I have amazing students. They study, think for themselves, read, watch videos, and ask thoughtful questions. They choose to become real students, and honestly learn.
When I was young, I did the same thing. For a long time. I had teachers for illusions, for close-up, for hypnosis and mentalism. I stayed and learned from them for decades. I was fortunate enough to study with some names in magic, and I did not take that lightly.
Flash forward to today. Today, I teach, as well as continue to learn. Besides my committed students, who are in my memberships or do private one on one lesson work with me, I am barraged by others. What do they want to know?
You know, not much. Just the usual. "How do I do what Criss Angel does?" "How do I do Derren Brown's trick?"
That isn't so uncommon. Lots of kids ask silly questions when they are young and wanting to learn. It's a little annoying that people in their 30s, 40s and 50s are asking such questions, but if they are beginning, well, I understand.
Here's what I don't understand, outside of pure laziness. Most of what I get from would-be performers are questions and comments such as, "I saw you do a certain mental trick. I don't have any money to pay you, I am saving up for a video game, so can you just tell me how you do it? I want to do it too."
Or how about these:
"I watched you do something and I want to do it. I know you sell it on your teaching website, but can you just tell me what it is? I am thinking of performing it."
"You did a trick I like and I want to know how to do it." "Sure, here's a link to buy that lesson from my website." "I don't want to buy it. Can't you just tell me?"
In a word, NO.
Why not? Because my teaching isn't about learning a simple secret any goofball can do. I teach magic and mentalism to people who want to learn things far beyond what they get sold to them everyday. I teach people work from my real world experience. I didn't spend the last 50 years in performance just to give you part of my life for no good reason other than, "But I want it!"
If you are sincere, you can learn a great deal from me. You will learn secrets that have impressed and fooled magicians and mentalists around the world. You can learn the true secrets that others are watering down and reselling to you piece by piece in magic shops online for too much money. You can get the original work others copy and teach only partially right.
Let's say you decide to spend the next 50 years, oh I don't know, playing video games. After 50 years, a kid comes up and says, "Just tell me all the codes so I can win. I like that you always win, and I know this has become a way for you to make your living on youtube now, but just tell me your secrets. I don't have time to waste working at it myself. Just give me."
I will just tell you all the secrets you are ready for: Go to youtube and go get all the free stuff. You'll learn some things for real. You'll learn a lot of crap and try to do things that people will laugh at you for when you perform what you saw for free, but hey, all you wasted is your time. You might suck at what you do when you perform, but that's okay. You weren't being serious anyway.
I once had a student who, at the time, said he no longer wanted to be my student because he didn't want to take magic seriously. He just wanted to go out and get paid to be a magician. I asked him what his father did for a living. His father was a surgeon. I said I hoped that his father didn't have the same approach to what he was hiring himself out to do. I didn't want to be worked on by a surgeon who didn't want to do the "hard work of learning" just to hire himself out and get paid to be a surgeon. Since that time, that student became a real student of magic and mentalism, and is a working performer.
This is about the time people say to me "magic and mentalism isn't surgery though." Well, my students and I beg to differ.
True, many new would-be performers are putting bandages on and saying they are surgeons of the Mystery Arts.
My students and I know that what we do will not only impress people, but change their lives too. We know magic and mentalism as actual powers and we use them wisely. We transform people when we perform, even though most people are not aware of this truth. No, most teachers cannot, or will not, teach you that. I will, and do. But I can do that only for students who are earnest and dedicated. This doesn't happen for free overnight, sorry.
So no, you probably are not ready to learn anything from me, if you want me to "just tell you" how something is done. I do hope though that you soon progress from that way of learning to one of more real education.
If you are making a name for yourself, then please treat your study with the respect that you are insisting others give to you. If you command or demand respect, then give that respect to your study of the magical and mental arts. Really, is that so much to ask? If so, please do us all a favor and do not advertise yourself as a magician or mentalist.
I can tell you one thing you can learn from me for free:
If you learn discount material online, you will be a discount performer. If you learn half-truths about tricks, you will be a half-assed performer. If you are a dedicated student, you will be a dedicated performer.
There, I told you.
The rest, you can learn when you are ready.
I look forward to working with you then.
Oh, and just in case you came here hoping to get something for nothing, see a little something attached as a download. You'll probably think you already know it, but there you go anyway. Enjoy.