Bad attitude in Magic

At every gathering of magicians I’ve been to I’m always surprised how many people have such a bad attitude towards magic. Instead of seeing it as an amazing art that requires much practise and study, they think it’s all about out doing one another and possessing secrets.

I’ve met many ‘magicians’ who know next to nothing about card magic yet they portray themselves as incredibly knowledgable, even though they must know there is so much more for them to learn. It annoys me a lot, why can’t we be more humble? When magicians get together they should be helping each other to improve their magic by offering advice and pointing out where others may be going wrong – not trying to show off and fool each other.

Most of this seems to come from the younger generation of magicians (although not exclusively) and I think a lot of it is due to them not learning properly. The current market of constant new releases and tempting one trick downloads are distracting them away from the classic texts which would really improve their magic. They’re constantly focussed on the next ‘method’ with which to try and impress people.

We should be encouraging fellow magicians to learn and study the work of the masters (Vernon, Walton, Elmsley etc.) and try to inspire others to do the same.

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3 Responses to Bad attitude in Magic

  1. dave says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I studied magic for just under a decade – technique of course, but also theory, history, philosophy, & psychology. I fell out of it in 2004 when entering college late, but have begun picking it back up over the last few months. The slick, modern, “celebrity” style of performing always irritated me. So many performers seemed to be engaged in the art of oneupmanship rather than the art of conjuring.

    One experience I’ll always remember for leaving a bad taste in my mouth. I spent the summer of 1999 studying under Dale Salwak at the Chavez school in La Verne, CA, & one day another of his students took us (me & my best friend who was there as well) to the Magic Castle. We were stoked! It was def cool & exciting, but also almost overwhelmingly pretentious. Especially one guy, whose name I can’t remember. We’d seen him a few years back on a World’s Greatest Magic, & we were excited to see him there. Unfortunately, he spent the entire time showing off for his magic buddies & acting like he was the hottest thing ever to riffle the pasteboards. He really was obnoxious. We were glad to get out of there when we did.

    More young magicians (or it could be argued all magicians!) need to spend more time studying the non-performance aspects of the art. Not only will it give them a firmer understanding of what they’re doing, but it’s also fascinating! Apologies for writing a short book here. I just found your blog & this post seems to have struck a nerve! I’ll definitely be returning 🙂

    • blendomagic says:

      Hi Dave,

      I should have mentioned in my post that I was talking about the people who’ve been into magic a while and should no better- not the genuine naive beginners who don’t know where to start. I should have made that clearer.

      It’s a shame that that guy ruined a great experience and I totally agree with you about the non performance aspect of magic not being studied enough. It’s amazing how much you can improve by just sitting down and thinking about how you perform and how people maybe perceiving you in your performance.

      Kevin

  2. bentrain says:

    Hello Mr. Blendo,

    My name is Ben Train, and I wanted to discuss something with you. Is there an email address I can reach you at? Or, can you email me at magic@bentrain.ca?

    Thank you in advance,
    Ben

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