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PhotobucketTwo diametrically opposed characters have been bothering me lately. Both are magicians. Some of them are Filipinos, some are not.

I lament the rising number of Masked Magicians, talkative magis, and YouTube blabbermouths. They seem to get erotic enjoyment out of telling the lay populace how magic tricks work.

At the same time, I decry the zealots who guard the secrets of magic in such exaggerated zealousness that when they act up, their ridiculous stance doesn’t look funny to me.

Yes, folks, in case you haven’t noticed it yet, zealous guardians of magic secrets populate our industry. They strike their poses at the other end of the spectrum opposite from where the Masked Magician operates.

I have rued enough about exposures, so now let me rue about the zealots’ stringent requirements to keep magic secrets from leaking to the uninitiated.

While I see the need to tighten up the door to the vault of magic secrets, I have pet peeves when it comes to magic zealotry.

Magic zealots place a lot of silly restrictions on the use of published and/or purchased materials. Here are three restrictions that give me a sudden urge to do something violent to them—like pinching their nose.

1) They say you cannot perform publicly what you learn from a book or DVD without prior permission from the author.

This performing rights limitation is, of course, written in small print (if at all) on the blurb of the video or somewhere on the first pages of the book. It is so hidden that I haven’t seen one all these years.

Dealers don’t usually mention this limitation in their advertisement to help buyers decide before their purchase. Rather, it is sprung on the buyer at the moment he receives his merchandise. I don’t know if this limitation is urban legend or what (I hope it is “or what”). But I’ve read posts in various online forums mentioning it with such seriousness that I often suspect this limitation must be written somewhere in lost scrolls hidden in some deserts.

The DVDs and books are called instructional materials. The student magicians learn from their contents. How in the world can they learn the lessons taught to them if they can’t perform the tricks or if their performances are limited only to watching themselves in the mirror?

By selling the DVD or book to me, the author passes to me the performance rights of the trick. If that was not his intention, then, pray tell me, why is the author telling me how to do the tricks? Why, he even uses Super Slow-motion Practice session to help me get the knack of doing the trick by myself?

Prior permission from the author required?

Try contacting the author after you have learned the “Unadulterated Cutting the Aces.” If you can successfully get in touch with him, you will have performed a better magic than a beautiful card trick.

2) TV performances are reserved.

No quarrel here. But the disclaimer should be well-spelled out and conspicuously placed on the ad copy. Otherwise, when I receive my order with a surprise limited performing rights, my reaction would be Leonardo De Carpionic—Catch Me If You Can.


3) When you sell the book or DVD you learned the trick from, you lose your right to perform that trick.

This harebrained limitation, in my opinion, only exists in magic. (Is it because magicians use hare in their performances?) If my Grade 1 math book had the same limitation, I wouldn’t be allowed to add two plus two now, since I already sold my math book long ago.

Stay magical,

(Not so lucid today)


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