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Postby MagicIain » Wed Nov 22, 2006 12:52 pm



Required reading because we all want to be one of the "Big Boys."

Don't we?

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Postby Airamas » Wed Dec 06, 2006 1:55 pm

Well Mr. Browning: There are those on this site that feel we are kindred spirits and based so far on what I have read in this post I would have to agree.

Truth be told I have been privy to your writings in Visions for quite some time and have found them insightful, educational, and practical.

To those who would think you arrogant I would just say that it's not arrogant if it's true.

The issue of the post seems to be more of a pay your dues kind of theme rather than a stifling of creativity.

To those who would create by all means do so but as Mr. Browing points out don't be surprised if what you think is original has in fact been thought of before.

I would also like to eco Mr. Brownings view on time in magic. We all know that in life with time comes wisdom so why is it elitist to be secure in ones time in magic?

Gentleman. knowledge is power and the testaments here should be viewed as enlightenment not as ego.

In and among the big boys there is little jostling for position more an understanding of hey your good I'm good and we both have our fans so lets talk magic.

I think the same is true on this site just remember that traditionally the more experienced magician would take the APPRENTICE under his wing but only after first deterring there worth to the MENTOR in terms of commitment.

Thanks for reading.

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Postby MagicIain » Thu Dec 07, 2006 10:20 am

Can I take this opportunity to thank the Bigger Boys for sharing an insight into their world with us smaller boys who do magic because we merely enjoy it.

What a revelation.

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Postby seige » Thu Dec 07, 2006 11:34 am

I sure hope to attain 'big boy' status one day—although sadly I doubt it!

Full respect goes out to the 'learned'. But even they are pupils in some respects, as life is one big lesson... and every day we can learn from each other, whatever position you are on the ladder.

Suffice to say, nobody can ever call themselves a 'master' and believe 'they know it all'... but there's a certain sense of awe about some people which makes me feel like I am in the presence of greatness... and it's great that these people are contributors to TalkMagic.

Special? Very. In fact, although many of us sarcastically jibe the likes of Craig, it's more through jealousy than any form of animosity. Without the 'Big Boys' here, the rest of us 'mortals' have no sense of scale, proportion or value. We don't see beyond our own bubble.

The value of such wisdom, such knowledge and such experience should never be under-rated. For example, for those of you who think Mark Lewis is arrogant and rude, try reading and learning his material... for sure, if I could pull off a tenth of what these guys do, I'd be (even more) obnoxious and egotistical.

I think what I'm trying to say is that no matter how far we think we've come, how much we think we deserve 'the badge', we can all take a big chunk of swallowed pride and LISTEN for a change.

In fact, it's going to be my New Year Resolution...

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Postby IAIN » Thu Dec 07, 2006 11:58 am

huh? what did you say seige?

Here's a little something i have experienced...

Quite a while ago now, i e-mailed a big named magic-fella on a particular subject. And to my amazement, he replied back, and was thoroughly decent and pleasant....and that made my day/week/month...

the fact that someone so big and has contributed so much to magic would take the time to reply to me...

anyway, i ended up bothering him again, and found him to be very friendly, offered advice, and we even started to share a couple of ideas - he was even kind enough to give me free feedback on some of my ideas...and in return i was more than happy to help him out with a couple of things in my own way....

my point is - he will go down in history as a massive contributor to magic, and also as a very nice fella...dont interpret what i've said as we are somehow friends...we're not...but to even correspond for a little while inspired me a great deal...

here was someone taking time out to encourage me for no ego gain whatsoever, just doing it i suppose - out of the love for magic...

and more importantly, showed me that some of the big boys are pleasant, inspiring, friendly and most importantly,can treat us lesser mortals with respect and encouragement...

as for the reverend lewis - i've got his palmistry and tarot dvds, and i can honestly say they've helped me no end with those skills/arts...thoroughly straight forward in its teaching,with a heavy dose of blunt honesty, yet still respectful...and personally speaking when he's on here, i find him rather funny...

i know i'll never be a big boy in the magical sense...though my underpants say XL :oops: but i thoroughly love magic, in all its forms, i especially enjoy the ideas and plots of it all....that what makes it addictive for me...and why i won't stop... :idea:

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Postby Charles Calthrop » Thu Dec 07, 2006 12:54 pm

This is making me a bit queasy.
Is there not a danger that when people start thinking of themselves as 'big boys' that smugness and self-satisfaction can creep into their dealings with people who they don't see as'special'? People with differing opinions, for instance?

What you call heroism is just an expression of this fact; there is never a scarcity of idiots
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Postby Craig Browning » Thu Dec 07, 2006 3:15 pm

Charles Calthrop wrote:This is making me a bit queasy.
Is there not a danger that when people start thinking of themselves as 'big boys' that smugness and self-satisfaction can creep into their dealings with people who they don't see as'special'? People with differing opinions, for instance?


Yes... ask Max Maven.

In the 1980s I believe it was, Max made a comment in MAGIC about how the "pros" need to stick to their own and leave the wannabes to them selves. It created an amazing stir within the force... that is UNTIL the wannabes started waking up to smell the coffee and understanding what Max was talking about.

I can't count the number of folks on these forums that would argue with me (or even Bro. Lewis) till they were blue in the face (I believe one or two may be here in fact) only to digest a hint of crow some months or years later, admitting that we were right in what we brought out and why they came to that conclusion... Hell, Mark and I use to raise so much rukkus between ourselves you'd think the world was about to end. Yet, we do have some serious respect for one another ( :roll: I think)

When I talk about "Big Boys" I am talking about those iconic personalities most of us look up to like Kenton, Luke, Banachek, etc. These or individuals with recognizable names and material a huge chunk of the community clamours over, dreaming that some day they might be able to do the same thing... failing to realize that they really could right now, if they'd just get off their duff and change their priorities a bit.

Several years ago, just before the turn of the Mellinnium, I met this very shy and backward kid on line who, like so many, loved NLP and the Power of Suggestion... unlike most that tell me this, this kid had something; a mind that was a bit beyond the norm for a 17-18 year old (or 40 year old for that matter). He was impressing the heck out of several key players in the biz and with our encouragement he finally took the big steps to become published and to become establshed as a personality. Now he's fielding multi-million dollar offers.

I bring up this particular story in that it is just one of many examples out there where I come down from my ricketty throne and humble myself enough to care about, encourage and guide you mere mortals (rim shot goes here).

No, the truth of the matter is "we are all healers, teachers, and students..." as it says in A Course in Miracles. This is a very firm belief of mine though I do recognize that there are those far more learned and advanced than I am and vice versa. I know enough from experience and the willingness to see things, to know that what I share is more than 90% accurate most of the time even though it is a "truth" many hate to hear or deal with. But then I really don't care that "they" don't want to hear it or deal with it, simply because I know that there will be one or two shy, backward kids with these amazing minds that will read or hear what I've said and it will strike a chord with them. Not to be arrogant or smug or demeaning or anything but I'll take any dozen kids like that one any day of the week... the first kid I was talking about is known to most of you today as Luke Jermay. :wink:

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Postby B0bbY_CaT » Sun Dec 10, 2006 12:07 pm

knowledge is not necessarily arrogance, although a lack of it can sometomes be considered ignorance. how one deliver's that knowledge can "sometimes" be considered arrogant, usually (but not always) by the ignorant. of course one could argue, being arrogant to the ignorant is of itself quite ignorant.

i found the essay quite an interesting read, albeit very much from one perspective. mind you we all tend to look at things according to how they effect us so that's fine.

i cant help wonder what some other "big boys" of magic think about this topic. unfortunately it is not as easy to get their opinions on this forum. i read 2 interesting books by Banachek recently. he goes to a lot of trouble to care for his craft, spends as much time explaining why he sells a routine to the public as he does explaining it.

seems a "big boy" like Banachek has nothing but good things to say about "new" performers like 24 year old Wayne Houchin. mind you WH's work is typically very well presented. 24 is relatively young, but perhaps he's been at it longer than we know ;)

i dont think a definitive time line for "paying one's dues" or earning "one's stripes" is appropriate. you're either ready or you're not. the amount of market research you do can help dramatically, but you can still be successful without it... not easy... but not impossible.

if you do make it to the top, if you create and invent and inspire, by whatever means, whether you do it quickly, take 10 years to become an "overnite sensation" or rise to greatness over your lifetime, just remember that when a great person shows humility, they usually only go up in most people's estimation.

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Postby Craig Browning » Sun Dec 10, 2006 2:38 pm

And lo, we have another expert that has complete missed the point by looking at the exceptions vs. the rule... Wayne Houchin, who I've even given big kudos to via my Visions column, is an exception not the rule. This is true with a myriad of others out there; magic must have its "young bloods"

But with an attitude such as we see here in BobbyCat's post, we can also see where far too many folks justify a kind of haphazardness in things.

I have watched far too many poor little rich kids get into magic, have Mom & Pops buy them a $100,000.00 John Gaughan Magic Kit and the $50,000.00 really slick demo video (shot in a nice theater and edited by top in Hollywood promotionalists) and of course the slick Press Kits that cost about $75.00 each once you include all the frills in the packaging, contents, spiffs & premiums, etc. I've watched this kind of scenario play out time and again in this industry and in each scenario, the kid in question fall flat on his face though he/she's done Vegas, etc.

You see, EVERYTHING can be purchased in today's world, including your name recognition and the illusion of being a successful celebrity. Many of these johnnycomelately types fit the aforementioned mold and have four-walled most of their dates then used mass-marketing methods in order to sell the gig. In a lot of instances this kids have a load of "friends" from similar backgrounds as they, who clamour and act like they are fantastic (especially in front of cameras) and who deliberately talk about them as socials, mixers, etc. so as to build their name recognition (it's called "Branding")

Yet, you have the Wayne Houchin and Steve Dela types that have busted their chops in their youth, who are winning awards, etc. and having to fight in order to climb the proverbial ladder.

Our overtly commercialized world and willingness to buy into it, all too frequently prevents genuine talent from meeting up with stardom while street punks that can barely speak clearly (because they're too stoned), can become international stars simply because they find a financial backer as a matter of happenstance or tenacity.

"Being Ready" isn't a cut & dry process but when maturity meets up with talent and creativity doors can be opened and rightfully so. For most who find long term success, it is merely a series of little doors that get opened here and there vs. some kind of purchased flood gate. :wink:

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Postby B0bbY_CaT » Mon Dec 11, 2006 12:18 am

i dont think a definitive time line for "paying one's dues" or earning "one's stripes" is appropriate. you're either ready or you're not. the amount of market research you do can help dramatically, but you can still be successful without it... not easy... but not impossible.

if you do make it to the top, if you create and invent and inspire, by whatever means, whether you do it quickly, take 10 years to become an "overnite sensation" or rise to greatness over your lifetime, just remember that when a great person shows humility, they usually only go up in most people's estimation.

Wayne Houchin is a very good example. the public's "perception" is he has been "at it" for a short time when in actual fact he's been "at it" much longer. certainly he does not hide the fact that he puts much thought and effort into his work, so far he's only released 3 tricks... he has much yet to achieve but he's well on his way. Banachek appears to be another example of someone who takes great pride in the thoroughness of his work when he releases it. he has certainly succeeded in the longivity department, and in my opinion he has succeeded in terms of content and contribution to his craft as well.

i am particularly impressed by the humility of Banachek when i hear him discuss other performers. in many cases he has made significant contributions to their careers, yet he prefers to make any subsequent discussion more about "them" and less about "him".

a significant amount of talent, a great deal of care for one's craft, combined with a sincere humility when discussing it, is an excellent combination.

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Postby Salt » Sun May 20, 2007 11:09 pm

He he he... All I can say is look out for those 14/15 year olds. You aren't even gonna see it coming.

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Postby trashmanf » Fri May 25, 2007 9:31 pm

I am a new member here and new to magic as well.

But let me see if I can draw an analogy to something I've been doing for a while: playing poker!

In poker, a 15 year old kid can sit down at a table with pros and have just as good of a chance at beating them, depending on how well they play.

I believe that in magic, one should be given the benefit of the doubt, and just because they are new on the scene, their efforts should not be discounted.

You wrote last page:

In fact, few extend any sense of genuine respect to those that publish eBooks (a lesson I've learned of late) because they still are not viewed as being a "quality" product but rather, a masturbative excercise for most.

Each trick release or "e-book" should be taken on it's own merits, not categorically vilified due to it's inherent "masturbative" qualities (or lack thereof in your opinion)


Slowly but surely, we are seeing the end of the written word.

----- I just read this line in the April 2007 "Genii" magazine; I assume from your posts that you consider the editor in chief one of the "big boys", no?

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Postby Michael Kras » Sun May 27, 2007 1:27 am

Fabulous essay Craig. Really got me thinking!

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Postby monker59 » Mon May 28, 2007 11:43 pm

Not to be a downer, Mike, but I hoped it would have been the one of the first things you read on the forum. I'm glad that you've read it now, though.

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Postby WorldOfNoReality » Tue Jul 17, 2007 7:13 am

For some reason our world has suddenly become inundated with a plethora of genus types; 14 and 15 year old kids that have been studying magic the past two to maybe five years, that think they are read enough and experienced enough to not just write and produce a book, but ask outrageous money for an electronic download of it


Well I'm not 14 or 15, I'm 17. I'd just like to point out that the quoted paragraph really stood out in my mind. I've been doing magic for over 5 years, not a long time compared to many on here. I'd also like to agree with you on saying that they think they're experienced enough to write books and demand large sums of money for them. I've invented my own tricks, each successful but I'm not planning to write them in a book or eBook and sell them.

In fact, few extend any sense of genuine respect to those that publish eBooks (a lesson I've learned of late) because they still are not viewed as being a "quality" product but rather, a masturbative excercise for most.


eBooks have been a large source for my learning. There's Expert at the card table eBook and many others. Those that publish eBooks should be praised. They're not viewed as a quality product since they're seen to some as "a cheap little downloadable thingy by some geek". In actuality, they're cheap in cost for those viewing but they are amazing. Those who want to spend $50 on magic books, go ahead. I'll print out the same stuff for the price of the paper and put it in a binder or folder. If it gets damaged, print off a sheet. Damage your $50 book, get tape and start weeping.

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