I hopped on a Zoom call with Ben Earl and some other magicians recently.
(This call was designed as a way to kick back and ‘chat magic’ for a while.)
One of the topics that came up was ‘books vs videos’, and I found Ben’s controversial stance on this very interesting…
In essence, Ben believes that by providing people with a video performance to accompany the book, you remove their ability to think for themselves and find a way to make the effect their own.
Instead, you just create clones of whoever it is performing on the video tutorial.
Most people don’t like thinking for themselves. They prefer to just ‘plug in’ someone else’s routines, performance style, and patter (sometimes when it doesn’t even make sense!).
But when you simply write the tutorial in book format, you encourage them to imagine in their mind how they think it should be performed—creating a unique image and artistic vision that will do a lot more good for them in the long run than simply copying another magician’s performance.
Indeed, someone even quoted Jamy Swiss’ line that “books = education, but videos = imitation.”
While I don’t really have a dog in this fight, I found it a pretty interesting discussion.
Let me know which side of the camp you fall on.
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