Wednesday, March 21, 2012

WTF Why is he doing this?



Barry Solayme said...

I bought David his first toupee. He really does not give a fuck.


the Minutemen said...

DC's his eyesight over the last decade simply tell us that he does not have the passion to perform anymore, period.

Maybe his show in Vegas does not get much attendance as it should be to keep up the 'shark' running anymore.

I still recalled WMF Chris Kenner said in the Magic Magazine that the investment in the show of DC currently reside at MGM grand is so huge that they cannot be stopped at any time. Well, a business cannot be stopped, what logic is that.

Why he does that, I have no clue. Simply saying, he doesn't care the exposure at all.

Justin said...

What's the problem? I don't know anyone, magician or otherwise, who DOESN'T know this trick. It's no different than if he were to "expose" the 21 Card Trick.

Tensai said...

I'm sure Mr Copperfield didn't know when he taught this that he would be giving away the secrets to your professional working routine. Just send him a bill for all the clients you've lost because they say "Oh, I know how that's done, David Copperfield taught me that."

But seriously now, come on people, let's use some common sense. Penn and Teller have exposed worse then this, ya bunch of cry babies.

石榮狼 said...

The fact that a certain trick has been widely exposed already doesn't make it right to do it again, Justin.
Besides, this trick is not quite as well-known as you seem to think, and presented with slightly more imaginative patter and handling, can still be a fairly entertaining and perfectly valid piece even for the professional close-up performer.
Same goes for the "21 card trick" (actually called Sim-Sala-Bim, a creation of the great Harry August Jansen a.k.a. "Dante") which you seem not to care much for: sure, it is often performed by laymen with no talent and zero entertaining value, but a little bit of improvement can turn it into an extremely powerful effect. Which makes it just as wrong to expose as any other trick.

Marplots said...

What's funny is that even in so basic a trick, there are edits (see yellow band at the 1 minute mark for one example). What's with these guys, can't they ever just show things as they happen?

As far as "why," I'm guessing money. I'd sell out that trick in a hot second for a few thousand dollars. The only difference between DC and me is that no one is going to offer me that kind of cash (and the hair -- I have better hair).

Justin said...

I am WELL aware of the impact that chestnuts like this or the 21 Card Trick can make have on audience of properly presented. I have a three-phase routine that's merely the 21 Card Trick principle, only with subtleties and window dressing piled onto it. And it's one of my all-time favorite things to perform.

Yet, if someone were to make a video like this, exposing the 21 Card Trick, would I give a shit? No. Why? Because you can't expose something that everyone already knows. It's supremely redundant.

Also, anyone who sees any sort of maliciousness in a video like this needs to get their head checked. It's as fucking harmless as Mickey Mouse, or Copperfield's hairpiece. I mean, do you really think anyone other than children are gonna be watching a video of Copperfield, at Disneyland, teaching a rubber band trick that their grandfather showed them when they were 12? Gimme a break.

How about this:

Instead of worrying about petty shit like this, let's finesse our routines to a level where exposure doesn't even matter. This isn't hurting magic. It's helping those who know what's up get with the program and make themselves better fucking performers. Don't fuss in front of a video of Copperfield "exposing" your pet effect; go out and perform it and don't give a fuck about anything other than making it a good trick.

And hey, at the end of the day, the small child watching this video just learned a great rubber band trick. I learned it at that age (from, yes, my grandfather), and I was ecstatic over how cool it was. I'm glad some other kid can't experience that same feeling. Will they probably go out and butcher it in performance, or upload a shitty video on Youtube? Yeah, probably. Do I, and should I, care? No.


p.s. I still love you, Roland.

Mike said...


With you 100% on this and griping just makes us all look like sad losers...lets get real.

Its a nice little effect to bring kids into magic.

My only objection is Copperfields use of "they" for spectators, very impersonal.

Oh and the fact that the older he gets the more he looks like Herman Munster.

Tensai said...

@Mike Soon, we'll find a homevideo on Youtube of some grandpa teaching his grandkids how to do that one illusion where it looks like your sliding your thumb off, and then he will the get the title WMF because apparently the disappearing thumb illusion can be "presented with slightly more imaginative patter and handling, can still be a fairly entertaining and perfectly valid piece even for the professional close-up performer."

石榮狼 said...

Don't get me wrong guys, My beef is not with making these tricks' secret freely available. As a matter of fact, I'm quite glad they are: they make great sarters for beginners, and, as Justin agreed, can remain a very nice toy even of the advanced performer provided they're done right.

My problem is with revealing the workings of a trick to the masses with no filtering whatsoever, not even the "I feel like learning a magic trick, let's see what I can find for free" criterium.

Now I would agree that this particular example is relatively harmless, but the principle still stands. There are simple tricks I learnt from my father, which I would have no problem teaching to any willing kid, my own or otherwise, provided they actually WANT to learn it. But I wouldn't spoil those little secrets by "forcibly" exposing them to crowds who never as much as asked for it, therefore making any of those kids I'd have taught it to look stupid when they want to show their friends the fruit of their work.

There's a major difference between revealing the secret of a trick through a magician-or-aspiring-amateur-magician-oriented medium, and revealing it through an indiscriminate one.

Magicians who explain simple tricks to kids on TV usually say something like "here's a cool trick you can baffle your friends with"...
Everytime they give that line, I hear "here's a cool trick you could have baffled your friends with, except now you can't 'cause your friends know the secret too, ha ha."
Grandfathers are a perfectly acceptable medium for free magic teaching. TV is not.

Justin said...

Forcibly exposed? Huh?

This is a Youtube video. I'm unclear where the forcible aspect comes in. You would actually have to seek this video out.

But, for me, what it boils down to is the lack of any sort of maliciousness. This doesn't stink of the whole, "Now you have the secret!" mentality that so much Youtube exposure does.

And while yes, in general, the notion of exposure is something we should avoid, there are exceptions, plain and simple. Why anyone would want to expend energy criticizing this video is beyond me.

Tensai said...

Because that's what the people here do. Sit around and judge other magicians so they aren't over welled with the feeling of woe once they take a look at themselves and realize they are no better then the Youtube Magicians they criticize.

They need something to cry about, so they latch themselves onto anything that actually helps the magic community grow, such as this video. This video might be seen and it might inspire new young magicians to take up the art. And this of course leads to even more magicians who are better then this lot, so that is why these kids complain about this video. Because they want magic to be all for themselves, never to be shared, least some new magicians come and become better.

Admin said...

I agree with Tensai AND Justin. Inspiration for the young generation. Totally.

Barry Solayme said...

You stay outta this, young buns.


石榮狼 said...

Was this video originally released on youtube? If so, that ain't so bad. My mistake: given the high-profile nature of David Copperfield, I thought that like many similar ones before it had been done on TV.

Which doesn't makes Tensai's "weekend psychologist" analysis correct: I don't judge people, only deeds. I'm not saying those scores of teenagers who undertake to "teach" magic on Youtube are bad persons; we've all been through those difficult, ego-driven years; usually it's just a step, then all that remains from that silly time are a few compromising pictures of bad hair-do we occasionally look at with a mix of shame and nostalgia. But no matter how good the excuse, that doesn't make their actions right and I condemn those with the same severity I would use to judge the stupid deeds of my own teenage years.

A large part of magic's entertaining value relies on mystery. Kill the mystery, and you deal the art a major blow. Sure, as Justin pointed out you can still salvage what's left, by compensating the audience's knowledge of what's going on with outstanding presentation. Still, the result will be but a fraction of what it would have been had the public not been aware of the method. Not a lethal wound maybe, but clearly not benign enough in my opinion not to care about at all (that's where I find myself disagreeing with Justin).

Tensai, attacking Roland (or myself, of whom you know absolutely nothing), explaining his endeavour by his assumed professional mediocrity, is not a good way to orient this debate, in addition of being inaccurate: I don't know if you've taken a look at his other blogs, but I'd say he displays a creativity that would put many fellow-magicians to shame... And all those wonderful little ideas of his are just lying there for any aspiring magician to pick up. For free. I'd say he deserves a break. ;)

Tensai said...


Justin said...

And Tensai gives the response of champions. I commend your inability to craft an argument.

Mr. 石榮狼, I think out fundamental disagreement is that I see this stuff like pornography: "I know it when I see it." There are no hard and fast rules for me regarding exposure. For me, all of these videos may constitute as exposure, but not all of them are the "bad" kind. As it stands, this video is teaching the most basic form of this principle. There's the little touch with the blue rubber bands, but anytime I've ever seen any kids doing this they are aware of that. So if someone were to use this in a professional show, they would need to consider that fact.

Now here's the rub: for this video to have any effect on someone's professional repertoire, they must actually be doing THIS version (or something very similar looking). If that was the case the magician would have to take into account the fact that they're performing an extremely well-known trick anyway.

My point is that it's a problem that we need to consider case-by-case. There are exceptions to the rules.

What we need to accept as magicians is that this is the future. Whether we like it or not, it's what's gonna be the norm within a few short years. And by sitting here and fussing about it, all we're doing is rearranging the deck chairs.

石榮狼 said...

No disagreement on my part here; unfortunate as it is, this is indeed the future. It doesn't mean I have to like it though. I bitterly miss the time when you could safely assume, when performing a trick, that the method was unknown to your audience.

Again, this kind of exposure with "entry level" tricks is pretty harmless and can even be a good thing on certain levels, but where do we draw the line? What Bernard Billis and David Copperfield do (quite innocently) with the jumping rubber band, others do with much more advanced material. :(

The only good thing I can see coming out of it is that bad magicians (those relying on method alone, with poor presentation) may eventually disappear, their performance being now fully devoid of any interest whatsoever. Good riddance.
I just regret good magicians have to pay such a dear price for it.

Tensai said...

I don't exactly need to 'craft an argument'. If you think I'm gonna sit here and 'debate' with a bunch of kids, then you are sadly mistaken. Not all of us have the luxury of getting home from middle school and criticizing other magicians on the internet. Some of us actually want to practice and further the art.

But you two have fun.

石榮狼 said...

Well, as a matter of fact, if you're to debate here, yes you DO have to craft an argument. ;)
The very point of the WMF's comment section is to have a polite and ideally friendly debate about Roland's choices. If you consider that too much to ask for, then you should indeed have stayed out of it from the beginning, for your time would have been better used "practicing and furthering the art" (the two being by no means mutually exclusive by the way; personally most of my time online is spent with a deck of cards or a few coins in my free hand).

On a side note, I couldn't help notice you keep retorting to condescending, insinuating piques as a substitute for the argument you refuse to craft, which - again - is both useless and out of place. I am not sure how much you know about Justin, but I am pretty positive you know nigh-nothing about me; if you did you would be aware of how funny your referring to me as a "middle school kid" is.

You are welcome to intelligently defend your point of view; let's just get rid of the childish personal attacks shall we? :)

Trickster said...

More examples of "Tensai Syndrome"

A slightly altered version of it, but I recognize the tell tale put down of calling any and all who disagree with him, kids. Tensai hasn't grasped the idea of respecting that other adults can disagree with him, so all who do must be kids, who lack his life experience, maturity and knowledge.

Spot the "Tensai Syndrome" is quite a fun little game here on WMF, albeit a little too easy to win.