18 June 2012

CBC: Magic world standoff over tricks of the trade

Should magic secrets be kept secret?

From the CBC:
Professional magicians dazzle audiences, but in the age of Google and instant answers, might tell-all books and video explainers forever expose what's up performers' sleeves?

According to Alex Stone, author of Fooling Houdini and a practising magician who has competed in The Magic Olympics, it's high time to reveal the magic world's secrets to the public.

Read more.

Watch the video (including comments by David Ben and Julie Eng):

[h/t: Sharing Wonder]


  1. Anonymous18 June, 2012

    The saddest thing is that so many "secrets" when revealed are disappointing. I know some kids (one of my own included) who treat it simply as a huge puzzle - they will probably never have any interest in pursuing magic. Then I have also met kids who were so intrigued by the fact that they were fooled by something so simple that it fostered an interest in the craft.

    The world is different today from the old "back room" days at the magic shop. We can never go back to that - nor would I want to.

    Personally I'm far more offended by other magicians ripping off and selling others signature pieces (Teller's rose effect for example) than I am with the general revelation of secrets.

    P.S. I thought your first voting option (Penn and Teller) was a bit "off" - they really don't reveal anything of significance. The vast majority of their "revelations" were of things they had made up or which were already widely know, They then proceeded to fool the hell out of you anyway!

  2. Terrific comment about your experience with secrets and how it can be a different experience for different personality types.

    Theft of intellectual property is a biggie for sure.

    I can see why the P&T reference seems off to you. What would you recommend as a better example?

    Thanks for commenting!