Magic Trick EXPOSED!

I know a lot has already been written about people who reveal magic methods online (and I mean with the purpose of exposing them to non-magicians, not sharing for other magicians to use), but I feel compelled to offer my two cents. Besides the obvious issues of revealing methods that are not theirs to begin with, I think they have a very shortsighted relationship with magic.

One beauty of magic is that, with just one or two good methods you have the core of dozens, if not hundreds, of great effects that just needs a few tweaks and as many different presentations as you can imagine. That means the magical mileage you can get out of a single move or method is incredible. Revealing a move, though, obviously happens only once.

Even if you are looking at this issue through the lens of a rabid, content-creating, buzz word-using, #hashtag wielding social media influencer, it makes no sense. From a very small number of methods you can create dozens of mystifying and entertaining videos that people will come back and watch over and over again, show to their friends, and possibly think about for days sparking conversations that get your name out. But when you reveal a method that’s it. That’s all you get. One use. One video that people will watch one time. No one needs to watch a video that explains a method more than once because the value they get isn’t entertainment, like in a magic trick, but information. Once they watch it they know, and they never need to come back.

I don’t really have a point to this besides the obvious: revealing magic tricks online is not only rude to those who worked hard to create or master that method, but also short-sighted when viewed from a entertainment and ‘content creator’ stand point. Basically, the only reason I can see it do it is if you are actually just too lazy to use that method to make an entertaining piece of magic. And if you can’t make an entertaining piece of magic, well then, are you really a magician?




(The only exception to this is to go in a direction like Penn and Teller did with their revelations, where they turned them into pieces of entertainment and drama in and of themselves, regardless of the revealed ‘methods,’ which were essentially always outdated and rarely used anyway.)

Four Suits