The Truth About Magic on Youtube
November 22nd, 2016 by Jonah Babins
content, creation, future, tv, youtube
Magicians love to preach to other magicians NOT to learn magic on youtube. They love to tell them that the real lessons are in books, they love to tell them that it’s second hand magic and it’s not real, it’s editing.
Here’s the problem:
Youtube is the future and the present of where a massive percent of online learning is happening and we all know it!
We can either join in and make our mark by raising the bar of quality of content, or we can complain about it.
Before we talk about magic on Youtube we have to talk about magic EXPOSURE.
I think that non-generic exposures of existing marketed effects is awful and should be stopped (and get’s stopped pretty well right now), it has no place online, and often hurts the creator.
If you have a problem with someone teaching a trick that requires a double lift, thumb tip, cards with double stick tape, coins, rubber bands, basic card tricks, basic props, or any classics of magic. GOOD LUCK. That means you have to also have a problem with Penn and Teller’s clear cups and balls or “lift off”!
Here’s the situation:
There’s always a massive resource pool to go get your information and content. Once upon a time, all you could do is go to your local library or discover a local shop! But if you were interested in medieval times, quantum mechanics, piano, chess or anything else you would have to do the same thing.
Go to the library, or go to a specialized store or club.
Now…..welcome to 2016
If you have a question about anything? You don’t waste your life at a library – You GOOGLE IT
Wanna learn piano? – Google it!
Wanna learn chess?- Give it the Googz
Wanna learn about quantum mechanics? where do you go first? GOOGLE!
If the subject is more tactile or visual you might go to Youtube.
I even completed a math degree at a Queens University and still spent a massive chunk of my time learning math online on Youtube and Google!
It will never be 1990 again.
That’s great news! We all don’t have to waste our life away in a library to learn the first steps of something we’re not even sure we’re interested in. Instead we can do it from our pyjamas anytime anywhere for how long we want, as much depth as we want.
Enough about the ugly exposure let’s talk about…
Why Youtube is AMAZING!!!!
My last post was all about giving content creators in your niche the support they deserve. I think that as the cell phone and computer are doing to the TV, what the TV did to the radio. It’s time to take online videos seriously.
Because of the internet more and more people are going become content producers because it’s so easy to start.
With more creators and a lower barrier of entry, we get better overall content, because there’s more crop and therefore more cream of the crop.
For now, we’re in an interesting middle ground. There’s still a ton of room to grow, and plenty of space for something creative!
That’s where you and I come in.
I’ll show you what I mean:
Right now what do you think comes up when you search “world’s best magic trick” on Youtube?
Take a moment to think about it before I show you!
Okay here goes:
Of the First 20 searches here are some stats
Exactly 10 are Zack King Vine video compilations that are ripped off by other accounts.
Of the remaining 10:
2 are guys doing exactly what Zack King does
2 are “revealed” videos
1 a card trick
1 is a prank
1 is americas got talent
1 is a trick compilation (desk filmed style)
1 is a vlog of a 16 year old famous Youtuber with no magic in it
Amongst all 20:
6/20 of the photo thumbnails contain BODY MUTILATION.
Actually this trend goes on for a few pages. With more Zack King Ripoffs, more “revealed videos”, more pranks and more body mutilation!
So what does this tell us about Youtube and magic?
- Content is KING…Zach King. Zach King produces a crap ton of amazing content regularly. Because of that he’s rewarded with 50% of the search results when people search for the best magic tricks on youtube. By regularly creating content you do 2 things. You widen the amount that you exist on the internet, and you get better and making content. Keep at it, and you could be like Zack King.
- People Love Mutilations! I’m not exactly sure how this one helps us, but it’s true! People just want to click on videos of you doing something horrifying like cutting off your hand or finger.
- There’s SO MUCH room for growth. There’s room for variety, room for more great tricks, great performances, great ideas or anything!
That’s where you and I come in. We’re magicians with the same capabilities as any of the people that make videos did when they started.
Ghandi said: “Be the change you want to see in the world”
Here’s my approach for content creation on the internet:
“Make they type of content you want to see in the world!” – Jonah
(Yes, you can quote me on that. When you do include the Ghandi bit, it makes the quote richer)
For now, we’re stuck with scrolling through body mutilations to find great magic content on Youtube.
For that reason I decided to compile a list of the top 10 magic Youtubers that you might enjoy. I know I’ve enjoyed them, and I urge everybody to share, comment and engage in content that they want to see continue to exist online.
I’ll say that again on it’s own line so you remember it:
Engage in content that you want to see continue to exist online
I’ve included some information about them, and a video of theirs that might help you understand what they do. In no particular order:
1. Zach King
Zach made his fame originally on Vine, but as you read above, he’s moved his army of followers from vine over to Youtube and Instagram. His videos are made with the magic of editing, but there’s no doubt that it’s incredibly magical. Even if you know all about editing you’ll still be scratching your head as to how he did some of the things in the video. Truth is, I can’t talk that much about him since I’m sure you’ve heard of him, given his popularity. I recommend checking his content out. He does an amazing job!
(Do you think this should count as magic? Leave a comment below!)
2. Daniel Fernandez
Oh boy! Our friend Danny does an incredible job of making his mark as a magician of Youtube. It’s like Justin Flom, meets David Blaine, meets Simple Pickup.
He’s funny engaging, and does awesome magic with strangers and celebrities from all around the world. He’s a joy to watch, and it’s tough to watch one of his videos without smiling :p Highly recommended. You will see among the other top 10 that magicians like to spin what they do as spy or prank or picking up girls. This channel has quite a bit about picking up girls, but it’s highly entertaining (and awesome to see magic performed in a flirty way like Daniel does!)
3. Chris Ramsay
Relatively new on the youtube magic scene with under 100 videos but over 100,000 subscribers. His youtube videos are for US. Me and you, it’s for magicians. More than that, its funny, smart and entertaining too. This guy makes great youtube videos, they’re eye catching, they’re often funny, and they give me a ton of great ideas for magic. The one thing that Chris does perfectly is he understands exactly who his target market is: magicians. And he absolutely slays it!
4. Justin Flom
With the podcast episode that just came out we learned some of the ins and outs of how Justin acts on social media. His youtube videos are incredible magic videos that are often about his life. Recently it’s videos starting being about his wife pregnancy, but he’s got videos of him on your, of him performing for celebrities, and even just cool magic stuff and cool collectables. He’s a captivating person who is super easy to watch. I highly recommend his videos
5. Jay Sankey
You’ve probably heard the name Jay Sankey before. It might have been in a magic magazine, it might have been on youtube, on some major Facebook groups, or collaborating with a magician somewhere. Jay is famous for creating a buttload of magic. Once upon a time he was marketing new effects day after day, but it seems like he’s teaching hundreds of them for free on youtube every single day. As of writing this he’s released 6 videos in the last 10 days all teaching magic. Jay is a really smart guy and the effects that he’s teaching are most of the time more than usable, they’re actually excellent. We always say at discourse in magic that you don’t need to learn more magic methods, you need to be better at performance. Jay has enough methods and brilliant effects in his free youtube videos that you literally could make an entire career out of just using his free material.
Theres an OUTSTANDING amount of actual workable material here.
Here’s a video that inspired the shit out of me:
6. Scam School
Brian Brushwood over at Scam School does a perfect job of making a market where it didn’t exist. Brian put together a youtube channel all about scams and gags. With great specificity comes a great audience. He has over 1 million subscribers with videos about more scams then you knew existed. His videos are short, fun to watch, informative, and entertaining. Brushwood is a real name in the business of creating magic and scam content for youtube. Highly recommended really engaging videos
This is an example of one of the videos that gave me a ton to work with!
7. Rich Ferguson
Rich looks like one of the classic examples of a magic and pranks being mixed together. It’s exciting material to watch because if it’s magic, or if it’s a prank there are still awesome reactions. He’s got over 1 million subscribers and deserves it since he’s awesome and making exciting content to watch. While I personally don’t like ‘pranksters’ on youtube, these pranks seems fun and harmless. Most of the time it’s more like magic that is situational than it is a prank. I’d love to know what you think about the type of videos that Rich makes.
I’m personally not a fan of the prank stuff as much as the magic stuff. Here is one of his magic videos that has a ton of things you can totally use!
8. Eric Leclerc
A great friend of ours Eric Leclerc was one of the first people (other than Calen Morelli who has since deleted his channel) who has done a project 365 and released a video daily for a year.
Every day he made a video. Most days have magic in the episodes but they were all fun and entertaining. It was awesome to actually follow it and be part of filming a few. Eric is a character made for television (he’s been on 2+ shows!) So it’s no surprise that he’s done an epic job with 365+ videos on youtube. Some of them are brilliant. It’s a huge reason why he’s gotten such great TV spots!
Or heck, fuck youtube and watch him on YTV at 7:30 PM every night
9. Stuart Edge
A great combination of magic, pranks, pickup and just vlog style Youtube. Stuart is a great character, very funny, and makes fun videos to watch. Stuart is the perfect example that to be a great magician you do not need to know every trick in the book. All you have to do is make sure that you have magic that you’re good at. I’m thankful that someone like Stuart has had more time creating hilarious magic videos collaborating with magic Youtubers and others and making me laugh, then if he had a 17th handling of an ace assembly. Get what I’m saying?
10. The Magic of Rahat
What once again looks like a combination of magic and pranks we have The Magic of Rahat. He has over 4 million subscribers, and his videos regularly cross the 1 and 2 million views mark, and they are fun! I like the magic style of pranks, where what it really is is magic at opportune times. It’s presented by penguin magic. (Who now has the market cornered between the top magic videos on Youtube and the top on Facebook (Rick Lax). Not only are the videos fun to watch, but they sometimes fool the absolute pants off of me.
Even if everyone is a stooge, which I don’t think they are, I still don’t know how this trick works:
Anyways. There are some top notch channels online for magic for you to engage in
Do you like Cardistry? Youtube was made for that
Do you like prank magic? You’re in luck!
Do you like using magic to be better with women? Great news
Do you like new releases? Follow Theory11, Ellusionist, Vanishing Inc, Art of Magic… you know the drill
Some areas haven’t found their footing on youtube yet:
There are some areas like: Comedy magic channels, charity magic channels, stage magic channels, Female magician Vloggers, or anything you think of!
That is where you and I come in!
We’ve already started to make our mark on Youtube
It would mean the world if you would check out some of the videos. Or subscribe to help us reach more people!