No, the answer is no. 

This constant public positivity drives me mad. What happened to criticism? Why can't we be critical without sparking some inner lingering rage? 

I don't mean blatant aggressive attacks like, "You handle cards so poorly, I'm contemplating using those cards as weapons to remove my eyeballs."

I'm referring to something more like. "You're riffle shuffles are very choppy, can I share a way to make them more consistent and even?"

I'm the first to admit, my criticism comes with no sugar on top and many times it might rub people the wrong way, but it's not a personal attack. It's an attempt at brutal honesty. It's the way I need to hear my criticism, and as such it's the way I give criticism.

"Shane, why can't you be nicer about it?"

I can, and I do! If you are under the age of 18, I'll have nothing but lovely things to say, if you'd like criticism it will be light and fluffy... Unless you ask for my honest opinion then I will tell you my honest opinion. 

"Does it have to be so harsh?" 

Of course not! Which is why it isn't delivered with malice or intent to hurt someone's feelings or attack them personally. It's is delivered to highlight and zero in on the specific technique, structure, or general esthetic of something being performed or worked on. 

With young magicians, I try to encourage them. It's not a time to criticize. They are still learning and exploring! Once someone has buckled down and made a firm decision on what they want to concentrate on seriously, then serious evaluation, and criticism comes next.

Am I being too harsh? 


Are You Ready?

29 May 2015, Shane Cobalt

No this isn't meant to refer to Criss Angel's catch line. It's about YOU and your skills, your experience, and your expectation. 

Everyone wants to be at the top of their career. But truth be told, a lot of magicians who have "made it" talk about how much fun the adventure and the struggle really was. 

I Can't Do That...

27 May 2015, Shane Cobalt

There are two ways to fail at something. You can fail by not trying at all, meaning actually not taking even the tiniest first step. Or you can fail by starting to do something, perhaps making it part way through a process and not being able to complete, or by having your first attempt not work out.