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Old 01-19-2010, 11:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Magicians Oath

Below is an updated magicians oath from The Society of American Magicians.

Please honor and abide by it as it is one of our own adopted rules as well.

This is the oath, revised and approved in the October, 2008 National Council Meeting, that all members must swear to as a condition of membership:
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If accepted, I agree to elevate the art of magic, abide by the constitution, by-laws, code of ethics and rituals of The Society of American Magicians. I will cooperate with the Society in the promotion of its objectives, promote harmony and advance the ethics of the profession.

I will not condone the dissemination of trade secrets and principles related to magicians or magic effects with no effort or expectation by the recipient to obtain or acquire the information. I will not expose the secrets and principles of magic, nor will I support those who do. I will not copy, imitate, manufacture or sell the materials, ideas, principles, trade secrets or presentations of others without consent.

I will treat all my fellow compeers and all magicians with respect, encouraging fellowship, unity and cooperation.
The Society Of American Magicians

The original magicians oath:
Quote:
As a magician I promise never to reveal the secret of any illusion to a non-magician, unless that one swears to uphold the Magician's Oath in turn. I promise never to perform any illusion for any non-magician without first practicing the effect until I can perform it well enough to maintain the illusion of magic.
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Last edited by Alex; 02-23-2013 at 12:48 AM.
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Old 01-23-2010, 08:34 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It's not as snappy and sounds more like legalise. Me no like

But good post
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Old 03-12-2010, 11:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I like the older oath much better.
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Old 03-19-2010, 04:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I actually like this oath, because it covers the copying of other magician's presentation like when you watch a dvd and before the explanation whan you see the performance, I have seen many people do it and it disgusts me!
Even though I possibly won't even try to learn this by heart as I did with the older one, I Like.
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Old 07-08-2010, 06:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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yeah i dont like the new oath either. but this is a huge debate worthy of its own thread. for example in the uk we had this:
The disappearing act: Four who broke the code are excluded from Magic Circle - This Britain, UK - The Independent
now i remember seeing this program as a layman, it totally fooled me, and also intrigued me and encouraged my interest in magic, i think in retrospect it was a good thing for magic. im not so sure about that masked guy

the thing is its only a trick, the easiest and most well know tricks can have any audience in the palm of your hand if you know how to present them

so does this mean as magicians we should respect each others presentations? well, presentation is not magic, there are no secrets, and in other arenas the copy of presentation, whilst not exactly popular with originators, is widely practiced (think bout the different versions of chitty chitty bang bang, or the walking man statue (ive met 3 people who claim to be the originator of that one)) As a young street performer i was told by and old hand "you copy anything you want, except name and costume" (devilstick pete) what this means is that the jokes, the techniques, the skits and the tricks can all be imitated, but its your presence and personality that is your own.

If you have no onstage persona, and are simply copying someone elses, the audience will spot it immediately and it wont work, unless you have put real effort into the imitation so that it becomes a performance in itself.

As magicians we all use a lot of the same technical material, the DL, the OHTP etc, in our own ways for our own plots, and we use a lot of the same jokes, because of this weird patter phenomenon. But in order to function successfully we all integrate this into our own styles, or die on our ass trying.

Think how many people do Gazzo's cups and balls? with Gazzos lines?


who 'owns' that anyway?

what im trying to get at here is that the whole of culture is built by taking what came before and copy/adapting it for present time, the whole question of who own what idea is a modern obsession (copyleft magic books anyone?) but as magicians we are concerned with keeping a certain set of data private from anyone who does not actually perform magic, because they dont need to know. I totally support this, but dont think we need to add extra rules to make sure everyone only uses completely original thoughts. I dont, Im very grateful to many people for sharing their knowledge and i treat it with respect, but i use it for my own ends, otherwise why share?

magic is a weird closed gift economy. a meritocracy? :p

woa, what a monster!

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Old 06-02-2011, 05:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I've always loved the magician's oath. I just wish it was more strictly adhered to nowadays.

Ruggtomcat, I also totally agree with you. 80% of any magic trick is the performance.
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Old 11-11-2017, 10:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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This is one of the main reasons I joined here. hoping there was an inner circle where only real magicians keep knowledge hidden from the layman. and then theres youtube.....
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Old 12-04-2018, 04:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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sadly, the criterion for "real magician" is who's got the money.
No question that there is "the complete work" or the "real work" behind an effect and these tend to be shared relatively judicially but there will always be 'secret hounds' and secret seekers... the former just wanting to know how it was done, vs the secret seekers who try to climb the ladder to the top... genuinely putting in the work.

This reminds me of the older magicians I met as a kid.... if one took an interest in you.... and you did what you were told... you learned a lot! I had John Giordmaine. a great magician who took his role as someone who handed his art down, seriously. Never was terribly interested in kids magic... but he was great start! The other was Ron Leonard. Other than that, it was Hollywood Magic in LA. Great place to learn..... great place to be a kid!

Doug
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