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You've got to give it to get it

I think we all agree that the magic manufacturers who see someone else's new trick, then start manufacturing and selling "their own version" of the trick, are rip-off artists. They are showing the creator no respect and, in turn, they deserve no respect from us.

But what about performers who do the same thing?

I know of one who was really impressed by a particular trick created by another magician. It was a simple variation of another effect, but one so unique it had become his trademark. The envious magician approached the first magician and asked if he could do that trick too. The creative magician said no, it was his trademark trick and he'd prefer to keep it as his own. But the envious magician was persistent and, in the end, the creative magician said he'd allow him to do it for a fee of $2000. The envious magician said that was too high and tried to bargain with the creative magician. The negotiations ended.

Last week the envious magician did the effect on national TV.

In exactly the same way the creative magician performed it.

The envious magician got his way, as he always does, but he lost the respect of the creative magician and everyone who knows him.

Does he care? I doubt it.

Like the rip-off manufacturers he doesn't realise that magic is a small community and if you want the respect of other magicians you have to earn it.

At the moment this magician has been saying that he doesn't care about other magicians, the only people important to him are his clients.

He considers magicians are "petty", always arguing about "who created this" and "who created that".

Meanwhile, his clients are cooing over "his" new trick, and how cool it makes him look.

And whenever the creative magician performs his trick, clients think he's doing "the other guy's trick", the one they saw on TV.

Yes, the envious magician has won this round, but at a cost.

A cost he's far too short-sighted to see.

You can make a lot of money as a magic manufacturer by stealing other people's ideas and passing them off as your own.

You can make a lot of money as a corporate magician by stealing other people's ideas and passing them off as your own.

When it's so easy to be successful in this industry by doing the wrong thing, it's not surprising that so many people do it. But it will only take you so far.

But real success is gaining the respect of your peers. Once you get that, you can take it all the way to the top.