I know many of us belong to and regularly attend magic clubs. Personally, I enjoy most of the meetings and the Dick level at most clubs is fairly low, even though we must admit the government mandated minimum, I guess.
A few weeks ago, I was visiting a club and it was member performance night. To put it bluntly, many of them stunk up the room. A giant fart in a contained area. They got the requisite applause and encouragement from the other members.
I know it is damn tough to perform before other magicians, especially for the newbies, but are we doing them a disservice by encouraging terrible performances and choices of material.
I haven’t got an answer. Criticism can be so cruel, but at the same time I hate to let these people loose on the public, denigrating the word magic.
3 thoughts on “Are We Doing Them A Favor?”
Here’s my .02 worth.
I think it is important to encourage and applaud anyone (especially newbies) that will get up in front of other magicians and perform. However, I also think if the magic is bad (or could be better) then they (we) should be told in an encouraging and helpful way. I think this is a vital role of magic rings/assemblies/club. I’ve seen this in our IBM Ring and it is always done in a good way and no one has ever been upset. I mean, if I am doing something wrong or there is a way to improve, I want to know. Thanks I/M
if it stinks tell them it stimks.
but be nice 😉
I believe there is a way to frame criticism in a constructive manner. Our Magic Roundtable group meets monthly and one of our recurring topics is “Works in Progress” evenings. Here is an excerpt from this months invitation:
“On Thursday, June 29, we will be hosting another Works in Progress
evening at the CMR. This is an opportunity to share with the group an
effect that you have been working on and receive written constructive
feedback that can assist in making the routine more performance-ready.
If you have a performance piece that’s unfinished or in need of help,
please bring it along. Also bring a pen and some paper for writing
notes. See you soon!”
Not everyone who attends performs. But everyone is encouraged to write a note with suggestions for those who do perform. These can be very helpful to a performer who is just starting out or to a seasoned professional. The important thing is that the suggestions must be framed in a positive manner. WRONG: “Dude you flashed, you suck!” Right:” IM, watch your angles on the right side you were flashing a bit. I think a slight adjustment of your stance can prevent this. Please see me after the meeting and I will show you what I mean.” DM
If we say nothing and continue to applaud bad magic then we are all doomed!