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UntitledIn reaction to my blog “Rated K Does a Lady Gaga“, reader RJ of Malolos sent this question:

Dear Leodini:

i conduct yearly magic workshops for kids here in Bulacan. I teach them how to perform magic tricks and thus a need to reveal the secrets behind the illusion. This
workshop is for a fee and is done in a strictly private and exclusive manner.

Is this tantamount to betrayal of the so-called Magician’s Code?


Hi RJ,

A magic workshop is different from revealing magic tricks on TV, Internet or YouTube for a number of reasons.

PhotobucketMagic workshops have definite purposes: to teach students to appreciate the art; to hone their skills in performing; to turn them into artists; and to inculcate in their young mind the sacredness of keeping the methods of magic to themselves.

This is how I learned magic.  This is how you and many magicians who love the art learned it.

We all learned it from somebody who taught us its secrets. They trained us in the aspects of entertainment. But they did not just reveal the secrets of magic. They also imparted to us the love of them. They taught us how perform well and keep the secret methods to ourselves, so we may be able to entertain the lay public.

PhotobucketFor this reason, magic workshops pre-qualify the students. The art is taught only to those who, at the minimum, have interest in learning how to perform it. Workshops teach not only tricks but also how to perform magic properly, so the tricks are not accidentally exposed.

TV or YouTube revelations, however, are altogether another matter. Their purpose is not to teach interested students in the art but to merely satisfy the curious.

Magic exposures don’t pre-qualify their audiences. They air on TV for everybody to see—the curious, the hecklers, the interested and even the not-interested.

Yes, there are people who are not interested in learning the secrets of magic. They want to experience wonder.  They derive pleasure in watching amazing phenomena happen live before their eyes. They delight in witnessing occurrences that seemingly defy physics and logic.

But here come the exposures, bursting the illusion that somehow the audience help to create in their mind by suspending their disbelief—and the fun disappears. The wonder is spoiled. The amazement goes away.

Revealing magic tricks is like telling a child there is no Santa Claus. It robs them of magic. It kills the fun. It reminds people how dreary life can be instead of enchanting.

Revealing magic tricks on TV is different from teaching the art to interested students, because revelations reach not only those who are uninterested in the secrets but also—perhaps specially so—the just curious and the hecklers.

After discovering the secrets of magic tricks, the curious will have an epiphany. He gets an “Oh, I see” moment. But he has no use of the knowledge he just discovered. He merely stores it in his head, waiting to be passed on to other curious seekers of secrets, where he can act like a genius, just because he caught the Masked Magician on TV.

UntitledLastly, magic revelations are not the same as a workshop, because revelations can pass the secrets to antagonistic members of the TV-viewing public, namely, the hecklers.

The hecklers will relish the revelations, because the next time they watch a magic show, they can take pleasure in embarrassing the magician. All they need to do is announce for the entire audience to hear the methods the magician uses to perform his tricks—and he will be able to raise a mocking laughter.

This is a perverted type of entertainment, if you asked me.

Stay magical,