A few days ago, I received a letter from Jordan, a new reader of this blog.
He had a simple request. He wanted to know where he could find reliable (probably well-stocked) magic suppliers in the Philippines.
It was a reasonable request. I had no idea it would lead to my writing a long post today.
So you will understand how this topic developed, here’s Jordan’s letter:
Hello Mr. Leodini,
It’s nice that I was able to find this site. By the way I just have a question regarding magician’s supplies. I can’t seem to find a good magic store here in the Philippines selling the stuff that I need. I would sometimes see some stalls that are in tiangges or malls, but I think the prices are way too high for the quality of their products. I hope you could help me with this problem.
Thanks in advance,
After reading the letter, I almost sent him an email recommending Cris Castro, Doc Moraleta and the Chubster as the best and reliable magic suppliers in the country.
For some reasons, I did not. Instead, I clicked the link to his site.
To my dismay, I stumbled into a site that teaches openly magic tricks in the World Wide Web. Pages from Hugard’s books and Bobo’s Modern Coin Magic are splashed all over the site for both the curious and the students of magic to feast on.
Immediately, I sent Jordan this message:
Your site is involved in exposing magic tricks. I know the type of suppliers you are looking for—the ones who supply working magicians professional props. I’m willing to lead you to them, but first you have to convince me you are NOT going to expose the tricks you buy from these suppliers the way you are exposing tricks from other sources on your website.
Stay magical and safeguard the secrets of magic,
In fairness to Jordan, he sent me a courteous reply, explaining why he publishes secrets of magic on his website.
I’m really sorry if that’s how you find my site. I assure you that I as a self-taught magician myself, I won’t expose the secrets of the trade. It’s just that I use that site to teach those who are interested to become magicians as well. I wouldn’t be one if I didn’t learn from those who are willing to share some of their knowledge through writing.
If you would notice I would post only some helpful sleights and a few tricks to arouse the interest of people to learn the craft and to improve the craft. Also I placed in one of my entries a disclaimer that tells that I wouldn’t be posting tricks that would ruin other magicians careers. I believe I have done that because the tricks that I have actually posted are really for building a good foundation of skills for a magician not actually for destroying a magician.
Also I would like to share to those who are new to magic the wonderful and rich history of magic through it’s pioneers like Hugard and Bobo. Also I made that site so that those who are new to magic may be guided properly, because there are also a lot of websites that provide misleading and confusing methods to newbies.
As a magician I am really challenged every time I see a new trick and because of this, I would spend hours or even days figuring out a trick, and every time I would know how a trick is done, I always try to find better ways to improve it.
Anyway if you find my site offensive, I assure you that the website wasn’t intended to expose magic but rather to lead those who have real interest in magic. Also if you would notice there aren’t a lot of people who are going there because I only give the link to magicians just like you sir.
Again sir thank you very much and let me finish this letter with a quote from one of the books that taught me magic. It said, “Keep magic’s secrets and it will keep you.” It has always and will always be my guiding principle whenever I do magic.
And here’s my reply…
I believe you when you said you have no intention of exposing tricks, that you are merely providing beginners a resource they can use to study magic.
You wrote a polite reply, something unthinkable for exposers. Most have attitude problems. The Masked Magician, after the first TV exposure, went ahead and did sequels to his controversial show despite the uproar in the magic communities all over the world.
Our own Pinoy Masked Magician basically told us to get lost, when we tried to confront him with his evil deed.
You don’t have the same attitude, so I believe you are not beyond enlightenment.
However, mere good intentions do not guarantee ideal outcome. As a self-confessed beginning student of magic, you are now trying to take upon yourself the responsibility of teaching others.
Teaching magic, like performing it, is tricky. The ramifications are mind-boggling, because magic is replete with ethical issues and the need to safeguard the secrets of the art. Since you are still new to the game, even your best intentions can be more harmful than helpful. Pardon me for saying this, but the ramifications are simply too complex for neophytes to grasp.
On the other hand, I’ll take your word for it that you don’t intend to expose magic tricks (although inadvertently you already have, through the materials on your website). That being the case, I hope you will listen to suggestions.
One, why don’t you password protect your site? Doing so will keep away the curious and the mere seekers of magic secrets, while still helping the avid students.
Two, instead of spoon-feeding readers with materials lifted from books, write reviews of the books/DVDs/ebooks on magic you like. Tell your site’s visitors why the literatures you recommend are helpful, and then provide the links to online stores that sell them, say Amazon.com. Once more with emphasis: provide them the source of knowledge, not the knowledge itself on silver platter.
You see, by doing this, you help serious magic students grow their knowledge and at the same time keep away the mere curious—because what you are doing is merely point to them the pathways for learning magic without exposing a single trick.
I hope you will find time to visit Inner Magic Club one of those days. Spending just one evening with us will surely allow you to soak up our culture and help you increase your knowledge of our art.