I participate (well, mostly lurk) in many online magic forums where “magicians help magicians” (more on that later).
This morning, I responded to a request from someone looking for information on a particular effect. Now they weren’t looking for the “secret” to a particular trick, they were looking to gather information about various approaches. I made a specific recommendation and they followed up with a request to a “link” to the product I recommended. It only took a couple of moments out of my day to follow through with this and I felt like I was contributing something (small) to their magical education.
The individual then deleted the thread and made another post shortly after clarifying some details about the request (the same effect with different equipment options) and seeking more input. Another poster made a recommendation which was almost immediately for a request to “a link”. This seemed to go further than simply asking for recommendations into the realm of asking others to do research. I posted the following:
“You keep asking for others to provide you with links. I might recommend you acquaint yourself with google and try doing some of the research yourself. You might find some amazing things on your own…”
Was I a little snarky? Perhaps. I did get a private message from the original poster informing me that when he requests a link that the search has already been exhaustive, using google, youtube, “and many other things”. Of course, the time code on the thread reveals that the exhaustive search took less than twenty-two minutes.
I realize that there are many things that can be located on the internet in a very short time, but sometimes the journey needs to take time and one should not dismiss a version of an effect based on the advertising copy. If you are interested in a magical plot, follow through and purchase/learn related pieces to see whether or not the thinking behind it could be adapted to your needs. My recommendation to anyone interested in studying an effect is to gather and learn as many versions that are available and invest the time in determining whether the piece was right for you. If not, at least then you would have the deeper knowledge to allow you to create a version that would be yours…
There was no malice in my posting, it was a legitimate recommendation on the process of learning magic (or music, or art, or dance, etc.). There is no shortcut to mastering a piece, just investment of time and resources coupled with a commitment to exploration. Don’t rely on others to do the work for you.