania.com
The website that was aforementioned does not praise any magicians as for what i have seen on that site


He actually praises magicians where they are doing something good, he doesnt unnecessarily sugarcoat his criticisms with positive remarks just for the sake of being positive. it is convenient to say he is hating but we are being constructive in our criticism, but point is those are subjective terms.
 
Constructive criticism is a powerful and important force in any creative field, including magic. Constructive criticism keeps us moving towards perfection and prevents us from moping around in pools of stagnation. Constructive criticism reveals to us the imperfections that we may not be able to see for ourselves. This is incredibly important in magic because sometimes things can look very different from the audience's points of view. In a craft such as magic, where even a simple double lift can get a positive reaction, we need other magicians to tell us if something isn't good enough.

Bryson G.

As a corporate trainer, I can tell you most people do not give constructive criticism. Most criticism is negative and does not encourage the preformer to strive to do better. They the person giving the criticism usually blames the preformer for not being able to handle criticism.

Here are my tips for constructive criticism.

1 - Do not laundry list everything the magician did wrong. This only discourages the magician. They can not improve 20 things at the same time. Instead pick a maximum of TWO items that need improvement.

2 - Tell the magician what they did good. They will repeat those items they improved upon.


The magic community is a small, and many magicians feel the need to "judge" their peers. I've never had problems with self confidence, but I have to wonder if self confidence is a problem for the magic community in general. Most people judging others, usually have their own insecurities.
 
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