Thursday, May 05, 2005

Sankey Teaching Creativity?

So, I am reading a blog put out by Magician X and I see that his current post (as of May 4, 2005) is regarding a new DVD by Sankey. The DVD is called "Create Your Own Magic" Or, as Penguin has cleverly dubbed it, CYOM.

Basically, this DVD is supposed to teach people how to be creative. What a bunch of bullshit. If you need someone to teach you how to be creative then chances are you are NOT a creative person. You cannot teach someone to be creative. The fact is that some people are great thinkers and are very creative by nature. These people are born this way and don't need to watch a DVD to learn how to be creative. Trying to teach someone to be creative is about as effective as Dale Ernhart's seatbelt. Creativity cannot be turned on like a light switch. It cannot be magically bestowed upon you by a $30 DVD put out by Sankey. You are either creative or you are not.

Suppose, for a moment, that you could learn to be creative. It would only be logical that the person teaching this creativity should be a creative person himself. If that is the case, then what in the Hell is Sankey doing releasing this DVD? Albeit, Sankey has created the shit out of a simple color change, a bad shuttlepass, and annoying voices. Perhaps one of Sankey's lessons on being creative is about digging up obscure effects from the past, marketing them to newbies, and "forgetting" to credit the original creators. That seems to be some of the "creativity" we've seen from Sankey in the past.

So, how do you know if you are a creative person or not? Well, take my simple quiz:
  1. Have you ever created anything new or interesting at anytime during the course of your life?
  2. If you answered "Yes" to number 1 go to number 4. If you answered "No" to number 1 go to number 3.
  3. You are NOT creative and probably never will be.
  4. Has anyone other than yourself thought your idea was creative or useful?
  5. If you answered "Yes" to number 4 than you are a creative person - Keep up the good work. If you answered "No" to number 4 go to number 3.

In the meantime, here is an effect I am currently trying to create: A spectator picks any card at "random". The spectator keeps the card. The performer takes out a handgun, places the barrel of the gun in his mouth and pulls the trigger. As the performer's lifeless body falls into a pool of his own blood, the audience notices, splattered in brains and blood on the wall behind the now dead performer, the name of the selected card! I don't recommend using this effect as an opener. Oh, and remember to always wear safety goggles.


Blogger Anonymous said...

There is a sense in which I disagree with you - I think creativity is a skill, and I think it can be taught. To me saying it can't is a bit like saying mathematics isn't a skill - you're either mathematically inclined or you're not. Certainly there are those more inclined to mathematics - or creativity - than others, but almost anyone can be shown how to improve either skill.

There are two very successful authors who would disagree with you on whether creativity can be taught: Edward De Bono, author of Lateral Thinking and others, and Roger Von Oech, author of A Whack on the Side of the Head and others.

I'm not qualified to say whether the Sankey video can or can't teach creativity since I haven't seen it.

4:17 PM  
Anonymous Tempest said...

Wow, I just visited your site from E, and your post about Creativity is unbelievable. blatant and true. That was hardcore stuff, vicious. Lol. Anyway, I took your quiz and I am a creative person so i don't think I'll be buying Sankey's dvd anytime soon. I actually though the idea of a dvd like that sounded really dumb. He must need booze money.

And I love the effect at the end. That would suck if they got the wrong card.

We need more people like you on the E forums bro. Great ideas, and awesome site, later. : )


10:52 PM  
Anonymous Tempest said...

Go to close up magic, 3 card monte by gaetan bloom. Please tell me why this is???? Does this guy honestly think he's doing good advertisement for his dvd??? Is he retarded?


11:21 PM  
Anonymous Tempest said...

One more. Go to fire magic, and deluxe fire fan. I think I'm going to cry. Good Lord, where did our world go wrong???


11:24 PM  
Anonymous fredrick said...

Katterfelto is correct.

Creativity is a skill and can be developed and nutured. It is a matter of re-calling our natural abilities we have as children. As children, we are able to take an empty box and create a fort, a castle, or whatever our hearts desire....

We lose this ability as we age. Forces in our lives cause us to severe our selves from these abilities. It takes people like De Bono & Von Oech to help us re-member...

The only thing I am not sure about it whether it can be learned from a DVD...

2:56 PM  
Blogger Ian said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:50 AM  
Blogger Ian said...

There are three main factors which drive our level of create output:

1) Our innate creativity
2) The skills and tools we use to stimulate our creativity
3) Our motivation to be creative

You are right that there is little we can do to enhance out innate creativity (*with a caveat) - but we can certainly learn skills and tools which allow us to better use the talents we have. It's also pretty clear that those with lesser talents who are highly motivated to try to create are likely to be much more successful than the highly talented who sit on their butts all day.

*Caveat - although we're all slaves to our genes and our upbringing in terms of the current creative capabilities we have - it is possible to improve our creative abilities. Our brains are growing and forming connections all the time. By "exercising them" we create new links and pathways between previously unconnected areas - making future thinking on those paths faster and more natural. The more we think creatively, the better we get at it. It's the same as with physical exercise. Sure, some people are more naturally gifted athletes than others - but with exercise and training we can all raise our athletic capabilities - and in many cases outdo those more naturally talented who have not exercised.

5:55 AM  
Blogger Mojo said...

Bought the DVD, hated it, returning it on eBay.


1:57 PM  
Anonymous Sandor said...

I've always thought that Sankey sucked because of his 'creative' style.
He's basically someone who wants quick money.
75% of his routines can be acomplished with some sort of shuttle pass.

Sankey thinks it's a creative idea to do the sponge balls with ear plugs. That's it. That's the million dollar idea. Don't use the CLASSICAL sponge balls, use these tubular thingies made of sponge...duh.
His 'creations' are supposed to be 'bizarre' ala Paul Harris but they just suck.

Also he's not funny.

He's got good stuff, but you'll have to dive deep down to find some good stuff in sankey's production.

Nice blog btw.

5:03 PM  

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