Guest week continues on with a rant from a long time reader, Christopher Lyle. Don't be this guy.
So when the "B" man opened up his blog to his cronies, I got excited and a plethora of different things ran thru my twisted little mind of what I wanted to piss and moan about. So many issues...so little time!
But I was inspired the other day by an event so I'm putting all my other frustrations aside and I shall rant about the events that took place.
So listen up Katz and Kittenz cause I'm only gonna say this ONCE! "Knowing how to do a few card tricks and having a couple of instructional DVDs out DOES NOT make you a Magician! Nor does working at a Magic Shop for that matter!" Any ass hat with a deck of cards and a video camera can whore themselves out on You Tube or claim greatness on liner notes to a DVD...but are we supposed to buy into their self proclaimed hype? I think not!
Just recently, I met a young man who was "CLAIMING" to be a Magician. For the sake of the story, we'll call him Ben. It's my hope that Ben reads this and figures out it's he whom I'm talking about and will work hard to change his ways.
Ok...so the day was sultry. I walked thru the door of one of the local magic stores and was quickly greeted by the (ahem) magi behind the counter! "Ahhh...a new face," I said to myself. I walked up to this character and stated what I needed and to introduce myself. His response was "do you want to see a trick?" Much to my surprise, I said "sure!"
The person in question could be best described as David Blaine on downers! I almost wanted to hold a spirit glass under his nose to see if it would fog up. He had no personality and I could tell from the get go that he was an incredible flake! He took me thru a few poorly executed effects that would have made Helen Keller shout "Damn...that looked like shit!"
I could see that this person had a lot of enthusiasm when it comes to magic...so at least I was able to find one good quality in the pile of kaka that was to come. However being enthusiastic can sometimes blur the boundaries of proper etiquette. Most Magicians remember the time in their life where this person is right now. We remember what it was like when the walls between us and the "secrets" start to chip away. It is a very exciting time for people who really want to learn magic. So most all magicians are eager to help and guide the "new guys" as I attempted to try...for the good of the art. So I attempted to help this person out...showing them how to make their level of performance better.
The behavior and attitude that he exhibited was embarrassing and crude and extremely unprofessional of someone who aspires to be a professional magician...and in my opinion is not a good front man for a Magic Shop...but I digress. He made the mistake that every aspiring magician makes at least once in his life when his knowledge and ability becomes threatened among people much more knowledgeable, experienced, and talented than he is. He took a defensive attitude with me.
Magicians have to have respect for each other as well as respect for the people they try to "fool." It is important for someone that receives the gift of a "secret" to be courteous to those that gave it to him. It is also important for a Magician that they not use a trick to try to belittle the person watching. We as Magicians have to keep in the back of our minds that we could be performing for surgeons and rocket scientists and even though our tricks may seem incredible at one moment in time they will matter very little when the surprise fades away. As a Magician, there are certain "dos and donts" that we all live by and this guy acted with total disregard to them all.
I could quickly see it was going to come down to me kicking the living crap out of this guy, or us seeing who had the bigger penis. I wasn't about to do either so I left. A few days pass, and I find out this guy is SELLING two DVDs of his work (or shall I say other people's work). He's been in Magic for all of 5 minutes, and since he knows a few card tricks (barely) and works the counter at a Magic Shop, he now thinks he's part of the brotherhood...the 90210 crowd? WHAT THE "F"??? I don't think so!
So the whole point of this short story long is that when you're just starting out in Magic, be receptive to criticism from your peers who have been where you're at many years before you began in magic.
Magicians in general are very similar to Masons or any other "secret brotherhood." Although we may not be as organized we do feel that our history is VERY important. We are all subject to certain inner politics and traditions. It is important that we stay humble regardless of what we feel our abilities are. If I can respectfully give this guy any advice, it would be to:
Swallow his pride, listen to what others have to offer, and then make up his mind quietly and to himself and act respectful. He will never learn anything by talking. We can only learn by staying quiet and opening our ears and our minds.
So to all the newcomers out there...click the "X" on the corner of the E! website and quit masturbating to your Brad Christianson DVDs. Put down the shiny new hunk of crap you picked up thru the mail order catalog and read a book why don't you. How about Erdnase to start. Maybe Expert Card Technique...or Royal Road to Card Magic. Hell...pick up Tarbell for cryin' out loud!
Be able to perform one effect PERFECTLY instead of half-assing yourself thru 30 effects poorly. For the good of the art...I beg you!!!!
I'll always be watching!