Exposed and Accessible
by Kevin Gallagher

On every magic forum that I have ever experienced, the issue of magic exposure and accessibility is always soon to be featured and so it was with Tony Griffiths article which raised some good points. I have to say however, that I find it of little concern. By its very nature Magic, will always suffer from a degree of exposure but I don't think that this is an altogether bad thing. 

People can walk into Woolworths and buy a bazooka so that they can immediately enjoy making music but that will be of no concern to an accomplished musician. People can go out and buy a book of jokes but the likes of Jasper Carrott are hardly going to quake in their boots. A three ball juggle appears difficult but is a surprisingly easy thing to master if the 'secret' is explained and it can be attained relatively quickly. This does not mean that the likes of our beloved Sabrina and Geraldy Kil will be any less enjoyed or admired. It does mean of course that someone who has an act based on a three ball tumble will find themselves in a difficult to maintain position.

Svengali decks, thumb tips, miniature linking rings, fake card packet tricks, the Tenyo range and an increasing number of magical apparatus are available in many stores, including Boots the Chemists, with the Marvin Berglas stuff. Several hobbyists will use these at house parties and the like but so what?! Come the time that a 'real' magician is working close by, these are exactly the people, with a casual interest in magic, who will turn up to watch.

Anyone who is dependent on a Svengali deck for close-up magic or who cannot think of a use for a thumb tip beyond vanishing a silk is little better than someone who makes the occasional visit their local novelty shop anyway. Magic tricks are not the be-all-and-end-all of magic, they are simply the vehicle. I am still happy to sit and watch a linking ring routine if performed appreciatively well come to that, I would gladly drive a hundred mile round trip to watch the likes of David Williamson perform my own act. The only thing that does gets up my nose is exposure for exposures sake though even that to an extent forces magic to a higher plane if the professional is to keep his feet dry which cannot be all bad. 

Do what you do well and know in your own mind that you have invested enough of yourself into what you do and you need have no worries.


Kevin Gallagher August 2000