Who's Got The Receipts? (Part One)
20 years of alleged deception and a 15 year feud has led up to perhaps some of the biggest drama the magic product industry has ever seen. This is the timeline.
This week’s story is unbelievable and requested by many.
There were allegations of threats, bullying, secret identities, theft, and hacking. There were also way too many magicians using the words “magic mafia” and “free speech”.
What began as another magic crediting debate quickly became a much larger story — and all of this drama over a Christmas cracker trick.
The goal is always to summarise what happened based on available information.
Suppose you can set aside the anger and ugliness. In that case, there’s a discussion to be had around:
The ownership and crediting of magic tricks.
How anonymity impacts behaviour in the industry.
As you read this story, keep in mind that the term “receipts” is also slang for “proof” or “evidence” and is often used to call out someone for lying or to show someone is being genuine.
Part 1: A RED Warning
You should know what happened ten years ago.
Craig Petty says he was the first YouTube magic product reviewer. That’s because he co-hosted The Wizard Product Review 13 years ago when it was shot in 480p and would get 10k views most weeks.
Petty describes his attitude on Wizard Product Review as a “bad cop”. He never held back his anger towards creators he felt were releasing unoriginal magic.
In 2013, he released a new trick called RED.
The community soon found the trick to be unoriginal. The presentation, props, and method were identical to another trick published by Bob King in 1994 called New Wave Prediction.
This fact was first brought to Petty’s attention via email by Michael Weber and Tim Trono. Though, Petty says he did not share this detail or name them publicly at the time.
Michael Weber is a mentalist, IP attorney, and consultant based in California. His credits include films like The Prestige, Forrest Gump, & Oceans 13. He is highly regarded by many, with several magicians tattooed with “WWWD”, which stands for “What Would Weber Do?” — a phrase he embraces in his Twitter profile picture.
Tim Trono is a magician also based in America and a longtime collaborator and friend of Weber. Together, the pair have released magic under brands like Real Secrets. Tim also works for Penguin (a large online magic brand) and previously worked for Murphy’s (the largest magic wholesaler).
Petty now says Weber and Trono orchestrated much of the RED ordeal. He is not the only person who believes Weber played some role in this. A user called New Guy recently posted in a magic forum:
Weber was an old friend of [Bob] King and paid Bob for the rights so he could go after Craig and set the record straight.
After the community discovered RED was identical to New Wave Prediction, it was revealed that Petty had named New Wave Prediction in a 2005 forum thread as his number 1 favourite gaffed deck.
This forum comment made it clear that Petty knew about the trick years before releasing his identical version. Not only did he know about it, but he also purchased, performed and referred to it as his favourite gaffed deck.
This revelation caused a considerable backlash.
The reaction was exacerbated by Petty's reputation for coming down hard on creators he believed stole magic. People were angry, publicly and privately. Many felt with 100% certainty that Craig had intentionally stolen the trick from Bob King.
Petty agreed that the tricks were identical but insisted he did not knowingly copy King’s trick. He continues to insist on this belief today.
RED was discontinued, but the backlash kept going. Petty felt it was so awful that he needed to leave the magic community. He recalls receiving death threats and experiencing a mental breakdown. It was a dark time that he’s discussed openly since he returned to the magic community during the pandemic.
Petty says he returned as a way to connect with his son Ryland. The father-son duo began making YouTube videos in lockdown. Petty has been posting videos to his channel this time. He also released new tricks with various companies, like Penguin.
Petty’s return caught people’s attention. He’s built up a considerable YouTube following, and Penguin even named him “Creator Of The Year”.
Since returning, Petty made it clear he wanted to rebuild his reputation. He wants, more than anything, to never repeat what happened with RED ten years ago.
Part 2: The Receipts
Present day – Petty is about to publish a new trick with Murphy’s.
Murphy’s is the largest wholesaler and producer of magic tricks.
Petty’s new trick is called EDCeipt. It’s a version of an old principle but printed onto receipts. Petty seems reasonably self-aware of this, describing the product as a “project”. The project has six hours (yep) of content teaching ways to use the principle in receipt form. He likens it to his equally long project on The Invisible Deck.
So there you have it, an old principle printed on something new.
Petty says he spent two years doing “due diligence” before releasing this new trick – desperate not to repeat what happened with RED. He says he performed it at conventions. That he showed it to “powerhouses of mentalism”. He says he searched through records on crediting directories like Conjuring Archive.
Petty says he was confident this trick had not been done before.
But here is the problem.
Petty was not the first to think of printing the principle onto receipts. Lots of people likely did. Two magicians claim to have done more than think of the same idea. They say they developed, designed, and published the same idea.
These people are Michael Weber and Tim Trono. They say they named their trick Age Receipts. They say they sent it to members of Real Secrets in 2012.
Real Secrets was a membership run by Trono and Weber. All its members were sworn to secrecy. Because of this, it is challenging to find much about it online. Here’s a description from The Jerx, shared by its anonymous author in 2019:
Real Secrets was a magic subscription "trick of the month" service that ran for three years starting in 2012. I didn't subscribe, but I had a couple friends who did, and I saw a lot of the releases through them.
Weber and Trono say they also shared Age Receipts once with readers of Genii Magazine. Readers had to write in specifically to learn the trick.
But did Weber and Trono’s version of the trick ever exist? And was it the same as Petty’s new release?
Spoiler: it existed, and they’re the same.
A PDF scan of Real Secrets’ Age Receipts was briefly shared by The Jerx last Friday. The post was deleted thirty minutes later and replaced by a release round-up. The first trick discussed is Petty’s trick, with The Jerx writing:
This seemed very familiar to me and I remembered that Real Secrets put this same effect out back around 2012 and I kept it in my wallet for a while, back then.
The Jerx’s author clarified in a newer post that he used to perform the Real Secrets version 10 years ago. And others corroborated its existence, with multiple magicians finding and sharing photos of their original copies of Age Receipts.
Based on the shared PDF scan, Age Receipts is pretty much the same as EDCeipt. If you set aside some small details and a six-hour tutorial — it’s the same method, props, and presentation. There’s no running away from this fact.
So, as soon as Weber and Trono found out about Petty’s identical release, they emailed Petty. Their email outlined the details and dates of their published Age Receipt trick.
To put it plainly, this is not a new or original item with you…
And end with a request:
...we would prefer that you pull the item.
Petty says he felt this to be a threat.
So, he says he notified Murphy’s about the situation and started doing his own research. He also phoned a representative at Penguin (Trono’s employer).
Petty says he contacted Penguin because he has a relationship with them and asked if they knew about this or if they were involved. He says the representative at Penguin told him not to reply to the email.
Craig did not respond to the email from Weber and Trono.
It was just a few days until Petty’s trick was due to go on pre-sale. Murphy’s chose not to push back the pre-sale to give time to establish what was happening. They also didn’t reach out to Trono or Weber.
A day passes.
Weber and Trono send an email to Murphy’s.
Murphy’s (the largest magic wholesaler) likely gets emails like this every week.
What followed was an email chain that gradually escalated.
Petty has since said that all the emails from Murphy’s, were actually sent from him. This admission may be ironic, given what’s coming.
In the chain, Weber uses legal-sounding words — he is an attorney, but you’ll soon see he can write casually, too.
It’s hard to tell what Petty wants in these emails. It’s unclear whether he trusted that the 2012 version existed and is trying to prove he didn’t know about it. Or, if he’s trying to verify that the 2012 version never existed.
It’s clear what Weber and Trono want. They want Murphy’s and Petty to pull the release. They appear to write with a sense of certainty that the tricks are the same and firmly believe that the fact they released it first means Petty should pull his.
They tell Murphy’s that they had planned to re-release Age Receipts this year in 2023.
Trono drops off the email chain. Petty has since said he believes this was due to Penguin, Trono’s employer, finding out about what was happening and insisting Trono apologise to Petty. The fact Petty’s influence and interaction with Penguin led to this is also a tad ironic, given what’s coming.
Weber continues, and an email from him ends:
The facts do not favor Craig in this case, and I sincerely would prefer that he gracefully step away from releasing this effect. It would be tragic for this to end up being another RED situation for him after all his hard work.
Weber writes “favor” with the American English spelling. Unbelievably, this small detail will prove noteworthy later in this story.
Petty perceived this final phrase in Weber’s email to be a threat.
At face value, it’s hard to see it as a threat.
From Petty’s perspective — he went through a mental breakdown with RED ten years ago. He believes Weber and Trono were instrumental in that ordeal. Plus, whenever someone in a movie says, “it would be tragic for this to end up being another X situation”, it’s usually accompanied by sinister music.
Feeling threatened, Craig Petty sees red.
Part 3: Controlling The Narrative
Petty published a new video that’s over an hour long on his channel last Friday.
Dramatic videos are not unusual for Craig. The week before, he posted hours of content ranting about another magic reviewer. The new video is titled, “EDCeipt by Craig Petty - Is 'red' Happening Again? How Original Is The EDCeipt Project?”
He films himself alone in a back room, shot low angle at a table lit by a bright light, in a continuous hour of footage. The video has almost 8,000 views. He goes over what has happened and why he made the video.
Petty says he wanted to control the narrative. He felt that Weber and Trono would go after him. That people would hear about Age Receipts, and Weber and Trono would say he 100% stole the effect. He worried his family would receive more harassment and death threats and that he’d need to leave the community again for copying another trick. Craig believes he is innocent and is emotional in the video.
Petty does not name Weber or Trono in this initial YouTube video.
After summarising the events, he explains why he feels he is innocent in this.
Petty believed he was in the right because the 2012 trick was buried stealthily and would be almost impossible to know about. But then he says that even if it wasn’t buried, his project is far beyond what came out in 2012. He adds he thinks it’s convenient that a trick given away for free as a “loss leader to get people to sign up to a club” is now something Weber has on the slate for re-release in 2023.
Then, Petty drops a BIG bombshell for his viewers:
“There is such thing as a magic mafia.”
Yep. He really said that.
He says there are well-known magicians secretly working to meddle with the community and pull strings to force people out and further their agenda. He claims the two people trying to get him to pull his trick are a part of the magic mafia.
He sounds like a conspiracy theorist.
Petty then discusses a quote for this new trick given to him by his hero. He says one of the two mafia magicians convinced his hero to withdraw their quote.
Petty tears up.
He points down the lens.
He delivers this monologue:
“I had a quote from my hero, and you took that away from me, and then – decided to tell me that if I didn’t be a good boy and I wasn’t well-behaved, and I wasn’t playing by the rules, then you would squash me like a bug. It’s people like you that give this industry a bad name. You’d do this to me – you’d do this to anyone else in this industry.”
Petty’s since appeared in several hours of content talking about what happened. There’s been a follow-up video and a live-stream Q&A.
Could it get any more insane than this?
Part 4: Meet New Guy
A user shares Petty’s first video on the drama in The Magic Cafe — a long-running, divisive, and green-coloured magic forum. It’s a weird place with many strange users, trolls, and conspiracists.
The Magic Cafe is hugely influential when it comes to product sales. The thread about this Petty video has 80,000 views as of writing. The front page of the Latest & Greatest forum section drives millions of dollars in product sales every year.
The user who shared Petty’s video has the username, Sileeni. He is swift to name names when he starts the new thread:
The two unnamed bullies behind this are Michael Webber and Tim Trono.
Sileeni found their names by searching the Conjuring Archive — an online resource for magic credits. He found one of the tricks mentioned by Petty in his video, another receipt trick credited to Weber and Trono. He did not find Age Receipts.
Age Receipts was never listed in the Conjuring Archive.
I've been around long enough and also have a friend who was a member of RS/neutral & mutual friend of both Trono and Webber. I've just got off this phone with him after his lunch, and he's confirmed that it's this pair. Again.
This isn't the first time they've done this (Tim is usually Michael's lap dog and does most of the barking for him), there's more times that even you don't know about Craig, but if they're as smart as they think they both are, this is the last.
They're the very definition of bullies, and whenever I hear mention of the phrase "magic mafia", those are always the first two names that come to mind. Spineless. Slimy. Bullies.
Magic is a better place for people like you. Arrogant narcissists like Trono, Webber and all those who bow down to their false idols drag OUR art down with them.
This is pretty heavy-worded, even for The Magic Cafe.
A bunch of people chimed in on the thread, including someone called New Guy. Remember New Guy? He’s the one who said Weber bought King’s trick rights specifically to “go after” Craig ten years ago. New Guy quickly appeared and commented on Sileeni’s thread.
Here are three chunks from New Guy’s full comment:
I think this is Craig trying to get away with the same stuff he pulled with RED and Bob King’s New Wave Prediction.
Craig 100% stole it and put it out as his own creation. He openly and regularly admits it even though he had a similar long list of excuses and accusations in the past.
I don't know anything about the back and forth emails being discussed, but as a Charter Member of Real Secrets, an owner of The Works mentalism kit, a longtime subscriber to Genii and the Journal of Psience I know that Webber has published, printed, shared, sold and released at least four different versions of the age receipts, the first I saw in 2012.
I think that Craig got caught with his hand in the cookie jar AGAIN by the same person for the same thing.
… Craig’s release is identical to what Webber released more than a decade ago - Age Cards designed to look like receipts.
My money says we’ll have more tears, tirades and excuses from Petty, and Webber will just keep creating great magic. I just hope BS like this doesn’t make Webber stop sharing.
There are five points worth remembering.
New Guy doesn’t know anything about the back-and-forth of emails.
New Guy was an owner/member of many Weber products/projects.
New Guy thinks Craig is trying to get away with doing the same thing as RED.
New Guy says Craig 100% stole RED from Bob King.
New Guy hopes BS like this doesn’t make Webber stop sharing.
If highlighting these five points makes you wonder if New Guy might be Michael Weber in disguise, you may have been watching too many Netflix dramas. They are probably the same ones Petty has been watching. Michael Weber cannot be New Guy. New Guy spelt Weber’s name wrong. New Guy spelt Weber with two B’s.
It cannot be Weber.
So, it turns out New Guy might actually be Michael Weber.
Now, this is interesting. It takes a typical story of two magicians squabbling over trick rights in a new direction. Whilst The Jerx just shared that the idea of Weber having a secret sock-puppet account did not surprise him at all – it was a shock to a lot.
There’s something about Weber’s big, strong, and wise reputation that can weather or even get bolstered by bullying allegations (true or false). But that same persona begins to deflate with an allegation of logging into magic forums with a fake account to meddle in conversations about himself (true or false).
If New Guy is Weber, Petty might sound less like a conspiracist.
Here he comes, now.
Craig Petty arrives at The Magic Cafe. In his mind, he perhaps swung in like Batman.
He politely responds to everyone in his first comment. Then, he addresses New Guy directly in a second comment:
Hey New Guy. I was expecting you to pop up on this thread but not so quickly. I’ve followed your postings on the Café with interest for years. You may have only made just over 400 post in the several years that you have been a member but they are all quality posts.
You go several months between posts mainly because you only ever post on a thread to do with Michael Weber. You are either jumping to his defence, defending bad customer service from him or attacking someone that Michael feels has wronged him. In fact anytime a thread like that pops up you post several times and then disappear till the next time Michael is mentioned. Do you ever post about anything else?
For example here is a thread from a few years ago when you were helping twist the knife into Ellusionist and Geraint Clarke after he released a download you perceived was a copy of a routine from Michael Weber
And here is the time you posted multiple times assuring people that Weber was on track with his Psience project. You went to town with the posts on that one didn’t you?
What I’m trying to say here is simple!
‘Hey Mr Weber, nice to see you on the Café. I hope you are well!”
Holy shit. In the eventual movie version of all this, all the forum members now turn their heads towards New Guy as he begins to sweat and eye up the exit.
Petty’s accusation causes chaos, and the focus turns on New Guy.
If you search New Guy's 400+ post history, many are Weber-related. There are many examples of New Guy giving positive testimonials and defending Weber’s products and service. At one point, he even refers to himself as a “Weber collector.”
It is very typical on The Magic Cafe for users to hide behind secret usernames. This anonymity is a significant enabler of the drama there. But users are not usually found to be pretending to be someone else, especially to promote their own products.
Maybe it’s not Weber. It could just as likely be someone with a very healthy twenty-year Weber obsession.
Either way, you start to see how Petty ended up believing in a magic mafia.
New Guy spelt Weber’s name two b’s in this thread, the same way Sileeni misspelt it in the initial post. A user called Videoman even called them out for the incorrect spelling.
Then we hear from New Guy, who responds to Videoman and Petty.
Videoman – two b’s or not two b’s, that was the question. Colour me corrected!
Mr. Petty, Ha! Admittedly a big fan of Mr. Weber (note - one b) but not so big as to actually be him. And a sincere question for you, is it your opinion that anyone can put out their version of another effect someone else has already released? What guidelines do you use to determine when something deserves a credit, versus not credit worthy, and under what circumstances should a magician not put out something he learned was already published or sold?
Thank you for coming on here to answer directly.
See — it’s not Weber. Besides, this New Guy writes in British English – notice how he spells the word “colour” with a “u”. Michael Weber is American. He writes in American English! So, New Guy can’t be Weber!!
So it turns out New Guy could still be Weber.
In 20 years on the forum, New Guy has always spelt “color” in American English. If you can believe it, this one of the things that was fact-checked for this story.
Then, someone called Sudo drops a “BIG bombshell”:
I'm going to drop a BIG bombshell here; one that will likely have dire consequences. I know Michael Weber. Would you like to know the depth of his deception? This is a FACT [—] I have the messages between he and I to prove it [from] when he asks me to not disclose his identity here at the Café. I cannot, in all good conscience, sit here in silence in light of recent events.
Michael Weber is "New Guy".
In fairness, that is a BIG bombshell. Also, “Michael Weber is “New Guy” is much catchier than “What Would Weber Do?”
In addition to my above comment, it disgusts me beyond words to see Michael Weber on this thread pretending to be a fan of his own work and using his hidden identity here under false pretences to attack Craig.
Let’s pause here. Imagine if someone announced they had proof of a 20-year deception in a forum mostly filled with anonymous magician conspiracists and trolls. It all went a bit mad next.
New Guy did not immediately respond.
People were angry.
They started sharing screenshots of New Guy's post history. People created memes of Scooby-Doo characters unmasking New Guy to show Weber’s face. Users unearthed details of people’s past and made wild accusations.
And then perhaps the most damming public evidence came to light.
But only after the full trailer of EDCeipt was released publicly for the first time and shared in the thread. A reminder that all this drama is over a receipt trick. Dealers will have had early access to the trailer and perhaps some of the tutorials.
So, what was the new evidence that New Guy might be Weber?
In 2005, New Guy shared a trick in The Cafe forum. He named it “Triumphotocopy” and listed it as Copyright New Guy 1985 with a trick description.
A search for Triumphotocopy on Conjuring Archive reveals that Trimphotocopy was also published four years later by Michael Weber.
In 2009, with the same name, same presentation and props, Weber released New Guy’s trick.
Many members in The Cafe saw this as hard evidence that either:
Michael Weber is New Guy.
Weber stole from New Guy and did what he’s accusing Petty of doing.
It is incredible that the drama ten years ago involved old forum posts bringing Petty’s reputation into question and that this new drama involves the same, but for Weber.
Tension was building, and theories were flung left, right, and centre. It started to get “Magic Cafe” level ugly. At what felt like the peak of it all, New Guy returned to leave one new comment. Twelve pages of debate had passed since New Guy was accused of being Weber in disguise.
On Feb 4, New Guy writes:
Dear Mr. Petty,
Best of luck
Honestly – iconic.
But not technically an admission of guilt or definitive proof of anything.
Nine minutes later, a random Cafe forum member replies:
So that's what Weber would do!
Now we know.
Part 5: Conjuring Archive
Conjuring Archive appears to have gotten unintentionally caught up in this drama. It was not mentioned in this story's first, second and third drafts. But it needs mentioning because it plays a part in the story's start, middle and end — an ending that only occurred during the final draft.
Magicians can search Conjuring Archive’s records to discover the origins of magic tricks. The online version of the database started in August 2004. If you believe in crediting or that publishing a trick = ownership, platforms like these are valuable (but best to rely upon only partially).
Petty says he used Conjuring Archive to check if the receipt trick had been released before him. Though Petty did also say he believes his project is far beyond what came in 2012 — so it’s hard to say what Petty would have done if Age Receipts was listed on Conjuring Archive and he’d seen it there when he did his “due diligence”.
Nonetheless, Age Receipts was not listed on Conjuring Archive.
That was until it was.
Conjuring Archive was updated before New Guy posted to say Petty had won. The update included Age Receipts, 2012, and credited Tim Trono and Michael Weber.
Conspiracies soared due to the timing of this new entry into the records.
Members posted “how convenient” memes. Some perceived the crux of Petty’s story to be that Age Receipts was missing from Conjuring Archive. That the level of secrecy enforced upon Real Secrets meant its contents could only be listed publicly with Weber’s approval. And that if someone found out about the drama now and checked Conjuring Archive, it would look like Petty was lying about his due diligence.
Conjuring Archive’s founder was quick to add clarity, posting:
There is no secrecy when content is added. I list it on the starting page, as has been cleverly worked out by some detectives on this forum by going onto the prominent main page. I don't need to list addition dates, but I do.
I've seen this thread and found that there seemed to be some confusion on what exactly was published back in 2012. Since I've been a Real Secrets subscriber for ten installments and still have those issues, with the online additions, I figured adding these references to the Archive will at least clear that part up. There is no agenda in this, I don't know Craig and had no idea about his planned release before being pointed to this remarkable... exchange of words over here, have not spoken with Michael Weber or anyone at all involved in this disagreement. No interpretation, no "backdating" (it's from 2012 after all). It's simply a listing of the content.
Indeed, the founder of Conjuring Archive was likely trying to be helpful. If you ran a crediting website and everyone was talking about a credit not yet listed, you’d probably add the credit. The site is a passion project run by one person, manually inputted from magic books. Tom Stone, a prominent figure, confirmed that Conjuring Archive is unbias later in the thread and offered to help mediate between Weber and Petty.
Some sane people raised one rational point in The Cafe — that if you believe somebody should credit you for a trick, you could ensure you get it listed on crediting resources like Conjuring Archive.
Age Receipts was not listed on Conjuring Archive, but Weber and Trono did contact Petty ahead of his release. As it is a paper trick, it would be relatively cheap for a big company like Murphy's to pull.
Petty and Murphy’s did know about the trick before they released theirs. So, if you can set aside all the spectacle and the “threats” and sock-puppet accounts — there are some questions you should ask yourself.
They’re the questions New Guy asked Petty at the start of the thread:
Is it your opinion that anyone can put out their version of another effect someone else has already released? What guidelines do you use to determine when something deserves a credit, versus not credit worthy, and under what circumstances should a magician not put out something he learned was already published or sold?
Let’s simplify those down to one question:
Should you pull a trick if you discover someone has already published essentially the same trick?
These are moral questions, not legal ones – we all know the legal stance on all this is blurry (including the IP attorney).
Set aside the drama, and strip away your views of Weber, Trono or Petty.
Try to answer the question.
Maybe Petty believes you can sell a trick if you cannot find that someone has published it before you or if you add more content and credit earlier versions.
Maybe Weber believes you should pull a trick if you find out someone published it before you, regardless of when and how easily you find out about it.
We don’t know their answers.
What do you believe?
Finale: Meet Old Guy
His name is Scott Dressburg, and he seems lovely.
Early in the forum thread, someone called David was quick to mention that the trick sounded familiar to him. He recalled reading about a similar trick that Scott described in a letter from the 90s.
Then, after the accusations and the rants. After the memes, upset and debate. And after New Guy posted that Petty had won. David returned with an update.
His comment reads in part:
After this drama unfolded it gave me the excuse to call Scott. Before I share Scott's response he has asked me to make it clear - Scott doesn't want to be involved in drama and in his own words "I am too old and haven't been in the game in such a long time that it's a distant memory to me".
Ok, onto what Scott said (not copied verbatim), but the essence of it. It was a long phone call, and most of it was not relevant. Scott was never a famous magician, he was not even what he would consider a performer. He was a member of a local magic club who table-hopped from time to time, and at his club, members were asked to do "show and tell" nights which were like mini-lectures.
Scott put together a set of ten lecture notes (that technically weren't lecture notes) titled "Little Shop of Horrors" to give to other members of the club.
Scott has agreed to send an original set of notes to Denis from Conjuring Archives for verification. Behind the scenes, I have been in contact with [Conjuring Archive], who has agreed to have the notes sent.
Scott wanted me to make it very clear that he doesn't want credit, he doesn't believe the idea is original to him as it seemed too much of an obvious solution and even though he printed notes and gave those notes to a limited number of people (some of which he still has the contact information for) he doesn't expect anyone to acknowledge the effect as his creation. He thought (from the outside) that this drama is fruitless because he is sure that he cannot be the only person to play with the binary principle and shopping items, he said (this is copied verbatim as it made me laugh) - "I mean come on, Robson was doing that sh*t in the 1930s".
Oh, Scott – finally, someone who realises how ridiculous this is. “Robson was doing that sh*t in the 1930s” might be the sanest thing anyone has said so far.
Anyway, remember those answers you locked in?
Imagine a world in which Conjuring Archive verifies that another magician published the same trick before Age Receipts.
“What Would Weber Do?”
You need to know that the original draft of this story ended here. And boy, what an ending. Just as it was sent off for proofreading, something unexpected happened.
New Guy returned to the cafe.
He shared a new comment in the thread, now 30 pages deep, on Feb 7. It’s a detailed list of credits for Age Receipts. It’s a thorough, well-written summary. New Guy ends his full comment with a short response to the potential existence of Scott’s earlier version of the same trick.
Excited to learn more about the recent revelation about Scott Dressburgh. Have, as of yet, been unable to find him mentioned in any publications, ring reports (an important place to look for references to what magicians were performing for each other throughout the decades) or letters. Will be sure to put his name at the front of the list after it gets posted to the Conjuring Archive.
We now wait and see if Conjuring Archive verifies Scott’s notes.
This week’s story is more extensive, and it took several days to research and write. Thanks to the readers who fact-checked it all. It was written by Rory Adams and produced by Nathan Wilson. It references public details from YouTube, The Cafe, and The Jerx. You might enjoy this article about the true identity of Mr Blonde.
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Hey Rory - I would love to see the Poll changed to offer a third option: “Release a collaborative version” (and give $1 to Scott Dressburgh for every one sold 😎). Just a thought.
I enjoyed reading this article and as Sayan noted, the storytelling style helped to keep track of the unfolding layers.
I think Scott Dressburgh comment speaks volumes and given that this simple old Christmas cracker of a magic trick has been dressed up more times than a Macy’s window display manikin, I can well believe a version of it using receipts is far older than anyone probably knows.
Of course, I get that real money and egos are involved but perhaps those involved can take a lesson from Scott attitude to learning of this saga. Neither party arguing have a leg to stand on given, presumably, that the concept was included in Scott Dressburgh shared (and I have no reason to believe otherwise).
Instead of holding this lose-lose tug of war over said soggy cracker, I cannot be the only person left wondering what might have come from minds of the creative people involved if they put aside their past and instead put their collective heads together. I’d bet a better version would be outcome with more variations, more gimmicks, and (even) more valuable instructions. Heck, they might of even justified a slightly higher price and could share the spoils of their creativity as us, the hobbyist magicians, get more bang for out bucks, quids, and euros.
Who knows it might of led to a new partnership or at least some healing for all concerned.
All this anger can’t be good for anyone’s blood pressure and after losing Scott Alexander, one of Magic’s brightest stars, earlier this week I think we could all benefit from seeing less Red and seeing more Love this Valentine’s month in the magic community.
Then again, I still believe in Real Magic, Santa Clause, and old fashioned gentlemanly behaviors... so WTH do I know.