Uncomfortable Truths and How You May Play a Part in Big Exposures
Warning! What follows are hard realities and facts that might make you squirm, debate, knee-jerk react, and justify.
Proceed with a compassionate mind.
Recently many people were very upset that some of the basics of mentalism were being shared freely on a video channel.
One person asked, "Who is this clown? Why does he expose secrets? Just for clickbait? Sad!"
I was shocked. I was shocked because this person had no idea that the exposer was a huge name in magic, and had created or innovated more effects than most people ever will in one lifetime.
So why did such a big name in magic expose all sorts of mentalism secrets?
The answer is simple. Money.
How dare he! We are all outraged!
Yes, of course. We can see his part in the problem.
But what is our part?
"Kenton how dare YOU! We don't have a part at all. It's all this clown and his exposures! We are against it!"
Yes, and no.
The real groundbreakers and the truly creative people in mentalism and magic don't make much money from it. They don't want me to tell you that, but it's true. Those who rename the original hard creative work and claim it as their own, those people make a lot more money. People who completely take principles, tricks, and secrets from books, and put them on videos online, claiming to have created those ideas themselves, those people make even more money.
So the originators and creators get very little for their actual original ideas. Those who repackage the original ideas get paid a lot more. What are the original innovators and creators supposed to do to support their family? They won't steal, and they won't claim what isn't theirs. The originators have to scrap and scrape to get a little poor sum of money, while those who steal from them are raking in the real money.
Think not? Where did you last buy a Pen Thru Anything? Did you ever buy Cell Phone in Balloon? Who did you pay for your Zig-Zag illusion? Who did you buy your Appearing Pole from, or your metal blindfold?
If you didn't know that the basics of these came from John Cornelius, Kenton Knepper, Robert Harbin, Danny Sylvester, or Malcolm Davison, you paid someone else, not the creator, for the main idea, principle or prop.
When a big name innovator and creator resorts to exposure to get clicks on YouTube, there is a very real reason... and we all play a part in it. That reason is that buyers are not paying him or her for their original works. A creator then must resort to whatever it takes to make money to take care of his family.
When people say, "But those big names have plenty of money, I am poor and I am not hurting them at all by taking from them" they really have no idea of the reality. It might be comforting to excuse their own behavior to themselves that way, but it is not at all the truth. The truth is, we are paying copycats, thieves, uncreative, marketing-oriented people, for the hard original work of others. The originals are not making bank. They often are not even making rent. Why? Because the originators are not being supported, the copycats are.
Here is the bottom line and how you can stop much meaningless exposure: Support the originators, creators and teachers of mentalism and magic. When they can pay some of their bills from all of their hard work for you, they won't have to stoop so low as to do anything it takes to just barely survive.
I will tell you something else that other names in mentalism and magic don't want you to know. Much of what you are buying from some of the names in mentalism today isn't theirs at all. Much of what they sell you are tricks from others that they used to sell in magic shops, back in the days when they worked in magic shops. They figure that you are not educated enough to know the tricks from the 1970s and 1980s that were popular, so they are remaking them and slapping their own names on these tricks. You are telling these people that they are brilliant creators, and you send them much of your money. They are laughing all the way to the bank. They read and listen to originators, then republish things as their own ideas. I have seen more principles from Wonder Words and my books taught as "new" ideas from "creators" and "teachers" who mentalists make wildly popular, paying them more than I will ever see from Wonder Words. Wonder Words is simply one example. There are plenty of others.
As long as you do not read, refuse to learn anything but tricks, and not know mentalism or magical history at all, you will be scammed by non-creative people into paying them with money, love, attention, and publicity... while the originators can't pay to take care of their basic needs.
That is the truth. Most can't afford to expose themselves enough to tell you the situation for real. Others are too busy reeling in the big money from small minds who don't know that they are not really the creators.
That is why a few big names in creativity of mentalism and magic are on YouTube and elsewhere exposing old principles and going for clickbait. They have to do so in a last-ditch effort to support their families.
No one wants to tell you the truth. They think it is sad, and they are afraid that this reality be exposed will hurt them even more. I am telling you the truth, because someone has to stand up and do so.
What you can do to change exposure is simple.
Start TODAY to reward creators, innovators and teachers of mentalism and magic with your money, not merely with your words.
Learn enough so that you support the true creators and originators, not just the pirates, copycats and non-creatives.
Buy directly from the websites of the real creators and teachers of mentalism and magic.
What you do, or refuse to do, makes a huge difference in what sort of things get exposed by names in mentalism and magic. You can be outraged, and keep getting fooled by throwing money at non-creatives, or support those who have supported magic and mentalism their entire lives. Some of those people may not be the people you think. Learn enough to know better, and then support the true originators.
It is sad to me to see people that I know and have worked with, who are among the most innovative people in magic and mentalism, have to resort to cheap clickbait sensationalism, just to get paid for their original hard work.
Many mentalists and magicians today are like the people who watch The Kardashians and click on all the news about them, while complaining about the stupidity of what is on television, like The Kardashians.
What you are doing, right now, makes a difference... a big one.
If you want things to change, you have to be the person who makes the change today, by supporting with actual money, not just words, the true creators, innovators, and teachers of mentalism and magic, rather than the Kardashians of the Mystery Arts.
There, I said it. Someone had to do it.