TV and the internet are often times the only platform available for people to see magic. Yes there are thousands of magicians world wide unfortunately very few are out there performing for everyday people (the corporate market is where you will find most magicians these days and not everyone is a CEO or part of a Fortune 500). TV / Youtube is free and readily available. It’s great that everyone has access thanks to the World Wide Web. Unfortunately not every entertainer is honest in their presentations.
It’s no secret that many TV magicians have been busted by various means for using camera edits and stooge volunteers (paid actors). This technique gets the performer’s job done and checked signed by the TV producer however there is a damaging consequence that ripples through the consciousness of the population. TV/Internet is the only way many people get exposed to magic and many laymen form opinions and impressions based on what they see. Were you ever a fan of Lance Armstrong or Michael Phelps? How did you feel when you learned there was a doping scandal? Camera edits and stooged audience members is cheating.
Technology and magic has made a made from heaven. Technology has always been at the forefront of magic and magic creators have come a long way in creating illusions that look like something straight out of the movies. Unfortunately the industry hasn’t caught up on some things that TV can get away with – such as levitating out on the streets in a open air market. If you see it on TV there is a strong possibility that one of two things is going on ( I enter a spoiler alert and a trigger warning here) 1) The performer spent hours ahead of time rigging something that will allow him/her to float off the ground and the crew have spent hours keeping pedestrians away from said set-up. This is not likely ever the case because it is neither practical or cost effective so we move to probability number 2) The performer is hooked up to some kind of pully system, everyone around him/her is in on it and camera edits will be later used to cover up some dirty work. If you think there is nothing wrong with #2 – try being a professional entertainer getting consistently asked to do something that is physically impossible and having to let your fans and audiences down. It can seriously hinder the audience’s overall impression and respect.
Doing camera tricks is dishonesty if you are trying to sell yourself as a legitimate magician. Another form of dishonesty is coaching your volunteers to behave in a certain way post-illusion. Jibrizy is a Youtube magician who has just recently been busted on camera for coaching his volunteers to behave/react a certain way after he finishes a – you guessed it – a camera edited trick. Chris Ramsay who is a terrific performer and inventor went on a video rant calling Jibrizy out. Ramsay’s rant is what inspired me to write this. You can watch clips of that video and Ramsay’s rant here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-nITQUiYvw&feature=youtu.be
Anyone who performs often knows that audiences don’t always react the way you, the performer would expect. You can perform the same effect for 2 people and neither of them react the same way. TV performers like David Blaine and Darren Brown have to perform and film for hundreds of people until they get the response that looks good on TV. When performing one on one with someone you may find that some may laugh, some may cry, you may only get a nod or a clap of applause – you may not even any kind of reaction; maybe your personality didn’t line up with theirs, maybe they were in a hurry or maybe- just maybe they hate magicians (yes there are people who hate magicians, I personally have never ran into this type but I know from accounts with peers that they are out there and it has nothing to do with you).
I think I’m just blabbing at this point. You will never see a promotional video of me doing something that is not in my show.