Blog Archive

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Cool Water Trick

This guy should work for the fire department. Is this some sort of strange ability or this a real cool magic trick?

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

MAGIC COMPETITIONS - Who judges the judges?

MAGIC COMPETITIONS - Who judges the judges?
-Eugene Burger-   

For those who have competed in magic competitions. You may have experienced unfairness or disagreements with the outcome and results of the competition you were in. Unless of course you win or place in the contest, usually you have no problem with the outcome, but for others the judging could be questionable. This brings to me several questions and some of my opinions that I would like to share when it comes to judging for magic competitions. What makes a good judge? Are they qualified and experienced? 

Do you use magicians who are knowledgeable of skill, technique, presentation and originality to be judges or do you just use lay people? Perhaps you blend in lay people and magicians in your competition. In my experience, I think it's a nice mix to have both magicians and lay people to judge. This way I think you get a more accurate and fair outcome because you get scores, comments and judging notes from both sides, the magician’s side where they are more knowledgeable and the lay people’s side where they seem to be judging more on presentation. I think getting judged by laypeople offers just as much value because in the end they are the ones that most of us will be performing for outside of magic competitions. At the same token magicians need to be recognized on their skill, time and hundreds of hours that they put into their craft. 

I’ve seen some magicians win a magic competition with little to no skill at all. Does it make it right or wrong? I can’t really say because there are way too many variables as mentioned above. You are at the mercy of judges and lay people. Some judges may be more knowledgeable of magic while others may simply be a hobbyist. All judges have different tastes and personalities. Some may be into comedy, others may be into a more theatrical presentation. Not too long ago I was in a competition and my skill was overlooked. Instead I was judged on my music. Apparently one of the judges is a disc jockey and because my music was slow and not high energy music like he plays. I got scored very low. he even told me himself. It brought to me some realization of where some people’s heads are when it comes to judging. I really learned a lot that day. 

 I started to realize that just because you don’t place doesn’t mean you’re not good or you suck. It could mean several things. Either you need more work with your routine and more stage time. Or that you are really good and that it just wasn’t your time. The only advice I could give you is just keep on entering magic competitions and you will eventually find your way to placing in a competition with persistence and not giving up. I have competed in magic competitions since I was 16 years old and have been in over 14 magic competitions in my life. It took me 30 years to finally place in a competition. Not only did I place, but a won 1st place stage and 1st place close-up at the MagicPalooza 2016. 

It took a lot of hard work to finally get to that point. I entered as many magic competitions as I could and I reviewed the judging scores and notes, made changes and tweaked my routine based on my scores, notes and personally talking to judges after the competition.
I would love to open this post to your experiences in magic competitions. Maybe you were a judge or maybe you were a contest organizer. What safeguards, methods or techniques did you use to make a successful magic competition?

Sunday, February 21, 2016

What is Close - Up Magic?

Not too long ago I entered into a close up competition at a local magic club here in Chicago. I won't mention the name, that doesn't matter. This blog post isn't for slamming the club, the magicians that won or the judges. In fact the competition was a huge success. The club did an awesome job with putting the competition together. There must of been around 50, 60 people in the audience. The chairs were set up semi circle, backdrop curtain, and a small card table in the front with a close up pad on it.

The magicians that won did a great job. In fact one young magician who I had met earlier before the contest was quite nervous. This was his first magic competition. I tried to make him less stressed and told him that it gets easier, the more competitions you do. Ya! you still might get a little nervous, but it gets easier. I ended by saying "By the way, the magicians that are the most nervous are usually the ones that win"

Latter that evening that magician ended up taking 3rd place. I smiled at him and said "I told you!"
I'm sure it was a great feeling for him to place in the contest. Especially his first magic competition. Me on the other hand didn't place. That's because the magic I was doing was so different than what people are used to seeing. I was really hesitant to do my act that I was planning on doing. In fact before I even decided on the act that I planned on doing, I talked to one of the young men running the contest. I told him everything that I was planning on doing. I explained to him that I plan on using music, I told him that I was using thimbles, a fan and a light that's maybe the size of a billiard ball. I also told him that I wouldn't need the close up table. I would be standing up doing my magic.

The young man running the contest didn't seem to have a problem with what I was planning on doing. He mostly said. "As long as it's entertaining, that's all that matters."  So I decided to go along with my thimble and light act. I actually put together three different acts, just in case I decided that the room layout and angles would be too challenging. I had a plan a, b and c act ready to go. Even though I decided to go with my thimbles and light effect, I knew that I was taking a huge risk with the material I choose.

Most of the magicians were doing the common magic that you see. Not really common in presentation, but common in props. You know! cards, coins, cups and balls.

I wanted to do something different and fresh. Thus I performed my thimble manipulation act along with a new effect I created using light. I call it "Hear and Soul"

Altogether there were 11 people competing. I was set to go 3rd in the second half of the contest.
When it was finally time for me to go on, they had stage hands move the close up table to the side, I entered the close up arena, took a bow, started my music and went into my close up act or should I say my "Close Up Performance Art" I could tell that the audience really enjoyed the magic. In fact I found it fascinating that out of all the magicians performing. My act generated the most claps. After looking at my video footage, I observed that I got about 14 claps throughout my performance and that was in a 7 minute act. Where is the others maybe generated about 6, maybe 10 the most in their act, and 10 is pushing it.

What I find interesting in the number of claps I received, more than anyone else competing, yet I didn't place. Like I said, I knew going in that I was taking a risk, that my act might not be considered close up magic. In fact shortly after I finished my act, I had one of the men walk up to me and say "Man! we have to get you some cards or something. I already had a few people come up and say to me that they thought this was a close up contest." I looked at him and said "I did do it close up! There were people about 3 feet away from me." he looked at me and said "Touche!" and walked away.

Keep in mind that I knew that what I was performing may not be considered close up. In fact several months before the competition, I decided to try out my material at the restaurant I work at. I wanted to see if the magic that I was actually planning on doing could be performed in such extreme conditions. It turns out that it could. Which motivated me to proceed with my act. One thing about myself is that I tend to go against the grain. I don't want to do what everyone else is doing.

I guess my philosophy is that if I keep being different, unique, pushing the envelope and not following the rules or norm of what everyone else is doing, I will one day hit something and my unique style of magic will take off.

After the contest, I had several people come up to me and compliment me on the light. They said they never saw anything like it. One magician wanted one, but I told him that my creation is not for sale at this time. I thought in my head "Mission Accomplished!" Your probably thinking "What! you didn't win!" Yes! I didn't win, but I generated interest and something people aren't used to seeing. It made me wonder that out of all the acts they seen that night, would my light be the effect that they remember the most?

After the contest, the magicians were able to talk to the judges about their act. I pretty much got the same response from all the judges. "I liked your act, but I really didn't consider it close up" I was like "Really! I was performing my magic to people from 3 feet away. Another judge said " I really liked your act. I get so tired of the same card tricks, but yours, yours was different, but.....  " here we go! the "BUT" word. You know what I'm talking about. People tend to give you the compliments first so that they can prepare the "Let down" more easier. The judge said "When I see close up magic, I think of street magic, magic on tv. You know the type where you go up to someone, pull some cards out and say hey check this out, or how about magic with coins? I didn't see anyone do any coin magic here. There is some great coin magic out there. You can take a coin out of you pocket and make it disappear or vanish."

I looked at him and in the first time in my life I was actually challenging a judge. In the past when listening to judges. I would just listen to what they are saying about my act and I would be all mousy and walk away in a whisper, "Okay, well thank you." and I would walk away with my head down and have to take in everything they told me that was wrong or they didn't like. Please don't get me wrong. I have heard and learned some great feedback from judges. My argument is that not all judges are good judges. Eugene Burger said it best. "Who judges the judges?"

So when I was taking to the judge and he was telling me about his opinion of what close up magic is and that I could do magic with things that are in my pocket and blow people away, I said. "Yea! kind of like that silk handkerchief that I made appear from nowhere, and that light that appeared from nowhere, both are small and can fit into my pocket." he kind of shrugged off what I said and then he went into how my light effect was nice, but too slow. He said.. "I am a disk jokey and I like things kind of fast paced and energetic!" I said.. "Ya! that's the thing that stinks. We as magicians are at the mercy and the taste of other judges." He said, "I just thought  it was too slow for my taste." I explained to him that the light effect is supposed to be an emotional piece, not fast paced throw away act. I kindly said I like the music I use and I'm going to keep it. I thanked him and went on my way.
I started to realize where people minds are in magic.

The next judge I spoke to, pretty much the same thing but much more nice and professional. She actually gave me some great positive feedback and she also liked the music for my light effect, but thought that it was more stage. Here we go again. The material I was doing was close up and I was performing it to people 3 feet away. . For those of you that don't know me. I love thimbles. That is my passion. I've tried doing magic with cards and coins, but I wasn't good at them. I discovered thimbles about 10 years back and found that I'm quite good at them. In fact I'm know here in Chicago for my thimble manipulation work. People call me the "Master of Thimbles." I have entered my thimble act into many stage competitions. I have won a few contest, but for the most part, people say they can't see the thimbles from far away.

So when I discovered that there was going to be a close up competition, I thought that maybe my thimble act would stand a better chance. I did my thimble manipulation act at the close up contest and now people are telling me that It's better off for stage and that the material I was doing is considered stage magic. "ARHHHHHH!" I just want to bang my head into a fist full of thimbles. That's just my luck! I find something that I'm finally good at and I can't even do what I'm passionate about. What gets me is that a hundred years ago or so, this is the type of magic that magicians would do. They would pack the house in a huge theater where they are performing cards and thimbles for thousands of people. Why has it changed now? How did that style of magic and history get lost? I knew ahead of time that I was taking a risk with the type of magic I was doing. At the same time, I'm so passionate about my thimbles that I don't care if I place. I just want to share and educate people on a piece of history and keep it alive!

 My goal is also to challenge people on what Close-Up Magic is. Just because you see street magic on TV and how they go up to strangers and talk to them in poor mumbled English "Um hey man, check dis out! you see dees cards. Dey all diforent rite?"

I think people, magicians have been conditioned into thinking what is close up magic. Don't let TV dictate what Close - Up Magic is. Be your own person. You decide! Was the magic entertaining? did the magician do it Close - UP? if a magician can pull out a elephant from his pants in front of people that are 2 feet away. Is that considered stage, because of the size? Or should we expand our horizons and appreciate that the magician could pull off such a great feat in close up conditions?

So for the people that think that my act was considered more for stage. Lets take a look at the magic props I was using.

4 thimbles stacked = 4 inches
A standard bicycle playing card  is about 2.5 inches wide by 3.5 inches tall.
A single Vernet thimble stands about 1 inch tall. That would make a stack of 4 thimble about 4 inches tall.
1 inch thimble

When you stack 4 thimbles together, they add up to about on inch. If you place those thimbles next to a playing card that is about 2.5 inches wide by 3.5 inches tall. You will notice that there is about 1 inch left of free space from where the top of the thimble is to where the bicycle plating card is. making the thimbles even smaller that a playing card.
Now lets look at the amount of space thimbles gain when the 4 thimbles are on 4 fingers of your hand. You will notice that the thimbles create a massive amount of visual gain than a bicycle playing card,

 With my hands spread and the four thimbles on top of the 4 fingers. I create a hand wing span of about 8 inches compared to the playing card that takes about 3.5 inches.
The thimbles pack small and play big. They gain almost 6 inches of visual space than a playing card. 

Now lets look at the oriental fan that I used in my act. As you can see. I placed a standard magic sized wand, a little over 12" To get an idea of the length of the fan. I placed the wand on top of the fan. As you can see, the fan is about a inch shorter, yet when expanded or opened, it's space that it creates is about 27.25" WOW! talk about pack small play big!

When you spread the playing cards on top of a fan. You can see how much more the fan creates more visual space than the spread of playing cards. Even though the fan is 27.25"when opened. It still fits into my coat jacket, just like a wand.

 The reason that I went into such great time and detail with this is because I think there is a lot to be said and thought of here. Just because we are used to a certain style and size of magic doesn't mean that any other size ir a different object such as my light, thimbles or fan means that it's a write off and no good. It is good magic.Magic that packs small and plays big. All of these items can fit into my pocket abd I can perform at a moments notice. I don't have to make sure my cards are in order. I take out my fan from  my pocket, show both hands empty, flick the fan in the air and magically have thimbles on my hand. The light trick, I can perform in front of people 2 feet away and it's magical.

In order to grow in the art. We need to grow with our openness to change and being different. . I'm bringing a different style of magic to the magic community and I'm calling it "Close - Up Performance Art"I will not follow the trend of what everyone else is doing. When we look outside of the box and open out mind to new ideas. We allow our gift to expand and grow into other undiscovered gifts of magic that know one has ever thought of. I strive to be different no matter what the consequences. The most important thing is that I enjoy what I'm doing. Despite people questioning me and the magic I decide to do. I still decide to go to the beat of my own drum. Otherwise I'm just playing the same instrument as everyone else.

Thanks for your time reading this article and I hope I have touched you or made you think and challenge you on what you think close up magic should and shouldn't be. ho sets the rules and dictates what close up magic is. If I did my act on TV and they called it close up magic, would it suddenly be acceptable form of magic? Just because it was on TV? We need to not follow, but create our own style of magic.

It's time to load my pockets with a fan, thimble scarf and make a light appear from nowhere. I'm the "Thimble Master" and I have a close up show to do.

Mark Presley
AKA" Imaginator 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


Many of us have seen those online clothing adds that seem to dominate the social media. One in particular that caught my attention was a clothing company called Rose Wholesale. I admit. I fell victim to their enticing adds and photos of their clothes. Being an entertainer, I was attracted sharp looking clothes that they had to offer.

Well after ordering from Rose Wholesale. It didn't take long to discover that I was a victim of a huge scam. Some consumers didn't even receive their orders. Others like me received the order about  3 to 4 months later, only to discover that the quality was less than acceptable.

I was very disheartened about my purchase and after not receiving my order after a few weeks of placing my order. I decided to do some research on the company. I was shocked at what I discovered.

What I found out was that there were many unhappy customers just like me. The same story, no order or they received low quality clothes.

In 2014 I decided to make a public awareness video about the scam. Little did I know that the video would get thousands of views. The name of the first video was called " Scam Alert"

I had many people comment on my video and share their stories. many asking for my help and guidance on what to do next. I also had a few people ask me if I ever received my order. This is a update on my order and the poor quality of my purchase.

I also decided to incorporate my MAGIC into the theme of "SCAM" It really gives it a unique edge on the topic. I've always had a passion for justice. Heck! at one time I wanted to be in law enforcement, but decided to be a magician instead. That doesn't mean that I can't mix two passions together,  JUSTICE and MAGIC!

I think it's great when we can use our art, our gift to educate people and bring public awareness. 
After spending hours and hours in the studio just shooting the magic effects for the video. Here is the finished product. Please share the video to your family and friends friends and bring public awareness to them. You could possible prevent someone you know by falling victim of this online store,

Perhaps maybe I will be going in the direction of using my magic in public service announcements. 
The sky is the limit when it comes to what we can do with our gift of IMAGINATION and ART. Don't waste it! use it to make a difference and change the WORLD.


Sunday, December 27, 2015


 For the past six months I have been working on a new sponge ball routine for my show. I just love doing magic with sponge balls and after finally getting down the routine. It was time to add it to my show. It was a Saturday night and I was to perform at No Shame Theater in Chicago. 

 It's one of my favorite places to perform. I'm guessing that there was about 400 people or so in the audience and on my way to the underground theater I was surprised to find a photographer following me and snapping pictures. It turns out that he was doing an article on me for the "Chicago Star" in the "Up Coming Star" article spread. I was unaware of this. Not even my agent that booked me the gig knew about it, but after asking for an ID, company name and other information. I was able to verify his position.

So as I was walking through the dark hallway to the theater entrance, I was being filmed by another media person. The video quality is not the best. I was told that one of the guys in the media team had his camera ripped off and so he used his flip phone cell video camera as a back up.  Jezz! I thought I was the only one that uses flip phone.

Don't JUDGE ME! OKAY! it's just a phone. That reminds me. Not too long ago I was at a party and a gentlemen at the table I was sitting at pulled out a flip phone to call his wife. I heard a yelp from a few feet away behind the man. It was a young woman that was laughing her ass off to the man with the flip phone. She said "Ha!Ha! Ha! a flip phone! Ha! He's got a flip phone!"

She said it in that irritating, condescending, adolescent, junior high voice that could rip the hair off a camel.

My stomach started to turn and as it was boiling over. I ran to the mans defense and I said. "You're going to judge someone by the phone they have? How weak is that?"  As I was saying this. I reached into my pocket, pulled out my phone and flipped it up. We both reached toward each other and bummed fists. Everyone at the table just laughed at the lady. I just love those moments when people think they are so up on their personality and game and you give them a reality check on their behavior.

Oh! I seemed to go off the story here. Let me get back to my show I was talking about.
So the small theater was jammed packed and I was ready to do my new sponge ball routine when something happened that left me in a panic. I went to make a jester and blow on the sponge ball before making it disappear and I started coughing. Thinking fast. I decided to turn my six months of my sponge ball routine into a comedy. It was the only thing I could do to work with my continuous  coughing and this is what I came up with.  And I have it all on tape.

I got a great response from the audience and I'm now throwing the six month routine out the window and I'm performing the new comedy routine. It's funny how things work out. Isn't it? Enjoy the video and please subscribe to my youtube channel. It really does help me when you subscribe. My youtube channel is "THE MAGIC OF MARK PRESLEY"  
Thanks again for your support.

Friday, December 4, 2015

My favorite videos of "The World's Greatest Magic"

I remember in the early 90's watching the "World's Greatest Magic" TV specials. I was sucked in by the wonderful captivating and magical talent. The program usually aired around Thanksgiving and I was always so excited when I would see the commercials advertising it. I really wish they would bring that show back. It was truly a magical time.

I thing that's what also helped me get back into magic. I was so inspired to get back into magic by watching all the great magicians dazzle the world with their magic. Here is a few of my favorites. I have many more, but for some reason there isn't many World's Greatest Magic videos. Feel free to send me some of your favorites as a link in the comments area. I will try to add them to this blog.

The World's Greatest Magic was a series of American television specials showcasing magic acts.The first of five shows was broadcast by NBC in 1994, and continued with annual editions through 1998. These shows were most often first telecast during the Thanksgiving holidays when special programming would occur. These specials reran occasionally on ABC Family (then The Family Channel and Fox Family) from October 1996 to early 2002.

The first episode was hosted by Robert Urich, the second by Alan Thicke, and the final three episodes by John Ritter. All of the specials were narrated by Don LaFontaine. During specials II, III, IV, and V, before each commercial break of every episode, in a segment known as the Mac King School of Magic, Mac King showed viewers a simple magic trick, and would break its steps down after the commercial break so that the audience could perform the same trick for family and friends. The first special featured the same teach-a-trick segments which involved some of the various magicians featured in the special, along with a special guest celebrity.

Below is a list of the closing illusions for each of the five shows, and the magicians who performed them:
  • World's Greatest Magic I: Franz Harary - Space Shuttle vanish
  • World's Greatest Magic II: Penn and Teller - Magic bullet catch
  • World's Greatest Magic III: The Pendragons - Disappearance of 25 Vegas showgirls
  • World's Greatest Magic IV: Lance Burton - Jaws of Death escape (Lance was handcuffed and shackled inside a canvas mailbag, put in the back of a car, and dropped into a car crusher.)
  • World's Greatest Magic V: Brett Daniels - Teleportation of actress Kelly Packard across the Grand Canyon

Franz Harary (born July 18, 1962) is an American magician and inventor who has appeared on television shows such as the first episode of NBC's The World's Greatest Magic, on which Harary made the Space Shuttle appear to vanish.
While studying music at Eastern Michigan University and aspiring to be a singer and dancer on Broadway, Harary was designing illusions as a hobby. He began performing publicly after persuading the university's marching band leader to let him appear as part of the halftime show. Between 1982 and 1984, Harary's Odyssey In Illusion team designed and executed illusions for ballet troupes, ice revues, marching bands, and symphony orchestras. It was featured on ABC-TV's live telecast of the 1983 Thanksgiving Day parade in Detroit. 

At the end of 1983, Harary sent Michael Jackson a videotape of Odyssey In Illusions greatest hits and within a week was invited to perform as part of the Jacksons' "Victory Tour" in 1984. Harary made Jackson levitate and disappear on one side of the stage and reappear with his brothers on the other side. In 1990, a character in World Championship Wrestling called The Black Scorpion used magic in efforts to anger the popular Sting. Wrestling websites claim Harary was the masked man performing the magic.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Coffee Time With Mark Presley

Boy it's been awhile since my last blog.  Sometimes life just gets too busy. The other day while I was in my magic studio. I couldn't help to look at all the wonderful magic tricks I have in my display cabinet. Wonderful magic that doesn't get used. Have you ever had that happen to you? you buy a magic effect and than it just sits there collecting dust. It's happened to me plenty of times.

So one day while cleaning my glass magic display, I decided to make a video and perform some of my magic effects that don't get much use or performance time if any.

I was having such a great time playing around with some of the nostalgic magic that I decided to try out my own program called "Coffee Time With Mark Presley" My goal is to bring some fun to magic in a casual, up close way by just chilling out, having some coffee and talking magic. I plan on evntually  putting a themed background to the set as well as have guest appearances. That is yet to be determined of whether the guest will be on via Skype or in person, but for the time being I will have live appearances of local Chicago Magicians. So if you would like to be on my show as a guest. Please contact me.

I hope you enjoy the video and please make a comment below in this blog and also subscribe to my youtube channel

Friday, October 2, 2015

Separating your personal life from your business life

 This blog discussion here was approved to share from the "Magic Mystery School" private groups page. All written materials belong exclusively to the "Magic Mystery School"
I thought this would be a great discussion here because I hardly see anything
on this topic. I hope Jeff will consider doing this topic on his Monday night "School Night" show.
One of the things I wanted to bring up is how do you separate your personal life from your business life?

This seems like a no brainier. "Just Stop" right? well for some like me, it's not easy. I sometimes
get wrapped up in political debates, religion, and just about anything else that is not magic, business related.
And when it is magic related, that can also cause some blow outs  such as "unsolicited advice" or feedback,
which definitely can negative spin. Meanwhile you were just talking about something simple like "What color should I paint my box?"
Since the social media is so powerful. It gives people the opportunity to share their passions as well as their beliefs and dislikes.

Having a social network buffet of such different people's, passions, dislikes and opinions
is bound to cause some sort of friction and voice expression reply in the social network where people can post, interact and comment.

I know I have been caught up in these situations way too many times and it made me start to think about
how these personal, non business posts in the social network can hurt people's opinion and business outlook on you as a person and performer.

In the several years that I've been in the social media network, I started to notice that a lot of the top magicians don't get into
their person life, opinions of political and religious views. 
For example Jeff and his faculty always seems to be focused on magic and the topics are always magic business related.  Very rarely did I ever see them get into these personal discussions that can many times cause negativity. Maybe it's juts my imagination, but I feel that there is a lot to be said
with separating  business from personal life. So I would like to ask for some help, input and personal experiences from Jeff
and his faculty on this. Especially Larry, the "Philosopher" I'm sure he has a lot of good stories and great advice, being the
philosopher he is.

So my question is how can we separate personal from business? Is there any good books or media you can recommend for people
that want to make a transition from posting about personal things and moving on to being a business person?

Too me our heart and our emotions are the most powerful tools we have. Our heart and emotions can cause happiness, sadness or
someone pushing the nuclear button of a missile. Sometimes people are so quick to express their opinions and emotions
without really thinking of the results and consequences after the fact. I know I'm guilty of that at times.

What can we do to be better role models and better magicians when it comes to these issues that I addressed? Should magicians have a personal page and a business page?
I look forward to hearing from you.

Mark Presley AKA Imaginator

Below are the responses from the "McBride Mystery School" staff and alumni.

Bryce Kuhlman,


"It sounds like you just don't have the proper motivation to STOP IT (see for a funny, but spot-on take on quitting bad behaviors).

While you may or may not be intrinsically motivated by money, everyone needs it to survive. So you might try counting the dollars you're losing every time you engage in this behavior.


Every time you get into one of these personal debates, how much potential work are you losing? How many people would decide, in that moment, that they would never hire you simply because of a difference in personal belief? Then consider how many of their friends they're going to tell.

Go back and look at these debates over the last few months. Count up how many people you have had conflict with, or might have agitated in some way. Then multiply by 7 to include the first round of friends they might tell. If you were posting as part of a group, look at how many members there are. What percentage of those people might have been watching, and forming negative opinions of you, even though they weren't engaged in the discussion?

Multiply that number by the price of a gig to get to a dollar figure for lost revenue.

Also... how much is your time worth? Seriously. Put a number to it.  $25/hr, $50, $100, $300, $1000... Whatever it is, you're throwing that money in the trash every moment you spend trying to convince someone of your viewpoint (which I'm sure you've realized does not work). Heck, even if you're debating with like minded people... you're still wasting your time "preaching to the choir."

What if you spent that time generating leads, making sales calls... or practicing and rehearsing?

There is no "separation" in Social Media any more. Trust me. My team generates about 95% of our sales leads through social media. Any one of my people can have links to all of your online profiles in a matter of minutes. Social media is our first round of qualification (and eventual disqualification, in many cases). Granted, not many people are consciously going to that level of effort, but the point is that it's really easy to do... in fact, it's almost impossible to ignore.

So... try turning up the pain! Once you start seeing the numbers of potential lost gigs and wasted dollars, it might be enough of a push to get you to stop it."

House of Wonder,
"There are some that have passionate believes and do air them in business and it works for them.  IF you have enough like minded fans, well then you can be” free to be you.” 
Look at Donald Trump’s statements and how for a while now, it has not hurt him because he gains  more “like minded” followers than the one he leaves.  Since he really does not care if he runs or not, he is throwing it all out there and people are eating this up.   Plus he admits to everything and says he had to play the games with the politicians, stated he supported this or that, to get what he wanted. 
Like him or hate him, it is a good example for your discussion.   
Careers have ended or been badly hurt by one incent or outburst  Like Paul Ruben’s (Pee Wee) allegations of being in a porno theater (Porn theater was a place some went to seen dirty movies before the internet) 
Or Michael Richards (Kramer) racial comments  at a comedy club.  Or even tv’s Ellen for coming out as gay (back in the day this was a terrible thing to do and she lost her show because of it)
Social media does not have to be PUBLIC.  Most still don’t grasp the concept of limiting who sees what on their social media since that takes extra effort.
Basically keep to yourself if you are not willing to take the risk. 
And as Bryce says, what is it worth in time, money and mental energy to have your views known and risk turning someone off."
CJ May 
"As an environmental magician I have to consider the pros and cons of expressing my opinion w each show.  If I am hired for a general audience, such as a school for my own gigs or invited by a community group for my day job as a recycling coordinator, I keep the opinion fairly light and eliminate any soap box or finger wagging statements during or after.   If I am performing at an environmental festival or doing sustainability training for environmental professionals, however, I may stand on the soap box a bit.  I feel it is not a question of yes or no w respect to personal opinion, but how much, how delivered, and for whom.

I know of one great magician who lets his Don Rickles comments come out at family shows.   This puts gasps of shock into my mouth and some of the parents in the audience.  The same comments are hilarious in an all adults show in a bar or party.   He just needs to keep those comments for the right place and time."
CJ May - Resourcerer
Larry Hass,
Hi Mark (and Everyone),

"Thank you for such a thought and self-searching email, Mark.  And thank you for seeking my thoughts.  I hope to say something here that will be helpful to you and everybody.

I think Bryce has covered the business side of the issue very well.  Social media IS public media, and as such it one of the several avenues I use to engage and speak to potential clients.  And I NEVER want to use it in a way that costs me potential clients.  (My business can’t afford that.)

The philosophical side to this is my own healthy caution and vigilance about beliefs in general—whether they are my own or others. Knowing what is true—really KNOWING rather than having mere opinion—is really complex and difficult.  Knowledge IS possible, but it requires attention to evidence and careful reasoning, both of which are fraught with room for self-deception and error.  Indeed, so often we think things are true because of psychological factors such as:  1) the way I was brought up, 2) I really WANT it to be true, 3) all the people in my group believe it and I want to fit in, and 4) I identify with someone who holds the view, and so on.

The result of this is that in my early study as a philosopher, as I learned more about the complexities of getting real knowledge (as opposed to spouting opinions), the more ignorant I realized I had been!  Right when I had thought I was so smart!  Wake-up call for Larry!  (Which is, by the way, what Socrates told the Athenian Court: “People say I am the wisest person in Athens. If that is true, it would have to be because I know how little I know.”)

As a result, as a philosopher and a person, I try to be very careful and thorough before holding and stating a belief.  And I try to help students and others realize that things are almost always more complicated than they first appear.  And I try to respect and listen to other points of view because they might contain an insight I hadn’t thought about before.  And I try my best to remember that what I have been thinking and saying could be in error—because I have been wrong before about things and will be again!

I realize this careful approach won’t get a lot of air time in our era of "screaming heads.”  But that’s all about programming, viewers, and advertisers anyway—not the shared endeavor to use reason and evidence to try and understand what is true and learn to live together.

I hope there is something in this that helps!

Best wishes, and Mark:  thank you again!"
Lyn Miner,
"Bryce has offered some very practical insights into the business side of separating business from your personal life.  Larry has added his usual and insightful philosophical perspectives. I’d like to add a psychological bent that might help in avoiding traps and pitfalls while remaining goal oriented. Every time your inner self raises that nagging question, “Am I doing the right thing?”, consider asking and answering these questions.
  1. Specifically, what do I want to obtain or achieve?
  2. What exactly am I doing presently to get what I want?
  3. How is it working out?
  4. If I’m not reaching my goal (either in business or personal affairs), what else could I do?
  5. What, in specific detail, am I willing to do?
  6. When will I do it?
  7. Where will I do it?
  8. What resources and information do I need to do it and when will it be available?
  9. With whom will I do it?
  10. Who needs to know it is done?
  11. How do I want this to come out?
  12. Am I really committed to this plan?
In essence, these questions help you plan for success, not failure.  Plan specifically and within reason.  Take ownership for planning and the responsibility for the resulting outcomes.  “I’ll try” is not a statement of commitment, and you should never accept it because it represents poor planning.  With personal and professional goals clearly in mind, you can achieve the balance you seek."

Roger Chen,
Awesome thoughts Larry...I KNOW how thoughtful and caring you are to help us find and reveal our inner truth.
I am an engineer, not a poet, yet I wrote this piece in college for my literature paper and it came back to me the other day.
"What is this false truth called reality?
What is this innocent lie?
Take me a picture of what you saw,
Now really, what happened, and why?"

As an executive that makes decisions to hire vendors and consultants, my peers will Google names of people in conversation. It is not only the vendor image at stake, it is the reputation of whomever hires them as well. The vendor may fail and move on to the next client. The person hiring had to live with the decision. Some food for thought.