A Letter to Students

& Paper Cuts


I would rather we earn our way to a thing in order to appreciate the specialness of it better. However, our world seems bent on sharing everything with everyone. But not everyone is ready. I now stand at the bridge I have long avoided to cross. Our culture has caught up with me, or maybe it is the other way around, and so I must pass or face the alternative; insignificance. I cross for myself, I cross for my students, and ironically I cross to protect the secrets better.


Knowledge is power, and in our vocation of magical arts, the power of a secret is self-evident. That said, current media technology has made it exceedingly difficult if not impossible to keep secrets. While business minded or ego driven young entrepreneurs dispense them easily. The debate between free speech versus intellectual property is never-ending. Indeed, information wants to get out and probably will. What concerns me is in the way it gets out. It is not possible to preserve a secret and simultaneously release it to the masses; these are mutually exclusive goals. “Public-Secret” is an oxymoron.


I am not just talking about “my” secrets but the many great mysteries of the past carried on through the ages. Books were the Youtube of yesterday, and I wonder what it was like for a magician of history to see the first book of magic secrets published. Do you suppose this was a happy occasion, or sad? Of course, if not for books many would not be magicians. Would that be better? Some still argue that even if the public knew our secrets, it would not affect us, yet we can see evidence that it has. With sense-making tools like social media, Google, and Youtube we access information easier and quicker than ever before. Which has brought us wonderful benefits but at what cost?


One can always gauge the downfall of society by its lack of mythology. Influenced and driven by increased materialism and an emphasis on technology we grow quickly towards technical proficiency and a desire to proliferate our passions, but all this is done with an underlying imbalance to our humanity. Kind of like children given too much candy without temperance. There seems to be a lack of “rites of passage,” but that is the stuff which makes our core stronger and the stuff we "really" need.


Youtube is now littered with our secrets and as available as cheap tissues from a tissue box. Even prized secrets I have cherished are being shared or published. It has now reached a point where doing nothing is far worse. For this reason, I release works on those things that are already publicly shared. Since they have escaped protection, there is little harm in sharing them again. While the workshop material remains preserved without compromise. In this way, I become more accessible to the public but hopefully influence positively. To be a voice in the wilderness for those who are looking for more than just a trick.


Since the advent of social media, where everyone is “special,”, fake “reality shows” are mainstream, people celebrate mediocrity on YouTube, and our search for genuine “leaders or heroes” may seem increasingly daunting, why not seek the virtue of being excellent and elicit a pride of integrity? Then maybe even inspire others with our humanity. Thoughts are powerful, and we could think “magic trick,” or we can think of delivering awe-inspiring moments of emotionally charged content with the potential to change people’s lives.

Sincerely, Armando Lucero

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