Random Musings #5

Is it just me, or is David Blaine getting hurt a lot in his current Vegas show?

Unrelated, I just added Death by Magic to my list on Netflix. If you haven't heard of it, the description is:

Magician Drummond Money-Coutts travels the globe, sharing his infectious love of his craft and attempting feats that proved fatal to other magicians.

If it's anything good, I'll post a proper review after I check it out. It was released in 2018 though, so I'm pretty behind-the-times =P

I started a new job at the end of February! Between that and trying to ramp up my YouTube channel, I've been hella-busy.

However, I did have a chance to read all the way through The Card Classics of Ken Krenzel -- my second time doing so -- and I took way better notes this time around. I still don't think I'm advanced enough in my card handling or practice regime to do 1/4th of the stuff in the book (or more realistically, 1/2 of the stuff), but I understood it all a whole lot better this time around.

I'm actively practicing sleights and routines from it because I do think that they're pure gold! Keep an eye out for a full review on the book soon -- both here on the blog, and on YouTube!

Speaking of YouTube, I've been writing a few scripts recently for tutorials! I have always loved teaching (I've been an adjunct professor at colleges, held training seminars for decades, and many other examples) -- so there's no way I wouldn't extend that to magic as well. Heck, this blog is proof enough of it.

My current plan is to teach introductory magic. Beginner tricks, maybe some intermediate, and a touch of theory. The thing is, to teach even beginner tricks, I also need to teach beginner sleights -- like a double lift. I ran a poll on my channel and the consensus is that folks want to see tricks (and not sleights), which is actually the exact opposite of what my plan was 😂

The plan, for transparency, was (or still is) to have a few tricks planned. With them planned, I'll have a list of all of the sleights necessary for them. I would put up a tutorial for each sleight, and then the tricks. That way, while you're watching the tutorial for the trick and I mention to use a double lift, I won't need to go in-depth during the trick tutorial to explain a double lift, I can simply refer you to that tutorial.

"Another tutorial for double lifts?! I think we already have enough, no?" You're likely right. There are a bajillion tutorials on simple and basic sleights already. And I've watched most of them! Some are great. Some are pretty terrible. And others just leave me wanting more from it. My aim is to make only great ones -- even for simple sleights -- things that go in depth and explain not just how to do the thing, but common issues, alternate handlings, misdirection cues, and more! We'll see though, we all know how plans go.

Coincidentally, Ellusionist's latest blog post is about Exposure in Magic. My aim for teaching on YouTube doesn't really align with "exposure" though, so I'm not too worried about that.

I do, however, agree that these folks on TikTok and Instagram who are taking just seconds to expose how visual tricks are done is pretty frustrating. I don't think it's a huge, huge issue though -- yes, I do get semi-angry whenever I see it -- but I also try to remember that people don't remember that kind of thing!

Mindless-scrolling and watching an exposure video that shows 5 different tricks in under 60 seconds isn't going to make that person an expert in magic, and they're likely not going to remember how any of the 5 tricks were done by the next day. Repeated exposure, on the other hand, yeah, that'll do it.

What's more likely is it'll make people more distrusting of magicians. More hecklers will arise and we'll have to up our game even further.

I feel like this whole "exposure in magic" sentiment is just a repeat from a few years back when the whole magic community started getting super upset that people were posting magic tutorials on YouTube. "Magic, for free?! That's unfathomable! They should have to pay $10 to learn that, otherwise it's against our magician's code!" Yeah, I never got behind that...

Now, teaching things that aren't yours to teach ... I think we're on the same page that that's where the line should be drawn.

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