April 16, 2012 Leave a comment
Great stuff! –
Another Card Magic Blog…
April 10, 2012 Leave a comment
The best card magic videos I’ve seen online since discovering Dani DaOrtiz – amazing stuff, make sure you watch all 5.
What I love about it is his causal relaxed handling – there’s a complete lack of tension when doing the work that makes it incredibly deceptive.
April 7, 2012 10 Comments
As most of you all know I visit a magic shop in Sheffield every few weeks and over the past year or so I’ve noticed that although the shop is getting busier and busier (which is great and shows that the current magic trend is helping magic dealers) there are more and more young magicians attending who literally get all their knowledge from YouTube. This is something that many magicians have discussed in the past and I imagine there’s tons out there on this subject but although I’d read a few peoples thoughts on it, I’d never had any real first hand experience. Until now.
Last weekend there was a young lad who I’d not seen there before and who I think has been coming for a few weeks – he was a beginner but not afraid to perform and had a few tricks which he’d been working on (a collectors routine and one or two others). Anyway, after a while two other young lads arrived and within minutes one of them was trying to teach the first youngster six or seven different passes! He couldn’t do any of them himself but had watched YouTube videos and learnt them from there. No appreciation of the move, it’s history or anything – just very poor execution of the sleights – they almost seemed like throwaway things for him – “Oh yeah there’s this Spread pass, Herman pass, etc.” The first lad was overwhelmed as this other guy was explaining each and every pass in detail – the poor guy couldn’t even do a Charlier cut! Is this the next generation of magic? Don’t get me wrong there are many talented young magicians who appreciate magical history and learn and study their art but the growing number of online magicians does worry me.
I asked the first lad what books he had – his answer – none. I think this is a real shame and I hate to see people learn magic in the wrong way. The latest craze of one trick magic downloads doesn’t help as it gives the idea that things can be learned quickly in an “instant” download. Places like Ellusionist and Theory 11 make it even worse – encouraging a culture of online “creators” and fooding the market with custom playing cards – it’t not the tool you should be focusing on but how to use it. The internet’s a great tool but public magic forums are mostly flooded with nonsense and all the other sites are about making money. Magic should be learned slowly and in steps – the old adage that you have to walk before you can run is cliche but fits here. That’s the real problem – the internet gives you vast knowledge instantly and people new to magic won’t know where to start – they just jump in and learn all they can. The problem is there’s no context in which to put the thing they’re learning, they don’t appreciate it’s true value because it’s easy to find and readily available.
I do think that older magicians are slightly to blame also – we should be mentoring the beginners and pointing them in the right direction – giving them advice, tips, books to read etc. This is something the guys in Sheffield to really well and explains why there’s so many great magicians there and a great magic scene. Those guys I mentioned above, if they continue to visit the shop and hang out with other magicians, will eventually get the right idea.
Most magicians tend to look down on the younger guys who are struggling to find the right path in magic- it’s not 100% all their fault that all they can find online are YouTube explanations and bad one trick downloads. It is if they’re uploading the explanations themselves which is another topic altogether. Where possible, magicians should teach other magicians one on one in my opinion. Magic clubs should also play an essential role in teaching the next generation. This is something I admire about the Spanish School – there’s a sense of passing on the knowledge, of teacher and student. The british magic clubs I’ve been to don’t even come close to this.
Luckily one of the guys I’d seen before had bought Royal Road on my recommendation and was really enjoying it. There may be hope…
Anyway, rant over – I hope some of this made sense and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter – lets discuss…