Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Jay, read this!

I'm sorry to ride this train for so long, but I found this comment on Youtube by Jay Sankey, and it's worst piece of bullshit I ever read:
"The so-called 'secrets of magic' are not the real secrets. It's what a performer DOES WITH the 'secret method' that makes him or her a real magician. In the early days of cinema, the techniques were mysterious and kept secret. Over time, the value of those 'secrets' diminished and people focused on what they DID with the tech. Hopefully, the same thing will happen with magic."
You Jay Sankey are gravely mistaken! Here is why: Magic has one huge problem with the suspension of disbelief issue. Movies are a different beast and cannot be compared with magic. In movies or theater the audience is willing to suspend their disbelief, if the movie is good. The audience is willing, to accept for the duration of the movie that all the issues and problems of the characters are real. If in a theater play of Peter Pan the main character is flying, you can see the wires that he is hanging on. But the audience is willing to not see the wires. They know the wires are there, they see them, but they choose to ignore them, in order to continue being enchanted. Kind of how religion works.

In magic it is different. If something floats through the air, people will look for threads or wires. It has something to do with the too perfect theory, postulated by Rick Johnsson. In his initial paragraphs he states that the audience cannot stand not having an answer for a problem that is presented to them. And that they will find a solution, even if the solution is clearly wrong. So if they catch a glimpse of a piece of flying dust above the floating object they will think they saw a thread.

The intuitive solution can actually be disastrous in trying to establish any illusion. So that needs to be cancelled. If people know what an Elmsley count looks like they will see the Elmsley count each and every time no matter what the "performer DOES WITH the 'secret method'" even if no Elmsley count is used.

And that is the main reason why magic secrets should be kept secret. Your analogy about cinema is fucking nonsense. 

You Jay are doing a huge disservice to magic. The art that you love, the art that made you a name in the business. Please don't make the mistake assuming you know all about it, therefore you can rise above the time honored rules of magic.

Keeping a secret is hard, but it is smart to do it from a business point of view as well as from an artistic point of view.

3 comments:

The Smiling Mule said...

The quote is moronic.

The techniques of cinema are NOT known by the layman. And even if they were, those techniques are generally self evidently difficult to master and will not illicit groans of "ohh that's all it is" when revealed.

The best magicians leverage extremely simple secrets to achieve results which are totally out of proportion... revealing these secrets undermines all the levels of sophistication built on top of them.

Part of being a good magician has always been the keeping of secrets. Therefore Sankey is not a good magician.

People can rationalise anything to themselves when it comes to money vs ethics.

SIMED LBAHIA said...

great post
and I totally agree
that quote of jay is so rediculous as you mentionned
I believe true magic and true magicians are in great danger thanks to this greedy people who want to make easy big money by exposing magic
ps: I think jay want to expand his customers network by including lay people too :p

Double Deal said...

Jay "how can I sell another video with a few shuttle passes" Sankey is out to get your money. He has done everything to keep up with the Jones' including starting his own online magic lessons.