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You deserve an update on a story from last month. Why? Well, mainly because it involves The Magic Circle. In their words, The Magic Circle is “the most famous magic society in the world”. The London-based society has over 1,500 members worldwide, including famous names like David Copperfield and Dynamo.
King Charles III is even a member of the society.
It was founded in 1905 to promote and advance the art of magic. Magicians have to prove their skills to gain entry and abide by their Latin motto, which they say translates to “not apt to disclose secrets.”
The Magic Circle also only showcases out-of-focus photos on their website — perhaps that’s something to do with keeping everything secret.
One Ahead covered The Magic Circle when David Penn awarded Criss Angel with honourary membership and when the society appointed its youngest and first female president. The society first allowed women to join in 1991, and 25 years later, it was reported that only 5% of its members were female.
Get ready for a fascinating peek behind the closed doors of The Magic Circle.
Shit, that’s the sort of thing Scott Perry would say to get your attention.
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Part 1. The Backstory
As One Ahead covered last month, there was a huge magic product review drama. It all started with a product review of a magic trick called “The Fall” by Noel Qualter. The trick is a card-through-window effect performed through a plastic bag anyone can carry. The product trailer was confusing, but most product reviewers welcomed the product. One Ahead’s take on it all was that if you see the trick and like the look of it, that’s how it’ll look when you buy it.
A magician named Scott Perry uploaded a review to YouTube that was critical of the product for many reasons. Perry called the product a “complete waste of time” and urged potential buyers to watch his negative review before they buy it.
Perry’s review mostly took aim at the trailer, which he believes misrepresents the product. He argued that the trick couldn’t be performed 360 degrees surrounded because the magician’s body would be in the way of anyone's view who was standing behind the performer.
Perry also pointed out that if someone were on the ground looking up at the performance, they would see an exposed view of the method.
One of Perry’s main reasons he said he wouldn’t want to perform the trick was the noise he claimed the method makes when performed.
Alakazam Magic Shop waded in with a video response defending Noel’s product – which had already sold out in their shop.
Other product reviewers like Steve Faulkner came out with follow-up reviews, diving deeper into their experience with the product.
Scott Perry released a follow-up video of his own, in which he exposed 80% of the trick’s method to defend his accusation that the trick was very loud to perform.
Replying to a comment from a user upset at this method exposure, Perry replied saying he felt exposure was okay in the context of a product review so long as the trick’s method is not exposed in its entirety.
Perry was then interviewed about the ordeal by Monster Magic.
There’s a beautiful moment in which Perry is asked to listen to two audio clips.
- In one clip, the magician slaps the card on the bag, and it magically penetrates through the bag using Qualters The Fall method.
- In the other clip, the magician hits a card on the bag, and the method and trick do not occur.
The interviewer asks Perry if he can distinguish between the loud sound Perry claimed the method makes and the sound of no-method taking place. Perry was unable to differentiate between the two.
Perry even commented on the published interview, writing:
Hopefully the magic community can move forward and I, of course, will take everything on board to improve future reviews.
And that brings us to where One Ahead wrapped up coverage of the story last month. The Fall appears to be sold out or unavailable at all the major magic stores. Perry went back to posting regular magic reviews aimed at the professional performer.
Part 2. The Magic Circle Circle’s Back
The Magic Circle has a long history of kicking out magicians for exposure and reinstating them at a later date. Several well-known magicians have faced the consequences of magic exposure, including celebrity magician Stephen Mulhern, whose membership was suspended after he taught a trick on children’s television.
Penn and Teller have even created and performed a 13-minute trick about The Magic Circle’s ardent stance on magic exposure. This all happened after The Magic Circle told them they could not be members due to their much more relaxed stance on secret keeping.