Episode 142 is a new take on the catch-up episodes. In the first half, Jonah is addressing a topic in the magic community which has been a part of many recent discussions: Magic exposure online. In the second half, he sits down with his writer and editor, Jacque Swan, to discuss magic in Toronto and behind the scenes of the podcast.
Discourse in Magic has always vouched for being positive about the future. As the internet changes the way we interact and share content with each other, Jonah believes that we need to take a “yes and” approach to magic online. To him, it is not rational to believe that we can completely stop magic from being exposed online. The logical approach would be to embrace technology and help establish how secrets are shared online.
What Shouldn’t be Exposed
It should go without saying that you shouldn’t be exposing tricks someone else has published. That is their livelihood and their reputation that is being exposed alongside their effect. However, there are tricks that may be considered “public domain” due to the number of times they have been taught. The French Drop, the salt shaker through the table, these are simple tricks that people learn as kids that may spark someone’s interest in magic.
Young People Paying Their Dues
The internet, like the library or your local magic store, has become another resource for people to use to learn and further their magic. To claim that young people are not struggling to find and learn secrets is inaccurate; they still need to watch hours upon hours of video to even begin to understand magic much in the same way previous generations had to read dozens of books. If you speak to a young person in magic, you will find that they are knowledgeable about their field and have been putting in the effort; they just happen to be excelling at a faster rate than what was previously possible.
Your Magic Online
People fear the idea that their magic is going to be exposed online. They’re afraid that after their performance people will pull out their phones and Google the method for the effect. Yes. This will, unfortunately, happen every once in a while, but the response to this should not be “magic shouldn’t be shown online,” it should be “how can I make my magic un-Googleable?” Jonah refers to the article by the Jerx for ideas on how to elevate your magic beyond search terms. We should be trying to elevate our magic beyond the standard fair rather than trying to fight against something we cannot stop.
The Nuance of Magic Online
We shouldn’t be saying “magic shouldn’t be online” because, unfortunately, it is going to be exposed. It is going to be exposed by performers, by the very people selling magic, and by people who have no business in magic. So, we should be asking how we can take control of how magic is being distributed online. What can be exposed? What shouldn’t be exposed? Who are the teachers we should be directing people to? We should be encouraging people towards the correct resources rather than demonizing the whole concept of magic online.
Jacque Swan, the writer and editor for the podcast, sits down with Jonah for the second half to discuss magic in Toronto and behind the scenes of the podcast. Jacque has only recently joined the Toronto magic scene, but she has been coming in and out of learning magic since she was five years old. She didn’t learn there was a magic community until she stepped foot in Browers Den of Magic four years ago. When she’s not spending her time learning/watching magic, she’s a freelance writer who is attending school for Broadcast-Television Production.
Women in Magic
The two briefly discuss Jacque’s experience as a female in the Toronto magic community. She highlights how accommodating most of the magicians have been to helping her find solutions and how welcoming they have been. Continuing from this idea, she explains how she likes that people are treating her like “one of the boys” rather than an outsider who could be potentially scared off.
Felice Ling, part-time performer from Boston, recently performed on Newest Trick and blew away everyone in attendance with her performance. Jonah came up with a new term for what she did–Magic Foreplay–as she interspersed little effects throughout her prediction routine; from beginning to end, Felice captivated the audience.
Young People in Magic
Jonah wanted to recognize that there have been a lot of young people coming out to TMC shows and going to the magic shop; he also wants to recognize that the Toronto magic community has really stepped up to help them learn. He highlights two kids in particular who demonstrate why we should be inviting young people into magic rather than pushing them away.
Behind the Scenes
Jacque explains that the audience only loses out on about 10% of the conversation. She mainly removes long pauses, “ums” and tangents that stray too far from the original point. You may lose some gems, but they are necessary to strengthen the episodes.
What are your top episodes?
Having consumed so much magic in the past year, what advice do you have?
Jacque: Do what feels right for you. Learn the basics and the fundamentals, but from there, perform what feels right for you.