The Dragonslayers event was a Ren Fair kind of thing and I had a booth which I preformed magic and fortune telling out of. It was fun and I had a good time.
However I knew that I wasn't going to be the only magician who attended the event. One of the other local professionals was there as well. I've known him for a number of years and typically when someone calls me for a kids show I direct them to this performer because he is very good with kids.
He showed up at the event and came in behind one of the audiences I had gathered while I was performing my three rope routine (yes, I know what it's called, but I'm trying to be general here for the lay people in my audience.) which actually works in a fashion most magicians aren't aware of. In fact every magician I've shown it to claims they have never seen this variation, which is why I keep it this way.
After my show was over he approached me and we caught up with each other. We hadn't seen each other in a number of years and the last time that he and I actually even worked a gig together was something like 8 or 10 years ago.
After a few minutes of catching up he pulled out one of the ubiquitous card wallets that magicians are plagued with and proceeded to show me a trick. Now you have to understand that these little care wallets, or as they are often referred to: "packet tricks," are sometimes very problematic. After all, when you pull one of these out, the first and automatic assumption on the part of the spectator is "these must be faked/gimmicked." And very often they are correct.
Okay, admittedly I have one or two of these myself. I stopped buying them years and years ago when I realized the problem with them I just mentioned. But to be perfectly fair, there is one that I still use once in a while. I choose to use it because I feel that the effect is strong enough to outweigh the obvious problems and suspicions.
However this particular effect presented to me was, well, kind of lame. In my opinion anyway. I'm sure that it is probably impressive to some people. I'm certain that it must be impressive to the children who are his primary audience.
What struck me as strange in this case was that he seemed to think that I would be impressed as well!
Now I'm not saying that to somehow brag. That isn't the case at all. Rather what I'm getting at is that when magicians get together to talk shop we aren't usually going to try and impress one another with a "packet trick." It just isn't going to happen. We'll show them to each other to discuss the mechanics and see how clever the creations can be, but trying to impress one another with a "packet trick" is just plain foolishness.
This morning I realized why this bothered me so much. When last he and I worked together, all those years ago, this was the same kind of thing he was doing then. He was doing a number of other things as well, but this was indeed a substantial part of his work. Over the years I have worked hard to expand my repitior and to move away from these kinds of things because they are so common and so "obvious" to me and therefore I assume to my audiences.
That was a long time ago and I'm sorry to see that this performer is still stuck in the world of "packet tricks." I would have thought that he would have moved on from there by now.